Four Years Later
"You can't be serious!" Miriam Fletcher exclaimed. "Alexander, you're mad! Nobody ever goes into the cemetery at night!"
Alexander pressed his finger against Miriam's lips. "Shh! Nobody can know we're here!" He walked toward the black iron gate that kept intruders out. "It's locked. I should've known."
Miriam stomped her foot. "It's late at night, Alexander, and if we get caught in the cemetery, I'll never hear the end of it from my parents! Maybe yours are nicer than mine, but I know I'll be grounded for a month." Her eyes widened in dismay as Alexander swung over the gate, then motioned for her to follow.
"Come on, Miriam. Are you scared? Because there's nothing to be scared of."
Just then, an owl hooted in the distance, sending Miriam into near-hysterics. "Alexander Hale, I will not go in there! I'm leaving right now and going home! What if there are ghosts or something?"
Alexander laughed. "Ghosts? Those don't exist, Miriam."
Stiffening, Miriam shook her head. "Don't talk to me like I'm some little girl, Alexander. What if there are spiders or wolves or...or...or...I don't want to be here, and it was bad of you to bring me in the first place! You'd better be glad I'm your best friend, or I'd go straight home and tell my parents that you made me come here!"
Alexander's heart twisted at Miriam's calling him just a "best friend." He'd hoped that by now, his feelings for Miriam would be obvious. Apparently, they weren't. "Come on. I'm here. I'll fight off the ghosts and spiders and wolves for you." He blushed. Good thing it's dark. I wouldn't want her to see me blushing.
"I'd do anything for you, Miriam."
But Miriam clearly didn't hear Alexander's last sentence, because she was too busy walking away.
Alexander finally gave in and accepted the fact that Miriam was too afraid to be there that night. It was a pity - the cemetery was one of the few places where Alexander and Miriam wouldn't have to be afraid of anything catching them. It wasn't like they were doing anything wrong, but then rumors would start. Alexander didn't want his reputation to be shot. He honestly tried to be a good kid.
After several minutes' worth of walking, Alexander brought Miriam to the front door of her home. "Well, you're home now, so I guess I'd better say goodbye."
"Yeah, goodbye," Miriam replied, smiling.
The smile was so irresistible that Alexander leaned forward and kissed Miriam on the lips. Shocked by his own actions, he stepped backward and nearly fell of the porch steps. The pale expression on Miriam's face cut into his heart. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to..."
Alexander turned and ran in the other direction. So much for being Miriam's "best friend," he thought to himself. He swore to himself that he wouldn't do anything of the sort ever again. He promised himself he wouldn't ever kiss Miriam again.
If only he'd have kept that promise.