A/N: Written for Dreamspinner Press’s 10K Likes on Facebook celebration.
Subject: first kiss
Word Limit: 500
“I’m sorry, Zach, I have to work late tonight,” Mom had told me over breakfast. “We have a teleconference with Hong Kong. If Nick wants to come over, you can order pizza.”
“Whatev,” I’d answered with my mouth full. I didn’t let on anything was wrong, even though today was my birthday. She’d forgotten. Again. You’d think the day she gave birth to her only child would be pretty memorable, right? Yeah, right. The last time she’d remembered to buy a cake was five years ago. I left for school and drifted through the rest of the day.
So. I’m sixteen now. Most kids would be excited about driving; me, I hadn’t even taken Driver’s Ed. What’s the point if you can’t afford a car? I worked part-time at the grocery store and had saved up for my Playstation, but it would be a long time before I’d be able to buy my own car. Seemed like an eternity.
Thankfully, I didn’t have to wait that long for Nick to arrive after school. As he parked his bike on the back porch, I was startled to see a gift bag hanging from his handlebar.
“Ta-da! Happy birthday!” he announced as he walked into the kitchen.
“You… remembered,” I said stupidly.
“Of course I did. It’s, like, the same day every year, man.”
Nick had been in my fourth grade class and we’d been buddies ever since. He got good grades and was more with it than I could ever hope to be. On a day like this, I was really glad to have an awesome friend like him.
“Well, what are you waiting for?” he teased, so I pulled out my present and tore off the tissue paper.
“Awesome! Resident Evil 6! We can play this tonight,” I said, totally thrilled.
“Happy ‘Sweet Sixteen,’” Nick said with a grin. “That is, if it’s true.”
“If what’s true?”
“Y’know, ‘Sweet sixteen, never been kissed’? You haven’t, have you?”
I hated to admit it, but my love life was… nonexistent. Nick had been dating Brittney off and on since ninth grade, but there weren’t a lot of gay guys at school. Not anyone I’d care to date, anyway.
“Alright, then—here’s your other present,” Nick said, suddenly grabbing my shoulders and leaning in close. When he covered my mouth with his, I dropped the new game on the floor in surprise. He was gentle, almost careful, as he pulled at and played with my lips, but I hardly knew how to respond. My eyes had closed on their own, letting me focus on what he was doing, but it’s not like I kissed him back. I couldn’t.
When he backed off I was out of breath, my head spinning.
“I… I thought you liked girls…” was the first thing my shocked mind threw out.
Nick shrugged. “Doesn’t mean I don’t like guys.”
Maybe this birthday wouldn’t be a total waste, after all.