In which Liam and Jazmine kiss for the first time.
I've finally succumbed to the pressure and the requests. Yes, there will be a sequel to Invisible. The adventures of Jazmine, Gabby and Liam will continue. I'm guessing maybe in October 2014? Anyway, while you're waiting, here's a little taste of what's to come.
I think I’m in love.
The first night of The Secret Garden production last term, that terrible night of truth and tears and laughter and elation; that was the night that Liam kissed me.
We danced off the stage, away from our standing ovation, with light feet, smiles of glitter and hearts with wings.
“Yeah, alright!” Liam high fived the cast waiting to congratulate him. “So awesome, everybody! Fantastic job.” I followed in his wake; my face had no choice but to beam and grin. “Thanks, thank you,” I said, over and over. Waves of faces and streams of words flowed over and around me. There were suddenly so many people, so much noise and so many bright lights. The smile stayed on my face but all in one moment I realised that the joy underneath had gotten scared and was now hiding under the bed. My smile was pasted on; my eyes were fearful. Perhaps it was everything I’d been through that day, perhaps I was tired, or perhaps I wasn’t cut out to be a celebrated actress. Whatever it was, I suddenly felt dizzy. Zoned out. Breathless.
Liam turned in the crowd and the chatter. He must have seen my face go pale because he grabbed my wrist and pulled me behind him.
“Jaz needs to sit down.” His voice crawled through the tunnels of cloud into my brain. He must have been speaking loudly. Forcefully. “Out of the way you guys. I’m going to take her in there.”
He pushed me into the dressing room, empty except for some costumes strewn around the floor and a few chairs pulled up next to a mirror. I collapsed onto one of them and folded my head in my hands.
“Sorry,” I said. He was crouched down next to me, his hand on my back.
“What for?” he said. “I could see you weren’t okay. Just breathe a bit.”
“Oh, I mean, okay,” I said. But he cut in.
“And stop talking. Just take a breath.”
I stopped talking and instead took air into my lungs. Outside I could hear the buzz of voices and loud laughter but it was like there was a cocoon of cotton around the room. Our room. I focused on the breathing. Air in. Air out. Air in. Air out. My shoulders relaxed a little. I looked up.
“Thanks,” I said. “I don’t know… I just felt so…”
“Crowded?” he said. He smiled at me and pulled up one of the other chairs so he was sitting opposite. “You looked like you were about to faint. I thought I’d better rescue you.”
I grinned weakly. “Just as well you did.”
“Do you feel better now?”
I shook my arms and blinked a few times. “Yeah. I think so. I just felt like I couldn’t…”
But I didn’t get a chance to say anything else. Liam pulled his chair up so his knees were glancing mine. And then he put out his hand to turn my face towards his.
I ran out of breath. It was just as well I’d had quite a lot of oxygen in the last two minutes. My heart started pounding and my head went dizzy again, but this time in a good way.
“Are you…” I began, but again, I didn’t get a chance to speak because in one swift movement Liam reached in and kissed me. Right on the lips.
It was a short kiss, as these things go (and really, I’m only judging it on the movie kisses I’ve seen, so maybe that’s not that realistic anyway) but it felt like forever. And then, the afterwards, with him looking into my eyes, his hand still on my cheek and the tingle of softness still on my mouth, felt like forever all over again.
I managed to get my words out this time. Well, my word out, anyway. “Wow.”
Liam just sat and looked at me. He put his hand down on his lap. For once, he seemed almost tongue-tied.
“You,” he said and he nodded his head slightly. “You. Just. Are.” He shrugged his shoulders. “Amazing.”
My joy came scrambling out from under the bed in one super-movement. It filled my skin, danced in my eyes and tingled in my fingers. Even my hair felt alive. I blushed. “Really?”
Liam grinned. He was back to his usual self. “Yeah. Really.”
I gazed at him. I could hardly trust myself to speak. If I opened my mouth who knew what would come out? That I thought he was the most beautiful boy in the whole entire world? That all I wanted was for him to hold me for the rest of my life? That I would do anything for him? That I couldn’t stop looking at him, or thinking about him? That I was in love with him?
I held it back and instead squeaked words which hardly even began to say what the truth of it was. Stupid words. Words I could hardly push out of my mouth for fear of not being right, not being good enough. I said to Liam, the boy who had rescued me twice that evening, and who had just kissed me and called me amazing: “I like you.”
He looked at me seriously. His blue eyes were piercing. “I will always be there to look after you, you know. Before you even know you need me, I’ll be there.”
Perhaps it was at that point that I should have heeded the slight warning that went off in the back corner of my brain, but I was too full of Amazing and Kisses and Tingly Glittery Happiness to pay any attention to it. Instead my subconscious told it to go away. I was in love. I was happy for once in my life. And I was going to enjoy it.