Longest one-shot I've ever written. But honestly, I just wanted to modernize romance. I have no idea if any of it even makes sense.


Lyla used to dream of a beautiful white wedding on the beach. During her mermaid phase she used to pretend the little fish all swam to the shore to watch her kiss her true love after they exchanged their loving vows. She told her mother of this perfect wedding when she was eight. At that time her crush was Draco Malfoy from the famous series. Her mother worried that she had grown to like the bad-boy type. She tried to steer her daughter toward "nicer" boys at the young age of eight years of age.

Lyla spent her third grade days dreaming of how Draco Malfoy would walk her to the recess yard and kiss her on the cheek when the teachers weren't looking. She was so caught up in her little fantasy world that she hardly noticed Ian Schkiney, the short boy who had taken a liking to her. He tried to talk to her during lunch, but she took no notice to him.

Both Lyla and Ian's crushes were short lived. Ian's older brother had informed him that girls had cooties, and Ian grew fearful of Lyla infecting him. Lyla, on the other hand started listening to her mother.

In her mother's honest attempts to save her daughter's future love life, she started inviting her old friend over for lunch. He had a son who was just Lyla's age. He liked watching Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon. Lyla and Robbie (the son's name) didn't know what else to but watch The Fairy Odd Parents and Spongebob Squarepants.

They were sitting on her couch watching their cartoons when Robbie's hand brushed against hers. He pulled away in a huff and moved to the opposite side of the couch. Lyla convinced herself that he was just shy because he liked her too much. Draco, who? Robbie was much sweeter and shared her same interests in television viewing. He didn't have short blonde hair, and he had kind of chubby cheeks, but Lyla found them adorable. She found herself finding it difficult to pay attention to Timmy and Spongebob. Instead she tried to move closer to Robbie on the couch. His hand would sometimes brush against hers by mistake, but she took this as him trying to tell her of his feelings.

Their mothers would eat lunch together and watch their two children. Lyla's mother laughed over her daughter's obvious attempts to hold Robbie's hand, while Robbie's mother was upset that he wasn't acting more like a gentleman.

Lyla's picture of her perfect wedding changed. She no longer wanted the fish to swim to the shore and watch her marry Robbie. She realized that the fish wouldn't sing to her after she ran down the isle with her new husband. She still pictured the same beach wedding, but it was a little more refined. She pictured actual diamond rings instead of those ring lollipops. Robbie's brown hair also looked better on the beach than Draco's bleach blonde hair.

Lyla and Robbie didn't go to elementary school with each other, so she only saw him once a week. When they were both nine years old, Lyla started to become a little more obvious. She bluntly asked him if he had ever kissed a girl. He just turned his head and looked at her in horror before hiding himself in the corner of her couch. He started asking his mom if he could stop coming with her to Lyla's house. His mother was heartbroken and asked him why. Robbie was afraid that she would be upset if he told her the truth, so he told her that he was bored with watching cartoons at her house. She argued that he watched cartoons at home all the time, and he whined and groaned until she stopped dragging him to Lyla's house.

At first Lyla was devastated. She kept asking her mother when Robbie would return, and her mother was too heartbroken to tell her that he didn't want to come over anymore. She instead told her that Robbie was falling behind in school and had to catch up with his work. Lyla felt a little better, but her crush slowly faded away until there was nothing left. She hadn't thought twice of Robbie a few weeks after he stopped coming over to her house.

Lyla had a few mini crushes in the last year of elementary school. Ironically enough, in sixth grade she had a tiny crush on Ian Schkiney. He, of course, was oblivious to the entire situation, and seemed to ignore her flirtatious eyes directed at him.

When Lyla was thirteen, she received her first boyfriend. It only lasted four days. She had invested her entire heart into making sure Bobbie Fredman knew how much she liked him. He didn't know how to say no, so he ended up asking her to be his girlfriend. There was no first date. He kissed her one day after school on the way to the bus, but that was just about the only momentous event in their relationship–if one could even call it that.

Lyla heard that Bobbie had a crush one some girl named Sharron. Rumors spread around like this rather quickly in the eighth grade. But as it turns out, Bobbie's crush on Sharron was no rumor, but a fact. Lyla decided that getting upset over it would have just been a waste of her time. Instead, she took joy in knowing that Sharron was one of her friend's friend's friend's, and that Sharron was in no way interested in Bobbie.

She was willing to put Bobbie behind her, just as she had done with Ian, Robbie, and Draco.

Ninth grade signified the beginning of high school for Lyla. She was looking forward to a fresh start. Some of her friends were going to the same high school with her, which she was happy about. The worst feeling is going into a new school without knowing anyone else.

Lyla spent the entire first year of her high school life trying to fit in. She didn't want to make any enemies, but she also didn't want to make friends with people whose personalities she did not appreciate. Lyla became devoted to her studies. A few boys would spark her interest, but it always ended up that they were either complete assholes, or they were just gay, which immediately made them unavailable to her.

This didn't seem to worry her, though. She went through the first two years of high school with boys not being her first priority.

She sometimes just wished that guys could go through high school without making girls their first priority.


Lyla loved math. It wasn't because the numbers filled her with a false sense of comfort, or because she came from some sort of geeky family. It was rather because it was something she understood. The numbers made sense to her, unlike her French class. She wasn't planning on going to France anytime soon. At the same time, she wasn't planning on going to the magical land of math anytime soon, but she still put her time into studying it.

It was math class where Connor first noticed Lyla. They were in the same math class for two months before Connor really started to notice the way Lyla had a certain bounce in her walk and the way she would just smile and chuckle instead of laugh full-force when someone said something funny.

Strangely enough, it was a sneeze that brought Connor to notice Lyla. She was still recovering from the cold she had over the weekend, and was trying hard not to disturb the class with her sniffles. She let out a tiny sneeze, but nobody said bless you. Connor found it odd that nobody blessed her as usually everyone was very polite. This caused him to look at Lyla as a person instead of a classmate for the first time.

The sneeze was not very lady-like, nor was her futile attempts to blow her nose without making any noise. It was disgusting for Lyla to be blowing her nose in the middle of the classroom, but Connor just couldn't seem to turn away. Lyla had excused herself to go to the bathroom and blow her nose in private, but Connor's thoughts didn't stray far from her. At first he convinced himself that she wasn't in the class before; that he had seemingly ignored her for so long, but he knew there was no truth in this.

When she came back from the bathroom, she was breathing a lot easier. Connor kept his eyes on her as she made her way back to her seat. Her nose was red from her cold, her eyes were red, her face was puffy, and her hair was pulled back in a rather messy pony tail, but Connor didn't seem to take in any of that. She caught his stare just as she was sitting down. Connor thought she would blush and look down at her desk, but she just tilted her head and looked right back at him before another sneeze took over, and she sat back down.

