Talia looked at her best friend who was sitting across from her on her bed with sceptical eyes. She was trying to hold her laughter when she saw how actually worried he was.
"I'm serious Tali...I don't know what the hell is going on but I think it's because of that..." Haruma said while pouting sadly.
"You seriously think your relationship with Shida is not going well because you are a bad kisser?" she asked, trying to keep herself serious.
"That's what I'm saying Tali, stop being an asshole!" he yelled, lightly hitting her on the shoulder.
"Ok ok fine...but how am I going to help?" she asked sceptically. "Do you want me to give you lessons on how to be a better kisser?!"
Haruma looked at Talia with a slightly shocked expression. He didn't say anything but instead kept looking at his best friend as if he had been punched in the face unexpectedly.
"We can call it Kissing 101 by Prof Hazelton..." Talia continued to ramble, completely ignoring Haruma's blank expression.
"You are right..." he suddenly said, making her stop talking.
"What? You calling me Professor?"
He shook his head violently and said, "No no, I mean...the you teaching me how to kiss part..." The moment he had said this he immediately regretted it when he saw Talia's shocked expression staring back at him.
"Well I am a great kisser..." she said, giving him a cheeky smile.
"Will you really do it?" he asked, excitement in his voice.
Talia grinned and nodded. "I will teach you how to be a better kisser so you will wow Shida off of her feet." As she said this she couldn't help but feel something stinging her heart but she quickly dismissed it. “But only once.” She added putting up one finger in front of her lips.
Haruma pouted and flicked some of his hair from his eyes. “Once? Will that be enough? I don’t think it will be enough Talia…” he said inching closer to her.
“It’s cheating Haruma!” she yelled back at him about to pull his ear, a move she had been doing since they were little, every time she felt threatened by him.
Haruma blinked innocently at her accusation, giving her enough time to grab his ear and pull on it, making him wail out in pain. “Ouch stop it!” he complained, pulling on her hand in an attempt to make her let go.
“Only once…” she said, after letting go of his ear.
“If you don’t help me I’ll tell Koyama you were the one who ‘accidentally’ slashed his tyres.” Haruma threatened, making Talia gasp in horror.
“You are such an asshole.” She said, crossing her hands on her chest.
“Come on, I’m not asking much…just teach me to be a good kisser.”
“Ok fine, but when I say stop we stop.” She said, looking into his eyes.
Haruma nodded, and automatically looked at Talia’s full lips. “So are we going to do this or not?” he asked, feeling his stomach churn. He had to admit he was being slightly crazy to ask his best friend to teach him how to kiss but he didn’t see anything wrong with it.
Talia slid next to him, their knees touching now and he could feel his skin tingle. She raised her blue eyes at him and licked her lips before leaning slowly forwards, causing him to panic slightly and lean back automatically. “What?” she asked in shock at his reaction.
“I’m…I was just surprised ok? Let’s do this again.” Haruma said, clearing his throat.
“Just think of me as Shida, how would you normally kiss her?” Talia asked, straightening her back and automatically pushing her chest out.
Haruma blinked and nodded. He put his hands on her shoulders and looked at her dead in the eyes. He creased his forehead slightly and moved forward. “Wait!” Talia yelled, making him relax from his tensed position. “Why do you look like you are about to throw up?” she asked, trying to hold back her giggles.
“I don’t!” he fought back while pouting angrily. “I always look like this before I kiss Shida!” he defended himself, hitting her softly on her elbow.
“You do, maybe that’s the reason why she doesn’t like kissing you.” She joked, crossing her hands over her chest.
“What do you mean she doesn’t like kissing me?” he yelled, widening his eyes in shock.
Talia smiled and suddenly slipped onto his lap, making him open his eyes even wider. She settled on top of him, her knees touching his waist as she put her hands on her shoulders and smiled.
“Just stop thinking too much and kiss me.” She said leaning forwards and touching his lips with hers. Haruma was a little surprised by her actions but then immediately got into it, determined to prove her wrong.
Haruma moved his lips against hers and tried to be bold and kiss her like he kissed Shida. Talia suddenly pulled away and wiped her mouth, trying to cover her giggles.
“What?” he asked, widening his eyes in shock at her giggles.
“You seriously suck…actually you slobber and you don’t have to put in so much tongue…less is more.” She said, wiping her mouth again.
