Kayleigh took another bite of her churro. “These things will be amazing until the end of time.”
“At this rate, you won’t be,” I joked. “Churros will have taken over your life and I won’t be in it.”
She put her hands up in defense. “I’m completely okay with that.” She finished off her churro. “What shall we do next? There’s the Ferris Wheel. We can play games and win prizes. You are always very good at that. It shocks the workers every time.”
I looked at one of the booths. “That’s because they expect to watch us lose. They won’t be getting a piece of me this time.” I walked over to a booth and paid my fee. I grabbed the darts and aimed at the picture. I made all three darts hit the star in the middle of Pikachu’s belly. “I’ll take that giant Squirtle, thanks.” I reached out until the plush toy landed in my arms.
Kayleigh smiled as she looked for more to do. “Why don’t we take Squirtle on a nice ride around the wheel? He would love you forever.”
I chuckled. “Sounds splendid, my dear friend.”
We made our way to the line and waited. I glanced over at the ocean, smiling as the waves gently touched the shore. “We should go swimming sometime today.”
“Yes, but only after we’ve enjoyed everything else. The water is going to be freezing.” Kayleigh rubbed her arms.
Shrugging, another wave hit the sand. “That’s how you get used to the water. If you get used to the coldest water of the bodies, all other water seems super warm. It’s genius.”
“You just enjoy the ocean water, don’t you?” she asked, crossing her arms.
“Of course.” I looked up at the Ferris Wheel.
We got to the front of the line and entered the bowl seating. The wheel began to spin and we got towards the top. I looked out at the ocean, admiring the way the sun shimmered on the surface. “It’s just beautiful up here, is it not?”
Kayleigh sat back. “Of course.”
“I feel for people who don’t live near the ocean. I mean, there are pros and cons but can you imagine never having been to the ocean? It’s awful to think about.” I looked at Squirtle.
Kayleigh gave me a judgmental look. “I’m your friend. I’m also able to respond to you.”
I laughed. “You don’t know Squirtle. Maybe we are communicating through our minds. We have a connection now.”
She shook her head and looked out upon the pier as we continued to move in an upright circle.
I gasped as I caught sight of someone I didn’t expect to see here. Ezra stood by the funnel cake stand, staring off into the blue void of water. He was always everywhere. I was never going to escape him.
As we exited the ride, Kayleigh waved her arm. “Ezra, over here!”
“Did you invite him?” My eyes would have killed her if looks could kill.
She laughed in a nervous manner and her cheeks tinted red. Ezra joined our party of two and gave Kayleigh a hug. That was just rude. Did I not get a hug after ditching detention with him?
Kayleigh grabbed onto my arm, pulling me with her. “We’re going down to the beach now if you’d love to join us.”
“I will never reject a good swim.” Ezra followed us down to a spot.
Kayleigh set her bag down and laid down a pink towel. She removed her sundress and laid back on the towel. “I’ll be here, tanning. You two love birds can go do what you want but don’t forget protection.”
I faced away from them, taking off my shorts and tank top. I set Squirtle in the sand, next to Kayleigh. “Take good care of my new best friend.”
The wind was nonexistent on a day like this.
As my eyes landed on Ezra, my heart sped up at the sight of him removed his shirt. How could he look so perfect no matter what he did? I was a struggling cat trying to remove my shirt and yet here this man was looking like he belonged to the heavens.
“Ready, Mel?” asked Ezra.
I nodded my head, not saying a word. I couldn’t embarrass myself now. I had seen the man in just a towel and that was difficult enough. The image was still locked inside my mind.
Ezra and I ran down to the ocean and I gasped, stopping before I got too deep. “It’s so cold!”
“You’re surprised?” He laughed.
I hit him in the arm, which turned out to be a bad move because he picked me up as if I weighed nothing and threw me into the water. It was shallow enough that I could sit in it without drowning, but the water was freezing my bones.
Ezra was having himself a laughing fit until I grabbed his foot and tripped him. He fell next to me. “Mel!”
I smirked at him, standing up. “Two can play this game.”
“I see how it is.” He pulled me back into the water and I went under before coming back up and pushing my hair back. Well, I was definitely used to the other warmer bodies of water by now.
Ezra began to splash me in which case I splashed him right back. It was only fair.
He grabbed me and threw me in again but I held onto him so he went down with me. Ezra landed on top and we both continued to laugh through the water washing over us.
The smiles faded as our abdomens got sore from all of the laughter. Ezra’s brown eyes were locked on mine and I wasn’t able to get a single word out of me.
I was begging him to kiss me but we couldn’t read each other’s minds. Ezra stood up and helped me out of the water. It made it much more awkward that we had been that close yet nothing happened.
“What happened to you two? You forgot to use protection?” Kayleigh lowered her sunglasses, looking at us both.
