It was the first word that had been spoken directly to me all day. All I've been hearing were whispers, whether they be snide or concern.
I look up from the repeating white tiles, to Johnathan's smiling face.
"Hi," I say. My voice is raspy, and I cough dryly. "What's up?"
"Nothing much." Johnathan replies. My stomach turns at our awkward conversation, it sounds like something strangers would say. "How're you feeling?"
I smile, rolling my eyes and gesturing to the wheelchair I sat in. "Peachy."
"Oh. Well, that's gr- I mean, oh." He shakes his head, turning to walk beside me as we exited the school. "I'm sorry, I know you must feel awful. I'm really stupid, aren't I. I didn't mean to say that your condition is 'great'. I-" He broke off, his face crumpling.
"No, I know what you meant. And it's okay." I smile. "You're the first guy who's spoken to me all day."
"I am?" Johnathan asks. "That's... that's really sad, are you alright?"
I snort. "I don't need your sympathy."
"So, hey." Johnathan turns again, facing me. "Uh, I was wondering. Tomorrow's Friday, and I was wondering if you'd like to come to the lake with me."
"The lake?" I say. "Why?"
"Oh. Um, I mean, I, I, uh-"
A loud honk surprises us both. I look to see my mom, waving her hand impatiently from her car.
"I- I gotta go. I'll tell you tomorrow." I say, hurriedly wheeling myself to the car, too shaken to think of a response.