My mom didn't understand why it was so awful that "that a cute little girl" had held my hand. She thought I should be friends with her. "You like soccer. Why don't you go out there are kick the ball around?"
Because I didn't want to be kicked around, that's why. And although I couldn't say it like that at the time, I still had enough sense at age seven and a half to know that Julianna Baker was dangerous.
What did a kiss feel like anyway?
Somehow I knew it wouldn't be like the one I got from Mom and Dad at bedtime. The same species, maybe, but a radically different beast. Like a wolf and a whippet. Only science would put them on the same tree.
Looking back, I like to think it was at least partly scientific curiosity that made me chase after that kiss, but it was probably more blue eyes.
When Bryce Loski and Julianna Baker first meet in the second grade, Juli knows it's love. Bryce isn't so sure.