Take My Breath Away

Chapter 25 - Not A Real Boy

Whenever there was an upcoming party or event, Dixon would be in charge of the head count of the people who were going to participate. After all, he was very meticulous about everything -- it was a job for a perfectionist.

So, at the mention of Kristina's birthday, he had already asked who was going to come and take part in the occasion. Debbie, who was one of Kristina's good friends, sat up straight as if she was going to make an announcement. "Kristina, you'll be twenty years old, isn't that right?" she inquired, making sure she was not mistaken even though she knew she couldn't be wrong. She knew the celebrant better than anybody else ever did.

Kristina took Debbie's arm and gently placed her cheek against her shoulder. "Yes, that's right. I can't wait to celebrate my birthday. It's gonna be grand!" she exclaimed in excitement.

It was fortunate that nothing that would harm Debbie had happened last night. Otherwise, the celebrant would have paid no mind to her birthday and would show no interest in celebrating it.

However, this did not mean that she did not have a hunch that something bad could have happened the night before. She was wondering how Debbie had managed to escape Carlos' wrath. But, she knew she had better set it aside and just ask her friend in some private time later.

Kristina and Debbie were already having their own mini celebration while holding each other's hands in excitement when Kasie, who looked into a vanity mirror to fix her hair, rolled her eyes and snickered, "You should stay away from that tomboy, Kristina. You make it seem like she's your boyfriend. Just thinking about it gives me goosebumps."

Kristina, who actually genuinely loved the friendship she had with Debbie, cast Kasie a challenging look and snapped back, "You talk as if you didn't use to pester her like I do." She stroked her long, curly hair and thought, 'I should dye my hair like Debbie's. The colors look great on her. I'm sure it would look more vivid under the sun.' She compared her hair to her friend's.

Debbie put her arm around her friend's shoulders like a boy would and argued in her defense, "Ladies, please do not quarrel over me. There's more to go around. What's our next class? Let's get to it."

"You really are meandering mindlessly, huh? There's no more class. We need to get lunch," Kasie reminded her in a very sarcastic tone. With resignation, she shoved her mirror and books inside her bag and went ahead to the cafeteria.

Debbie checked the time and found that Kasie was right. It was almost twelve o'clock. "Okay," she said, "let's go get our lunch then." She grabbed her bag and stood up from her seat. She led the way and the others followed.

The group was leaving the classroom when a boy who was sitting in the first row raised his head. The boy named Gregory Song intensely observed Debbie's retreating figure, his eyes full of affection.

He thought, 'May I take part in the party as well, Debbie?'

Another boy approached Gregory Song. "Aren't you going to have lunch?" the curious boy asked.

Gregory Song immediately broke his contact with the group and packed his stuff confirming, "Yes, I'm coming with you." He flashed a friendly smile and left the classroom along with his friend.

The day had passed and it was already time for Kristina's twentieth birthday party. Debbie and Kassie went to the mall and shopped. After buying their dear friend a few gifts, they went to the club venue that Kristina had reserved for the party.

There were more than a dozen students in the private booth. Some of them were even unfamiliar to Debbie.

But, soon after befriending each one, they all became close to the point that they could play Truth or Dare with each other.

"Whoever loses this round has to make out with the opposite sex for a minute!" Kasie announced. The boys, who were surrounded with beautiful girls, applauded this appeal.

However, the girls blushed scarlet with shyness since some of them had never kissed a boy before.

They agreed reluctantly with a tinge of excitement for new experiences. Unfortunately, Kristina was the loser. "I quit!" the celebrant yelled and ran towards the door, trying to escape the situation that she was in.

But, before she could make her exit, a few students had already guarded and blocked the door. "Nice try, birthday girl, but you must now choose a boy to kiss!" Kasie dictated.

With her face looking like a tomato, Kristina looked around and then pointed to a corner.

Everyone averted their gaze to where the birthday girl was pointing and burst into laughter when they found out that Kristina actually picked Debbie.

"Seriously? Kristina Lin, you always call me tomboy, but we both know I'm not a real boy! Get a hold of yourself," Debbie exclaimed, laughing over the matter herself. She was already a bit buzzed from the alcohol she had drunk and her cheeks were glowing with excitement. She looked quite appealing and attractive in that very moment.

The birthday girl stomped her feet like a spoiled brat and pounced on her friend yelling, "Debbie, honey, why don't you give in to me?"

