REALLY

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The Kissing Scene


T A Y A

Remember when I said that my love life was drier than the Sub-Saharan desert? Well...

For the next couple of days, Blake and I were inseparable. We texted nonstop, we met up in secret every chance we got, and we made out—a lot.

It had been a full week of secret rendezvous with Blake Harrison now. We did a great job at keeping things a secret too. I didn’t even tell Hallee about any of it, when normally I’d tell her everything. This should be some kind of an accomplishment for me.


Today was a Friday, and just like any other ordinary Fridays, the day began with my first period chemistry class. I was in the middle of listening to Mr. Deutsch’s boring speech on molecular composition, when I saw Blake’s head popped in front of the glass door and motioned for me to come out.

As soon as I got out of the door, Blake grabbed me and pulled me into the next room. It was just a dark and empty classroom. We were reduced to a giggling mess as he reached for my face and I locked my arms around his neck.

“Why aren’t you in class, Mr. Class President?” I said to him.

“I have a free period. What class do you have next?” he asked in between kisses.

“P.E.,”

“Well I could teach you that,”

I slapped his arm instantly, but the wide grin on my face gave me away. He was smiling as his lips landed on mine again. His tongue slipped through and he started roaming the corners of my mouth, deepening the kiss.

Our tongues were in the middle of tangling with one another when suddenly we heard the next bell rang.

“Ugh,” he groaned as we pulled away.

“I gotta go,” I shot him a sorry smile.

“Hey um, do you wanna go out tonight?” he said suddenly and my breath was stuck in my throat.

“Out?”

“Yeah. Like on a date,”

I might have just flat lined there for a second.

“Um, yeah,” I blinked rapidly. “Okay. A date,”

He shot me a smile and I kept on walking. I wasn’t paying attention to what was in front of me and my stupid head hit the door.

“Watch the—”

Thud!

“Ouw!” I squeaked. “I’m okay,” I brushed it off quickly, giving him one last smile before I walked out—safely this time.


By lunchtime, I was sitting at my usual table with Hallee and Gabe. Blake and his friends sat at the table across ours. We’d steal glances every now and then, while being careful so that none of our friends caught on.

Meanwhile, I noticed Viviane desperately attempted many ways to get Blake’s attention, it was sad to see. She’d sway her hips as she passed their table, she’d leaned over a bit too low when she was talking to them, and she’d find ways to touch Blake’s arm every chance she got. But Blake mostly ignored her and kept his eyes on me. Honestly, it felt really nice to be wanted like this.

“So, are you excited about today’s rehearsal?” Hallee’s sudden question pulled me out of my Blake-staring session.

“Sure,” I said.

“You’re not gonna back out, right?”

“Of course not, why whould I?”

“Awesome. I knew this whole Taya 2.0 thing is a great idea,”

I threw her a quick smile and I was about to turn my head back to Blake’s table, when I noticed Judah was sitting right behind his table. He was sitting alone, with a book in his hand. But his eyes weren’t on the book, they were on me.

When our eyes met, he threw me a wink. I replied by rolling my eyes lazily at him.

“Hey guys,” I turned back to Hallee and Gabe. “What do you guys think of that guy Judah?”

They looked over to Judah, then to each other, and just shrugged.

“He seems alright,” Hallee said.

“You don’t think he’s a bit... weird?”

“Nah, he’s cool,” Gabe replied.

“Why?” Halle asked.

“I don’t know. I just got this weird vibe coming from him... I can’t really put my finger on it,”

“Well he’s kind of an outcast... He’s got this rebellious, bad-boy, mysterious, grunge vibe going on, but other than that, he seems all right. But hey, if you want, I could always ask around,” she said again, eyeing Judah from head to toe. Leave it to Hallee to know anything about anybody’s business.

“You know what, he’s actually kinda cute too,” she added.

“What? No way!” I gaped.

