Noun: a difficult, or otherwise unfortunate situation.
Verb: pledge or solemnly promise. Be engaged to be married.
I promised myself to a man. Well, technically, I promised myself to a boy. We were eight years old. Neighbours. He gave me a Cheezel, pushed it onto my finger, and asked me to marry him.
I ate the Cheezel.
I also said, “Yes” but that we’d have to wait until we were thirty.
It was my thirtieth birthday last week and now he’s calling in that promise.
Seriously, Elliot Parker is insane if he thinks that an out of the blue private Facebook message stipulating the binding law of an oral contractual agreement is going to seal our twenty-two-year bullshit engagement. Insane.
I wonder if he really does look like his profile picture, though.
Falling into step beside the power-walking Yeti, I lowered my voice. “Please wait.”
“No! We need to set the record straight!”
“We will. I promise. Just not yet. Please!” I took hold of her arm and spun her toward me, securing her to my chest.
She smelled like roses and oranges. And the way her hair curled like chocolate as it fell over her shoulder, she could quite easily be mistaken for a lavish dessert.
“Elliot, let me go,” she hissed, her cheeks glowing.
“Hear me out first.”
Danielle tried to pull free of my grip, but all I could do was hold her tighter and smile.
“Stop smiling like that. Why are you smiling like that? It’s creepy.”
I ignored her and smiled wider. “Remember that time when we were standing on the rope swing at the park together?”
Recognition blazed from her brown eyes and she, too, finally smiled. “Yes.”
“It was a bit like we are now, huh?”
She shrugged and blushed, and I liked it.
“Neither of us wanted to let go first for fear of falling off the swing.”
“That’s what you think,” she scoffed. “I wasn’t afraid of falling, Elliot.” Danielle bit her lip and tried to look over my shoulder, and all I wanted to do was take that lip into my mouth and help her nibble on it. I’d only ever tasted those lips once before, and by my very vivid memory, they tasted like she smelled.
Heat waved over my body, and my cock stirred. Shit!
“You weren’t afraid?” I asked, bending just slightly to create less friction between us.
“So why’d you hold on to me for so long?”
“Because I didn’t want you to fall.”
I nearly laughed in her face; she was funny and still overly stubborn. She was also refusing to look at me, her eyes darting back and forth, fighting their pull toward me.
“Elliot, you need to let go of me, now. Reminiscing about the past isn’t helping us in the present.”
“You sure about that?”
Her eyes finally met mine, but only fleetingly, because they soon found my lips. I swallowed and lightly licked them for her.
“Oh no!” she objected, her tiny finger snaking its way between us and nearly poking me in the eye. “No, no, NO!”
She pointed to my lips. “No that.”
Just as I was about to lick them again, teasingly, because I knew she both loved and hated it, my mother called my name. Fuck, not now.
“Elliot, I need your help lifting these logs.”
Danielle snapped her head toward my mother’s squawking voice before flicking her eyes to me then back to my mother, her enthusiastic eye-tennis a good indication that she was getting ready to confess.
“Please don’t,” I begged.
Her mouth opened, and I panicked and did what any normal, longstanding, lovesick friend who hadn’t been in this position before would do.
I kissed her.