Ten Year Crush

By: Toshia Slade

Prologue

September 2003



"Gabby, your friends should be getting here soon. Are you dressed?” Mom calls from downstairs. A rush of excitement runs through me. It's not every day a girl turns eleven.

"I'll be down in just a minute." I add a little mousse to my naturally wavy hair, blow dry it, and then run my light pink gloss across my lips. And done! Coming down the stairs, the doorbell rings through the house.

"Got it!" I call out and run to the door. Flinging it open, I stop dead in my tracks. The boy standing in front of me is the cutest one I have laid eyes on. He has dark hair, the deepest blue eyes I have ever seen, medium build, and he's tall. He has to be a few inches taller than my brother, Josh. He’s around 5’ 8", so this guy has to be around 5’ 10". I realize that I'm just standing here staring at him and I feel the telltale heat in my cheeks. I squeak out, "Hi."

He smiles big showing a dimple in his left cheek. "Hey, I'm Cam, Josh's friend. You must be Gabby. Happy birthday."

Oh, crap! This is Josh's new friend that just moved here. Looking down I notice he has a bag in his hand. Oh, God and he's staying tonight too. How did I miss that earlier? Maybe because I was mentally drooling and staring at his cute dimple and blue eyes!

"I think Josh is—" I clear my throat, trying to stop the squeak in my voice. "Um… upstairs in his room playing games. Come on in. I’ll holler for him.”

I turn on my heel and dart to the bottom of the stairs, leaving Cam to close the door and follow me. I yell up the steps, "Josh, your friend, um, Cam is here.”

A few seconds later Josh shows up at the top of the steps. Coming down he says, "Hey man, that’s my sister, Gabriella, but everyone calls her Gabby."

I tuck a piece of hair behind my ear and duck my head, trying to hide the blush once again, just as the doorbell rings. Thank god. I turn to get the door so Cam can't see the mortification painting my cheeks.

I hear Josh say, “I think my mom and dad are in the kitchen. I'll introduce you, then we can head up stairs and play some Xbox."

I open the door.

My best friend, Tiffany, squeals and throws her arms around me, squeezing. "Happy birthday, Gabby!" She pulls back and looks at my face. "What's up, buttercup? Something got…"

She cuts off and I know why. I hear my brother and Cam come into the living room.

"Oh. My. God. Who is that?" Tiff whispers in my ear.

“Hey, Tiff, this is my friend, Cam. He just moved here a few months ago. Cam, this is Tiffany, my sister’s best friend and pain in my ass."

“Heard that, Joshua! Watch your darn mouth and leave the girls alone!" Mom shouts from the kitchen.

Dad just yells a sharp, “Boy!”

Tiffany looks at Josh and sticks her tongue out at him. I swear, those two live to torture each other.

The boys head up stairs and Tiff turns to me, “Holy crap! That boy is hot!"

I slap my hand over her mouth for fear that the boys will hear her.

"Will you shut up?" I whisper yell, then quickly look up the stairs and see the boys are already out of sight, so they probably didn't hear.

Soon after that, everyone shows up and the party starts with girls giggling and eating pizza. We talk about what's going on at school, our crush of the week, and our celebrity loves. Once we’re all done eating we head into the kitchen to throw away our plates.

"Let’s do presents now," says Tiffany.

Everyone heads into the living room. I sit on the couch with Tiff on one side and Jessica on the other. I got a Backstreet Boys CD from Tiffany, Christina Aguilera CD from Sam, Backstreet Boys shirt from Jessica, and a sweater and scarf from Alicia. From Mom, Dad, and Josh, a Vera Bradley purse, a few outfits, and... "Concert tickets to ‘N Sync!" I jump up, letting out a squeal, and then bounce up and down. "Thank you, thank you!"

I wrap my arms around Mom as she says, "Happy birthday, baby. I love you"

"Thank you, Momma. I love you too."

Dad wraps his arms around me and kisses my forehead "Happy birthday, monkey. I love you."

"I love you too, Daddy. Thank you so much!"

I run up and jump into Josh's waiting arms.

"Happy birthday, Sis. Love ya, brat." He sets me down and ruffles my hair.

"I love you too, Joshy-Poo. Thanks."

He groans.

I love torturing him.

Mom and Dad disappear into the kitchen as I go to sit back down, but Cam stops me. Oh god. He's touching my arm. Slow warmth spreads over me. Not again. There should be some universal rule as to how many times a person can blush in a single night.

"Here you go. When Josh said it was your birthday, I couldn’t come without getting you a little something," he says, handing me an envelope. "I didn't know what you liked and my mom figured that you would like this. Happy birthday.”

Is it me or is Cam blushing a little? Eeeeekkkk! He's even cuter with rosy cheeks and that dimple showing.

"Thank you, you really didn't have to do that." Now it's my turn to blush. I open the envelope to see just a simple pink birthday card and inside it is a gift card to Bath & Body Works. The card is signed with just Cam. "Oh, I love Bath & Body Works. Thank you so much!"

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