Allessa stood up, about to follow the other girls, but she noticed something wrong. Herry was still sitting in front of the campfire, poking at the smouldering ashes with a stick, a sad look on his face. "Are you comin, Hefekranz?" Imogen called out, standing at the door of the girls' tent.
"Be right there, Immy." She replied. Imogen smiled and walked into the tent.
Allessa sat down on the log, nestled beside Herry. "Herry? Are you okay?" She asked.
"It's nothing.... It's just..." Herry paused, poking the ashes again. ".... Ally, I don't think Immy like me."
Allessa set her hand on Herry's large. muscular arm. "No, no, Herry. Don't say that." She whispered. "I'm sure Immy likes you. Maybe... maybe she just has a different way of showing it."
But, despite the brown-haired girl's attempt to cheer him up, Herry still seemed disheartened. Then Allessa stumbled upon a great realization. "Herry, have you tried telling Imogen that you like her?"
"I've tried, Ally, but.... I can't. I freeze up everytime I do."
Allessa jumped to her feet, pulling on Herry's arm. "Well, let's try it again!"
"Ally, I don't know about-"
"Herry. I KNOW you can do this. You're my big brother, and I believe in you."
Herry paused, staring up at her. Her dark brown eyes sparkled in the faint moonlight, showing the faith and trust she had in him. It was amazing to Herry, how much her confidence had grown over the last several months. And if SHE could become braver, why could he? "Alright." Herry said, pulling himself to his feet.
Allessa squealed a little and pulled him over to the girls' tent.
Herry looked away as Allessa peeked through the door. "Immy? Herry wants to talk to you." She announced, sitting down on her blankets.
Immy, in the middle of pinning her hair back, supressed the urge to sigh in exasperation. She crawled outside, nevertheless, and brushed the leaves from her blue, silken pyjama bottoms. Then she stood straight, hardly reaching his shoulders and gave him an expectant, although somewhat impatient look.
Herry winced a little, seeing the expression on Imogen's face. "Uuhh, hi, Imogen." He started, rubbing the back of his neck nervously as he struggled to come up with the words he wanted to say to her. "Soo.... that was a nice campfire, huh?" From inside the tent, Allessa groaned as her palm hit her forehead.
Imogen blinked in confusion. She could not read in his face what he was going to say, as she hadn't yet memorised his entire external personality traits enough to second guess his all of his next moves. There seemed to be something he and the others were hiding, but she hadn't quite worked out what it was. Still, she'd go along with it for now. She smiled happily, as though she really was happy and not tired and grumpy. "Yes! It was nice. I haven't done anything like that since I was back in Munich." She beamed.
Seeing a smile on her face made Herry brighten up, as well. "That's great. I haven't either, since I moved to New Olympia for school." Again, another ackward silence. Herry dug the toe of his boot into the ground.
The petite European finally placed her hands on her hips, taking in his awkward demeanor. Finally, she said quite bluntly. "So what exactly did you wish to say to me? Aside from cute pleasantries."
Herry's eyes bulged a little, and his arms folded behind his back. "Uhh..." He bit his lower lip. "I wanted... to say..." Finally, he snapped, he couldn't take the pressure of the situation any longer. "Good night, Immy!" Herry blurted out before abruptly turning on his heel and rushing away. Feeling the heaviness of his defeat, Herry's shoulders slumped as he headed for the boys' tent.
Allessa sighed, having heard most of the conversation from inside the tent. And apparently, Theresa had, too. "What's gotten into Herry recently?" She asked. Afraid that she'd spill anything if she talked, Allessa just simply shrugged her shoulders before digging out her pajamas.
However, neither of them noticed the cause of the awkwardness still standing there, staring after the taller boy. Her eyes followed his bulk of a frame until darkness encased him, and lingered upon the spot where he'd vanished for a few moments thereafter. Her chest began to swell as her face flushed with an emotion she hadn't felt since her early teens...
How come she'd never noticed how cute he was before?