Lyla was absent the next day of school. Her mother was worried that her cold would worsen, and made Lyla stay home. A few of Lyla's friends mentioned this to the teacher as she was calling attendance. Normally Connor wouldn't have cared less about the whole matter, but he found himself missing the girl who sat eight seats away from him.

The weekend came and went. Lyla spent her weekend watching movies and trying to get over her cold. Connor spent his weekend with friends. Despite his attention toward Lyla in math just a few days before, he didn't think of Lyla once during the weekend.

Monday came around and the two went about their ordinary lives. The two passed by each other in the staircase. Connor was saying hello to just about every person who walked by while Lyla was having a short conversation with a friend. Connor and Lyla were about to bump into each other when passing by in the hallway, but Lyla moved her body enough so that they never made contact. Connor hadn't even seen her walk by.

Connor spent his entire math class dozing off. He had perfected the art of looking like he was paying attention in class while he was half asleep. Lyla was copying down notes like the good math student she was. The teacher asked someone to put up the answers to a few problems on the board. Lyla had the answers within seconds, but she didn't raise her hand. She stayed in her seat and watched the other students answer the easy (to her at least) math problems. She let out a content sigh as she continued copying down the notes.

The rest of the week went by just like that. Connor would zone in and out of the class. He had all of his notes written down, but only half of the time was he actually paying attention to what he was writing. Lyla, on the other hand knew exactly what she was writing, but also found herself zoning out. She would think about what movie she wanted to see with her friends on the weekend. She would think about how much work she had left to do for the night. Sometimes the most random thoughts would come into her mind. She daydreamed of owning a pet monkey and eating ice cream with Shakespeare. Sometimes she thought of nothing in specific. Just lines and words running through her mind. The bell would ring every day and the two wouldn't so much as look at one another.

The next weekend came as expected. Connor slept until one this time while Lyla slept until nine. She watched cartoons with her younger brother and spent the majority of the day in her pajamas. Connor changed into a simple t-shirt and sweat pants and jogged around the park for an hour. At five o'clock, the two got ready to meet their friends at the closest movie theater.

Lyla hugged all of her friends before they decided on a movie. Connor high-fived most of his friends and gave a load of them half-guy hugs. A few girls were among them, and Connor didn't hesitate to envelop them in full hugs.

The two different groups went inside the theater. Lyla and her friends recognized Connor and his friends, as did they with her group. They didn't greet each other, or even acknowledge each other's presence. Lyla and Connor's eyes met for a brief few seconds, but neither thought anything of it. The two groups of friends bought tickets for separate movies, and they each went their separate ways. Lyla's thoughts strayed to Connor once during the film, but she didn't think much of it.

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday went by rather slowly. Lyla had three tests that she spent her nights studying for. Connor only had two, but he also had an essay, which meant little sleep for him. Finally on Thursday, Lyla had a much needed substitute teacher in her history class. The teacher left an assignment, which she finished in no time at all. Once she was done, she handed it in, and sat down next to a group of sort-of friends who were talking after finishing their own work.

"I don't know, she just doesn't seem to like me very much," Tammie muttered in a high-pitch voice. "She never calls on me when I raise my hand and she always gives me disappointing looks when she checks my homework.

"What did you get in her class?" another girl asked.

"A 92, but I've gotten higher than that on her tests and essays. I just don't understand why she hates me so much."

Lyla sat down next to Rick, who was listening to the conversation, but not giving much of his input. "Mrs. Kinston," he explained.

Lyla nodded her head in understanding. "I never understand how she grades anything."

Tammie motioned her arm toward Lyla. "So I'm not the only one!"

"Of course not. She's just a ridiculous grader. You can do terribly on all of her tests and she'll still give you a grade above a 90."

"But she's a really easy essay grader," Rick added.

Tammie nodded. "Of course, but she totally picks favorites."

Lyla shrugged. "Don't all teachers?"

The rest of the little circle chuckled in agreement. Tammie mumbled something about all teachers hating her.

"Rick!" Todd called out, causing him to turn around.

"Yeah?" he responded. Todd was sitting a few desks away. After he had gotten Rick's attention, he turned back to talk with two of his friends. Rick let out an annoyed sigh.

"I better go see what he wants," he said before getting up and walking over to Todd.

"I think Mrs. Kinston might like me," said Kristy. "I mean, I've done terribly on her tests and she gave me a pretty good grade."

"You see?" Tammie said to nobody in particular. "She just hates me."

Lyla rolled her eyes in a jocular manner. "She doesn't hate you, she's probably just tougher on you."

Tammie rolled her eyes. "Whatever, but she definitely is unfair to the students she likes. I mean, she gave Connor a freakin' 96!"

"Connor's a pretty smart guy," reasoned Kristy.

"But you know that's not why she gave him such a high grade," Tammie argued.

"Well, duh. If Connor was my student he would probably be my favorite."

"But I would fail him just so he would have to retake the class again," Tammie said jokingly.

Kristy laughed. "That's terrible!"

"But so true."

Lyla furrowed her eyebrows. "Wait, what Connor are we talking about?"

"Burkley. He's kind of tall, pitch black hair, brown eyes."

Lyle couldn't help but chuckle. "You've just described half the guys in this school, but I know him. He's in my math class."

"And wouldn't he be your favorite if you were his teacher?"

Lyla shrugged. "I've never really talked to him."

Rick sat back down in his prior seat telling the three girls that Todd just had a question about some stupid party. The conversation about Connor Burkley stopped there. Tammie thought it would be weird to fawn over one guy with another guy part of the conversation. The four just continued to talk about teachers and their unfair grading standards. The bell rang a few seconds later and everyone picked up their belongings before heading off to their next classes.

Thoughts of Connor Burkley escaped everyone's mind except for Lyla's. It wasn't that her mind was clouded with pictures of Connor Burkley confessing his love to her, but rather that she had math next period, and somehow his eyes always seemed to meet hers in that class.

She dropped her bag on the floor next to her desk and took out her notebook and handy-dandy graphing calculator. Connor was already in his seat, trying to balance his pencil on his nose like an idiot. The bell rang, and Connor immediately stopped playing with his pencil and instead opened his notebook, ready to pay attention to what the teacher had to say.

"Good afternoon. Today we will be continuing unit circles."

A loud groan erupted from various students. Lyla took out her notes from the day before and was prepared to continue on in the exciting journey of mathematics.

"Oh hush. I have to make you all some copies of this worksheet, but I'm going to put up some problems on the board. Please someone put them up when they finish. I expect all the problems to be completed by the time I get back."

