Stay. Go. Be Here.

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“Hi” I cleared my throat, trying to hide my braces and adjusting my glasses. My imaginary fairy godmother must be rolling her eyes at me right now, tapping her kitty-heeled foot to match. I was a lost cause. “Hey” he smiled effortlessly. How does he do it? How can he be thirteen, same as me, and not have one ounce of awkward in him? Their love story spans over twenty years, starting with a playground dare to kiss the boy she had loved since she could remember. Hunter Reed was the blue-eyed boy of Willow Morgan's dreams. Their relationship survives ups and downs - life-altering events bring them closer together; teenage & adolescent mistakes threat to wedge them apart... but their friendship is the one constant.

Romance / Drama
A O Hilpert
3.0 1 review
Age Rating:

Chapter 1

Spring 1994

I remember the very first time I laid eyes on Hunter Reed. I remember like it was yesterday.

I was six years old and awkward as all hell. I was not poised to star on Toddlers & Tiaras, even though Honey Boo Boo wasn’t around in my day.

I had mousy brown hair, missing front teeth and my head was way too big for my body.

The girls were playing double dare while the boys were playing tag during lunch break.

I loved playing double dare and I would never step down from a challenge. I got my stubborn streak from my dad, or at least that’s how mom tells it.

My brother, Scott, on the other hand hated confrontation.

“Willow!” Alison squealed “I double dare you to…”

She creased up her tiny nose tipping it with her index finger. “I double dare you to kiss Hunter Reed!”

She seemed really pleased with her dare. All the other girls thought so too.

“Uh… erm…” I stuttered my way through an excuse, to no avail.

The girls ganged up on me and pushed me toward where Hunter was hiding from Tom, who wanted to tag him.

I carefully tapped his shoulder, then shoved my hands behind my back and dropped my head when he spun around.

“What do you want?” he frowned.

“Uhm…” I bit my bottom lip as I always do when I get nervous.

There was giggling behind my back. I could feel my face burn up.

But I had to hold my resolve. I never backed down from a dare. And I had been secretly crushing on Hunter since the beginning of first grade.

I summoned all the courage I had within me and reached up on the tips of my toes and pressed a kiss to his beautiful, rosy lips.

My eyes were closed at first, so I couldn’t see the corners of his mouth turn down. It was only until the other boys had circled around him and teased him relentlessly; I opened my eyes and saw the tears in his eyes.

Hunter made a beeline for the swings and I followed. It wasn’t the best decision I could’ve made at the time, but it wasn’t a good day for decision-making on my part.

I cautiously sat down on the swing-set beside him. He didn’t look up but I could tell he was still crying from the sniffling noises he made.

I reached out and touched his arm. “Don’t cry”

He shot me an angry look. His blue eyes had a steely gray color I had never seen in them before.

“Leave me alone!”

Hunter Reed had always been the most perfect boy I had ever seen, even though I only had TV personalities to compare him to.

He was almost too perfect to be a six-year-old. While my face was still struggling to take shape, he already had cheekbones sculpted by the gods, blue eyes that could melt anyone’s resolve, golden blonde hair that was soft to the touch, pouty blush-rose lips and abnormally straight teeth for a kid.

“They’re not laughing at you, they’re laughing at me” I tried to console him again.

“Go away! You’re gross and I don’t like you.” He got up off the swing. “And don’t kiss me again!”

He ran passed the group of kids who had since forgotten our kiss.

I sat there on that swing, by myself, crying, for the rest of break.

That was the first time Hunter Reed broke my heart. And even though I was only six years old at the time, I somehow knew it wouldn’t be the last.

I also knew that what he had said wouldn’t stop me from daydreaming about him, dreaming about kissing him and about him wanting to kiss me back.

The say love can make you delirious. I wasn’t going to argue with that.

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