Debbie shrieked and dodged Kristina's kiss. "Hey, that doesn't count!" Dixon complained as he pulled Kristina away from Debbie.

When the celebrant turned to him, she suddenly had an idea. "Since you say that it doesn't count, then why don't you be the one to kiss me instead?" Before he could react, Kristina pulled him closer and kissed him on the lips. His eyes grew wider in shock.

"Whoa!" the students cheered. They began to whistle, not expecting the birthday celebrant to be so spontaneous and brave.

The affectionate kiss crowned the party fun. The minute the two people shared kissing was starting to feel like a year when Kristina let go of Dixon and concluded it calmly like nothing unusual had happened.

They both wiped their lips with their faces red as they could suddenly feel chemistry developing between them.

"How did that feel, monitor? Were her lips soft and sweet?" Debbie asked. She gave him a teasing smile.

Dixon glanced at Kasie who had proposed the game, and said under his breath, "This was my first kiss!"

Kristina rolled her eyes at the perfectionist's remark and retorted, "It was my first kiss, too!" She tried not to lose her calm.

When Debbie noticed that the two were still blushing, she suggested, "Since you gave each other your first kisses, why don't you try to start dating from this day forward? It couldn't hurt to try."

The crowd began to echo her idea. Jared even gave a loud whistle and yelled, "Be a man and do it! Make Kristina your girlfriend, you coward!"

"Do it, Dixon!" the crowd seconded. "Come on!" they shouted, urging him on.

Everyone was excited to see how everything would unfold.

The birthday celebrant covered her hot cheeks and sat back in her seat. "Don't make fun of us, you guys! It's my birthday, so you should all listen to me!"

Kasie shook her head and said, "Yes, birthday girl, you're right! Saying yes to Dixon is a great idea! Besides, isn't this something we could call 'two happy events taking place one after the other?'" It was their tradition to make fun of the birthday celebrant. They could all clearly recall that the last time, it was Debbie they had made fun of.

Everyone burst into laughter at Kasie's statement.

The whole evening was pleasant and fun. Everyone had their fill of excitement and everyone had already shared their bounty. When the party came to a close, Debbie was already blackout drunk since she had downed the alcohol bottle after bottle; she drank more than she had ever done.

She stood up from the couch and immediately staggered. Luckily, she was able to keep herself from falling and one of her classmates helped her up her feet.

Not only was Debbie drunk -- almost everyone was intoxicated. Jared shook his head and got even dizzier. "Who's still sober? Please," he asked in a drunk voice, "take Debbie back to her house."

A boy in the corner stood up with flushed cheeks and immediately volunteered. He was not drunk -- he was just shy. He finally had a chance to be with the girl of his dreams alone.

"I didn't drink too much, so I'll be the one to take her back," Gregory Song announced. He put his glass on the table and walked towards the drunk girl.

Jared was a little surprised and taken aback that it was Gregory Song who took the initiative, but he immediately dismissed his suspicion and told the volunteer, "She lives in the East City Villa." Among all her classmates, Debbie only had four friends who knew her address: Jared, Kasie, Kristina, and Dixon.

Upon hearing that she lived in the East City Villa, Gregory Song paused. He felt mixed emotions flooding him from within.

The place where Debbie lived was a villa where only the richest and most powerful people of Y City resided.

He had started to wonder why the girl of his dream lived somewhere so luxurious. 'What kind of family is she from?' he thought to himself.

Finally, he picked Debbie up and proceeded to the door. He hailed a taxi and gently placed the girl inside before getting in himself.

'What a silly girl! How bold she is to be this drunk! What if someone planned to take advantage of her state?' the boy thought.

He stared at her while she was learning against him with her cheeks colored in crimson. It was as though she had blush on. His heart skipped a beat when he saw such a beautiful sight.

He had been her high school classmate for three years, but he had never talked to her before. She was exactly his type --- her cheerful spirit and buddy character had made him completely fall in love with her.

After they had taken the college entrance exam, he had thought that she would select the college of Music, if not the institute of Physical Education. After all, she excelled at both fields. She was gifted and she had no idea how many people she could attract with these attributes.

Gregory Song, however, saw himself without talent in both. The only thing he could do for the girl he loved was cheer her on with everyone else whenever she ran in long-distance races. Indeed, that was his only idea of loving her; from a long, long distance.

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