This story was originally published in Emerging Writers: An Anthology of Fiction by Z Publishing House in 2018.
“Put me in one of your stories,” she said.
“I don’t know what I’d say. I couldn’t possibly fit everything about you into one story.”
“Oh stop. Just try for me.” She leaned in close.
“I’ll see what I can come up with. Let’s go back—we’re going to miss the countdown.”
“Promise you’ll put me in one of your stories?”
She grabbed my arm and we started walking out of the park. It was New Year’s Eve and it was frigid, but there was a big party in the square that I let her drag me to. We had decided to walk through the park to get away from the crowd for a bit.
I never should have told her I write. The second you do it’s over. She’ll think every character I write now is her—that’ll get me in trouble someday, I’m sure of it. “No, I wasn’t basing her off you,” I’d say, “I just made her up.” The worst part about it is when I do finally decide to write about her, which I inevitably will, she won’t think it’s about her.
I honestly didn’t know how I could put her in a story without missing some part of her. It’d be easy to make a character that is smart and beautiful—everyone does that. But there’s so much more to her.
She’s funny and makes me laugh without even trying. She cares about people and always sees the best in them. Things are never awkward when I’m around her. That never happens with me, so it makes me think she’s something special. She loves Jesus, and the way her face lights up when she talks about Him is something else. She makes me want to be a better person.
That’s a lot of complexity to fit in one little story, and that’s not even all of it—I could keep going. That’s novel-type complexity. I think I’m pretty good at writing, but I’m nowhere near that good.
She looked up at me and I noticed her blue eyes—that’s another thing I’d have to fit in the story somewhere too—and she smiled.
“What are you thinking about?” she asked.
“I was thinking about how you get your teeth so white,” I said.
She rolled her eyes. “I’m sure you are,” she said. “I was hoping you were thinking about that story you were going to write about me.”
“I may have a few ideas.” I smiled. She held my arm a little tighter and pulled herself closer.
“It is so cold out here. We should’ve stayed inside.”
We walked a few more feet out of the park, crossed the street into the small square filled with people bursting with excitement, and everyone started counting down.
10, 9, 8 . . .
“I know what you could title it,” she said.
7, 6, 5, 4 . . .
3, 2, 1 . . .
“A New Year’s Kiss.”
Applause filled the air—yells of Happy New Year, horns, drums, the whole works. She leaned in, and for a few split seconds, the frost didn’t nip at our faces.
Now it’s time to answer the question. Would you keep reading? (Or in this case, read it again?) If you would, give a like and leave a reply to let me know why below. Thanks for reading!