In the movies, things always end perfectly. The guy gets the girl, the girl gets the guy, and it's a happily ever after ending. The movie always ends with a kiss if it's a romantic comedy thing, and the people are always smiling unless they're the antagonist (the bad guy, and its sidekicks). The cameras spin around them, other people around them suddenly disappear, and everything is perfect, if only for one moment. This is the part of the movie with the up-beat sweet songs.

In the movies, it isn't March, and you aren't swimming. In the movies, it isn't your best friend making you shiver in your favorite pair of underwear and bra. It isn't your best friend leaning in and whispering sweet nothings as you accept them.

While Kale was trying to kiss me, during my moment of spinning cameras, of disappearing people, of absolute perfectness, my moment of bliss, I realized something. I realized what all people realized when living under false conceptions of love- or rather false conceptions of movies and the life ven diagram I've been describing so well throughout the story. Movies and life had some things in common, yes, like a suburban setting, lovable characters, and problems and solutions. Movies, however, while they hold some of the greatest lessons I will ever learn- like that love is real and even through death, I can experience it-, end at the happiest part, and you never know what happens to the lovable characters in the suburban setting that should according to the laws of life have more problems after the one the movie focused on. I was beginning to wake up.

My thoughts as Kale was leaning in- just like the movies, slowly, very slowly- were of just that: the comparison of real life and movies. How bizarre is that though? Real life? What is life if it's not real? That's what I'd always thought when people had told me to keep my thoughts of love under the laws of real life. I guess there is another life, the movie life, but all it is is imagination and the power to use it, even though the world isn't that great, and never really will be. You can reminisce of when times were better, when you were younger, when it all didn't matter so much- but in the end, when you're living the "real life", what does it matter?

As my perfect kiss from the perfect guy was coming in for a landing, I had no choice after these thoughts and my harsh awakening to the real world of real life, but to sink underwater, avoiding my first kiss. And, I know what you're thinking. Why wait so long. . . and just as you have the best thing you can ever imagine to get, let it sit above water as you sink down? As I said, I was just waking up- just seeing all the colors besides the ones described in emo songs, just realizing that I was about to kiss my best friend, which in any culture isn't the most. . . acceptable thing for you to do for yourself.

When I was underwater for the fifteen seconds I could hold my breath for, I opened my eyes, and while I saw Kale's lower half, his boxers, his feet kicking in place, ect, I also saw the seaweed coming up to attack Kale and I amidst our romantic moment. I saw the greenness of the water- it was a see-through greenness. I saw the bubbles I could make breathing underwater. I saw my feet with the glittery toenails and the way my feet kicked to keep me from sinking totally. It wasn't until I felt a hand on my forearm that I saw the best thing in the world- my best friend, who had been for almost twelve years, who'd do anything (even giving me up) to make me happy. Kale loved me, and somehow, I hadn't seen it, even though he'd given me a picture of us, him staring at me, clearly showing his adoration. I hadn't seen it, even though he hugged me differently than my other friends. I hadn't seen it, even though he looked at me with eyes that showered care, which when hasn't he cared for me? Was I really that into the dream of being kissed- by Mr. Perfect, or anyone, for that matter- that I had overlooked the way my friend looked at me, and all the small, yet important presents he had given to me? That's what the movie life was, though. A dream that reality was a dream. It was like a nightmare, where you woke up, but were just dreaming a dream inside a dream.

Upon arrival to the water's surface, after my big gasp of breath, I saw the hurt in Kale's eyes. I saw the way I'd made him feel- hurt. "It isn't what you think, Kale. I've realized something," I said, trying to make him stay and listen by latching onto his shoulder, and looking him in the eyes. But he wouldn't look at me in the eyes- eye contact was apparently too good for me in the moment. He looked off to the side, clearly saying, "I'll stay here because I love you, but Lydia, I sure don't like you right now. What did I do?"

"Well, Kale, I was just thinking- I know I always do- about my first kiss, about how it's supposed to be. And while at first, the prospect of kissing a friend who had seemed like a brother my whole life was a bit strange, I still wanted to, because I just wanted my first kiss so badly. But, Kale," I tried turning to where his head was facing, so I could see his eyes, but he looked away, clearly avoiding my eyes (after all, eyes are the gates to our soul, and he didn't want me messing around in there anymore with a wrench or a hammer or even a can opener), "Didn't you ever wonder why I wanted my first kiss so damn bad?"

Kale mumbled into space, "Because the movies influenced you."

"Exactly," I said, grabbing his chin, and facing his head towards me, so he had no choice but to look into my eyes, "I've been living in a bubble of dreams that'll never come true," I said, smiling a very faint smile.

"Lydia, you were about to get kissed- why wouldn't that dream come true?"

"I've always said I wanted a perfect romance. How can anyone have a perfect romance? Really, Kale, it's impossible," I said, letting go of his chin.

"How do you know that what we could have between us couldn't be perfect?" Kale inquired which actually, I'd never even thought about.

"The thing is, Kale, I don't want a perfect romance anymore, because what's the point of perfect? Every thing's got problems, we all need the solutions."