“Totally. If I didn’t have a boyfriend, I’d be all over that hot stuff,” she grinned.

Hallee’s boyfriend, Jesse, was two years older than us. He was attending the community college in town. Although sometimes it didn’t look like it, Hallee was way too smart and emotionally mature for guys our age.

“Nah, I don’t see it,” I said again.

“Sure, sure. Miss Taya here only has eyes for Mr. Harrison, ever since freshman year,”

“Whoa, you have a crush on Blake Harrison since freshman year?” Gabe almost choked on his chocolate milk.

“Dude!” I spat.

“Sheez, relax. I’m sure everyone at school knows already, it’s been like three years. Just like everyone already knew that Gabe here is in love with Maddie,” she continued on shamelessly.

“You are?” I turned to Gabe, who really choked on his milk this time.

“Dude!” he literally spat out.

“So what’s the deal with you and Harrison by the way? You never told me what happened after you guys talked last time,”

“Oh nothing. We just... decided to be friends, you know, just chill. See where things go,” I shuffled nervously, hoping she didn’t notice I was avoiding eye contact.

“Wow, Taya 2.0 is independent, cool, and not the clingy-whiny type. Well, good for you. You’re handling this very well,” she nodded approvingly. “I might say a little too well,” she added.

Nothing could get pass her, really.

“We still talk, a lot. We’re not rushing into anything, you know,” I started playing with my food, doing anything but looking into her eyes.

“He’s being a gentleman, huh? That’s good. Best-friend approved,” she paused for a second before saying, “but hey, if anything happens...”

“You’d be the first to know,” I finished her sentence and she smiled at me knowingly.


School was finally over for the day, but I still had theater club rehearsals. I was dying to get it over with since I had special plans with Blake tonight.

For today’s rehearsals, Judah and I had to stand on the stage as we read our lines. Mrs. Zee and Hallee sat at the director’s table in front of the stage, while everyone else watched from the audience seat.

"We can’t keep doing this, Jack,” I read my script aloud.

"But I’m addicted to you, Rose. You’re like my own personal brand of heroin—the fuck, who says stuff like that?” Judah cringed at the script in his hand.

“Edward-fucking-Cullen does. Just stick to the script, Judah!” Hallee yelled through her hands.

“Guys! Language!” Mrs. Zee interrupted.

“Sorry Mrs. Zee,” Hallee apologized quickly.

Judah rolled his eyes dramatically as he turned back to me. He took a deep breath and spoke in the most apathetic way possible.

"You’re like... my own personal brand of heroin,” I could tell he was trying to hold back his laughter.

"I’m sorry Jack, we can’t be together. I have to let you go,” I spoke tenderly, trying to sound like Kate Winslet in the movies.

"No, stay,” his words were so flat. He wasn’t even trying at all.

"I can’t stay. Goodbye Jack,” following the direction on the script, I turned towards the stage exit.

"Wait,” he said.

Then suddenly he grabbed my hand and turned me around. His hand gripped the side of my face and he leaned in, about to kiss me.

My hand flew instinctively to his cheek, slapping the life out of him. The sound echoed through the auditorium as everyone gasped in terror. Judah just stared at me with eyes wide open.

“Taya? What’s going on, dear?” Mrs. Zee’s voice cut through the dead silence.

“He tried to kiss me!”

“Well duh,” he said shamelessly.

“Why’d you do that for?!”

“It says it on the script—Jack and Rose kissed,” he said, pointing to a part on the script.

“What? No—it doesn’t say that on my script,”

“We added that part last week, remember? During the table read? We asked you what you thought of it and you said yes?” Hallee spoke this time.

“I did?” I turned to see everyone in the room nodding unanimously.

Shit on a stick.

“Okay, I think there’s just a little misunderstanding here. Everyone let’s take five. Judah, come over here, we can get you some ice,” Mrs. Zee announced and I let out a deep breath I didn’t know I was holding.

