They were going to hug goodbye, unsure of the next outing. Thoughts were flying through her head about how much she was beginning to look forward to his calls and his texts and thank you very much for Facebook chat. She was thinking about Graduation and how she couldn't wait to be done with high school and how anything she started before this summer would be a mistake. But still- they wouldn't be that far apart…

No. She couldn't do that to him. She had seen him betrayed and tormented by his female friends. She was supposed to change that, show him that girls could be decent friends without alternate agendas. She wanted to show him that he was such a great person and so much better than the people who messed with him and led him on. Their supposed friends. Deep in her heart she wanted to show herself that she could be a good friend…a place she felt like she had been lacking in lately.

She had ignored her initial attraction to him, really wanting to get to know him and be a friend, no just some shallow manipulator looking for some arm candy. Crap that had backfired. The more they talked about everything; future plans, cars, movies, music, friends, life, the more she liked him. With her other friends she had discussed the possibility of dating him and had decided against it. She wanted to go to college single and expected he did too. In fact, as a group his other friends had decided to find him a decent girl and make sure he didn't mess it up.

But now she was here, with him, in the back parking lot of the ice cream place. They were mere weeks away from a hectic summer and the thought dominating her racing mind was how much she loved his hugs. As they stepped forward to embrace she remembered how awkward it was the first time, hesitating to get close and uhh, where do I put my hands? And it was comfortable now, a snug safety area where his chin rested on her head and he smelled so good.

Here. Now. In this moment. She was constantly in search of herself and struggling to be true to what she found. She was trying to be candid and real around him, not give him the polished and photoshopped version of herself. So she didn't pull away from the hug. She tilted her head to look up at him and she smiled shyly.

"I said I would be honest with you, I wouldn't talk in circles, I would be real. So here's the truth: this is about you and me being honest with myself and …wow, I've been wanting to do this for a long time." She reached up and gently tugged his head down. She had to stand on tip toe for their lips to meet in a brief kiss.

She lowered herself and let her hands slide back to his shoulders. Good or bad this would change everything. For that moment she had been selfish and screwed up all that she had been striving for. Now she was just another girl who wanted to date him, not a true friend. There was silence, odd since they both loved to chatter on. His thumb rubbed her belt loop, a favorite spot to pull on to get her attention.

"I agree, about the waiting for a long time thing."

"What about…?" she hesitated, hoping he would know what she meant because she couldn't say it right now.

"Our friends? It's about time they got over themselves and controlling my life."

"And Jessie? Y'know we were all going to help get you two together next year…"

He smiled down at her, tugging on her belt loop. "Jessie never argues with me. And she lets me whine too much. And then I sound like a girl."

She smiled, knowing that it would be hard but thinking it would be worth it. "Silly boy."

He kissed her again. "Silly girl."