“I’m not bitchy I’m telling the truth…I think your new nickname should be Saint Bernard because you slobber like one.”
“Stop being so bitchy! Ooper pooper!” he yelled, pulling her nose.
“Ouch! I’m trying to help you! You want my help or not Berny?” she asked, giving him a grin.
“You kissed him?” Lillith yelled, widening her eyes in shock as she and Talia ate lunch together the day after.
“Yes…” the blue eyed girl replied while biting her lower lip.
“I can’t believe you agreed to his crazy proposal…” Emma said, shaking her head in disapproval.
“I tried to say no!”
“By kissing him?”
“No Lillith but…”
“There is no but. You are kissing him to make him a better kisser so he impresses his girlfriend.” Lillith said, holding up her plastic spoon in her hand. “Am I the only one seeing how bad this is going to turn out?”
“I am too,” Emma agreed.
“Guys ok shut up, what’s the worst thing that can happen?” Talia asked, playing with her chicken salad.
“You have feelings for him Tali, you are going to get hurt in the end…” Lillith warned, pointing her manicured nail at her best friend.
“I…ok I’ll stop…”
Talia pulled away from Haruma’s lips and bit down lightly on her own. “I can’t do this anymore…” she said breathlessly.
“You have said this loads of times but you always do.” He said. “Am I getting better?” he asked, giving her a toothy smile.
“A little…” Talia lied. The truth was that he had gotten better and she didn’t want to stop kissing him…Lillith was right she was going to get hurt.
“So are you going on the school summer trip?” he asked, getting off of the bed.
“Yeah I am…are you…and Shida going?” she asked, adding Haruma’s girlfriend’s name as an afterthought.
“Yes…and I think she is noticing my kissing technique.” He said, taking out his phone. “You are awesome.”
“Yeah, so I guess we just have to practice some more…” he said, grinning boyishly, making Talia’s heart crack a little.
“I think we should stop…” she said, rubbing her upper arms. “I don’t feel good with this anymore.”
“Oh come on, don’t be like that.” He said, turning around and grabbing her hand in his. “It’s not cheating, I still…I still care about Shida.”
Talia frowned and could feel her eyes burn with tears. “That’s it, you love Shida so you have to stop kissing me. It’s not right.” She said, pulling her hand away from his. She crossed her arms over her chest in order to prevent him from grabbing her hand again.
Haruma looked down at her and frowned. “I guess…I guess we should huh…” he whispered avoiding eye contact.
“Yes.” She replied, feeling a knot in her throat. Why was this feeling like they had broken up? It was stupid really but she felt as though she lost him in some way. She had always wanted him as more than a friend and now that she had had a taste of what it was like to be with him as something more, she wanted to be more.
Haruma nodded and grabbed his bag from the floor. “I guess…I guess I will get going now.” He mumbled, his hair falling across his eyes while he searched for his phone.
“You can stay and we can play video games if you want” she offered. Half of her wanted him to leave but the other half wanted him to stay.
“I’ll see you tomorrow at the trip.” He said, putting his phone in his pocket.
“Ok…see you…” So that meant they weren’t going to call each other and discuss the latest episode of Dr Who that night…she wiped away her tears as the door closed and she was left alone in her bedroom.
Talia frowned when she saw Haruma and Shida standing near the busses the next day. She signed and received a playful nudge from Lillith.
“Hey…are you ok?” she asked, noticing the absence of Talia’s usual bright smile.
“I stopped it…” she replied, looking down at her bag.
“That’s good for you baby!” Lillith said, slapping Talia on her back. “Now will you give Minho a chance?”
Talia sighed and turned to look at Lillith. “Not yet…but maybe by the end of the trip?” she said, giving her a smile.
Lillith giggled and put her hands on Talia’s shoulders as they walked towards their friends.
“What’s wrong baby? Why don’t you want to kiss me?” Shida asked, pouting cutely at her boyfriend.
“I...I don’t know I just don’t feel like it right now.” Haruma said, turning away from her as he lifted his bags from the ground.
Shida frowned and stormed into the bus. Haruma sighed and followed behind her. He didn’t mean to make her mad but something was keeping him from kissing her. He missed kissing Talia he knew that but he didn’t know why…he didn’t know whether he wanted to be with Talia as more than a friend or not.