The teacher put up some problems on the board before rushing out of the classroom with a few papers in her hand. The majority of the class started talking, but there were a few diligent students who were doing the problems put up on the board. Lyla managed to finish within minutes, but she chose not to put up the problems on the board. The girl next to her asked her for some help, and she complied without a second thought. She was so busy in her mini tutoring session that she had not even noticed Connor's gaze on her.

A few more minutes went by and still there were no answers on the board. Connor decided to be a brave student and got up with his notebook in his hand. He picked up a piece of chalk and started putting up the solution on the board. He was halfway through the problem when the teacher walked back into the room. She frowned upon seeing the half-empty board.

"Just one problem? I need the rest of these up so we can do the worksheet."

She put the stack of worksheets on her desk and looked around the classroom. Her eyes caught sight of Lyla sitting in her desk, fiddling with her pencil.

"Lyla, can you put one up?"

Lyla nodded and got up from her desk. She brought her notebook with her before grabbing a piece of chalk. She almost tripped over the teacher's desk on the way to the board, but she managed to catch herself before anything embarrassing happened.

Connor was more than aware of the presence of the girl approaching him. Well, not really him, really she was approaching the board, but he was at the board, and therefore was approaching him. Lyla wiggled her nose as she started putting up the solution next to Connor.

"Hey," he whispered, feeling like he had to say something while he still had the chance.

"Oh," she said, startled, "Hi."

She continued putting up the problem, but she had to look back at her notebook far more than usual. Connor wasn't ready to give up just yet.

"Is this what you got for this one?"

Lyla looked over his shoulder at his solution. His handwriting was a little difficult to understand, but her eyes found the circled answer. She looked back down at her own notebook. "I think she wanted us to round it to three decimals, not two."

He looked at the solution she wrote down and nodded. "Whoops, my bad. Thanks."

She smiled. "No problem."

They both continued writing the answers on the board. Lyla had made a mistake and erased part of her work with her hand. Because of her close proximity to the board, the white chalk dust started falling on her. The dust fell into her hair, but there wasn't enough of it to really see it on her.

Connor's eyes drifted back to her as he watched the chalk dust fall on him. For some reason he couldn't help but think of a bride, or even a princess walking through a snowfall. He was brought out of this sudden picture when Lyla sneezed from the chalk.

"Bless you," he muttered.

She sniffed. "Thanks."

The two finished putting up their problems in silence. Much to Connor's embarrassment, Lyla finished before him and headed back to her seat.

Lyla couldn't help but think about Connor more and more for the rest of the day. She didn't really know him all that well, but he was a pretty nice guy, not to mention she found him insanely attractive. But he was on a completely different social ladder from her. Everyone knew who he was, while only a handful of people knew who she was. He was only talking to her out of friendliness, not because he actually thought of her.

She went to bed that night trying to get thoughts of Connor out of her head.

The next day passed by slowly. Connor had barely gotten any sleep because of some stupid science project he had to finish the night before. He had to try extra hard that day to keep his eyes open during his classes.

Lyla's day went by as usual. She paid attention in all of her classes, but often found her eyes drifting toward the window.

When lunch came, it was a relief to the both of them.

Lyla pulled out her sandwich and chips as her and her friends started talking about random things that strayed from the new movie that was out to Tammie's dog-walking story.

Connor and his friends laughed a lot, but also had a very eclectic array of conversation topics. The conversation only turned interesting when Connor caught sight of Lyla. He hadn't seen her in the lunchroom before that day. He always assumed she ate somewhere else, or maybe even went to the library. He knew she was a good student, and probably had a lot of work to get done.

"What you starin' at, Burkley?" asked one of his friends.

Connor turned his head to Tom. "Huh?"

"You were zoning out."

"Oh," he said before taking a bite of his sandwich. "Do you know anything about Lyla Bridsy?"

Todd shrugged and tried to look for her in the lunch room. "She's in my English class. Why"

"Just curious."

Just then their other friend, Chad sat down and started taking out his lunch. "Wassup, guys?"

Connor didn't say anything, so Todd took the opportunity to respond. "Connor's got the hots for Lyla Bridsy."

Connor slapped Todd's shoulder. "What the hell?"

Chad raised his eyebrows and chuckled. "She's cute. Not really your type, but she's cute."

"What do you mean she's not really my type?"

"You usually don't go for girls like her. I mean, usually you don't go for girls, it's the other way around, but I've never seen you with someone like her."

"What do you mean 'like her?' What's different about her?"

Chad stopped unpacking his lunch to talk to Connor directly. "Dude, calm down. She's just different is all. If you're into her, good for you."

Brenda and her friend, Susie walked up to the table. Todd was about to wave to them, but Brenda put a finger to her lips, telling him to be quiet. She snuck up on Chad and put her hands over his eyes.

"Guess who?"

Chad pretended to think. "Obama?"

This caused Brenda to giggle and smack his head gently. "You idiot."

Chad smiled and pulled Brenda to sit next to him. They were so close that Brenda was almost sitting on his lap. He kissed her before he started eating his lunch. Susie sat herself across from Brenda and next to Todd. They smiled at one another before she started munching on her salad.

"Why the silence?" Brenda asked, playing with Chad's hair.

"Connor's got a thing for that Lyla chick, so he's pretty distracted, I'm eating my sandwich, and I don't know why Todd is being so quiet."

Brenda gasped and turned toward Connor. "Lyla? Oh my gosh, she's so sweet. How long have you liked her?"

Connor glared at Chad and Todd. "Would the two of you shut the hell up? I ask about a girl and suddenly I'm in love with her."

"If you're going to ask her out, you better do it soon," Brenda said matter-of-factly.

"And why is that?"

"I hear Danny is planning on asking her out soon. Apparently he's had a crush on her since freshman year."

Todd scoffed. "The geek who always erases the board and raises his hand before anyone else?"

"Oh come on," Susie said, "Danny's pretty nice. A little obnoxious, but nice."

"All I'm saying," Brenda continued, "is that you better act fast."

Connor thought about this for a moment. He never really believed that he was going to ask her out, but it seemed like more and more of an option.

"Do you think that she would say yes?"

"If Danny asked her out?"

Connor nodded his head and looked at Brenda, waiting for her to answer. "I don't know. I'm not psychic."

She started nibbling on the chips Chad had taken out with his sandwich. Tom started telling a joke, but Connor wasn't listening. He was too busy thinking of Lyla and Danny. Maybe she was really into Danny as well? Maybe he was thinking about her way too much.

Whatever was going on, Connor started to think that maybe Brenda was right. Maybe he should act on whatever it was he was feeling before it became too late.


