Chapter 11: What Is This Feeling?

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Agent 8's (Mike's) P.O.V:

The group and I casually walked around Arowana Mall, entering a store here and another there, though I didn't mind walking around a lot.

We entered a clothing shop for female inkling apparel, which meant that Sarah and Isabel...might take awhile here. "Hey Sarah, I'll wait over here," I pointed to a bench the store has for guests that were waiting. Sarah nodded and smiled, turning around and losing herself in the deep sea of clothing. "Hey babe, I'm going to wait with Mike here too. My legs are getting tired," Jake scratched the back of his head, chuckling softly. Isabel let out a small giggle and smiled sheepishly as Jake gave her a quick kiss on the forehead. "And with that, they're off." I said in my head, looking at the girls walking away excitedly.

I turned around, Jake following me, and headed for the empty bench that seemed like it could seat three or four inklings. Sitting down, I let out a sigh and looked down at my interlocked hands, my thumb rubbing the outside of my opposing hand. I can't stop thinking about Sarah, she just can't seem to leave my mind. "Hey Mike, are you okay?" Jake asked me, clearly concerned and even putting a hand on my shoulder to reassure me. I turned and looked at him and gave a small nod. "Though there's something I'm confused about.." I muttered, barely audible. My hands were interlocked, but I started playing with my thumbs.

Jake looked curiously at me, wondering what I was going to say next. I felt my face begin to heat up as I thought about Sarah and these strong feelings I've been feeling for her. "I've been feeling these strong emotions whenever I'm with Sarah lately.." I whispered, nervous that Mike would judge me. "What feelings specifically?" He asked, wanting to go in deeper in our conversation. I don't know what it was, but I trusted him so very easily.

"Well.." I started, my heart beginning to accelerate. "Whenever I'm with her, and we laugh and talk together having a good time, I can't help but get a bit flustered around her. My heart seems to accelerate every time, and I can't seem to stop smiling with her. Hearing her laugh makes me laugh. And whenever we meet eyes and she smiles at me, I feel like my stomach and heart flutter everytime." I looked up from the floor, smiling, picturing the green-haired inkling smiling at me sweetly. "She's just always been so kind and sweet with me. That's just who she is, I know. A genuinely sweet and nice inkling girl."

As those words left my mouth, I caught a glimpse of Sarah, looking through a rack of clothing at a distance. Not long after, she looked up, and once again we locked eyes, a smile and blush appearing on both of our faces and saluted me with a tiny wave. "There's that feeling again.." My stomach and heart felt like they were fluttering, but the feeling was great and I waved back timidly. After a second or two, both of us looked away and I heard Jake chuckle softly right next to me.

"Mike, I think you're falling in love with Sarah."

I jumped up, my blush deepening. "Y-You think so..?" I asked nervously. He nodded confidently. "I'd say you just described the symptoms of falling in love with someone." My smile widened as did his. "I'm happy for you. You've come a long way every since you arrived here." The inkling punched my arm playfully. I chuckled along with him, and my face felt like it got hotter.

"I'm falling in love..? I've never felt this emotion before..I couldn't recognize it and it feels so strong...I wonder if she's feeling the same way as-"

As if Jake had read my mind, he answered my question. "I'd say there's a pretty good chance she's falling in love with you too." He smiled, looking out into the store. I just stared wide-eyed at him. "Before you came along, Sarah was quite serious and quiet, but she still knew how to have fun. Isabel told me that every since you two started hanging out more, Sarah seems to be happier, smiling, laughing, and talking more. She mentions you often too and doesn't stop talking about how you're a great guy.l Jake explained everything to me, a dopey grin on his face. I smiled, taking all of the information I received in.

"But maybe she's just being nice, like a good friend you know?" I asked.

"Maybe, but I haven't seen her happier since she met you."

My smile widened and my body stiffened. But just as quickly my smile faded. "What if she doesn't think of me that way because I'm an octoling..?"

"Come on now, don't say things like that. She considers you her best friend. If she didn't like you or octolings in general, she wouldn't have become your best friend in the first place, no offense."

Mike's words reassured me. It was as if a master was passing down his knowledge to his new pupil. Since he was dating someone for so long, he's definitely had experience with these kind of things. I nodded along with what he said, my hope for having a chance with Sarah soaring even more.

Our conversation ended, and Jake and I continued talking about whatever else. However, the things Jake had said, I hoped it was all true..

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