I couldn't believe I was standing in line for a kissing booth.
What would the past me think?
I rolled my eyes, hey, it's not like I'm that desperate to have some guy slobber on me. I was just here for moral support.
I turned to my best friend whose sanity was in question.
Ugh, it's because of her that I had to sleep outside in a parking lot instead of on my nice and comfy bed.
I must have been unknowingly sneering because when she finally took her eyes off the head of the line and looked at me, she laughed.
"Aww, cheer up! Before you know it, we'll be talking about how Paul fell in love with me at first kiss over the meal I know you've been longing for."
I just glowered more at her. While inwardly I was whimpering at the mention of breakfast. That's the only damn reason I agreed to this infatuation fest in the first place.
No, it's not, my inner voice chided. I did this because I know how badly my best friend is obsessed with Mr. Paul "the hottie" singer.
She'd die a small death if I didn't go. Mainly because no matter how badly she wanted that kiss, there was no way in hell that she would go alone. Something to do with her being afraid of fainting and being taken advantage of by some guy. I'm still not completely sure.
So that's where I come in.
She knew I'd grumble.
That I would even argue.
But she also knew, that I would never say no.
It meant way too much to her little, freakishly obsessive heart, and as official BFF for over five years, I could not let that happiness disappear.
So here I am, stuck in line with kids the age of ten all the way up to adults twice my age. All of whom were so called "head over heels in love" with one of the singers of New Moon; only the hottest band to hit audiences since the NSync era.
Don't get me wrong, I think the guy's pretty hot to. In fact, I think they all are…but no man is worth sleeping outside in a line for hours just so you can pay 75 buckaroos to kiss him on the cheek. If anything, he should be paying me $75 for skipping my breakfast!
I shifted my weight a whole quarter inch as the line went up a little.
Ana threw me a mega watt smile. I could just see the excitement rolling off of her in waves.
My lips twitched as I turned my head to keep her from seeing me smile.
What? A person has to have at least a little bit of a sense of humor if they're going to stay up all night for a freaking kiss!
It better be the best damn kiss she'll ever have!
As I mentally cursed who ever came up with the idea behind this, I let my gaze drift around the room.
Who would have thought that so many people would show up just to kiss one guy.
A guy that nobody knew beyond his singing career or an interview here and there.
I had to give him some credit though, he was donating all the money that was made here to his tribal reservation.
Aww… my mind got away before I could silence it.
Yah, it was great to see a guy care about his people. What wasn't great was said big guy being my best friend's biggest crush since she hit puberty.
Oh well, guess I could always hit on one of the other band members, my mind giggled.
It's not like he's the only hottie. A girl could just faint being around any of them. All of them take the definition of tall, dark and handsome to a whole to level.
It doesn't hurt that they actually sing some great music. If I hadn't sworn myself to secrecy, I'd tell people that I was actually one of their original fans.
You know, one of those rare creatures that listened to popular music before it became popular. Then the rest of the world has to go and ruin your fun by blaring it unnecessarily loud every minute for a month.
Yah, so I'm a bitter person when it comes to the media over doing it.
I'd never admit that that's one of the reasons I secretly like New Moon, they don't do overkill.
They just sell their CD's, they've never even went on tour. They just hideaway wherever it is they live and go about their lives.
That's why when Ana told me about Paul kissing for charity; I actually thought she was joking.
I was wrong, though.
So here I am. Stuck between my giddy best friend and some crazy obsessed mom fan that keeps making sure her lipstick isn't smudged.
I looked at my watch.
Frig! It was only 9am. I'd never get breakfast. At best, we'd probably make it to lunch.
I wanted to cry.
To throw a hissy fit right here, right now.
Instead, I decided to go the annoying route. "Are we there yet?" I asked.
Much to my amusement, Ana's smile was replaced by a glare. "Don't even start."
"I can't help it," I whined. "I'm starving and I didn't bring any food with me."
"You should have thought about that before we left," she lectured.
Uh uh, don't even go there, I thought. "Excuse me for forgoing my own needs for half a second to make my best friend happy."
Okay, so I was being a little bit dramatic. Who cares? As long as it did the trick of getting some food into my belly, I was okay with guilt tripping.
"Fine," she huffed, but I could tell she was holding back a smile.
"Why don't you go down the road to the nearest gas station and get us some snacks?"
It was heaven to my ears, so I grabbed her for the biggest hug.