"Strike!" Tammie called out.

Lyla clapped her hands and laughed. "And you said you were a bad bowler."

"Sometimes my strategy works, and sometimes it doesn't."

Ray stood up for his turn and gave Tammie a curious glance. "And what exactly is your strategy, Ms. Tammie?"

Tammie stood up to demonstrate. "You close your eyes really tight and just pray the ball hits the pins."

"Hm," Ray contemplated, "Tempting, but I think I'm going to try actually bowling."

"Whatever works for you."

Lyla and her friends continued playing their game. Lyla missed a few rounds, but did pretty well in other rounds. They were getting close to the end of the game when Tammie nudged Lyla.

"Look who's here."

Lyla turned her head to where Tammie was looking. She didn't understand what she was referring to at first, but soon saw none other than Connor Burkley and his friends starting a game. Lyla's eye's lingered on Connor for a moment more than necessary, but then shrugged and turned back to Tammie.

"I guess they had the same plans today."

Lyla and Tammie turned their attention back to the game. Tom and Ray had just given each other a high five because Tom make a strike. Rebecca was getting ready to take her last turn, signifying the last round.

"You guys wanna get a bite to eat after this?" asked Tom.

Rebecca missed half the pins, but got three more on her second turn. She let out a content sigh as she walked back to sit down next to Ray. "Can't we just eat here?" she asked.

Lyla wrinkled her nose. "And eat what? Disgustingly greasy and over-priced nachos?"

Ray let out an "mmm, nachos," causing Lyla to roll her eyes.

Tammie suggested the diner across the street, and everyone was pretty okay with that answer. Ray pouted because he wanted his nachos, but Lyla pointed out that they had nachos at the dinner at a much cheaper and less greasy price. Ray complained that the grease was what he loved, but Lyla just ignored that statement.

As everyone was finishing their last rounds, they all heard someone call out, "Tom!"

Tom wasn't necessarily the most popular guy around, but he used to be on the football team before his parents made him quit because his grades were slipping. He started hanging out with Lyla and her friends more after leaving the football team, but he was still pretty close to Chad and Todd.

"Chad!" he called back and waved.

Chad's arm was wrapped around Brenda, who also waved at Tom. She whispered something in Chad's ear, which caused him to nod. He pecked her on the cheek before jogging over to Tom.

"Sup, man."

Tom shrugged and glanced over to his other friends who were just about finished with their game. Ray was of course still complaining about the nachos.

"We're just finishing our game."

Chad chuckled. "Ours just started." He looked back at his friends. Brenda made some sort of hand gesture, which reminded him of the task at hand. "You guys wanna join us?"

Tom raised his eyebrow. "Join you guys? I don't think the slots let us put in more than eight people."

"We can just double up."

"Thanks, man. Let me just ask them."

Chad nodded and jogged back over to Brenda and his friends. Tom gave his own friends Chad's proposition. Nobody jumped up at the idea, but in the end everyone decided that it would be fun, so they finished their game with Ray winning and headed over to Chad's group.

Tom was the one who began with the introductions. "So, uh," he muttered awkwardly, "does everyone know each other?"

Brenda was the one to speak up. "Yeah, Tammie, Ray, Rebecca, and Lyla. We go to school together, Tom."

Tom rolled his eyes. "I was just making sure."

Brenda skipped over to the scoreboard. They had only typed in their names, so no numbers were yet on the board. Brenda looked at the list of names on the board and back at the people who were waiting for her to speak.

"Okay, so we can just totally ignore the names for now. I'll just play with Chad. Tom and Ray can play together. Rebecca and Tammie can play together. Todd and Susie can play together and Connor and Lyla can play together," she smirked at the last pairing and turned her attention back to Tom.

"Sounds good?"

Everyone mumbled their approval of the pairings. Lyla thought it was a coincidence that she would be paired with the guy who always seemed to stare at her in math class, but Connor knew better. Still, he didn't complain.

The two smiled at each other before sitting down next to each other. Lyla was the one who decided to break the tense silence.

"Are you a good bowler?" she asked.

"I'm no professional, but I'm known to have a few strikes here and there."

"Oh, well I'm sorry if I bring us down then."

Connor nudged Lyla with his shoulder. "We'll beat them all, just you wait and see."

Lyla couldn't help but laugh at Connor's confidence. "Okay, whatever you say, Connor."

It was the first time she had ever said his name in front of him, and he wanted to make sure that it wouldn't be the last.


The next week went by pretty quickly for everyone. Connor and Lyla had not won the bowling game like Connor had predicted, but the two still had fun. They started to talk to each other in the hallways and sometimes even in math class. Lyla had even taken the initiative to friend Connor on facebook.

It was Thursday at lunch when Brenda brought up the whole "Connor and Lyla" situation again.

"I think Danny might be making his move soon," she said out of nowhere. They had been debating the ending of Inception before her sudden statement. Connor was the only one who picked up that the conversation was turning to Lyla.

Chad was the one who responded first to her statement. "What are you talking about, babe?"

Brenda rolled her eyes. "I told Connor that he better act fast on Lyla before Danny sweeps her off her feet."

Todd was the one who scoffed. "She would never say yes to him."

"What's your problem with him?" Susie asked, obviously annoyed.

"He's annoying."

Brenda chose to ignore their bickering and looked back at Connor. "Are you going to ask her out or what, Connor?"

"Maybe he doesn't want to ask her out," Chad pointed out.

"Of course he wants to ask her out. I see them talking in the hallway. And he's always trying to look for her in the lunchroom. He's just not doing anything about it."

"I'm right here, guys."

Brenda turned her attention back to Connor, obviously annoyed. "And we're trying to tell you to do something about it."

"Just leave it alone," Connor said, throwing his backpack over his shoulder. He threw the remains of his sandwich in the garbage as he walked away from his lunch table. He heard Todd and Chad call out his name, telling him that they would drop the subject, but he didn't want to listen. He couldn't listen to them go on and on about Danny's supposed crush on Lyla and whether she would give into his pursuits or not. Instead, Connor walked out of the cafeteria and headed to the library. His eyes met Lyla's curious gaze for no more than five seconds before walking out of the cafeteria.


Susie had been Brenda's best friend since she was eleven years old. The two did almost everything together. They knew each other's secret and planned on remaining friends for the rest of eternity. There were a few times when the two would fight, but they would always get over it and end up talking about how stupid they were both being. Because of their closeness, Susie was eager to join Brenda on her mission of getting Connor and Lyla together.

Susie's eighteenth birthday party was just the perfect opportunity.

"Hey Lyla," Susie said one day in French class. Lyla smiled at Susie even if she was a little confused as to why she was saying hello.

