This is the second installment to Promenades and Serenades. It's a stand-alone story though. I tried to not rely on the previous given story and make this one about a whole new kablooey. I hope you like it and review, please.

Disclaimer: John Cena is owned by the World Wrestling Entertainment. Not me.


He was on cloud nine, and it wasn't caused by the fumes of hydrochloric acid inside the Chemistry Lab. He was staring at her. The way she moved her head every time a confusing equation came up; the way her eyebrow shoots up behind her goggles when she's trying to measure chemical compounds accurately; the way she taps her foot while thinking about which formula she should use and her lab coat flows around her knees covering what wasn't by the denim miniskirt she sported with high-cut chucks and a hoodie.

He was in love. There was no doubt about that. John Cena was in love with his best friend, Kylie. They've been close since their diaper and binky days and nothing in the present world could change that. The problem was, John took his perception of Kylie at a higher level. It was no longer the girl who tutored him through Literature and World History; no longer the girl who'd he'd run to for advice and help with girls; no longer the girl who once wore braided pigtails and jumped around in the park with him during autumn.

It's her hair and her eyes today
that just simply take me away
and the feeling that I'm falling further in love
makes me shiver, but in a good way

Now, it was the girl who he saw as someone who'd fetch him after football practice and greet him with a kiss; the girl who'd lie down on his bed with whenever his folks weren't around and talk about their future; the girl who'd he'd be able to say the 143 to and she'd be able to say it back without hesitation.

The only thing hindering him from making all of that come true was the fact that he was scared. Yes, football player John Cena might be so strong on the outside, but inside he was so scared. He was afraid, another feeling worse than being pussy-whipped. There were countless times when he was ready to put it all on the line, but he chickened out at the last minute and made some excuse about buying a gift for his aunt or baking cookies for his granny.

He was afraid he'd turn her down and they'd never speak with each other again. He was scared she'd be so disgusted and so perverted by his thoughts that she'd block him out of her life and he'd be forced to simply watch her from afar. At least now, he got to spend time with her. He was able to know what was happening in her life. She ran to him when she had problems. She'd spend time with him and they'd have fun as best friends. So what if he didn't get to say he loved her? At least they were together.

Right?

All the times I have sat and stared
as she thoughtfully thumbs through her hair
as she purses her lips
bats her eyes
and she plays with me
sitting there, slack-jawed and nothing to say

"John?" her voiced chorused into his ears as he snapped back into reality. He looked up to see that they were the only ones left inside the Chem. Lab and he had been caught staring blankly into space. He noticed she was still wearing her lab coat so she'd probably been waiting for him to step back onto earth. "Are you okay?" she said with a slight giggle.

It's a masterful melody
when she calls out my name to me
as the world spins around her
she laughs, rolls her eyes
and I feel like I'm falling
but it's not surprise

"Uhm… Yeah! I'm fine! Must've zoned out there for a while. The hydrochloric acid and potassium permanganate fumes must've gone to my head for some odd reason." He said with a nervous laugh upon realizing he had been caught staring into space and possibly day-dreaming.

"What's this?" she asked as she motioned to his notebook which was opened to a page covered with numerous doodles and drawings. Probably from boredom, or maybe from something else.

He quickly shut the notebook closed and said in a shaky voice, "Uhm… Chem notes… Lotsa drawings and figures. Trying to make sense of the whole thing… Thought sketches would help me…" But the truth was, it was her name in his notebook. He'd been writing songs and drawing little hearts around her name inside of his notebook. Of course, he wouldn't let her see that. It would just be so wrong if ever she did.

'Cause it's frightening to be
swimming in this strange sea
but I'd rather be here than on land

She cocked and unbelieving eyebrow and just nodded. She knew when he was hiding something because in the how many years they've been best friends, she'd learned how to read him like an open book. Deciding she didn't have enough energy to worm it all out of him, she motioned for the door and said, "In that case then, let's go! We've both got to be on the field in like five minutes."

He nodded and stuffed his things inside his backpack. They walked over to the door and hung their lab coats on the rack before leaving the laboratory. They headed down the hallways and to their lockers which were side by side and emptied some of the contents of their bags inside them. She shut her locker about two or three seconds before him before she slung her body bag around her torso. He placed his backpack on his right shoulder and smiled at her. "Shall we?" he said, his hand outstretched in a gentlemanly manner.

She smiled at his antics and placed her hand in his. They both jetted off out the red double doors of their school and out to the football field where there were already football players tackling each other and cheerleaders trying to polish a move. They immediately ran straight for the locker rooms. Laughing at their own playfulness, the two found themselves tripping and falling down onto the grass side by side.

"Would you believe that after how many years, we're still here? Me and you… I mean." She said in the sweetest voice he could ever imagine. It wasn't that romantic stuff that he'd sometimes watch along with her during their Friday movie nights and he's lose to her irresistible pout, but it came close enough. She didn't have that 'twinkle' in her eye that said, or perhaps screamed, 'I love you' in fifteen different languages. But the feeling of having her beside him and nowhere else was still enough to make him smile.

