"So..." There it was again. "You live around here then?" I paused, a little startled at his question before turning to look him in the eye, trying to gauge whether or not it would be a good idea to tell him. His eyes showed no sign of apparent malice. "Yes," I said, a little hesitant. He smiled at my reply. "Cool! Maybe I'll get to see you again." I blinked. Hold up. What did he just say? I stared blankly trying to process this unlikely event that someone would actually want to talk to me again. He tilted his head to the side. "Something wrong?" Oh, gosh, that blinding honesty.
I took a deep breath before replying. "No," I said shortly and looked away. I just barely caught a glimpse of his eyebrows furrowing in disbelief. A slight pause in the conversation ensued before he spoke up again. "Hey, can I ask for you name? I can't believe I didn't think of that earlier!" He laughed nervously and gave that half smile that people make when they're embarrassed. Was he... bashful? What reason did he have to be bashful? What reason do you have to wonder why he is bashful? My inner voice butted in with a genuine comment. Right. Back to the conversation.
"You can." I looked at him with that classic smirk that I never purposefully put on and raised an eyebrow. His eyes grew wider and then they broke the eye contact. "Uh, okay. What is your name?" His bright blue eyes flickered back to mine for approval. The other half of my mouth curled upward making the smirk into a slight smile, but then I shook my head. "Tell me yours first." Again, that look of being taken aback. I guess he doesn't talk to people like me very often, huh?
"Kale. Kale Delenn. Nice to meet you." He grinned widely at me, showing nothing but sincerity. This time it was my turn to be taken aback. Unconsciously I blushed, or at least I think I did, and looked away, but only for a moment. My eyes returned to his as I said, "Elenessa. Elenessa Starling." I left out the whole nice-to-meet-you thing because, for me, it was never nice to meet anyone. I offered him a tight smile before looking ahead at the path in front of us. My heart quickened at the familiar sight of that oak tree sitting placidly on the right of the bend. Suddenly, I didn't want this moment to end.