"Hey Susie! What's up?"

Susie shrugged and leaned in so she could talk without others hearing. "I'm having a party on Saturday night. I was wondering if you wanted to come?"

"What's the occasion?"

"It's my birthday next Wednesday, and my parents said I could throw a party. Don't worry, you don't need to bring a present or anything, but I'd really love it if you could make it. I think Tom told me he was going to stop by, so maybe you can catch a ride with him! Tammie, Ray, and Rebecca can come too if you want to invite them."

Just as she was finishing her invitation, the teacher walked into the class and asked everyone to sit down.

"I hope you can come!" Susie said before skipping back to her desk. From the corner of her eye, Lyla saw Susie pull out her phone and text someone with a smile on her face.


Both Rebecca and Ray had rejected the party invitation. Ray had some date with this girl his parents wanted him to go out with. He thought it was a little old fashioned and out of date, but he just couldn't get out of it. Rebecca's parents wouldn't let her go out that night because she had put out doing an entire science project. Tammie accepted as had Tom, leaving the three driving to the party in Tom's car.

"You do realize that Connor is going to be there, right?" asked Tammie.

Lyla tilted her head to the side. "Yeah, but what does that have to do with anything?"

Tammie rolled her eyes. "All Brenda and Susie have been talking about is how Connor is going to ask you out."

Tom scoffed from the driver's seat. "Why do chicks know this kind of stuff?"

"He probably won't keep his eyes off of you the entire night," Tammie said, ignoring Tom's question.

"I'm sure those are just rumors, Tammie. We hardly ever talk other than math class, and even then we barely talk. He probably won't even know I'm here tonight."

Tammie was about to prove her statement, but they pulled up to Susie's house, which was already swarming with people and parked cars. Lyla let out a big sigh as she got out of Tom's car with Tom and Tammie side by side.

"Let's go find Connor," Tammie said, dragging Lyla along. Lyla tried to read out and grab Tom's arm for protection, but he already started talking with Chad about something probably sports related.

The two girls finally spotted him talking to Brenda about something. Connor was about to pick up a can of beer when Brenda snatched it out of his hand. Connor gave her an annoyed glare when he tried to get it back from her. She shook her head and handed it to someone else who took it eagerly.

"Why can't I drink?" they heard Connor ask from the distance.

"Because I don't want you to look like an idiot."

"Who cares?"

Brenda smacked his head, which caused him to flinch. "Brenda!"

"If I find you with a drink in your hand, I'm going to castrate you," she declared before storming off to find Chad.

Connor rolled his eyes and scanned the room for Todd. He just didn't expect to find Lyla and Tammie standing beside the couch looking his way. He almost forgot that he was at Susie's party for a second. Lyla didn't look much different than she did in math class the other day. She was wearing a simple dress without any make-up. The dim lights in the house made her look a little more mysterious, and if Connor would admit it, seductive, but she still looked like the same Lyla he saw in math class everyday. For some reason, the picture of Lyla putting up problems on the chalkboard with chalk dust falling around her popped into Connor's head.

He took a deep breath before gathering the courage to walk over to Tammie and Lyla, who were whispering something to each other.

"I didn't know you two were going to be here," Connor said, looking between Tammie and Lyla.

"Oh, Susie invited us," Tammie said, even though Susie had really only invited Lyla, who then invited Tammie. "You know, I haven't wished her a happy birthday yet. I think I'm going to go and find her. See you two later!"

Lyla gave Tammie a look of utter shock before Tammie ran off to supposedly find Susie. Lyla couldn't believe that Tammie would just leave her alone like that. Connor would spot one of his friends and leave her alone to face the wall, something that she wasn't exactly fond of doing.

"Sorry, she tends to run off like that a lot," Lyla said, explaining her friend's rudeness.

Connor shrugged and leaned against the wall. "That's fine. I didn't know that you two were so close to Susie."

"Uh, we're not."

This caused Connor to chuckle. "That's okay, I guess. Susie just likes to make friends. Did you just get here?"

Lyla nodded, but Connor was running out of things to say and Lyla couldn't find a way to make herself sound more interesting. Connor's hands started sweating as he tried to figure something out to avoid an awkward silence. If he stopped talking to her, would it be weird for them to talk later? But at the same time, he didn't really want to stop talking, and neither did Lyla at that point.

Somehow the two were able to verge out of small talk and onto more intellectual conversations such as the latest movie out and the amount of ridiculous teachers at their school. They eventually moved to sit down on the couch and continued their conversation without any awkward silences. A lot of people said hi to Connor, and a few said hi to Lyla, but neither one of them wanted to end their conversation. So instead of talking to others, they stayed facing each other, laughing and just having a good time. Around them a few people threw up in pots, and some stumbled out, drunk as could be. Some stayed later and talked just as Lyla and Connor, while some left earlier.

No matter how or why it happened, but Connor and Lyla shifted closed to one another on the couch. They were so close that Lyla could hear Connor even if he was whispering. He could feel Lyla's breath on his nose whenever she would laugh or say something with great amusement.

It could have been the low lights, or the aroma of alcohol and drunken teenagers, but somehow Connor's lips found Lyla's. Neither one of them let it go any further than a few chaste kisses, and they finished the night both smiling and laughing.

Eventually Lyla saw Tammie motion to her watch, which signaled that they had to be home. Connor pecked Lyla on the cheek before Lyla and Tammie climbed back into Tom's car, this time with Lyla the driver. When her and Tammie finally made it back to her room, she talked about the few kisses, but kept most of the conversations to herself. She felt as if she talked about it more, it would seem too unreal, but too cliche at the same time.

Still, Lyla fell asleep with a smile on her face.


They should have known that things were going to be different on Monday. Lyla couldn't help but shrink upon seeing the numerous people glance her way. Or maybe it was just her imagination. Either way, it seemed as if the entire world was telling her that she did something worth looking at her for. And she didn't like it one bit.

But this was not the main difference that should have been noted earlier on.

Connor arrived to class just as the bell rang, and Lyla was already sitting in her lovely desk. Her eyes met Connor's as he traveled down the isle of desks to get to his own. Instead of averting her gaze, she let her eyes linger on him. They had a few brief moments of this intense eye contact before Connor gave in and smiled at her. It really wasn't his fault; he just couldn't help it. And Lyla, unable to control it herself, smiled right back at him.

From that point in they should have known that things couldn't go back to the way they were before.


