Chapter 16: Your Lips Against Mine
There are some things in life that you promise yourself you’ll never do.
You make decisions that will affect you in the long run, for better or for worse. You take risks for people purely to make them happy.
But then things change. All of these promises that you’ve made to yourself, about the things you will never do and the people you would never take a risk for, disappear.
Because someone comes into your life that changes you.
In which The Boy That Hates Books takes a risk for a girl,
who changed his life.
And just like that he was in front of me. Face to face. Eye to eye.
I stood like a puppet on string, staring into ocean blue eyes.
For some reason I couldn’t quite work out, it didn’t seem real that he was standing here in front of me like this. Maybe it was because I’d thought meeting him was all a dream. I thought that I’d made him up and that he didn’t really exist.
Sometimes I found it difficult to separate the real world from the one I lived in. But the way he was staring at me in that moment, it was more real than anything I had ever felt before. It left me wondering if maybe he did want me here, and that leaving those four walls was worth it.
That was, until he opened his mouth.
“Oh,” He lifted his eyes up to meet mine, “It’s you.”
I clamped my mouth shut suddenly.
I hadn’t expected him to jump with joy, but I’d expected more than this.
He pulled a bored expression before drawing his attention away from me, and landing it on a book that was in front of him, pages flitting against each other.
‘Your lips against mine’ the title read. I scoffed, trying to hold back the sarcastic comments threatening to escape my lips. He was reading a romance book.
“What, have you suddenly gone mute?” He spoke without looking up from his book, “It’s funny because you had so much to say yesterday...”
I shuffled awkwardly on the spot, shifting my eyes from everything they landed upon. I refused to answer him, despite the fact that it was just making the whole situation much more awkward than it needed to be.
Why should I answer him when he was being like this?
A sharp pain took a split second grasp on my body, and I began to feel deflated. Maybe the reason it hurt so much was because I was hoping I could maybe have a friend that wasn’t Alice or Austin. And I thought that maybe he’d consider me.
I’d thought wrong.
“Did you expect a hug or something because you’ve fallen madly in love with me?” He raised an eyebrow, a small smirk forming at the corner of his mouth, “Yeah I get that a lot.”
I rolled my eyes into the back of my head and let out a loud sigh.
“Douche.” I muttered, before turning on my heel and walking back towards the doors of the library.
“Woah woah woah,” He jumped up from where he was sitting and jogged over to me, leaving the romance book abandoned on the table. He placed a hand on my shoulder and I flinched from the contact. “Where are you going?”
“Home.” I replied bluntly, hurt a vicious throb in my chest.
“Why?” He seemed confused, genuinely confused.
He was pissing me off on epic levels.
“What do you mean why?!” I strained to keep my voice even, “it’s clear you aren’t very happy to see me.”
He looked at me, locking his eyes with mine. They softened for a second, but his grip on my shoulder only grew tighter.
“I was only playing Sunshine,” he practically whispered, “I didn’t think you’d take it seriously.”
“Well when your only two friends have just left you, like everyone else in your life, it’s kind of hard not to take things seriously.” I bit back tears.
“Sit down. ”
He grabbed my arm and pulled me towards the table, practically shoving me into the chair beside him. He may of been reading a Romance book but he sure didn’t know how to act like a gentleman.
“You’re reading?” I raised an eyebrow.
“Thanks Miss obvious” He eyed me, an irritated look crossing his features.
“Are you actually reading it or is it just there for show?”
He ignored me.
“Seriously? A romance book? You know, you don’t strike me as the type of guy who’s into that.”
“And you didn’t strike me as the type of person to be so irritating.” He rested his head on the table, never taking his eyes off me.
“What do you mean irritating?”
“I sat you down so that I could make you feel better and all you do is come over here and start to criticise my taste in books.” He paused. “It’s irritating.”
“At least I’m not a liar.” I shot back.
“How am I a liar?”
“You said you didn’t like books.”
“Then why are you reading ‘your lips against mine’ ?” I pointed at the book in front of him.
“As you like books so much I thought I’d give one a try to see what all the hype was about. And I’ve come to the conclusion that not only are you crazy but you are a disgusting human being.”
“Did you seriously think I read romance?” I laughed.
His eyes grew wider and he lent forwards, matching my expression with his. For some reason I had forgotten how I’d felt just moments before, when he’d played his little game. I had completely pushed all thoughts of Alice and Austin aside. I could only focus on him.
“Well duh.” He reached over and ruffled my hair playfully, something I hadn’t expected him to do.
I released a laugh, and smiled for the first time since the twins had left.
“I hate Romance with a passion,” I corrected him, “That’s one thing you have to know about me, otherwise I’m sorry but we can’t be friends.”
“Who said we were friends?”
“I did.” My spark of confidence came from hope.
I returned his smile.
“Why do you hate romance books?” He asked, curiosity lighting up his eyes like a horizon over sea.
“It’s soppy and unrealistic. Like, was there any need for Juliet to kill herself just because Romeo did?”
“Oh my,” I let out an exasperated sigh, “You don’t even know the most famous love story in all of history?”
“Nope,” he simply stated, “and you know what? It has not affected my life in the slightest.”
“It’s stupid.” I agreed.
“Hm.” He nodded.
“Maybe it’s because I’ve never been in love.” I spoke the words more to myself than anyone else.
His eyes traced the features of my face before meeting my eyes. He didn’t speak, just sat there with a look of disbelief and understanding all mixed into one.
We sat in blissful silence for a minute or three, before he spoke out of nowhere.
“Have you ever been in love?” Curiosity got the better of me. I wanted to know more about this boy who had strolled into my life with cocky remarks and a contagious smile.
“Yes.” His tone had changed completely, leaving me feeling on edge.
My chest tightened, “Oh.”
“Let’s go somewhere.”
My heart sped up.
I’d learnt that this boy I was slowly getting to know was unpredictable. And it scared me, but I also kinda liked it.
“Uh-sure,” I stammered, “Where?”
“Do you have a car?” He ignored my question.
“No.” He began to stand up, picking up the romance book and balancing it back in its place on the shelf along with all of the other cliché love stories with happy endings. He wore the same chequered shirt I’d seen him in the first time we’d met, and his hair was still the same dishevelled, rebellious blonde.
“Why don’t you have a car?” I asked, watching him as he bent down to pick up his rucksack, before lazily slinging it over his shoulder.
“Because I traded it.” He simply stated.
“You traded it?” I shoved my hands into the pockets of my jumper.
“Yup, for a journal.” He said it like it meant nothing, and my eyes only grew wider.
“You traded your car...for a journal!?”
“That’s what I said.”
“Why!?” Everything this boy did surprised me.
“Because why not.”
“Maybe because a car is a lot more valuable than a journal. Plus, I didn’t think a boy who hates books would like to write.”
“Well I’m full of surprises.” He winked.
“Whatever.” I rolled my eyes, something I always found myself doing when I was around him.
“That’s something you have to know about me, otherwise I’m sorry but we can’t be friends.” He mimicked me.
“Who said we were friends?” I replied stubbornly.
“You can’t play me at my own game.”
“I just did.”
A look of admiration flickered across his eyes as he tilted his head to the side, a vague smile forming at the corner of his mouth. He frowned and shook his head, as if he was shaking of a thought, before leaning across the table to get a closer look at me.
“Well, what are you waiting for? Let’s hop in that car of yours and go on an adventure.”