When Lily's band first came onto the stage I was expecting something awesome. If the performance was perhaps even one week sooner it would have also been a dream come true. For the first time Lily successfully rocked out to the song she meant to sing. Grace was beside me and I could see her smile from the corner of my eye. She was the sweetest girl I had managed to meet all 9th grade year. I never heard her speak a single unkind word about anyone.

As No Man's Land continued their song things seemed to just fall into place and Grace and I shared our first kiss. Then my ears began to really hear the words coming out of Lily's mouth and realized it was about me. I looked up to see Lily looking directly at me and I felt like I had to leave. Grace agreed to take a walk after I convinced her my leg had fallen asleep. Just as I opened the door to leave I heard the ending of Lily's song and what sounded like "I love you".

As I walked beside Grace I realized that the reason I had wanted to leave is because I knew in my heart what was going to happen. I can't believe how blind I was. Lily never really had gotten over me. When she was angry in that hallway after the talent portion of the Mr.Roscoe pageant it was just a heat of the moment after being surprised thing. Grace noticed the look of concern on my face as I thought about this and looked back with a questioning face.

"What's wrong?"

I stopped and stared over her shoulder trying to think of what to say. She was the best thing that happened to me since my quest to get over Lily began and now it was like the feelings were coming back anyway. How could I choose between a really nice girl like Grace and my best friend since I was a little kid? I told her when she agreed to let me start over that Lily and I were never going to be more then friends. Could she see through me?

"Ray! Hello?"

I was shocked as I heard Grace's voice a little more raised then usual. Apparently I had spaced out during my thoughts.

"Sorry. I was just thinking?"

"What's on your mind? Your leg didn't seem too tired when we walked out of mickey's. You can tell me anything."

"You were right."

"Excuse me?"

"About me and Lily."

Grace had a mixture of hurt in her eyes, but she also looked like she has expected it.

"Does this mean we are breaking up?"

"I don't want to. You are totally awesome. I couldn't have asked to meet a better person. But..."

"There's always a but isn't there?"

"Lily told me it was too late to ask her out. That is why I was searching for a girlfriend in the first place. You were the first one that worked out and I thought I was finally ready to move on since Lily had. That song she was singing...you heard it right?"


"She was looking for inspiration for two weeks to get that song. Travis and I tried to encourage her that is how I know she was having a writer's block. I told her to write from her heart instead of her head. If that came from her heart now then I know she was lying when she said it was too late."

In the short time I knew Grace I learned that she was someone who would listen if you had something to say just like Lily did. That made me feel better when I talked to her.

"Ray it's fine. I never really forgot that double date and to tell you the truth I haven't been able to convince myself that Lily and you are meant to be just friends. I gave you a chance though because you came off as a great guy. I'll feel a lot better breaking up with you then I would being with you if I knew it was making you and Lily farther apart."

"Thanks Grace."

"You can give me a call anytime."

"So we are friends then?"

"Yeah. Did you think I was going to let you get away that easily? Most of my friends are too serious. I can always use a little laughter."

"I knew there was someone out there that appreciates my unique humor!"

Grace laughs and walks towards her house. I jog back to Mickey's hoping that Lily was still there.