Diana: Why can’t you just lie and say you want to talk to me?
Matthijs: Because you’d never believe me even when I tell you the truth.
Diana: You’re so serious.
Almost an entire minute passed, and there still wasn’t anything from the professor, almost as if he were saying he would only deign to text her back if she had shared something worthwhile.
It rather reminded her of how Damen was, and she couldn’t help smiling. This type of similarity with her brother, she would definitely welcome.
Diana: When I text you here, there’s really no way anyone else would read our messages?
Matthijs: Given sufficient heads-up, not even if someone steals your phone.
Diana: In that case…I think I’ve got a crush on you, Professor de Graaf.
On the other side of town, the professor had just grabbed his car keys and was about to leave his place when he felt his phone vibrate in his pocket. He took it out, saw what she had texted, and threw the keys back on the console before heading back to the shower.
He had a boner to attend to, all thanks to his dark-haired troublemaker.
As for Diana, it wasn’t until she was on her third class for the day when she noticed the New Message icon on her secret phone.
Diana went to her next class with a huge smile on her face, and her buoyant feelings, having spilled over to lunch, had her friends exchanging baffled looks.
“Are you alright?” Magnolia was frankly concerned. The last time she had seen Diana, the other girl had been crying her heart out. Fast forward to today, and Diana looked so blissfully happy she was in danger of floating off any second.
Diana couldn’t help feeling sheepish upon seeing Magnolia’s frowning expression. “I’m sorry for worrying you guys the past few days.”
Amine raised a brow. “And?”
“I’m, um, okay now?” Diana had to fight back a silly grin when she saw Magnolia looking ready to strangle her. “I’m really sorry for worrying you?” She saw Magnolia raise her hands threateningly and choked back a laugh. “I’m sorry, really sorry!” Diana clapped her hands together in a gesture of apology. “But that’s all I can say.”
“What do you mean that’s all you can say?” Magnolia glared at her. “You owe us an explanation, Diana Leventis.”
Amine shook her head, a look of wry expression on her face. “Don’t bother, Mags.” She made a vague circular gesture towards Diana’s face. “Just look at her. It’s all there.”
Magnolia’s blue eyes narrowed. The soft, bright light in her dark eyes, the brush of pale pink in her cheeks, and most of all, the lips that couldn’t quite stop curving in a secret smile.
“You’re in lust,” Magnolia accused.
Amine, in the act of taking another sip of her hot soy milk, ended up sputtering instead. “Oh, for heaven’s sake. She’s in love.”
Magnolia wrinkled her nose in distaste. “One word: yuck.”
Diana swallowed back a laugh, and seeing that the two were about to launch into their usual bickering, quickly made a move to forestall this, saying firmly, “It’s neither.” Her friends’ heads simultaneously snapped towards her direction, so fast that Diana found herself taken aback, and she said weakly, “I’m just happy?”
They crossed their arms over their chests, both of them wearing I’m-still-waiting expressions on their lovely faces, and feeling obliged to elaborate, Diana said in a small voice, “There’s a guy I like…and he likes me back.”
One, two, three seconds passed, and then Magnolia and Amine burst into squeals and giggles, and Diana couldn’t help giggling as well as the two engulfed her in big, warm hugs.
How did it start?
How do you know he likes you back?
Were you crying because you thought he didn’t like you at first?
Did he hurt you? Did he grovel for you to take him back?
On and on the questions went that Diana had to throw her hands up in a pleading gesture. “I can’t. It’s just…I want to keep things private for now.”
“Spoilsport,” Magnolia grumbled.
But Amine was looking perturbed. “He’s not married, is he?”
“What? No.” Diana couldn’t help send her friend a chiding look. “I’m not that kind of girl.”
Amine’s slender shoulders moved in a shrug. “You’d be surprised at what people could do for love.”
“But…to commit adultery?”
“You really never know until you’re in the situation yourself.”
Diana wasn’t sure she agreed with this, and even as lunch hour came to an end, she found herself still mulling it over.
How far could she go for love?
She couldn’t think of any ready answer to this, but then she suddenly found herself thinking of him, and a shiver ran down her spine. It was like having someone walk over her grave, and she couldn’t help thinking, couldn’t help worrying that for the professor, she could easily see herself doing (and had already done) crazy things for.
And to think…
She wasn’t in love with him yet.