Rather than answering, Hector merely leaned on the nearest wall for support.
‘Huh,’ said Garovel. ‘Um. Okay. I’m guessing you don’t intend to tell her how you feel.’
‘Of course not. Are you kidding me?’
‘That’s fine, then. If you don’t plan on confessing, then there’s really nothing to be freaking out about, is there?’
Hector squinted and scratched his forehead.
‘Just remain calm and collected. She’s not going to figure it out unless you tell her, and it’s not like I’m going to tell her, either. Your secret is perfectly safe. Just remember, you’ve dealt with many high-pressure situations before. You can handle a normal conversation with Lynn.’
‘Uh... you’re not gonna try to convince me to confess? That’s what everyone says to do, isn’t it? Don’t drag things out, ‘cuz it just gets... er... more painful over time or some shit like that?’
‘Well. Ideally, you would do that as soon as possible and see what happens, but--and you can correct me if I’m wrong about this--but I suspect that a physical relationship with someone would be a very big deal for you. It’s a big deal for most people, obviously; I’m just saying it’d be even more so for you.’
‘Because you’re just such a special snowflake, Hector.’
The reaper laughed again. ‘You understand what I’m saying, though, right? You’re very young, and so is she. And given your social difficulties, I wouldn’t want you to rush into anything. You can if you want to, though. Just let me know, and I’ll advise you as best I can in that regard.’
‘Y-you’re talking like I don’t even have to worry about being rejected...’
‘Oh, rejection would make things so much simpler. Hector, if she rejected you, yes, it would suck, but then you could move on and stop worrying about your feelings for her, because you’d know that nothing could ever come of them.’
‘Eh... I don’t think it’d be that easy for me, Garovel...’
‘I think you’d be surprised. Rejection is very straightforward. No one likes it, but it’s way less complicated than acceptance.’