"What She Said" is a short fiction excerpt from a novel by Olivia Liu. In it the main character, Matilda, after having rejected Linus, the boy who loves her, is saved by him in an unexpected turn of events. His dedication moves her, making her have to choose between endangering the boy she loves or breaking her own heart.
She looks up at him. His arms are strong, and they carry her with a type of confidence she can’t explain. The gentle swaying of his walk stings in her heart every step they take together. I did this to him. I broke him.
“Why did you come back for me?” she asks. She feels his arms tighten around her, and finally, he looks down at her. He stares into the face of the person who hurt him the most, who he loves the most. He stops walking, the sudden stillness making her grip onto his arm in surprise. He places her on her feet, and the cold wind hits her. “Linus,” she says as she sways dangerously on her feet, “I can’t stand–”
He moves towards her, and for one fleeting moment, it looks as if he is going to hit her. His arms are raised and his eyes glint with a sort of fierce longing. Then his arms are around her and his lips are on hers, and he is kissing her in a way she’s never been kissed before. His mouth is soft on hers and his eyes are closed and he tastes like Linus.
For a second, she thinks about breaking away.
For a second, he thinks about letting go.
Then she is kissing him, and this time her arms are around him, and for some magical reason her arms fit perfectly around his back. They kiss like they’ve never kissed before, and he hasn’t but she has. He’s drowning in this world of hers, and he can’t see anything except for his Matilda. Matilda, with her brown hair and hazel eyes and her complex about never giving up. Matilda, who loves so fiercely and who grieves so deeply. Who he loves so fiercely.
She leans into the kiss, and she can feel his smile on her lips. It feels like hours and days, but when they break apart, there is still sunlight streaming in through the windows, and it catches on his dirty blond hair as he steps backwards.
“Because I love you. And no matter what tries to take you, I’m not letting go.”
She feels the tears on her face before she knows they’re there.
They belong to each other now, and they both feel it.
“You have to promise me one thing.” She decides, and she puts her hands on his shoulders.
“Anything.” He says this without thinking, and his blue eyes are determined.
“I always get to choose the pizza toppings.”
He blinks at her, and slowly, his lips stretch into a smile that reaches his eyes, like flowers blooming in the springtime air.
Olivia Liu resides in Singapore, and owns a dangerous amount of musical instruments. Her interests mainly include listening to music, reading, writing, and scrolling endlessly through literary blogs and online magazines. The expressions on her face are usually described as that of deep concentration or quiet contemplation, when in fact she is just a hopeless space cadet.