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Cari

"You want me to what?"
I had definitely done it this time. This time I had gone too far with Ari.
"You heard me." I answered in a low voice. "I want you to kiss me."

I had promised our neighbor that I would watch her cats and bring in her mail while she and her husband were away. Ari had walked me home after school and had accompanied me to Mrs. Ray's house. The stage was set: an empty house, me and Ari: it couldn't get better than this.

"You're nuts. We're friends remember?" he uttered in disbelief.
"Yes, I know."
"Well, friends don't kiss. Come on, finish feeding those things so we can get out of here."
"Friends help each other don't they?" I egged on. No response I was losing him. "Look, Ari. I'm in my first year of high school now and probably the only girl who has never been kissed. The girls at school talk about their boyfriends and things they do together and I can't take part in any of that because I have zero clue as to what they're talking about."

"Your time will come. Girls who talk about what they do are probably bragging. Besides, your first kiss should be special, and it should be someone really special. Let's go, huh? I've got stuff I need to do."
"Ari you don't understand."
"God, you're not going to give up on this are you?"
"What's the matter Ari, am I that unattractive?"
"No, of course not." He was nervous. I had made him nervous. "That's not it. You're fine." He rambled. "It's just that…"
"What? It's just that what? I'm only asking for a kiss. Nothing more."
"You're putting me in a really bad spot here, you know? You're my best friend's sister for God's sake."

"I know, I'm sorry, but you're the only one I can turn to." I had loved Ari from the moment I'd laid eyes on him four years ago. He was my brother's best friend and the only guy I looked up to. It was clear that I was taking a huge risk as he stood in front of me, looking confused. I thought at any moment he would storm out and never speak to me again. We were silent for what seemed an eternity.

"Come here." He finally said. I walked over to him not sure of what he was going to do. He took my hand and led me to Mr. and Mrs. Ray's olive green couch. "Sit down." Sensing a speech would follow, I sat down slowly. "Now close your eyes."

My stomach muscles began to tighten as I realized what was about to actually happen, nevertheless, I followed his instructions to the letter and sat perfectly still, eyes closed. I could feel his hands on my chin caressing my face. The next thing I felt were his warm luscious lips on mine pressing down ever so gently. His hand still on my chin, he pulled back and I opened my eyes to find his emerald greens gleaming down on me.
"How was that?" he asked. I was speechless. I was motionless and speechless. "Well?" As he stood up I found the strength to grab his hand. "What?" he asked.
"Thanks, Ari." I finally managed. He took my other hand and helped me up.
"Hey, what are friends for, right? Come on, let's go, I've got to get home and help my dad."

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