"Yes, Yes, YES!!!!!" I said jumping up and down from foot to foot. I could care less that practically the entire row had turned to glance in our direction.
It was only when I saw the evil twinkle in Ana's eye that the smile disappeared from off off my face. "What," I whispered, almost too afraid to ask.
"You'll have to walk," she replied innocently. "There's no way you'd get you're parking spot back now."
She was officially the next ingredient to go into my imaginary witch's brew.
"That's evil," I said narrowing my eyes.
"I know," she laughed. Which only made me narrow my eyes more.
"Fine," I mumbled.
Real mature, I thought to myself as I made my way out of the stadium doors.
The fresh gust of air on my way out was relaxing. I hated crowds, especially when they weren't outside.
Taking in a deep breath, I decided to jog. One, because I know Ana will be freaking about being alone every second I'm gone. Two, because it helps me to block out the world and my surroundings.
I grinned. My BFF knew what she was doing by not letting me take the car. She must have known I'd be going stir crazy, cooped up in that building all day. She's such a great friend to sacrifice her own fear for me to be happy for a few minutes.
I'm such a horrible friend for thinking the worst.
I made it to the local gas station in record time, if I do say so myself. Which, I do.
Walking in, I couldn't help but notice all the Native American women inside. Normally this wouldn't have fazed me because I'm Native American myself, but I was curious as to whether there'd be anything for me to munch on since they seemed to have everything in the store gathered up in their arms.
The closest one to me smiled at my shocked expression. "Maybe you should get what you want first," she laughed.
I smiled, "You know, I think I might actually take you up on that offer. I'm to hungry to be polite."
Another girl that looked to be about my age laughed, "You'd fit right in with our husbands."
I smiled and went to grab some pop. As I opened the door the reflection from the woman behind me shocked me.
She had to have the most beautifully gruesome face I had ever seen. Three long scars slashed across the most stunning features. It was as if someone had torn the Mona Lisa to detract from its beauty. Only, the proud stance from the battle scars made her all the more attractive.
I wanted to find out where those scars came from but there was no way I was insensitive enough to ask.
Instead I went to grab some chips, only to discover most of the kind I preferred were gone. Okay, whatever. I'll just grab some candy bars. Walking down another aisle, I stopped mid-step.
What the hell?
They only left like two Baby Ruth's.
It's just not fair.
"You look like you're about to cry," the first girl from before said.
I just nodded.
Laughing she said, "My name's Kim and don't worry, I've got your back."
"I hope that means you've got some left over candy bars and chips?"
She smiled, then turned to yell at the girl paying at the register, "Hey Leah, hold up a second. This girl's going to need something besides the scrapings we left behind."
The girl named Leah scowled at me.
"Why do I feel like I just made an enemy?" I whispered to Kim.
"Most people feel that way when they meet Leah," she said.
"Oh," was my lame reply.
Walking to the counter I picked up a tube of Pringles and two Butterfingers. I smiled, trying to lighten the sour mood. Leah sneered at Kim, "Those two count as Jared's."
Kim rolled her eyes as Leah walked out carting what seemed to be at least fifteen bags.
I wonder how often she works out?
I was in the middle of feeling sorry for myself about not doing anything but running when Kim waved her hand in front of my face.
"Hello, earth to…wait," she said looking confused. "I never got your name."
"Oh sorry, I'm Talli." I replied while paying for my stuff.
Walking out the door together, I was prepared to say my goodbyes but I shut my mouth when I didn't see any vehicles parked by.
"Oh Kim, I think your friends must have accidentally left you."
She laughed, "No worries, they just got a head start on our walk back to the fundraiser."
Oh, I thought, while mentally slapping myself. Duh. How stupid could I be, not to make that connection. A group full of girls, plus no cars, it has to equal that snoz fest.
I looked ahead towards the direction of the auditorium and did a double take. "Holy crow your friend Leah is fast. She's got to be running."
Kim's head snapped up. "Um, yah. She's into total fitness."
"I guess," I couldn't suppress the surprise in my voice. "She makes me feel like a wimp. I can't run that fast and carry weights that heavy."
"Anyways," Kim said, "I didn't peg you as the type of girl to want to kiss Paul?"
I smiled, should I play along and be the part of a doting fan?
Nah, I'm all about honesty.
"I actually came to support a friend. She's been dreaming of this day since childhood. I'm just here to take her away if she faints or something." I started laughing out loud as the scene played out in my mind.
