The Secret Date

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"We have to be secretive about it, okay?" I tell Glimmer.

"Got it." She agrees. "No telling Clove?"

"No telling Clove."






"No. No. And no." I say. "It's not a secret if you're going around telling everyone, Glimmer."

"Got it. No telling anyone." She sits down with her tray.

"Hey, guys." Cato says and sits down.

"Marvel and I are—" I shove a roll in Glimmer's mouth.

"Are...?" Cato cocks an eyebrow.

"Going to sit somewhere else," I say, grabbing the girl's wrist and pulling her to the other side of the lunchroom.

I know not to tell her anything else. I think.


"This is going to be so much fun," Glimmer fumes with excitement as we wait in line.

"Yup," I say, popping the 'p'.

"I can't wait." She says. "I want to play laser-tag so bad, Marvel." She bounces up and down.

"Be patient." I tell her. To tell the truth, I can't wait either.

We move up and give the guy in charge our tickets. We walk in and grab our stuff. "Prepare to die, punk." Glimmer points the gun at me.

I laugh, "Not yet."

"Ready?" Someone says. "Set? Go!" Everyone runs wild, shouting and shooting each other with laser guns.

"I'm going to get you!" Glimmer shouts to me.

"Nuh-uh!" I laugh, shaking my head while chasing her. I corner her and shoot her. She falls to the ground playfully and I decide to play along by kneeling at her side.

"Marvel," she acts. "Marvel, why'd you shoot me? Why?"

"I'm sorry, Glim, but I had to." I whip up some fake tears; much like hers. "It was either you or me, and I wasn't going to risk it."

"I'm so cold," she coughs.

"That's because you're under an air conditioning vent."

"Marvel, I want you to know..." -she stops- "I want you to know that I love you." She fake dies.

I mock cry, "Glimmer! No! No, no, no." I pat her cheeks gingerly. "Stay with me," I laugh.

"What are you laughing at?" She asks, smiling.

"Your acting," I chuckle.

"Saying that I love you wasn't acting."

"Huh?" I cock my head to the side and she leans up and kisses my lips.

When we pull away, I notice that a worker is standing in front of us. "We're closing." He says and we stand up, laughing.

"Sorry," we both say in unison, returning our stuff and walking out the door.

"Can we tell now?" Glimmer asks.

"No. Let them find out on their own." I tell her, intertwining our fingers.

"Okay," she smiles as we get into her car.


When I get home I look through the front window and sigh in relief as I see only Cato on the couch, fast asleep with one arm across his stomach and the other behind his head. He sure looks at peace, I think. I get a good look at him. He looks more like a thirteen or fourteen-year-old dreamer –while he's sleeping– instead of a sixteen-year-old boy that I often compare to a hyper-active puppy with big blue eyes and blond fur that likes cake. (All thanks to Mom leaving it on the counter.) I put my hand on the knob and turn it, tip-toeing across the living room, trying not to wake him. Unfortunately, he yawns, stretching and sitting up.

"Marvel?" He says in a sleepy, groggy voice. "Is that you?"

Suddenly, something dawns on me, he can't see me. Maybe I can just sneak right past him without him knowing. But I don't. I walk over to him and crouch down at his side. "Yeah. It's me." I reply softly.

He stretches again, purring. "Where've ya been?"

"Upstairs." I lie. "In bed."

"I didn't hear you come in."

"I came in through the back," I tell him. "So I wouldn't wake you."

"Oh." He rubs his eyes.

"Guess I could've told you to get to bed, huh?"

"Na." He shakes his head. "That's alright." He closes his eyes. "I'm fine right here."

"Okay," I start walking up the stairs to my room. When I get there, I pull off my shirt and hop into bed. I usually just sleep in the pants I wear the current day, if they're not dirty.

I think about Glimmer and her smile and her hair and her voice, her eyes. God, I say to myself. The way she makes me feel. I think of her as I wander off to sleep.

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