"Tangled?" he said as he walked in and plopped on my bed.
I shut the door behind me and sat next to him, keeping about a half of a foot between us. "Yeah, you know the movie?"
"Yeah my sister watches it all the time."
I smiled. "You have a little sister?"
"No she's 34." I looked at him blankly and he burst out laughing. "I'm kidding, she's 6."
I laughed, relieved. "I was gonna say, that'd be a little weird."
"How old are you again?" he challenged.
My cheeks turned pink and I shrugged. "The little girl inside of me has a thing for Disney Princess movies."
"Ah, so you're the type of girl looking for the happily ever after?"
Looking down at my hands I sighed. "I was but the hopes and dreams I've ever had have been run over once or twice."
"Once or twice?" he softly said. I could hear the concern and worry in his voice. That beautiful voice was like sweet arms wrapped around my waist, keeping me company and giving me warmth.
"Or 14 times," I whispered. They weren't all boyfriends. This included friends, family, and any loss I had in my life. I had counted them all, keeping a tally on all the things that hurt me the most.
"So that's why you're afraid," he whispered almost to himself. We sat in silence, both of our eyes on the movie. I knew we both weren't thinking about the movie.
"Let's play a game," he suddenly said. He moved up on the bed and sat with his legs crossed, facing me. I did the same. "Truth or Dare."
I laughed. "Truth or Dare is a middle school party game you play to get their first kiss and lick things that shouldn't be licked, I'm not playing this."
"Come on, just play!" he begged. His bottom lip curled down into a fake frown. "Please?"
I sighed looking up at the ceiling. "Fine."
"Okay, Truth or Dare?" he asked.
"Hey now, who decided you go first?"
"I did. Now, Truth or Dare?" His lips curved up into the adorable smirk I've come to hate.
He thought for a moment. "Tell me about your middle school Truth or Dare."
I laughed. "What about it?"
"Like what did you do? Who did you kiss? What did you lick?"
"Hmm . . ." I pondered. "I kissed Billy Reynolds in a closet, my first kiss, and I licked a toe, a nose, a vase, a floor, and a light bulb."
He chuckled. "You have all of that memorized?"
"Yes. My turn, Truth or Dare?"
I scoffed. "I knew it, boys always pick dare first."
"Fine then, truth."
"Well you can't change your answer now!"
"You are very hard to please, you know that right?"
"Oh yeah, I know." He laughed and gazed at me as I tried to think of a dare. I was always really bad at dares. "Umm . . . go do a cartwheel."
"Come on, you're kidding right?"
"You said so yourself, this is a middle school game and your making it even more middle school than ever, pick something crazy, something fun!"
"Fine." I thought for a while and finally, I had it. "Strip for me, down to the underwear and make it nice and sexy."
Nate's challenging glare turned into a devilish grin. "That's more like it." He got up off of the bed and stood in the middle of my room.
"Wait!" I giggled. Pushing off of the bed, I grabbed my speaker and turned on my favorite hip-hop song. Candy Shop.
Nate let out a laugh. "Really?"
He started with his sweatshirt, stripping it off, reveling his perfectly shaped abs and huge shoulders. I looked like he was shaped from the gods. I noticed a scar on his left side, near his ribs. He threw the sweatshirt in my face, interrupting my studies. I laughed as I brought down the shirt from my face. Next were his shoes, which he had a difficult time getting off in the first place, let alone making it sexy. He did a little dance here and there, shaking his hips and shimmying like an idiot. He was a cute idiot none the less. Stretching out the elastic of his basketball shorts and shimmied them down and stepped out of them. I continued to laugh as he held them around his neck and walked around in his boxers like a model.
Suddenly he dropped his shorts and ran towards the bed, plowing me over on the bed and pinning my wrists to the sheets with his hands. I was laughing so hard I could barely breathe and so was he. As we calmed down he was still pinning my wrists and he looked at me. He actually looked at me, his eyes warm and soft, his smile brightly shining on his face. I looked back at him and for the first time, I felt comfortable. I felt like nothing I ever did would make him think of me differently, like he knew me and his perception would never change.
"I have a question for you," he whispered, his face inching closer and closer.
I giggled. "What's that?"
"Truth or Dare?"
It was quiet for a while. "Can we skip your turn?" I whispered, closing my eyes, slowing my breathing.
I opened my eyes to his, right in front of me, curious. "I have a good dare, please?"
"Okay, what is it?"
I slowly opened my lips and let out the words I was dreaming of speaking all night. "Kiss me."
Suddenly there was a knock on the door. Nate didn't move, he was staring at me up and down.
"Lily, it's your father," voiced from outside the door.
Finally, it clicked, there was someone knocking on the door, he was in my room, a boy, and he was wearing nothing but boxers and socks. With amazing speed and making no sound, Nate picked up his clothes from the ground. I quickly got up, and smoothed my hair, trying to act normal, I turned to tell Nate to hide in my bathroom but he was already gone. I looked around once more then walked to the door, opening it to my father.
"Hi sweetheart," he said with the warm smile I've always known him to have. "Just came to tell you I was going to bed."
"Okay, goodnight," I said, wrapping my arms around him. He kissed the top of my head and headed down the hallway, down the stairs, and shut the door to his bedroom.
Quickly, I shut the door and walked to the middle of my room, searching for Nate. I looked in the bathroom, in my closet, everywhere I thought it was possible to hide but he was nowhere to be found.
"Nate, he's gone, where are you?" I whispered to the room. Suddenly, a hand grasped mine and spun me around. Before I could gasp, a pair of lips touched mine so passionately, so desperately it was like he'd been craving it for so long.
I finally came to my senses. It was like something inside of me changed. This kiss was like the Princess and the Frog. The only difference was, I was the frog and he was one changing me. I was the one turning into something beautiful. I believed, again, in love. I never stopped believing in it, I stopped believing in me. This kiss proved something to me, I could feel it.
Hope was a real thing.