"I always wonder what I look like from someone else's eyes."


I made a wish last night. Kneeling at my windowsill, I gazed out at the night sky, chin propped innocently in my palms. It wasn't often that I saw a star in these clouded skies, but when I did, I always wished, despite how childish the tradition seemed.

Star light, star bright,
The first star I see tonight;
I wish I may, I wish I might
Have the wish I wish tonight.

And then: I wish I knew what I look like to everyone else. What do people see when they look at me?

Because doesn't everyone wonder? Doesn't everyone want to get into the minds of the people around them and see through someone else's eyes?

It was the same wish I always wished, since my first wish-upon-a-star at age six. It was something I'd always wanted and had yet to be granted to me. But a girl could still wish.

In a way, I was glad my wish had never come true, because what would I wish for after? This wish was the only one I knew to ask for.

I climbed into bed after the first blur of a star twinkled muddily in the dark sky and sighed into sleep. When I woke up in the morning, nothing had changed.

I skipped downstairs happily, humming the tune of my current kpop obsession, because wishing always made me extra cheerful the day after. My nine-year-old sister Faye eyed me disdainfully and returned to her Lucky Charms.

"Wished on a star last night, sis?" she observed with a bit of a sneer.

"Yup!" I chirped, grinning into her eyes. And then the oddest thing happened: I was suddenly not myself, but looking at myself as if outside of my own body. I looked tall, lithe, and healthily happy. It was almost as if I was...admiring myself.

"Uh, Lily?" Faye called.

I snapped back and realized I was standing in the kitchen, still smiling stupidly. My mother was looking at me in concern.

"Oh, yeah, sorry, still a little tired." I laughed faintly, wondering what the heck just happened. I grabbed some cereal and ate it without tasting it before hurrying outside.

"Bye, Mom! Bye, Faye! I'm going to school now! Have a good day!" I yelled over my shoulder as I laced up my shoes and took off.

Something extraordinary had just happened. I thought back to the out-of-body experience and realized that the angle I saw myself from was pretty much where Faye had been sitting. Could I have seen myself through her eyes?

Could my wish have finally come true?

I shook my head. It was just a random hallucination or something, I convinced myself. I pushed it to the back of my mind as I smiled and greeted my friend Brody.

I looked into his eyes and nothing happened. I breathed a sigh of relief and chatted animatedly with him as we walked to school. He seemed oddly excited but wouldn't say anything when I asked him about it.

When we reached our lockers, my best friend Rachel was waiting for us. Her face lit up as she saw us and she launched herself at me in a hug before hugging Brody in a completely more-than-friends fashion.

I gaped as they stared dreamily into each other's eyes. When had this happened? We were all just friends last Friday!

I searched around for someone who was just as out-of-the-loop as I was, but I only saw Ike leaning against my locker and looking in our direction. I stomped over, pointed at the happy couple, and demanded, "When did that happen?"

"Saturday," he replied casually, his blue-green eyes sparkling at me.

My stomach flipped the way it always did when I looked into his eyes. I ignored it like I always did when it happened. "How did you know about it?!"

"Brody told me right after."

"Why am I the only one who didn't know?" I lamented loudly but Ike just chuckled and Rachel and Brody didn't seem to hear me.

I looked around and noticed my lab partner Cory waving at me. I waved back cheerily and he smiled shyly at me before scurrying off to his locker.

"Who was that?" Ike asked, staring after Cory.

"Hm? Oh, just my lab partner Cory. Why?"

Ike didn't look at me. "I think he likes you."

"What?" I exclaimed. "No way. He's just a friend."

He didn't reply. He just gave me an indecipherable look. I had long given up on trying to decipher Ike's indecipherable looks. Shrugging, I turned back to Rachel and Brody and waited for my chance to pounce on my best friend.

After forever, the couple pulled away from each other and Brody kissed Rachel on the cheek. She giggled before letting him go down the hall to his locker.

