-Declan-

I laid down on the soft, freshly grown grass and looked up at the clear, blue sky. No clouds today, I thought to myself. No clouds of Alexis Andrews. My love. We are neighbors and friends, but not what I hope for. She is beautiful in and out. Her long silky brown-gold hair with sharp, icy blue eyes. The light skin and thin figure. Inside was better. Every Saturday, she volunteers at the Animal Hospital, aiding innocent animals' lives. Every Monday, she bakes low-fat cupcakes and deliver them to us and homeless shelters. Every Friday, she and I would go to the movies and watch the hottest hits. My mind wants to put my arm around her, but I don't want her to react wrongly. I don't want to lose my friendship with Alexis Andrews.

We're both sophomores in high school. She's a Straight A student, an active member in the debate team, Cal-HOSA, track and field, soccer, Cooking Club, and more. Me? Well, I'm a Straight B student, captain on the soccer team, also in Cal-HOSA, play some baseball, and like to write. Yes, write. I write about her, mostly. My beautiful Alexis.

It was Sunday. Alexis would be in her home, cooking up some crazy foods. She liked to cook food from different countries. Her cooking wasn't the best, but she gave so much love into it, that you couldn't refuse to eat. I wish she gave so much love to me.

I started to rise up, dusting off my jeans.

-Alexis-

So far, my Italian Gorgonzola Cheese Risotto was turning in a dilute pan of cream. I couldn't help but laugh. Mom and Dad weren't home, either I would've made them try some. For fun. They always said my food was "delicious," but honestly, it wasn't all that posh. I turned the heat down to a low simmer and went by our large, living room window. I smiled. Declan was outside, as usual, kicking his championship soccer ball around, occasionally looking up at my house. He always does that. It's cute, just like him. I love him, but I don't want to ruin the friendship. Whenever we go to the movies, I want him to put his arm around me, but he doesn't. I don't think he feels the same way about me as I do. Those beautiful green eyes looked up and grinned. He kicked the ball up and waved. His signature sports wave. The one that made all the girls fall for him. But, he's my Declan. And I'll do whatever to make him love me back. My Declan sounds perfect. Just like him.

-Declan-

She was peeking out her curtained window. She always does that on Sunday. That meant her dish was turning into a mess and I should try it out. I laughed and ran over to her lawn, the neat roses, daffodils, and lilies rising up. I was careful not to step on them, or else Mrs. Andrews would be on my case when Mr. Andrews, Mom, Dad, and she came back from business meetings. They trusted us and that's what I loved about my parents and Alexis's. Alexis opened up the door and an aroma of cheese and cream filled my nostrils. Does good aroma mean good food?

"So, what's on the menu this afternoon, Alex?" I smiled, making my way toward the kitchen. I slid up on the countertop, where I usually sat.

Alexis gave an unsure smile, "Um, it was supposed to be…"

I laughed and replied, "It was supposed to be something that looked delicious in a picture but doesn't taste that hot."

She looked down and blushed. I love it when she does that. She stares down at her bare feet, crosses her arms, and tries to hide her cheeks turning rosy red.

I lifted her chin up with my index finger and sighed, "Don't think I can't notice you blushing? Doesn't matter, I like it."

Alexis smiled and reached up behind me for a spoon, neatly tucked in the "spoon compartment" of the kitchen drawer. The kitchen was modern, with stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, and Espresso cabinetry with sleek, modern, handles. I turned off the gas and said, "Let it cool. You know I hate hot food."

She laughed and replied, "It's been cool, Declan." She placed the spoon in, took a spoonful of mixture and stuffed it into my mouth. Let me tell you how the food tasted. It tasted like stinky Brie cheese mixed in with raw cauliflower. I wanted to spit it out but I could not do that. So, being a man, I gulped it down and tried to smile.

"It's delicious, Alexis. I'd have more, but…um…I just ate…" I said jumping off the countertop.

Alexis frowned and sighed, "Why doesn't anyone tell the truth? My food's awful and you know it. Just say it's "terrible" and you won't have to consume my repulsive food." She took the pan lid from the upper cabinetry, covered the mixture and headed into the living room. She plopped down on the black leather sofa, got up, went to the den, sat down, took out a book, and read. I followed.

-Alexis-

I know Declan doesn't want to hurt my feelings, but what's the use of cooking horrible food if someone doesn't tell me the truth? I'll stop when someone says, "Alexis, it's horrible. Stop cooking." Harsh, I know, but better. Buying all those ingredients wastes money. I understand that. But, I'm stubborn and that's all. The den is my favorite room. That's where Dad and I mostly hang out. We have a library in there with shelves overflowing with books of all kinds. We have cookbooks, periodicals, economic books, encyclopedias, dictionaries, mystery, SCI-FI, romance, adventure, thrills, horrors, and so many other genres of books. We hate poetry, though. That is why we don't own any poetry books. While re-reading Pride and Prejudice for the 10th time, Declan came in, wearing a monocle, as Sherlock Holmes does. He knows how to cheer me up. This is his "bit."

Speaking in a dashing British voice, Declan began, "Cheerio, Alexis, dear. How do you do? Fine, lovely day we have here. Isn't it?"

I had to laugh. How he wanders around the room, poking his nose into books, hands intertwined behind his back.

I smiled, "First of all, British people do not say "Cheerio," normally. Common stereotype. Secondly, I love it when you do that. Thirdly, you better put that monocle back or else Dad will have a pandemonium."

He deviously smiled as he headed out toward Dad's sports room, where, out of all places, he kept his monocle. He just loves them for collecting.

I bit my lip (It's a habit) and read silently, "You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you." That was my favorite line in the whole book. I just wish I could tell Declan how much I admire and love him. The portrait of my Great Grandfather hung proudly over the mantle of the brick fireplace. It kept the room toasty, but since it was early June, we did not need it. I couldn't help but dream of Declan and I, in the "winter" (although California didn't get too cold), in this room, together, close, in the warm heat of the hearth. I must've looked lost or else Declan wouldn't have had sprayed water on me. I turned my head, placed the book on the coffee table, and ran after the running Declan. He's faster than me, regardless of me being on the track team.

"Declan!" I called after, frowning.

He swerved in and out of the furniture of the living room until he reached the ivory-floored main entrance. He opened the door and quickly closed it. Outside I could make out, "Some track star, Alexis!"

I swung open the door and tackled him to the grass. Yes, me. He could probably throw me all the way to my friend, Stella's, house. She lived a block away from me on Sunnyside Ave and I'm not in the mood for air travel.