I bounce up to the pond, a messy bun at the nape of my neck flying up and down, the flyaways tickling my ears. Stopping just short of the water, I look back toward my house hesitantly, my
eyes flickering across the wide porch before landing on Jacey standing in the yard, her smile teasing. She's messed with me, some of her jokes more than harsh. We did some of what I wanted. We
dressed up in some of my moms dresses for a bit and she seemed to enjoy it; we even put on makeup. After what felt like hours of begging to go outside, she agreed on the condition that I do
something for her.
"Okay, what is it," I asked begrudgingly, quickly growing tired of her games.
An evil smile spread quickly across her face and her bright blue eyes sparkled with devilish plans, my heart thudding louder in my ears with each millisecond that passed. This look was there for no more than a second, disappearing as quickly as it had arrived, and that scared me more than anything. She walked around me, inspecting me, like I was a piece of meat that she was thinking of buying.
"You want to swim in that disgusting pond you and your neighbors share?" I nod my head vigorously. "Okay, get dressed, but in order to swim, you have to... kiss a frog! If you don't, you can't." I nearly gag. Only that girl in the fairy tales does that and it's not like a kiss is gonna turn a frog into a prince anymore than my brother may or may not be human. Just to prove that thought, my little brother runs through the hallway in his underwear singing a Kelly Clarkson song.
I clear my face of emotion and attempt to sound nonchalant when I say, "Whatever." She smirks and walks off to wherever evil sixteen year old cousins go. And now, I'm outside in a flowing white top, blue shorts, and a bright red two piece under, staring down the one thing denying my access to the pond.
I scoop up the little frog, its skin slippery as it jumps around, trying to escape my grasp when I squeeze it. Jacey's laughter fills the air. 'I can't believe I'm doing this.' I jump when the frog croaks then squirms again, demanding to be released.
"Okay frog. Ju-just calm down." I say to it, "I have to do something stupid right now, and if you cooperate, this can be quick and painless." It's almost like he understands me because he stops moving and the only thing I feel is the thrumming of its heart. Opening my hands, he sits in my palms and I take a deep breath, pucker my lips, and just as my lips touch the slimy skin...
"What are you doing?" asks a voice from behind me. Snapping around, I spot a boy about my age standing just inches from me, our bodies separated by a breath of air. He was staring at me with large, mesmerizing green eyes, and had straight pitch black hair flopping into them. My gaze travels downwards; he's wearing blue board shorts with a red towel tossed carelessly over his shoulder, and he has abs. ‘That’s a plus.'
"You like what you see," he asks cockily. I didn't realize I was staring. An embarrassed blush warms my cheeks and my eyes dart up to find a playful smile dancing on his lips. "What were you doing?" Looking down at my still cupped hands, I see nothing; I didn't even feel it jump off. Sticking out his hand, he introduces himself as Jack, the name sounding perfect to me.
"Abby," I say, my eyes down, looking up from under my eyelashes as I shake his hand, sparks shooting through my fingertips. "You come here often?"
"I live right there," he turns and points to a house on the other side of the lake. "We just moved in... Why are you wearing makeup?" I keep my eyes lowered. His hand comes up to touch my cheek, tucking a loose strand of hair behind an ear. Slowly, he brushes his thumb across one eyelid then the other. "You look much prettier without it." I look up into his eyes, our noses nearly touching and realize we've both moved closer as if by magnetism. We're still a moment as his breath mixes with mine. For a second, I think he might kiss me, and I have no objections to the idea, but, then I realize that there's nothing unique about me. Jacey has long legs, wavy brown hair with natural red highlights, and a nice body, but she's never had a boyfriend. I'm just a thirteen year old girl who goes around kissing frogs.
'What is wrong with me?'
I feel a hand on my shoulder and turn to see Jacey standing there with a small smile. Introducing herself, we all get aquatinted, then eventually go swimming, splashing each other and having a good time, our tender moment from before forgotten, yet not in my mind. It confuses me. At sunset, we sit around watching the colors reflect off the lake, our toes sending ripples through the water when Jacey pulls me aside.
"You like him?" my cheeks flood with warmth. 'Yes!!' "I don't think he likes me." A flash of pain crosses her features.
"I-I'll be inside." With that she disappears inside the house. I turn to find him watching me with a curious expression, the moonlight glinting off his hair.
"You think I don't like you?" I fiddle with my damp shorts. Putting his fingers under my chin, he pulls my face up to his, our lips barely brushing. I pause for a moment before a small smile creeps onto my lips.
It's like, when the frog left, he came.
He brings me into his arms, his warm breath tickling my ears as he whispers,
"I might just love you Abby."
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