Not entirely sure what she would say, Tom approached Kate to invite her to the party. He had made it his business to always know where she was. Whenever she needed a ride into town, or when she had a longer break between classes, he was there. So naturally, he knew she would be at the library, studying for her Spanish exam.
“Hi, Katie,” he whispered.
“Hi, Tom,” she looked up from the book with a smile, all the light of the universe reflected in her eyes.
He sat right next and talked about irrelevant things for a little bit, making her smile more and making her laugh. Then he finally got the courage, “Hey, do you know about the party? At the Beta house.”
“Yeah, I’m already going.”
He wondered which of the dozens of men who surrounded her would be her date. As he was saying “It’s cool, it’s gonna be great,” a jock came over and leaned to give Kate an awkward hug.
“Hey, babes, he said. You wanna go to the party with me?”
“Thanks, Jerry, I’m already going,” she said without a single tone that could discourage.
“Going? With who?” the small eyes of the viking turned to Tom, projecting out a mixture of anger and disdain.
“Oh, you know, nobody. I’ll just be there.”
“Okay, then, I’ll see you there,” and the jock marched away.
Tom breathed easy. So she was still without a boyfriend. Good. He had some more time to be her best friend. One day she would notice his love and elevate him from among the hosts of potential candidates. She had to. Right?