Sixteen year old Phoebe Walker fumed as she walked down the dusty dirt road with her lifelong friend by her side. "Peanut" Bennett Foster III had been her sidekick since the day she was born. They had been born three months apart, and their mothers were also best of friends.
When Phoebe was learning to talk, instead of saying the name Bennett, "Peanut" was all her little tongue could pronounce, and the name stuck with everyone else as well. For sixteen years, Peanut had been there for her through thick and thin, but suddenly, all that was changing.
Peanut had gone and found himself a girlfriend, and Phoebe was jealous. Lately, she had noticed her feelings for Peanut had become a little more than friendly. She liked the way his eyes lit up when he smiled and adored his crooked little grin. She often wondered what it would feel like to kiss him.
For the last two months, Phoebe had been beside herself. When Peanut did find time to be with her, all he talked about was a girl named Jennifer Jason, and Phoebe was sick and tired of hearing her name.
"All I ever hear from you anymore is about Jennifer! Why can't you ever say anything else? What about that movie we're going to watch tonight?"
"Oh, I'm sorry, Phoebe. I forgot! I'm supposed to watch that movie with Jennifer tonight.”
"That's it, Peanut, you are no longer my best friend. Go watch the movie with that stuck up Jennifer!"
"Have it your way, Phoebe. By the way, Jennifer calls me Bennett. That's my name from now on. I don't wish to be called Peanut any longer."
Phoebe picked up a wad of dirt and threw it at him as she turned and ran away. She went home and wallowed in self pity for hours. What will I do without Peanut?
For the next month, she and Peanut didn't speak to each other. At school, she would see him with Jennifer in the hallway and turn away to hide her tears.
One lonely Friday night Phoebe got a call from a boy from school named Frank Ford asking her to the Christmas school dance. Phoebe had never been on a real date before but shyly said yes.
"Mom! I have to have a dress for the Christmas dance. I have a date!" Phoebe danced into the kitchen on cloud nine. Phoebe's Mom laughed and danced along with her.
The evening of the dance, Phoebe waltzed down the stairs completely dressed for the occasion. She opened the door for Frank, and he nearly melted into a puddle when he saw her. Phoebe was purely a vision of beauty in an drop-dead-gorgeous red satin gown.
Phoebe floated into the gymnasium on Frank's arm, and the first person to notice her was Peanut. His eyes bulged out of his head as he did a double take. He was standing next to Jennifer, who was wearing a black lace mini-dress and far too much makeup.
Peanut fearlessly marched straight up to Phoebe and gently took her arm. "May I have the first dance?"
Frank looked bewildered but backed away, maybe realizing that Peanut, despite his name, was much bigger than he. Phoebe was so ready to show that snobby Jennifer up she went straight to the dance floor with Peanut.
“Why, yes, yes you may, Bennett."
"Please call me Peanut, Phoebe. I hate the name Bennett, and at the moment, I hate being Jennifer's boyfriend. You were right, she is stuck up. When I went to pick her up and saw her in that dress, I almost didn't come.”
“Really?” Phoebe face brightened.
"You're the only girl I want, Phoebe. I've missed you so much. You've been the love of my life all of my life. I realize that now."
In that instant, Phoebe placed her hands on Peanut's face and kissed him square on the lips. Her first real kiss. She was ecstatic. He was stunned.
As they dreamily danced to a slow tune, they noticed Frank and Jennifer were dancing together and having a grand old time. Phoebe and Peanut danced the night away, and when it was time to leave, Peanut gave Phoebe and a hug and said, "Let's go watch a movie together!"
Phoebe happily nodded. Peanut went over and said something to Frank and Jennifer, and they both smiled agreeably. Peanut hurried back, gently took Phoebe's hand, and they walked out the door to spend the rest of their lives together.
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