The next day was Friday. It was the end of the school year and there were a lot of assemblies and various other ways to avoid being in the classroom. For one such assembly we had to perform the dances we had done at King’s Dominion for the entire school. Eddie had volunteered to be our “Cold Hearted Snake” again. I was waiting backstage with Nicki and some other dancers when he came up to us, ready for the performance.
Before I knew it we were kissing. REALLY kissing. This was not the chaste and awkward pecks that I expected from him. He was full-on making out with me. In front of people. By this time I knew that the reason he had dumped me the previous year was because he didn’t want to be seen with me in public-it might have hurt his fragile reputation and all- so I was completely taken by surprise.
It wasn’t a particularly good kiss (It was awful, actually, sorry honey.) but it certainly proved he had gotten over that issue.
I didn’t want to get in trouble (we got demerits for public displays of affection) so I pulled away quickly.
“What are you doing?” I whispered, curious and not sure whether or not I was more irritated that he pounced on me in public without warning or that we clearly weren’t going to be compatible kissers. Also, if you recall, I didn’t even really like him all that much so I was a little put off.
“Just saying ‘hi’ to my girlfriend.” Huh. That sort of had a nice ring to it. Maybe.
He moved to stand behind me and draped his arms over my shoulders, resting his chin on the top of my head. That was better. It was kind of nice, actually. I liked that he was a full head taller than me. Did he just kiss the top of my head? What is going on?
Nicki looked at me in complete shock. Word had traveled quickly around our small school, so by lunch everyone already knew we were “going out,” but this seemed pretty heavy for the first day. I looked back with wide eyes and raised my eyebrows, giving her an unsure smile. I tried to shrug, but his arms were heavy on my shoulders. I gave her a look that said, “I have no idea. Apparently I have a new boyfriend who is really into PDA and we do this now.”
We did our dance and afterward he brought me a small bouquet of flowers.
Where did he even get those and what am I supposed to do with them in the middle of the school day?
“I heard that people give dancers flowers after dance recitals.” He seemed shy. That was certainly a first.
“Thank you. That’s…sweet.” Where would he hear that? From his mom? Has he been talking to his mom about me?
“I promised it would be different than last time,” He tried to explain the reason he was coming on so strong so fast.
“So far you are really keeping that promise, huh? This is different.” I was tentative, monotone, still not sure if I liked this new approach. I looked at the ground and twisted the toe of my jazz sneaker into the gym floor.
“I will always keep my promises. You’ll see.” He stepped toward me and reached his hand out to touch my face, lifting my chin with his bent index finger.
He kissed me again, softer. Better. Maybe we could work with this after all.
When he walked away I was surprised to be left breathless and vaguely disappointed. I didn’t want to be away from him.
At that moment I already knew I was in trouble. I didn’t have a choice in the matter. This boy was going to make me fall in love with him.