"Who is he?" Looking at Daisy's expression, it doesn't look like she's upset. Good, then maybe this isn't as strange as it sounds, just maybe.
"You know him." I'm not answering her question directly yet. It's not every day that I confess I might like someone other than Mario. To be honest, that's exactly what I'm trying to figure out: if I like him, why I like him, and how to stop.
Daisy's face paled. I wonder if she figured out that I'm talking about Bowser. She doesn't look like she's going to take this well. I knew it was crazy, I knew it. She probably thinks I must be so strange. "Peach, is it Luigi?"
"Goodness no!" She gives me an offended look but I can tell she knows I didn't mean for it come out that way.
Then she laughs. "What's wrong with Luigi? I happen to like him, you know." She's cheerful again and for that I'm relieved, but she still hasn't figured it out.
I wonder if I should tell her. She's my best friend and we always tell each other everything, but this is something... unusual. "Nothing, I like him too as a friend." Maybe I should use this opportunity to change the subject.
She giggles. "Good, good, now tell me, who is your mystery man?" I should have known that once I spark her curiosity there's no turning back.
"Well... I already told you it's not Mario. I mean, I appreciate Mario very much. I care about him with all my heart, but I wonder if this is truly what love is. I keep wondering if what I feel is just strong friendship." It began when Luigi and Daisy got together. Until that point I saw both Mario and Luigi the same way, as two great friends. Then the four of us started going out together and it looked like a double date. When Luigi and Daisy became closer I guess that sort of placed Mario and me together. That's how it all started. But with Bowser it's different. He's been telling me he likes it for a long time. I've been refusing him but he keeps trying as if he knows that deep down I'm flattered by all of this. It's odd but the truth is it is kind of flattering.
"Earth to Peach, come in Peach!" Daisy's voice got me out of my thoughts. "You're spacey today. You must really like this guy."
I hope it's not that. I hope I'm just being overly analytical. Before I reveal my confusion I need to clarify the situation with Mario. Yes, let's approach this by order of events. First I'll clarify my relationship with Mario, whether it is of friendship or otherwise, and then I'll try to understand my relationship with Bowser. That one may be complicated. "What do you think of Mario and me? We're usually together because he's rescuing me or because you're on a date with Luigi and it makes us look like we're on a double date. But are we really a couple?"
The way Daisy is looking at me shows she's in deep thought. I can't read her expression. What is it? Confusion? Pity? What? "You don't know that?" She sounds like she's in disbelief.
"No, I don't. Am I supposed to know?" Maybe this is more complicated than I thought, or maybe the answer is right in front of me and I don't want to look at it.
"Have you talked it over with Mario? I mean, you should know if you two are a couple or just friends after all this time. Now that I think about it..." Why is she pausing? What does she not want to tell me? "Anyway, you should talk to him about it." Oh I tried, believe me I tried, but you're not going to leave your sentence unfinished like that.
"What were you going to say before?" I just have to know.
"Nothing, I was just thinking." There is something she doesn't want to tell me.
"Daisy..." I'll keep insisting, whatever it is I need to hear it.
"Well it's just that now that I think about it, you two do look like friends. Have you kissed him?" I blink, why would she ask me that? She knows the answer.
"Well yes, you've seen it happen." The question sounds too obvious, what does she mean?
Daisy shakes her head. What am I missing here? "On the lips, Peach, not on the cheek."
"Well once or twice…" Now that I think about it, that was a little awkward, not like the friendly kiss on the cheek.
"How long did it last?" What kind of a question is that?
"A second maybe?" I'm lost...
"Frenchie or just a peck?"
"Pardon?" My face is turning red just from the thought of it. Why is my mind waondering towards someone else. This is insane. I'm not supposed to be thinking of him. He's my kidnapper, for crying out loud.
"This is important, Peach. Was it a peck or a more adult kiss?" She's asking again. What does she mean it's important?
Well I'd expect couples to kiss in a more intimate way but I didn't think about it much when I was with Mario. Maybe I do feel a strong affection for him, but maybe the source of it is friendship. "It was a peck on the mustache."
Daisy shakes her head. "The mustache doesn't count. Let's say it's just taking a while. What about kisses on the cheek? Has he kissed you?"
"No, I always kiss him as a thank you for..." I pause. It's always as a thank you. My mind begins to wander to that day we had a picnic. Daisy and Luigi were just pure sugar that day. They were so lovey-dovey with each other it was like a Valentine's Day romance movie special, except it wasn't even Valentine's Day. That's when it hit me. I kissed him on the cheek countless times and on the mustache once or twice but never on the lips. All of those times it had been a thank you for saving me from... from someone who loves me. What an irony.
"What about mystery man?" She's not going to drop the subject.
"I haven't kissed him and he hasn't kissed me, if that's what you're asking. I just happen to know he likes me."
"Who is he? Don't leave me like this with the doubt!" She really does look tortured. I'm sure she won't have peace of mind until she gets an answer.
"He's different, too different." I'm sure that's not going to be enough to satisfy her curiosity.
"Oh my God, you're in love with Yoshi! Well he is kind of cute, don't get me wrong, I only like him as a friend but if you like-like him then I'm with you all the way. Both of you totally have my support" I blink and stare. Yoshi? He's a sweet boy, adorable really, but I think of him more like a little brother.
"It's not Yoshi."
"Mallow? Is it Mallow?"
I shake my head.
Toadofsky, a famous composer. It reminds me of another musician. One that always tells me how much his father cares about me. It gives me an indescribable feeling. I'm happy and sad all at once, it's all just bitter-sweet.
"Aw c'mon, tell me? It's not like you like Bowser."
I remain silent and conveniently eat a chocolate bonbon. I can't speak with my mouth full so I can't reply.
I can't say a word. My mouth is full, remember?
"Why do you look like your kitten died? If you like him and he obviously likes you back, you should be happy."
I blink and I stare.
"Maybe it hasn't sunk in yet, but I'm still with you." The smile of a best friend can be very reassuring.
"People may be upset." I wish it wasn't so complicated.
"Just like they were upset when we were kids and stole the cookies from the cookie jar, but we dealt with it and in the end decided it had been worth it. What will you do?"
I smile. "Steal a few cookies." The first few may be bittersweet, but the last will taste the sweetest.
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