Although most people thought otherwise, Connor knew when he was being a complete idiot. His problem wasn't that he didn't know, but rather that he didn't know how to fix his stupidity. He knew that he should have asked Lyla out at Susie's party. If she said no, then she said no, and he could get really drunk and forget about it for just a little while. If she said yes, they might have gone a little further than just chaste kisses. Either way it would have been easier for Connor to have got the nerve and sense to ask her when the time was right, not awkwardly a week later.

Brenda kept prodding him for more information. She suggested flowers and a card, she suggested chocolate, she suggested slipping a note in her locker, she suggested going to her house and just asking her. While Connor kept all of these ideas in mind, he knew that none of that was him, and for some reason he figured that none it would be her either.

And truth be told, Connor Burkley had never asked a girl out before. At least not in the formal sense. Girls would always cling onto him. They would be the ones to hint at a date, and he just went along with it. This time he had to initiate it completely. He wasn't going to lie about being at least a little bit on-edge about the entire situation.

He knew that if he waited any longer, the opportunity would just slip right through his rough fingers. Him and Lyla would talk in the hallways and on the way to different classes. In math class they would sometimes be able to talk to each other, but the conversation was always light. Connor knew that if he didn't just do it that she would think the other night was just a mistake and he viewed her as nothing more than the girl in math class who sometimes got chalk in her hair- in the most graceful way, of course.

So as that week went by, Connor thought up different ways to ask Lyla out without being too cheesy and without looking like a total jerk.

He probably wouldn't be able to tell you why he decided to go up to the board that day. It wasn't different from any other day. Nobody had said anything to push him any closer to Lyla. But Lyla was writing her answers on the board with the chalk dust flying off the board. Connor saw the unanswered problem beside her and jumped up without second thought.

"Hey," he whispered as soon as he got up to the board. The teacher was in the room, but she was busy answering other questions.

Lyla's hands began to sweat as her hear started thumping louder. She was afraid that she would drop the chalk, leaving her quite embarrassed. "Hey, Connor."

Connor took the piece of chalk from its metal holder and twirled it around in his hands.

"Lyla….I…." he started.

Lyla put down her hand down, waiting for Connor to continue.

"Do you want to go out with me this Friday night?" he asked. His words weren't rushed or slurred. He asked her as if it were the most simple thing in the world, and in some cases, it could be considered so.

Lyla felt the chalk slipping from her hand, so she gripped it tighter and made sure that it wouldn't fall.

"I would love to."

Lyla circled her answer on the board before she put down the piece of chalk and dusted her hands off on her jeans. She had to bite the inside of her cheek from keeping the goofy smile on her face. Connor, on the other hand, looked down at his notebook and realized that he had no idea how to solve the problem on the board.


As far as first dates go, Connor and Lyla's went incredibly smoothly. He picked her up at six o'clock without any awkward meeting of the parents. Lyla had explained to her parents that it might only be a one night kind of thing, and she didn't want to waste anyone's time. Her parents understood, even though they could see that their daughter wanted more than anything for it to be more than just a "one night kind of thing."

They went to see the soonest movie that was playing at the local theater. Connor paid for her ticket, which earned him a thank you from Lyla in addition to a kiss on the cheek. As they were watching the movie, Lyla's arm curled around Connor's, which was resting on the seat arm. She was tempted to rest her head on his shoulder, but she didn't want to come off as too needy, so she settled with their linked arms.

He then took her out to dinner. It wasn't anywhere fancy, rather a simple Chinese restaurant. They discussed the movie for a little while, but eventually steered into other topics. And since there's never really any good desert at Chinese restaurants, Connor took Lyla for ice cream as they walked along the street together, just barely holding hands.

Connor brought her home earlier than her parents had expected, but Lyla couldn't seem to care. He kissed her goodnight, this one getting a little more intense than the ones at the party, and whispered something about seeing her again soon.

Within a week they had become facebook official.


Two weeks went by and everything had been going smoothly. Connor and Lyla were charming together. They occasionally held hands while walking down the hallway, but they mostly kept the PDA to a minimum. Connor didn't really care who saw anything and who didn't see anything, but Lyla wasn't comfortable with everyone looking at her as she kissed her boyfriend.

Their two lunch tables merged together, which left no problems whatsoever. Brenda joked that she should become a professional matchmaker when she got older, which got a few laughs, especially when Chad said there was no college degree from that.

Everything was going perfectly until Lyla overheard Connor talking to one of his friends about a party he was invited to. All would have been well until Connor declined the invitation after saying that he had plans with Lyla over the weekend.

"Connor," she started as they walked through the park.

"Lyla," Connor mocked while bumping her in the shoulder with his own.

"What are we doing?"

Connor's eyes furrowed. "Uh, walking?"

"No, I mean, why are we wasting our time with this?"

Connor stopped walking and pointed back to his car. "Do you want to do something else? I thought you wanted to go for a walk."

She shook her head. "That's not what I'm talking about."


"We're graduating in less than four months, and we're both going to different colleges."

Connor already didn't like where the conversation was going. "It's not that close when you think about it."

"But that's the thing, Connor, I have thought about it. I've thought about it a lot and it just doesn't make sense for us to be doing this."

"Doing what?"

"This," she said pointing between the two of them. "Us. Trying to start a relationship that's obviously going to end in a few months anyway. Why are we wasting our time with it?" she paused. "Besides, I don't want you throwing away your last few months of senior year being stuck to me."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"It means that I know that you want to go to parties and let loose for the next few months, and I just….don't want to do that. And I know that if we try so hard for us to work out that it won't be all fun and games anymore. It'll just add more unnecessary stress."

"How long have you been thinking about this?"

"Just the last couple of days. Maybe it's been a week. I don't know."

Connor frowned upon hearing Lyla's words. Was he acting a certain way to make her feel like that? "Do you really think that we're wasting our time?"

"I just don't want you to feel like you weren't able to have fun your senior year."

"And what about you?"

Lyla shrugged. "Our versions of fun are just a little different. You don't hold me back from doing anything that I want to do."

"Lyla," Connor started, letting out a deep breath, "you're not holding me back from anything either. I don't care that you don't want to go to parties with me. Yeah, I enjoy that kind of stuff, but that doesn't mean that I feel like I'm giving it up to be with you. And I do have fun with you. Why would you think otherwise?"

"I just feel like it's a bad time for this."

"Because of me," Connor said, voicing Lyla's thoughts.

But she was quick to retaliate. "Just because of the timing."

"Well I disagree. I want to spend time with you. I want to go out with you and talk with you and make us work. I don't want to just give up now because the timing was right. Screw timing. I l," Connor paused, not wanting to say something that he might later forget or that Lyla would freak out about. "I'm really into you, and it's not fair to either one of us if we just give up now."

Lyla remained quiet. She looked down at her feet, which were standing on crumpled leaves. "Unless you're just not into it anymore," Connor continued cautiously.

