Pinch Me

I looked across the mucky green lake, as I sat on the wooden dock near my house, and observed the new sprigs of flowers emerging on the banks. I always sat at on that dock during the spring time, because that was when it was most beautiful. Although the water itself looked unattractive, it went well with those small yellow and white lilies.

I heard footsteps behind me and then felt someone's hand on my back. I looked up and saw Jake Robinson. "Hey, Holly," he said and then grinned and plopped down beside me.

I sat back and smiled at him, "Hey."

He just continued smiling and said, "Want some gum?" He waved an unidentifiable packet in my face.

I glared at him. Jake never offered me gum, or anything for that matter, unless it was some sort of prank.

"What?" He looked confused. "What did I do?"

I narrowed my eyes at him. "Is this a prank?"

"No," he said, rather too quickly. "I promise it's not a prank."

"I don't believe you," I said stubbornly, folding my arms across my chest.

"Fine," he shrugged, "don't have it." He slipped the gum back into his jean pocket.

Now that was odd. Jake was usually persistent when it came to pranks. He would do anything and everything possible to get me to fall for the joke, but not this time.

"Fine," I sighed, finally giving in. "I'll have a piece." Jake smirked his I-told-you-so face and pulled it out again. I took it from his hand and observed the package. "Wait, Jake," I said suspiciously, pointing at the purple and green witch dancing on the front. "Why does this say 'Witch's Brew' on it?"

"It's last year's Halloween candy," he replied nonchalantly.

"It don't believe you." I threw the packet into his lap. "This is totally a prank."

"Holly, no it's not." He sighed. "If you want the gum, take it. It's not a prank."

"Promise?" I said taking the packet back.

He nodded. "Promise."

"You have it first." I commanded, throwing it back into his lap.

"I already have some," he opened his mouth wide and produced a bright green wad of gum.

"Sick," I wrinkled my nose and looked away. "I don't want to see your chewed gum."

Jake smiled his perfect smile and said, "It's ABC gum."

I raised an eyebrow at him and laughed a little. "What is that?"

He laughed again and opened his mouth even wider; sticking his tongue out with the bright green wad perched right on the tip. "Already been chewed gum," said Jake in funny lisp.

"Sicko!" I pushed him and the gum fell out of his mouth and onto my arm. "Ew!" I screamed and jumped up, shaking the sticky gum off of me.

Jake began laughing hysterically.

"HAHAHA." I laughed, over-exaggerating his expression. Then I added sarcastically, "Yes, my misery is so hilarious."

"You know it is," said Jake in mid laughter. He was clutching his stomach and practically rolling on the ground.

When his laughter finally died down, he began opening the gum packet. He asked, "Do you want this?" I nodded slowly and he placed the purple gum ball in my hand. Casually, I popped the gum into my mouth and began chewing.

I was an idiot for believing Jake. I don't know why I ever believe him. Of course he was playing a prank on me. Jake always played pranks, even when we were five when he told me to sit down in the chair beside him and then he pulled it away just as I was sitting down. I'm sixteen now, and it's been eleven years of his torture. How we've stayed friends, I have no idea.

"JAKE!" I shrieked, lunging for him. Gum was foaming out of my mouth and dripping down my chin. I had read about this kind of gum before. It supposedly had a powder in the center of the gum ball which caused it to foam. Apparently it was "a practical joker's dream come true."

Crap.

Purple liquid fell on my shirt. I'm going to kill him. I spat the stuff out before I began running after Jake, who was already twenty feet ahead, running for his life. We ran off the dock and around the lake, finally reaching my front yard.

"YOU JERK!" I screamed, catching up with him. I jumped on his back and we toppled over onto the grass. "YOU PROMISED IT WASN'T A JOKE!" I smacked his head.

"Ow!" he said between laughter.

"I HATE YOU!" I kicked him in the gut and ran.

"Damn," I heard him say, "HOLLY!" He began chasing after me.

I managed to sprint a total of ten feet before I felt him grab my shoulders. The next thing I knew, I was on the ground and he was on top of my legs, preventing them from kicking the shit out of him. With one large hand, he held both my wrists, pinning them to the floor.

