"But I'm not dressed for a party, look!" I argue with River, pointing towards my outfit of dark skinny jeans and a simple t-shirt, with a pair of worn-down trainers, which all originally belonged to Marissa.

         You still need to buy yourself some of your own clothes, Lea.

         "It doesn't matter; you don't need to dress up for these sorts of parties. You look cute anyway," River successfully shuts me up by flattery. 

         "You never mentioned going to a party," I say.

         Should I have said you look cute too? Is that what you're supposed to say? I've never done this dating thing before.

         "I didn't know until now. Lea, would you please stop stressing, it'll be fun. There will be loads of kids from school coming, everyone comes here after exams." His words are meant to reassure me, but they only make me more stressed.

         Nick might be there.

          This sudden realisation makes me fidget in my seat. Knowing that River is right next to me, and I know something that he has yet to tell me himself, makes me feel uncomfortable. Why didn't he explain was Emily's boyfriend?

         The outside world has darkened from the navy blue sky above. However, the streets and sidewalks are alive and illuminated by street lamps and headlights, making Graceland look like a smaller version of New York.

         River pushes against the brakes as we approach a red light, and from the corner of my eye, I sense him turning his head to face me. I face him as well.

         "You'll have fun, I promise." He reassures me again, a warm softness in his eyes.

         "Whatever you say," I roll my eyes at him.

         After peeking at the traffic lights to make sure they aren't changing, he drops one hand from his steering wheel to support his body weight as he leans towards me. I sit completely still. When his nose touches mine, he closes his eyes, and I follow suit. Then the wait begins, the period that involves his head leaning that tiny bit closer until our lips unite. The time in which my heart explodes into a million pieces then tries to solve its way back together again.

         I kiss him back.

         It's not one of those deep, intense kisses, it is more subtle and delicate, yet has the same breathtaking effect on me. He pulls away much to my disappointment, but the look in his eyes is just as thrilling. It's filled with so much joy; I can't believe that I can bring him this sort of happiness. 

         I never thought I'd admit this to my seventeen-year-old self, because I didn't think that these kinds of relationships existed in real life, yet my feelings towards River are much stronger than a simple crush. It's something much deeper than that, which I'm too afraid to confess.

         He opens his mouth to speak, cutting off my thoughts. "Would you get big headed if I said you're beautiful?"

         My breath hitches in my throat.


         This makes him smile, but he soon turns back to concentrating on the road when the traffic lights transition to green and the queue of cars before us start to move forwards. And my heart, like the cars in front of us, resumes to race.

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