So this is something I've been meaning to write for FOREVER. It was originally going to be a full length story, but I'm way too lazy to update and I figured it'd be best as a one-shot anyway, since it doesn't have much of plot. I mean it does, but not something that could take up a bunch of chapters without getting too redundant, you know? Anyway, I had to do something with the idea, since I just love Peyton oh so very much. He's such a girl, with his obsession with Madeline's eyes and everything. But that's okay. (: I enjoy writing from his perspective, for some reason.

This is my first story in present tense (I think so, anyway) so I'm sorry if I slip up sometimes. It can get confusing sometimes, especially since I'm used to writing in past tense, but I wanted to try something different with this. Oh, and this is also based on the song "Hello" by Hawk Nelson. Well, I was inspired by it anyway. And yeah…I took Madeline's name from the song, too. Heh. But I was planning on naming a character Madeline anyway, because the girls I babysit are named Madeline and Ava, and so this was the perfect opportunity.

But anyway, enjoy, and don't forget to review (wink wink nudge nudge)!

Hello, Madeline

I love the color green.

Whenever people ask me what my favorite color is, and hear my answer, they always look surprised. Sure, tons of people like green. But people who know me (or think they do) just don't see me as one of those people. I don't wear green clothes; I don't own green shoes. My room doesn't have a trace of green in it. As a matter of fact, I don't think I own a single thing that's solid green.

And that's why no one expects it to be my favorite color. That's why everyone always asks me 'why'. 'Why do you love the color green?'

My answer? When I think of green, I think of nature. It reminds me of fresh cut grass on a hot summer day; of the many tall trees that surround us and watch over us as we sleep. It's the color of life. It's the color of youth. It's the color of peace.

It's also the color of Madeline Duncan's eyes.

It's third period on the first day of school, and so far, my schedule sucks. First period English was a bore, and Media was only somewhat interesting. Here's to hoping Physics isn't a complete drag, too.

I look around the classroom to see if any of my friends are here. No such luck. Sighing, I turn my attention to the door. What I see makes my heart skip a beat.

I have a class with her?

Madeline Duncan turns and makes her way towards her seat, her chestnut curls bouncing along with her. She looks as beautiful as ever; her green eyes sparkling and her blue dress swishing.

I have a class with her!

She smiles at me, and that's when I notice that she noticed that I was watching her. Well, crap. Her seat is right in front of mine, too.

"Hey, Peyton," she greets. It takes me a while to respond, because I'm too busy starting at her pretty green eyes to realize that I'm supposed to. Well, and because I'm practically socially retarded, especially around girls. Especially especially around this girl.

"Uh...hello, M-Madeline," I stutter.

I've never been able to speak right around her, because every time she talks to me, or smiles at me, or even looks at me I get so nervous I feel sick.

I know it's pathetic. Don't laugh.

It's just that I've known Madeline for so long (two years, one month, and four days…) and yet I still get butterflies when I'm around her. Is that sad? Gage says it is. But then again, he's my older brother, and older brothers are supposed to make fun of the younger ones. Even if he is only older than me by a year.

"Are you going to the soccer game tomorrow?" Madeline asks me, her question jolting me back to the present.

Only if you are, I want to say. But what actually comes out is, "Um…maybe."

Smooth, Peyton. Real smooth.

"Sorry," she says. "I'm just curious." She looks offended. Does she think that I think that she's being nosy? I sure hope not. Because I don't. Think she's nosy, I mean.

"Er, uh, I don't know yet," I correct my previous mistake. "Sorry. It takes me a while to get used to talking to girls again."

This makes her laugh. Did I mention how great her laugh is? I swear, if I were to go deaf, the sound I'd miss most would be just that – Madeline's laughter.

I'm trying to find out what it was that I said that was funny when she says something else.

"I hope that we can still be friends. You know, even though Gage and Mac have graduated," she says.

I really hope so too. I don't want the two of us to only be connected by our brothers. Because, well, that would really suck.

I don't realize I've said this out loud until I hear her laugh again. Whoops.

"Yeah, it would," she says as she smiles at me again. My face is still flushed from my previous slip up.

But hey, at least she agrees with me.

The next day after school I go home and start getting ready for the game. Sure, it doesn't start until, like, seven. But I'm meeting Madeline there, which means I have to look, act, and be my best. I feel awfully girly as I'm rummaging through my closet for something to wear, but I learned to swallow my pride and just go with it a long time ago.