"JAKE!" I screeched. "LET GO OF ME!"

"Apologize for kicking me!" He said, sounding angry, although there was a bright smile plastered on his face. His blue eyes were lit up with excitement, the same kind of expression a little kid gets when they enter a giant candy store.

I wanted to smack him so hard, but no matter how annoyed I was, I couldn't deny the fact that Jake looked amazingly attractive. He had dark brown hair, tussled from my (brutal) attacks and a strong, defined jaw. His acne phase had ended years ago, leaving him clear, tan skin. And he had the most ripped muscles, which of course gave him both undying energy and strength.

"No." I squirmed underneath his grip, so he tightened his hand around my wrists. "You're the one who should apologize!" I said.

He cocked his head to one side, "Why? You should have known it was a joke. You know me by now." He laughed again.

"Damn it!" I screamed. "I hate you Jake!"

"On the contrary, I think you enjoy getting tortured." He said smiling, but he still didn't let go.

"WHY THE HELL WOULD YOU THINK THAT?" I screamed, struggling to get out of his grasp.

"Why else would you stay friends with me?" He shrugged, as if this whole situation was no big deal.

"Yeah?" I raised an eyebrow. "Well you know what?" I didn't let him answer, "FRIENDSHIP OVER!"

He only laughed at this. "You said that the last time!"

"I MEAN IT THIS TIME!" I growled and then kneed Jake in the back.

"Damn it!" He let go of my hands to clutch the spot where I kicked him, enabling me to roll over and slip away from him. Jake began laughing again as he stood up.

"What?" I hissed, getting ready to sucker punch him in the nose.

"You have something on your shirt." He pointed at the purple stain that had formed from the foaming gum.

"Damn you!" I screamed, pushing him away from me. "You are no longer my friend!" I ran away from him, and into my house. I always said that every time Jake played a prank. But every single time, I would succumb to his puppy dog face and forgive him.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah," I heard him say just before I was out of earshot.

XXX

"Hey Hol," my mom said from inside the kitchen. She was cooking something on the stove.

"Hey Ma," I walked in and slumped into the nearest chair.

"You look tired babe," she ruffled my wavy brown hair.

"I was with Jake." I grumbled, putting my head on the table.

She began chuckling. "Hon," she pulled something off the back of my shirt and placed it on the table, "did you two have fun?"

I glanced at the paper. It said, "Holly loves Jake."

I growled and quickly ripped up the sheet of paper. "I absolutely hate that jerk."

My mom chuckled again. "Hmm, did he play a joke on you again?"

I nodded, "look at what he did!" I stretched my shirt out and showed her the stain.

All she did was laugh and shake her head. "I'm not even going to ask what that is. Just take it off and put it on the washing machine, I'll wash it later."

I nodded. "I am so going to get him back!" I stomped up the stairs and slammed the door.

Instantly I began searching for pranks on the internet, and let me tell you, they have some pretty crappy ones on there. I have no idea where Jake gets all his ideas.

At around seven, there was a knock at my door. "Hey babe," my mom's voice spoke, "Your father and I are going out for dinner."

"Okay," I nodded, still keeping my eyes on the computer.

She opened the door but didn't come in. "It's pouring outside," she continued, "so be careful."

"Okay," I nodded again.

"Make sure you lock all the doors when we leave."

"Okay Mom," I groaned, "I've stayed home alone before."

"I know, I know," she sighed, "Alright, we'll be back at midnight."

"Okay."

"Love you babe." She said. And then they were gone.

XXX

Suddenly there was a knock at the front door. My heart immediately started pounding because 1) I wasn't expecting anybody to come and 2) It was ten. I mean, who knocks on someone's door at ten in the night?

Like a smart person, I decided not to answer the door…at first. Then the knocks became louder and faster. And then someone said, "Holly! Let me in, damn it!" My heart stopped pounding. It was only Jake.

