Better off Friends

Page 29


We decided it was best to call Levi’s mom for the ride. Dad and Uncle Adam were very protective of me, so I didn’t think they would take it lightly that I’d been essentially abandoned at a party. Although I was with Levi, which would’ve made them feel a little bit better. They both really liked Ian, so I knew they’d be disappointed to hear it was over.
Over. It was so strange to think about it.
Levi and I sat on the curb while we waited for his mom.
“Are you okay?” I asked.
“Not really.” He wrapped his arms around his legs. “I don’t know, I’m wondering if there’s something wrong with me.”
“There’s nothing wrong with you,” I assured him.
“But why do girls keep cheating on me?”
“You’ve had one girl cheat on you and one girl make a poor decision.”
He sighed. “Maybe I’m a bad kisser.”
“I’m sure it’s not that.”
“How would you know?” He got me there. “Let’s think about it. My first girlfriend here was away from me for ten days and started sucking face with some other guy the second she was alone with him. Tonight my girlfriend was away from me for like two seconds and she was going to make out with another guy. It clearly has to be me.”
“You’re being silly.”
“I don’t think I am.” Then Levi was the opposite of quiet. He spent the next five minutes going on and on about how it must be that he was a horrible kisser and that he would never have a girlfriend because he’s lousy. How he was never going to date another girl because he couldn’t trust them. How pathetic he must be that EVERY girl jumped at the chance to be with someone the second his back was turned.
It was getting extremely annoying.
Levi was usually pretty laid back about things, so I wasn’t used to his being so hard on himself over a girl. And being so overdramatic.
I kept trying to tell him it wasn’t about him. It was about how Emily liked to flirt and wasn’t really “girlfriend material” because she preferred to date and play the field. And who knew about Carrie? She was young. She’d made a mistake.
But that wasn’t enough. I was getting so frustrated with Levi. Part of me wanted to smack him, but I knew that wouldn’t shut him up.
“Nope, that’s it. I’m a horrible kisser. And it’s going to spread around school and then no girl will ever give me a chance.”
“For the love, Levi!” I shouted at him.
And before I really knew what I was doing, I grabbed his cheeks and pulled him in for a kiss. He was tense, probably from shock, for the first couple seconds. Then his arms were around me and he eased into it.
I pulled away and Levi struggled for breath. “Wh-wh-what …” he stammered.
“You’re fine. You are not a bad kisser. It has been verified. Moving on.”
His eyes were wide, his mouth speechless.
I loved that he was so flustered.
We saw his mom’s car approaching. I stood up and he remained on the curb. I reached out my hand to help him up. It took him a second to process it. He got up on his feet, still completely stunned.
“So that’s one thing I have over your friends in California and your bros here,” I said to him.
He returned a blank stare.
I laughed and hit him on the shoulder. “I don’t think any of them would’ve had the nerve to prove to you that you’re not a bad kisser. You’re welcome, by the way.”
He stayed mostly silent for the ride to my house.
I laughed silently to myself in the backseat.
All it really takes to fluster a guy is a simple kiss.
Still speechless, I see?
Give me a break, will you? There I was, pouring my heart out, when you attacked me. I usually prefer to be taken out on a date first. At least buy a guy a slice of pizza before you take advantage of him. Especially if he’s emotionally fragile.
Yes, poor you. You were being ridiculous and that was the only thing I could think to do to shut you up.
I really need to start talking more.
Are you blushing?
Um, what were we talking about?
How I’m the love of your life.
Here’s the basic difference between having a girl as a best friend as opposed to a guy.
When you complain incessantly to your guy friends about being cheated on and how you might not be a good kisser, they’ll give you crap, change the subject, or even smack you.
But when you’re best friends with a girl and you blather on and on, she kisses you to make you shut up.
When it first happened, I was shocked and confused for the first 1.3 seconds. Then I decided to go with it. Macallan was an excellent kisser. I was a little disappointed when she pulled away and acted like nothing had happened.
And people think guys don’t get attached when things get physical.
Of course, I tried to get her to kiss me again. But she didn’t fall for it. Anytime I’d be purposely annoying to her, I’d say, “Uh-oh, somebody better get me to shut up,” and then pucker my lips. Macallan would ignore me and go back to whatever she was doing.
That was annoying.
Spring finally arrived, and with it came the warmer weather and track.
Even though we were already in the middle of the season, I still got nervous for every race. It mattered too much to me. I had to keep telling myself to remember to breathe. Then I shook my legs out. I could hear the introductions and the crowd. But I looked straight ahead. The only thing that mattered was the 400 meters in front of me.