Your heart was racing. Today was the day that you were finally going to do it. You had been practicing over and over again for this moment, and finally, you had the courage to take action.
When you heard the footsteps of your friend coming closer, you came out from behind the column you were leaning on and faced him.
"Hi, _____________!" your childhood friend, Vladimir, grinned.
"Hi, Vlad," you said shyly with your hands holding your chocolate behind your back.
"Are you ready to go home?" Vladimir asked and grabbed your free hand. The moment he touched your hand, a tingling sensation ran up the length of your aurm and travelled along your spine.
But before he could start walking with you, you stopped in your tracks and swallowed. "Um, before we go
I have somerhing for you, Vlad."
"Really?" your friend asked in genuine surprise. "Is it a present?"
"You can say that
" you said trying hard not to blush too visibly. With every ounce of your courage, you brought the chocolate out from behind your back and presented the beautifully wrapped box in front of him.
"I really like you, Vlad, and it would mean the world to me if you liked me back!" you said with a definite strain in your voice.
Vladimir blinked and stared at the box of chocolates. After a moment, a widespread grin formed on his face. "You don't have to give me chocolates to persuade me to like you," he laughed. "I like you already!"
You looked up and stared despite knowing that your heard was about to leap out of your chest.
"Yeah!" your friend nodded. "I've always seen you as a friend! I don't know why you were doubting that just now."
"Do I get to eat the chocolates now?" Vladimir asked taking the box from your immobilized hands.
Since you didn't answered, Vladimir took it for a "Yes" and began to dig in.
"These are really good, __________! Thank you!" he grinned and continued to stuff his mouth full of the expensive candies.
" you mumbled and started on your way home.
"___________, what's wrong?" your mother asked you when you ran to your room without even bothering to announce your arrival.
"Nothing," you said trying your best to hold in your tears, but your mother knew you better than that.
"Did Vlad reject you?" she asked walking into your room.
"No," you grumbled from beneath your pillow. "He just didn't understand what I was trying to say."
"Oh, I'm so sorry, ____________," your mother said sympathetically. "Would you like me to leave you alone?"
"Yes, please," you sighed.
"I feel like such an idiot, Dimitar*
" Vladimir told his Bulgarian friend.
*Unofficial name for Bulgaria
"What's wrong, Vlad?" Dimitar asked and went to comfort his friend.
Vladimir groaned. "I should've seen the signs earlier, but I just realized that all those years ago, ____________ was trying to confess to me."
Dimitar arched his eyebrows. "What are we talking about now?"
"Remember a while back, _____________ gave me this really good box of chocolates?"
"Yes, I remember," Dimitar shook his headthen he corrected himself since he tended to shake his head to indicate he meant, "yes."
"She gave it to me because she wanted me to like her," Vladimir explained, "but at the time, I thought she was afraid that I hated her or something. Dimitar, I was really stupid. The more I think about it, she would always blush when I looked at her, and she would flinch when I gave her a hug or held her hand."
" Dimitar thought of what to say to his upset Romanian friend. "Do you think she still feels strongly about you?"
"I know I do," Vladimir sighed. "I'm stumped, though. How could I have been so naïve?"
"So you like her?" Dimitar asked for clarification.
Vladimir shook his head. "I love her."
" Dimitar scratched the back of his head. "Well, I'll see what I can do, but I can't guarantee any good results."
"You're really going to help me?" Vladimir beamed. "Thanks, Dimitar!"
"No problem, Vlad," Dimitar smiled.
When you went to school the next day, you found a little envelope on your desk. Curious, you took it in your hands and looked around to see if anyone was waiting for you to open it in case it was a prank. When it looked like no one was paying any attention, you opened it, and a burst of glitter and a sweet smell flew out of the envelope and onto your desk.
"What is this?" you wondered and looked inside the envelope to see if there was anything else inside. In fact, there was. While there was nothing inside the envelope, there were two lines written on the back from the inside:
From that sparkle in your eye
I feel I could almost die.
