All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
“Come on. What are you afraid of?” the girl taunted jestingly as she swung a jean-clad leg over the chain-link fence.
“I’m not afraid of anything, Samantha,” Jason replied in mock defensiveness as he approached the gate. “However, I am concerned that you’ll fall and hurt yourself- Or I will- or we’ll get arrested for trespassing,” he admitted jokingly.
A confident laugh broke through Sam’s lips. “Jason, don’t be silly; I won’t fall,” she said, leaping deftly off the barrier and landing nimbly on the balls of her feet. Her glossy blonde hair, the color of tarnished gold, bounced playfully as she spun around to flash him a smile. “See? Piece of cake.”
Jason sighed as he watched the carefree nymph’s performance. He couldn’t help staring at Samantha. Her perfect body, slender but healthy, though cloaked in jeans and an oversized hoodie, was still remarkably enticing, especially to him; still, his eyes lingered on her face, rife with natural beauty and unsullied by makeup. It never ceased to amaze him that no matter how simply she dressed, Samantha always looked stunning.
He looking away before she could catch him gawking. “I couldn’t help but notice that you failed to address the possibility of me falling or of us getting arrested,” Jason observed.
Sam rolled back on her heels, giggling as Jason climbed the steel mesh. “I’m confident you’ll make it.”
Jason edged over the top. “And our arrest?”
“If you hurry up, that shouldn’t be a problem,” Samantha bantered coquettishly.
“All right, all right. Be patient,” he grumbled teasingly. Jason dropped lightly to the ground. In one swift movement he stood and pivoted to face her. “What are we doing here anyway?” he asked as he scanned the park they had broken into.
Samantha’s cheeks, flushed from the adventure, darkened at Jason’s sudden closeness. She swallowed and took a deep breath while his attention was otherwise occupied with their surroundings. When he looked back to her, she beamed and responded, “If I told you that, it would ruin the surprise.”
Jason theatrically mulled over her answer for a minute before finally conceding, “Fine,” with a wide grinned stretched across his face. He sauntered over to Samantha and wound his arm around her waist. “Let’s go then, shall we?”
The darkness hid the veil of pink lacing Samantha’s complexion. She slipped out of Jason’s grasp, afraid he might notice the blush coloring her cheeks. “Since I know where we’re going, why don’t I lead?” she proposed, barely suppressing her chagrin.
Hurt by Samantha’s apparent repulsion, Jason merely nodded in approval. “Sure,” he added tepidly.
Before his dejection could settle in, Samantha grabbed his palm and towed him towards the trees. Her periodic glances back and the warmth of her hand reassured Jason. He wrapped his fingers securely around hers and followed after willingly.
Suddenly, Samantha swiveled to face him forcing Jason to pull up short to avoid crashing into her. She grabbed his arm to try and steady herself, but his weight dragged her down. Jason caught himself on a tree and drew Samantha into his arms before she hit the ground.
“Sorry,” Samantha stammered nervously, struggling to right herself. “My bad.”
Flustered, Jason looked away as he helped her stand. “Don’t worry about it. It’s not a big deal.”
Regaining her composure and her voice, Samantha laughed, “So, now that I’ve almost killed you-”
“And yourself,” Jason interjected solicitously.
“Yes, and myself. Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, are you ready for your surprise?” Samantha twittered excitedly.
Jason chuckled at her elated expression, “My surprise?”
“Uh huh,” she hummed, her anticipation building beyond the limits of her self-control. “Do you want to see?” Samantha asked jovially, shifting her weight impatiently from her left to right foot.
“You’re so cute,” Jason laughed; then, fearing he’d given his true affection away, froze in horror; his laughter choking off abruptly.
“Thank you. Can I show you now?” Samantha pleaded eagerly, failing to notice his mortified expression.
Grateful for Samantha’s single-mindedness, Jason shook off the shock. The color seeped back into his skin and he sighed happily, “Lead the way.”
“Yay!” she exclaimed, clapping her hands. Again, she took Jason’s hand and yanked him forward through the last line of trees.
“What is all this?” Jason asked in amazement. The entire playground was decorated for a party. Ribbons wound through and around the jungle gym and monkey bars and balloons tethered to the posts and trees. Paper lanterns lit the park with their soft yellow glow. A large blanket lay over the sand pit; a picnic waited in the center for them.
“You didn’t honestly think I forgot your birthday, did you?” Samantha replied congenially, then rushing into an excited, but bashful apology. “I know it’s late, but I really wanted to do something special- just the two of us.”
Jason gaped at the scene, unable to look away from the fruit of undoubtedly hours of labor on Sam’s part.
“Well?” she asked tentatively, absentmindedly squeezing Jason’s fingers, still intertwined with hers. “What do you think?”
He pictured Samantha laboring in the kitchen, preparing the food for the picnic; he saw her painstakingly winding the streamers through the play structure, reworking any with the slightest imperfection. “I think,” he began as he twirled her into his arms, “That you are incredible.” Jason bent his face down and firmly pressed his lips to Samantha’s.
Expecting reproach, Jason balked when he felt Samantha’s mouth moving seamlessly with his. She freed her hand from his clasp only to wrap her arms around his neck, fastening herself more tightly to him.
When the two finally broke apart, it was Samantha, radiating with happiness, who spoke first, “You’re welcome.”
“Sorry, that was a little forward of me,” Jason atoned unapologetically.
“Yes, completely uncalled for,” Samantha scoffed.
He grinned, “I may be out-of-line again.”
Rolling her eyes, Samantha stretched up on her toes and kissed him.
Jason wrapped his arms around her and lifted her up to his height. He felt her lips twitch as she smiled.
He sighed, “I have wanted to do that for a very long time.”
Samantha snuggled down into his chest as they sat down on the blanket. “Why didn’t you?” she wondered dreamily.
“I didn’t think you cared about me that way,” he answered regretfully.
“You could have asked,” she returned.
Jason straightened and glanced down at her. “Did you?”
“Maybe,” she evaded.
“And why didn’t you say anything?” he questioned smugly.
“Well,” she confessed, “I know that I can sometimes be… pushy. I didn’t want to pressure you into anything and risk losing you.”
With that, she turned up to meet Jason’s gaze. A shy, timid expression, uncharacteristic of her confident nature, occupied her angel’s face and captivated him.
Jason leaned down and touched his lips to hers once more. “Wouldn’t have happened.”
Samantha sighed in fake exasperation, “Well I know that now.”
Jason chortled under his breath and kissed her again.