I waved to Ike as he followed Brody. He smiled and it made me feel fluttery. His smile was so nice that it always made me feel fluttery and never failed to entice an answering smile from me. Then he turned and left.

I pushed the flutters from my mind and marched over to Rachel immediately. "How did this happen!"

"He called me over to help him wash his car on Saturday and then he asked me." She sighed happily.

"Why didn't you call me right away!" I demanded. "Ike already knew!"

"I was too happy. I was floating on cloud nine, Lil. Sorry if I didn't wanna come back down to Earth just to let you know when you'd find out in a day," she explained in a scarily pleasant voice that was completely not Rachel. Rachel was the snarky, sarcastic one. I was the bouncy, happy one. I was almost creeped out, except Rachel and Brody looked so adorable and cute and happy that I couldn't say anything.

I must be happy for Rach and Brody, I resolved. I threw my arms around my best friend and squealed, "I'm really happy for you, Rach! Haven't I told you guys a billion times that you're perfect for each other?"

Rachel laughed and looked at me. "Thanks, Lily. You were right, as always."

"Why didn't Brody tell me when we walked to school this morning? I asked him why he was so excited but he wouldn't say anything."

"I asked him not to because I wanted to tell my best friend, of course."

I grinned at her and all of a sudden I was looking at myself grinning. I looked familiar and normal and a sense of fondness rushed me. I seemed important, in a way, like I needed me.

This was getting confusing.

"Lily, what's wrong? We need to get to class," Rachel's voice called from a distant place.

I returned to my body and blinked. "Oh, right, yeah. Let's go."

"You sure you're okay?" Rachel bit her lip in worry.

"Perfectly fine," I said dismissively. "Just a little out of it."

"Yeah, but aren't you always?" Rachel smirked at me teasingly.

"Am not!"

"Are too!"

"Am not!"

"Are too!"

We bickered our way to first period, settling into our seats seconds before the bell rang. I smiled. It was nice to know how much I meant to my best friend, even if I was hallucinating.

The morning passed quickly into lunch. I tiptoed to the cafeteria for fun and snuck up on Rachel.

"Boo," I whispered into her ear.

"Lily. Go buy lunch." Rachel shoved a hand into my face without even looking at me. I pouted and breathed on her hand.

"Ew!" She yanked her hand back and glared at Brody, who was laughing hysterically next to her.

"I'll be back," I intoned before galloping off to the cafeteria line.

"Hm, let's see. Burger...salad...pasta...Ooh, pasta!" I piled my tray with food and slid along the line to the cashier, pulling out my money. I froze. "Uh-oh..."

I counted and re-counted the coins but I got the same amount every time: $4.65. I needed thirty-five more cents.

"Are you kidding me?" I cried to myself.

"Not enough money?" a smirking voice beside me asked.

I started and turned to glare but I couldn't help smiling. "Don't laugh at me, Ike!"

"I'm not, I'm not, jeez," he said, affronted. "I was just going to lend you some money."

"You don't have to!"

"I want to."

"I refuse!"

"Then I guess you won't be eating lunch." He grinned at me.

Grinding my teeth, I thought about it and decided that food definitely outweighed my pride.

"Fine. I need thirty-five cents, please and thank you. I will pay you back tomorrow. I won't forget!"

Ike laughed and ruffled my hair. "I know you won't. Here." He took my hand and dropped some coins in it. His hands were strong and warm and I felt fuzzy.

It was always like this. I would have some problem and Ike would save me, though not as dramatically as that sounds. I hated being the "damsel in distress" but I was so clumsy and absent-minded that it happened anyway.

I paid for my food, gritting my teeth as I forked over the quarter and dime from Ike. I waited impatiently for Ike to finish and when he joined me as we walked back to our table, I mumbled, "Thank you, Ike."

"No problem," he said. "I always bring a little extra."

"That's smart." I nodded approvingly. "I should try that. If I can remember."

He snickered. "How can you forget lunch money if lunch is so important to you?"

