Lying Hearts - Kelli Callahan



Ten Years Old

The grass tickled my ankles as we ran through the yard and giggled. My best friend Easton came over, and as usual, he was being annoying and wanting to play tag, only every time he tagged me, he never stopped tagging me, and it ended up being a game of chase.

“I’m going to get you,” Easton laughed as he ran after me around the yard.

I screamed when he almost got to me, pumping my legs quicker to get away from him. He was so fast. “Easton, stop it! I’m getting a cramp!” It was hot out, and my face was burning up. I needed a break.

“Okay, time out. Water break,” he said as we slowed down and came to a complete stop. The wind finally blew and it felt good, drying my sticky skin.

“Thanks, Easton. I can never outrun you.” I skipped to the porch and sat down on one of the steps, the one where Easton and I wrote in permanent marker that we would be best friends forever. We had been inseparable ever since kindergarten, and I just knew nothing could tear us apart.

We pinky promised each other.

“Here you go, Moon,” he said, calling me the nickname he gave me when we first met and he found out my name meant moon. I took the small bottle of water from him and unscrewed the cap, drinking it until my brain hurt from the cold water.

I hissed, pressing my hand against my head. “Ow, brain freeze!”

“Put your tongue on the roof of your mouth,” he told me in a hurry.

I did as he said, and in a few seconds, it worked. I perked up, happy when it no longer hurt. “Wow, that really worked.”

“You know I always have your back, Moon.”

“I know.” I laid my head on his shoulder as we waited for our lungs to calm down. Easton was cute, and I secretly had a crush on him, but no one was allowed to know, not even Easton. I was too afraid.

“Kids, you have ten minutes before you need to come inside for dinner!” my mom yelled out the kitchen window like she always did.

“Aw man,” Easton pouted like a big baby.

“Maybe they will let us have a sleepover!” I gasped, suddenly excited to build forts and tell ghost stories. Easton always had the best ghost stories.

“You think so? You need to ask your mom.”

I looked at him with big eyes and shook my head. “No way. She likes you more. You ask her!” I said. “She always says yes to you.”

“She does not,” he argued with me.

“Does too, Easton!” I stomped my foot and crossed my arms over my chest, glaring at him in a way that told him I would win this fight. I always do.

He rolled his eyes and sipped his drink. “Fine, but if she says no, you have to beg her. I’m not doing that.”

“Big baby.” I stuck my tongue out at him, and he got that look on his face that told me I better run.

“Oh, you’re going to get it!”

I screamed as I leaped off the porch in a fit of laughter and ran around the big oak tree that had been in the yard way before I was born, according to my dad. We ran in circles, and I stopped on the other side of the tree and tip-toed around the large super round tree trunk. I tripped over one of the roots sticking out of the ground and almost fell face-first into the dirt when Easton caught me by the arm and lifted me onto my feet.

“Are you okay?”

“Yeah, that was close,” I said, embarrassed that I tripped, to begin with. I was always falling. I had the scars on my knees to prove it.

“You need to be more careful. What if I’m not around to catch you?”

“Why wouldn’t you be around?” I asked him. The thought of him not being around made my eyes water.

He took a hold of my hands and grinned, the gap between his two front teeth bigger than ever, even with braces. “How about we get married right now? We swear to each other that we will always be there for one another.”

I crinkled my nose. “Ew, like mom and dad? They kiss.”

“What? No, that’s weird. Just like a best friend marriage.” He had a look on his face that said he was equally as disgusted. Good. Boys had cooties.

I jumped up and down and clapped, squealing with joy. “Okay, when?”

“Right now. I’ve