"What about you? Won't Mr. Kim be jealous?" I said with my eyes looking at the ring on her the ring finger of her left hand.
"You have no idea," said Kim. "I'm here for moral support to, for a…buddy of mine."
"Sweet, maybe we should all go out to eat after the 'epic kisses'. I know Ana would love to drool over it with someone who actually cares."
It grew quiet after my statement, so I looked to see if Kim heard me. She seemed to be thinking pretty hard about something because I could see the lines forming on her forehead.
I was about to renege on my idea when she said, "I'd love to but I don't think…my buddy would be up to it."
"Well, the offer still stands for you then."
She must have thought I would change my mind because she let out what I thought sounded like a sigh of relief.
"Great," she smiled.
It was pretty silent the rest of the short way to the auditorium, but I wouldn't describe it as awkward silence.
As we were nearing the doors I grabbed out my cell, "so what's your number so we can get in touch?"
"Yah, you're right. How stupid of me, there's no way we'd find each other in this crowd."
I dialed the numbers as she said them out loud. She said she'd get mine after I called her to meet up. That must mean her friend was closer to the kissing booth than Ana was.
Poor Kim, she must have had to be out here hours before I my hours of camping out on the sidewalk. I suddenly wanted to give her all my food as a concession for having such horrible luck.
On second thought, I was really hungry.
Somehow I was able to make my way back to Ana. Just as I predicted, I lost Kim to the crowd along the way.
Ana looked frustrated. She hated being alone within large groups.
"Hey," I said walking up to her side.
"Oh thank heavens! I thought you'd never get back."
She snatched a candy bar and pop from out of my hands and started rattling on about everything that happened in my absence. By the time she was done we were almost to the kissing booth.
Ana looked like she was about to topple over from nerves. I tried to distract her by telling her about my trip to the store and meeting Kim. It helped to calm her down a little bit but when I finished we still had to wait for three more people to be kissed.
In that time between kisses 657 and 660, she managed to become anxious all over again. Meanwhile, I was staring on at the new handsomeness right in front of my eyes, known as the band members of New Moon.
I wasn't expecting every band member to be up there supporting Paul. Every once in a while I'd notice one of the band members twitch their lips in what looked like a fast whisper. It had to be because everyone would crack a smile in the band. Everyone accept Paul who only seemed to glare in that person's general direction. That only seemed to make them grin more.
"Number 661," someone said over the speaker.
"That's us," I said grabbing Ana's arm to move forward. Halfway up to the podium, the man with the speaker phone motioned for us to stop. "Only one of you is registered for a kiss."
"Yah," I nodded. "I'm here for support."
"Then you'll have to wait behind that line," he said pointing in the general direction to the left of the stage.
I was about to argue that I hadn't just slept all night in a freaking parking lot to be denied a chance to stand next to my friend during the epic kiss she'll no doubt talk about for the rest of her life, but Ana beat me to it my nudging me to go.
My initial reaction was hurt, but then I saw how focused she was on the man behind the kissing booth, she wasn't trying to offend me, just ignore me.
Laughing at how easily our years of friendship could be dismissed, I walked over to the left side of the stage. I could still slightly hear what was being said, because let's face it, Ana had a loud mouth.
"I'm your biggest fan," I groaned, how original Ana. We sooo, should have practiced her first line.
"Thanks," I heard Paul reply. At least, I assumed it was Paul because the table was blocking my view. Deep, sexy voice…a true singer, it made me melt and I wasn't even by him.
Have I mentioned that I have a thing for guys with deep voices, oh yo, HUGE turn on to me.
"My best friend was one of your original fans because she's into bands and stuff that aren't well known. So, of course I have to listen to all her crazy music on car rides. Not that you're music is crazy, because it isn't. It's just that in a way I really am one of your truest fans because I knew you before you became really popular."
Oh My Gosh, she did NOT just say that.
"Um, cool." Paul sounded a little stunned. Most people were, even people that thought they knew Ana well. When she got nervous, she talked a lot and fast.
"Is your friend here too?"
It was instinct to dunk down.
"What? Uh, yah but she's doesn't want a kiss. I mean not that she has anything against you, because you know, you're amazing. It's just she's not into, well, this kind of stuff."
I didn't even know the guy and I could imagine his eyebrow rising up. Haha, oh Ana you are the Queen of saying too much.
