"Congrats baby! I can't believe you did it! You're going to be the best movie critic ever," my mother joked on the way back to the house.
I just smiled and nodded. I wasn't really listening to anything she had to say. I couldn't actually keep my mind off of Valery. Everybody and I mean everybody just thinks we're just best friends. But I feel so, so much more for her. I just wish that she felt the same.
I remember the first day I met Valery. It was a rainy July day which was very strange since you know; it was July as in summer. I was hanging out with my twin sister Carmen who I was surprised at the fact that she even invited me. We don't get along very well for twins. Anyways, we were on our way to one of her best friend's houses. I was unsure at whose house it was but I didn't mind. I loved hanging out with more than one person. I was no wall flower.
Once my eyes landed on Valery Hickens' I thought she was the most beautiful girl ever. The way her chocolate brown hair stayed in place at her shoulders, the way her bright blue eyes sparkled in the sunlight, and of course the way she smiled when she saw something she liked. I was so nervous when I first met her. I thought she thought I was a complete creep. But she just smiled and we went on our way.
"You know that Valery would never go out with a guy like you, Jeremiah," Carmen said on the way home.
"How do you know? Maybe she likes me too," I argued.
"That would be crazy! Valery has class and she would never like a gross loser like you."
"Thank you so much, Carmen. You're the best sister anybody could ever ask for," I said sarcastically.
We walked into the house and I slipped my shoes off and walked upstairs to my bedroom. The walls were dark blue and they had posters of movies I liked all over them. I liked it that way.
I lay back on my bed and relaxed. That was the very first day that I couldn't stop thinking about Valery Hickens'. That night I had my first happy thought about us going out just as I was falling asleep. I then dreamed about us at a park hanging out and it ended with us kissing and then telling each other our feelings.
That wasn't that last time I thought about Valery before I fell asleep, dreamed about us together, and woke-up thinking about her. It happened every night and day. It started when I was just 12 years old and it still hasn't stopped at 22.
After that rainy July day Valery and I became better friends. We would hang out with Carmen and sometimes we wouldn't. Then on my 13th birthday I invited a couple of my guy friends and I also invited Valery. When the party ended Valery stayed after to help my parents and me clean up. When that was done I took Valery to my backyard and we talked and then decided to go up in my tree house. She looked around the tree house and then I grabbed her hand. She looked up at me with nervous eyes. I then took a chance and kissed her soft and gently. She kissed back in the same fashion. I pulled back and she smiled before saying, "that was my first kiss." I nodded and then told her the same thing.
After that kiss nothing else happened between us. We never went out, never kissed again, and just simply nothing happened. The only thing that happened was we became closer friends. We were even closer than Valery and Carmen were. I kind of felt bad for taking away he best friend but Carmen told me it was fine.
At 14 we started high school. I became popular very quickly due to my outgoingness. I was loud and corky and people liked that. Valery was nothing like me and that's one thing I liked the most about her. She was quiet and reserved the exact opposite of me.
At 15 I began dating a girl named Sasha Kingsbury who treated me like pure shit. I just went out with her because it made me look better dating somebody who was "hot" and because I thought just maybe I could get over Valery. I felt like an asshole going out with Sasha just because she was gorgeous but I still didn't think she was that beautiful. In my eyes the only girl who was beautiful was Valery and I hated myself for not just asking her out. I was too chicken and Carmen told me that every day.
After Sasha and I broke-up, I began dating more and more girls. I lost count and then I just started using them for all the wrong reasons. I would sleep around just to make me feel better for a second. I felt like my life was ending due to my parents fighting and because Valery was dating other guys as well. It hurt like I was getting shot and hit was a hammer repeatedly at the same time. But I kept doing it like the true jerk I was at heart. It was the new me and I even hated me.
Finishing high school made me feel good. I hated that place but I held my head high and thought of my bright future ahead. I was going to college in New York and I was hopping afterwards of getting a job somewhere where I could be a movie critic. I watched so many movies that I knew them by heart. I loved them more than anything, but I love Valery more.
College began quickly and the unthinkable happened, Valery was going to the same college as me. We had almost all the same classes and it made my heart hurt even more. After all the awful things I did in high school I hopped that I could rekindle Valery and my friendship. It kind of ended after I started sleeping around and she was hooking up with other guys.
"Hey stranger, long time not talk," I started.
She looked over at me confused and then smiled her gorgeous smile that I fell in love with at 12. "I know right, it's been four years! Damn, I missed you best friend."
I smiled at her and I truly thought that maybe I could ask her out and we could be happy. All of my happy thoughts would be reality and I wouldn't have to worry about rejection. But I was wrong because she was dating this guy named Russell. They were together since senior year of high school and they were madly in love. I just let it go and went back to my trashy old self. I slept my way through the girl's dorm and I practically slept with every girl that wanted me, every girl except Valery.
The four years of college went faster than high school. Valery and Russell broke-up after sophomore year of college but I just let it go. If we got together it would be a rebound and I wasn't ready for that. Each night I would go into my dorm and look at old Polaroid's of Valery and I. I would smile at the sight of her gorgeous face. My favorite Polaroid of her was when we were at the lake and she a flower in her hair. It was a profile shot and she was looking out at the lake below. I wanted to hang it on my wall but I never got to it. I just sat in my bed looking at the pictures just wishing that she could be mine, all mine and nobody else's.
Here I am now sitting in my mother car driving back to the house thinking about my best friend. I am leaving her behind yet again to work for some magazine that needs more readers. I'll be writing the movie reviews and I am really looking forward to it.