"Only the food part is important, not the money, duh," I explained with a sophisticated eye roll. I slid into the table next to Rachel and Ike sat down beside me. He bit into his burger, still grinning, and I turned to my pasta.

And then it happened again. My fork was an inch from my mouth when I was ripped away and into someone else. I looked at myself through someone else's eyes for the third time that day and was startled by what I saw. I was sitting there frozen, pasta almost in my mouth, and I should've looked silly, but instead I just looked happy.

I studied my face through these new eyes and saw that my skin was almost shining, but only very faintly. My cheeks were slightly flushed, my eyes bright as stars, and I looked so me. It was weirdly reassuring.

My body yanked me back inside its shell and I took a deep breath, putting my fork down. Who saw me like that? It made me look so pretty.

"Hey. Lily. You okay?" Ike asked me.

I looked into his warm turquoise eyes and wondered why I wasn't sucked into his mind. With Faye and Rachel, it had happened because I looked into their eyes. This time, I had been looking at my food. And why didn't it work for everyone? This was getting too complicated.

I smiled shakily, a poor imitation of my usual effortless smile. "Of course I'm okay."

He eyed me doubtfully but continued eating.

I shoveled my food down quickly and gulped my milk. Suddenly, I couldn't wait for today to be over. I hoped that by tomorrow, everything would be back to normal.

As I got up to throw away my trash, a hand caught my arm gently and pulled me back down.

"Lily."

I looked at Ike. "Yes?"

"What's wrong?"

"Nothing's wrong!"

"Don't lie to me."

"Why would I be lying?"

"Because you don't want anyone else to know your problems. C'mon, Lily. You trust me, right?"

"Of course, but nothing's wrong."

"Since when do you eat so quickly? I thought you were all about 'savoring the food' like you've told me a billion times." Ike observed me challengingly.

"I am!" I defended. "But I'm just in a hurry today."

"Hurry? Where are you going?" Rachel suddenly joined our conversation.

"I...have to go ask, um, Mrs. Hall about something," I said randomly. "I'll see you guys later!"

"Lily - " Ike and Rachel both said but I rushed off.

I wasn't sure why I was so rattled by what I had just seen. It felt so private. The reality of this seeing-through-people's-eyes thing was slowly sinking in and I understood that I was peeking into people's minds uninvited. It made me feel terrible, and yet I still couldn't help wondering whose eyes I'd just been looking through. The person had been looking at my left side, so that meant...Ike?

The thought made me blush.

I shook my head. There was no way Ike saw me so prettily. He thought of me as a cute and sometimes annoying little sister. What I had just seen seemed a little bit more than friendly.

I meandered slowly down the halls until I found myself standing right outside my English teacher's classroom. I didn't want to be lying, so I went in. I'd been meaning to ask Mrs. Hall about a project anyway but didn't think it was that crucial. Might as well ask her now.

"Hi, Mrs. Hall!" I chirped.

My favorite teacher looked up from her desk and smiled at me. "Hello, Lily. What brings you here?"

"Oh, I just have a quick question about the project that I forgot to ask you during class."

She nodded at me to proceed.

I explained my question and listened closely as she replied, nodding as she spoke.

Unexpectedly, I was pulled out of myself and into my teacher, I assumed, since there was no one else in the room.

I stared at my earnest expression and felt a surge of pride. I was one of my best and favorite students. I was glad to be my teacher.

I returned to my body with the thought I was just in my teacher's body. It was such a strange thought that I had to suppress a shudder.

"Have I answered your question satisfactorily?" Mrs. Hall inquired patiently.

"Oh! Yes, thank you, Mrs. Hall." I smiled. "See you tomorrow!"

Today was definitely the most bizarre and unforgettable day of my life. I had never really expected my wish to come true because I didn't actually believe in the supernatural. Now that it had come true, I realized that I shouldn't have asked for it because I was invading people's minds. How could I stop it?

