Kiss Cam(5)

By: Kiara London

“Oh, c’mon, June,” he says with a roll of his eyes. He passes his laptop back over to a still-snickering Lenny and turns his body to face mine. “It’ll be a less-than-a-second, quick little lip touch. Besides, we kiss each other on the cheek all the time.”

My mouth is still agape as I continue to stare at him in disbelief. I have previously saved my mouth kisses for those I had deep feelings for—relationships. What Jasper and I have is friendship. And sure, we’re close. We’re neighbors, have had sleepovers, slept in the same bed, changed in the same room. And it’s because of this that I don’t want to cross any boundaries. People have already considered us too close as it is.

“Chicken,” I say simply, and turn my head away from him to look at the camera. “I totally chicken out of this one, TeamJacob3012.”

Jasper makes a scoffing noise and slaps my shoulder. “Don’t chicken!”

“Jas, I’m not kissing you,” I say seriously, and cross my arms. “That’s too weird.”

“Oh, suck it up,” Lenny chimes in. “I ate lime Jell-O in mayonnaise today. You’re getting off easy.”

Jasper raises his eyebrows, waiting for me to respond to that. I can’t understand why he’s so adamant about doing this dare. I mean, I guess we’ve all been dared to do grosser, stranger things. It’s just that this goes against a lot of my personal rules, especially my rules about Jasper.

“It’s just me.” Jasper shrugs. “Could be worse.”

Sitting forward, I put my head in my hands and let out a deep sigh. “This is ridiculous.”

“Is that an okay?” Jasper asks, and I can hear the victorious smile on his lips.

“Fine,” I groan, sitting up. “It’s just a kiss.”

“Exactly.” Jasper nods. “It’s just a kiss.”

“Right,” I say, because now it feels uncomfortably tense in the room, but maybe that’s just me.

Before you’re about to kiss someone, there is usually that moment. It’s when you both realize you’re thinking about it, you exchange glances, you lean in, lids flutter closed, and you wait for their lips to brush yours. It’s romantic and sweet.

There is nothing romantic and sweet about this.

I turn toward Jasper and let my hands rest in my lap. He watches me settle in and I see Lenny peek around his shoulder to watch with a goofy half grin on his face—which is about as creepy as it sounds.

Jasper clears his throat then and runs a hand through his hair while I raise my eyebrows. “Okay, ready?”

“I guess.”

“Ready . . . go!” Lenny cheers over Jasper’s shoulder.

It’s all so bizarre that I have to giggle, but I’m a bit too late because Jasper’s already leaned forward and pressed his lips against my smile. It’s quick, like he said it would be. A little lip touch that leaves me barely enough time to close my eyes. No goose bumps, no blush. Just a kiss.

Leaning back, Jasper grins and gives two thumbs-up to the camera. “Only took six years,” he jokes at the camera. “There is hope for the friend zone!”

I roll my eyes and jab an elbow into his ribs. “Oh, stop. No sparks, everybody!”

He was right, after all. I had worked myself up over nothing. There was nothing—no sparks I was afraid I’d feel. Simple. Easy.

Jasper shakes his head. “Lies. We all know June thinks I’m a babe.”

“Jas . . . ,” I warn, eyes hooding.

He sighs dramatically but gives in. “Fine, she’s right. Sorry, guys, but no sparks. It was a ship effort, though. That’s what matters.”

Lenny glances between us and giggles. Then he looks down at the computer screen. “There, challenge complete. Next.”

Jasper moves over to read the next comment. “It’s truth.” He grins. “And this one is for June.”

I make an unimpressed face at the camera. “Really, why is it always me?”

After filming, Lenny leaves with the footage to edit, but I hang around as always to do homework and hang out with Jasper. I like to stay away from my house as much as possible. It’s small and empty a lot of the time. My dad works the night shift and sleeps most of the day, and my mom works during the day and doesn’t get home until my dad is leaving for work. So when I’m home, I have to chill out and be quiet. It’s boring, so I stay at Jas’s to keep him company until his mom comes home from work.