Sydney and Justin were friends.
That is what Justin told himself when he woke up from a dream that involved Sydney and a shower.
That is what Sydney told herself when she saw Justin talking with a girl from her floor in the cafeteria one day.
That is what each of them had convinced themselves.
That was the reality they had accepted, up until the point where they kissed.
They were sitting in side by side on the floor Sydney’s dorm room, backs up against her bed. Their books were scattered around the floor, but they had been ignoring them for the past ten minutes. Instead, they were in another heated debate about something they had already discussed before. Justin and Sydney always had the same arguments, and each of them always took the same side. The same points were made, and in the end, as always, both would claim victory and they would return to their schoolwork.
But on this particular friday, after Sydney had thrown her arms up to exaggerate the topic it was her turn to bring up up right after Justin’s eye roll, instead of scoffing at her and trying to convince her otherwise, Justin took a pause. Sydney looked over at him, waiting for him to make his argument, but instead Justin leaned in and pressed his lips ever so gently against hers.
Neither of them were expecting the fireworks that came out of it.
It was four days before they saw each other again, and five before they said anything.
After that, it was as if they had an unspoken agreement to forget that the kiss had happened.
Because it shouldn’t have happened, because just friends don’t kiss. They had gotten pretty good at pretending that everything was normal, but that was exactly what it was. Pretend.
Justin thought he was the first one to accept the fact that is wasn’t just a mistake made in the heat of an argument. He was the first to accept that the tingling sensation that he felt wasn’t just static electricity from the carpet. And the minute he realized all of this he knew he only wanted to do one thing, and that was tell Sydney.
He planned on waiting until they were alone, where he could prevent Sydney from feeling trapped, and avoid the pain of public rejection. But the first time they were alone, Justin panicked. What if Sydney didn’t feel the same way, and he had made it all up in his head.
But this couldn’t have been the case, since Sydney Willis had realized her feelings for her brother’s best friend five minutes after their lips met.
And she decided to ignore them two minutes after her epiphany.
It took sydney two minutes to convince herself that it would never work out, given the futures that had been decided for them by their parents.
It took her one minute after that to realize that the pain she felt in her chest was that of a heartbreak.
They were doing perfectly fine, they had gotten pretty good at ignoring the fluttering feeling that they got whenever they saw each other, they had figured out how long they could look at each other through the corner of their eyes before someone noticed, and they had managed to subdue the urge to gravitate closer to the one another whenever they were in the same room.
Justin was the first one to break the unspoken agreement.
It was in the courtyard of Dalton, on his way to practice, where he saw Spencer and Sydney with a few others. Justin recognized the Hanover boy that was standing next to Sydney. He also recognized the look he was giving her, since it was the same look Justin had been repressing for the past few weeks.
It was then that Justin deterred from his path and walked over to her,
"I want to talk about it."
"No, let me finish. I don’t want to pretend like it didn’t happen. I don’t want to pretend that it, and by it i mean that kiss, didn’t mean anything either. And if I am going to be perfectly honest, I want it to happen again.."
"Jusin not here-"
"Yes here, because I have finally mustered the nerve to come out say it and I am afraid that if I don’t tell you everything now I am just going to chicken out later so here it is."
The intensity in Justin’s eyes made it impossible to look away, and though Sydney opened her mouth to say something, he never gave her a chance to utter a word.
"I don’t regret kissing you at all. If I regret anything, it was that I didn’t make it happen sooner. I don’t want to walk around and pretend that I don’t want to be with you, and I want you to cut the crap about not wanting to be with me. I want you to forget about what everyone expects of us and just think about what you want for five seconds. I want you to forget everything that led up to this point and just think about how you feel and what you are going to do about it."
Justin was still holding her gaze, and it was as if there wasn’t a whole group of people watching and listening in on him profess his feelings to her in the middle of a busy courtyard in the middle of broad daylight. It was just them.
"Also, I want you to know that we have yet to go on a single date and I am already past the point of falling in love with you and am now at the stage where I want to spend all my time with you.”
Sydney just stared at him, for once in her life, completely at a loss for word to say to Justin Bancroft. But that was okay, because Justin had more to say.
"Now that I have stated my feelings on the matter, I was wondering if you would like to go on a proper date with me, one where I bring you flowers and you tell me to stop being such a ‘british gentlemen’ and we argue over who is going to pay the check."
Sydney’s face remained emotionless, but after a moments pause, she took a step closer and said “I will pick you up at seven.”
"Fine, but the reservations are set for five." And with that, Justin took the last few feet between them with a long stride, and lifted Sydney Willlis’ hand up to his lips. He kept eye contact with her up until the point where he bowed slightly and turned to walk to practice.
Sydney just watched in awe as he kept walking, and it was only until after Justin had turned the corner did a smile dart up on her lips.
From the crowd that had gathered behind her, Sydney heard her brother whisper
Followed quickly by