Hailey and Nova had spent nearly all day at the festival; they commandeered the photo booth, hunted for eggs, spent far too much money on the claw machine, and even cut loose on the dance floor. However, Hailey couldn’t get the Love Meter incident out of her head. While it was mostly done as a joke, she knew there was some unspoken feelings between her and Nova. The night of Jet and Josephine’s birthday party was still fresh in her memory: “you were always going to be her”, he had said. They hadn’t spoken about their relationship since that night and the time they spent together was getting increasingly more awkward.
While both somewhat knew there was something more between them, neither wanted step beyond the boundaries of the friend-zone with fear of rejection. Their “date” went well, but when conversations turned to playful banter they would freeze. Hailey was never a daring individual, but it was obvious that something had to give. After the festival shut down, they called a taxi; it was getting late and the last thing Hailey wanted was to get caught after curfew by the cops. Everyone in the house was already asleep when they arrived, so they quietly walked up to their room.
"I’m sorry that was a pretty lame date" said Nova, breaking the silence. He stood, resting against his bed, looking down to his shoes. "You had a little fun at least, right?"
Hailey looked over, pulling herself out of her own thoughts, “Yeah, yeah. I had a blast, honestly.”
Nova smiled, “Good.”
Hailey smiled back. A knot rose in Hailey’s stomach as Nova leaned against his bed, sighing. There it was again; that awkward silence. Several minutes passed before Nova pushed himself off his bed, taking a few steps towards Hailey.
"Look, Hale…" he said, running his hand through his hair. "I’m not the best at this and I know this whole…thing…is weird…"
Hailey rose, watching him closely as the knot in her stomach turned to butterflies.
Nova leaned in and kissed Hailey before she could speak. Eyes widened, Hailey stood in shock. Nova was not the “take the bull by the horns” kind of guy; was this really happening? She stared back as Nova pulled away, his eyes meeting hers. Hailey’s heart pounded. She took his hand, pulling him back towards her, pressing her lips against his. In that moment, no one else existed. He was right—fuck it, now or never.
Started up my computer tonight and it’s borked. Windows wont even start. I didn’t dl anything and it started fine this morning.
School had let out early to allow the student’s time to enjoy the Valentine’s Day festivities at the Spring Festival in the heart of Moonlight Falls. Hailey and Nova decided to walk down to the park rather than take the bus home and awkwardly ask to borrow the keys to either Elliot or Tyler’s car. When they had arrived, the festival was not exactly what Hailey nor Nova had expected.
"Well, at least we weren’t going to miss out on much," said Hailey, her voice quiet.
Nova chuckled, “It’s a little cheesy.”
"Cheesy?" asked Hailey, looking over at him. She motioned around the festival, landing on a booth with a boy leaning in to land a smooch on what could only be a hired actress. "A kissing booth?”
"Not everyone can have a date as awesome as myself, Hailey," said Nova with a smile as he took her hand, leading her towards one of the games near a face painting hut where a boy dragged his feet after an upset looking brunette.
Hailey’s cheeks flushed, stumbling after him, “Nova, let’s just…”
"Have a little fun, Hale," said Nova, squeezing her hand gently and motioned to a game with flashing lights leading to a giant heart atop the wooden frame. "For example, let’s just see how well we score on The Love Meter. Just hold on to the handle and BAM! Find out if we’re cold as ice or…a pair of…burning loins.” Nova’s expression went from curiosity to slight disgust as he read the possible outcomes.
Hailey tried to maintain her composure as she felt her face become warm, “S-Seriously? These things are just scams, you know.”
"Why not?" asked Nova, winking as he grasped the metal handle.
Nova stuck out his bottom lip, “What’s wrong, pussy cat?”
Hailey rolled her eyes as she stood beside him, hesitating before placing her hand over his, “This is rediculous…”
Nova dropped a few tokens into the coin slot and The Love Meter came alive. All the colored lights flickered for a few seconds as the handle shook violently. This only seemed to make Hailey more awkward and Nova found slight amusement in her embarrassment. With a loud chime, all the lights dimmed except for a pair at the very top and the reading flashed on the LED screen: “Burning — Get a room you two!”
"Huh, wouldja look at that," said Nova, nudging Hailey with his elbow.
Nova and Hailey decided to play a game of darts…and Nova realized how much he really sucked at the game.