I didn't see him until he was literally right under my nose. "Oh!" I stumbled back and looked down. "Oh, hi, Cory."

"Hey, Lily," Cory mumbled. He was acting very fidgety and looked nervous.

"What's up? You okay?"

"Yeah, I was just wondering...if you'd like to go to a science museum with me?"

I blinked in shock. Was Cory...asking me out? "You mean, like on a date?"

He hesitated but nodded, ducking his head.

I was having trouble understanding. Cory liked me? Cory liked me? Cory liked me? Huh?

"I think he likes you," Ike had said and I'd waved it off. But apparently, he was right!

What should I say? I frantically asked myself. Cory was a nice guy, if a little mousey, but did I like him as more than a friend?

"Cory..." I heard myself say hesitantly. He glanced up at the sound of his name and caught my eyes. I was sucked in. I blinked and looked into my own plain brown eyes. I felt a sense of awe at being in my presence, like I was someone who could do no wrong. I realized that I looked almost...beautiful. My face was glowing with happiness, my hair tumbling around my shoulders messily, my clothes just normal, but I had never looked so lovely.

I had never ever ever thought of myself as beautiful before. It was flattering but also disconcerting.

When I was tugged back into myself, I realized that what I had just seen kind of matched the vision in the cafeteria. There was a subtle difference but all in all, it was the same. So Cory was the one who had been looking at me, not Ike.

I felt vaguely disheartened, for no apparent reason. I wondered what was wrong with me. It was probably just the experience of feeling the emotions of people that weren't me.

"Lily?"

"Huh?" I twitched and realized I was zoning out right in front of Cory. I blushed and apologized, "Oh, sorry, I was just...thinking. Um, about the, er, date, could I think about it?"

"Oh. Sure," Cory agreed, though he looked crestfallen.

"I'll try to have an answer ready by the time school ends, okay? I'll find you at your locker."

"Okay. I guess I'll see you then."

"Yeah, see you later!" I waved pathetically as I raced back to the cafeteria. I sprinted to Rachel and cut her off as she opened her mouth, "Coryaskedmeout!"

Rachel stared at me. "What?"

A pair of hands captured my waist and gently pulled me down to the bench. I turned and saw that it was Ike. I thanked him, feeling my heart thump a little unevenly at his touch. I could still feel the warmth of his fingers. It was weird.

I took a deep breath and repeated more slowly, "Cory asked me out."

"What?!" she screeched at the top of her lungs. People threw her dirty glares. She glared back before huddling close to me and hissing quietly, "What? Cory, your lab partner? Cory the science nerd?"

"Don't call him that!"

"Answer the question!"

I frowned but complied. "Yes, him!"

"When?"

"Just now! He asked me to go to a science museum with him and I told him I'd think about it!"

"What is there to think about it?"

"I don't know!" I cried. "I've never been asked out before!"

"Whoa, little Lily got asked out?" Brody popped into our conversation.

"Was it Cory?" Ike inserted quietly.

"Guys, it's none of your business!" Rachel snapped, though she softened her glower when she looked at Brody.

"No, it's fine," I sighed. "They'll find out anyway." To Ike, I answered, "Yeah, it was Cory. You were right. How did you even know?"

"It was pretty obvious."

"No, it wasn't!"

"Well, maybe not to you, since you're kinda dense."

"Hey!"

"Wait a sec. The science nerd asked you out?" Brody asked incredulously. "Seriously?"

I groaned in frustration. "His name," I said emphatically, "is Cory."

"Whatever," Brody dismissed.

"Don't be mean!" I said angrily. "How would you like it if someone called you the...the...the weird guy or something?"

Brody burst out laughing. I glared at him until he stopped and nodded. "Sorry, that was too funny. But I get what you mean. I'll call him Cory now, okay?"

I narrowed my eyes at his humorous tone but let it go. "So what should I do?"

"Do you like him?" Ike asked.

"Yeah, you should already know if you like him that way or not," Rachel said.

