|Английски оригинал||Перевод на български|
THE HOT TUB IS BEHIND the main lodge, tucked in the woods on a wooden platform. On the way there, I run into kids with wet hair who are on their way back to their rooms before curfew. Curfew is at eleven, and it’s already ten forty-five. There’s not much time left. I hope Peter’s still out there. I don’t want to lose my nerve. So I quicken my pace and that’s when I spot him, alone in the hot tub, his head tipped back with his eyes closed.
“Hi,” I say, and my voice echoes into the woods.
His eyes fly open. Nervously, he looks over my shoulder. “Lara Jean! What are you doing out here?”
“I came to see you,” I say, and my breath comes out in white puffs. I start taking off my boots and socks. My hands are shaking, and not because it’s cold. I’m nervous.
“Uh . . . what are you doing?” Peter’s looking at me like I’m crazy.
“I’m getting in!” Shivering, I unzip my puffy coat and set it on the bench. Steam is rising out of the water. I dip my feet in and sit down on the ledge of the hot tub. It’s hotter than a bath, but it feels nice. Peter’s still watching me warily. My heart is racing out of control and it’s difficult to look him in the eyes. I’ve never been so scared in my life. “That thing you brought up earlier . . . you caught me off guard, so I didn’t know what to say. But . . . well, I like you too.” It comes out so fumbly and uncertain, and I wish I could start over and say it smoothly and confidently. I try again, louder. “I like you, Peter.”
Peter blinks, and he looks so young all of a sudden. “I don’t understand you girls. I think I have you figured out, and then . . . and then . . .”
“And then?” I hold my breath as I wait for him to speak. I’m so nervous; I keep swallowing, and it sounds loud to my ears. Even my breathing sounds loud, even my heartbeat.
His pupils are dilated he’s looking at me so hard. He’s staring at me like he’s never seen me before. “And then I don’t know.”
I think I stop breathing when I hear him say “I don’t know.” Did I screw things up that badly that now he doesn’t know? It can’t be over, not when I finally found my courage. I can’t let it be. My heart is pounding like a million trillion beats a minute as I scoot closer to him. I bend my head down and press my lips against his, and I feel his jolt of surprise. And then he’s kissing me back, open-mouthed, soft-lipped kissing-me-back, and at first I’m nervous, but then he puts his hand on the back of my head, and he strokes my hair in a reassuring way, and I’m not so nervous anymore. It’s a good thing I’m sitting down on this ledge, because I am weak in the knees.
He pulls me into the water so I’m sitting in the hot tub too, and my nightgown is soaked now but I don’t care. I don’t care about anything. I never knew kissing could be this good.
My arms are at my sides so the jets won’t make my skirt fly up. Peter’s holding my face in his hands, kissing me. “Are you okay?” he whispers. His voice is different: it’s ragged and urgent and vulnerable somehow. He doesn’t sound like the Peter I know; he is not smooth or bored or amused. The way he’s looking at me right now, I know he would do anything I asked, and that’s a strange and powerful feeling.
I wind my arms around his neck. I like the smell of chlorine on his skin. He smells like pool, and summer, and vacations. It’s not like in the movies. It’s better, because it’s real.
“Touch my hair again,” I tell him, and the corners of his mouth turn up.
I lean into him and kiss him. He starts to run his fingers through my hair, and it feels so nice I can’t think straight. It’s better than getting my hair washed at the salon. I move my hands down his back and along his spine, and he shivers and pulls me closer. A boy’s back feels so different than a girl’s back—more muscular, more solid somehow.
In between kisses he says, “It’s past curfew. We should go back inside.”
“I don’t want to,” I say. All I want is to stay and be here, with Peter, in this moment.
“Me either, but I don’t want you to get in trouble,” Peter says. He looks worried, which is so sweet.
Softly, I touch his cheek with the back of my hand. It’s smooth. I could look at his face for hours, it’s so beautiful.
Then I stand up, and immediately I’m shivering. I start wringing the water out of my nightgown, and Peter jumps out of the hot tub and gets his towel, which he wraps around my shoulders. Then he gives me his hand and I step out, teeth chattering. He starts drying me off with the towel, my arms and legs. I sit down to put on my socks and boots. He puts my coat on me last. He zips me right in.
Then we run back inside the lodge. Before he goes to the boys’ side and I go to the girls’ side, I kiss him one more time and I feel like I’m flying.