Yes she's all that I see
and she's all that I need
and I'm out of my league

"I wouldn't find it so hard to believe. We've been together through everything." He replied, trying to hide the lovesick tone in his voice that could defray his whole plan of keeping his feelings to himself. He smiled as she did the same and they both stood up from their places on the ground. They both brushed off the little dots of grass on their clothes and gave each other another heartfelt smile. "You gonna ride home with me?" he asked, hopeful.

"Yeah." She nodded. "Wouldn't have it any different on Friday night." She giggled and laughed. The sound of her laughter mixing in with his low rumble was pure harmony in his ears. The sight of the smile grazing her face and her mocha brown locks shining under the sun and dancing around her face was absolute heaven for him. "I'm ready for a sleepover!" she squealed.

'Cause I love her with all that I am
and my voice shakes
along with my hands
'Cause she's all that I see and she's all that I need
and I'm out of my league once again

It was simple Friday night tradition for them. After their respective practices, they'd drive over to either his or her house and they'd spend the night watching movies, eating gummy-bears, popcorn and sour apple-flavored licorice. After the marathon which would end a few after midnight, they'd stay up for about an hour or so and they'd talk about random stuff. Like crushes and other stuff. Some people would find it weird that a guy and a girl were doing this but the two found it funny they were this open to each other. It was like, they didn't care what others said. They were best friends. There was nothing more important than that.

The two parted to their separate locker rooms and got ready for their practices; Kylie to her cheerleading and John to his football. They changed into their respective uniforms and went out to the field to pursue their own crafts.

Three painful hours later, they were sitting in his 2007 Cadillac XLR which was a joint sixteenth-birthday gift from his parents and hers (they had joint custody over the vehicle so technically they both own it) and were looking out at the now-empty student parking lot that was once filled with a hundred designer cars. "So, how was cheer practice?" he asked as they sat there enjoying the night sky and the cool air.

"It was alright. As usual, Ms. Perfect head cheerleader's got it in for me so she always gives me the hard routines but I get through and do them anyways." She said, referring to Mia, the head cheerleader who has always had it in her to hate Kylie. "I mean like, so what? She gives me a gymnastics routine composing of three back-flips, five back-tucks, eight side and front cartwheels, six backhand-springs, nine front-hand-springs, three hurricanes, two spread-eagles and a split and I pull it off perfectly, does that give her a valid reason to hate me so much?" she said, rather irritated and annoyed. She crossed her arms over her chest and pouted a bit.

John blinked at her, tried to force out a smile and asked in the most confused voice ever, "Would you mind translating that for me?"

That made them both laugh out loud. John had no idea what were those 'pomtiddlypompoms' she just mentioned but just hearing them was enough to make him cringe. After their laughter had somewhat died down, she took a deep breath and said, "It's just this complicated routine—"

"—I realized that." He cut in for a brief moment.

She smiled and continued, "—a routine that even she herself had a hard time with. But I was able to pull it off perfectly since I've been doing gymnastics for a longer time than her. So she was so heated at me earlier that she made my back ache so badly. And it really hurts."

He sensed the slight whine in her voice and reached out to hug her. He wrapped an arm around her shoulders and pulled her closer to his chest. He rubbed her back a bit and tried to help her calm down. She silently sobbed into his chest as she let his comforting hands massage her back a bit. She had to admit, it comforted her some and it really did help the pain. But all she needed now was to be inside his room with him, a bowl full of licorice and gummy-bears on her comforter-covered lap and all four Harry Potter movies playing on the DVD player.

"Can we go now?" she asked in the most innocent little girl voice you were ever going to hear from the lips of a seventeen year-old young lady. He nodded and started the car before jetting out of the parking lot and to the almost deserted streets. The wind was blowing gently and making little tickling feelings on their faces. Other than the sound of the engines whirring, it was pure silence looming over them. Exhaustion was taking over them.

Double it over for John. Nobody understood how tiring it was looking after yourself for not spilling your guts out to the woman who's sitting right next to you and looking after her at the same time. That, mixed in with schooling and football was learning to take its toll on his body. He was so much a wreck right now, his fears didn't matter anymore. He was going to ask her. He was going to do it tonight. Just so he could put his plan in action.

They got to his simple white house near the corner of the street and he cut off the engine. Kylie got out of the car and went to the trunk where she got her backpack for the night. He did the same and soon, the two found themselves clad in their night clothes, sitting on the floor in front of John's bed and watching Harry Potter movies while eating sour gummies. She had her head laid on his chest as they continued to watch the Goblet of Fire.

Around the part where Harry was asking Cho Chang if she'd like to go to the Yule Ball with him, John spoke up as he was stroking her soft cherry-scented hair. "Say, Kylie… Fall dance is coming 'round…" he said as though it were the most random thing ever to pop out in his head.

"Yeah… It is…" she mumbled with a mouth stuffed with sour gummies. "What's the deal with it?" she asked.

"Would you go with me to the dance?" he asked, his palms were slowly beginning to sweat and the butterflies in his stomach had multiplied and were all fluttering around mercilessly.

Without looking at him, she smiled and said, "Of course, I will."

