"Hey Tara... There's something I want to tell you." Willow spoke the words before she lost the nerve.
Tara smiled at Willow, then frowned when she saw who was fast approaching over Willow's shoulder. The thin brunette looked like she meant business and she walked quickly past Willow and grabbed Tara's hand. "We need to talk, Tara."
Tara didn't have any time to protest as she was dragged off her feet and further into one of the corners of the hall. "Joey, let go of me. That hurts." She wrestled her hand free. "You can't just go around grabbing people like that."
Joey turned and looked at her. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you, I'm just excited... I got two tickets to an Eminem concert and I want you to go with me."
Tara rolled her eyes, not something she usually did, unless someone did something with complete disregard to her and expected her to love it, like Joey was doing now. "Joey, I've told you at least five times that I don't like rap."
"Oh... Right... Well, you could still go out to dinner with me the night of the concert... I don't have to go..." Joey sounded somewhat desperate, but by this point, Tara had no remorse for repeatedly turning her down.
"Joey... Look, I'm not interested in you. I've tried to let you down easy, but you just won't stop. The truth is, I'm interested in someone else."
Willow had been standing at the end of the hall, trying not to listen, but failing miserably. She heard Tara say she was interested in someone, and immediately hoped that that someone was her, but the doubt also set in. She couldn't possibly mean me. I mean, she could possibly, but there's only a one in four-hundred and fifty-three chance that she means me. But that's only the female students. What if it's a boy she likes? I mean, I know she said she prefers girls, but what if she realized she likes boys also? Then there would be a one in eight-hundred and seventy-four chance. That's not including the teachers though, she could like one of the teachers... Then there would be a one in nine-hundred and six chance. But that's not even factoring in transfer students and part-time positions at this school because they don't list those in the county statistics... She couldn't possibly mean me.
Willow was brought out of her thoughts by Tara moving closer to her and speaking her name. She jumped slightly and looked at Tara. "Oh uh... hey."
Tara smiled slightly, her smile shyer that Willow would have expected from their current level of friendship. "Hey, Willow... what was it you wanted to tell me?"
Willow looked at Tara, truly wanting to spill everything to her, but found she had lost the courage because of the statistics stacked against her. "I um... I don't remember." Way to go, Rosenburg. First you chicken out like a... well, chicken... then you lie to her. Great way to make her like you. "I..."
The bell rang, cutting off whatever it was Willow was about to say. This was good, because Willow still had no clue what it was going to be. "...class." She finished.
Tara spent all of fifth, sixth and seventh period planning exactly how she would tell Willow about her feelings. She had finally decided to just tell her outright exactly how she felt. Put it out there quickly so she wouldn't stutter through it.
She climbed the stairs to the lighting booth and tried the doorknob, surprised to find it unlocked. That meant Willow had beat her up here. She took a deep breath, she had been hoping to have time to practice before the redhead got to the booth. She turned the knob completely and entered the booth, smiling apprehensively at Willow, who looked up when she came in and smiled.
"Hi Willow. I uh... you're usually up here after me."
Willow was a little disappointed, because the way Tara said that made it sound like she didn't want her there. "I um... Do you want me to come back later?"
Tara sighed, not having meant her words to come out that way. "No... I... I didn't mean to say it that way." She sat down next to Willow, not too close. "I um, I wanted to talk to you about something."
Willow smiled slightly, glad Tara didn't want her to leave, but frowned when she heard the tone in the girl's voice. "You can talk to me about anything, Tara." She gently put her hand on Tara's knee.
Tara looked at Willow's hand, and it's placement gave her the courage to speak the four words that held so much meaning and so many implications. "I like you, Willow." After the words were spoken, she quickly looked up to gauge the girl's reaction.
Willow looked at her for just a moment in surprise, before a brilliant grin spread across her face. "I like you too."
The wide smile that broke out on Tara's face faltered when she realized, She could just mean as friends. "No, I mean... I l-like you... more than friends." Tara was glad she managed to say that with only minimal stuttering and held her breath for the inevitable disgust that Willow would exhibit, but it never came.
Instead, Willow just smiled wider and squeezed Tara's knee. "I know."