The sun has long since dipped into the horizon by the time I reach the lake, the last of its lingering shadows already faded into the dark oblivion of the young summer night. A slight breeze brushes against the lake waters, sending ripples across the smooth surface. It’s times like these when I feel the most alive: adrenaline courses in my body, excitement quickens my steps. And, despite the brown leather jacket that I had hastily thrown on earlier, I shiver slightly.
We had agreed to meet at this blissfully secluded area at the edge of our little town a few weeks before, at one of our meetups that always involved us going to our favorite ice cream parlor, Dream Cream, and staying overnight at one of our houses. It was something that both of us had always wanted to do, but never really found the time for in our hectic schedules. But now it’s summer, we have a whole two months ahead of us, waiting to be filled with midnight adventures and daring escapades.
Pulling the hood of my oversized hoodie above my head, I sit down on the soft grass by the lake with my arms resting snugly around my knees, contentedly watching the lake glimmer under the starlight.
It’s not long before my ears register the familiar footsteps behind me, causing a small smile to tug on the corner of my lips.
He sits down next to me, giving me the wide, boyish grin that I’ve come to love, and says the three words he’s been saying to me for the past two months:
“I like you.”
His eyes lock into mine; pressing me, daring me. All of a sudden, it’s hard to breathe, and my heart is beating wildly.
It’s the nice kind of wild, not the kind that usually arises when I need to speak in front of the whole class, or the kind when I’m embarrassed and wishing for the earth to swallow me whole, but the kind what makes me want to cry and smile at the same time.
Happy, I realize. I’m happy.And so, finally, I grant him a rare smile, for once not caring that my mouth is full of braces and that my smile is slightly lopsided, and utter the the four words I’ve been holding inside me for too long:
And so, finally, I grant him a rare smile, for once not caring that my mouth is full of braces and that my smile is slightly lopsided, and utter the the four words I’ve been holding inside me for too long:
“I like you too.”
His eyebrows shoot up in surprise before his grin inexplicably widens, creating a tiny dimple at the corner of his mouth. He leans in until I can feel his warm breath against my neck and whispers, “Tag.”
And, just like that, he’s off running and I’m left to chase after him.