I've almost picked out something worthy when I hear a familiar voice in the doorway. "What's with the closet raiding?"

I spin around and see Gage standing there. Now, in all my seventeen years of living, I have learned many things from my older brother. But that whole "swallow your pride" thing I just mentioned? That's not one of them. Gage is this cocky, arrogant, "I'm so manly hear me roar" kind of guy, so I'm not surprised by the look of disgust on his face as he watches me have on my "girl moments" – or so he calls them.

What does surprise me is that he's even here. Gage, along with his best friend Mac (who just happens to be Madeline's brother) graduated from high school in June and they immediately went off to college on the other side of the state. Their classes just started so my brother should really be there right now, and not here, making fun of me.

"Gage. Why aren't you at school?" I ask him.

He grins at me. "What, I can't come visit my little brother?" he asks.

"No, not without a reason."

"I'm here now, aren't I?"

I sigh and let it go; he's not going to give in and tell me why he's really here anytime soon.

"Whatever," I say. "Do you mind? I need to get changed."

Gage looks at what I'm wearing – a black tee shirt and jeans – and says, "What's wrong with those clothes?" His left eyebrow is raised in that way that it always is when he's skeptical about something.

"Nothing," I answer.

"Then why do you – " He stops mid sentence when he sees the calendar on my desk and today's date marked with a star. "Ohhhh, I see. You meeting Madeline somewhere?" he asks with a sly grin.

I blush. "Yeah, what of it? We're just going to the soccer game, like we always do."

"Sure, like you always do, but only because she goes to support Mac. You only use supporting me as an excuse to be near her."

I hesitate before answering. "…Pshh, what? No," I say rather lamely.

Gage laughs. "Sure, whatever, P. You're so into her. Both you and I know it." With that statement he waltzes out of my room, leaving me to finally get changed.

It's 7:55, and it's pouring down rain. The game's been going on for about an hour now, and we're losing. But in all honesty, I could care less about the score.

Madeline and I weren't lucky enough to get seats on the undercover bleachers, so we're soaked. But we don't care, because we're having a good time.

At least I sure am. We bought buttery popcorn and slushies that turned our tongues blue. We cheered and booed and laughed. We joked about how much the team really sucks without Gage and Mac.

I don't want the night to end, it seems too perfect. Even if it isn't a date, and even if my moron of a brother is here with us to tease me (he insisted on coming – he wanted to see his old team), I'm still immensely happy. All because of the beautiful girl sitting next to me.

…yeah, shut up.

No, but seriously, I haven't felt this good since the day I started to really fall for Madeline. Which, if you didn't know, was a pretty long time ago.

I met her through Gage, obviously. He's been best friends with Mac Duncan since the day they met in the fifth grade, and he used to go over to his house all the time. One time he brought me over. It was the summer before my sophomore year, and Gage realized that in all our years of hanging out with Mac, I'd never once been to his house. And so, he decided to bring me over for some video games and 'male bonding'. He mentioned that Mac had a sister who was going to be a freshman in the fall, but that was all he said about her. He didn't even tell me her name. To be honest, I wasn't all that interested, at least not until I actually saw her.

I'll admit it; her beauty is what initially won me over. I mean, come on, I was a fifteen year old boy with hormones. It would be impossible not to notice how pretty she is. I guessed that good looks ran in the family, since Mac himself was said to be the best look junior in the school at that time, followed closely by my brother. And their parents looked great for their age, too. But after talking to her (or at least attempting to, as I've already mentioned I'm pretty socially awkward) and getting to know her more, I knew the beauty wasn't only skin deep. This girl was perfect, and I knew it within hours of meeting her.

When we started school that fall, I was disappointed to find out that I didn't have any classes with her. But we both attending all the soccer games, and we always sat next to each other and watched our brothers play. We became good friends, I guess you could say. But that wasn't one hundred percent true, because our friendship was based off the fact that our brothers were friends. And we didn't do anything else together outside of school, or even inside it. It felt more like we were just obligatory acquaintances rather than real friends.

I desperately wished we could be more than just 'best friends for one day a week'. That wish intensified with every day I saw her, and that's how I came to realize that I'm love with Madeline Duncan. It may seem weird, especially since I'm still not even sure if she considers me a friend, let alone boyfriend material. But somehow, I'm okay with that.

