TITLE: Time Passages
GENRE: YA Contemporary Fantasy
Gemma really likes her friend Ben and has been trying to find the right time and place to tell him. Finally, they're at a party together and she decides it's now or never. But the only place they can find to be alone together is the laundry room.
I look up at him and flounder around for the right words, but can’t think of any. I push ahead anyway. “I like you, Ben. A lot.” His eyebrows rise, but I keep talking. “I think I’ve liked you forever. I'm sorry if it makes you uncomfortable, but I had to tell you. You don’t have to say anything back right now. I understand.”
I can’t meet his eyes, afraid of what I’ll see. Embarrassment? Horror? I stare at his throat and watch his Adam’s apple bob up and down, petrified I just ruined everything.
I glance up at his face and his lips are curved into a smile. “It doesn’t make me uncomfortable, Gemma. I like you too.”
“Yeah, but you were always with Kyle. So I didn’t think—”
“Kyle's not my boyfriend anymore. I'm breaking up with him. Tonight.”
He leans closer and touches my cheek. My heart pounds. His arms wrap around my waist, his head lowers and he kisses me. Softly at first, then long and deep, one hand slides up my back and laces through my hair. Kissing him is thrilling and sweet. I feel a little wobbly.
Our first kiss is nothing like the fantasy I had a few days ago—no beach, or crashing waves, or sunset sky. We stand under glaring fluorescent lights. Instead of a sea breeze, the air is filled with the overpowering smells of bleach and floral fabric softener. The rumble of a dryer is our soundtrack.
None of that matters.
Ben likes me.