(Edited) Chapter 2 Part II

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(...continued)

I wave them goodbye and head-off to the empty table where Aiden was supposed to come. Lunch is already half-way over and he's still not in sight. Should I be worried?

I wait patiently for Aiden. I keep glancing at my watch from time to time, Aiden is so late. What is wrong with that boy?

Suddenly, I notice him across the cafeteria, making a beeline for this table. I raise my hands up in exasperation "Finally!" I exclaim. He comes running, panting for breath. "What's wrong with you? Where the hell were you?!" I exclaim.

"Uh...sorry." he mumbles sheepishly and sits down in front of me, keeping his lunch tray on our table. "I was with Hailey."

"Uh-huh, I figured that out." I mutter.

"I'm sorry, besides it's not like you were waiting for me, right?" he says, overlooking the fact that my lunch tray is sitting untouched before me. We both grab our sandwiches and begin to eat. The next few minutes pass by with us talking about random, pointless things. By 'us' I mean Aiden actually. He's the one talking non-stop while I just sit there and listen to him, giving him appropriate replies. I don't even need to initiate the conversation-he just keeps speaking. But that's one of the things about him-he's a total chatterbox and loves talking about himself. This might make him a little self-centered but it's true.

"You know what? I think you need to get a boyfriend." he says, totally out of the blue. I choke on the orange juice I'm drinking and start coughing badly. He slaps my back so that the choked up orange juice goes down my oesophagus.

"Are you okay?" I nod, my eyes watering slightly. "So where was I? Oh yeah, you should get a boyfriend."

"And why, pray tell, should I get a boyfriend?" I reply back, my throat burning.

"I don't know, I just think you need one-someone to spoil you and fill up your Friday nights with dates since you have a non-existent social life. Plus, you desperately need to be kissed."

My mouth drops open as I hear this. "I desperately need to be what?!"

"You desperately need to be kissed. Some kissing would do you good."

"What the hell is that even supposed to mean?! Care to elaborate?"

He leans close to me, grabbing my chin playfully and pushing it up so that our eyes meet squarely. I feel a strange sensation travel up my stomach, warming me through and through. In a matter of seconds, my heart reacts by beating a little faster than it earlier was. "You my dear need some wild physical action in your life-not of the athletic kind, if you know what I mean" he says with a wink.

I gently but firmly push away his hand from my chin and back off. "And why do I need this 'physical action' that you speak of?"

"Everyone needs it babe. And in case you're forgetting, we're teenagers"

"I don't want a boyfriend-I don't need one. I don't want to be tied down to this one person who can make me feel strong yet excessively vulnerable. I don't want someone to make me feel weak." I mumble. Usually our conversations revolve around him but suddenly the tables have turned and the spotlight is on me. And this sudden change is making me uncomfortable. "Besides you know how Darren will react once he finds out a guy is remotely interested in me."

Aiden nods in reply. "True that. It's kind of freaky how overly protective he can get over you." Darren, in case you're wondering, is my cousin and goes to the same school as us. We're very close, and I regard him as my elder brother. He's a senior. Like the stereotypical older brother he's protective and annoying but a nice guy all the same. "He'll surely kick any guy's ass that crosses his line," Aiden pauses and then adds as an afterthought "And I will too, just so you know."

His words render me speechless. My heart starts beating fast again. We've been good friends for a while now, but he's never said anything this...this nice and protective. "Uh thanks Aiden, but I think I'm strong enough to look out for myself," I reply back, not knowing what else to say.

"I know you are, but I'm just telling you. If any guy bothers you, just tell me, I'll handle him."

"Uh okay, I will." I mumble.

Why did he just say this? I glance at him and notice he looks dead-serious. Did he really mean what he said? This is something a protective boyfriend would say.

Or a brother;

He obviously meant it in an 'I-care-for-you-you're-like-my-sister' way. It didn't mean anything, right? "Yeah, tell me when a guy bothers you, so that I can tell him to bother you more." he adds, smirking, like he has cracked the best joke ever.

"Very funny." I reply back sarcastically. The atmosphere around us is back to being light. All the same, I know for a fact that Aiden wasn't kidding. That he meant everything he just said. It's just one of those things you figure out about a person when you've known them for a while.

I think about what he said earlier-about how I should get a boyfriend. I don't know why, I just don't feel like I am ready to get into a relationship yet. As far as it goes for me, I am a hopeless romantic and I do believe in love, and that it can happen anytime, and anywhere; people just don't realize it.

No, the problem is, I don't want to be in a relationship just for the sake of it. That's just not me. I'd want to be with a person because they make me happy, because they understand me. I want us to be best friends before lovers.

Best friends...

Aiden enters my mind almost immediately. He is my best friend, isn't he? Aiden...Well, if it comes down to it; I wouldn't mind being with him. I'm comfortable around him and I have fun with him. He is honestly the person who makes me laugh the most. He's also insanely hot, so that helps.

Shut up, don't even think about it. You and your wild ideas...He just recently got a girlfriend and he is totally into her. Get this idea out of your head.

I sigh, knowing what the inner voice inside my head said is true. But Aiden is good-looking, and he has an awesome sense of humor. He is slightly intelligent; he's cool and its fun being around him. He's flirtatious in that adorably funny kind of way and his laugh is slightly dorky but so cute. He's also very protective and possessive. He's sensitive and tough at the same time. He's just so...amazing. He's just...like the guy I would like to be with.

I freeze as the last thought enters my mind. Why haven't I thought of this before? Aiden Walkers, my best friend, is actually my type. He's actually the kind of guy I want to date but will never find. Is this why I always think that I might have a crush on him? What if I really do like him?

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