The small growl of my stomach jolts me back to the present. "I'm going to go buy some concessions, you want anything?" I ask Madeline. I'm surprised I even make it through the sentence, because not only am I hungry but my stomach is doing some major cartwheels. She tells me she wants a peanut butter cookie – that's all – and I nod and start to make my way to the concession stand.

As I'm waiting in line I start to wonder if I should even be getting food. My stomach is feeling all queasy and crap because of Madeline, and I really don't want to end up barfing on her or something equally disgusting. Because that would just kind of ruin everything. But then my stomach growls again, loudly this time, and I change my mind. Who knows, maybe food will make me feel better. Maybe it will calm me down.

I buy my chocolate chip cookie and Madeline's peanut butter one and then make my way back to our seats. When I get there, I notice that she's talking on the phone, so I quietly sit down and try not to interrupt her.

"…no way. Any idea why he's here?" she says to the person on the other line. I try not to eavesdrop, but it's hard, especially since she's sitting right next to me and, well, the conversation sounds interesting. The person she's talking to says something and she responds. "I guess I'll find out when I get home later. But hey, listen Ava…I have to go, I'm watching the soccer game with Peyton."

Hearing her say my name sends shivers down my spine.

"Yes, that Peyton….I know….shut up." Wait…what is Ava saying about me that would cause Madeline tell her to shut up? "Will do. Bye, Ava."

She shuts her phone and sticks it back in her pocket, sighing as she does so. "Sorry. Apparently Mac's in town. Ava saw him at Starbucks," she explains.

"Weird, he and Gage must be up to something if they're both home at the same time," I say, trying to forget the fact that the girl I like was just talking about me with someone else.

"Definitely. Oh, and Ava says hi, by the way," she says.

"Oh, okay."

Ava Rivers is Madeline's best friend. She's…well, she's gorgeous. There's no other way to explain it, really. I know I keep saying how beautiful Madeline is, and I'm not lying when I say that, but I'm also in love with her, so I might be a little biased. Ava…I'm not in love with Ava, but she is definitely hot. No, that word doesn't do her justice. She is damn fine. She's also the most popular girl in the whole school. Even if she is a junior, just like Madeline, she is more desired and loved than any of the seniors. But that doesn't make her a bitch. She's actually a very nice girl. Kind of loud and a little eccentric, but nice.

Madeline and I sit and pay attention to the game for a while, not really saying anything. It's not an awkward silence, though, it's a comfortable one. Sure, there's a little tension; of course there has to be. There always is when I'm with her. But for the most part, it's all good.

Our team scores a point and the crowds erupt. Madeline stands up and cheers, and I join her. I can't help but smile at how excited she's getting over just one goal. I mean, we're still losing by two.

Soon the excitement dies down and we take our seats again. "You should join the soccer team, Peyton," Madeline suddenly says.

This takes me by surprise. Nobody's ever suggested that to me before. "Uh, me?" I ask her.

"No, the other Peyton." She rolls her eyes. "Yes you, silly. I bet you'd be good at it."

"I don't know…" I mumble. Her subtle compliment causes me to blush furiously. "I mean, I play with Gage sometimes in the backyard, and he says I'm decent, but I don't think I'm good enough to be on the team. Besides, I wouldn't fit in," I begin explaining.

"And why is that?" she asks curiously. God, she's so cute. Ahem.

"Because," I say, blushing again. "Everyone on the team is…uh…attractive?"

She seems to think it's weird that I've said this, because she just gives me this incredulous look, like I've just told her that all the planets rotate around the Earth and not the Sun.

"Whaaat?" I ask her. She laughs a little.

"Nothing, I just think it's funny that you don't think you're attractive," she says.

"Umm…what do you mean?"

"I mean, you're very attractive, Peyton," she tells me, her voice getting a little quieter as she says this, as if she's embarrassed. Smiling meekly, she continues, "Personally, I think you give those soccer players a run for their money."

Hearing her say this makes my heart soar and my stomach do more back flips. Of course, my face reddens some more and when she sees me blushing, she blushes too.

I'm not really sure what to say, because the only thing I can think is 'SHE THINKS I'M ATTRACTIVE!' and I sure as hell don't want to proclaim my excitement to her right here in front of everyone else. Or ever, really. She doesn't need to know exactly how happy that comment makes me.

I feel really lame and awkward as I just sit next to her grinning like a fool, my face still tomato red and my heart pounding at a mile a minute.

