Mary saw Conor after school. She remembered that her sister had made her promise to talk to him that day, so this was her only chance, and she was going to take it.

"Conor," Mary called. "I need to talk to you."

"What do you want?" he asked.

"I'll tell you as soon as we're out of earshot from everyone." Mary led him to the stairs by the 6th grade pod.

"What are we doing here?" he asked.

"Okay . . . so I owe my sister stuff for getting my viola, so . . . one of the things we chose was to have me kiss you."

"Oh, really," he said unimpressed.

"So, yeah. I didn't want to just impose it on you, so we'll do it tomorrow."

"Okay, see you then."

"Oh, and you can't tell anyone about it."


The next day Conor and Mary met by the stairs waiting awkwardly, trying not to make eye contact.

"So, who's meeting us?" asked Conor.

"Oh, just my sister. She should be here in a little bit."

"So . . ."

"So . . ."

"I'm here," came a new voice from behind them. "Well go ahead." Mary and Conor leaned in awkwardly. The kissed, not confident at all. Frances left them as silently as possible. They were oblivious presence anyways because they were so caught up with their kiss.

Zach came by some time later. He had happened to forget something and was going that way.

"What are you doing?" he asked Conor and Mary as he rounded the corner finding them kissing. They broke apart abruptly startled by his sudden and unannounced presence.

"Oh . . . um . . .we were . . . well . . ." said Conor.

"My little sister made me do it . . ." said Mary.

"And where is this little sister of yours?" asked Zach looking around, seeing absolutely no one else around.

"Good question . . ." said Mary.

"I should go . . ." said Conor.

"I don't think you should," said Zach."To me it looked like you were having as much or more of a part in this than Mary."

"Don't worry . . . we'll fix our feelings later," said Conor. "See you at Hume."

"So . . ." said Mary.

"What was that really about?" asked Zach.

"Why would you care? I thought you didn't like anyone."

"That doesn't mean I don't care about other people's feelings."

"So then who are you trying to protect?" Mary asked somewhat upset that he had found them.

"You," he said pulling Mary into a hug.