TAYA's POV :
"Well, hey there Blondie, we meet again," he stifled a laughed.
"I told you not to call me that!" I hissed under my breath, firmly but soft enough so that no one could hear us.
"Well, I never got your name," he shrugged.
Being cheeky are we?
"Everyone, we will take a short five minute break, and then we'll start rehearsals when we come back, alright?" Mrs. Zee's booming voice shouted over us all.
Everyone started dispersing to different directions and Hallee raced over to us.
"Hi Judah, welcome to the theater club. I'm Hallee, co-director and writer of the play. And this is Taya, she's going to be playing Rose,"
"Taya?" he raised an eyebrow and nodded. "That’s a unique name. I like it,"
"It's Japanese. Her mom's half-Japanese, so—" Hallee was just being friendly, but way too friendly for my liking, so I cut her off by pinching her elbow quickly. "Ouw," she flinched.
"How's the stomach by the way? You feeling better?" Judah turned his gaze on me, with that stupid grin still plastered on his face.
"Oh, ha-ha, I’m great, thanks for asking,” I replied quickly. “I just had a lot of chili that night,"
"What? You guys know each other?" Hallee eyed me suspiciously.
“Barely, but Blondie here is very friendly to strangers,” he sneered, and Hallee looked even more confused.
"Will you excuse us for one moment?" I gave Judah a quick fake smile and pulled Hallee to one side, dragging her out of the auditorium as soon as I could.
"What's going on?" Hallee said as soon as we got to the exit.
"I can't do this. I can't do the play," I stated firmly.
“What do you mean?”
“Hal, you need to know something else that happened last night at Blake’s party…”
“Okay, I’m listening,”
“So, you know how at a party they always serve some type of fruit punch in a bowl?”
“That’s not fruit punch,” she shook her head. “That’s never fruit punch,”
“Well, I thought it was fruit punch, and it turned out to be this weird concoction of Kool Aid and alcohol or something like that, because I drank some of that and the next thing I knew, I felt sick to my stomach I wanted to barf,”
“Oh no, you didn’t,” she gave me a pitiful look.
“Well, yeah, so I went to the bathroom, right? Except, wrong. I ran into Blake in the bathroom. We talked, mostly about Ryder, and somehow we kissed!”
“No way!” she gaped.
“Yes way. But that’s not even the craziest part! Ryder came looking for me, and I panicked, so I jumped out of the window—“
“You did not!”
“I did, I totally did,” I groaned. “And somehow, I landed right on top of this guy. I didn’t know he was. And then I barfed right in front of his shoes!”
“Oh, girl,” she winced.
“Yeah, I thought I won’t ever have to see this guy again, except…”
I paused to see if Hallee could figure out where I was heading with this. As if a light bulb flashed inside her brain, she quickly gasped in terror.
“No way! Don’t tell me…”
I didn’t answer her with words, but I nodded my head instead, and Hallee’s mouth fell to the floor.
"Wow, Tay!” she was speechless for a moment. “You know I'm a sucker for rom-com stories, but damn girl, this is something different alright. They really should make a N*****x movie about your life," she snorted.
"I'm serious! Hal, help me, what should I do now?"
"Well one, you need to talk to Blake. What the hell was that? You guys kissed and he acted like he didn't even see you at the party?” she rolled her eyes dramatically. “You need to confront him, ask him straight-up why he was being a flaky douchebag today at lunch. And as for the new guy..."
"I'll just have to quit theater club and wear a paper bag over my head around school grounds until we graduate," I decided right away.
"No," she responded. "That's not necessary. And you can't quit the play, we can't afford to lose you,"
"But I would die in embarrassment, Hal. I can’t even look him in the eye!” I sighed. “I mean, do you want a corpse as your best friend?"
"Geez, you're such a drama queen already. You're so perfect for the role," Hallee laughed and waved her hand in the air carelessly. "You'll be fine, Tay. Sure it was embarrassing, but you'll survive this. Remember, this is the new Taya we're talking about. She's strong and fearless, and she doesn’t care about what people think—"
* DING! *
My phone's sudden chime broke her train of thought.
