Time to tell a little story… 🙂
It had been such a long time ago… Emily drove past her childhood home and stopped her car under the magnolia tree. As Ed Sheeran’s “Photograph” came up on the radio, she looked at the two-storey house, with high front gates. The new owners had changed the colour of the front walls and gates, and one of the garage spaces now was a well-kept lawn with a blue hydrangea bush in the middle. Hydrangeas had been Emily’s mum’s favourite.
Emily sat there in her rented car, hoping no neighbour would find it strange and stare, or even worse, call the police.
Emily remembered every single neighbour that had lived in that street. She’d spent some of the best years of her life in that house, in that street. As a teenager in that neighbourhood she had found her first love, kissed her first kiss, and made love for the first time. It was also in that street that two of her favourite women in the world died. That’s odd… I wasn’t here for neither of them, she thought, sadly.
She looked at the tall block of flats at the corner. She smiled, thinking that she knew the every length of the staircases by heart, even if the lights were all off. So many times she’d run up and down, playing hide and seek with her friends, giving each other a fright, and having kisses stolen when there was no one looking.
She remembered a birthday party, when she was 16. It had been her friend’s birthday and all the kids in the street had been invited. Adam, her incredibly cute and funny neighbour, was going to be there and one of the girls had told Emily that he fancied her too. She couldn’t wait to see him at the party.
She could remember exactly what she’d been wearing then: a short, black dress with tiny flowers pattern, which her mum had made for her to wear at that party. She’d also been wearing a necklace her mum had given her for her 16th birthday. It was one of those necklaces with a heart locket, but it was empty on that day.
At some point, Emily and a few other kids had gone down to the playground area to talk and enjoy the summer night. Little by little they had gone back up to the party she and Adam were alone.
She could remember everything about that night…
They walked towards the swimming pool at the back of the building and Adam sat on one of the white metal tables. Emily followed and jumped back off as her bare legs touched the cold surface.
“How long have we been friends, Emily,” he asked, looking at her.
His voice was soft and warm, which made Emily’s heart skip a bit.
“Er, about eight years, I guess,” she replied, looking up and counting on her fingers. “Yeah, eight years. I remember when I first saw you. Haha. I was playing with Jess in my the garage, and you were playing with Luke, all show offy, riding your huge bike.. and you fell off it!”
Adam laughed his usual delicious laugh.
“Gosh, I remember that. I was so embarrassed. Luke still teases me for that.”
“You were. And as I remember you told me years later, mister, you had a crush on Jess, so it was even worse…”
“Don’t remind me… That day I told my mum I never wanted to leave the house again. And I really didn’t come out-”
“-for a whole week! Haha. I remember that! We all thought you were sick or something. And then Jess took me to your house. She was your sister’s friend, remember?”
“Yeah, I remember. I was so mad at Charlie when she let you in and took you to my room! I swear, I thought seriously about what my life would be like without a brat of a sister! Haha.”
“Aff… Adam, you twit.”
“I can’t believe I had a crush on Jess… I mean, we were what? Eight?”
“I guess. And look at it now… Jess and Luke are an item! Isn’t that cool? And we’re still all best friends”, she had grinned.
When she said that, Adam looked at her and jumped off the table, and stood facing her.
Shit. What did I say? She started playing with her necklace and put it between her lips.
Adam stared at her. “Emily, I feel like getting this necklace with my lips…” Adam said.
“Ahn?” Emily said and dropped the long chain, which fell on her chest, hiding inside her dress, nestled between her breasts.
Adam looked at her, his gaze immediately directed towards her chest.
“Hey, what are you looking at?” Emily blushed and slapped Adam on the arm. They were good friends and, although she fancied him waaay more than a trip to Disney, the thought of being more than friends with Adam and ruining their beautiful friendship was a bit too much for her, especially if Adam was going to start being a perv, looking at her boobs like that. All she wanted was a kiss. Well, that had been the first thing she’d wanted anyway.
“Sorry, Em. I… I couldn’t help it. I… Ah, Em, Come on… I’m here, telling you I want to kiss you and you drop your necklace down to… er, you know what I’m talking about. Where do you want me to look? At your ears?” He laughed, shrugging his shoulders.
Emily froze. Ops, heart skipped another beat.
“What? What do you mean… you want to kiss me??”
He came closer and move a strand of her hair off her face.
“Em, Yes, I want to kiss you. And, to tell you the truth, I’ve been thinking about kissing you for quite a while now…”
She thought about what she’d felt then, the minute he told her that he wanted to kiss her. That was all she’d wanted too. And that feeling stayed so clear in her memory and even after nearly 20 years she could feel the same butterflies in her stomach all over again.
That night, not to any of their friends’ – or their parents’ surprise – Adam and Emily had become an item. Jess and Luke were ecstatic and the two couples were inseparable for quite a long time. Jess and Luke had gotten married and had two beautiful girls, now 14 and 10 years old. Emily had got a scholarship abroad and then a job abroad, which had been too good to turn down. Adam had preferred to stay close to home. Neither of them had ever married.
Well, that’s how life is sometimes, isn’t it?
Sitting in her rented car, Emily wiped a couple of tears. She got out of the car and walked towards Luke and Jess’s house. She was playing with her necklace. This time, though, a photograph of her and Adam was inside the locket. Emily held it tightly in her hand and kissed it.
She rang the door bell at her friends’ house.
Jess came to open the door. Luke was right behind her. They both started to cry as they saw her.
“We’re so sorry, Em… The doctors tried everything, but apparently the internal bleeding was just really bad… Adam didn’t make it through the night…”