Interesting, you thought. It was a couplet. You wondered who could have sent you such as curious little packaged.
Throughout the entire day, you received a second and a third package.
The second one was a bottle of candied hearts that were strung together in a sort of necklace. Each heart had a word printed on it, and when you laid out the entire necklace, it read:
Like this chain, our hearts connect.
The third present was a note in a little present box. When you opened the box, a tiny bouquet of paper flowers popped out along with another card that read:
There's one more. It's number four.
You chuckled. It wasn't exactly the best rhyme you had ever heard, but for some reason, it sounded sweet, nonetheless.
Well then, I should expect to see a fourth gift, you concluded.
And you did.
When you were leaving your last class to meet up with Vladimir outside of the building like you normally would and greeted him with a smile.
"Hi, ___________," Vladimir replied in an unusually quiet tone. "How was your day?"
"It was interesting, actually," you giggled. "Someone's been giving me all of these cute little gifts on my desks."
"Yeah," you nodded. "There was some glitter, some hearts, and some flowers. The last one said there'd be another one, but I never saw it. Oh well. It was fun while it lasted."
"That's nice," Vladimir said. He reluctantly took your hand knowing you would feel uncomfortable when he touched you. "Ready to go home?"
"Of course," you smiled.
Every day when you and Vladimir would walk home, you would have to pass a garden through a park since it was the quickest way to your house. You didn't mind though, since it was really a lovely garden, and sometimes, you and Vladimir would stop by to chat before heading back to your destination. Today was one of those days that Vladimir stopped you.
"__________, can we take a rest really quick?" your Romanian friend asked.
"Sure, Vlad," you replied and sat down on a bench.
While you were sitting, you took a moment to look at some of the flowers that were in bloom. It was late spring by now, and the flowers were blooming left and right. School would be out soon, too. As you were watching some bees pollinate a flower, you heard Vladimir grind his feet into the gravel.
"Um, ____________, you know those presents that you got?" he spoke up nervously. "I was the one who gave you them."
You looked at Vladimir. "Really? But I thought you always saw me as a
"A friend?" Vladimir finished for you. "I thought so, toofor a long time, anyway. But you know something? I don't want us to be friends anymore."
Your heart nearly stopped. "Why wouldn't you want to be friends with me anymore? Is it because of something I did? Or maybe something I said?"
"Huh? No, it's not like that at all!" Vladimir said trying to comfort you. "____________...You're not crying, are you?"
"Why would you care if you don't want to be my friend anymore?" you sniffed as you wiped away a tear.
Vladimir stared at you with a sad look in his eyes. "If it makes you feel better, I have the fourth present for you."
You sniffed again and looked around for something that Vladimir might have been holding, but both his hands were on your shoulders by now.
"Very funny, Vlad," you frowned. "I don't see anything. You're just saying that so you won't feel bad, aren't you?"
Vladimir shook his head. "You can't see it because it's not an object."
"Then what is it?" you asked getting impatient.
"It's this," Vladimir said and gave you a kiss on your lips.
Wh-What just happened?" you began to babble when he stopped the kiss.
Vladimir chuckled and began to blush. "I said that I didn't want to be your friend anymore because I was hoping I could be your boyfriend, instead." He looked down and spoke in a quiet voice. "Do you still want me to? You don't have to give me chocolates or anything like that. Though some chocolates would be nice
You sighed and ruffled his hair. "I'm not going to give you chocolates this time, Vlad," you said. "I'm going to give you this instead." With that, you leaned forward and kissed Vladimir back on his lips. "I'd love to have you as my boyfriend, Vlad. It would mean the world to me. I mean it just as much as I did all those years ago."
"_____________..." Vladimir murmured. "I'm so sorry I didn't realize your feelings sooner
"That's okay, Vlad," you smiled. "There's no time like the present, right?"
" he agreed. "Shall we head on home, then?"
"Sure!" you giggled as the two of your headed home hand in hand.