It all started with a silly little
line in a silly little book written by a silly little girl. But
it would shape my destiny. Of course, I wouldn't know it at the
time. But the day I created that bucket list wouldn't quite
matter until nearly five years later when I finally had the
courage, and possibly the stupidity to act on the things I had
written as a silly fifteen year old girl.
Samantha and I had been friends
since high school, we'd been on the debate team, the Model UN
team, and Mock Trial together and then later lived in the same
building as university freshman. Our sophomore year of college
left us a bit separated, but as the New Year came we found
ourselves at the same Del Taco where we had spent many a late
night the summer after we graduated high school.
"What do you want Stella?" Sam
asked me as I sat fiddling with my purse, trying to pull my
wallet out of the tiny satchel bag I had only purchased because
it reminded me of Eugene Fitzherbert.
"Ah," I said looking up at the
brightly lit screen and the rusting speaker box, "Three, no
four, crunchy tacos and a medium sprite. And make sure they know
it's a sprite, not a fry." I said, remembering from experience.
Sam laughed, "What? Have they given
you a fry instead of a drink before?" Her eyebrows had raised on
her pretty pale face.
"Yes!" I laughed too. "It happens
all the time at McDonalds!"
And so it was, luckily, that five
minutes later we were pulling out of the drive through lane that
was more like a ride at Disneyland rather than a parking lot,
with the appropriate orders. "Okay, so tell me why you and Trevor
aren't together any more." I said, jumping straight to the
subject that I really wanted to talk about. She had dropped this
bomb on me when I had gotten in the car and refused to tell me
about it until we were parked.
And so we went to the infamous
'creek' that brought back so many memories of the summer after
high school. As we pulled into the parking lot I spotted the
pavilion that Sam, my crush Cameron and I had climbed onto the
roof and been trapped while the police checked the park after
eleven o'clock. We had plastered ourselves to the far side of
the roof while Trevor and another guy were on the ground,
contending with the police hoping to keep them off our track.
In the process of climbing up the
tree to get on the roof I had lost a contact, and being blind
without them, I had an incredibly difficult time getting down.
That had been an adventure.
"Okay, so, Trevor and I were taking
a break from each other, because it was getting too much, you
know? And we were supposed to be dating other people and so I
didn't feel guilty about talking to this guy Chris, whose new at
work! But!" She said when I was about to open my mouth to say
something, "It's really cute with Chris! Okay, so three years
ago, I was in an elevator at work and the elevator stopped and it
was really kind of scary, but there was this cute guy in there
with me and we talked for a while, but then the elevator started
"But then one day I went into work
and there was the guy from the elevator! And he saw me and
started telling the story of the elevator, just to see if I
"That's so serendipitous!" I cried
talking around a bite of taco and washing it down with my non-fry
"I know!" Sam threw her arms out
for dramatic effect, then took a bite of taco. "So, when I was
talking to Chris, Trevor was acting really jealous, and so I went
back to him and a couple days after I decided we needed to take a
break again, because I felt guilty because I was really talking
with Chris. But then Trevor's mom texted me that he was in the
hospital and the doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong with
"What?" I asked,
Sam nodded, "I know! Anyway, I was
thinking that after work I would go and see him in the hospital
and make talk to him, especially when I got a message from his
mom that said his organs were shutting down and it's just like
he's lost his will to live."
I was very confused at this
information, I knew that Trevor was alive and well and this
didn't make any sense.
"So, I was talking to Chris about
this at the same time, because I was in class and then I had to
go to work right after and he suggested just calling the gift
shop and have them deliver it up to his room. And so I texted his
mom back and asked what hospital he was in and then I said I
would send something from the gift shop and I asked what room he
"Then I get a message back that
said 'oh, don't worry about it, it looks like their discharging
him and he'll be out before you can get here or send
"Miraculous recovery huh?" I asked
"I know! So Chris called the
hospital and found out there was no one by the name Trevor Smith
in the hospital! And no one had been there under that
"So he was just faking it?"
"Yeah, and so I texted Trevor's
mom's phone and said, 'I know it's you Trevor.' And it was just a
big mess then." Sam said, taking another bit of her taco.
"That's crazy!" I said, slightly
nervous about being just a couple of miles from where he lived.
"I know right?" She said, "But it
"How can it possibly get worse?" I
"Okay, so after work one day, I was
coming out of the parking lot and then I see a black jeep pass
me, and it looked a lot like Trevor's car. But as I was driving I
couldn't tell if it was or not and so I just headed home. But
jeep came up behind me and Trevor
called me on my phone. He was yelling at me saying, 'Sam! Pull
over!' and I was like, 'No!', obviously."
I sat with my eyes wide open,
terrified for her, "What on earth?" I asked, this behavior was so
uncharacteristic from the Trevor I knew.
"Yeah, and I hung up and called
Chris and he told me not to pull over and just head to a church
by his house where he would be waiting." She took a breath and a
bite of taco and continued her suspenseful story, "When I got to
the church parking lot Chris was almost there so I stopped and
Trevor pulled up and got out of the car and knocked on my door
and yelled, 'Sam, open this door!'
