The Art of Being Tall

Summary: Alicia and David are sister and brother. They share one common trait – they are both over six feet tall. Alicia is searching for a guy who's taller than her, and David's trying not to seem so gawky. Can they deal with all the problems that their heights bring?

Author's Note: Okay, I think the ending is really cheesy and kinda stupid (yeah, we're all critical of our own writing) but what can you do? Also, I don't really know any six foot five guys, so if I made David unnaturally skinny or super fat or something, tell me so I can change it! I don't know the average weight for that height – I tried to research it, but I couldn't find anything…so help me out!

"Six foot four."

The tiny nurse stretched on her tiptoes to read the top of the height chart that David was currently standing in front of. He sighed, slightly depressed.

"Actually, it's, um, six foot five."

The nurse smiled sheepishly. "Thank you, dear. Now, can you take off your shoes and climb on the scale?"

David did so, dread filling his stomach slowly. The nurse took her time gingerly pushing the weight around to balance it. She made a small "tsk" sound.

"Mr. Bradley, you really need to put on some weight. Only one hundred and sixty-three pounds and six foot five? You should gain at least fifteen pounds." Her friendly face had turned hawk-like, and she eyed David's skinny torso angrily.

David's face was tomato red, he was sure – his entire homeroom was lined up behind the nurse, able to see and hear everything that was being said.

The nurse sighed, defeated. "Well, alright, David. Try to beef up a little for next check-up, okay?"

He nodded quickly and hurried away, ignoring the snickers of some guys and the punch in the arm from one of his friends, who was blessed with muscles.

Honestly. She always treated David like it was his fault he had grown up instead of out. He ate more than the rest of his family combined! But he was still built like a twig, and he looked like you could break him in half.

His dad was always saying he was lucky – "Girls always like the tall ones!" But his dad was only six foot two, and two times as broad as David. Plus, David was a walking disaster. He could hardly move across a room without acquiring a bruise. And he didn't think a girl would like to have their head permanently looking up so they could see his eyes.

Which would be the case with Alexandra Jean Reichan.

Alex never revealed her height, so no one knew for sure, but David's sister Alicia, who was friends with Alex, said that she overheard the nurse telling her once that she was four foot eleven.

Only a foot and a half of difference.

When she stood near him, all David could see of her was the top of her curly brown head. When she arched her neck completely back, he could see her sparkling brown eyes that always made him blush. One time he had tripped over absolutely nothing (air? dust? the foot of the devil?) and crashed right into her, but he managed to grasp the stair banister and clutch her around the waist before she fell. This incident had led to furious blushing and hasty apologies on his side, but she remained calm and collected, that amused grin on her face.

Even though David was absolutely, one hundred percent sure that Alex thought he was a bumbling, too-tall idiot, he was head over heels in like with her.

From the moment he saw her, only last year, he had known that he would never be able to forget about her. She was only two years younger than him, a sophomore, in his sister's grade. Alex was very kind and approachable, but something about her really flustered David, making it near impossible for him to have a civil conversation with her.

David was sure that Alex knew he liked her, and he was willing to bet Alicia knew, too. He was only grateful that they didn't tease or embarrass him because of it.

Because David knew there was no chance of Alex ever liking him back.

"Alicia! Are you even listening to me at all?"

Alicia closed her eyes. "Of course I am, Alex." Her friend sighed.

"He's just so adorable, Alicia! I mean, he's so shy and cute, and he's so nice!"

Alicia glared at Alex. "It's really not that entertaining to hear you gush about my older brother."

"Shhh!" Alex whispered. She craned her neck over the many heads that surrounded them in the cafeteria. David was sitting at his usual table, only a couple away. He looked up as Alex found him, and their eyes met briefly. His cheeks tinged red and she smiled.

Then she dove back down to where he couldn't see her and started giggling furiously.

Alicia rolled her eyes, taking a large bite out of her sandwich. She reached out and lightly slapped Alex on the cheek.

Alex composed herself. "Right, I totally needed that." (1)

But still, she sighed romantically and propped her head up on her chin. "But really, Alicia, it's so sad. I always freeze up when he's there, so there's no way he will ever notice that I like him. And then there's no chance of him ever making a move! You've got to help me out, Alicia."

Alicia lightly knocked on her older brother's door. "Hey, Dave."

He glanced up briefly from his homework. "What's up?" he mumbled distractedly.

She sighed. "You know Alex, yeah?"

He blushed madly. "Yeah," he answered, trying to say it nonchalantly.

Alicia sighed again. "I think you really like her and—" David sat up, shocked, his textbook flying off his lap "—you should really do something about it."

If it was possible, his face was even redder. "Leesh, what do you mean?"

She rolled her eyes. "You know, ask her out or something."

David figured there was no convincing Alicia that he didn't like her friend, so he went with it. "What makes you think she'd say yes?"

A smirk appeared on Alicia's face. "Dude, she'd probably faint with happiness if you asked her out."

David was skeptical now. "Are you kidding me? Why the hell would she like me?"

"You have absolutely zero self-esteem, you know. Really. Why wouldn't she like you?"

"'Cause I'm, I dunno, awkward and clumsy and really tall…" Alicia got that damn smirk again. "What?"

"I'm not denying any of that, but that's exactly what Alex likes about you."

"So, you talked to him? What did you tell him? Did you tell him too much? Oh, Alicia, I bet you did! What on earth did you tell him?"

Alicia laughed. "Calm down, Alex. Look, I told him you liked him"—"Oh, my God, Alicia, you probably scared him off!"—"and he turned bright red and pretty much asked me what he was supposed to do about it, 'cause he likes you too."

Alicia heard a small gasp. "Alex, you still there? Alex?"

"Of course I'm still here," she breathed.

"So expect him to make a move sometime in the next week, 'kay? Bye!"

She hung up, and rolled her eyes as she imagined her friend's face right now.

David was strolling down the hall very slowly, procrastinating until he really had to walk into Calc, when he saw the poster. It was vibrant and obnoxious, advertising the Valentine's Day dance that was this Friday. David rolled his eyes. He was never one to go to those kind of functions. But then he glanced down the hallway, and spotted a familiar curly brown head. Inspiration struck him.

"Hey, Alex!"

He was hardly nervous, he was so excited.


David decided there was no time for small talk. "Do you want to go to the Valentine's Day dance with me?"

There was a little intake of breath, and her eyes were wide. "Oh—sure, David. Of course," she replied in this little whisper of a voice.

He grinned, then looked over her shoulder where his Calc teacher was standing in the doorway, glaring at him.

On impulse, he bent down (nearly in half, is it supposed to be this hard?) and kissed her chastely on the cheek, then jogged away.

Alex was left staring after him, her fingers on her cheek, as the late bell clanged above her.

The cheesy song was ending, its last notes sweet, and Alex stood in front of him, her head on his chest, in a draped pink dress.

On an instinct, he placed his hand on her cheek, and she looked up at him, her eyes sparkling. He bent over about a foot, and she stood on her tiptoes.

Their lips met gently. David was sure they looked quite ridiculous, but it was okay.

Because it felt right to have her lips on his, her hands around his neck, his arm circling her waist.

For once in his life, David felt okay with being tall.

(1) Totally stole this from "27 Dresses"! But I love it here.