1. When he borrowed/stole your notebook and saw the list you had written ranking the hotness of different boys in school and noticed that he was number three, he crowed with delight. Instead of showing everyone else in the class, as you thought he was going to, he gave it back to you and said in a low voice, “I’m very flattered.”
2. This is not so much a sign, but his shirts are just incredibly white. No other boy is able to make a white T-shirt look as good. His mother must bleach them all the time, and this makes you think she loves him and is a good mother and that she makes dinner every night, with like, sautéed vegetables, and it is all the good nutrition that makes Mark Strom glow the way he does. Also, his mother drives a Lexus. This is unbelievably glamorous.
3. Even though you are chubby and he is way out of your league, you are much less chubby than you were last year, much, much less chubby, almost bordering on normal.
4. Once, when he ran into you in the library, he smiled really big and said, “Didn’t see you there, Ashley!”
5. He made a joke to your math teacher that he got an A on his last test by studying with you, even though he has never studied with you. Maybe he wants to?
6. You think all the time about telling him your parents are getting divorced. In the fantasy, he is moved to tears, and swoops you up in a big hug and you can feel how warm his skin is through his perfectly white shirt and he smells wonderfully of lemon detergent, a big waft of it, like someone has just opened the dishwasher after it has finished running.
7. He has blue eyes and you have blue eyes, so if you had babies, they would have blue eyes.
8. When you got a stress nosebleed last week, he told you about it very quietly so that you could excuse yourself and go to the bathroom without everybody noticing. As you packed your nose with cheap toilet paper, the empty girl’s bathroom hummed with a peculiar grace, as though it were a chapel of solitude Mark Strom had personally given you. You examined the blackheads on your chin like a queen.