I remember that it hurt. Looking at her hurt.

We had spent an hour after school to work on a math test that we had both failed. Well, failed for us means a mark less than a 90 or so, since we both tend to get mid-90s. Neither of us finished it.

She was the first to leave the classroom. Having temporarily come to terms with this atypical situation, she quietly headed home. A classmate followed, not more than a minute behind. I was the last to leave, about three minutes after her.

Thinking to catch up to our classmate, and overestimating their lead, I jogged through a shortcut to catch up to our him. I’m not particularly fond of him, but I will not deny that with him strong, opinionated talks aren’t rare. Better yet that we usually share the same route home.

My jog got me a minute ahead of her, and I noticed that he was also lagging behind. I took the second shortcut to the bus stop, assuming that I would meet up with him there.

Waiting at the bus stop, I noticed them talking to each other. Earlier, before working on the test, he had been imposing. I felt protective, although she and I were just friends at this point.

I’m not exactly sure what it was that innately arose inside me. This feeling was new to me. I remember that it hurt. Looking at her hurt.