He sat down beside Shida who turned to look at the window while texting on her phone. Haruma looked up when he saw Talia walk on the bus. He smiled at her and she looked away from him. He looked down at his lap and frowned, feeling something prick at his heart. He took out his phone and decided he was going to text her.
Oop, why do you look so sad?
Talia bit the inside of her lips when she saw the message. She couldn’t help but feel a bubble of happiness burst inside of her heart when she saw that he had texted her.
I’m not sad…and stop calling me oop!
Haruma smiled and texted back. He missed her and it hadn’t even been twenty four hours that they had last talked.
but I like calling you Ooper…it rhymes with pooper ^^
stop!! And what did you do to Shida? She looks pissed…
Haruma shifted in his seat and turned to quickly look at Shida. Shida Mirai was the most popular girl in school. Every boy wanted her, every girl wanted to be her. He had likes her for a year before he confessed and they had started going out. Somehow he had imagined her to be someone else before he got to know her. He tried to be a better boyfriend but maybe she wasn’t trying as hard as him and things just weren’t working out.
I think I’m going to break up with her He wrote. He didn’t press send, he didn’t know why he had written that so quickly. Maybe it was a thought he was feeling for a while now. He deleted the message and wrote another one.
I need to talk to you. Can we meet later today?
Talia looked at her phone and frowned slightly. What in the world could he want to meet her for? He probably was going to ask her for more kissing practice.
“What’s wrong bb?” Lillith asked, bumping her shoulder against Talia’s.
“Haru wants to meet me later…” she replied, looking back at her phone.
“So? Why the long face?”
“I dunno…I just…I’m afraid he wants to meet me so we can kiss again or something…” Talia whispered harshly, avoiding eye contact.
“Didn’t you guys stop?” Lillith asked, leaning towards her, so that people wouldn’t hear their conversation.
“Yes…but he says he wants to meet…”
“Did you forget that you were once best friends? And still are?”
“So?!” Lillith yelled, smacking Talia behind her head.
“What?”Talia hissed, rubbing her head.
“So you are going to cut him off completely? Maybe he just wants to talk to you about all the nerdy things you guys talked about!”
“Doctor Who is NOT nerdy Lillith! You just need to give him a chance!”
Lillith rolled her eyes and sighed. “Whatever Tali, just meet him.”
It was later on that day, after they had settled down in their rooms and everyone was on the beach that Talia and Haruma met beside the Hawaiian style shack on the beach.
She saw him walking towards her, he was wearing a loose white shirt and his blue swimming shorts. She gulped, trying to suppress her desire as he made his way towards her.
“Hey,” he said, giving her a small smile.
“Hi…what’s up?” she asked, unconsciously grabbing the hem of her short shorts.
“I broke up with Shida…” he suddenly said, making her gasp.
“What? How?” she blurted out, completely shocked at his statement.
He sat down on the sand and she followed behind him. “I told her I don’t feel the same way about her anymore.” He replied, turning to look at her.
“Oh…my kissing lessons didn’t work huh?” she asked, tangling her fingers in her hair.
“Actually…it’s what made me break up with her…” he replied, still looking at her.
“What do you mean?” Talia whispered over the sound of the waves and their friends’ yells.
“I mean, I can’t kiss Shida because all I think about is kissing you.” He confessed, making her open her mouth slightly out of shock.
“Oh…” she uttered, looking away from him.
He looked at the sea in front of them and ruffled his hair. “What does this mean Haru?” she asked, getting over the initial shock.
“I think I want to kiss you…right now…” he said, feeling his cheeks blushing.
She was left speechless, she wanted to ask him to much more but she found herself unable to utter a single word. “I want to kiss you right now, later, tomorrow…forever…” he mumbled, moving his gaze from her eyes to her lips.
“What…what are you saying?” she asked, feeling her heart throbbing in her throat.
He leaned forward and cupped her face in his hands. He put his lips onto hers and kissed her softly, making her whole body tingle. “I want you to be my girlfriend.” He whispered after breaking from the kiss.
“What if I said no?” she decided she wanted to tease him. “I mean…kissing a Saint Bernard forever…that’s not really sexy…”
He grinned and kissed the tip of her nose. “You could teach me to kiss better...” he said, interlacing her fingers with his.
“I’d love to…but you have to call me Professor…”