“How come all the stupid people deserve to be happy and here I am, stuck being miserable?” Cora chided herself as she sauntered along, dodging the odd tree that was in her way. She stuffed her cold fingers in her pockets, and turned her gaze to the forest floor, only to be startled at the sight of two dirty feet planted in front of her.
The young woman’s stomach somersaulted and flipped inside out. How could there be somebody in the forest other than her? Cora didn’t even realize that she was staring, totally lost in her own world, until a husky voice pulled her from her reverie.
“How do you know that you aren’t stupid and everybody’s just as miserable as you are?”
She would recognize that voice anywhere, anytime. That voice was the only thing she’d been hearing in her dreams for the last few weeks.
Dazed and confused, Cora looked up to meet the gaze of the one and only boy of her unbridled affections. Alex mirrored the shocked expression on her face, his thought process just as interrupted. They stood there like that for several moments, in complete awe of each other. Coralie broke the uneasy silence; the electricity was tangible in the air between the two.
Coralie disregarded Alex’s previous comment, awestruck by his presence.
“I’ve been waiting for you,” she whispered; her heart was beating in her throat, and the blood rushed to her ears.
Alex swallowed the nervousness bubbling up in his chest. She made his knees weak.
“I know, I’ve been watching…” Was that how he was supposed to respond?
He heard her sharp intake of breath.
“You knew I was here, every night? Hoping to see you again?”
“Yes.” Alex hung his head, ready for the outburst that was sure to come. He’d read enough books about feminists to know that girls overreacted in situations similar to this one. Alex always assumed he’d take a beating and just beg for her heart back. Much to his surprise, when he expected a slap to the face, Alex felt the tender caress of Cora’s fingers against his rough cheek; his skin began flaming immediately at her touch. The contact was light yet intimate, casual yet still set off fireworks. Alex had never experienced anything quite like it. He never considered the possibility that maybe all of it was in his head, but even then, he wouldn’t have cared, it still felt magical to him.