This was written for AMMC: A Merry Minion Christmas, a winter anthology sponsored by Laura, Missy and Nick. This is my second story for the collection.
Title: "Wishes and Kisses"
Genre: Holiday Romance with a hint of Fantasy
Author: Nicole Zoltack
Dedicated to everyone who wishes on shooting stars.
The shooting star streamed against the nighttime sky, and Kelly wished and dreamed and hoped that tomorrow she’d no longer be able to say she was sweet sixteen and never been kissed. Everyone knew that a wish on a shooting star on Christmas Eve had to come true.
Only, the last time she had, it hadn’t.
Of course, she’d been six and wished for a unicorn. What a wasted wish!
“Hey, Johnny! Hurry and make a wish!”
Her thirteen-year-old brother entered her doorway. “A wish?”
She pointed out the window.
He slowly walked over to her. “You aren’t stargazing.” Johnny smirked and nodded to the house next door.
Directly opposite of Kelly’s window was Dylan’s, the hottie next door she tutored in math. Although he was a junior, he was already the star quarterback and so far out of her league he might as well live on Jupiter.
“Give it up.” Johnny patted her shoulder.
“Dweeb,” she muttered.
“Geek,” he returned.
“Not a compliment.”
Still wishing, Kelly fell asleep with a smile on her face.
The next morning, Johnny woke everyone up bright and early. He always reverted back to a three-year-old on Christmas. After Mass, they all exchanged presents. Kelly was thrilled with the thigh-high boots she got. “Thanks, Mom! Can I wear them tonight at Dylan’s party?”
Mom exchanged a glance with Dad, who nodded. “Fine,” she said. “But you can’t leave until after we finish dinner and you have to be home by nine. Okay, ten.”
Kelly squealed. Maybe her wish would come true tonight at the party. She’d been begging her parents to allow her to go for weeks, and her parents had insisted Christmas was for family. That they gave in was amazing.
Relatives stopped by for more gift giving, and the day flew by. The little bits of dinner Kelly managed to eat were delicious. She bounced in her seat. Finally her mom nodded toward the door, and Kelly hugged everyone before racing over.
The party was already exciting, with music blaring and kids dancing. Kelly waved to Julie, her best friend since they’d switched from diapers to training pants, and started toward her when someone tapped her shoulder.
“Hey, Kelly, glad you could make me.”
Gah, why did her tongue have to go all numb and her brain switch off when he was around? At least she could talk somewhat during the tutoring sessions. Numbers came easier to her than boys.
“Catch you later.” He waved and disappeared into the crush of people.
Great. Her big chance and she’d blown it.
“Woah, killer boots.” Julia nudged her shoulder into Kelly’s. “Making any headway with your hottie?”
“He’s not mine.”
So much for star wishes.
Most everyone at the party enjoyed themselves, but the living room was far too crowded, and Kelly slipped out the back door to get some fresh air. Despite her coat, she felt cold, and she shivered.
“Come back inside.” Dylan appeared next to her.
She stared at him. Firm jaw, full lips, crazy hair that begged fingers to fix them, long eyelashes framing amazing blue eyes… Dylan was more than good looking. Other than math, he was smart and he constantly stopped bullies from tormenting other kids. Even stood up to one for her. Not that Kelly needed him to. She didn’t care if others called her a nerd or geek because she was one.
Kelly so badly wanted to tell him how she felt, tried to work up the nerve to kiss him, but someone called him back inside and with an apologetic smile, he left her.
So she returned home, climbed into bed, but couldn’t sleep. The party continued on, and Julie left a dozen messages, but Kelly ignored them. Finally, shortly before midnight, the music turned off and everyone left.
She abandoned the comfort of her room and enjoyed a mug of hot cocoa. The warmth of the liquid seeped through the ceramic cup, warming her hands as she walked out of the back door of her house. The nearby woods called to her, and she stepped into them until she found a fallen log. Sitting on it, she rested and enjoyed the rest of her hot chocolate when something hard poked into her back.
Kelly jumped up to see a horse with a horn on its head.
She touched the sharp tip. Yes, the unicorn was real. She wasn’t dreaming.
In the sky, she spied another shooting star.
Don’t tell me it takes ten years for wishes to come true.
Kelly led the unicorn back to her house and placed him in the garage. She’d deal with the unicorn, and her parents, tomorrow. Er, later on today. Her cell phone read 12:03.
Before she could lose nerve, Kelly marched over to Dylan’s house. She knocked on the door. More like pounded. Waited a few seconds and pounded some more.
Dylan opened the door. “Hey, Kelly. What’s—”
She threw her arms around his neck and pressed her lips to his. After first, he held still, but then he wrapped his arms around her and kissed back.
“Woah,” he said.
“Yeah.” She bit her lip. Okay, so she’d kissed him.
He had a goofy smile on his face. “I… I wanted to do that for so long but I thought…”
“Wait, you like me?”
“Yeah.” Dylan crossed his arms. “I’m actually quite good at math.”
“I can count real good.” He kissed her right cheek and then forehead. “That’s three kisses.” Then the tip of her nose. “Four.”
“Hm.” She sighed happily. “But you need help with your English. You count well.”
“Does that matter?” He kissed her one more time before they spent the rest of the night sitting on his front porch, talking about anything and everything.
Including unicorns and wishes and kisses.