"Well, I...I don't think so." I bit my lip uncertainly.

"You don't think so?" Rachel raised her eyebrows disbelievingly.

"Well...I've never liked anyone yet. What does it feel like?"

Rachel, Brody, and Ike looked flabbergasted.

"Are you serious?" Rachel looked like she had been hit by lightning. "But, but what about Sam? And Allen? And Tom?"

"Wait, wait, who are all these people?" Ike interrupted. He looked unhappy.

"People she told me she had crushes on!" Rachel practically yelled.

"Shush!" I hissed. "I thought I did but I realized today after seeing you and Brody that I didn't really like them."

Brody whistled. "You are way too innocent for a high schooler, Lily."

"Isn't that a good thing?" I grumbled. "So what does it feel like when you like someone?"

"Well," Ike said, "if you know what it feels like to not like someone, then just compare it to your feelings for Cory."

"Oh. Good idea." I thought about it. Those other guys had all been friends whom I had talked to occasionally. Mainly I just thought they were kind of cute or sweet. But I never had an urge to hug or kiss them like Rachel and Brody had been doing this morning. I felt the same kind of friendly feeling for Cory.

"I don't like Cory," I announced finally.

Ike, who had been leaning in next to me to hear our low conversation, slumped back with something like relief. I didn't understand it. Would it have been so bad if I did like Cory? He wasn't a bad guy.

Rachel shook her head and sighed. "I can't believe you haven't had a real crush yet."

"Me neither," Brody agreed.

"So tell me what it's like," I requested.

"Well," Rachel began, a thoughtful look on her face. She glanced at Brody and smiled. "When you like someone, they make you smile just by being near you and you want to be with them all the time."

"You don't even mind if you're just sitting quietly next to each other, not talking," Brody put in. "You just like being near them."

"They'll make you mad sometimes by doing stupid things but you can't help but forgive them right when they apologize." Rachel looked a little put-out at this.

Brody grinned. "They make you self-conscious because you don't want to show them your bad sides."

"Oh," I said, feeling extremely wise and enlightened.

"But don't like someone who only likes your good sides," Rachel countered. "Because they have to like all of you. Of course, maybe it's someone you've known for a long time and you're already friends so they already know what you're like. Like me and Brody." She rolled her eyes good-naturedly. "When they touch you, you feel warm and tingly and your heart beats faster."

"Is that what happens when I touch you?" Brody grinned at Rachel, who punched his shoulder.

"But it's not all good, of course," Rachel continued, ignoring Brody's question. "They make you happy but also make you angry and jealous and sad more easily than anyone else."

Wait a sec. Some of these symptoms were starting to sound familiar. But that was probably just because of all the romance I liked to read about.

I realized Ike hadn't said anything so I turned to him and nudged him, ignoring the warmth in my arm from where I touched him. "What's your input, Ike?"

He stared at me for a few seconds quietly before saying, "You can talk to them for hours about anything. You think about them all the time. You'll do anything for them because you love their smile and their laugh and when you look into their eyes, it's like you're the only two people in the world."

My eyes were glued to his and I felt breathless at the intensity in Ike's eyes. What was happening?

The bell rang, signaling the end of lunch. We jerked away from each other and I managed to say, "I didn't know you were so poetic, Ike." My cheeks felt warm and I stood up quickly, hoping no one saw my blush.

Rachel stood up with me and whispered in my ear, "What was that? Is something going on between you and Ike?"

"What? We were just talking," I say defensively.

Rachel grinned knowingly. "Uh-huh. Just talking. And that's why your face is tomato-red right now."

"Whatever," I mumbled. I waved a quick goodbye to Brody, who smiled and pecked Rachel on the lips, and glanced shyly at Ike, who just gazed at me, his face unreadable. I bit my lip and scurried off, pulling Rachel along with me to our next class.

I really wished my wish would end soon. It was making me go completely out of whack.

. . .