He smiled and muttered, "Thank you" before kissing the crown of her head. The rest of the night, they didn't speak a word. They didn't have to. Instead of chit-chatting after the movies, they cleaned up and headed to bed. John always slept on the comfy couch in his room because he always gave his bed to Kylie. Especially with her aching back, she needed a real bed to sleep on. Plus, John was happy on the couch.

Fall dance came along and everyone was so excited about the event. The guys were all renting fancy cars or buffing up their own. The girls were spending so much time at the mall trying to pick out the perfect dress and getting themselves all gussied up at the salon. The black caddy that pulled up in front of Kylie's house only announced the arrival of her date for the night.

Dressed in an light auburn tube dress that imitated that of Audrey Hepburn's, Kylie took one final look at the mirror and scanned herself from head-to-toe. Her hair was down in a frenzy of curls, crimps and straight portions imitating the Britney Spears' do of mix and match, her make-up was done flawlessly naturally with only a hint of brown and pink, her dress well-worn and ready to go along with her strap-up brown heels. She was ready.

John, dressed in a pair of black slacks, black dress shoes and a plain white Armani dress shirt that was only half-buttoned, carried with him a bouquet of white roses for his lady. He was getting so nervous that he could barely breathe and found himself gulping down a big lump in his throat every thirty seconds. But once she walked down the stairs of her family's humble abode, everything stopped for him.

She looked every inch perfect, especially with that megawatt-smile plastered on her face. She was like floating on clouds as she walked closer to him and spun around. "How do you like it?" she asked, just like about every time she'd model her dress or gown for him a day before the big event. Only this time, he hadn't seen the dress yet since he was her date and she wanted to surprise him.

"A- I-.." he was at a loss for words. "I love it! It's amazing! You look so beautiful!" he gushed as she blushed. Like about every family obsession, Kylie's parents' took numerous pictures of the two. There were some of them on the patio, some in the living room, some on the staircase, some of John carrying Kylie bridal-style, some of Kylie kissing John on the cheek. They had exhausted the battery of the digital camera before the two were able to leave the house.

At the school gymnasium, everyone was having a blast eating good food and drinking non-alcoholic drinks. There was music playing here and there and the band they hired was an absolute hit with the teens. After the commotion had died down and all was left were a few students, John decided to take this chance. He asked Kylie for a dance and she agreed.

The dance floor was still well-lit with a romantic hue. The band's crew members were dismantling the instruments onstage and the janitor was sweeping some of the clutter on the ground. They were the only two left there. As the intro to a slow song played in the background, John led Kylie to the dance floor.

At first, he was hesitant to put his hands on her, like a little boy realizing he had a crush on this girl for the very first time. Sensing his hesitance, she took his hands and placed them around her waist before proceeding to wrap her arms around his neck. She smiled at him as he returned the gestured and they swayed to the music.

Have I told you lately that I love you
Have I told you there's no one else above you
You fill my heart with gladness
Take away all my sadness
Ease my troubles, that's what you do

"Have I told you that you look beautiful, not just tonight but everyday?" he asked. She smiled and shook her head in the negative form. "You are. To me, you're so beautiful." He said.

For the morning sun and all it's glory
Greets the day with hope and comfort, too
You fill my heart with laughter
Somehow, you make it better
Ease my troubles, that's what you do

"Can I tell you something I've been dying to say?" he asked as he looked deep into her eyes. She nodded yes. He took a deep breath. This was it. This was the moment he'd been waiting for the past decade of his life. He was going to put it all on the line tonight. What her reaction would be would either make him or break him. Such a high risk, but he couldn't keep it inside anymore. He loved her.

He gulped a big lump in his throat and said, "Kylie, I don't know how to explain this all. For the past how many years, I've been longing to say this to you. Whenever I look at you, I see those eyes of yours and I melt. Whenever I smell the scent of your hair and play with its strands between my fingers, I feel like I'm in heaven. Friday nights always seem to so far away since I'm always waiting for it during the week and I can't wait to sit there on my bedroom floor with you and just… be there with you."

"Bottom line, Kye-kye…" he said. "…I love you."

He choked back stuttering and said, "…And I'm hoping you'd say that you love me to."

Say you love me
You know that it could be nice
If you'd only say you love me
Don't treat me like I was ice

She looked at him for a moment without saying anything. But after that moment of silence, she asked, "So this was what asking me to the dance was all about, wasn't it?"

He nodded, not being able to form the right words.

She shook her head and said, "I'm sorry, John. But, I can't say that back to you. To me, you're… You're just my best friend."

Oh baby you got what I need
But you say I'm just a friend
'Cause I can be your fantasy
But you say I'm just a friend
But you say I'm just a friend

He nodded and said, "I-I understand."

But inside, the truth was, he was broken.


So, I hope you guys liked what you read. For the record, the remixed lyrics of the song were from Out of My League by Stephen Speaks, Have I Told You Lately by Rod Stewart, Say You Love Me by MYMP and Just a Friend by Mario. Props to them for the songs.

Review, please! Thanks.

-veracruzortongal