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The Last Day
His eyes watch her as she laughs, her friends giggling around her. He always watches, never moves to talk to her. She sees him and her eyes light up, beautiful emerald green. Her blonde hair flies around her head as she says goodbye to her friends and runs over to him. She hugs him quickly, still smiling.
“Arty! What are you doing here?” she asks, her eyes almost sparkling in the light. Artemis, whose nickname happens to be Arty, smiles back at her.
“I can’t give my best friend a ride home?” he asks, hiding the anxiety he feels. He needs to tell her today. Tomorrow will be too late. He won’t see her again till next year.
“You can… I guess…” she teases, walking to his car. Her arm in intertwined with his, and she drags him along behind her.
“Genevieve, slow down!” he says, laughing. Genevieve, or Genny, just smiles. Once they’re in the car, Artemis drives away from the school.
“Can you believe it? Our last day of high school. And I’m going to college tomorrow… I just wish that you were coming to. How can I go to a big new school without my bestie?” Genny asks sadly, but still managing to keep a pretty twinkle in her eyes.
“I know… You’re getting old,” Arty teases, daring to poke her in the side. She squeals with playful delight.
“I’m getting old? If I remember, you’re older than me by six months, buddy. We might want to start looking for a retirement home for you.”
“Sure, sure. See how well that goes for you.”
A while later, they’re at the lake, the one they’ve been going to for years. Artemis feels the fear building inside of him. Being with her is so easy, so comfortable. She needs to know.
Genevieve is sitting on the bank, her feet in the cool water. She’s looking up at the sky, smiling at the clouds. Artemis runs a hand through his black hair. He really should tell her…
“Artemis?” They say it at the same time, and they laugh nervously. Genny motions for him to go first.
“No, no. I insist.” Genny takes a deep breath, as if steadying herself.
“Artemis, I…” the rest is mumbled under her breath. Artemis waits patiently for her to gather her courage. “I love you.”
Silence falls in their little clearing, except for the animals. Birds chirp and sing, some little rodents scuttle about, and far away, they can hear dogs barking. Artemis is in shock.
“I love you. I’ve loved you for a while, but I didn’t want to say it. I mean, what if you didn’t – don’t love me back? I could have messed up everything. But now that we won’t see each other for a while, and we’re responsible, mature adults, we-” Artemis stops her babbling with a kiss. She kisses him back gently, and he feels his heart stop. He pulls back and smirks at her.
“I love you too.”