I slowly opened the door, only to find a very wet and annoyed Jake. "Good god woman!" He grumbled walking in with no permission. Technically he didn't need any because my parents said the he was always welcome…but still…it's polite to ask. But no, Jake would never do that, being the jerky-jerk that he was.

"What are you doing here?" I asked in a highly irritated tone. As I closed the door, I could feel droplets of water hitting my skin. But it wasn't rain; it was Jake, shaking his wet hair like a dog. "What are you doing here?" I asked again after the only response I got was a splash of water in my face.

"I was bored at home." He frowned and flopped onto the nearest couch.

"Get off!" I yelled at him. "You're wet!" He quickly got up, sensing my aggravated mood.

"What?" He laughed, "You're still mad at me?"

"Maybe," I glared at him, folding my arms. "Did you run in the rain or something?"

"Yeah," he said, shaking his wet clothes around. "By the time I thought of taking an umbrella, I was already soaked."

"Idiot," I whispered under my breath.

Jake began taking his wet shirt off, revealing his extremely attractive body. "Do you mind if I dry my clothes?" He started heading towards the washing and drying machines.

"Yeah," I shrugged, "Go ahead." By the time I said that, he had already pulled off his shorts and was sticking his clothes in the dryer. I couldn't help staring at his striped blue boxers. He looked so cute.

"Hol," he said, interrupting my daydream, "can you get me a towel? I'm going to take a shower while these dry."

I nodded quickly and disappeared to get a towel.

While Jake was in the shower, I decided to set my prank up. I had settled on the classic bucket of water prank. So during the five minutes of Jake's shower, I balanced a large bucket on my bedroom door and kept it open only a few inches.

When Jake returned, I was downstairs, casually sitting on the couch waiting for him. "So what did you want to do?" I asked, turning to see his dry self.

"Watch a movie?" He shrugged.

"Sound good," I nodded, "Go to my room and pick one."

"Be right back," he nodded and bounded up the stairs. After a second, I heard a loud scream, and then "HOLLY!"

I secretly grinned to myself and then ran to the noise. Quickly, I pushed my door open. Suddenly, I felt water and then a bucket fall on my head. I screamed from shock and saw Jake laughing on my bed.

"WHAT THE HELL?!" I screamed.

"That was priceless." Jake said, holding my camera in his hand.

Baffled, my eyes flickered from Jake to the bucket to my wet hair and clothes. "How…"

"Honestly," said Jake, leaning against my headboard, "did you think you could prank me?"

"How…" I repeated, now staring at Jake's (still) dryness.

"Oh come on, Holly." He smiled. "I've played that prank on you so many times. Did you really think the master," he pointed at himself, "could have fallen for the apprentice's pranks?"

"I really hate you," I growled.

"And how did you fall for that again?" Jake laughed. "That's probably the tenth time I have played that joke on you."

"I hate you." I said again, slumping into my desk chair grumpily.

"Oh my Holly-Wolly," Jake cooed, standing up. He walked over to me and squatted down to my level. "It's not my fault you always fall for these pranks. Now if you anticipated my actions, well, that's another story…"

I glared at him.

"You're going to kick me now, aren't you?" He quickly got up and stepped back.

I remained silent and continued shooting my glare bullets.

"Geez, if looks could kill…" Jake shook his head. "Fine," He put his hands up in a surrender form, "I promise not to play any jokes on you for the rest of—"

"My life?" I asked excitedly.

He snorted and then corrected me, "the night."

"Fine." I crossed my arms over my chest. "That's good enough, I guess…"

"Good." He nodded. "Movie?" And just as he held up the movie Scream, there was a loud crack of thunder. I shrieked at the startling noise. "God," Jake winced, "the movie's not that scary…"

Suddenly, the lights went out, and I shrieked again. "JAKE!" I yelled. "Turn the lights back on!"

You see, I absolutely hate the dark. I would rather jump off a bridge than sit in the dark. And Jakes knows this. I even have nightlights plugged in at every outlet in my room. There are so many, it could probably pass for day, instead of the middle of the night.

"I didn't do it!" he said loudly.