"What about me, Lydia? What about the guy who'd do anything for you, and all he wants in return is to love you with out being labeled a friend? What about the guy who tried to make all your dreams come true? Don't forget about the characters in the movie that help out the main character, don't forget the overlooked that only wanted the girl to be happy in the end," Kale explained something that I'd never really wondered or worried about.

"Kale, before I do something I'm really going to forget, I need to ask you something- something I should've asked you the day you gave me the locket. . ." I started.

"Shoot. You can't ask anything that I won't answer."

"Why would my brother tell you he was going to commit suicide?" I asked, grabbing his hands, and looking at him so that he'd concentrate on the topic. It was a hard question to answer, after all.

"Lydia, I wish I had the answers to the most complicated questions- really, I do. However, I think your brother decided I was of caliber to know the depth he stood for. He really didn't know what he was doing when he told me, I don't think. I just think he wanted me to not fuck up mine like he had to his so eventually I'd end it all too," Kale said, with even breaths between every seven words.

"Why was his life so 'fucked' as you put it?"

"He was in love, and his girl didn't love him back. I guess that's what love can do to you. He didn't have a movie ending, I suppose."

"Kale- I do love you, I do. I'm just figuring things out right now," I said, hoping that my confession might save his life, if he were as serious as my brother.

"What 'things'?" he asked, clearly annoyed with my dancing around in my answers.

"Kale, come closer," I said, and he did, he kicked his way over to me, "Put your hands on my waist, and I'll put mine on your neck," I said, as Kale and I followed my commandments.

Kale asked me, "What are we doing, Lydia? Shouldn't-"

"Now, we have to close our eyes very slowly, just like the movies, Kale, just like the movies," then we both leaned in simultaneously.

And in that moment of circling cameras- that've happened to be around me three times (twice with Grafton, and once with Kale)-, disappearing people, and well, love- movie life style, Kale and I shared our first kiss.

Cut the sappy happy yay song. It wasn't like that. It wasn't a perfect lip lock like the movies- precisely how I knew it would be according to my new revelation. We both missed each other's lips, I got Kale's scratchy chin, and he got my adorable nose. That made me laugh and Kale too, who only pulled me closer, and whispered, "Let's try again."

The second time, Kale got my lips, and although it was wet and slippery (a definite exchange of saliva), it was the most amazing feeling I've ever had. It was shyness, it was happiness, it was nervousness, it was all the ness pulled together to make a word with the suffix "ful".

I pulled away and smiled, and Kale looked at my nose, "You really do have a cute nose."

"And you really look like a puppy dog."

"That's a good thing, right?" he asked, pulling my legs around his hips.

"Not always- dogs smell," I said, and just as Kale was about to retort, I put my finger to his lips. "Let's get it absolutely perfect this time."

I guess third time's a charm because my third kiss with my best friend was better than any movie kiss and felt real at the same time. Perhaps "real life", however problematic, and however annoying, and however unappealing compared to Love Actually, Pretty Woman, Dirty Dancing, Romeo and Juliet , and Titanic, can be magnificent at times, and even when it isn't, you just try again like I did with my first kiss.

Perhaps, I'm being over sentimental here. Perhaps I just sound cheesy and all happy the way stories are supposed to end. Thing is- those times when they end perfectly like this, movies and stories seem less like real life, but that's because things that we never forget are usually the depressing scenes of your life, the scenes of death or sickness, the scenes of wanting but never having.

Maybe someday, after I've had all my firsts have turned to seconds and thirds and fortieths, I'll never even compare to the movies, because the movies might seem better again when I'm older and sick of the thing I spent most of my teen years wanting- a perfect first kiss with the perfect guy in a perfect romance- but perhaps, someday, I'll look back and remember the shivers that wracked my body the winter/spring/ summer month with the lake and Kale and Grafton, Tony, and learning about Dexter, and remember how perfect imperfection is. Real life is so unlike the movies, sometimes it's better.

Author's note:

About the beginning of this, I apologize. She had to realize sometime. Real life sucks, death sucks, and no one likes it. I would've had it out yesterday, but uhm, my dog passed, and I didn't have time. I'd like to thank everyone for reviewing because however sad I was with my dog dying, rereading all the kind reviews (however unkind you were to Grafton and Dexter!) really made me feel at least a bit better. Thanks to all who gave me character analysis, I appreciate more than you know. It helped me. Also, to the people who want me to look at their stories, I will, I promise, but not for a week or so, I'd like to take the time to eat ice cream, listen to wonderful lyrical songs, and just, you know, mourn. He was a good dog. Really. I'd like to point out the realness of the story too. My brother died. My best friend's name is Kyle (I'm pretty clever with my name. . . uh, thing there, hey?), Bailey is close to Brittany, who is my friend and in this story. I have curly hair, like Lydia, some of the events, while not all happened to me, and so I took from real life and wrote. Again, thank you for all your kind reviews. This is sadly, the end of the story. I really wish it wasn't. Maybe I'll do a prequel for Dexter, as someone suggested, but I doubt it. I hate prequels and sequels and trilogies- at least writing them, I love reading them. You'll just have to look out for more stories that sound good by me, if you want more. Trust me. There'll always be a guy like Kale, but Kale is so much like Kyle, and I love Kyle, and he's in Chewed Up Post Its too. I love you, reviewers, thanks for hanging with me.