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Is This Love?

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Is This Love?

It was a typical Saturday in Tacoma, Washington.

Carla Boca, eight, sat at the booth in her father's pizzeria, looking out the window. She was by herself; it was just her and no one else...

Or so it seemed.

"Hey there, Carla."

Carla looked up, and a smile crossed her face instantly. It was Devo Nod.

With eyes the color of jade and hair the color of the sun, Devo Nod was definitely a mystery to most people – Carla included.

I should have known better
Than to let you go alone
It's times like these
I can't make it on my own
Wasted days and sleepless nights
And I can't wait to see you again

I find I spend my time
Waiting on your call
How can I tell you, baby
My back's against the wall
I need you by my side
To tell me it's all right
‛Cause I don't think I can take anymore

Whenever she found a free moment to herself, Carla would look at Devo, wondering what it was that made him so... so... well, "enigmatic", of course. After all, he was quite mysterious, inscrutable... and mostly, very unique for someone of his stature.

And there was that one necklace that encircled his throat whenever she saw him. It would catch her eye, and she would often want to ask him about it, only to stop herself when she was about to do so. It wasn't fear that kept her from asking about the necklace; it was politeness. She felt she had to be nice to Devo, as he was a friend of her parents. So it was for that very reason that she kept the question about his necklace to herself.

Now, however... well, she felt all these emotions running around inside of her, and she didn't know which to go with first.

Is this love that I'm feeling
Is this the love, that I've been searching for
Is this love, or am I dreaming
This must be love
‛Cause it's really got a hold on me
A hold on me...

So for now, she decided to keep to herself the questions that had just now came to her mind.

Or so she thought.

"Hey there, Devo."

Devo smiled. "I take it that you're sitting here all by yourself, what with your parents busy working here."

Carla nodded as she took a bite of her pepperoni pizza. After eating it carefully and washing it down with a swallow of her soda, she turned to Devo.

"Devo, there's something I've been wanting to ask you for quite some time."

I can't stop the feeling
I've been this way before
But with you I've found the key
To open any door
I can feel my love for you
Growing stronger day by day,
An' I can't wait to see you again
So I can hold you in my arms

Much to her surprise, Devo, smiling still, parked himself next to her in the booth.

"It's all right, Carla," he replied as Carla blinked. "You can ask me about whatever's on your mind whenever you come here."

A wave of relief swept through Carla's body as Devo placed a friendly arm around her shoulders, a familiar gesture of the older big brother figure he seemed to be – well, at least when seen from her point of view and the point of view of her older brother Dominic, to be precise. After all, Devo was, in Carla's father Joey's eyes, a part of the family.

And why not? He sure was cool, and very spiritual... at least in a very unique kind of way. She knew that for sure.

Is this love that I'm feeling
Is this the love, that I've been searching for
Is this love, or am I dreaming
This must be love
‛Cause it's really got a hold on me
A hold on me...

"So what's new, Carla?" Devo asked just then.

Secretly grateful for the interruption, Carla reported to Devo that she had gotten an ‛A' on the spelling quiz that day. To prove it to him, she reached into her bag, pulled her spelling test paper out and handed it to him.

Devo took it, and his face lit up with a big grin as he looked at the big red ‛A', accompanied by a smiley face. The sign of a job well done.

"I'm impressed, Carla," he said. "You studied very hard, you read whenever you find an opportunity, and you practiced whenever you could. Now I see that your grade here shows that you are definitely a great student." He gave the paper back to Carla, and she put it back in her bag. "I'm very impressed."

Carla smiled. "Thanks, Devo. That means a lot to me, of course."

Devo returned the grin with one of his own. "You're welcome, Carla. After all, you are a very smart girl, as well as a very bright student. I could tell when I was looking at the ‛A' on your spelling quiz."

Carla thought over his words, a thoughtful look on her innocent visage.

As usual, Devo gave her something to think about. Besides being very spiritual, he sure was quite philosophical there; she knew that. He also knew how to put things into words very well, too.

Is this love that I'm feeling
Is this the love, that I've been searching for...
Is this love, or am I dreaming
Is this the love, that I've been searching for...

Carla then turned to Devo. "You're right, Devo. And, of course, I've noticed something too."

"What's that, Carla?" Devo queried.

Carla made up her mind to be honest about what she was going to say before saying it. "Well, it's like this. Not only have you given me something to think about, as you usually do, but you also encouraged me with those philosophical words of yours, too. I like that. And, it really is quite something there. Something... indescribable, of course."

Now it was Devo's turn to smile. Somehow, he knew that Carla had something special in her – something he had also seen in her older brother Dominic.