Jake stepped off the escalator. His right lower pant’s hem caught at the step edge, sending him sprawling. The teenager heard catcalls and laughter from the teenagers passing by. He pushed himself up onto his knees.
“Are you okay, Jake?”
Jake twisted to his left, looking up with surprise into Cassie Loring’s concerned blue eyes as she put a hand on his left arm, auburn hair spilling down to frame her face.
“Not hurt, just clumsy, but thanks for checking,” Jake regained his feet hurriedly. He’d daydreamed about Cassie since fourth grade. Not being a jock, cool, or even a nerd, Jake figured Cassie to be unaware he was alive.
“I’m glad I ran into you,” Cassie said, looking up at Jake hesitantly, her hand still on his arm. “Would you go with me to the Y-teens formal?”
Jake’s mouth tightened. He looked around waiting for laughter; but no one was near them except the people walking off the escalator.
“If you’ve been asked already, I understand,” Cassie added quickly, blushing and pulling her hand away. “Sorry if…”
“No, I’m just … well… you know… surprised,” Jake admitted. “You’re a cheerleader, and…”
“You’re a shop rat,” Cassie giggled. “You spend every spare moment after school, and weekends, at your Dad’s repair shop. So, will you go with me?”
“Yes… of course,” Jake answered, reaching to take her hand again. “I…I’ve had a crush on you since fourth grade.”
“I know,” Cassie answered simply, reaching up to stroke Jake’s cheek.