Leo was being so silent, lately. Henry didn't go out of his way to bring it up. They still hung out at lunch. He didn't always catch him before school. Maybe they were growing distant. Maybe it was all Henry's fault, he was beginning to think. Of course, he had time to think on this while covering books and printing barcode numbers in books at the library. He went there after school every day. Maybe this was the way it should be. Besides, it really wasn't so bad to work with Fish and Audrey was being her fun self, which might have wore off on him. But no, it was nothing like it used to be. Henry accepted it.
Naturally, he hadn't even thought of Josie, but he'd see her ever so often with the shelver. It looked like Henry might interrupt something, so he didn't. Yes, sometimes, it was best to let sleeping dogs lie. Of course, he'd catch himself wondering what did that really mean and where had he heard it.
Then he'd look up and see Fish off at the desk leaning in close with a smiling Shan. Henry would go back to the books and try to think of anything but the two of them. He wanted to say he was used to it, but he wasn't sure he'd ever be. Exactly.
He'd be steady with his work, be happy he was capable of it. And try his best to forget everything else. He'd remember how Leo would look at Henry as if he was the best. Henry couldn't help but savor it.
Then one day at lunch he noticed Leo wasn't looking at him at all, instead he might as well have been a ball of scrunched up paper.
"What's going on?" Henry told him he'd been distant. "You, can tell me, anything, you know."
"You, wouldn't care, you've got Vada." He scowled.
"I don't have her." Henry pointed out with a sigh. "Yes, she's near and dear to me, but its not like that."
"So, she's your best friend." His eyes were big with worry. "I don't even have that."
"You know, you've..you've got me.. I'm here for you. What is it?" Henry winced with concern.
"Nothing." He swelled a frown, but then he spilled how his parents wanted him to take out the preacher's daughter. It sounded as if they were shipping him off on some secret mission.
Henry couldn't help but grin. As if all he needed was a pep talk. He couldn't dare let him know that he didn't want him to go out with her.
"You'll do fine, as long as you don't step on her feet." Henry couldn't help but laugh a little nervous. Henry told him if he really wanted to talk about it, to come around 8 at the library. He'd be off then.