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It wasn't yet Valentine's day, but love was in the air. At least Lily thought so.
She smiled at the sight that formed in her mind; Jason - her best friend - would finally be dating someone, and Caroline - a friend of hers - would stop bugging her to get Jason to notice her.
It would be perfect. She'd know Jason for fourteen years now (they had been friends since they were two), and he was always so lonely and reluctant to date. Now was his chance, and with one of the prettiest girls she knew.
"Hey," Jason pulled her out of her reverie as he sat next to her on the bus.
"Oh, Jason." she answered in a surprised tone. "How come you're taking the bus today?" It was something he rarely did.
"I, uh... have to talk to you." He looked down at his bag.
"Oh cool! I was gonna call you tonight to tell you something too!" Lily marveled at the coincidence.
"Really?" His green eyes mirrored her surprised brown ones. "You can go first." He insisted.
"Oh. Okay..." she thought the remark was unexpected, but shrugged it off. "Well..." she tried to drag out the suspense for as long as she could, but Jason seemed too nervous to notice. "Someone likes you. Like, really likes you." She nodded.
Jason looked straight into her eyes. "Really? Who?"
"...She doesn't want to tell you, 'cuz she's kind of shy and doesn't know if you like her back." Lily mentally rolled her eyes; how could Caroline doubt that he would like her?
Jason had to look away for a second. "Can you give me at least one clue?" He picked at a string on his backpack anxiously.
"Sure...uh, she's in your homeroom." Lily smiled; this obviously wasn’t enough info for Jason to find out who it was - there were tons of girls in his homeroom, but at least it eliminated the girls from other classes and grades. "And..." she kept up the barrier of suspense, "at the Valentine's fair tomorrow, she dares you to kiss her in front of everyone." Her smile grew devilishly. She hadn't told Caroline about this; she knew about meeting him at the fair, but the kissing had not been part of the plan. 'Oh well,' Lily thought. 'She'll thank me later for this one.'
Jason froze in shock, then blinked a couple of times to shake it off. "How will I know who she is?" he asked when he composed himself again. Lily smirked at his reaction.
"She'll be the first to come to you as soon as you enter the fair. She'll be waiting..." Jason took a moment to swallow the situation. It was better than he had imagined! "Oh, what were you going to say again?" Lily's voice broke beautifully through his daydream and he was lost.
"You were going to say something..." she reminded him, a bit impatient.
"Oh. Yeah." Jason ran a hand through his curly brown hair. "Coincidence of coincidences," he started out, falsely cheery, "I wanted to tell you that there's someone I like."
"Oh?" Lily blinked, her smile gone. "Who is it?"
"I won't tell you, but she is in my homeroom." He smirked at her.
“…Is she pretty?” Lily asked tentatively. She didn’t want her plan spoiled and Caroline’s heartbroken.
“More than you can imagine.” He replied in a dreamy whisper.
"Awesome. Hopefully they're the same person." Lily smiled, knowing the only person she could think of who was that pretty was Caroline.
"Oh, I think they are."
Jason was surprised at how well things had gone. Now Lily knew he liked her, and plus she was going to let him kiss her. Things were looking up.
It was after school on Valentine's Day, and despite the chocolates and gifts she received that day, Lily was annoyed.
She had told Caroline the plan (without mentioning the kissing part), and Caroline had been happy about it - ecstatic even. But now she was getting all nervous - which was ridiculous - and wanted Lily to stay with her at the fair. Now Lily would be wasting her time standing at the entrance with Caroline, waiting for Jason while everyone else had fun. He better come early.
She went home to take a shower and get dressed. As she picked what to wear for the fair, she took out her cell phone and dialed Jason's number.
"Hello?" He answered.
"Yeah Lily?" He sounded nervous, or unsure.
"Get to the fair early, alright? I won't be standing there all night."
"Oh... okay." Lily realized that his voice had changed, but with her distractions, she missed the relief that he was expressing before saying,
"Bye," and hanging up.
