Break the Child: Chapter Twenty-Five ...2 Gooshy to the Max
I’d been so busy laughing at Danny that we’d walked right past the bus stop. It meant walking another mile to get home. I was glad. We’d lapsed into silence and I was thinking that I really like Danny. But it’s Danny Peterson, how can I possibly like him when all he ever does is torment me? But I do.
‘Why?’ I asked. I didn’t even know that I was going to say it. It just sort of came out of my mouth when I wasn’t thinking about it.
‘Why did you jump in and fight Cotter?’
‘Because he’s a meathead and he’s had it coming for a long time.’
We carried on walking in silence and it was a bit awkward, I couldn’t think of anything to talk about. He pulled some Juicy Fruit from his pocket and took a stick, and then he pulled another one up a bit and offered the packet to me. I took it and we opened our chewing gum, bent them in two and put them in our mouths. I was glad because it meant that I wouldn’t have bad breath if he kissed me. Then I was just going to mentally tell myself off, as if he’d even think about that, when he started talking again. ‘We wouldn’t want to have bad breath, that’d be really horrible. I knew a man who died from bad breath,’ he said with a laugh and I went red again because it was as if he could read my mind. I’d die of embarrassment if he knew that I was thinking about him kissing me. ‘I didn’t really,’ he continued, ‘it was his wife, who had to sit next to him, that died.’
‘Oh,’ I said.
Suddenly he went all serious and it came right out of the blue because I’m so used to him messing about.
‘Katie, I just lied to you and I don’t ever want to tell you lies, not even stupid ones. I didn’t jump in because I don’t like Cotter. I did it because I couldn’t stand to see them hurting you like that.’
‘Oh,’ I said again. What was wrong with me? Was oh the only flipping word that I had in my brain? Oh, oh, oh, it’s all I could manage to squeak out.
‘I like you Kate. I’ve liked you for ages, but you don’t notice me. Every time I look up, you’re there, gazing at Jason Parks and I just want to smash his face in because you fancy him. I wanted you to like me, but it’s all “Ooh Jason, ooh, Jason,” and you’re all soft over him’ He said the ooh Jason bit in a silly voice because his face had gone bright red, but he wasn’t being nasty, just funny again. And when I looked up he was pretending to be a girl. ‘Katie and Jason sitting in a tree, k.i.s.s.i.n.g.’
‘Stop it. I don’t fancy Jason Parks.’
‘Oh, you so do.’
I went to hit him, and he grabbed my hand, then he pulled me towards him, and then we were kissing. It happened just like that, without any warning or time to worry about it, or anything. He let go of my hand and wrapped his arms around me and I could feel his hand hot on my back through my school shirt. And all that stuff that I was worried about, concerning kissing, was all rubbish because it was just there all the time.
We kissed for ages, well it seemed like ages. And then we stopped, and he put his head down embarrassed and I put my head down embarrassed, and we carried on walking. He had his hands by his sides, not in his pockets like always. His knuckles kept touching mine and neither of us moved our hands for ages. And then he grabbed my little finger with his little finger. I didn’t pull away so he put his whole hand in mine and we interlaced fingers, Dean Koontz would call it commingling, he smiled at me, shy like and I smiled back.
‘You fancy Jason Parks.’ He could be the most annoying boy, sometimes.
‘I do not.’
‘Who do you fancy, then?’ I shrugged. ‘Do you fancy Philip Murphy?’
‘Do you fancy David Phelps?’
‘Do you fancy Joe Trench.’
‘So, who do you fancy, then?’ he stopped and turned me towards him. and he brushed a piece of hair from my face. His finger stroked me down my cheek. ‘Come on, who do you fancy?’
I put my head down and dropped it onto his shoulder so that I didn’t have to look him in the eye. He was being so embarrassing. His arm came around me again. I liked it a lot. ‘Don’t make me say it, I mumbled into his neck.’
You can, it’s easy. I fancy you Katie Bell, who do you fancy?’
He was whispering now, ‘I’m glad you said that. I’d have felt a right fool if you’d said somebody else. Will you go out with me, Katie? Will you be my girlfriend?’
‘Yes,’ I said, still hiding my face in his neck. He stepped back and put his hand under my chin then he raised my head. Then kissed me again.