After school, I stood in front of my locker waiting for Brody because we always walked home together. When he finally arrived with Rachel in tow and Ike trailing languidly behind them, he immediately apologized.

"Sorry, Lily! Please forgive me!" he begged.

"Um, for what?" I asked, confused.

"Brody and I wanna walk home together," Rachel explained. "Is that okay?"

"Oh, sure, of course! Why wouldn't it be?"

"Well..." Rachel glanced nervously at Brody, who had obviously decided to let her do all the talking. "Would it be okay if Brody and I walk to and from school together from now on? We don't get to see each other that much during school, so..." She looked at me entreatingly.

"Yeah, of course!" I smiled at them indulgently. "Oh, you lovebirds, you."

"But don't you have to walk with someone?" Rachel asked me worriedly. "Your mom won't let you walk by yourself, right?"

"Eh, it's fine." I rolled my eyes. "I'm a big girl now."

"You sure?" Rachel persisted.

"Positive!"

"Oh, hey Ike, why don't you take her home?" Brody suggested, turning around to look at Ike.

"Oh, no, it's fine, you don't have to," I said hastily.

"Sure," Ike replied to Brody, ignoring me completely. I scowled.

Rachel wiggled her eyebrows at me. "Ooh la la! Tell me everything tomorrow!"

"There won't be anything to tell!"

"If you say so!"

"Just go already!" I shooed her away with my hands. As Rachel and Brody left, I sang after them, "Don't do anything scandalous!"

"I thought you were supposed to be innocent!" Brody yelled back red-faced as Rachel employed inhuman strength and dragged him away.

"Maybe you thought wrong!" I called back. I turned to Ike and said seriously, "Really, I'll be fine. My house is like in the opposite direction from yours - "

"Lily," he interrupted. "I have a car. Cars are fast. Remember?"

I narrowed my eyes at him. "Are you mocking me?"

He rolled his eyes. "I wouldn't be driving you home if I didn't want to, okay? And since Brody won't be walking to school with you anymore, I'll come pick you up too."

I opened my mouth to protest, but he cut me off. "Ready to go?"

I sighed in defeat. "Yeah, okay, let's - Oh! I can't believe I almost forgot!" I slapped my forehead.

"What? Don't hit your head, you're losing valuable brain cells," Ike advised.

"I have to tell Cory that I can't go out with him," I groaned, "but what do I say? I've never done this before! What if I make him depressed? Ike, help me!"

"Relax," he soothed. "Just tell him. He'll get over it."

"Are you sure?"

"Well, even if he doesn't, there's nothing you can do about it. You can't date him if you don't like him."

I thought about it. "Your'e right. Okay. I can do this!" I declared determinedly, but I couldn't will my feet to move.

Ike waited for me to go but I was stuck. When he realized this he laughed and said, "C'mon, I'll even go with you for moral support. Which way's his locker?"

I pointed and he steered me down the hall, not giving me a chance to run away.

"Oh, there he is," Ike said.

I glanced up and saw Cory shuffling back and forth in front of his locker.

I looked at Ike. He smiled encouragingly. "Go ahead. I'll wait here."

Nodding, I sucked in a breath and squared my shoulders before walking over to Cory.

He noticed my feet and look up at me nervously. "Oh, hi Lily."

"Hi Cory."

"You've got your answer?"

"Yeah." I looked at him in the eye, recalling his vision of a perfect me and I knew I could never be with someone who couldn't see my faults. I told him honestly, "I'm sorry, Cory, but I can't go out with you. You're a great friend and I'm flattered you'd want to date me but...I don't like you that way."

"Oh. I see." Cory looked near tears.

"I-I'm really sorry, Cory," I apologized, feeling like a jerk.

"No, it's not your fault," he said, giving me a watery smile. "We're still friends, right?"

"Of course!" I leaned forward and hugged him. "You're a great guy. One day you're gonna find a girl who's a thousand times better than me. When that time comes, don't forget to invite me to your wedding!"