She ended up picking out a pink, squared-out strapless with white jeans and pink sandals. Her long brown hair was up in a neat ponytail, and her darker brown skin was glowing with moisturizer.
Lily got to the fair earlier than many others to find that Caroline was already there, dressed in a short hot-pink dress with a white hem and straps that crisscrossed in the back like a corset. She had on white heels and her red hair was down and blow-dried.
"Well, you're overdressed." she joked as she reached her.
Caroline's blue eyes widened. "You really think so?" she squeaked, looking down at her attire.
"Don't worry about it, Caroline." Lily eyed her makeup, wondering why she put so much when she obviously didn't need it. "You look fine." She was a bit dressy, but that did nothing to falter her beauty.
Caroline calmed down, but didn't look completely reassured. She kept biting her lip.
By the time Jason came, many people were there, and the sun was setting. The sound of games, music, and laughter while people were having fun wafted through the air.
"He's here!" Caroline shrieked, grabbing Lily's arm. Lily turned right as his eyes landed on her.
"Well, go ahead. Have fun." Lily flashed a smile and was about to go in the opposite direction of Jason when Caroline tightened her grip on her arm.
"Don't leave me!" Her voice was low but panicky.
"Fine..." Lily gave her a weird expression. "I'll go get him for you." The idea calmed Caroline, and she nodded enthusiastically as Lily walked the short distance to where Jason was standing.
Jason didn't even notice Caroline as Lily walked toward him. It was like in the movies, where the beautiful actress was walking in slow motion with her hair blowing in the wind, only better. He let her beauty soak in before taking one step that closed the distance between them, putting his arms around her, drawing her closer to him and kissing her, angling her neck so their heads were slanted to different sides.
For so long he had waited for this moment.
Lily froze in astonishment and Caroline gawked in hurt shock. Lily quickly pulled away from Jason with wide eyes. "What are you doing?!" she gasped.
"What do you mean?" Jason asked, confused and dazed by the kiss.
"You're supposed to kiss her, not me!" She jabbed a finger where Caroline was standing. That's when she realized that she hadn't explained what she had meant when she had called him earlier, saying she would be waiting... But, oh well, that didn't matter now.
"Caroline?" Jason looked behind Lily for a sec. "You meant Caroline?" He wasn't shouting, but she must've heard the incredulity in his voice because soon she was running away, tears streaming down her face, and fury growing exponentially in her heart.
"Who did you think I meant?!"
"...You..." He looked down. "You're the girl I was talking about, Lily." Lily was stunned again.
"...Me?" She obviously thought the idea was ludicrous. "You would pass up Caroline for me? Are you insane?!"
"I've always like you Lily." He shrugged and looked up to meet her gaze, feeling more confident now that she knew. When Lily didn't respond, he cringed and asked, "Don't you like me?"
Lily was shocked for the third time that day. (Surely it wasn't good for her health.)
The question had caught her off guard; she hadn't really thought about that before. She lowered her gaze to the ground. Now that she thought of it, there was always a fondness she had for him, but she had never thought of it as liking him in that way.
Lily looked up at him - at the curly hair, beautiful green eyes, prominent nose, olive oil skin - and it clicked.
Yes, she liked him - more than like him, even.
"Well..." the realization made her suddenly shy, but the fact that he like her back renewed her confidence. "Maybe I like you too." They stared at each other for a moment and it was almost as if they were in their own little world, brown colliding with green, before Lily brought them back to reality by adding, "But you're not going to leave Caroline like this." she looked behind her, and when she realized that Caroline was gone, said, "Oh, no. Come on, we have to go find her."
She took his hand as she usually did, but when they felt the jolt of electricity they'd never felt before, they quickly released each other.
After a short moment of awkwardness staring at each other, Jason gently and carefully took her hand again. He smiled slowly, and she smiled shyly back.
The cute couple walked away hand in hand, having to deal with this mess, but knowing that they would somehow end up together.