Change

Green. The color surrounds me, so lush and vibrant. I wish that I never had to leave this place, that I could spend eternity in this one area on the top of the Hill. I feel the closest to Grandfather here, and now that I think about it, I feel the closest to Ky as well.

I glance over my shoulder and see that he remains in the same place that I'd left him, drawing eloquent, beautiful words in cursive, something that was forbidden by the Society.

Ky holds the twig with such ease and grace that for a few moments I forget about how complicated life has become. I let go of the fact that I've kept secrets from my parents and the Society; I forget about the fact that I've been Matched to my best friend Xander, and although I do care for him immensely, I do not love him the way I should, the way I love Ky; and I also forget about the fact that the Officials could be about to watch everything I was about to do.

For now though, I focus on what could be, or rather what should be, normal for a seventeen-year-old girl. With steady and sure steps, I glide across the terrain over towards Ky.

His hand slows as I approach and his eyes that hold so much depth lock with my gaze. "Cassia," he says, slightly confused. Ky stands up quietly and places his strong, red hands on my arms. A wave of heat rises to my face at his touch, but he stays calm, so very sure of himself.

At this moment, Ky's eyes appear to be an icy blue in this maze of green that we stand in. As we continue to stare at one another, I know that he sees my longing, as I do his.

We cannot keep up this fa├žade, and we both realize this. There's no use in pretending or hiding any longer. And that's when it happens, at last.

His mouth moves towards my own at such a steady pace that I think I might have to crush my lips to his, instead of merely waiting patiently. But I do, despite my desires.

And when his lips do in fact meet mine, I'm glad that I behaved myself. While Xander's kiss was sweet and kind, Ky's is something completely different and out of this world. Passion and lust course through my veins with great intensity.

My fingers entangle within in dark thick hair, while he pulls me ever the more closer to his chest, holding onto me tightly. I trace the tips of my fingers over his jaw lines, memorizing all the details of this, that way I would always be able to remember this magical and enchanting moment.

We do not hold this kiss long, for the Officials will have no doubt seen us by now and we don't want to make matter worse.

I pull away first because I have something to write before our time ends. I've been practicing in air, but I want to carve in earth.

"Close your eyes," I say to Ky, and I bend down, his breathing above me while he waits. "There," I say, and he looks at what I've written.

I love you.

I feel embarrassed, as though I am a child who has tapped out these words on her scribe and held them out for a boy in her First School class to read. My writing is awkward and straggly and not smooth like Ky's.

Why are some things easier to write than say?

Still, I feel undeniably brave and vulnerable as I stand there in the forest with words that I cannot take back. My first written words, other than our names. It's not much of a poem, but I think Grandfather would understand.

Ky looks at me. For the first time since the showing, I see tears in his eyes.

"You don't have to write it back," I say, feeling self-conscious. "I just wanted you to know."

"I don't want to write it back," he tells me. And then he says it, right out there on the Hill, and of all the words I have hidden and saved and treasured, these are the ones I will never forget, the most important ones of all.

"I love you."

Together, the two of us sit on the highest point of the Hill, knowing that everything will change once we leave. But the fact was, it didn't matter if we came here for ourselves, or for Sisyphus, or to get away from the Society. The point is, that we made it no matter what, and we came as one.