What happens when a hapless snow-boarder meets a driven figure skater? Chapter 1 is here.
I hardly knew why I was here. I hadn’t gone to this hill since I’d hung out with Selene at it. And now I was standing here at the bottom of the hill looking up at the slopes and thinking about last time.
‘Cuz I’d just realized something very important in my life – that I’m absolutely miserable without Selene in it, and that I’ll do anything to get her back in it. I’d rather have her as just friends than not at all. But how was I to do it?
With my hands jammed in my pockets and my board under one arm I caught sight of myself in one of the long, reflective lodge windows. I looked the same as always. Maybe too much the same as always. When you saw a girl again you haven’t seen in ages, would she rather you looked the same as always, or your looked so improved in a good way you knocked her off her feet?
Not that I thought I could improve much in a good way. Freckles still spread across my face like the plague. My red hair was jammed under my toque. I stood there in a puffy boarding jacket and boots. Oh man, I’m sure girls just dig the jackets so loose they can’t tell if the guy’s hiding a lack of muscles or not (though I like to think I don’t really have a lack of muscles), and who looks like a boarder through and through.
Though since I am a boarder I might as well be myself. It drove me crazy just thinking about it.
Maybe I was thinking about it too much. Because as I went off the jump on my first run and executed a move I had done a hundred times, all the while thinking somewhere in the back of my mind maybe today I could screw up enough courage to find out if Selene ever wanted to talk to me again, I found myself spinning wildly out of control. I don’t know what happened. All I know is a couple seconds later I hit the ground, and everything went black.
What a newbie mistake. I landed completely brick-on-back.
And then when I opened my eyes to see the sky spinning above me, hoping I hadn’t busted something important, and people nearby hurrying my way and muttering to each other about ‘daredevil kids these days’, and I could hardly believe my eyes because I thought one of them was Selene rushing towards me, with a snowboard!
I knew, as I struggled to push myself up out of the snow, that this was even worse than I’d looked before, because no guy could look cool flat on his back in a snowdrift. And I was going to burst into a zillion apologies and promises I’d never do anything so dumb again when I saw her just the sweetest, frantic expression, and her lips were slightly rounded – the ones I’d caused so much trouble by kissing last time.
Everything I was going to say to her died on my lips, and my face probably lit up like a Christmas tree so the whole world could probably see how I felt about her, and I was struggling to say any words at all.
I pulled myself up, though my world was spinning dazedly.
“Are you okay?” she asked.
“Selene, I didn’t mean to!” I found myself bursting out wildly, “I’m sorry – it’s all my fault – just don’t be mad at me again!”
Then we were both laughing like it was the most natural thing for us to do when we saw each other, and to hear her laugh again was the most glorious sound in the world. She hit me at my middle with her momentum, making me go “Oomph!” and stagger to catch my bearings.
I was still seeing stars – though whether it was from my fall or from the sight of Selene, I didn’t know.
“Are you all right?” she asked. And I was gabbling about how I’d hurt myself worse plenty of times before, all the while thinking how amazing it was I could still look down at here when she was standing higher up the slope than me.
“You haven’t called,” she said.
“I didn’t think you liked it,” I said. “But I – wanted to.”
And suddenly I wanted to tell her about everything, about this religion-thing, and how Valerie had died, and how I had started to go to church lately – because she was the only girl in the world who would understand. And I felt like I hadn’t adequately explained what I’d done last time – or how I’d ended up flat on my back just moments before she arrived when I hardly ever wiped out. But her eyes were widening and glimmering and she was leaning closer to me, and suddenly I couldn’t concentrate on anything anymore.
“I wanted to tell you – “ I tried.
“I missed you,” she told me softly.
And while I was still gasping like a fish because I was so happy and amazed she had said that, she reached up and kissed me like I didn’t know a girl could do on a ski hill, still frosted with snow, hanging onto a snowboard with one arm.
And though I didn’t know what made a great girl like her change her mind about me, I enjoyed it for all it was worth.
I must’ve looked about as dazed as if I’d landed on my head again. She leaned back to look at me, almost apologetically, “I forgot to finish it last time.”
Hey, I wasn’t going to argue with that.
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