"Speak of the devil," I commented as soon as I read the text.
"Blake. Said he wants to see me,"
"Won't you look at that? The universe is giving you a sign that you need to follow my advice," she announced proudly. "You should go and talk to him,"
Talk to Blake... and what if I don’t like what he has to say? Maybe it’s better if I don’t talk to him and just let yesterday’s event be nothing but a memory.
"I don't know Hal...” I paused for a beat before continuing, “This feels like a whole lot of drama. Maybe I should just retire from being Taya 2.0? I suddenly like my old life just fine,"
“Girl, what are you so afraid of?” she pressed. "What's the worse that could happen?"
"I don’t know, but it’s scary to talk to him,” I whined. “You know I’ve had a crush on him since forever. I could die!"
"Again, enough with the drama queen shtick. You got the role already," she retorted sarcastically.
I shot her a deadly glare and she quickly pulled her composure.
"Look, the way I see it, clarity is better than uncertainty. Even if it's the harsh truth, you deserved to get some answers. Go talk to him and find out what's up, or else it's gonna end up eating you alive anyway,"
Okay, the girl has a good point.
"Alright," I sighed.
"And if he turns out to be a jerk, you let me know and I'll kick his ass... Or I'll tell RJ and have him kick his ass," she winked and I rolled my eyes at her.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Later that day, I texted Blake that I had theater club for another two hours, and he said that he was willing to wait. He asked me to meet him behind the bleachers after rehearsal was over.
The theater club rehearsal was boring to say the least. We just did something called a 'table read', which was basically all the actors sitting at a big table, reading their lines out loud. I didn't care for it one bit, I just read whatever it was that I was supposed to read, and I wasn't listening to anything people were saying either. When people would ask me for my opinion, I would just nod along and agree to everything.
I was also avoiding any kind of eye contact with this Judah guy. Every time I looked at his face, I remembered the incident from last night and my cheeks burned crimson red. I couldn’t handle this right now. A girl's brain could only handle so much, you know?
Meanwhile, Hallee would throw me a worried glance every now and then, she seemed bothered by something. I felt bad for Hallee, I didn't want her to think I wasn't taking this play seriously. But I couldn't help myself. My mind was somewhere else entirely, thinking and wondering about Blake and what I would say to him later.
What if he really was embarrassed to be seen with me? What if he wanted to tell me that last night was a mistake?
I was so happy last night after the party. The boy that I liked kissed me and I kissed him back. But today, I was confronted by the reality of it all. And these thoughts were giving me an ulcer.
Oh god, I feel like dying an early death!
I realized I was being super dramatic. But I was preparing myself for the worst. I mean, what else could Blake say to me? What reason would he have for the way he acted?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
As soon as the clock struck 5 and we were all dismissed, I packed up my things haphazardly and raced over to the now empty football field. My heart was pounding like crazy as I found Blake. He was alone, standing casually by the bleachers. He had his football jacket on and his gorgeous blonde hair was neatly pushed back.
"Hey," I greeted as soon as I caught my breath.
"Hey," he beamed as soon as he saw me.
"So, what's up?" I thought we would start with some small talks first, but Blake had other plans.
"I missed you," he said and I gaped.
Not wasting any time, he pulled me in and his lips landed on mine, coaxing me into submission. His kiss was hot and wanting, meanwhile, I just froze in shock.
"Blake!" I tried to break off the kiss, but he came back right away.
His tongue grazed over my lower lip and I couldn't help myself. His kiss felt so good. I gave up and I kissed him back. Our lips were molding into one and it brought me back to last night and how I much I had enjoyed that. Blake seemed to be liking it too, because a muffled groan escaped his lips.
"Blake, wait,” I said finally, pushing him away. “What the hell is going on here?"
"We... were just kissing?" he pointed out the obvious. “I’m just picking up where we left off last night,”
He was grinning, and he was about to reach for my face again, but I stepped back.
"Okay, then explain something to me because I don’t get it. You clearly remembered what happened last night, why did you tell Viviane you didn't see me at your party?"
