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I turned the car onto her street, slowing down slightly to weave through the cars sitting on each side. We quieted down as the song started playing, strumming beats echoing through the small space. Out of the corner of my eye, I watched her relax into the passenger seat, and I let my own shoulders sag as the music flowed over my skin. We rolled up to a stop in front of an old orange brick house, with red and green bulbs lining the walkway and lights winding around the thick oaks. We sat quietly for a few more minutes, letting the song thrum quietly through the speakers. The car engine hummed beneath my feet, making my feet tingle. I let my head fall back onto the headrest, letting out a small sigh. I turned my head to the side, flashing her a lazy grin when I saw that she was already looking. I watched as her eyelids fluttered closed, dark lashes trembling slightly.
She sat up when the speakers quieted, pulling open the door and stepping out onto the sidewalk. She pulled her bag out and swung it over her shoulder, closing the door with a quiet thud before making her way around the car. She stuck her face to my window, flashing a goofy grin as her hot breaths fogged up a spot on the glass. The window buzzed quietly as I rolled it down. She folded her arms over the door once the glass disappeared, and I watched her lips spread into a small smile.
“Thank you. For driving me.”
“Of course! I love driving you. It’s like, the one time I can relax.”
“I get that. Anyways, I’m gonna go inside.”
I nodded, trying to keep the hope from bubbling to the surface of my skin.
She pointed to her lips with a pout.
I laughed and leaned forward.
She tilted her head to mine, and my breath was lost as warm lips met mine.
The world tilted sideways; time slowed down. Static filled my ears, buzzing and humming, and warmth flooded into my cheeks, pooling at the surface of my skin. Her hair fell forward, frizzy strands tickling my cheeks. Her mouth on mine was magnetic, pushing and pulling all in that one moment.
I closed my eyes.
The kiss tasted like fire. Not burning or bruising, but like embers, crackling in the fireplace. It was dizzying; my mind felt heavy and clouded with bliss. I lost all ability to breathe, and all there was her lips on mine. I tasted the lingering sweetness of a cherry lollipop, disgustingly sugary and yet wonderfully addicting. Her lips were slightly rough from the chapped flesh, but perfect nonetheless.
My heart roared in my ears, beating erratically and violently in my chest. Warmth coursed through my veins, and I felt like I was floating.
The world around us is almost silent, save for the soft hum of the engine and the rustle of the leaves on the sidewalk. The cold winter wind brushed against my neck, and goosebumps prickled at my pale skin.
I shivered, but I wasn’t sure it was because of the cold.
Somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew not to get my hopes up. She was affectionate with all her friends, this happened often. I wasn’t special, she didn’t like me like that, I was nothing more than a good friend.
Nothing more than a good friend.
I’ll be content with what I get. Being just friends is better than losing her for good.
But I’m fighting a losing battle. My walls, once built up so high, were crumbling. I wasn’t being careful. I was getting too jealous, being too obvious, asking for too much. I was losing myself. That was dangerous.
I couldn’t tell you what would happen if she knew. If I lost her now, I would break. I depended on her easy smiles, her quiet joy. There’s nobody else I trust as much as her. I can be free with her. Without her, I’d feel empty. That was dangerous.
It was getting worse. I was desperate. I dropped everything to answer her calls, to see her face. I was grasping at slivers of hope that maybe, maybe she saw me like I saw her. I would give up everything for her without even batting an eye. That was dangerous.
In that split second of connection, I felt my mouth chasing hers. I felt myself melting into her presence, her lips holding me up.
And then, it was broken. It was over in a second, cold air rushing to crowd my lips as she pulled away. My lips were buzzing, and my head felt light. She grinned, oblivious.
“See you tomorrow.” She bounded up onto the grass, crossing over to her porch. She got to the door, then turned around. Her hair glowed under the harsh porch light, framing her face like a halo.
“Love you!” she called, sending me a lazy wave.
“Love you too!”
She’d never know how much I meant it.
She slipped inside the door, and then I was alone again. I rolled up the window, touching my lips tenderly with a shaky finger.
I felt myself falling, losing control.
And for once, I was okay with that.