"Oh…well, thanks. I… -" I think you're the most beautiful girl in the world. I definitely can't say that! Well, I can, but I'm not going to. At least I'm not planning on it. "…Thanks," I finish lamely.

"You're welcome," she says, speaking more to the ground than to me.

We sit there for the next half hour of the game, not really saying anything because of the awkwardness of Madeline's comment. It's a little ridiculous, because if you really think about it, friends tell each other they're hot or pretty or cute all the time. But that's just it, Madeline and I aren't really friends, we're…well…I'm a guy who's in love with her and she's a girl who thinks I'm…attractive.

But what does that mean, exactly? Is she just saying that to be nice? Or does she really mean it? And by 'attractive' does she mean 'hot' or 'handsome' or what? And if she thinks I'm 'attractive' and she likes to hang out with me, then does mean she likes me? Because that would be pretty freaking great if it does.

Our school won the soccer game. In the last ten minutes, our team had miraculously made a comeback, and scored four points. Madeline had been ecstatic, and I remember thinking it was cute how much she got into the game. That got me thinking about what it would be like if I really did join the team. Then she'd be cheering me on, and smiling when I scored a goal.

But, then we wouldn't have our traditional 'bleacher dates' anymore. And those are all I look forward to these days.

Anyway, after the game ended, Madeline and I walked to the parking lot together. We said our goodbyes, told each other "I'll see you at school" and parted our ways. Oh, but not before we hugged. Yeah, you can imagine how fast my heart was beating when she wrapped her arms around me and rested her head against my chest. I was so nervous; I thought I was going to explode.

But I didn't.

And here I am now, sitting at my desk in third period physics, anxiously awaiting the moment when Madeline walks in.

When she finally does, I can't help but smile. I give her a little wave as she comes towards me to take her seat in the desk in front of me. She waves back and gives me a cute smile, one that makes my heart feel all funny.

She sits down and then turns around to face me. "Hey Peyton," she says. "Last night was fun. It was good to spend time with you again."

"Yeah, you too," I say. Wow, I sure am getting used to talking to her like a normal person. "Old habits die hard, eh?"

We laugh and then the bell rings, signifying the start of class.

"Hey, P, I'm going over to Mac's house, you wanna come?"


"I said, I'm going to Mac's. Wanna come so you can flirt with Madeline?"

I look at my brother. "Are you serious?"

"Yes, of course I'm serious," he answers. "Don't you want to see Madeline? Hey, I saw you two hugging yesterday at the game, didja ask her out yet?" Gage asks.

"No," I say defensively. "I don't know if she'd say yes or not."

"Are you crazy? Of course she would. So just ask her already."

I sigh. "She told me I was 'attractive'," I say.

Gage raises a brow. "Oh really? Well aren't you two getting cozy. Look, just come with me to Mac's house and you can tell her how you feel. Don't you think it's about time? You've been making googly-eyes at her since the day I first brought you over there to meet her."

"You didn't bring me there to meet her, you brought me there so we could play the new Smash Brothers and drink Mountain Dew," I say, sensing something suspicious going on.

"Oh, right," Gage says.

I ignore the uncertainty in his voice and decide to just go along with him. You didn't really think I was going to pass up the opportunity to see Madeline, did you?

We get into his car and drive the five minutes over to the Duncan household. When we get there, Mac answers the door.

"Hey, bud! How's it goin?" he asks as he ruffles my hair.

Annoyed, I brush his hand away. "Good. Is…uh…is Madeline here?" I ask.

"Yeah," he says. He gives me a look that says don't-you-hurt-my-little-sister-you-punk, but I know he's half joking. Mac's known about my infatuation with Madeline almost as long as I've known about it. "She and Ava are in the kitchen making cake."

This disappoints me a little, because I didn't know Ava was going to be over, too. Sure, she's nice and all, but I kind of want to hang out with Madeline alone. But oh well, I'll survive.

The three of us guys make our way into the kitchen. Sure enough, Ava and Madeline are in there, along with a great looking chocolate cake. The two girls are wearing colorful aprons and they both have a bit of flour in their hair and on their faces. It sure looks like they were having fun.

"Peyton! Hey," Madeline says as she sees us walk in. She then comes up to me and throws her arms around my neck, giving me another hug. I'm still a little surprised by this new 'physical contact' thing with us, because it's almost as if we're real friends now. Which is good, but strange. I can tell that Gage is holding back his customary shout of "GET SOME!" and Mac is trying not to laugh at my face, which must be as red as the apron Ava's wearing. Speaking of Ava, she's giving me a weird look. Huh.