The expressions on our faces were much more than that. Ezra was always getting this close but he never made any moves. Was there a reason behind that? Was he using it to lure me in more?
“Come on, you two. We need to get some things done today.” Kayleigh stood up and put her dress back on and packed up her towel.
Ezra and I both got our clothes back on as well. Kayleigh led us to the pier and I looked out at the ocean. “What is there to do now? We’ve eaten churros, gone on the Ferris Wheel, and swam.”
Kayleigh squealed as she ran towards a little shop, looking at all of the jewelry. This was so typical of her.
“We’ve lost her. She’s not coming back.” I looked up at Ezra.
He walked into another shop, one that had all kinds of crystals and other little things. I mean, this was obviously spiritual type of stuff they were selling. I wasn’t really into it but the little chests were adorable. If only I had some money to buy myself something. I’d spent my money on Squirtle.
“Anything you like?” Ezra grabbed a crystal and showed me.
I shrugged. “It’s all pretty but I’m a bit broke.” A bit? Try peasant broke.
He pulled out his wallet. “I can get you what you want.”
“Whoa, Ezra.” I grabbed his arm and lowered it. “That’s kind but I really shouldn’t be getting loans from anyone else.”
“It’s not a loan. Think of it as me paying you back for tutoring me.” He smiled. Damn, that smile was too good to say no to.
I looked at the little chest. “Alright, I’ll take this. It’s only five bucks.”
He nodded and walked to the counter and paid for it. He brought it back to me while putting the receipt in his wallet.
The chest was so cute with the little engraved designs that covered it. It looked like a mini version of something you would find in a fantasy pirate movie. “Thank you.”
“What was that?” He cupped his ear.
I groaned. “I said thank you.”
He wrapped his arm around my shoulders. “You’re very welcome, Amor.” He planted a kiss against my temple.
All four of our eyes nearly popped out of our heads at his gesture. He hadn’t seen it coming. It was no kiss on the lips but it was still a kiss of some sort. His lips had touched my skin. That meant something. If it meant the friend or sibling zone, I would slap him silly. I had done so before.
Kayleigh ran over to us and showing us the ring she bought. It was a pretty ring and I couldn’t lie. “What’s up? You two look like you just saw a ghost.”
Ezra was better at lying to her than I was. “It’s because we saw a big wave. It was massive. Those surfers were killing it.”
She looked back at the beach and shrugged.
Ezra took his arm off from around my shoulders and rubbed the back of his neck. This day had gone a lot differently than we’d planned for. I was praying to the heavens that this kiss was a romantic slip-up. I could never be just his friend or sister.
Friend... Were we even friends? Did he consider us friends at this point? We were always hanging out. We had to be something at this point. Sister was the last thing I wanted to be seen as. It was possible to get out of the friendzone. It was hard, but possible. It was not possible to get out of the sisterzone. Nobody ever had romantic feelings for someone they saw as their sibling. It was incest in a way.
Kayleigh moved her body to the music that was playing nearby. She loved music and music loved her.
I got chills down my spine but shook them off. I walked along the boardwalk. “What else should we do?”
Ezra and Kayleigh followed me, shrugging their shoulders at the same time. I never thought I would see these two so in sync. I wanted to be in sync with Ezra and yet I couldn’t even get him to kiss me on the lips. We were so far from where I wanted to be.
I couldn’t even make up my mind. I didn’t want to see Ezra in my future but at the same time, I did. It was a constant battle in my mind and I wasn’t going to win no matter which side won.
Ezra always looked so good no matter what he did. He could always cheer me up no matter what I was feeling. As much as I didn’t want to be around him, I knew it was supposed to be this way. This was my path and even if I changed it, I wouldn’t actually change my future.
Ezra grabbed my hand, pulling me to him and spinning me around. “Have some fun! Smile a little. You look too serious.”
I was about to lose my balance because of his tricks. He would always catch me because that’s just who Ezra was.
Was I bad for imagining Ezra kissing me? Was I a bad person?
He pulled me towards a man a few feet down. “Excuse me, how much for a drawing?”
I wasn’t sure what his plan was as I held a confused look on my face. Drawing?
“It’ll be thirty bucks the first time,” he said to Ezra.
Ezra pulled out thirty bucks and paid the man. “I wish for you to draw my friend here, Mel.” He smiled at me.
I couldn’t hide the blush that covered my cheeks. I sat down on the bench as the man began to draw me. Why did Ezra want a drawing of me? Duh, he couldn’t draw it himself. He was probably terrible.
Wait, why did he want a drawing of me? Or was this for me? I wasn’t sure. No matter what the reason was, one thing was for sure. Ezra paid to have my portrait drawn by an artist. That made my heart pound faster than it should have.