That got a shaky laugh out of him. "Thanks, Lily."

I smiled. "It's the truth. Well, I gotta go now. See you tomorrow!"

I ran back to Ike, ecstatic. "I did it, Ike! I did it! Aren't you proud of me?"

"Good job, Lily," Ike chuckled.

"But I think I made him cry. I feel so bad." I bit my lip and furrowed my eyebrows, still feeling horrible.

"It's not your fault," Ike told me. "You did what you had to do."

I nodded dejectedly.

"Hey." Ike's fingers gently brushed my face and lifted my chin up, pushing the corners of my mouth into an awkward smile. "You okay?"

I was paralyzed. Ike's hand. My face. Contact. Did my breath stink? Why did I just think that?

I managed a stiff nod.

His hand left my face but I could still feel it. "Ready to go now?" he asked.

I forced myself to stop being stupid and act normal. I wasn't sure it worked, but he didn't say anything. "Yeah," I croaked and followed him dazedly into the parking lot.

We got into his car and as he drove me home, we talked about lots of random things, like balloons and dust bunnies. I found myself giggling too much and told myself to stop it, but it appeared that my body had its own ideas.

We reached my house far too quickly. I didn't want to stop talking to Ike yet, but I thought it would look weird if I didn't get off even though we were right in front of my house so I grabbed my backpack and unbuckled my seatbelt. In a flash, Ike was out of the car and holding my door open for me.

I bit my lip to quell another inane giggle and stumbled inelegantly out of my seat. "Thank you," I murmured, looking up at Ike only to find him staring at my face. Or, more accurately, my lips.

Cue tomato face.

"Um, and thank you for offering to drive me to and from school," I added uncomfortably as he kept staring at me.

"Oh, uh yeah, no problem." He cleared his throat noisily. "See you tomorrow."

"Bright and early," I reminded him and walked to the front door.

When I turned back, hand on the doorknob, he was still there watching me. I yelled across the yard, "I'm right in front of the door, Ike! No need to keep watching me!"

"Just go inside already!"

I pursed my lips but went in. As soon as I locked the door, I dropped my stuff and ran to the window, waving frantically as he stuck his arm out of his window as goodbye and drove away.

The rest of the day went by quickly. I found myself thinking about Ike and his strong hand on my face every few minutes.

What was wrong with me?

I fell asleep that night thinking about Ike and when I woke up, he was still on my mind.

I couldn't wait for him to pick me up. I ate breakfast quickly and found thirty-five cents, and then I raced outside and sat down at the edge of the driveway to wait.

The minutes passed slowly and I was beginning to think Ike had forgotten about me, which was extremely silly because Ike was one of the most reliable people I knew. I was worrying over nothing because before long, his car was there, slowing to a stop right in front of me.

"Why are you waiting outside? You could get a cold!" he exclaimed, skipping a greeting.

"Good morning, Ike, it's nice to see you too!" I grinned brightly as I opened the door and slid in.

"You can just wait inside, you know."

"I know, but I wanted to wait outside. Here's your thirty-five cents." I held the coins up triumphantly.

"Wow, you really remembered," he snickered as he pocketed the money.

"I told you I would!"

"Yeah, yeah. Ready?"

I looked into his eyes and opened my mouth to say yes but suddenly, I wasn't me anymore. I was Ike.

I stared at me and I saw the me from the cafeteria yesterday, the exuberant me, radiating vibes of Lily-ness. I was so myself.

It hadn't been Cory after all. It was always Ike.

An unexpected surge of happiness washed me back into my own body and I finally understood.

"Ike," I said. "I have a question."

"Yeah?"

"What do you do when you like someone?"

He tossed me a strange look. "Huh?"

"Like, do you tell them or what?"

"Uh, I guess if you think you're ready for a relationship and you think you have a chance with them, then you should tell them. Otherwise, you just...admire them from afar or something."

I took in his words and thought about it. Then I remembered what I had just seen through his eyes and my decision was made.

