First New Years' Kiss

The music thumps loudly. The chatter is deafening. But it’s almost time. I glance around the room and lock eyes with Miles. He’s watching me from the opposite side, red cup clutched in hand, cute smile on his lips. Gabe whispers something in his ear, but his eyes never leave mine.

“Earth to June,” I hear a familiar voice to my left, pulling me from his dreamy gaze. I reluctantly look towards her.

“What?” I purse my lips.

But Kira smiles as her green eyes dart towards him. “Omigod. Busted!” She giggles and grabs Marley, pointing at him.

His intense gaze shifts from me to my friends then down to the floor. I think we’ve embarrassed him.

I look away now, frowning at Kira. “Thanks a lot.”

She sticks her tongue out at me. “That’s what you get for ignoring me!”

I don’t get to answer her because Derek stands up and silences the room.

“Hey guys!” He calls. “One minute to midnight!”

Excited voices join his, each discussing the coming new year. Kira bounces over to her boyfriend, snaking her arm around his waist and pecking his cheek. He will be her new year’s kiss tonight, as he was last year, and the year before.

I feel eyes on me again. Glancing up I lock eyes with him once more, his smile back in place. Heat creeps up my neck, staining my pale cheeks and I have to look away. Sometimes I hate how shy I am. Maybe if I wasn’t then I’d already have a midnight kiss.

Again the chatter silences and we glance towards the TV. Beside me, Marely smiles and we join in with the count

Ten, Nine,

I look back at him and he’s walking towards me.

Eight, Seven,

My heartbeat slows as he draws closer; the steady beat matches his every step.

Six, Five,

My throat goes dry and I try to swallow. I lick my lips, certain that once he stands in front of me I won’t be able to speak.

Four, Three,

He stops right before me, smile still constant, and takes my face in his hands.

Two, One,

Bottles pop. Cheers erupt. Couples kiss.

Miles leans forward. “Happy New Year, June.”

He brings his lips down on mine and the world around me goes quiet, only me and Miles together in that moment.

And I think to myself, 2014, my first new year’s kiss. Best. Year. Ever.

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