"I refused, obviously, and he just
yelled, 'I've got a gun in my car, don't make me use it!'"
"What?!" I cried, Trevor went
hunting frequently and I knew that he was handy with a gun.
"I know! But Chris had called the
police, which I probably should have done first but yeah, it was
"Oh my crap! That's insane!"
Throughout the night I was really
shocked by what had happened, but the conversation moved on to
lighter topics and some how found our way to the topic of my
pathetic VL aka: Virgin Lips.
"I'm twenty years old and I still
haven't kissed anybody yet!" I cried laughing. "What I need to do
is just kiss a random person and have it be that."
Sam laughed, "You know, I've always
wanted to do that! It's on my bucket list!"
"Then let's do it. We'll go to a
club and we'll kiss some random guy."
"Okay! When should we go?" I asked
thinking about the days ahead.
"We should go next weekend!"
The next weekend rolled around and
we hopped into Sam's beat up gold Saturn and headed to our
destination. "Okay, I found this really great song on itunes, it
was on the top ten songs, so I bought it because it's really
good." Sam said, taking her eyes off the road to find the song on
her ipod. "It's kind of a boy band, but it's a really good
The song that came on was really
good, and a total boy band. I grabbed the ipod and looked at the
name of the song and the band. I was shocked to see the band was
called One Direction, a band I had seen countless pictures of,
but never paid much attention to. And so, the entire way there,
we listened to the same song on repeat.
At the club there it was already
packed and we waded our way through the crowds just looking for a
way place that would allow us to scope out the perfect people for
our kiss a stranger idea. "What do you think of the guy over
there with the spiky hair?" Sam asked me, pointing.
The guy was tall, which was a plus,
both of us were solidly six feet tall and that had been one of
our rules for the night, no one shorter! "Go for it!" I said
"Are you sure?" Sam asked. We both
knew this would happen when we had been making plans.
"Yes! Go!" I wanted her to go first
so I would have an example to go off of. I still wasn't quite
sure how I was going to kiss the guy. It seemed really difficult.
From all of my internet research it seemed like you had to take
both of your lips and put them around either the top or the
bottom of the other persons lips…I was lost, even after watching
all the videos. It just seemed so technical.
I watched as Sam walked up to the
guy and put her hand on his shoulder and up to his neck and
leaned in and kissed him! I smiled and felt exhilarated, if she
could do it, then surely I could! Sam turned around and walked
away leaving the bewildered guy to just stand there watching her
leave. When she got back to me she quickly pulled me to another
part of the room so the guy she kissed would be able to find her.
"You're turn!" She yelled over the music.
I nodded and looked into the crowd,
looking for someone I wouldn't mind kissing. I honestly didn't
know who I was looking for, but when I saw a guy that stood out a
little from the crowd I couldn't help but realize that he was the
one I was going to kiss. He was not the most attractive guy, nor
did he look like he belonged, but the moment I saw his nerdy face
I knew our nerdiness connected. And so, with a courage I did not
know I possessed, I walked up to him and, with much less grace
than Sam, pulled his head down to mine and kissed him, full on
Without the finesse of a skilled
kisser I didn't do anything more than press my lips to his, but I
felt the sharp tingle all the way to my toes. After what felt
like an eternity, but was probably only a moment I jerked away
and ran toward Sam, not the exit I had planned. In my head I had
imagined walking away with a sultry swing to my hips, my hair
swishing against my back. But instead I was shaking and breathing
"Go Stella!" Sam cried when I got
back. I laughed nervously, still full of adrenaline.
"Let's go." I said and pulled her
toward the entrance. The cold hair was a blessed relief from the
sweaty gyrations in the building. "Okay, I have to admit that was
Five Years Later…
I smoothed out my skirt, adjusted
my heels, and made sure all the buttons on my shirt were secure.
I did not need my cleavage falling out during my interview at a
top Fortune 500 company. I was meeting with the CEO, which had
surprised me, but his secretary assured me that because my
position would require working with him, he would be the one to
The job I was applying for was a
translation expert in the language of Chinese. I was lucky that I
had chosen a language that was needed desperately by companies
across the world, I just had to impress the interviewer. I had a
masters degree and I also had a rather colorful resume` that
would hopefully be enough.
So sitting here, in this plush
office on the top floor of a rather impressive building I waited
for the CEO to come out and greet me. The pretty receptionist
answered her phone and then looked up at me. "Mr. Collins will
see you now." She said and directed me to his office.
I walked past the receptionist,
Julie, and found the door that proclaimed BRENT COLLINS. Taking a
deep breath I knocked on the door, pulled my shoulders back and
waited. The door opened and a tall man stood on the other side of
the door. The look of surprise on his face was probably mirrored
on my own as I recognized the man from the club five years
"Mr. Collins." I said holding my
hand out to him, hoping that he would just let it go and not hold
it against me.
"What, no kiss this time?" He
I blushed, positively
Six Months later…
Mr. and Mrs. Walter King
Request the honor of your presence
At the marriage of their
William Brent Collins
Saturday the tenth of June
Two thousand and seventeen
Four o'clock in the