The next morning, Pete was waiting by the school gates. He looked sad. He took her books and they walked silently to class.
During the break, Rosalind, as usual, sat with her group of friends.
“What did you do to him?” asked Brenda.
“Nothing,” Rosalind said. She resumed eating her sandwich.
“Nothing?” Joy echoed. “I’ve never seen him look so down before.”
“Maybe she refused to sleep with him,” said Brenda, and they all laughed.
Rosalind smiled. “We haven’t even held hands yet.”
“Then what happened?” asked Sabrina.
“He confessed his love,” Rosalind said proudly. The other girls stopped eating and stared at her.
“And you rejected him?” Liv asked.
Rosalind nodded, “I’m not ready yet.”
“You’re not?” said Joy. “Well, I am. I don’t mind having him.”
“I’ll tell him that,” Rosalind said.
“You would?” Joy was beaming.
Joy could have him if she wanted. Rosalind had had enough fun with him. It was time to look for another victim. She had just the person in mind.
In the bus after class that day, Rosalind said, “Pete, I can’t let you send me back anymore.”
Pete stared at her. “Why?”
“I don’t have any feelings for you and I can’t let you wait hopelessly.”
“I don’t mind waiting. No matter how long it takes.”
“It’s no use. I only treat you like my brother.”
“Maybe one day you’ll change your mind,” Pete argued.
“I won’t. It’s already tattooed in my brain. Please don’t send me back anymore.”
“I don’t mind. Even if you treat me like your brother,” said Peter. One day you will change your mind.
“It’s not that, Pete. The truth is, I like another guy.”
“Who?” The question shot out immediately.
“What?” He spoke as if he had just heard she was pregnant. “Benedict is not as good as you think.”
“I despise the way you talk about my friends,” said Rosalind. “I don’t want you to send me back anymore.”
She took the books from him, and moved to another seat.
Pete did not follow her when she alighted.
Good, Rosalind thought. He’s turning into a real bore. There’s no challenge anymore. Benedict seems like a good target. At least he drove.
The problem was, how would she make him ask her out?
(Excerpt from the out of print A Rose Has Thorns.
A handful of you have expressed that you wish to buy this book. If there is a greater demand, I’ll certainly reprint it in hard copies. Do post a comment if you wish it to be in hard copies.)