"Close your eyes and hold out your hands." "Why?" "Just do it Josie!" "Okay okay!" I closed my eyes and held out my hands. He put something velvety and small in my hands. "Okay, look." I opened my eyes.
It was a small, velvet, green box. "Open it." Peter said. I carefully opened it. It was a beautiful gold heart pendant with a little emerald in the center. "May I?" he asked. I nodded. He took it and came around behind me. He put it on, then stood back in front of me. "Do you like it?" I fiddled with it and nodded. "You're not saying anything. Are you sure-" I pummeled him in a hug. "OH 'kay." "Thank you.....thank you so much." I whispered.
For the next few days, I felt.....different, every time I saw Peter. I was a little more shy, more aware of the things I did when I was around him or the way I looked. Why? I never cared before.
"Hey Josie." I jumped. "Woah. Did I scare ya?" "N-no." He just chuckled. "So....a-are you going to the dance with anyone on Saturday?" I asked. "Maybe. I've got someone in mind I'm thinking of asking." I looked back down at my desk. "Oh." "What's the matter Josephine? Were you gonna ask Pete?" Henry, the class bully asked.
I went bright red and glared at him. "Lay off Henry." Peter said. "What? It's obvious she likes you. Or maybe even...looooves you." In one swift motion, I stood, punched Henry in the face, grabbed my bag and ran out. "Josie wait!!" Peter called.
I ignored him and just kept running. I ran out of the school, to my truck and just drove. I suddenly knew what the feeling was. But no way. That was the dumbest, most useless feeling in the world. What happened with Henry wouldn't have happened if I hadn't let myself feel that way. I let my guard down.
Saturday evening, about an hour before the dance, Peter showed up at my house. "What do you want?" "You haven't answered your phone, you haven't even been at school for the past two days. What is going on?" "Nothing. I just had some things to do." "You're in high school. What do you have to do that's more important than school?" "None of your business." "Really? Because last I checked, everything we did was the other persons business."
I walked back to the living room. Peter followed and shut the door. "What is going on, Josie? I'm worried about you." "Don't be. I'm fine." I said and sat on the couch. "You're all dressed up. Your date must have said yes." He sighed and put his hands on his hips. "Well I don't know. I was gonna ask her a couple days ago but she ran away. I was hoping she'd say yes tonight."
All the feelings started flooding back. No. This couldn't happen. I held up the damn with everything I had. I stood back up and walked to the kitchen. "Well I'm afraid she's going to have to decline." He followed me. "Why?" "Because......." "See. You don't even have a good reason." "I LOVE YOU! That's my reason!"
"What?" It came out as a whisper. "I love you, Peter! And I can't risk loving. It makes me weak! But.......I don't want to lose you either....You......You are the only person..." He started to walk toward me. I held my hand up. "Please, maybe if I say this, it won't hurt so much." He stopped.
"I....I've never been taught to love someone. I've never had anyone to love. Not like this. I was always told it was a...a weakness. And now I see why. What happened with Henry a couple days ago just proved to me why loving is pointless. It just causes more heartache and hurt than necessary. And you....you wonderful, amazing, stupid boy......you made me love. I can't risk anything. I don't want to. I was hurt enough before I came here. I don't need to go through anymore. That's why........" I took a deep breath. "That's why I asked my foster care to move me to another school...another town." "What?" "Peter-" "No, Josie! No! I waited too long to get the courage up to ask you out and admit how I feel just to let you go! I won't let you leave. Not yet." He stormed up to me, took my face in his hands, and kissed me.
I stood there in shock. But..it felt right. He rested his forehead on mine. "Tell that's wrong. Tell me that we're not worth it." Tears started streaming down both of our faces. "Peter I-" He took my hands and put them to his chest. "You feel that? That's a beating heart." He put one of my hands to my chest. "We both have one Josephine. You have one. Let it feel. I promise I will never make you regret it."
My head screamed at me to say no. To run. But I nodded anyway. He smiled the biggest smile I've ever seen. He lifted me into his arms and spun me around.