"Are you ready to go?" Jon asked.
"Yep, let me just get my bag.." Melissa answered.
Now that Melissa's parents were both working longer hours, she was left with no way to get home from band practice. Jon had graciously offered to give her a ride.
"Let's go then," he said, smiling at her as his brown eyes made their way from the top of her head all the way down to her toes. He ran his hand through his short black hair and bent to pick up his saxophone case.
It was spring, nearly the end of her sophomore year of high school, and they had just finished the first installment of a 6 week 'spring training' for marching band. Mr. Owens wanted to get a head start on next year's season - he felt that the long break between marching seasons had hurt them in the competitions this year. He was opening the door to the equipment storage room near the door to the parking lot as Melissa and Jon headed that direction.
"Stay out of trouble, guys," he said, smiling at Melissa. "I'll see you in the morning."
"Bye, Mr. Owens," Jon answered as he walked past. Melissa raised her hand to wave and smiled back as she passed through the door. Melissa followed Jon to his little green Toyota pick-up, her flute in hand and music folder tucked under her arm.
Jon walked to the passenger side of the vehicle and unlocked the door, opening it for Melissa. She smiled and thanked him as she climbed into the cab and put on her seat belt while he walked around to the driver's side, putting his belongings in the back on the way.
Small talk ensued during the 10min drive from the high school to Melissa's house. The usual topics of how strict Mr. Owen's was, plans of what to do over summer break, and talk about the upcoming band trip. Jon was a good friend, almost like a brother to Melissa. He was the same age as her brother - only a year older than herself - and had some of the same friends as him. She'd been to some of the pool parties at his house last summer, and had ridden with him on the way to band functions over the past year. They enjoyed being together.
As Jon pulled into Melissa's driveway, only about a mile from his own house, Melissa unbuckled her seat belt.
"Do you need a ride next week?"
"I need a ride any time you can give me one." Melissa laughed.
"Well, sure, no problem!" Jon answered smiling.
Melissa leaned over to give him a hug as she thanked him. He wrapped his arms around her and held her just a moment or two longer than he usually did.. Melissa thought of his long time girlfriend, and thought of how little time they'd been spending around each other lately.. She recalled wondering if they had broken up. As she pulled back, ready to let go of this oddly long hug, Jon pulled her closer and covered her mouth with a kiss.
Melissa's eyes opened wide. She thought they might pop out of her head like a cartoon character, as if she'd been squeezed too tightly. She felt Jon's hand slide down her back as he kissed her it moved along her waist, making it's way to her front as his other arm held her tightly. She pulled back a little harder now, pushing against his chest, and sat back breathlessly in her seat. She was shocked by Jon's gutsy approach. He looked in her eyes and smiled, one eyebrow sneaking a little closer to his hairline.
"Um.. wow, Jon.. I don't know what to say.." Melissa stammered, her mind racing almost as fast as her heart. She wasn't even sure if she was attracted to this boy, and found his advances rather more forceful than she liked.
Jon laughed a little. "Well, I'll see you in the morning then?" he said as he put the truck in gear, still smiling.
"Um... yeah. Okay." Melissa said, still shocked and speechless. "I'll see you in the morning.."