Adam and Emma

Adam kissed each crystalline tear as it fell from Emma’s eyes. When the tears dried up, he pressed his lips to hers, the salt from her tears slipping into the cracks of her chapped mouth.

“I love you,” he whispered, placing a kiss on the tip of her nose.

She shook her head. How many times had she heard the promise before? How many guys had lied to her just for sex? How was Adam different?

“I don’t know that,” she said, pulling away from him.

Adam sighed, flopping back onto the grass. He looked up at the moon and the stars and took in a deep breath, trying to soothe the rejection threatening his soul. “I knew you would say that, especially after that dick broke up with you. Why would you believe me? I could end up just like him, right?”

Emma didn’t say anything, Adam all ready knew the answer. Of course she was comparing Adam to him. It had been a whole day of crying onto her best friend’s shoulder and a large cup of strawberry ice cream since the break up. The pain was still fresh, each lie barely scabbed over on her heart. Each word of hurt was still running through her brain and every ‘I love you’ was ringing just as loud as the days when he’d said it.

“I’m not him,” Adam said, focusing on the North Star.

“I know, but… am I just supposed to run to you?” Emma asked, leaning her cheek on her knee.

She could fall in love with him, she knew that. It would be easy, too. It would only be so easy to look into his bright blue eyes, weave her fingers through his dark, curly hair and tell him exactly what he wanted to hear. It would be easy to feel it, too, but she couldn’t. Emma had been hurt too many times all ready, she didn’t need Adam to add to all of that. He was such a nice guy—her best friend from the fifth grade on. If he hurt her, who would she have left?

“Why not?” He looked over at her and smiled that mischievous grin she knew only so well. It meant he had an idea and it meant he wouldn’t take no for an answer. “It could be fun, you know? Best friends for ten years, Skeet, we could be amazing. Who do you trust more than ol’ Quailman?”

Emma chuckled. The childhood nicknames, taken from the one cartoon they could agree on, tickled her heart. It would be so easy to love this boy.

“You remember that song that I wrote for you in seventh grade?” he said, putting his hands beneath his head. “That really crappy one about turtledoves and Pork Chop?”

“Yeah,” she laughed. “You said it didn’t matter if I was green or blue, you’d still take me to the zoo and Pork Chop, too. Then you said turtledoves meant friends forever and you so got that off of Home Alone.”

“I’d still take you to the zoo, Em,” he said, propping himself up on his elbows. “Right now you’re blue and I would be more than happy to take you to the zoo to see turtledoves. Maybe they’d remind you that love is eternal. You get hurt, but then there’s something there that just mends it. I’m like the tourniquet for your broken heart, Skeet. You just have to give me a shot to get working. I’m not a jerk, you know that. I’m not a womanizer and I don’t only want sex and I never drink and I think smoking is disgusting. I would never hurt you, Skeet. Why won’t you give me a shot?”

Emma laid back in the grass beside him. “You know that song Saved by Spill Canvas?” Adam nodded. “That’s like us. This whole thing really sucked yesterday, you know? I thought he really loved me. He was so nice and he never did anything that would make me think that he would cheat… nine times.” She sighed. “But I’ve got you, Quailman. You came and saved me tonight. I could do anything with you.”

“Even stop a timebomb?” he asked, smiling brightly.

Emma nodded. “That’s the first thing I’d be capable of doing. Then… I think I’d take over the world.”

“I’m game.”

“Figured as much.” She laced her fingers through his as she sank back into the grass. “But I can’t just leap head first into another relationship right after this last one. I thought I was gonna get married and have kids with him and now I find out he was using me, because I had a nice bank account.”

“You do have a nice bank account and I would not mind getting a hand in that.”

Emma laughed as Adam smiled. “I guess it is pretty enticing. No wonder I get so many losers in my life.”

“Agreed. Those fancy clothes do not help your chances at getting a nice guy unless his name is Spencer Pratt. You’re guaranteed to get a lot of Spencers.”

“Joy.” She squeezed his hand as she looked over at him. “I do love you, Adam, but I can’t handle another Spencer Pratt right now and,” she held up a hand at the indignation that crossed his face, “I know you aren’t like Spencer Pratt, but I don’t want to turn you into him. I don’t want a genuinely good George Clooney to become a terrible person like that thing dating Heidi Montag.”

Adam nodded. “I think we watch too much TV.”

“Agreed.”

“This George Clooney,” Adam pointed at his boyish, smiling face, “is not turning into a jerk any time soon and I’ve been your friend for ten years—I don’t think you’re changing me into one. I promise you, Skeet, I’ll be everything. I will… I will sing you nineties love songs every day if you just give me a chance.”

“N*Sync and the Backstreet Boys?”

“N*Sync, Backstreet Boys, Boyz II Men, Brian McKnight… anyone, I swear to God. I will sing Michael Bolton songs to you if that makes you happy. I will get up on the table during lunch and sing to the entire university Baby One More Time if that’s what you want. You want some S Club 7 thrown in there? You’ve got it. I’ll give you the world on a poptastic platter if you so desire.”

Emma laughed again. For someone suffering from a broken heart, courtesy of her own Spencer Pratt, she was doing a lot of lighthearted laughing with George Clooney.

“Ok ok ok,” she said, waving her free hand in the air. “I will give you a chance if you sing This I Promise You by N*Sync at lunch—on the tables. And you have to sing it loud enough for everyone to hear you, got it?”

“Public humiliation? No problem,” he said, smiling brightly. “So we have a deal. One N*Sync song in front of a bunch of people that I don’t know in exchange for a lifetime?”

Emma smiled shyly as she turned onto her side. “Do you want a lifetime?”

“I think N*Sync said it best,” he chuckled, wrapping his arms around her and pulling her close. “I will take you in my arms and hold you right where you belong. Till the day my life is through, this I promise you.” He nuzzled his nose against hers and kissed her cheek. “I promise you, Skeet. Every word I say is true.”

Adam and Emma

DudeRun

Mount Vernon, United States

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