“Damn Blondie. You like to play it rough, huh?” he said through his teeth, his hand rubbing his jaw as he went over to Mrs. Zee.

“What is going on with you?” Hallee raced over to me, pulling me to the side.

“I was so out of it last week. I didn’t remember ever agreeing to this kissing bit,”

“I knew it. You were acting so weird that time,”

“I’m sorry Hals. Isn’t it possible if we just don’t do the kissing scene?”

“No, we need that scene. It’s the climax of the entire show,”

“But—”

“It’s just a kiss, Taya. No big deal,”

“Maybe not to you... but I... just don’t feel comfortable doing it, that’s all,”

Maybe this was stupid, but I couldn’t imagine myself kissing anyone but Blake. Well, except the time when I fell off the window, but that didn’t count.

Hallee bit her lip and started pacing nervously.

“The kissing scene is really important. I don’t see how the story will make sense if we take it out entirely,” she was starting to panic.

“Well... what if we just fake it?” I suggested. “We can still do the scene, and pretend to kiss, but we don’t have to actually kiss, right? Just as long as the audience can’t tell,”

She stopped pacing finally and drew a long sigh.

“Well I guess so,” she paused for a second before saying, “Fine, as long as you guys can make it look real, I guess that’ll do,”

“Thank you, Hals. And I’m so sorry, I owe you one,”

“Big time,” she pointed a finger at me, and I nodded eagerly.

Hallee turned to her heels, walking over to Judah, and I followed right behind her.

“Okay, here’s the deal,” she said, grabbing his attention. “So the kissing part, you guys can just fake it. But make sure it looks real enough so that the audience can’t tell,”

“That’s just stupid,” he scoffed.

“That’s the director’s order,” I said defensively.

“This whole thing is just stupid,” he rolled his eyes and I could tell that it pissed the hell out of Hallee.

“Five minutes are up, let’s continue everyone. We’ll pick up where we left off,” Mrs. Zee announced and everyone went back to their places.

“Whatever, let’s just do this,” he couldn’t be more unenthused.

“Don’t worry, it’ll be fine,” I smiled reassuringly to Hallee, but I could tell she wasn’t buying it.

For the next two hours, I tried my butt off to get this scene moving, but Judah didn’t even try. A dead possum would make a better Jack than him. It was torturous and agonizing to say the least. I could tell everyone else didn’t enjoy it too. They were all either asleep or on their phones.

But finally, those dreadful two hours went by and we were all free to go. I was packing up my stuff in a hurry when Hallee came to approach me.

“Taya, I need to talk to you,”

“Sure, but can you make it quick? I gotta go somewhere,”

“This play is supposed to be a romance story, but I’m not getting any chemistry between Rose and Jack. None! I could eat a hotdog and it would look more romantic than what you guys were doing,”

“I’m sorry Hals, but what can I do? He’s not even trying,”

“Maybe you guys can spend some time together? You know, to break the ice, get him to open up,”

“Oh, I don’t know about that,”

“I think that’ll be good for you two. Ask him to meet you and you guys can run some lines together,”

“I don’t know Hals, I’m kinda busy lately... with college stuff,” I shuffled nervously.

“Please Taya, you know how much this play means to me,”

“Oh, not the puppy eyes again,” I sighed.

“You owe me one, remember?” she persisted.

“Ugh,” I groaned. “Fine. I’ll talk to Judah,”

I didn’t know why I ended up agreeing to that. I guess I was just dying to get out of there as soon as possible.

After reassuring Hallee that I got everything under control, I raced out of the auditorium and towards the parking lot as fast as I could. I still had so much to do. I needed to pick out what to wear and everything.

If I sounded like Bridezilla right now, it was only because I was just too damn excited. This would be the first time I could go on a date with a boy, ever. And it was with the Blake Harrison!

Our first date... I could barely contain myself—Eeeep!

Ah, goodbye Sub-Saharan desert that was my love life. You won’t be missed.


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