If I Were Brave - An original short story

Hey sweethearts! Here’s a fab short story written by GL reader Madison O. We love her way with words—come on, haven’t you totally been in this chica’s shoes? Tell us what ya think in the comments!

“If I Were Brave”

If I were brave, I would have kissed him.

My head rests on my arm as I stare out the window of my mother's Toyota. The trees seem to blur together as we zoom by, but I pay no attention to what's in front of my eyes. I'm too focused on the thoughts buzzing through my head.

It's not like there had been some perfect chance for me to do it. To have kissed Carter Nelson. It's not as if he had approached me in a tux as I was preparing to leave, and confessed his undying love for me. It's not as if he'd had roses, or there was even music playing in the background. No, it wasn't anything like that. There wasn't any designated time that was just begging me to kiss him. But if I had been brave enough, there was definitely a point at which I could have done it.

He wouldn't have been expecting it. Carter. He doesn't know I have feelings for him, or, if he does, he doesn't show it. I'm not sure how he couldn't know. It seems like everyone else knows about it...but maybe he's the one person who actually believes me when I deny people's suspicions.

I'm not quite sure what he would do if I had kissed him. Maybe it wouldn't have been a full, on-the-mouth kiss. Maybe I would have only aimed for his cheek. Perhaps then, even if he were to reject me, I would have a bit of dignity left from not flying at his mouth.

"Tina? Are you okay?" My mother sounds concerned as she glances sideways at me. "You're very quiet. Is something wrong?"

If I were brave, I wouldn't have lied.

"No," I say quickly. "I'm just a bit tired."

I release a huge, fake yawn from my mouth before resuming my thoughts. Or at least, attempting to. Except now, they seem to be clouded by guilt. Maybe I should have told her about Carter. Surely she'd be able to tell me what I should do. If I should be ballsy or if I should keep up the charade of only liking him as my friend. 

Wouldn't she know exactly what he's thinking when he always chooses the seat next to mine in French? Wouldn't she be able to tell me why, each day before lunch, he meets me at my locker before walking with me to the cafeteria? Or during the weekends, why my phone is like a buzzing bomb from our endless texting? 

Wouldn't my mother, who has already experienced the world of middle school crushes, be able to tell me if all these things are meant in a romantic way, or only as friendly gestures?

She probably would. But I don't open up to her. 

My phone buzzes inside my pocket. Hastily, I pull it out and glance down at the screen. It's a text from Carter. 

"U seemed kinda weird earlier. U ok?" 

So he at least picked up on that. The "weird" is probably because of my obsession over kissing him. All day today I had been trying to get myself to do it. It seemed like the easiest way to let him know I like him. No trying to get him alone to talk to him and stumbling over awkward words as I try to explain exactly what I feel for him. A kiss would have surely been enough for even Carter to realize I didn't just think of him as a friend.

But, as stated before, I chickened out. I always do.

My fingers fumble over the keyboard as I type back a response. 

"Yah, I'm ok :)"

If I were brave, I would have just told him.
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by GL reader | 2/1/2016
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