In the third grade, Miles and Travis sat together in social studies and fired spitballs into Sarah Teague’s ragged orange hair. Even then, he felt his neck hairs tingle when she turned to glare and stick her tongue out at them. In the sixth grade, the class took an end-of-year trip to the roller skating rink, but Travis was too nervous to ask Sarah to couples skate and played Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on the arcade with Miles instead, saving April the pretty reporter again and again. They only spoke at odd intervals after that, a quick hello in the hallways or a smile in the cafeteria line for mac and cheese lunches, but Travis always felt that helpless neck-hair twitch. It seemed, for a while, that the less he knew her, the more perfect she would become.
Then, when she applied to Subway in May and Travis saw her four days a week for three months, Travis laughed at her deadpan jokes and admired her easygoing attitude, and even though the sum total of words they shared over those months wasn’t more than all the passing words they had exchanged in high school, he fell in love with her a dozen times more.