“Is that Chace Crawford?” Says Bailey.
I look around the waiting crowd, “Wait, what? Where?”
“Over there,” She says pointing at a guy shoving the crowd around, “He is right by the police officer by the front,”
I raise my head and finally spot the famous actor standing amongst thousands of people waiting for the clock to strike twelve, “I found him, let's go closer.”
Bailey rolls her eyes, “Whatever. He is probably surrounded by fans.”
“It doesn’t seem like it,” I say pushing people out of my way, “Most of these people are concentrated on watching the ball drop at midnight not on taking selfies with Chace.”
“Good point,” Bailey says finding her way behind me, “I bet no one came to Times Square for an exclusive Meet and Greet with Chace Crawford.”
Now I roll my eyes and give my friend a gentle shove, “Shut up. Let's go meet him.”
We walk for another five minutes, trying to find a way around the thousands of people partying in the crowd. People are cheering and dancing around, couples holding hands, little kids falling asleep in their parent's arms, and others are just simply trying to find a way to get a better view. We thrust and barge, and sometimes even scream at people to move away. My heart is beating hard and even though it is freezing, my hands are sweating unconsciously. Each step I take becomes more like a race, I want to get to Chace before anyone else does but as I look around, no one even looks with the urge of running into Chace.
Finally, I find my way right next to Chace who for my surprise does not have any bodyguards near him. I look directly at him and watch every tiny detail of his face that I could trace with the night sky. His bright blue eyes clearly sparkling, focused on the huge building ahead of us. His shaggy brunette hair, messy, but with a few rays of blond peeking from the unconstant lights of the bright billboards. Chace looks alone. I look around him, to see if he’s with another girl or a family member, but no, he is completely by himself. He’s not smiling, his lips are tightly sealed to each other and not even the hint of a grin can be seen. It looks like he is ignoring the party going on around him, the screams, the laughs, and the pushing does not seem to bother him at all. I wonder why don’t people recognize him, they are probably all too drunk to realize what is going on around them, or probably people don’t care who you are on the 31st of December.
I finally look away from Chace Crawford and try to find Bailey, but she is nowhere to be seen. She probably found a handsome guy that will turn out to be her New Year’s kiss. I look down at my watch, exactly one minute for midnight. Now I am alone with Chace. We are both alone, together, if he ever notices that I’m standing right beside him. I start wondering my eyes around, staring at other people cheering and giggling. My heart is still beating fast and every breath I take seems like a lost opportunity to speak to Chace. I wipe my sweaty hands on my jeans and try to concentrate on what to do next. I try to look anywhere but at Chace, whose eyes are still glued to the building, until I can figure out something to do to meet him.
I then decide to accidentally bump into him, it is my only chance to finally meet him. And perhaps, only perhaps he will be my New Year’s kiss. This “accidental” bump ends up looking totally fake and awkward since he doesn’t notice me coming directly towards him, so then I plummet right to his feet. Thankfully, that makes him look away from the building. He looks down at me confused and offers me a hand.
“Are you drunk?” He asks with a grin. Finally, the first ever attempt of a smile I’ve seen in him all night. His voice sounds like a melody to my ears, that well-known voice that I’ve heard in movies was finally talking to me. Me, out of all people.
I blush and take his hand as I stand up, “No I probably just tripped over something.”
Chace nods like he doesn’t believe a word I’m saying and turns back to look at the building, leaving a heavy silence between us.
Out of nowhere everyone starts chanting, it is finally ten seconds till the New Year, “10… 9… 8… 7… 6…”
Chace turns to look at me and he smiles again. A real smile. In the dim night light, I can see the whiteness in his teeth and his beautiful dimples starting to form in his cheeks.
“5… 4… 3…”
He raises his eyebrows like trying to ask me a question without words, Would you be my midnight kiss? I read on his face. I want to scream with joy, jump around even, but I simply nod at him and smile back.
“2… 1… Happy New Year 2018!”
Chace grabs my waist and pulls me tightly towards him, and then, there we were, having our kiss. But what started as a casual kiss ends up being something more, and I think we both feel it. I feel the tension amongst us like we both know that we were made for each other, that we are each other’s soulmates, carefully built and matched to be together. Even when people start to break apart from each other, we’re still kissing. We get pushed and shoved, but not even for a second do we separate from each other. I grab his hair, so soft like cotton, and he pulls my body closer to his.
Finally, we break apart, but we say nothing. We are both just staring at each other not knowing what to say or do next. He smiles again, his gorgeous smile, and takes hold of my hands.
In a matter of seconds, Bailey shows up out of nowhere, registers the scene, but just shrugs and pulls me aside, “There’s a party about a block away, come on,” She screams at me loudly. Bailey takes my hand and starts pulling me around the crowd, following a tall guy covered with her lipstick, typical Bailey. I look back at Chace, who looks confused and takes hold of my other hand.
“Wait. What’s your name?” He asks not letting go.
“Noelle. Noelle Shepard.” I say not losing eye contact from his beautiful sea-colored eyes. I was suddenly shivering from excitement, my mind could not even focus on any concrete thoughts, it was still spinning just because of his presence.
“I will never forget you, Noelle Shepard. I will find you again,” He says smiling and finally letting go of my hand.
I let myself be pulled by Bailey across the crowd, looking back at Chace until he gets lost amongst the crowd. I wasn’t in the mood for a party, the only thing I wanted was to go with Chace if that is even an option. As I walked through thousands of people the only thing on my head was that same memory of my midnight’s kiss replaying in my mind.