He looked at me as if the answer was obvious and said, "I know, but what was I supposed to say? All the guys were there. What if they say something to RJ?"
"RJ?” I paused. “Is that what you're worried about?"
"I think we both know how he'd react," he stated matter-of-factly.
I sighed and let out a small nod. Blake had a point. If Ry had found out, World War III might just break out. So Blake lied not because he was embarrassed to be seen with me. He did it to keep world peace.
Blake let out a sigh and palmed my face with his hand. "Look, Taya, I like you and last night was really fun. But we don't know where this is going and RJ is my best friend. So I don't know, maybe we could just take things slow, yeah? See where this is going. If it's serious, then maybe we can start telling everybody. Starting with RJ, of course,"
"You... like me?"
"Of course I do," he smiled. "I wanna keep getting to know you, but we gotta be careful with this. Until we've figured things out, I think it's best that no one knows,"
I bit my lip to stop myself from smiling. Blake Harrison said he likes me!
"And I don't want you to get in trouble because of me too," his fingers began caressing my cheek. He studied my face for a while, waiting for me to answer.
“So you’re saying… you want to keep this… us a secret, is that it?”
“I think it’s for the best. Is that okay with you?" he asked cautiously.
I thought about Blake’s proposal for a moment. It was true what he said. Before we figured out what we were, it was best that no one knew. Especially Ryder.
I looked up to see Blake’s gorgeous blue eyes and I knew my answer at that moment. He had such kind eyes, my heart melted into a puddle just at the sight of them.
"Okay," my lips curved up a smile as I gave him a nod. “Let’s keep this a secret for now,”
"Awesome," his eyes lit up and he leaned in, placing another soft long kiss on my lips.
I could feel something stirring inside my stomach. Were those butterflies?
We finally pulled away after we were all out of breath. His hand lingered on the side of my face, and he was smiling from ear to ear.
"I gotta go now, I'm meeting the guys for a quick surf," he murmured.
"I'll see you around?"
Blake gave me a quick kiss on the cheek before he turned to walk away. He jogged a few steps, but then he turned around, waving his hand at me. I waved back and I used my other hand to pinch myself, making sure this wasn't a dream.
When he was finally out of sight, I turned to my heels to head for the parking lot. I had a big smile on my face and a spring in my step. But everything stopped and my smile fell to the ground when I saw Judah, just a few feet away from where I was standing. He was sitting casually by the bleachers, having a smoke.
Our eyes met each other and my breath was caught in my throat.
"Sup, Blondie?" he said, with a cigarette hanging on his mouth.
Oh, shit on a stick! Please don’t tell me he saw all that…
- - - - - To Be Continued - - - - -
TAYA’s POV :Please, don’t tell me Judah saw Blake and me kissing behind the bleachers! Oh god, what if he tells other people? We live in a small town. Ryder’s gonna find out in no time and I’m gonna die!"Hey, how long have you been here?" I said nervously."Long enough," he raised an eyebrow at me playfully.Of course, he’s sneering. Pretending to be unfazed, I strode over and took the seat next to him. He leaned back and threw his gaze up to the sky. He was huffing and puffing smoke like a freaking chimney."Those things will kill you, you know," I commented."We all die in the end,” he replied. “This is just helping to smooth out the process,"I didn't expect that answer at all. What a crazy ass, depressing dude!"Wh
TAYA's POV :Remember when I said that my love life was drier than the Sub-Saharan desert? Well...For the next couple of days, Blake and I were inseparable. We texted nonstop, we met up in secret every chance we got, and we made out, a lot.It had been a full week of secret rendezvous with Blake Harrison now. We did a great job at keeping things a secret too. I didn't even tell Hallee about any of it, when normally I'd tell her everything. This should be some kind of an accomplishment for me.* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *Today was a Friday, and just like any other ordinary Fridays, the day began with my first period chemistry class. I was in the middle of listening to Mr. Deutsch's boring speech on molecular composition, when I saw Blake's head popped in front of the glass door and mo
