Hanna’s been going to the Youth group meeting for a while now. And she’s been bugging me to come with her. Well…go to church, first of all. And then go to the meeting after. I’m not sure…I mean, it’s easy for her because she gets along with people very easily. But I’m really really shy. I don’t know why, I’ve been like this my whole life. If I knew the reason, I probably would have thought of it by now.
“Please please please! Come with me this time!” Hanna begs me as if it’s the last piece of bacon.
“Uh, why do I have to come?”
“Come on please! I don’t have anyone to go with.”
“Fine.” I give up.
We arrive at our church and I park the car to the opposite
side of the street. As Hanna and I walk across, a car stops to let us cross.
“Hey Emily!” We both turn our heads and see Luke waving at us from his car window.
“Hey Father Luke!” Hanna shouts. And I smile at him.
Hanna and I walk to the meeting room behind the church. The moment I step through the door, I knew I was going to be the oldest one there. Well, other than the mentors at least. We grab chairs to put in a circle in the middle of the room. Father Luke comes in the room as I sit on my chair. He says hi to everyone. Then sits to the chair directly across from me. Everyone else takes a seat. I look away and around the room as I feel my name about to be called.
“Emily? Since you’re new here, do you want to tell us a little bit about yourself?” says one of the mentors. Wait, how did she know my name?
“Hi…my name’s Emily. I just turned 20. Um…I love books is an understatement. I like sushi. I don’t know.” I said with awkwardness.
“Great. Do you go to college? What are you studying?” the same girl asks me again.
“I just go Valley College. I’m hoping to transfer to a university this fall. I study English Literature.” I make sure to look at her this time so she could stop asking me questions about my life.
“What do you love about God?” a familiar voice asks from across the room. It’s Luke. His voice is so manly, yet so soft…and sweet.
“Emily?” he calls my name. I feel my knees weaken as I look at his face. But I grab a hold of myself.
“I love how God…understands and supports me even if I don’t know what I’m doing. It’s like he knows me better than I know myself.” I put my hand on my chest to keep my heart from pounding out of my chest. He smiles at me with his perfect smile, and his perfect dark blonde hair, and his hazel eyes. Oh god.
The other mentors lead the rest of the meeting with their questions and advice to the other kids in the group. The whole time, I just feel like Luke is staring at me. But whenever I try to make eye contact, he would look away or he’d be talking to the other kids.
Meeting is over. Everyone has disappeared so quickly as all the parents arrive at the same time. Hanna went to catch a ride with a new friend she made. How did I know this would happen? She ditches me again. It was already pretty dark outside when I start walking to my car. As I cross the street, looking left and right, I hear Luke’s voice.
“Emily! Hey wait up!” I turn around and see him running towards me.
“Hey.” I walk to meet him halfway, but I trip on my own two feet.
“Oh, are you okay?” He catches my arm before I completely fell to the ground. He pulls me up. But I end up hugging him for a second.
“Sorry. I’m fine, thanks.” I try to get it together. And I try to stand on both feet this time.
“Listen…it was really nice to see you in the youth meeting tonight. And I like what you said in there, about God’s love. If you like, we can talk more about Him. Just call me anytime.” He hands me his card with his number.
Fr. Luke Evans
“Okay. Thanks.” I take the card.
“I hope to see you next week.” He smiles at me again. I try to escape quickly before I melt in front of him.
“I gotta go. Bye.” I turn around and walk towards my car. He watches me as I get inside and as I drive off.
Dammit! What the hell is wrong with you?!! I can’t believe you did that in front of him! Ahh!
It’s Friday and that means my friends will be home for the weekend. We decide to hang out and catch a movie together. Friday nights at the theater are crazy. There are a lot of people hanging out at the lobby. Most of them are teenagers on dates. Eww. No one likes to see underage kids make out.
“Emily!” I hear my friends calling. I look over where the popcorn machines are and find my friends signaling at me to come over. I walk towards them.
“Hey guys! I missed you!!” I walk over to each of them to give them a hug.
“Hey Ems, how’s school?” my bestfriend, Zoey, asks.
“Well, you know. But I’m so excited to move to England!!” We both scream in excitement.
“Oh my gosh, you got in to Cambridge?!! I’m so happy for you!” She pulls me in for a hug. Even though I feel bad for leaving everyone behind, I know Zoey understands and only wants the best for me. I’m thankful for that.
“So how are things between you and Jake?” I ask as she pays for her popcorn and drink.
“Don’t even get me started with that jerk.” She rolls her eyes and I laugh.
We go into Auditorium 5 and look around for seats. We see empty seats in the middle row. As we make our way through other people’s legs, someone in the row above us says my name. I look up and it’s Luke. I’m a bit shock to see him outside church. I’m even more shock to see him in white tee, jeans and a flannel, instead of his priest attire.
“Hey Fa-…Luke.” I froze for a second there and it made him giggle.
“Hi, it’s nice to see you here.”
“Yeah I’m here with my friends.” I point to them but they’re already sitting down, chomping on popcorn.
“Cool, yeah I’m here with some people from choir.”
“Oh that’s nice.” I said. There was a bit of silence after that. Then I finally said.
“Well, enjoy the movie!” Then I sit down and try to hide the awkwardness that just happened. Zoey leans over to me to whisper.
“Who was that? He’s totally cute.”
“Oh, just a guy from church.” I know it was lie, but it was also the truth. He IS just some guy from church. And I’m just a girl who happens to go once in a while. We’re not friends, at least I don’t think we are. I don’t know much about him nor does he know anything about me.
It’s about an hour in into the movie. I didn’t expect much from the start. But it’s actually pretty good so far. The storyline is really interesting and all the effects they used are really cool. I’m genuinely enjoying this movie. Just when the main character was about to fight off some of the bad guys, I felt a hand on my left shoulder. I look behind to see who it was and I see Luke with a serious look on his face. Then he gets up and walks toward the exit. I’m worried so I got up to follow him.
It’s really dark and I can barely tell if my feet are touching the floor as I’m walking. I finally make it down the stairs, and then I turn left towards the exit. I can see the light coming from the main hallway outside the auditorium. But before then, there’s a dark tunnel I have to walk through. As I make my way to the door, someone grabs my arm and pulls me. I lightly hit my back on the wall. I blink and I see Luke.
I’ve never been this up close to him before. He’s looking straight into my eyes. My heart starts pounding real fast as he begins to lean over. I can feel his face getting closer to mine so I hold my breath and close my eyes. And his lips finally touch mine. The world stops and everything around us disappear as if we were the only people that ever existed. He pulls back and I catch my breath. I look at him and I feel my heart beating faster again as he stare back at me with such desire in his eyes. He puts his hand on the side of face, near my ear, and pulls me in closer to him. This time I part my lips to match his. His lips are soft and gentle, and his mouth is warm and inviting. Our heads tilt to the sides, opposite of each other, as we go in deeper with our kiss. The more our lips move in sync, the more we crave of each other. Finally, we pull away to catch our breaths. I can feel my heart slowing down and beating faster at the same time. I feel hazy as my whole body weakens. If it weren’t for the wall behind me, I would have completely fallen backwards.
I couldn’t really explain what just happened, or why… But the moment we shared our first kiss, I knew that I had completely fallen in love with this guy from church.
“I…” we both say at the same time. We giggle.
“You go first.” I tell him.
“Okay…Emily…I like you, ever since the moment I met you.” He smiles at the thought of confessing after an intense first kiss.
“Luke, I really like you too.” We smile at each other, and then we come closer into a hug.
At that moment, we were just a guy and a girl. Nothing more, nothing less. And not a single thing in the world mattered.