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“Bryan, if you had a genie, what would be your three wishes?” I asked.
He chuckled, “why do you ask such silly question?”
“They are not silly. I’m just a curious,” I teased.
“Whatever you say,” He took a deep breath and slowly exhaled, “I can’t tell you.”
“And why not?”
“Because if I tell you, they won’t come true.”
“That’s only for birthdays!” I protested.
“No. It goes for all wishes.”
“I’ll tell you mine,” I bribed. He just laughed at my attempt causing me to pout, what a pity he couldn’t see it.
“I already know yours. Wish one, to become known for something great; wish two, to go to London to see Big Ben at sunset; wish three, for John to ask you out,” I could picture him smiling on the other end of the receiver, “I’m right aren’t I?”
“How am I cheating? I’ve just known you too long.”
I laughed, “True. Well, it’s getting late and I got to get ready for school tomorrow, so goodnight and see you tomorrow!”
“Yeah, me too. G’night!”
I snapped my phone shut and tossed it on the bed. I got my clothes ready and packed my gym bag for morning volleyball practice tomorrow. When I was done, I laid down. I hoped sleep would consume me instantly, but it never did. I was left lying there with my thoughts.
I hated the bitter sweet feeling I would get after talking to him. The way he made me laugh, the way he made me feel, just reminded me of how I could not have him. He thinks of me as a friend, always have and always will. He’s right; he’s known me too long. He sees me as a sister, a buddy, but nothing more. I guess I’ll just keep it that way; I’ll be his sister, his buddy, because if I do tell him, he’ll feel awkward. His awkwardness towards me will just lead to avoidance. And I would hate to lose him. So I’ll continue making him think I have fallen for John. I’ll do anything so long as it means keeping him in my life.
ONE MONTH LATER. The walls pulsed with vibration from the music blaring within the room. All the dancing bodies caused the room to heat up from their movement. I, being shy and not much of a dancer, sat on the couch.
“So, Cassie, what happened with you and john?” Vanessa loudly shouted in my ear to be heard over the noise.
I shrugged, “He’s a liar and a cheater. What else is there to know?”
“Well, I heard he’s going to try and get you back,” Jasmine shouted.
“I don’t want him back!” I shouted back.
“Why not? He’s cute!” all the girls nodded in agreement
“I don’t care if he’s cute!” Wow, these girls are shallow, I though to myself.
From the distance I saw Bryan looking at me with a concerned expression. His eyes brows knitted together and he nodded slightly, asking me what’s wrong. I mouthed “Help Me,” and he smiled as he made his way towards me. As he stood in front of me, he held his hand out to ask me to dance. I hesitantly took it.
As he pulled me to the dance floor, I whined,” You know I can’t dance”. My face turned red with worries of embarrassing myself.
He rolled his eyes and grabbed my hand, “it’s a slow song, dork! It’s not that hard to dance to.” He pulled me close and we began to sway. “What was wrong over there? You looked annoyed?”
“It wasn’t anything big. The girls were just bothering me about John.”
He grimaced at his name. At that moment my heart burst with joy, “I never liked him. He’s always been a jerk; I don’t know why I let you go out with him. I should have tried to prevent you from that heart break.”
“Let me?” I teased. A smile spread across his face. “It’s ok; it wasn’t much of a heart break. I was never that crazy about him, he’s not the one I want anyways.”
“And who is the one you want?” his eyebrow rose in curiosity.
He began to laugh. I was confused; I racked my brain trying to remember if I said anything or did anything funny. “Why are you laughing?”I questioned, hoping that the answer wont be anything embarrassing.
He smirked and shrugged.
Oh god! Is there something in my teeth? Do I smell? Am I dancing weird? Is it possible to dance weird during a slow dance? How can I dance weird if he’s the one leading? My cheeks burned and I looked down to hide my redness.
Gently I felt his hand lift my chin up. He looked into my eyes and leaned in, his lips pressed against mine. Before he pulled away, he chuckled and whispered, “Wish One.”
ONE MONTH AND A HALF LATER. I felt his arms wrap around my waist and gently bring me to the ground, while laughing in lowly in my ear. The sound of his laugh sent tingles down my spine. We were at the park after hours. “Our place” is what we referred to it as. We were able to come every once in a while when Bryan’s cousin was on security.
I snuggled in his arms as we lay in the soft grass below us. We’ve been together for a month and a half now, and each day was pure happiness. I was in love, and I was hoping he was too. Love. Never has the word love graced my lips. I stared at his face longingly, knowing that love is what I felt for him, but too terrified to tell him.
“What’s wring, babe?” he asked as he acknowledged my starring.
I smiled weakly, “Nothing.”
He grabbed my hand and placed it on his heart. I could feel the pounding. Boom-boom. Boom-boom. Boom-boom. The rhythm was soothing, it was my own private song, “You feel that?” he asked.
I nodded while my eyes closed, basking in the rhythm.
He leaned and kissed me lightly on the cheek, “It beats for you. I love you.”
My heart ached. My eyes watered and I whispered back, “I love you too.”
He kissed my lips, “Wish Two.”
TWO YEARS LATER. I walked into his room and sat on his bed. His home became my second home. We’ve been together through out all of high school and graduation was creeping up. What we have been avoiding was something I wanted to talk about today. It’s all that has consumed my thoughts. Everyday I thought about it, everyday my parents asked. I just needed to know. I chewed on my lip as I wondered how I would bring it up. I didn’t want to beat around the bush. I needed to know. As he entered his room he smiled at me. His smile warmed my heart.
No beating around the bush I reminded my self. “What’s going to happen to us?”
The question through his off guard, his smile melted away and was replaced by concern, “What do you mean?”
“Graduation. College,” I fidgeted with my fingers, “we both have the world ahead of us. Obstacles to face, dreams to achieve.”
He looked at me with disbelief, “I know. But why are you asking?”
I sighed. “I need to know, Bryan. What’s in store for us, what happens when graduation comes?”
He paced around the room, I watched uneasily. Regretting what I had asked, I looked down at my feet. After what seemed like a lifetime of pacing he sat next to me.
“Do you love me?”
He nodded as if his mind was made up, and slipped his hand under his mattress. What he pulled out was a tiny red velvet box. I stared at it and gasped. He slid off the bed and took a knee in front of me.
“I was hoping we could face those obstacles and achieve those dreams together,” he slowly opened the box and the most beautiful engagement ring stared back at me. I was breathless. Tears welled up in my eyes and I couldn’t speak.
“I want to marry you, Cassandra.”
Tears slid down my face, “Yes!” I replied breathlessly. He smiled and slid the ring on my finger. He held me closely as I cried in amazement.
“Wish Three. Aren’t you glad I never told you my wishes?” he laughed and through tears I managed to mutter, “Yes.”