TAYA's POV :"Mom, I'm going out! See ya!" I was racing down the staircase in my tight sequin dress and high heels, one wrong step and I'd snowball down the whole thing.I never wore heels before, ever. We lived in Hawaii, so slippers were always my go to. But for last Christmas, mom got me these cute silver heels and I had been saving them for a special occasion— such as this.I didn’t even wait for my mom’s response. I was out of the house within seconds. And as soon as I got out of the house, I spotted Blake's car waiting for me outside. My heart fluttered at the sight."You look really pretty," Blake smiled widely as soon as I got into his Audi."Thanks, you look really pretty too," I replied.He did look amazing. His hair was neatly pushed back, and he was wearing a crisp white shirt and jeans. If Paul Wesley and Robert
BLAKE’s POV :“If you can't make up your mind about me already by now, maybe you shouldn't even bother,"Her words were haunting me as I drove down the empty road. I wasn’t expecting to have this talk tonight, so I didn’t have the best answer, but I was only trying to be honest."So, am I just another Viviane to you?"Of course not. She was totally different from whatever Viviane was to me. Hell, she was different from all the girls I had been with before."Blake, are you ashamed of me?"Again, no. I was never ashamed of her. But I was scared about dating a girl in general. And not just any girl too, she w
TAYA's POV :"Just one grand romantic declaration, was that really too much to ask?" I groaned as I threw my body lazily on Hallee's bed."All I wanted was for Blake to turn the car around, get out, and declare his undying love for me. I would've taken him back in a heartbeat!""What a stinkin' bastard! I still can't believe he left you on the side of the road just like that," Hallee followed suit."Well, maybe it was my fault. I was the one who told him to go and I was being a real bitch too," I shrugged."Still, how could he do that to a girl? Maybe we should tell RJ about this, so he can have a little talk with Blake?""And bring about the second wave Coronavirus? I don't think so. Hals, you've promised you're not gonna tell anyone about this,""Ah, fine," she sighed in defeat.After the fiasco tha
TAYA's POV :"The kissing scene had to be real," Judah says matter of factly."The hell it is!" I gaped."See here Blondie, I don't do anything half-assed. So if I'm gonna do this for real, I'm doing this for real alright,""But — wait -- that's not — I can't —""We'll look hella stupid if we're faking it and expect people to believe it was real," he interjects."But... it's... actual kissing?""So?" he scoffed. "It's just kissing. It's just like eating cake. You do it. Most times it tasted good. Sometimes not so much. That's it,""Maybe for you, you've done it like a thousand times. But that's not the case with me,"Judah shot me a look I couldn’t decipher. Suddenly, he licked his lips and said, "If experience was the issue, you know I could help with that
TAYA's POV :Our school had just won the first game of the season and everyone was ecstatic. The excitement levels were off the charts.But as everyone else flocked over to Zippy's, our town's favorite local diner, to celebrate our homecoming victory, I found myself surrounded by my only friends in the world, Hallee and Gabe at a Walmart parking lot. We were sitting in Hallee's car, blasting LANY on the radio and munching on a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos."Gabe, you need to settle this argument once and for all," Hallee said in a commanding tone."What's this all about? I'm hungry, I thought we were going to Zippy's?" he whined."We will once this argument is settled. Now listen to this, Taya here has decided to make a deal with Judah. They're going to do the kissing scene for real and not only that, they're becoming kiss buddies now; friends with kissing benefits&
TAYA's POV :Until the day I die, I would never forget this madness unraveling in front of me."Please tell me that's not what I think it is..." I said cautiously, slowly moving towards him."Don't come near me!" he hissed."Judah...""Uh, think baseball... breakfast burritos... this morning's YouTube videos..." he muttered to himself under his breath.I stifled a laugh, and seconds later, I broke out into full blown laughter. It was probably a mean thing to do, but the situation was just out of control. Literally."I just need a smoke," he said in annoyance, disregarding my maniacal laugh.He got up slowly and walked to the door, carefully and skillfully not showing his front side to me. This had to be one of the funniest sights I had ever seen.I had to put a throw pillow over m