Swings and Cigarettes

Green eyes looked down on me curiously, testing the waters, teasing me. I harrumphed, brushing a stray hair from my slick forehead. Grunted. I turned my head.

"You won't," Jeffrey said, it was not a question.

"Will too," I countered, feeling much like a bratty five year old child as I did so.

Jeffrey raised his brows at me, but said nothing. We sat in the old park – the one we had since dubbed our own personal hangout since the days of childhood. The blue slides which were once so vast with ever-reigning possibilities now stood faded, with blue, paint chipped edges, and a much more cramped space inside its walls. Cigarette buds stained the edges of the short tunnel we were packed like sardines into. Probably from earlier when Jeffrey had professed his urgent need to inhale the gaseous killer. Personally, I detested it. The flames singed my fingertips and the fumes tainted my nostrils with its foul odor. Nonetheless,when he handed me the brown cylinder I knew I couldn't object. Back down from a challenge? Not this girl. The toxic gas filtered into my lungs as I sucked in a huge breath. I sputtered a cough, dropping the foul object onto the plastic molding of the tunneled slide.

"God Jeff- that's terrible!" I playfully slapped him on the chest as his body shook with gentle laughter.

"Big baby," He said. "You can't even do it right."

"Oh? Yeah sorry, I forgot there's an exact art to smoking." I rolled my eyes.

"Why isn't there?" He winked at me.

I rolled my eyes and shook my head at him. Leave it to Jeffrey to be the "bad" boy. Smoking, pfft. He probably didn't even enjoy it. Just a reputation he liked to uphold. I knew the real him though – the one so terrified of squirrels he'll run screaming through the streets if one just happens to hop too close. Whether he admits or not, he cried during The Notebook,and in his spare time he likes to draw. But no, Jeffrey would say. He is a man. Men don't have petty woman feelings. He's a real man, not those fake, heartfelt ones on Lifetime movies. I'd always laugh and shake my head at his silly ramblings. Conveniently reminding him of that the next time he was confronted with the vicious monster squirrel.

"You know," he started. "This place really has gone to a dump since we were kids."

I gave the park a once over, going over the handiwork and graffiti. "No. I think its been like this years before we came along. Things just seem better when we were kids."

Jeffrey shrugged, tugging another cigarette from the carton. "Whatever. Still feels the same, anyway, is what you mean. Still feels like our place, don't it? Don't you say it don't, Em."

Well I couldn't deny that. Sitting in the cove just felt natural. More like home than I had ever felt at any of the houses I'd ever lived at. I knew Jeffrey must have felt the same. His place had never been a home to him.

"Yeah," he said. "Didn't think you'd object to me. Better not anyways, I'll send you back to the kitchen where you belong."

That earned him a well-deserved slap in the face. He howled with laughter, not phased by my act of violence.

"That's one thing about you that's never changed, Em. You haven't changed one bit." He took his hand and messed up my hair. "One thing I love about you."

I flushed, and rolled my eyes. I hated when he acted like this. Sweet-like. It didn't suit him. Its like he thought because that act worked on his woman, that it would work on his best friend. He liked to think of it as friends with benefits. I liked to slap him in the face every time he tried.

"Oh shut up you douche," I said. " 'Fore I slap you again."

He chuckled, leaning into my face, seductively grinning. "Don't tell me you don't wanna, baby girl."

I tried slapping him again, but he caught my hand and brought it down beside him. He turned his head, and caught my lips in his. It wasn't the first time he had done this, or even the second or third. Counting now, I'd say it was the seventh. He slid his tongue over my lips and moved his lips excruciatingly slowly over mine. Trying to get me riled up, which wouldn't work. I refused.

With my heart pounding like bongos against my ribcage, I pulled out of his embrace.

"Now that," I said, "was worse than the cigarette."

Thanks for reading :D Any reviews are appreciated and accepted ;) -Chromes