chapter two

"2009's cutest couple"


I sigh and turn around, managing to put a small smile on my face when I see Emilie, my girlfriend, bouncing up to me. I don't want her to think there's something bothering me.

"Hey baby," she says, slipping her arm around mine, "why didn't you turn around when I called you?" She pouts as we walk to my car.

"Oh, sorry. I didn't hear you."

She scowls. "Is something wrong?"

I shake my head, while silently cursing myself. As if I could possibly hide feelings from a girl. It's like they have some radar in their heads that picks up this kind of stuff. "No, nothing's wrong."

"I know when something's wrong. Tell me please?"

I turn my head and grin at her, and kiss her forehead. "I'm just a little stressed about the game this Friday, is all," I tell her. I open the door for her to get in. It's my dad's old Toyota I got for my sixteenth birthday. "First one of the season, y'know." I shut the door and go around the front to get into the driver's seat.

"Well, I don't think you should be stressed," she announces. "Not when you know you'll do great. You always do…" She traces her finger along my arm definition as I pull out of the parking lot. She looks up. "Seriously, babe, why do you drive with two hands? For real?"

"It's more comfortable," I insist; we have this conversation often. "I keep my hands at nine-and-three like I was taught in Driver's Ed, all right? It's safer, and plus, it just feels unnatural to drive like... this." I take a hand off the wheel and try to drive. I can do it, but it feels weird. I alternate hands. "See, if I had to, I'd use my left hand only. But it just feels really weird, okay?"

She rolls her eyes, but I pretend not to notice. It annoys me. She picks at the littlest things and wants to argue about it. Says I "embarrass" her. Pfft, as if.

"Still, you don't have anything to be stressed about," she goes on, and I scratch my head, sighing mentally. "Not when you're sooooo sexy." She makes a kind of purring sound and I turn my eyes for a moment to see her smiling seductively and winking. Her hand sneaks onto my knee and begins to slide upward.

I take my hand and push hers off my leg. "I'm driving," I snap. "Keep your hands to yourself."

She makes a loud "Hmph!" and crosses her arms over her chest, looking out her window.

Good, maybe if she's mad at me, she'll keep her paws off. Last thing I want is to be touched in private places by some girl. I mean, honestly. They're not called "private parts" for no reason.

Emilie and I were set up by our friends at a party last year. We talked and really hit it off, and it was sort of established that we were a couple. We even won Cutest Couple in the yearbook. She was thrilled, but I didn't like it very much. Like, okay, we don't need to publicize it to the world. And now, it is forever sealed in a book that some people will keep for fifty years that Emilie James and Alec Peterson were 2009's cutest couple. Jeez…

I drop Em off at her house, but she convinces me to stay for a little bit. "My parents aren't home," she tells me when we get in, feeling my chest with her hands.

"I should go, then." I try to head out, but she presses herself against me.

"Alec, sweetie, come on… We've got the whole house to ourselves. Don't you wanna…?"

She's really good-looking, I'll give her that. With full, luscious lips and a heart-shaped face framed by perfect light-brown curls, and the perfect sized curves, what guy wouldn't take advantage of every opportunity they had to get with her?

Still, though she's definitely what my friends would call "hot", I just don't get turned on by her. Never have. Guess she's not my type.

"Not today, Em."

She smacks my arm. It doesn't hurt, but it gets my attention.

"What is wrong with you?!" she screeches. "You don't like to kiss me. You'll hold my hand and maybe give me quick little kiss, but when it comes to the real boyfriend-girlfriend stuff, you just suck! Is it me? Do I have bad breath? Or am I just not good enough for you?"

There's tears in her eyes, and I sigh. "No, Emilie, that's not it… you know I care about you. You're smart and pretty. Any guy would be lucky to have you."

"Yeah, you say that, but you don't mean it. Face it, Alec. You've never been into me, have you?"

"That's not true." But it so is. "How can I prove it to you that I really do care?"

"Tell me you love me."

"I love you."

"Tell me you want me and no one else."

I do.

"Now pick me up and take me upstairs, and while you're having sex with me, actually pretend that's what you want to be doing."

So I do. But I don't like it. I've never liked the sex. It's just gross.

I leave her with a quick kiss goodbye and practically fly out the door. For appearance's sake, I pretty much have to date her until I get out of high school. Then I can find a girl I actually like, since none I've met so far has made me really feel anything.