This week my literary crush is one of the boys from Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. NO--it is not Adam. Strangely, or maybe not so strangely, I found myself feeling rather giddy for none other than Kenji.
Kenji is pretty much the comical relief in the book--mildly inappropriately flirtatious at times, but super hilarious. Plus he has this great air of confidence about himself (some might call it arrogance or cockiness) which is pretty darn awesome.
"I'm not interested."
"Kenji turns to face me. "Well I'm not sure I blame you. I look like hell right now. But I clean up okay. He attempts a grin. "Give me a couple days. You might change your mind--"
"I'm still not interested," I remind him, an edge to my voice.
"Yes, but let's not forget that this"--he motions to his battered face--"is not permanent."
"Well, I'm permanently uninterested."
"I don't think you should decide until the swelling goes down," Kenji continues matter-of-factly. "It's only fair. I have a pretty spectacular face."
"We're all too young to have to deal with this shit." Kenji is breathing hard. Don't fool yourself, bro. No one should have to see what we've seen. No one should have to wake up in the morning and find dead bodies in their living room, but shit happens. We deal with it, and we find a way to survive. You're not the only one with problems"
I nod. "You look better."
He cracks a grin. Stretches. Leans against the wall, arms crossed at his chest, legs crossed at the ankles. "This must be difficult for you."
"Looking at my face. Realizing I was right. Realizing you made the wrong decision." He shrugs. "I understand. I'm not a proud man, you know. I'd be willing to forgive you."
I gape at him, unsure whether to laugh or throw something. "Don't make me touch you."