by Kiara Ayleen
Emily's leaving for a year but first there's one thing she has to tell her best friend.
With a little smile on my face I sat on a bench in the corner of the room, watching Emily have the best night of her life. Watching her move her hips to the rhythms of her favorite songs blasting out of the speakers. Watching the smile on her face grow bigger and bigger with every second.
»Hey Kyle. Are there still more of these?« Jenna, a girl from Emily's dance team I had never really spoken to before I invited her to this party, held up an empty bag of potato chips in front of my face.
»Yeah, I think I have some more in the kitchen. Let me get them for you.« I took the bag out of her hand and left the garage my stepdad had transformed into some kind of party room. Inside the house the only thing you could hear was the bass of the music. I threw the empty plastic bag into the dustbin and grabbed a new one from the counter. As I was just about to turn around and get back to the party I heard the door behind me shut. Arms wrapped themselves around my stomach and I could feel a body cuddled up against my back.
»Hey you,« I heard the voice of my best friend say. I turned around as she released me from her hug.
»Hey. What are you doing in here? You should be out there having the most amazing night of your life.« I smiled upon her as Emily was looking up to me.
»I saw you leave again. I can't have the most amazing night of my life without my best friend by my side. So stop working and start having some fun. I wanna dance with you!«
»You know I don't like dancing. And I'm the host of this thing. I'm the one making sure everything goes as planned, not the one partying the night away. That's your job.«
»Oh, come on! Everything's fine. There is no catastrophe to happen if you have fun for a few minutes.« She tilted her head a little and looked at me with her puppy eyes. She knew I couldn't resist any longer as soon as she had that look on her face. »Please, Kyle, dance with me! It can't be the best night of my life if I haven't danced with my best friend at least once.«
I shook my head laughing. »Okay«, I finally gave in. »But only because it's our last night together before you leave.«
She grabbed my hand and pulled me out the door and back into the garage. I threw the bag of chips I still held in my hands onto one of the tables and followed her to the little improvised dance floor. From the way she instantly started moving her hips in exactly the right tempo and in a way it made most guys stare at her at every party you could absolutely tell that dancing was her one huge passion. Although I didn't like dancing nearly as much as she did and therefore didn't look nearly as good on the dance floor, the smile on her face was a good enough reason for me to stay exactly where I was instead of going back to my bench in the corner. She grabbed my hand and encouraged me to just let loose for once. She didn't say a word but I knew exactly what she wanted to tell me. I held up my hand that she had in hers and she turned around under my arm, laughing.
The current song faded out and the first tunes of the next one flooded through the room. I expected it to be another one of those danceable, mostly electric tracks but it turned out to be a piano ballad. I looked around the garage in confusion and saw Jenna standing by the laptop that I had connected to the big speakers. She sent a big grin over to where Emily and I were standing on the dance floor.
»See? That's what happens if the host is being distracted,« I joked, looking at my best friend.
»I can't see your problem. I love this song.« She smiled, took a step towards me and put her hands around my neck. »It's like a slow dance at prom. I've always loved those.«
I couldn't prevent my heart from beating a tiny bit faster as my hands laid down on both sides of her waist. »I can't believe you're actually going away now,« I whispered.
»It's only for a year. It's not like I'm gone forever.«
»I know. But the longest we've been apart since kindergarten is what? Maybe two weeks? It'll be strange to start college without you.«
»Traveling through Australia without you will be strange too,« she murmured. »You have to promise me that we talk at least once a week. And I expect at least one text message a day!«
»Of course!«, I laughed. »You'll probably be tired of me complaining about college non-stop after a few days.«
»No, I won't. I'd never get tired of you. No matter what you do.« She stepped closer again, wrapped her arms fully around my neck and laid her head down on my chest. I folded my arms around her body and pulled her close. »I'll miss you so much.«
»I'll miss you even more. While I'm stuck in this town with the same old people you'll probably find the most amazing new friends. Maybe you'll even find that one perfect boy and in the end you stay there forever because you want to spend the rest of your life with him«, I joked.
»The only person I want to spend the rest of my life with is you.« She said it so quietly that I almost didn't understand her. Before I could react in any way, the song was over and another upbeat one started playing. We both took a step back and only now I realized how close I had been to her. Of course I had hugged her before but this had felt ... different. At least for me.
I desperately needed some fresh air right now.
Hours later the last few people had just left the garage to head home so I had started cleaning up the mess that was left of Emily's farewell party as she came back in.
»Kyle? Can I talk to you for a second?« I turned around to see her standing in front of the slightly opened door, her hands restlessly moving in front of her stomach. She looked uncomfortable and nervous, something I hadn't seen on her for a very long time, especially not if it was only us in the room.
»Are you okay? Did something happen?«
»What? No! I'm fine. It's just ... Gosh, I don't know how to do this. Maybe it was a mistake. Just forget I said anything.« She wanted to turn around and get back outside but I grabbed her arm and pulled her back.
»Don't do this. Please talk to me. I can see that whatever it is you want to tell me is really bothering you so get it of your chest. You know I won't be angry or whatever bad reaction you seem to expect.«
»I ... It's not that easy. I can't do this.«
»Yes, you can. Come on. It's fine. It's just me.« I pulled her to one of the benches and forced her to sit down and look at me. »It can't be that bad.«
»That's exactly the problem«, she whispered. »It's not 'just you'. It's never 'just you' anymore. It's ...« She paused for a moment and took a deep breath. »What I said earlier ... About you being the only one that I want to spend the rest of my life with ... That wasn't a joke. That wasn't just something I said without really thinking about it. I actually meant that. I ... I won't find 'that one perfect boy' in Australia. Because I've already found him a long time ago right here in this town. For me there is no boy that could ever be more perfect than you are.« She didn't look at me. She just sat there and watched her feet shift around on the dirty ground.
I put one hand under her chin and forced her to look at me again. »Em...,« I said softly. »I don't really know what to say...«
She got up quickly and turned her back towards me while covering her face with her hands. »Gosh, I knew this was a mistake. I just ... I thought now that I'm going away it would be easier to deal with it. But I was so wrong. I shouldn't have done this.«
»Em«, I said again, louder now. »I hadn't finished.« I stood right in front of her, grabbed her hands and pulled them away from her face. »I really do not have a single clue of what to say right now but I know exactly what to do.«
My hands gently touched her cheeks and I looked right into her eyes that suddenly widened as she realized what I was about to do. »Kyle,« she murmured in surprise before my lips reached hers. My hands slid down the sides of her body before I wrapped my arms around her waist and pulled her as close to me as possible. I could feel her body pressed against mine as she shoved her fingers into my hair.
»Gosh, I love you«, I whispered against her lips.
»This makes going away even harder.« She leaned her forehead against mine. »But it's so worth it,« I heard her say before I pulled her into another kiss.