After the hug, Mac exclaims that he wants cake, and starts getting out forks for everyone so we can dig in. I take a bite, and it's amazing.

"Wow, this is really good, sis," Mac says. Madeline smiles at him, but Ava's the one that answers.

"Thanks Macky, we made it just for you," she says in a flirty tone. I always knew there was something going on between those two, but I guess it's really none of my business.

Suddenly, Gage opens the fridge. "You guys don't have any eggs left," he says.

"Oh, crap, no more eggs?" Mac says in an overly dramatic voice.

"We used the last ones…what do you need an egg for?" Madeline asks.

"Nothing, but you can't have NO eggs in your house. It's like a crime," Gage explains.

"He's right, it is," Ava agrees.

I can tell something weird is going on. I can also tell that Madeline doesn't know anything about it, either, because we're both looking at the other three with these confused looks on our faces.

"Well, we better go to store and get some. Let's go, Gage," Mac says. He grabs his car keys and makes his way to the door, Gage following.

"I'll go with you guys!" Ava exclaims. She runs after them, and just like that they're gone, and it's just Madeline and I alone in the kitchen.

"Uh, that was weird," I say nervously. Of course by now I've realized that the three of them must've set this up on purpose. Why, though, I have no idea.

"Yeah," she says. I notice that she's biting her lip, just like she always does when she's nervous.

"Mac was right though, this is great cake," I say, taking another bite.

She laughs at something, and then says, "Thanks. But…you've got a little on your face."

She lifts her hand to my face and uses her thumb to wipe the chocolate off my upper lip. My heart literally feels like it's jumping out of my chest because of how close she is to me. Her hand lingers a little longer than necessary on my lip, and time freezes. We just stand there like that for a few seconds, or a few minutes, or what might have even been days but I don't know because I can't tell.

I want to tell her "thank you for getting the food off my face", but somehow, because of the close proximity, my breath catches and the thing that really comes out of my stupid mouth is, "You're beautiful."

Madeline stares at me with those intense green eyes, and then suddenly her lips are on mine. She kisses me sweetly, and I kiss her back, and it's the most amazing feeling in the world. I deepen the kiss and feel her smile against mine.

I don't know how long the kiss lasts, but it's nice, and when we pull apart we're both grinning. My heart is soaring and I can't help but wonder if she's really liked me all this time, or if it's a new thing. Either way, she likes me now (or at least it would seem that way), and that's all that matters.

"We should put this cake away before Mac comes back and eats it all," she says, the smile still plastered on her pretty face.

I nod and help her clean up the kitchen. As we're cleaning, I keep thinking about the kiss and how wonderful it was and how I wish it had never ended. I want to kiss her again, and again, and again.

"Madeline?" I call out. She turns around.

"Y-Yeah?" She's biting her lip again.

I lean down, and this time I'm the one to close the distance between us as I press my lips softly against hers. She responds warmly, smiling again, and I feel like I just might faint from happiness when the front door opens and Mac shouts my name.

We jump apart, embarrassed, but Mac didn't say anything so I don't think he saw. What am I talking about? Of course he didn't see, we're in the kitchen and he's in the living room. But it was still sort of scary.

"Peyton!" he calls. "Gage is waiting for you outside; your dad called and said he wants you home."

"Okay!" I yell into the other room. I then turn to Madeline, give her a smile, and say, "I guess I'll…see you later?"

"Yeah," she says. "Bye, Peyton."

"Bye, Madeline." I give her one last peck on the mouth and then run out the door and into Gage's car, my head reeling the entire time. Because even if I can't tell Madeline that I love her yet, I can at least tell her that I want to be with her. And from the looks of it, she wants to be with me too, and that's great. In fact, it's all I've ever wanted.

When I walk into school the next day, she's standing at my locker.

"Hello, Peyton," she says shyly as I approach.

And this time, when she talks to me, I feel a newfound confidence rather than the old sickening feeling I would've felt before.

This time, I can say, without stumbling, "Hello, Madeline."

THE ENDDD. Yeah, cheesy ending, sorry guys. I'm so proud that I finally finished this, though! Seriously, I came up with this idea like a year ago. Well, thanks for reading, and please let me know what you thought! ALL reviews are loved and returned!