Lend Me Your
“Don’t let go of my hand today,” Zach said, his
eyes so stern I practically burst out laughing.
“I’m serious, baby,” he said, taking hold of my
I gave him a stern look and shook my head.
“You know I hate that nickname,” I said,
“Right,” he said. “Sorry. I’m
“I’ve noticed,” I said, wiggling my
“What I meant to say was, I’m serious,
“But I always use sweetheart.”
“Then think of something else.”
“Beautiful? Darling? Angel? Sunshine?” he asked,
making me laugh so hard I almost spilled the cup of hot chocolate
I bought before we boarded the train.
Luckily, there weren’t very many people on the train,
considering it was Christmas Eve and everything.
He groaned in frustration.
“What’s wrong with those names?”
“Nothing,” I laughed, tilting my head to the side.
“You’re just so cute.”
“No. You are.”
“No, beautifuldarlingangelsweetheartsunshine. You
are,” he said, making me laugh even more.
“Oh great,” I laughed, “Are we one of
those couples now?”
“What do you mean?”
“You know, like one of those really annoying
Zach chuckled and tucked a loose strand of hair behind my ear,
smiling to himself.
“Who could possibly find us annoying?”
I turned my head just in time to see a grumpy, old woman roll her
I blushed and shrunk my head, looking down in shame.
“I guess we are,” I mumbled.
Zach just smiled back at me and wrapped his arms around my
The train was unusually cold, despite the fact that it had
Eventually, the rocking of the train made me fall asleep.
What seemed like minutes later, I heard Zach’s voice.
“Laynie,” he sang, rubbing my cheek with his thumb.
“Time to wake up.”
I yawned and stretch, taking in my surroundings.
We were definitely in an underground railroad station in New
I’d only taken the train here once, but I knew this was
“We’re here!” I gasped excitedly, immediately
standing up. “Come on, Zach! We need to find a
He chuckled, standing up and looping his arm through mine with
his basketball duffle bag around his shoulder.
As soon as we got off the train, we were surrounded by a large
mob of people, some rushing and some taking their time.
Zach looked down at me with a serious face as if to say,
“We’re going in.”
And we did.
I kept my arm locked with his as we squirmed through hundreds of
people, making our way to the streets above.
There were lots of girls around my age walking around; pretty
girls with nice clothes and white smiles, making me feel
self-conscious whenever they fluttered their eyelashes in
Some girls even whispered in their friends’ ears as they
walked by him, stealing sneaky glances and giggling to
I rolled my eyes.
“The disadvantages of bringing your extremely handsome
boyfriend to New York City for a day,” I muttered.
“None of them compare to you, gorgeous,” he whispered
in my ear, making me bite my lip and blush intensely.
After walking to a cab, we rode it to Broadway, located the
theater first, and then found a restaurant nearby.
It was a fancy, French restaurant that was kind of expensive, but
that’s what happens when your mom gives you permission to
use her credit card!
“I don’t take French,” Zach said, squinting his
eyes at the menu, as if that would help him translate it.
“I can help,” I told him, smiling.
“What’s un croque monsieur?” he asked with a
horrible French accent.
“It’s a grilled ham and cheese sandwich,” I
laughed. “It’s really popular in France. I think
I’ll get the same thing.”
After eating lunch, we headed over to the David H. Koch Theater,
got out tickets approved, bought some candy, and sat in row five,
seats A and B.
The show started almost immediately and it was absolutely
It was astonishing to see the dancers I’ve looked up to so
much since learning the Sugar Plum Fairy Dance, but it did lower
my self-esteem a little.
I couldn’t help it.
They were all so beautiful and graceful and they made dancing
When my dance came on, though, Zach turned to me and whispered,
“I liked your version better.”
I couldn’t help but smile slightly, even though I
knew it wasn’t true and he was just trying to be nice.
That’s what makes me so happy, though.
The fact that Zach was constantly trying to make me feel good
about myself is what made me happy.
I loved him for it.
Of course, he was perfect, too, and I tried to remind him as much
as he reminded me.
By the time the show was over and we walked back outside again,
it was snowing big, fluffy speckles.
I looked up at the dark, night sky and smiled.
“Everything is so perfect right now, Zach,” I
admitted, crinkling my nose as a snowflake felt on its tip.
“Thanks for being my best friend.”
“Thanks for being mine, too,” he said, taking my hand
and kissing it.