Those Sweet Words

August 25, 2012
By Anonymous

“Catch me if you can!” Tucker Brown shots, hopping over a log and dodging a soaking tree branch.

“I will!” I scream back, running as fast as my stick-thin legs will carry me. The doctors say I’m tiny for my age. I guess that’s a good thing, considering how easy it is to carry my weight.

Tucker has been my best friend since kindergarten. We were the only ones not sleeping during nap time. Eight years later, we’re close as ever.

When I finally catch up, I tackle Tucker to the ground and we roll over each other down a hill. I smell sod and realize we’re close to the country club. I lift myself off of him and rest against the ground. Tucker raises his arms into the air and I notice his farmer’s tan.

“Hey,” I say, nudging his shoulder with my foot. “You owe me a cookie.”

Tucker laughs and reaches into his back pocket. “Oh yeah, almost forgot.” He pulls out a bag of smushed cookie crumbs and shrugs.

I push him and giggle. “I hate you,” I mumble, obviously kidding.

“I love you,” Tucker murmurs back. Normally he says this as a joke, like love in a best friend way, but this time he sounds serious. I ignore it and gesture to the old tire swing hanging from the willow above us.

We’ve been going here every summer for the last 6-7 years. The Poconos has been our summer home for centuries. Okay, so maybe not for that long.

“I’ll race you to the tire swing!” I shout, jumping up. Tucker and I push past each other until I reach the tire first. I take a big breath, close my eyes, and swing across the pond. I drop into it when I think I’m safe. I come up from the bubbly water, gasping for air, and I smooth down my ash-colored tendrils. “Yes!” I scream, pumping my fist in the air.

“Just wait!” screams Tucker, swinging over me. He drops dangerously near me and I almost go under.

“Omg I could have drowned Tucker!” I joke.

Tucker smiles and smooths down his blonde tresses. “Oh, I know.”

I groan and push down on his head with the force of my whole body. With his muscular arms he manages to throw me off. Birds sing in the distance. The clean summer air envelops my body and beams of sunlight shoot through the gaps between the trees. Today is perfect.

I sense the tensity vibrating off of Tucker’s body. “What’s wrong?” I ask softly.

“I have to tell you something,” Tucker begins, continuously inhaling and exhaling. I nod my head, urging him to go on. “I like you, Kate. I really like you. I’ve liked you since I met you. You’re the most amazing girl in the world. And, I want to know if you will be my girlfriend?” I give him a kiss and lean back. “Took you long enough,” I whisper.

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