“Of course.” I smiled.
Sterling and I had always been close so it was a pleasure to see him out. He was my first friend when I came to the orphanage after my mother had gone crazy. He was always by my side since our first meeting. Even after he left with his father and step mother he still came back here regularly to see me.
He had changed a lot as he grew up. Sterling grew more and more handsome. He was a young copy of his father with his jet black hair and icy blue eyes. He had become quite the athlete over the years which gave him a fit physique. He kept his black hair a little shorter on the sides but longer on the top, allowing him to spike it up from time to time.
I had changed myself. My chocolate brown hair got longer over the years and it was now down to my waist. My grey eyes had always been a noticeable feature but seemed to stand out more now that I was older. My cheeks had become another prominent feature of mine as I got older and my features began to stick out more. They were high placed and gave me a sharper look, at least that’s what I had been told.
Throughout the last twelve years we grew closer and closer. However, I was beginning to get interested in boys being more than friends. I had discovered how much fun dating could be and I knew I wanted Sterling. I was too scared to tell him my true feelings though. I didn’t want to lose my best friend.
“Walking me out again Izzy, how sweet of you.” Sterling’s voice pulled me out of my thoughts.
“It’s what friends are for right?” I tried to hide the fact I was blushing.
“Well, let’s go then.” He smiled as he waited for me to stand by his side.
He opened the door of the orphanage and we both walked outside. Since I was sixteen Mrs. Strahm wasn’t as watchful of me anymore. She had a new group of youngsters to keep an eye on.
“How’s school going Izzy?” He asked as we stepped off the last stair.
“It’s not too bad.” I answered. “What about you?”
“Just getting everything I need to finish up before graduation in three months.” He responded. Sterling was a senior in highschool, his eighteenth birthday was going to be next month.
“Sounds exciting.” We stopped and faced each other. “What’s your plans after that?”
“My father wants me to go to college. Then once I come back I’ll get a role at the company.” He seemed to be a little excited about the idea.
“Nice.” I smiled but part of me felt disappointed. I didn’t want him to leave.
I could see his eyes looking me over intensely. He could read me like a book sometimes. “There’s still more than enough time for me to come see you before I go. I’ll come see you every holiday too.” He spoke with sincerity in his tone. “I promise.”
“Don’t make promises you don’t know if you can keep.” I looked away from him. “You’re going to be busy Sterling. I don’t expect you to stop your life to come pay a visit to an orphanage.”
He gently grabbed my chin in between his fingers and thumb. He forced me to look back at him. I could see there was some sort of emotion in his eyes but I couldn’t tell what it was. It looked like he was on the verge of saying something but didn’t know how to put it. Instead of words he took me by surprise as his lips clashed down on mine.
My eyes went wide in surprise and then closed as I welcomed the kiss. My arms wrapped around his neck and his hands moved to my hips. He pulled me closer to him as our kiss continued on. This was it, this was what I needed to know he felt the same way before I confessed my feelings to him.
Finally he pulled away. “Izzy, I’m sorry.” His eyes looked into mine. “Scratch that, I’m not sorry. No matter how busy I am, I will make time for you. I love you Isabelle. I always have.” He poured his true feelings out to me.
I was speechless for a moment as I took in his words. I could see that the longer it took me to answer the more worried he was getting. It was time to put him at ease and let my own feelings out. “I love you too.”
****3 months later****
“Are you sure you don’t want to come with me?” Sterling asked. A few friends of his had planned a camping trip and he was stopping by to see me before he left.
“I appreciate the thought but I can’t this time.” I answered. “I already promised Mrs. Strahm and Emily that I would help them on the field trip to the zoo.”
“I can wait til after you get back.” His arms were tightly wrapped around my waist.
We had admitted our feelings to each other but ultimately decided to not to label ourselves as an official relationship. He was leaving for college soon and I didn’t want him to stress too much over a relationship. He needed to focus on his school work and I would be here when he came home. We had plans to make ourselves official either when he was home permanently or if I could get into the same college.
“No. You go and have fun.” I gave him a reassuring smile. I knew I would feel awkward if I went anyway. I would be the youngest and I didn’t know his friends very well. “Just call me when you get home.”
“I’ll do better than that.” He smirked. “I’ll come and see you.”
“I would love that.” I couldn’t help but blush at the way he looked at me.
He pulled me in for one last kiss. Our lips moved together as they had done more times than I could count now. It was like once we knew where we stood with each other we just couldn’t get enough. He gently bit my bottom lip before pulling away.
“I love you. I'll see you in a couple days.” his eyes looked into mine.
“I love you too.” I smiled.
I watched as he walked to the car his father had bought, a bright green Lamborghini Huracan. He waved goodbye before getting inside of the car. Then he drove off. Little did I know, that would be the last time I saw Sterling Tipton.
Funny how that turned out.