"Thank You, God, With My Whole Heart!" by Sandra Herrmann
"Personal Demon" by Sandra Herrmann
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Thank You, God, With My Whole Heart!
by Sandra Herrmann
“Go ahead and ask her! There’ll never be a better time -- she’s alone. Quick, before the rest of her gang gets here!”
Declan leaned forward, as though to walk over to her -- or maybe to stretch himself out, with just his head getting close to Abby. Then he took a step forward and nearly tripped over his own feet. And, of course, here came Abby’s best friends. All of them. They seemed to surround her, cutting off any hope he had to talk with her alone.
“Why do they have to go everywhere in a group?” Declan moaned. “Don’t they know there’s a dance next weekend?”
Nick shrugged. “I told you to go over and ask her while you could! You’re going to have to break into that bunch if you want to go with her. She’s almost never alone, I told you that!”
“I don’t think I can do that. This.” Declan shook his head and started to walk away. But Nick grabbed his arm. “LOOK!” he hissed into Declan’s ear.
Declan turned back and looked. Abby was smiling -- at him? He looked down the hallway behind him, and could see no one else she might be smiling at. He smiled at Abby and half waved his hand. She covered her mouth with her hand, giggling fiercely. Declan turned bright red. He hated how easily he blushed, and he took his hand -- his stupid, waving hand -- and brushed his hair back from his face. Too late, he realized that now she could see just how red his face was. Was she laughing harder? Or were her friends now laughing at him? He forced himself to look up, straight at her, like his mother had told him.
“Girls like boys who look them in the eye, Declan. Keep your eyes on her face when you talk to her.” She hung up the dish towel she’d been using. “And do wipe your hands on your pants before you touch her. Her hands will probably be sweating, too, and two hands sweating doesn’t make hand-holding very nice.” Mom had smiled and said, “Your dad was always swatting at his pants pockets, I thought, and wondered why. But he was seeing to it that his hands weren’t sweaty when he reached for mine.” For the first time, Declan realized that his mother had dimples. He wondered why he’d never noticed before.
“You still there, Dec?”
“Oh, yeah, I’m fine.” He smiled at Abby. She really did seem to be smiling back. He slapped his pockets and walked towards her. He noticed that her girl friends were all in a line over on the opposite side of the hallway, watching, and wished they would just go away. Or turn around and open their lockers. Or something, anything, but watch him. Even as he thought this, one of them poked the girl next to her and went over to her locker. “I am lucking out here,” Declan thought....
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