"I am! Of course I am, I jus–"

"Then it doesn't matter," Connor said as he pulled her into a kiss. "The timing doesn't matter. I want to be with you and you want to be with me, and I'm not letting stupid little things get in the way of that."

"But, Connor…" Lyla trailed off.

He shook his head and kissed her once more, wrapping his arms around her waist. "I don't care. It doesn't matter."

Lyla listened to his words and slowly, but surely melted into his kiss.


It all went by in such a flash that Lyla couldn't tell one day apart from the other. Before she knew it, she was walking on stage, getting her high school diploma. After the ceremony, Connor pulled Lyla into the biggest kiss, regardless of her parents hovering over them. He hugged her in victory as he held his diploma in the air.

The last day of school came and went just as the rest of high school had. People were crying and taking pictures. Year books were being signed as hugs were exchanged. Connor tried not to stay away from Lyla too long. They still had two months left with one another before college would hit them at full force.

And the two months were blissful ones at that. They both got jobs, but they still managed to see each other almost every single day of the summer. Connor and his family went away on vacation for a week, leaving Lyla alone, but they still talked every night.

Summer went by at a very curious rate. At some times it felt as if the entire world was just whipping past them, while at other times it was as if the world was spinning too slowly.

Regardless of the speed of time, the last day of summer had to come soon enough. Connor's flight would be leaving the next day, so he took Lyla to the airport with her parents and little brother.

Her family was coming with her to get her settled in and to just stay with her a bit longer. This left them more time for their touching moments of heartfelt goodbyes.

Connor and Lyla only had a few more minutes before she had to go through security to board her flight on time.

"How did people have long distance relationships before phones were invented and before computers were part of daily life?" Connor asked, trying to make the situation light enough so that Lyla wouldn't cry.

Part of him hoped that she would start crying in front of him. Not that he wanted to see her cry; he never wanted to see her cry. It was just that he knew she would do it eventually, and he wanted to be able to hold her for one more time until they were separated for months upon months.

The minutes went by as Lyla finally had to go through security. He kissed her one last time. When she tried to pull away to catch her flight, he held onto her. It wasn't meant to be funny, but Lyla couldn't help but giggle at his taut grip. She sniffed and willed the unshed tears away as they kissed one more time and turned away from one another.


The first Christmas during freshman year in college is always the most welcoming. Parents always try extra hard to make the holidays special because they've missed you, and they hope more than anything that you've missed them.

For Lyla and Connor, it would be the first time they would see each other since that day at the airport. Sure, they called each other almost every night. When they didn't call they texted. Both grew busy due to college, but they still made time for each other despite the distance. Lyla found herself becoming more social in the college environment, something she hadn't even expected to happen. Connor was Connor, as usual.

Lyla knocked on the Burkley's door in her winter jacket knowing that Connor's plane had arrived in the afternoon. She would have gone to pick him up herself, but she knew that his family was already doing so and she didn't want to get in the way of their happy reunion. So she settled with surprising him during that evening.

Connor's mother opened the door. "Oh, Lyla, my dear! I didn't know you were back home already. I assume you're looking for Connor."

Lyla nodded her head. She tried really hard to keep the smile off of her face, but she couldn't really help herself. It had been about four months away from Connor after all.

"Why don't you go upstairs? I think he's in his room."

Lyla skipped up the stairs while Connor's mother escaped into the living room. Instead of knocking on his door like she probably should have, she turned the door knob without making a sound and closed it behind her. She scaled the dark room and found Connor lying on his stomach. He was probably exhausted from the plane ride and missed his old bed. So instead of waking him up, she slipped her shoes off and slid into bed next to him. She wrapped an arm around his back as she let her eyes flutter closed. Her face was close enough to his where she could just barely feel his breath.

"Lyla?" he whispered, causing her to open her eyes. Connor maneuvered himself so he was resting on his elbows. Lyla's eyes were wide open as she looked up at him.

Connor, having just woken up was overjoyed. He moved his arms so that he was hovering over Lyla and captured her lips with his own. She sighed into the kiss thinking that it had been too long and wrapped her arms around his neck.

Lyla tried to shift their bodies closer to each other's when Connor's thoughts met up with his actions and he scrambled out of bed.

"Shit," he mumbled.

"Connor? What's wrong?"

"Shit, shit, shit shit," Connor chanted, tugging at his hair. He wasn't known to be bipolar, and Lyla had never seen this sudden snap in emotion from him. He even started pacing around the room, looking down at the floor.



Lyla got up from the bed. She walked over to Connor when he had paced toward the window. Before he had a chance to walk back to the other side of the room, she placed a hand on his shoulder. "What's wrong?"

Upon feeling her hand on his shoulder, Connor's head snapped up. His eyes met Lyla's once again, but this time they seemed to almost be filled with tears.

"I messed up."

She brought herself closer to him and put both hands on his shoulders. "What's wrong?" she repeated. "What happened?"

Connor started shaking his head. "I messed up."

"I'm su–"

"No, Lyla, I fucked up."

Lyla shut her mouth at his sudden use of language. He didn't look as sad as he did before, he just looked angry. Lyla waited a few more moments before continuing. "What did you do?" she whispered.

He started shaking his head again as Lyla's hands dropped to her sides. "I love you, Lyla. I love you more than the world. You know that, right?"


"But I messed everything up. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry."

"Connor I don't kno–"

"It was a mistake, Lyla. I love you. It was just a mistake. And now it's going to ruin everything."

"I don't know what you're talking about."

"I love you. You believe me, right? You trust me? Shit."

He started tugging his hair again as he walked over to the window. Before he turned around Lyla saw his eyes watering more.

"Just tell me what's going on."

"I fu–"

"Connor!" she finally yelled.

"It was a mistake. I promise you it was a mistake."

Lyla shrugged and walked over to him. She cupped his face in her hands and planted a kiss on his lips. "Then I forgive you."

Connor stopped playing with his hair as he looked back into Lyla's eyes. He stopped her before she was able to initiate another kiss.

"I cheated on you," he whispered. The words sounded like mud even to him.

Lyla let go of his head as Connor had expected. She was hurt, but for some reason she didn't feel as if her heart were shattering into a million different pieces. She wanted to go about things logically like she had been living her entire life.


"It was two weeks ago, but I didn't want to have this discussion over the phone. I was physically sick after it happened. I–I could barely look myself in the mirror. I didn't mean for it to happen. It wasn't supposed to happen. I wasn't even really talking to her, or lookin–"

"What was her name?"

Connor grew silent for a moment, but he knew that the truth was the only way he could go. "I don't know. She might have told me and I just don't remember, but I don't know."