"Oh, well…" I heard Paul drone off. I thought I heard a snicker, so I looked in the general direction of the rest of the band members.
Nothing seemed different.
When I looked up again, it was to see Ana walking down the steps from the podium with a HUGE smile on her face. Oh no, I missed the epic kiss.
"Did you see that?" she said petting her cheek.
I smiled, "No the table was blocking my view, but I sure heard enough."
She blushed, which caused me to laugh out loud.
Then I started blushing because I'm one of those people that have a really high, piercing laugh. People always look and the majority get annoyed by it, but honestly, what could I do about it.
The entire area around the podium was now looking at us and I couldn't help but see some of the band members looking at us to. I blushed harder.
I caught the eye of someone standing up where I had assumed Paul was sitting earlier. He turned his head to look at us to, and he stared right at me. Again, I blushed because he never broke eye contact, but instead just kept looking at me.
He was way more gorgeous than I ever gave him credit for. I wanted to melt just looking into his eyes. His body so matched the voice and I immediately felt jipped because I didn't buy a ticket to get kissed either.
I chickened out at this onslaught of feelings, and turned to Ana. "Can we go now before either of us embarrasses ourselves anymore?"
Still petting the side of her face she nodded. I grabbed our bags from off the floor next to us and took off in the direction of door.
As I was putting my hands on the door to the exit I heard someone say, "Give me that damn microphone." Followed by, "Sorry ladies, but Paul needs to take a quick break."
I mentally thanked God that we had made it to the kissing booth before Paul's break. Who knows how long we would have been standing there.
At the mention of Paul my heart did a little jump. I was slightly scared by my reaction because it was so unexpected. Hello, Paul? That was my best friend's man.
"He was so beautiful, sitting there with all his hair."
Momentarily distracted I almost missed what Ana was saying. "What?"
"He has the hottest hair, the kind you just want to run your hands through forever." She sighed.
"Um, yah," I thought, trying to get the image of running my hands through his sexy dark hair out of my mind. I could imagine...
STOP! I yelled at myself, you're being absolutely ridiculous. Do you realize how stalker-ish you sound? Great, I'm becoming everything I can't stand about fans, the crazy I'm in love with him part.
Grabbing my phone for no reason but to distract myself, I randomly started clicking buttons to calm down. Somewhere in the vortex of my phone, I found Kim's number. I didn't know if I was more excited to call her to actually meet up for some real food or to distract me from these newly discovered feelings.
On the third ring she answered. "Hello?"
"Oh, um hey Kim, this is Talli." I replied. "I was wondering if you still wanted to meet up with us for lunch?"
"Oh, yah, um sorry, can you hold up for a second?" she whispered into the phone, "There's kind of a little family emergency."
"Sure," I replied, "I can call you back, if you want," but she must have gotten off the phone before she heard my last part.
I could hear muffled sounds in the background. "Sam, you have to do something. You have to find her." "Don't worry, we will. All we have to do is look at the tapes; she's bound to be on there. The guys are already out looking for her." "You don't understand, I can't lose her. She's…"
"Hello? Talli are you there?" the conversation I was eavesdropping on was interrupted by a clearer woman's voice.
"What?" I replied, completely blown away by what I'd just heard. Did the guy lose his kid or something? "Oh yah, I'm here."
"Sorry, my friend totally lost his…girlfriend in the crowd and he's freaking out that he can't find her."
I was slightly confused, by the tone of worry, it sounded more severe than that. "Ah, why would he freak out about losing his girlfriend in the crowd, I'm sure she'll be looking for him to. Just ask the guy with the microphone to make an announcement."
"Yah, we tried that. That's a little bit why he's freaking out, because she didn't come back."
'Oh," again with my lame replies. Poor guy, maybe he was being dumped and didn't know it yet.
"So, would you mind terribly if I took a rain check on our lunch?"
"Oh no, go right ahead, it's completely understandable. Good luck with finding her."
"Thanks," she sighed. "Maybe later in the week we can have lunch. I'm only staying in town until Saturday."
Out of town? Kim's from out of town, again with my stupidity. Of course she was from out of town, hell I was from out of town. The only freaking reason I'm here is for…Paul. I mentally sighed at his named, then kicked myself.
"Yah, I'm staying with relatives in town until Friday too," I replied before Kim thought I had hung up on her. "Any time before that would be great."
"Awesome," she trilled. "I'll call you back when everything settles down."
"Sure, sure, no prob. I'll talk to you later."