I kept having to turn back during the day just to check if Maria was still there: all afternoon she'd been staring at her phone in wonderment. I doubted he had bothered to text again: people like William Taylor were oblivious to these things. What a jerk, I couldn't help thinking. Maria had fallen, hook line and sinker. And you know why this time? Because he'd put three 'x's as opposed to one 'x' earlier.
'Because- well, look!' I got the same text shoved under my nose for the fifth time as we were walking home. 'Three of them! It has to mean something...'
'But Maria!' I couldn't help it. I was trying to be happy for her but I couldn't help thinking that nothing was going to happen. 'What about the fact that he has a girlfriend? A slight catch, perhaps?'
'Whatever.' Maria walked ahead for a minute, mock-sulkingly, and then turned back to me. 'Do you reckon he really likes her though?'
'Hmm.' We walked along in a moment of silent contemplation- a first for Maria and I. Usually we never shut up. 'I just think...that you should find out more about him before you let yourself get all caught up in this. He might send three 'x's to every girl in his address book.'
She shrugged and dropped the subject. I was worried that I'd upset her, but Maria did linksy armsies with me and we'd never do linksy armsies if one of us were peed with the other. Sure enough, Maria perked enough to annoy me a minute later.
'So, Holly...how's Tom?'
'Don't. Even. Ask.' I groaned and Maria giggled. It was her one thing she could get to me about. Mainly because some days...well. It was best not to ask sometimes.