"What color was her hair?"


"What color was her hair?"

"I don't know, it might have been brown, but I didn't really look."

"So you were drunk," she concluded.

Connor nodded. "We didn't have sex," he explained. "She just came onto me and we were kissing, and eventually she took me to her bed and we were fooling around, but we didn't have sex."

"How do you know if you don't remember?"

"I wouldn't be able to go that far," he paused. "I think I might have thrown up on her shoes anyhow."

"So it just happened once?"

Connor nodded. "I swear, just once. I'm sorry, Lyla. I love you. I love you. I don't even know her. I was out of my mind drunk and I just wasn't able to control myself. I would never have done anything like that if I was in the right mind. Please, Lyla. I'm sorry. It was a mistake, and I know that."

"Okay," she responded before going to sit down on Connor's bed.

He stood there for a moment, frozen. He just stared at her in disbelief. "Okay?"

Lyla shrugged. "Okay. There's really not much I can do about it, so okay."

"Do you even care?"

Her eyes snapped to him. "Excuse me?"

"You don't seem like you really care about it at all."

She stood up. "You cheated on me and you're accusing me of being the bad guy because I'm not screaming at you?"

"I never sai–"

"Of course I care, Connor. Why do you think I wouldn't care?"

"What if you moved on?" he finally voiced. It was something that had been bottled up inside of him for the past four months.

"Did you move on?" she finally asked.

"Of course not. I love you, Lyla. I made a mistake and I'm willing to own up to that, but it wasn't because I wanted to move on. It happened because I made a mistake, not because I wanted it to happen."

"Then why would you think that I moved on?"

"Because," he started, "because I don't know. Okay? This is just harder than I thought it was going to be."

"Harder because you have so much temptation around you?"

"No. I don't have temptation around me. It's hard not knowing what's going on with you. We talk all the time, but there's still this bridge that's there. I just….I just can't help but think about you wanting to just give up on us."

"I don't."

"That doesn't mean that I don't think about it all the time."

Lyla walked over to Connor. "I love you too, you know."

"I'm sorry," he repeated.

"As I said, there's nothing to be done about it now."

"Do you forgive me?" he asked, having no idea what her answer would be and how things would happen from there.

"I think we just need some time."


Lyla shook her head. "I think we just need some time together."


It's funny how time tends to pass you by. One day you're playing in the sandbox and the next day you're getting your high school diploma. Your first house. Your first bill. Your first paycheck. Your first legal drink. Your first credit card.

The movie plays, and even when it had ended, the story still goes on. And every moment of every life is just a scene, adding onto the movie.

Some days you don't look back. Some days you only look at the present. Most days you look at the future. What will happen tomorrow? What do I need to do tonight? Do I need to get more groceries at the store later? Five years from now will I still be living in the same house?

But there are days when all you can do is just sit and stare at the ocean and think about how you got to that very moment, and wonder why it all went by so fast.

Lyla sat on the sand with the water brushing against her toes. Her wedding dress was getting sandy, but she just couldn't seem to care. The cold water and sand felt good between her toes and the breeze felt nice in her done-up hair. She remembered her first crush on a boy. She remembered the first time she held hands with a boy. She remembered the first time she kissed a boy. She remembered the first time she had sex with a boy. She remembered the first time she felt at home with a boy. She remembered the first time she got her heart broken by a boy.

And isn't it funny that it's always the ones that break your heart that make you love them the most?

"Lyla!" he called out.

She knew he would eventually find her. It was like he had a sixth sense or radar for her. She wiped away a tear from her cheek. She didn't want her fiance to see her crying over lost memories and lost chances.

"Lyla," he whispered as he grew closer and closer to her.

"Do you remember your first crush?" she asked.

The man sat down next to her and let his pants get soiled by the sand. "Rebecca Jerins. She was a cute blonde girl with freckles across her nose."

"Do you ever think about her?"

"Every so often."

"Do you regret not falling in love with her when you were older? When the timing was right?"

"No," he said blatantly. "What about you? First crush?"

"Draco Malfoy."

This earned a throaty laugh from the man sitting beside her. "Do you ever think about him?" he mimicked.

Lyla chuckled. "Every so often."

"Did you think you were going to marry him?"

"I wanted to if that counts for anything."

The man shrugged. "Everything counts."

Lyla brought her knees into her chest and rested her head on them. She turned her head so she was looking at the man. "They're waiting for us, aren't they?"

"Let them wait."

She looked back at the ocean. "Did I ever break your heart?"

"Not in the way you would think."

His answer had intrigued her, but she decided not to question it any further.

"Do you not want to get married?" he asked, not sounding offended, just sounding as if he were giving her other options.

"What's the point of it? Isn't it just a label?"

He rolled his eyes. "Since when were you anti-marriage?"

"I'm not anti-marriage. I just feel like we're conforming."

The man suddenly stood up. "You want me to tell you why I want to marry you?"

Lyla looked up, waiting for her answer.

"It's so that when you die, I can get all of your money," he declared before sitting right back down.

Lyla scoffed. "That's what wills are for."

The man stood up again. "Alright. It's because when I die I want to know that you're protected so that you get all of my money, because I love you and I want us to have that bond together, even if it is just a label."

He sat back down. "But if you don't want to get married, I understand."

"No, I do want to get married. I've always had the intention of marrying you. I just wondered if it would change things, and why we would do it. Should anything even change?"

"Marriage just binds things. I think that's why so many people look at it as a change."

"So then why am I suddenly looking back at my entire life wondering what steps I took if nothing's going to be different?"

The man looked down at her dress, which was beginning to get damp from the waves. "It's the dress."

She shrugged and looked back at him, smiling. "Makes sense."

The man stood up and Lyla followed suit. She almost tripped while getting up, but he caught her and held her steady.

"Ready to get married now?"

She rolled her eyes. "I just explained that I've been ready to get married."

"So you just left me hanging there for dramatic effect."

Lyla chuckled as she began walking down the beach. "I lost track of time. Watches don't go too well with wedding dresses, you know."

He nudged her. "You could make it work."

And with that, the wedding went on. Lyla walked down the isle during her perfect beach wedding. Her thoughts went back to her memories of her youth and childhood. It was like scenes of a film all playing around and around in her head, but her eyes never left his. She made it up to her husband to be after her father gave her away. They said their vows and their "I dos."

And then he finally kissed her, because even after all of these years, she was still his chalkboard princess.


Liked it? Hated it? Understood it? I would love to hear opinions on it! Oh gosh, I'm still freaking over the fact that I wrote a one-shot over 10,000 words. Okay, wow.

Thanks for reading!

Sincerely, Morine