hips and hearts

Julie Miller

May 20, 2006


Wiping her sweaty hands against her new white skirt, Emma Massioli stared out at the other eighth graders in their school gym. She could see her fraternal twin sister Eva dancing with some blonde boy to the latest slow song. Her other friends also seemed wrapped up in boys.

But not Emma.

The young blonde stood against the wall, awkwardly, trying not to draw any extra attention to herself. Why she'd even agreed to go to this stupid dance was beyond her. Eva had said that magical things were to happen at their eighth grade formal, but all Emma felt was uncomfortable.

Sucking in a breath, she looked at the exit, wondering if she should bolt for the outdoors and the cool air that would greet her. It had to be better than the sweaty warm air nearly suffocating her now. Wrapping her arms around her torso and new black top, she willed herself towards the door. Nervously, she reached for her necklace, a single piece of cut rose quartz hanging from a silver chain…a present from her father. Nerves made her play with the necklace and judging from how hard she was tugging on it now, her emotions played clearly across her body.

This whole dance thing was stupid anyways.

Taking a shaky step in her new shoes, she kicked herself mentally, reminding herself that she didn't need to be wrapped up in some sweaty young teenage boy. With one more glance at her sister, Emma turned towards the door behind her…

And ran smack into the new boy.

With shaggy brown hair and matching eyes, Jacob Monroe's presence had caused a huge wave at their school. He was by far the tallest boy in their grade. He had a love for all things baseball and could sketch like there was no tomorrow. He mostly kept to himself, however…opting to skip the 'popular' route and befriending some nice boys. All the girls saw him as this shy, athletic, artistic boy…

Which, of course, meant that they all had huge crushes on him. In the back of various girls' notebooks, Emma had seen Jacob's name scrawled with hearts around it.

She thought the girls in her grade were huge idiots.

All they could think of were boys.

All Emma could think of was her huge love for painting and her goal to become valedictorian by her senior year of high school.

"Are you okay?" Jacob asked, looking down at Emma's small form. His hands had latched onto her arms when they'd collided in order to steady her. Emma looked down at them and noticed how big they were.

Wanting to go outside even more, Emma felt her face flare up as she looked into his eyes. "I'm fine," she said so softly, she bet he didn't even hear her.

Stepping to the side so she could pass him, his hands didn't leave her arms. Emma looked up at him nervously. "Umm…" she stuttered.

Boys had never been an area of expertise to her. Eva was the one who had countless boyfriends willing to give her a ride home on their bikes. Eva was the one with various 'heartthrobs' pasted on her pink bedroom walls. Eva was the one who was good with boys.

All Emma felt when she thought about boys was uncomfortable.

Her stomach extremely twisted up in knots now, she took another step towards the door. Jacob's warm hands finally left her arms. This exchange felt like it took years, but only a few seconds had passed.

And only a few more passed before an incredibly nervous Jacob Monroe managed to stutter out a simple, "Um…will you…uh…dance with me?"

Pure surprise shone on Emma Massioli's young face. No boy had ever asked her to dance. She was the shy twin…the one who kept to herself. Her stomach twisted up and her nerves began to really attack her. Say no and go outside into the cool air. Say yes and dance with Jacob.

"Uh…I guess so," she said simply. Jacob gave her a shy smile and directed her towards the dance floor. Wiping her hands on her skirt once more, she placed her hands softly upon Jacob's shoulders. He was so tall, she silently thanked her sister for talking her into the new chunky heels she had on. Jacob's hands came to rest on her hips lightly as the two of them began to turn in slow circles like the rest of the eighth grade class. When she turned her head, she saw surprise on many of her classmates' faces…including Eva's. Eva's face quickly recovered, however, as she gave her sister a huge smile. Emma shyly smiled back, and then turned back to Jacob.

For three and a half minutes, they spun around to the syrupy pop song. When it was over and the lights to the gym came on, announcing the dance was over, Emma pulled away from Jacob.

"Um…" she whispered. "Thanks."

Turning away, she went to join her sister near the door, when Jacob's warm hand caught hers.

His palm was as sweaty as hers.

"Will you be my girlfriend?" he asked her simply.

Nodding stupidly, Emma agreed, then pulled away and went to join her sister.

For the next week, Jacob and Emma sat together at lunch and held hands between classes. It was the typical middle school relationship. They would walk home together after school and even had their parents drive them to the movies for their first 'date.'

Emma felt incredibly shy around Jacob and he, no doubt, felt the same way towards her, because when they were together, they had a hard time talking. Both were too awkward to think up conversation.

Seven days after that dance, the two of them shared their first and only nerve-fueled kiss.

It was between classes when Emma met Jacob at his locker. The two walked hand in hand to their next class, but when Emma went to pull away, Jacob pulled her towards him and pushed his lips against hers quickly.

"Bye," Emma said, ducking away from him and practically bolting into class.

The event didn't go unseen by Eva who teased her sister endlessly through the period about the kiss. By the time class was over, Emma had had enough and knew what she needed to do. But when she met up with her very first boyfriend in the hallway, he wore a happy grin on her face.

"We need to talk," he said softly.

Emma had been warned about those words by her sister…

She knew what they meant.

And she felt incredibly relieved. "I agree," she said. "I mean…"

But he cut her off when he boldly declared in front of the students walking past them, "I love you."

Emma's mouth fell open. No boy had ever told her he loved her. After all, Jacob WAS her first boyfriend. Feeling even more awkward, she took a step back…

"We need to break up," she told him.

It took a few minutes to realize what his young girlfriend was saying…but Jacob Monroe soon got it. "No," he said softly, taking a step forward, trying to reach for her hand. "No."

"Yes," she said, a little louder. "We're in eighth grade. We're too young to love one another."

Taking another step back, Emma was ready to run to her next class…and run she did.

While a very shocked Jacob Monroe yelled after her, "You wait! We're going to fall in love! You just wait!"

author's note : Here's the horribly clichéd story I promised you all in my info. This one is just over 35 pages…it's short…and it has eleven smallish chapters after this one. For now, the rating is T, but it could go up to M. I need to review one of the chapters and decide how graphic it is. You can hate it…but I needed something to get me out of my writing funk…and I really feel like this could be it. I have another story started…but it's a lot more angsty and just…it's a lot harder to write. So for those of you who love fluff…this is full of it. Till next time…