"Hey mom can I borrow the car?" I asked.
"Sure but remember to bring it back later tonight."
I nodded and then filled the truck up with boxes of my stuff. I drove to my new place in downtown New York. I parked out front of the apartment and then locked the doors before opening the truck to get out my boxes. I took two up at a time. I opened the doors to my apartment and put my boxes down close to the door. I walked over to the huge window with the gorgeous view of all the buildings. I then reached into my pockets and took out the Polaroid's of Valery. I looked at them over and over again.
"Why can't you just be mine? I want you so, so bad. I love you so much that it hurts," I told the pictures of Valery.
I felt a tear or two falling down my face. I take a seat on the cold light brown wood flooring and put my hands over my face. I was a mess and I didn't know what to do anymore. I wanted Valery more than anything I know for a fact that she doesn't want me at all. Maybe as a friend but I already told her goodbye. I had to talk to somebody, anybody. So I decided to call Carmen even though we never really got along I knew she wouldn't judge me like she did when we were kids.
When she got to my empty apartment she just looked at me with her gorgeous brown eyes. She sat down next to me on the wood floor and waited for me to talk. She put her arm around me for support and then I started.
"Why can't I just be a man and tell Valery how I feel? You were right, you know."
"What do you mean I was right?" she asked.
"The day that I met Valery when we all were 12, you told me on the way home that Valery would never like 'a gross loser like me' and guess what you're right! I've liked her for way too long and I can't get over her! I've dated so many girls, slept with so many girls and here I am. She's still the only girl I think and dream about. She's everything I want and yet I can't even have her."
Carmen looked at me with sadness because I knew she felt bad for me. I was a complete mess and I guess everything just crumbled to bits. I let everything out of me and I just broke open. I wasn't the stupid player anymore.
"Jeremiah, I was 12 years old for crying out loud! I always knew that Valery would like you. I just didn't want her to date my brother because at the time she was my best friend. Then when she told me on your 13th birthday that you two kissed I was so happy for her. You were all she ever talked about. I never told you because well I don't even know. Then high school happened and you became popular and kind of left Valery behind which hurt her. I remember she'd call me every once in while telling me that she wondered why you could like her in the way you liked her. She would also just talk shit about all the girls you dated or slept with. I felt bad for her but I didn't tell you because I thought you got over her at 15. I guess I was wrong because you still love her. Look at you and look at this place. It's like a Valery shrine in here for crying in the night!"
I let out a giggle at her shrine comment and then happiness filled through me. If Carmen was being completely serious then Valery would feel the same way? I just had to face the music and find out if she was really telling the honest truth. I got up from the wood floor and made my way to the front door I looked over at Carmen and smiled.
"I have to find out the truth and I need to tell her."
"Thank God and good luck bro."
I grinned and then made my way out the front door and practically fell down the stairs on the way down. I ran to my mother's car and jumped into the driver's seat. I started the engine and drove off into the New York night to Valery's house. As I got closer to her place the butterflies in my stomach got bigger. I knew I had to take a chance and if Carmen isn't playing games with me then I will continue to be the happiest guy in history.
I parked the car in Valery's driveway and then ran out of the car; I barely even shut the car door. I rang the doorbell and waited for somebody to answer it. Valery opened the door and then smiled her famous smile at me. I smiled back and then decided to just let out everything.
"Valery, I'm in love with you and I have been since I was 12 freaking years old. I tried to get over you so many times but it has yet to work. I mean here I am just out of college and I have been with a shit load of girls (not trying to brag by the way) but you're everything I think of, dream of and just want so badly. I can't get over you and I wouldn't want to be with anybody but you. I love you, Valery with all my heart and to the moon and back."
I looked Valery in the eyes and she had tears streaming down her face. I was shaking with nerves and I actually thought that I might lose my breakfast and lunch.
"Jeremiah, I love you, too."
I was flabbergasted. I didn't know what to say to that. I just put my hands on her face and brought her lips to mine. She wrapped her arms around my neck and kissed me back. It was a much more risqué kiss than the one when I was 13 and she was 12 but I felt every spark, every bolt of lightning, everything. My tongue made its entrance and then our tongues met for the first time. She let out a soft moan and then continues to kiss me. I began laying kisses on her neck and cheeks and then she pulls my lips back to her lips. After much kissing we break away and I look into her beautiful eyes.
"Do you really feel like this for me?" she asked sweetly.
"I've never been so sure about something in my short life Miss Valery."
"Good because I think if you were kidding I would die."
"I would NEVER do that to you. And I promise you that I'm not going to hurt you and I will love you forever. I know forever is a very serious word but I mean it. I've loved you for 10 years and I know that I can love you for a million more."
She kissed me quickly then released again. I then took the Polaroid of her at the lake, my favorite picture and handed it to her.
"I've looked at this picture for years. I have even talked to it because it's my favorite. I love you."
She then handed me a picture of me taken on the same day. It's a picture of both of us sitting on a log close to the lake. She's in my lap smiling and I did the bunny ears behind her head. It made me laugh.
"That's my favorite picture of you," she said.
I smiled and then asked, "Valery Hickens' will you be my girlfriend?"
That gorgeous smile gets me every time, making me weak in the knees. "Of course, I thought you would never ask."
We laughed and then she let me come inside where we spent our first moment as a couple on the sofa wrapped in each other's arms. And that's exactly where I want to be for the rest of my life, with Valery right by my side as my girlfriend and hopefully one day, my wife.