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Chapter 12: …Cleared Up
I walk along the sidewalk. My parents have the car, so I had to walk. I double check the address. 1675 W. Wooded Pine Lane, yep, this is Abigail’s house.
I stride up her walkway to the front porch.
I knock on her wooden door. While I wait, I stamp my feet on her doormat to remove the September snow.
God, it’s cold here.
She opens the door in her stocking feet. I struggle not to gape at her. Today, she is wearing a royal blue fleece zip-up turtleneck with a black and gray tweed skirt and black hose. Her hair is tied in a loose ponytail at the nape of her neck.
“Hello, Daniel, don’t you want to come in?” She says in her gentle, soft voice. Her eyes search my face.
I shake my head and blink a couple of times, removing my trance.
I smile. “Yeah. It’s cold out here.”
She grins, then ushers me inside.
Man, have I ever told you how much I love her house? It’s just so homey and comfortable…and quiet.
“Where’s your dad and your great-aunt?” I ask, heart thumping.
“Dad’s out with a new client and Aunt Margaret is out with friends.” Her voice cracks on the word friends.
“Oh,” I answer, hopeful.
“So, I thought today, since it’s much too cold to do experiments, that we might watch a movie. Have some hot chocolate, popcorn, turn the lights down, the works. What movie would you like to watch?” She asks, suddenly breathless with a slight flush to her cheeks.
I smile. “How about The Notebook?”
She looks startled. “You like The Notebook too? I love that movie.”
“Great! Let’s watch it.”
She nods, her flush growing deeper. Does she know how I feel? I watch her as she fairly floats around her house, getting together popcorn and preparing hot chocolate. While the stove and microwave are going, she runs to the living room and turns the shades down.
“The glare off the snow…” She stammers when she notices me watching her.
“Oh, I agree. The glare could be quite blinding.” I answer hurriedly.
She smiles uneasily, reading something in my eyes. She bustles back to the kitchen and pulls out the popcorn, filling a bowl with it and placing the hot chocolate in matching mugs.
I place the DVD in the player. She flicks the TV on and switches it to DVD player. We sit down on the couch next to each other, but not together…yet.
I feel so confused. He’s sitting here a breath away from me, yet we’re not touching. It feels so awkward. I just want to blurt out everything, but part of me is holding back. I hate rejection and don’t want to destroy our friendship.
I concentrate on the movie. Noah and Allie are so wonderful together. What a perfectly wonderfully romantic relationship they have.
I sigh, and catch myself before I lay my head on Daniel’s shoulder. I stiffen, hoping he didn’t notice.
His breathing speeds up suddenly. I glance at the screen. Noah and Allie are dancing under the full moon in the snow. I glance at Daniel.
His fingers crawl across the sofa to my hand. I open my fingers and his intertwine with mine.
Oh Lord in Heaven, what is going on?
The dancing scene ends. Neither of us are watching anymore. He is gazing into my eyes. I am gazing into his.
“Abigail, I…I—” Daniel falters.
“What Daniel? Tell me.” I take a chance and stroke his cheek, my hand moving fluidly into his hair.
“I—I…I love you.” Daniel stammers.
I draw a sharp breath. Before I can say anything, Daniel leans forward and touches his lips to mine.
He is kissing me.
My mind is whirling with a thousand emotions. One prevails.
Heart thumping, I braid my fingers into his hair, pulling him closer. His arms wrap around my waist and my neck, dipping me slightly. I press even closer, parting my lips a bit. His tongue traces my bottom lip. I shiver all over.
We break apart, both gasping for breath. He gently kisses the tip of my nose.
The movie is forgotten. So is the popcorn and hot chocolate. He leans forward and nuzzles my neck gently, moving slightly to smell my hair.
“Daniel…” I say in a breathless voice.
“Yes?” He murmurs into my hair.
“I love you too. I was just so afraid to tell you, afraid of rejection, afraid to destroy our friendship, plus my shyness was playing a part and I thought you loved Carmen so I—” I’m rambling. Good Lord, someone shut me up.
He snorts, amused. “How can anyone look at Carmen when they can look at you?”
I gasp. He kisses my collarbone, then my jaw, before settling back on my mouth. I drown in it, locking my arms around his neck. He gently pulls me onto his lap, pulling me closer still until I can feel his heart thumping against mine.
Our lips gently disengage and we open our eyes. We just gaze into each other’s eyes. I notice the beautiful quality of his blue eyes, clear like the ocean on a sunny day.
We turn our attention back to the movie, watching the rest of the time with my head on his chest and our arms locked around each other.