My hands felt shaky and sweaty as Joe reaches out and grabs them.
"Relax, Y/N. It's okay." His voice came out soothingly. I nod slightly, feeling butterflies erupt in my stomach.
I've know Joe Wenteworth for the longest time. We live in a small town, everyone knows each other, but we became close after Simon's death. Him passing away brought us to become closer, it brought us to become best friends.
"Joe, I-I don't know," I stutter out, pulling my hands out of his and turning around. "I've never been that great of a swimmer."
Joe puts a hand on my shoulder to comfort me. "I'm here, Y/N. I won't let anything happen. That's a promise." I feel him turn me around and pull me into a hug. I wrap my arms around him and bury my head into his chest.
"I'll do it." I mumble after a short moment of silence.
"Atta girl." He states, letting go and taking off his shirt. I blush and turn away, unsure of how to act. "What? You've never seen a guy shirtless before?" He asks me, chuckling.
I shake my head in response, and slowly start to remove my dress, revealing a two piece bathing suit my mom had bought me months before and I had yet to wear. Self consciously, I wrap my arms around my body and turn over to face Joe. I meet his staring eyes and blush harder. This experience was something I wasn't familiar with and I was completely unsure of how to act.
"We should uh," Joe makes a gesture towards the lake, "Go swim now."
"You first." I nod, and he starts walking down to the shore. I follow him down all the way to where the water and the sand meet.
"You ready, Y/N?" He asks me, taking a few steps in, "At least the water's pretty warm this time around."
I stand at the edge and stare out onto the horizon. "Joe?" I squeak out, nervous.
"What is it? Do you want me to hold your hand as you come in?" He states jokingly, taking a step towards the shore.
Embarrassed, I nod, "Actually, yes."
His eyes grow wide and he walks over to me, "Sorry, I didn't realize that's what you wanted. Here." His fingers interlock in mine and he slowly pulls me into the water until we're waist deep.
"Okay, let's start with something simple, like treading." Joe says, letting go of my hand and walking deeper into the water. "The way to do this is move your arms in circles and kick your legs. Your goal is the stay in the same spot and keep your head above the water." He demonstrates how to do it, then walks back over to me and grabs my hand
I pull myself away from him and shake my head. "No, no, no. I am not doing that."
"C'mon Y/N. It's really simple. You can do it. At least try? For me?" He pleads, giving me his best puppy dog eyes.
I huff and roll my eyes. "If I drown, you're responsible."
"That won't happen, not on my watch." He leads to the deeper water, and the minute I can't touch the bottom, I retreat.
"Joe, I can't do it, I'm scared." Tears start fill my eyes.
"Y/N, look at me." He puts his hands on my shoulders and turns me to face him. "I promise nothing's going to happen to you as long as I'm here."
I stare at him and take deep breaths. My right foot slowly slides forward, and my left foot follows. Before I know it, I'm treading water and Joe's next to me.
"That's it! You got it, Y/N! As soon as you feel tired, let me know and I'll help you get to where you can reach the bottom!" He yells to me.
"Please do that now, I swear I'm gonna die!" I shout back to to him. He swims over to me and wraps his arms around my waist, pulling me closer to the shore, "Oh my God, thank you so much!" I turn around and wrap my arms around his neck, catching him off guard. He laughs and wraps his arms around me.
We pull out of the hug, with our arms still wrapped slightly around each other. Joe puts two fingers under my chin, tilting my head up so I'm looking up at him. "You know, you're really pretty." He mumbles softly, leaning in.
Oh gosh, no. He isn't going to kiss me, is he? I feel my face get hot, and right before his lips reach mine, I turn my head to the side so he ends up kissing my cheek.
Embarrassed, he pulls away. "I-I'm sorry, I shouldn't have done that." He says, getting flustered. His cheeks turn bright red and he stares down at his hands, playing with his fingers.
"No, Joe, it's not that it's just..." I trail off.
Now was my time to be embarrassed. "I've never kissed anyone before." I murmur.
His face brightens up slightly. "Really? I-I haven't either."
He nods in response and puts his hands on my shoulders. "Okay, let's try this again."
I place my hands on his elbows and we both lean in slowly. I tilt my head slightly, feeling our lips connect for a moment, before letting go. Both of our arms drop and we awkwardly stand there in silence.
"So..." Joe starts, trying to break it.
"So..." I repeat back to him, unsure of what to say. "I guess that happened."
"Yeah, and it was, uh, nice?"
"Now what?" He asks me.
I shrug. "Normally, in the movies, after people kiss, they fall in love and get married. We're too young for that though, aren't we?"
Joe nods in response. "Yeah, I guess we're too young. That's a shame though, you're an awfully pretty girl." He states.
I cover my face with my hands. "We can try it again in a few years. When we aren't fourteen."
"I'd like that."