The three words that held Isabella back cursed her. He had used them twice in one day, and it irritated her beyond her capacity.
Hold that thought.
They just felt so… frustrating.
Radio hosts had been talking about the Night of he Falling Stars Girls Choice Dance all day, and Isabella had spent all morning trying to think of a way to ask him.
The boys had finished with their calculations for their rocketship, and Isabella and the Fireside girls were assisting in mission control.
“Hey, Phineas… can I ask you something? Will you go to the dance--”
“Excuse me Phineas, can I get you to sign some liability waivers?” Katie poked her head through the door.
Phineas smiled. “Sure thing! Hold that thought, Isabella.”
Hold that thought. The words rang in her head.
All the Fireside girls knew I was going to ask him! Isabella thought to herself. I can’t believe Katie would just cut me off like that.
Okay. I’ll try again later.
A while had passed before she got to speak to him again. The boys had rescued Candace from her decaying orbit, and were ready to turn back home.
”Mission control, come in mission control.” Isabella heard Phineas’s voice through the speaker.
“Phineas, did you find Candace?”
“Yes. We’ve got her and we’re on our way home.”
“Excellent!” Isabella smiled. “So, speaking of home… there’s that dance tonight, and--”
She was cut off by a sudden beeping.
“Hold that thought, Isabella.” Phineas frowned. “I think we’re out of fuel.”
Isabella sighed quietly and signed off. He obviously wasn’t going to hear her question, so she gave up for now.
Phineas stepped out of the rocket with his green-haired brother, and the Fireside girls congratulated them on returning.
After an awkward conversation of asking him (and then him asking his brother), she finally felt like she had made minor progress towards the boy.
It’s not enough, yet. But I’ll work on it.
Two months passed.
Isabella frantically turned the pages of the Fireside Girl’s manual to find another patch to earn, and came across one she never intended to get.
The Emotional Bravery Patch.
“This one’s gonna be hard, Pinky.” She spoke to her dog, because it was almost like he understood her. “Well, it is one of the last ones, and if I don’t get it then I never will.” Isabella sighed. “I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna tell Phineas about my crush on him. For this patch!”
She clenched her fist, took the patch and walked briskly across the street.
Her catchphrase sang across the backyard. The explanation of the patch was just about finished before she was interrupted by Ferb clearing his throat.
“Nice, Ferb, you found the new power supply!”
Not again, she thought. At least those three dreaded words never came.
The sky darkened over the evening, and the gang all bounced off walls and roofs of buildings through the city of Danville.
After a short pep talk from the Fireside girls, Isabella gained her confidence again, and bounced alongside Phineas.
“Phineas! Hey, Phineas, I need to talk to you!”
“Okay,” he said.
“No, I really need to talk to you and I’m just gonna jump right to it.” She paused for a second to catch her breath.
“The thing about that emotional bravery patch is that I need to tell you- -”
“Ahhh! Get away, get away, get away…”
Isabella looked around and gasped. “Mrs Feyerseid! Hold that thought, please.”
As she ran off to help the elderly woman, her thoughts consumed her.
I said those dreaded words. What have I done? What if this means I’ll never get to tell him?
He might never know…