Kyle rushed over to Sophia’s house.
“Is your mom okay? What happened?”
“It’s all good,” Kyle replied as he took a breath. “We can kill him now. I told my dad.”
Sophia’s face became a mask of horror. “You told your… what? Please tell me you’re kidding.”
“No, I’m not,” he said, taking both of her hands in his. “All is good. I’ve got the money. Thirty-thousand dollars. And my dad’s going to find a hitman for us. Actually, it’s all being arranged as we speak.”
Sophia felt like aliens had just invaded Earth, colonizing it. Under their new regime, it was fine to tell your parents that you were plotting a murder and you could even have them help you. What an interesting world our planet had become!
“Sophia, this is awesome! Don’t you realize it?” Kyle shook her arms to pull her back into reality as his unspectacled eyes searched hers.
“Kyle, you’re saying you told your dad we want to have Jerry killed and he said he’d give you money for it. And even look for a hitman for us.”
“That’s exactly what I’m telling you!” Kyle smiled and his eyes lit up.
“And you’re seriously expecting me to believe that?” She looked back at him with unmasked skepticism. “The last I heard, your dad was a conservative, everything-by-the-book, law-abiding citizen.”
“You’re right. But I discovered a secret and sort of blackmailed him.”
She studied his face. “Is this for real?”
She paused. His eyes convinced her it was really happening. Now she could finally get her revenge. “Oh, Kyle…”
Kyle nodded with a smile like a kind father. Their eyes connected and held.
“So,” her eyes shifted as she did some more thinking before jumping the gun. “You don’t have to steal from your parents now, but how does it work exactly? I highly doubt your mom would allow your dad to take out such a large amount at once. She’d for sure ask why he needs that kind of money, wouldn’t she?”
“I have the money already. Dad took out money for something he needed to do, and he had some left over. Don’t ask me what it was for.”
She stared at him in curious silence. After a moment, her eyes grew wider, and a new excitement radiated from them. “Oh my God, Kyle!” Sophia jumped up on him, toppling him over. “Oh, gosh! So sorry. Are you okay?” She hopped off him.
“No, I’m not okay. I’m injured and I can’t get up,” he joked. “So you’re going to have to come back and get on top of me.”
She giggled and climbed back on top of him, lowering her upper body slowly, her eyes never leaving his.
Their faces were inches from each other. Kyle swallowed, and became instantly worried that she could hear him gulping. He wondered why his mouth produced so much extra saliva that he had to swallow constantly.
Sophia’s lips were on a steady descent, aiming toward Kyle’s. He gulped some more. He had to. He also worried that she could hear his record-rapid heartbeat. He felt on the verge of having a heart attack. The girl he dreamed of for years was hovering over him and her soft, pink lips were approaching his chapped lips. He couldn’t count the number of times he had those dreams. When he woke up, he always sighed with sorrow as he put a towel over the little, wet spot.
Who had ever thought this moment could become a reality? Not me, certainly. That was like asking someone to believe an ant could become the President of the United States.
When Sophia’s lips touched his, every single cell in his body went numb. He lay motionless. His eyes stayed closed, savoring the ultimate joy he never thought he’d experience. His inertia made her think she was crushing his fragile body and she wondered if he were about to lose consciousness. She was fit, but he was a little guy.
“Oh, my gosh, I’m crushing you, aren’t I?” Sophia jumped off him once again.
“What? No, no! It’s okay!” Kyle opened his eyes, looking flustered at losing the lips he yearned for so long. “I’m all right. I started working out. I can take your weight, no problem.”
“I can see that.” She arched her eyebrows as she eyed his newly developing muscles.
He held his hand out to her. “So please, go ahead and crush me. By all means. I beg you.”
The two of them suddenly burst into laughter, realizing how silly they were.
I wouldn’t be so sure if silly was the right word. If I’d been there, I would have thrown up all the chicken wings I’d eaten for lunch.
That night, while Dad and I stayed in the hospital with Mom, Kyle held my best friend’s hand, and slept cheek-to-cheek beside her.
It was, without a shadow of a doubt, the best night of his life.