"This isn't funny Jake," I said, searching for my light switch, "turn it back on."

"I think the lights went out."

"No shit," I said angrily. "Now turn it back on."

"Holly," Jake sighed, "the electricity is fried."

"You're lying," I growled, "turn it on."

"Look!" He said.

"You really think I can look, Jake? Moron."

He ignored my insult and continued, "It doesn't work." I could hear him flicking the light switch up and down, but nothing was happening.

"Oh," I said softly.

"God Hols, I promised I wouldn't play any jokes."

"Sorry…"

"Come here," he grabbed my hand. Instinctively, my fingers intertwined into his, and I gripped his hand like it was the end of the world. "Are you okay?" he whispered.

I shook my head, terrified. I glanced at the window—trees were swaying, slapping the window, and the wind was blowing a million miles an hour.

"Don't look outside," Jake whispered, pulling me closer to him. He wrapped his arms around me and I unconsciously burrowed my head into his chest.

There was another crack of thunder, this time even louder. Jake and I both jumped about ten feet in the air, and then out of the blue, my lips landed on his. I wasn't sure if it was my fault, or his.

"Oh," I pulled back quickly, "I'm so sorry!"

Jake smiled and tucked a strand of my brown hair behind my ear. "I'm not," he whispered.

I furrowed my eyebrows and looked at him, confused. "…What?"

"Shh," he whispered, sliding his finger over my lips. I smelt that familiar minty smell, and then I felt his lips brush against mine.

XXX

Somebody pinch me please.

Honestly tell me, am I dreaming?

Are we in heaven?

Is it the end of the world?

Because those are the only explanations I can think of as to why Jake is kissing me!

As much as I enjoyed it, it wasn't supposed to be happening!

This was so wrong…well, maybe not wrong… maybe this was supposed to happen…like fate…

I could hear my conscience saying, "Snap out of it, woman!"

As much as I wanted it to continue, I knew it was only a dream.

…right?

I just needed that slap, or pinch, or anything that could wake me up from that terrifying yet wonderful dream.

But why did it feel like ice-cold water? So oddly addicting on those hot summer days…

His lips were soft and warm, moving against my lips at a steady pace. I felt his hand began snaking around my waist, moving lower to my hips. It was sending shivers up my spine. I felt like I was melting in to him like chocolate on a hot day.

I tried pulling away, but he, being as strong as he was, only pulled me closer. My lips parted, and his kisses became faster, more forceful, like the world was going to end if we didn't kiss. He moved his hand to caress the small of my back and I honestly felt like I was going to die from the pleasure. For only a second, I managed to get a gasp of air, before Jake began kissing me again.

I had gotten kissed before, but never like this. This was like all of my favorite things wrapped up in a little ball, like the Earth had officially achieved 'world peace' status, like everything bad in this world had miraculously become good. It felt like everything had been intensified by a power of ten, yet it all seemed to get more and more confusing.

At that moment, I knew I never wanted him to stop. I wanted him to hold me forever, to kiss me for eternity, to love me until death do us part.

But that damn thunder startled the both of us once again. I pulled away from Jake and stumbled backwards. I couldn't breathe; I was in so much shock. It felt as though I had just run the 25 K marathon.

"Please pinch me," I managed to say between gasps for air.

Jake chuckled. "I'd rather do this," he said, and then kissed me again before I could say anything more.

"Wait," I stepped way back. "Is this a prank?"

"No," He shook his head.

"How do I know for sure you're not lying?"

"Just be quiet, and see." He kissed me.

"Wait," I pulled back. "What does this mean?"

He raised an eyebrow. "It means I love you Holly Williams," he said without hesitation. His expert lips were kissing me again.

"Wait," I pulled back again. "You love me?"

He nodded. "In a completely non-friend way…"

"What do you mean?"

"I'll show you," he smiled, and his lips were on mine.

"Wait," I said. He groaned and pulled back. "Does this mean you'll stop pulling pranks on me?" I asked, hopeful.

"In your dreams," he smirked, and then kissed me. Again.

And all I could think was, "Pinch me. Just pinch me now."