"Ike," I said hesitantly, "I think...I think I like you."

His head whipped around to face me and his eyes widened comically. "What did you say?"

"I think I like you."

"You...think?" He stared at me unblinkingly.

"Well, I've never liked anyone before, remember?"

"So what makes you think you like me?" Ike's face was blank now and I could tell he didn't believe me.

"Well..." I took a deep breath and plunged in. "You're always saving me and taking care of me and I want to do the same for you. I love talking to you and being with you and I think about you all the time. Your laugh is the best sound I've ever heard and every time you smile, I smile. And" - my breath caught as Ike's hand tenderly cupped my cheek and that beautiful smile was spreading across his face - "and even though I don't know how, I kind of want to kiss you right now."

His lips twitched. "Only kind of?" His face was barely an inch away from mine now and his eyes, so blue, so green, were full of wonder.

"Okay, fine," I admitted breathlessly, "I really want to kiss you right now."

"Well, if you insist..."

And then, before I could protest that I hadn't insisted on anything, he leaned in and touched his lips to mine and I felt so wonderfully happy and alive.

How could I have been so blind to my own feelings for the past year? It seemed so obvious to me now.

My hands slid into Ike's soft black hair and his fingers were tangled in the strands of mine. Too soon, he pulled away and grinned at me so happily that all I could do was grin back.

We sat there wordlessly for a few moments, catching our breath, foreheads touching.

Finally, he pulled away and said, "You have no idea how long I've wanted to do that."

I giggled girlishly and asked, "So does this mean I like you?"

He laughed. "Yes."

"And you like me?"

"Yes!"

"And I'm your girlfriend now?"

He looked at me. "What do you want the answer to be?"

After my confession, how could he still have doubts? I laced my fingers carefully through his. "Yes."

He smiled at me again and leaned in for another kiss, but then he caught a glimpse of the time and shouted, "Oh crap, we're gonna be late for school!"

I laughed in exhilaration as my new (and first) boyfriend rushed us to school, one hand on the steering wheel, the other firmly grasping mine, refusing to let go.

So the only wish I'd ever known came true and it turned out, I didn't need a new one because life was perfect. Sure, I was going to be late to school but one tardy for the sake of love (possibly) was nothing compared to the happiness I felt from my friends, family, memories, future, and, of course, Ike, the boy who truly saw me.

What more could I wish for?


A/N: Well, this came out longer than I expected but whatever. Aren't Ike and Lily cute? I think so.

I also feel that Lily's crush on Ike was severely underdeveloped but eh. Too lazy to fix it now.

Ike is based off of Ike from Fire Emblem (AND BRAWL HEHEHE) who is a SUPAH SEXAY BEAST, LIKE OMG IKE I LOVE YOU AHHHHH MWAH MWAH ;) Ike, the love of my life, the apple of my eye, the the peanut butter to my jelly, the straw to my berry, etc etc ("Perfect Two" by Auburn, anyone?)

I was originally gonna include a scene where Lily asks about Ike's headband thingy but it didn't fit anywhere and plus, it would've sounded so unprofessional. ("Hey, Ike, what's that headband thingy?")

LOOK PEANUTS AND PAYDAYS, I USED BRODY! BRODY! And he's not that bad is he? TOLD YA SO. :P

Uh, what else did I wanna say? Oh yes, for those who are following Serendipity, please check my profile for details about updates.

Oh, and did anyone catch the "Jump Then Fall" (by Taylor Swift) allusion? I love that song.

Anyways, hope you enjoyed this! And, if you have time, please check out my other writing! Muchas gracias to all.

Thank you Link's Bromance for reviewing chapter 3!

Write on. Read on. That's my motto.

(10/14/12) Update: Finally edited and revised this. I'm not sure if it's all that much better but whatever. I know I haven't really been updating cuz school is totally kicking my my ass right now but I should be writing again soon!


© Copyright 2012 by The Siege