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Chapter 1: K-I-S-S-I-N-G

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Cairo Ocampo is my ex-boyfriend. Although I doubt he remembers our relationship, because it happened way back in kindergarten. He’s been gone for seven years. I don’t know if he’ll remember me. On my part, I never forgot about him. In fact, I still have his break-up note.

I remember how it all began between me and Cai. There I was, minding my own business, when all of a sudden… My seatmate grabbed the paper I was drawing on. I tried to get it back but, man, he was a boy on a mission. After about two minutes, I finally gave up. Right before I was about to tell our teacher what he did, he crumpled up my paper and threw it to me.

“Ow,” I said even though it didn’t hurt when it hit my head.

“Pick it up and read it,” he whispered to me, as if there was something top secret on the paper.

Not having a reason not to, I followed what he said. I picked up the paper and… To my surprise, below my green dinosaur, “I <3 U” was written in red crayon.

I immediately looked at Cai after I read it, but he was already concentrated on his own drawing.

“Alright kids, pass your drawings,” said Mrs. Mercado, our teacher.

I wasn’t about to pass Cai’s ‘love letter.’ So I quickly drew a tree on a new sheet of paper. But I only had about two seconds before Mrs. Mercado collected it so it was more of a vertical line with circles on top than a tree. I didn’t even have time to color it.

After class, while waiting for my nanny to get me, Cai came up to me.

“Did you pass your drawing?” he said, sounding worried, like it only occurred to him then that he wrote his message on the piece of paper that our teacher was going to collect.

“Of course not,” I said with the usual high-pitched voice little girls have.

“Well, where is it?”

It was in the bottom of my bag. But I wasn’t sure if I should tell him that.

“I… Lost it,” I lied.

“What! What do you mean you lost it?” he said with an upset voice.

I didn’t know what to answer. It wasn’t like I lied often.

He sighed, like he was disappointed. Then he unzipped his bag and pulled out a drawing. He handed it to me. The drawing was of a boy and a girl holding hands. Then there was a heart between them.

“Don’t lose that one,” he said before running away.

He ran to a woman, who I presumed was his mother. She held his hand as they walked towards a blue car. The woman helped him get in the backseat. Since I couldn’t see him anymore after that, I stopped watching them. I opened my bag. One last look at the drawing he gave me, and then I put it in the bottom together with his ‘love letter.’

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