This wasn't the first time a full face of makeup was forced on him, but it didn't make it any easier to get off.
TJ wiped away at all the makeup the girls in his grade forced on his face after they managed to catch him. None of it was coming off; he probably needed to wash it off. All this over a joke. If only he kept his mouth shut when talking to the girls outside of the boys room. He almost got away with it until he let them know they were joke cards.
At least it's all over now and he doesn't have to run from an angry mob anymore.
TJ nearly jumped out of his shoes at the sudden voice. He quickly turned around was met with Ruby, one of the girls in his class that got her revenge on him. She was one of the first girls that came up to him during recess. She had curly red hair and wore a dark burgundy top. She held out a packet of wipes for him to take.
"What's that?" He asked.
"Wet wipes. To get the makeup off," said Ruby. "Just take it."
"Thanks. I thought you'd still be mad at me," said TJ. With one wipe in hand, he started scrubbing away at the layers on his face.
"Oh I am. I'm very mad at you, just like the others," Ruby said. She folded her arms and leaned against the school wall. "I'm just willing to talk to you. Tricking all the girls like that was a really mean thing to do, TJ."
"I didn't do it to be mean! It was supposed to be a joke!" He huffed. "Those were joke cards, how did none of you catch that? Besides, I told everyone I thought this day was goofy."
Ruby sighed, and TJ took another wipe to use.
"You really don't get it do you?" She asked. TJ just arched an eyebrow at her question. "Gosh you are so dense. TJ, a few of us girls actually like you, and when we got a Valentine's Day card from you, we thought you felt the same about us and made an exception with what you said in class, and got our hopes up! Imagine how that makes us feel!"
Oh. To be fair, TJ hadn't considered that, but why would he? The idea of girl likers and boy likers was still a new thing to him. As far as he knew, Spinelli was the only boy liker in the whole school, he didn't know if there were any more. And even if there were, what reason would he have for them like liking him of all the guys? These were all the last things on his mind. The whole card this was just a harmless prank.
"I'm sorry! How was I supposed to know they thought that way about me? It's like I said, you're all my friends."
"Boys." Ruby rolled her eyes. "Because you're nice? And you help everyone. You're really approachable and friendly. That's why I like you, at least."
"Mm-hmm." Ruby tucked a curly lock of hair behind her ear, blushing.
TJ wiped the last bit of makeup off.
"I'm sorry, Ruby. I really am. I didn't mean to hurt your, or anyone else's, feelings. I thought it would make you all see how goofy this whole day is. I didn't think about it that way because I'm not a girl liker," he said. "And I definitely had no idea that some of you like-liked me. It's a surprise to me."
"So there's no chance you'd like any of us back?" She asked, the disappointment clear in her voice.
"No. Not right now at least. I know I will be one day, but not right now." he said.
"I see. Well, I'm glad you understand why everyone was upset at least. That's better than nothing," said Ruby. She looked away, but TJ still saw that she was saddened about the whole thing. There had to be something he could do to make her feel better, but the first thing that came to mind was something he was reluctant to do, and that was putting it lightly.
"Hey," said TJ.
"Yeah?" She turned back to him.
"Don't let it get around that I did this, but. . ." After taking a deep breath, he leaned over and kissed her cheek. "There. I hope that cheers you up. I can't make any promises, but who knows, maybe one day when I'm a girl liker, I might like-like you back. You never know. But I gotta go. I'll see you tomorrow."
Still blushing, Ruby watched him walk away.
"Wait!" Ruby shouted at him to stop.
"Yeah?" He asked, turning around.
"Just tell me one thing. Why do thing Valentines day is goofy?" She asked. "You never explained why."
"I dunno. It just seems kinda dumb to me. The whole point of Valentines day is to show someone how much you love them, right? But I don't get that," said TJ. "If you love them, wouldn't you show them every day? Instead of just one day of the year? Maybe I just don't get it and I'm missing something. Anyways, see you later, Ruby. Thanks for helping get the makeup off."
She waved at him as he left. Leave it up to him to try and cheer her up after she helped put that gunk all over his face. Of course he would, putting other before himself, like always. Just one more reason she liked him so much. All she could hope for now is that one day he'll return her feelings.