It wasn't first time he'd shown up at her bedroom window, but it didn't happen often either. It was just sporadic enough to always keep her guessing and for him to always catch her just a little off guard.
The truth is, he liked seeing her reaction when he knocked on the window; a little jump and then a smile when she realized it was him. He wasn't necessarily invited, but he was always welcome.
"Whatcha doin' Ranger Rick?" she asked, opening the window.
He entered the room gracefully with just a small thud and, of course, a tip of his imaginary cowboy hat.
"Just stopping by to say hi to my favorite Clutterbucket," he shrugged and she smiled.
"Wanna do me a favor?" she asked him, suddenly.
His interest was piqued, she never asked him for favors. That was strictly a Riley-thing.
"I'm a little confused about the math homework, and I really can't miss another assignment in this stupid class. You're a genius, think you could help me out?" she spoke quickly, like she was embarrassed to be asking for help.
"Of course Maya! You know I'm always around for-" he trailed off, not wanting to further her embarrassment, "Whatever. I'm happy to help."
"You're so corny, Hopalong," she shook her head and crinkled her button nose up in mock disgust, "Let's just get this over with, huh? I wanna watch Flash tonight."
"You watch The Flash too?" he asked, surprised. He enjoyed the show, but Maya seemed way too cool for that sort of thing.
"I like superheroes," she shrugged off his surprise, before quickly adding, "And the villains."
"Naturally," I nodded in agreement.
We settled down to work on the math homework, her lying across her bed and me sitting on the floor leaned against it, so we were pretty much eye level.
After they finished it was just about time for the show, so Maya invited Lucas to stay and watch it with her, if he wanted to that is.
"I'd love to," he answered honestly. He liked spending time with the tiny blonde, when they weren't at school she wasn't as as antagonistic towards him, they'd fallen into a comfortable sort of rhythm these days.
"Want something to eat?" she offered, "I can call for a pizza? Or we might have something from the diner in the fridge?"
"Whatever you want," he answered noncommittally, "I ate before I came over."
"Well I'm not really that hungry either, so I'll just gonna make some popcorn," she shrugged.
"Sounds perfect," he smiled.
They couldn't exactly share a bowl of popcorn from opposite sides of the living room, small though it may be, so the two were pretty close together watching the show.
"Hey!" he said suddenly, "Looks like you got me to put my hands in the popcorn with you anyway."
She rolled her eyes at my reminder of her fake-asking me out. I'd been shocked, but honestly I wasn't opposed to the idea of going on a date with Maya. She's pretty and smart, and really has a good heart, once you get passed her tough exterior.
"Very funny," she said sarcastically, "Riley would just die."
We went back to watching the show, but I couldn't get what she'd said out of my head.
"Maya, about that," I said suddenly.
"About what, Cowboy?" she asked.
"I need your advice on what to do about Riley," I started, before explaining myself, "I mean, she's one of my best friends and obviously I care a lot about her, but I don't necessarily feel that same way about her that she feels about me. If you know what I mean."
"What!" the blonde shouted, muting the TV, "Are you crazy? Riley is the best girl in the whole world. She's pretty, she has a great family, she's smart, she's sweet; she's perfect!"
"That all may be true, but," Maya cut me off.
"Not 'may be true'," she corrected, "Its totally true."
"Right, but still, I can't help it that I don't feel the same way about her. You can't help how you feel about somebody, you know?" he searched her eyes for understanding, but she only squinted back at him.
"Who do you like?" she asked him menacingly, "If you don't like Riley it must be because you like someone else. Is it Missy? If it is Missy, I will jack you up son."
"Its not Missy," I raised my hands in surrender, "I promise."
She took this as an opportunity to pounce, and was soon sitting on my chest, with me laid out across the couch, and her holding my arms over my head at the wrists, she smiled smugly and asked, "Well then who do you like?"
She thinks she has an upper hand on me, I thought to myself, noticing how brightly her blue eyes shined when she smiled deviously, that's cute. She's cute.
I easily released myself from her grip, and pushed her off my chest and onto my legs, so I could lean forward and look her in the eye.
"Maya," I said, using a sternness I never do, not with her, and she looked taken aback, a little frightened even. I didn't want to scare her, but I didn't want to back down either. "Let it go. Trust me, this will ruin everything."
"Fine," she crossed her arms over her chest, "Don't tell me. But if you hurt Riley, I'll hurt you."
"I would expect nothing less," I replied, lying back down and turning my attention back to the TV.
She unmuted it, but made no move to get off of me; she seemed quite content perched on my legs as she was.
This really will ruin everything, I thought to myself, taking in the sight of her and taking a deep breath.