Zee stared into space blankly, thinking about nothing in particular, until Jacob waved his hand around in front of her face to get her attention. “Zee!” he barked.
“What?” she barked back with the same sharp tone of voice.
“What’s wrong with you?”
“Uhh..nothing. I’m fine,” she said.
“Zee,” he said, crossing his arms and tilting his head forward in disbelief before saying teasingly, ”Come on now. There are seven school days of school left and you aren’t smiling. Why aren’t you smiling?”
She blinked at him. “It’s actually six and a half days.”
“That doesn’t answer my point.” He gave her a look. She looked right back.
“Okay, fine. Reasons I’m not smiling right now...let’s see...first of all, it’s a Thursday, and people are statistically proven to be more likely to be in a bad mood on Thursdays. Second, the school day is only halfway over and I want to go home. Third, I want to stab Tara. Fourth, I’m running out of evidence for there being a fire incident and I need more evidence to get you to admit it. Fifth, my book got taken away in math. Sixth, it’s supposed to precipitate today and it’s cold enough for snow. Seventh, this list is over five. Happy?”
Jacob ignored her question. “Does seven mean that if I got the list to five, you’d smile?” he asked.
“Okay,” he said. “I believe you. Everyone left the school when the fire alarms went off the one day when I was gone so you guys went through the rain to other places and you played the game on your iPod and the chicken nuggets were burnt. Can you smile now?” Zee stared at him. “That took out number four, bringing the list of things down one, invalidating seven, so now there are only four things, and four is less than five.”
“Yeah, I see what you did,” she said. She just didn’t know why. “So that’s all it took to get you to admit it, huh? A little bit of not smiling?”
“You looked sad,” he shrugged. “You still do...”
“Okay, okay, sheesh,” she said, giving him the smile he wanted and watching him smile back in return. She wouldn’t have been able to hold it back for much longer anyway.