“Wow. The “She’s different to the rest speech” already. This is getting serious.”
“So, I don’t know; it’s like she’s stalking me of something. Am I just being paranoid?”
“I don’t know, dude. She does a lot of crazy things.”
“Yeah, like the way she use a fork when she can’t find a comb.”
“What do reckon, Adam?”
The trio glanced over at him but Adam was too absorbed in his book to respond. “Adam,” zei John a little louder. Aladdin cleared his throat, loudly and Adam looked up. “Sorry, I was miles away.”
“Yeah, we can see that,” grinned Hercules, stretching.
“What are u reading, anyway?” asked John.
It was the Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Adam showed him. “Whoa!” Aladdin sprang to his feet. “We didn’t have to read that for English, did we? They’re not making us to extra reading, surely?”
“No, it’s for Book Club,” Adam explained.
“Ah! So u finally joined, then?” Aladdin grinned. “You took your time about it!”
“It wouldn’t have anything to do with a certain brunette with hazel eyes, would it?” teased John.
“Shut up,” Adam replied, going back to his book.
Aladdin winked at the others and stretched, lazily. “Ah, we can’t blame u if she is your reason, Adam. She is pretty fit.”
Adam looked up, sharply. “What?”
“Belle; she’s hot.”
“I’d say she was a bit out of your league, though, mate,” grinned Hercules, folding his arms.
“Really?” Aladdin chuckled. “Coz, u know, I was going to see if she wanted to hang out sometime or-”
Adam got to his feet. “Or...what, Al?”
“Well, u know...we could maybe do a little bit meer than hang out...”
Adam stepped up to him. “Belle’s not just some tart u can sleep with and then dump, Aladdin Street! If u ask her out, you’d better treat her with respect.”
“Hah!” Aladdin leapt back with a grin of triumph. “I knew it! u do like her!”
Adam flushed. “Maybe. What’s it to you?”
“I think someone’s in love!” Hercules teased, nudging John.
“Ah, leave him alone, guys,” zei Flynn, who was reclining on his bed, attempting to do Maths homework. “Seriously, Adam, mate; if u do like her, u should at least ask her out for a drink of something.”
“It’s not that simple,” Adam sighed, sinking back onto his own bed. “Belle doesn’t flirt, unlike the girls u lot fancy,” he gestured to his friends, “and she doesn’t stalk boys, unlike Ariel. I can’t always tell what’s on her mind so easily. What if she doesn’t like me in that way? It would be really awkward.”
John whistled. “Wow. The “She’s different to the rest speech” already. This is getting serious.”
Adam ignored him. “I like being with her, ok? If I asked her out and she zei now, how could I keep being her friend then? I think I’d just like to leave things as they are for now.”
Flynn, ever loyal, didn’t break his promise to Belle, weaken and tell Adam that she did have feelings for him. “Yeah, just take it slow. See what happens.”
“Yeah, it’s probably for the best,” agreed Aladdin, soberly. “Don’t just rush in there, Adam.”
“Says the man who can’t stop flirting with jasmijn Dove!” Hercules scoffed, shoving him. “Been stealing flowers from the school grounds for her again, Al?”
“Whereas u just fall in love on the spot and admire her from afar!” Aladdin countered. “What was it u were up to in English class; poetry writing, wasn’t it?”
“Ah, u two know nothing about romance!” John smirked. “It’s all about listening and communication; and playing the part of the gallant hero to win the girl over.”
“No, it isn’t.” Everyone looked over at Adam, who hadn’t looked up from his book, but was listening even so. “It’s about listening and communication, yes; but the only way to win a girl’s hart-, hart is to toon her what you’re prepared to do to be with her. It’s about sacrifice.” He looked up at his friends. “Say you’re in a position where u have the girl but u have to let her go so she can be happy, even though it’ll make u miserable. Would u do it?”
“What; when u have the girl already and you’re happy?” John scoffed. “No way!”
“Then it’s not love. If u care about yourself meer than her, it’s not love.” Adam flipped a page of his book. “Reading’s taught me that much.”
“Well said,” agreed Flynn, struggling to divide 870 door 42.
Meanwhile, Belle had finished her book, along with the Tenant of Wildfell Hall, and was on her way to the bibliotheek to return the boeken and borrow something else. She felt lightheaded and breezy in light of what her vrienden had been teasing her about. Maybe it was true. Maybe she was smitten with Adam. What a fool she had been the first time she had met him to think that he was beastly when he was really kind and gentle and lonely. And he was now her friend.
She was halfway along the corridor to the bibliotheek when she heard Gaston’s voice around the corner and stopped dead. Ever since her vorige encounter with Gaston, she had been avoiding him completely when she wasn’t with Adam of someone else she could feel veilig with. Thinking quickly, she ducked into a nearby classroom.
To her surprise, it wasn’t empty. It was an Art room and the walls were covered in photographs and postcards of famous painting, some of which she recognised from books. There were a few painted pots and sculptures here and there. To her surprise, someone was inside the room, making a sculpture.
“Hello,” zei Belle.
The girl jumped and looked up at once. “Oh, hello.”
“We’ve not met yet. It’s Ariel, isn’t it?”
“Yes, and you’re Belle, aren’t you?”
They smiled at one another. “What’s that?” Belle asked, looking at the sculpture.
Ariel blushed as red as her hair. “Oh, it’s...a guy here...at Disney High.”
She moved and Belle saw it now. “Oh! Is that-?”
“John Smith, yes! Isn’t he dreamy?”
“I guess,” Belle smiled. He was, in a conventional sort of way. “You like him, don’t you, Ariel?”
Ariel blushed again. “How can u tell?”
“Ariel, no offence, but it’s pretty obvious. Did u only kom bij the Book Club to be near him?”
She nodded. “I know, I know, people say I’m stalking him but, well, the truth is, I’m in love with him and he never looks at me twice.”
“Oh, u poor thing,” zei Belle, sympathetically.
Ariel hesitated to sculpt John’s nose into the proper shape. “I heard about Gaston, door the way. That he tried it on with u in the alleyway. I’m sorry. I know what that feels like.”
“What? u mean, he’s tried it with u too?”
Ariel nodded, sadly. “The horrible thing is that I let him. I thought it was love at the time; until he turned around and left me for some pretty blonde girl named Odette in the volgende village. I hate him.”
“I’m so sorry,” Belle whispered.
Ariel shrugged. “It was horrible but it was ages ago. I’ve moved on since then. u will too.”
Belle smiled. “Can u keep a secret?”
“I think I already have.”
“You like him, don’t you, Ariel?”