How It Should've Gone
I wanted to be a princess.
It was as simple as that. And yet, it wasn't. It all started with the Class elections.
Class elections had started, and after careful thought, I decided to run. Farkle, one of my very best friends in the whole wide world, thought that he could outdo me, so I had to step up my game. And then Lucas joined the fray, and all of a sudden, all three of us were running for Class president. So, to get a little heads up on Lucas, I collected a little dirt on him. Maya, being the ever present voice over my shoulder and my very best friend, managed to talk me out of using it.
So, in a twist turn of events, both Farkle and I decided to let Lucas win the election, and there I was, still in my princess outfit, wishing I could be a princess, both looking and feeling very foolish, when suddenly he arrives, costume and everything, toting a horse.A real life horse. I know right? With a grand gesture, he offers his hand, and I climbed onto the back, as he rode us to the field outside, me still clinging onto him.
"Hey princess." he said, the warm breezy air wafting between us, and I looked at him dreamily. "Uh, Riley? Riley?" he waved in front of my face, and I finally snapped to.
"Hey cowboy," I smiled, and I felt him shift, knowing how much he hated that nickname. If only Maya were here…
"Thanks again for letting me win." he said, pulling the reigns of the horse left and right, as we clambered through muddy trails and hills. Finally, I spotted a clearing off in the distance, and Lucas climbed down the horse, offering his hand to me, even though I was also halfway off.
"Well, we all knew you'd do better than any of us anyways, so we thought that we might as well have let you win." I tried to say nonchalantly, smoothing my own dress as he directed me toward a small swatch of trees. "I've never been here actually..." I confessed, trying to take in the surroundings. The trees leaned at just the right angle, providing a small canopy above us like arches at an ancient church. Small, short but bright beams of sunlight peeked through the canopy, lighting up certain spots of the forest as the scenery grew brighter. I could hear the sound of water, and as I looked ahead, I let a small gasp escape from me. There, lay a dead tree that had toppled over, which had been skinned of its bark, and now rested next to another tree. It lined up with a river I had never seen before, and there was an empty space in between the fallen tree and the next tree, allowing the only entrance to the river from the shore. The rest of the river was outlined with trees growing straight from the water, and you could see straight down the rather wide and surprisingly clear river. But what surprised me the most, was the waterfall that was cascading near it, falling over the protruding rock slab with a silent roar, the pureness of it taking my breath away.
"What do you think?" Lucas said as he steered me toward the dead tree, and I noticed that the tree had a giant hole in the side. As I neared it, I ran my fingers over the bottom of the hole that had apparently been smoothed and evened out, the height of the hole high enough for a seat. And the best part is, it looked both big and comfy enough for two.
"I made it for when you were going to win, but now it's my little victory spot." he grinned, and I took a seat on the tree, slipping my shoes off.
"Wow... It's... Wow..." I barely managed to say, awe in my voice as I slipped my toes into the crystal clear water.
"Found it as I was hiking." he said proudly, and I took in the view, my mind racing. It was unbelievable, the sharp chill of the water. The smoothness of the tree-chair. The vibrant smell of nature all around me. Just mindblowing.
"But why would you share it with me?" I asked, and he shrugged, sitting next to me.
"Cause... Well... You're all really special to me. You, Maya and Farkle, you've accepted me into your tight group, and I honestly can't thank you enough." he said, staring out at the river. He tapped his finger against the log, his face deep in thought, before he finally spoke. "I don't know. I just had this impulse to bring you here. I just thought you'd like it, and... I don't know. Maybe people who land in my lap on the subway are even more special to me." he chuckled when I whipped my head toward him, glaring.
"If Missy ever decides to ride the subway, get off it. Immediately." I said, my brow furrowing as a trickle of irritation began to build. Seconds later, I realized what I said, and clamped my hand over my mouth, ears burning from embarrassment.
"Fine. I promise." he said, laughing at my shocked expression, when he reached into his pocket and got off the log, slowly getting on one knee.
"Riley," he said, opening the box, and a shimmering necklace lay inside. "Will you do me the honor of making me the happiest boy in the world and being my girlfriend?" he said, he said sincerely, his eyes staring straight into mine. The whole forest fell silent, except for the muted trickle of water, and I choked on my words, my eyes tearing up.
"Yes..." I said leaning over, wrapping my arms around his neck. "I would love that," I said, taking a deep breath, looking him straight in his warm eyes, before moving my head closer and closer and closer...
I woke up with a jolt, the sunlight streaming in. Running my fingers through my hair, I sighed happily. I could still feel the ice cold water. I swear I can still smell the forest as I rubbed sleep from my eyes. That actually happened, I thought to myself, fingering the necklace I wore. The new weight added onto my chest only reminded me of the pure happiness from that small ride out to the forest after the elections. Minus the whole "asking out" part and me... I felt heat rushing to my cheeks as the last part of that dream came to mind. I was replaying that scene in my mind as I slept, it being too amazing to forget for a second. I felt the weight of the necklace he gave me, and smiled again, sweeping my hair back to get a better look. It was simple, little shimmery gems lining the string, and in the middle, my birth stone shone brightly as the sun hit it. The moment I got home, my parents assaulted me with questions, as did Maya, but I did my best to explain what seemed to be a fairytale. Of course, I didn't need anyone else to believe me, and I don't now, as long as both Lucas and I remember it.
"Riley! Breakfast is ready!" Mom yelled, and I looked at the calendar, realizing it was Saturday. Yes!
"Coming mom!" I yelled back, and looked back at the necklace through the mirror. "I am never taking you off." I grinned as I fingered it once more, before running to the table. At this rate, I might be able to actually kiss Lucas! But that's just me wishfully thinking... Is it?