Autumn

By
Derek, Andy and all their other friends always hung out at Al’s Pizza Place on Friday nights.

“Hey Derek,” Andy asked after stuffing the last bit of pizza into his mouth. “Let’s play some pool. If you win dinner is on me, but if I win, then you have to talk to one of the hot chicks here.”

“You’re the ladies man,” Derek responded. “Why do you want me to talk to one of the girls and risk having her fall in love with me and not you?”

“Unlikely,” Andy answered, showing off his amazing smile.
Derek laughed and threw Andy a pool stick, “you’re on!”

It was a close game, and to Derek’s surprise Andy actually beat him. That was the first time anyone had beat him since he was about twelve. “Well,” Derek sighed, “a deal’s a deal. Who should I talk to?”

“Wow,” Andy laughed. “You are outta practice on this. How about that one?”

Derek looked at the girl he was gesturing to. She was a tall brunette in a black, mini skirt and a tiny, red, tank top.

“Whoa, you want me to talk to Amanda? No way!”

“Why not?” Andy questioned. “Not hot enough for you?”

“How about off limits to me. She’s Jill’s best friend.”

Andy laughed, “Can I have her then?” There was a pause as Andy scanned the room. “Alright, what about that girl at the counter?”

“Fine” Derek sighed. He walked over to the girl. She was dressed in tight jeans and flirty, black top. “Hey, I’m Derek.” He said in a bit of an awkward voice.

“Hey,” she replied seductively. “I’m Katherine.”


Andy walked back over to the table of guys feeling a bit accomplished.

“Whoa, you actually got Derek to talk to a girl,” Cody gawked.

“Well actually, he lost a bet, but I mean that dude needs to realize we’re teens and need to talk to more than one girl.”

“That may be true for us,” Zack replied, “but Derek is a little bit different.”

“Well whatever,” Andy answered while drinking his coke. “Harmless flirting never hurt anyone.”

“Who is he talking to anyway?” Cody asked.

Some chick named Katherine,” Andy answered with a shrug.

Wait, not Katherine Johnson, right?”

I don’t know.” Andy mumbled, but pointed over to the two of them talking.

Cody looked over, “Oh God, Derek is screwed. That girl is such a wh*** and gets every guy she wants. She won’t leave Derek alone until she gets him.”


“So,” Katherine whispered leaning in. “Wanna go out sometime?”
Derek pulled back fast. “Um, no, I can’t. I have a girlfriend.”

“Oh come on,” Katherine sighed pulling Derek back in. “Obviously you came over to talk to me ‘cause you were getting sick of whoever you’re dating and want to have some fun.”

“No, really, it was just my friend Andy, he-”

Katherine grabbed the nape of Derek’s neck and pulled him into a long, hard kiss.

Derek put his hand on Katherine’s shoulder to push her away but it was too late. Amanda came over and hit Derek on his back with her purse.

“What the-” he yelled. Then as he turned he knew he was screwed. Amanda stood glaring at Derek. “I didn’t… I mean it wasn’t… oh God, please don’t tell Jill!” Derek stammered.

“What!?” Amanda yelled. “I see my best friend’s boyfriend making out with a sk*** and you don’t expect me to tell her?”

Amanda grabbed Derek by the hand and pulled him outside to talk.


“Wow, you messed up big time,” Cody heaved whacking Andy on the back. “You might’ve just messed up the perfect couple.”

“Oh, they’ll get over it” Andy laughed. “Things like this happen all the time. Who wants more soda?”


“Please Jill, just open the door and let me explain” Derek pleaded.

“Why don’t you just talk to Katherine? How could you do this to me? And you couldn’t even tell me yourself. I had to hear it through Amanda!”

“I wanted to tell you first. Please baby, open the door and let’s talk about this.”

Jill finally opened the door to see a depressed Derek leaning against the door frame.

“Ok,” she whispered, “you’ve got ten minutes.”

Derek caressed her tear stained face and then went to take her hand but she pulled away. He put his hand on the small of her back and they sat on the couch and he explained everything that happened.

When he finished she just looked at him with tears in her eyes. “You can still talk to other girls. I love you and trust you, but please, just not Katharine. I don’t trust her, and for obvious reasons. Let’s just forget this night ever happened.”

“That sounds like an awesome idea.”

Jill then pulled her knees to her chest and Derek knew she wanted to be left alone. “I’ll call you tomorrow,” he whispered. He kissed her on the forehead and left silently.

The next day when Derek woke up, the first thing he did was call Jill.
“Hey honey,” he spoke softly when she picked up. “Good morning.”

“Hey Derek, what’s up?”

“Well, I was wondering if you wanted to hang out today. We’ll do anything you want.”

“Anything?” she asked laughing.

“Yes, anything,” Derek replied wondering what he was getting himself into.

“Alright, come on over my house and we’ll hang.”

“Ok, sweetie. Just let me take a shower and I’ll be there in about half an hour.”

When Derek got there, Jill opened the door and he immediately saw a collection of movies. When he saw the titles he knew that Jill was definitely getting revenge. There on the coffee table sat, “Walk to Remember”, “The Notebook” and the first season of the O.C.

“Wow,” Derek laughed. “You have quite a collection.”

“Are you kidding me?” Jill teased. “This is just a small portion of it. I can’t subject you to it all at once. I still want you to be a man.”

“Well, I said we’d do anything, so pop in the first DVD,” Derek sighed, falling on to the couch.

Jill laughed. “Your wish is my command.” Once she put in the first DVD, and pressed play, Derek grabbed her waist and pulled her onto his lap.

That night when Derek finally said goodnight and drove home, the two had reconnected so much, that they were closer than they were before.

Sunday, Jill took Derek to church with her and then they went mini golfing together. It was amazing and Derek knew that all was forgotten.

On Monday he walked into school, confident and happy. He saw Jill standing in a group with friends and went over to talk to her. On his way, Katherine, dressed in a super, short, mini skirt, stopped him.

“Hey,” she whispered into his ear. “We didn’t get to finish Friday night.”

“And I don’t plan to,” he responded pushing her away.

“Oh, don’t think you’re getting away so easy,” she laughed, grabbing his arm.

Jill looked over and immediately got angry. “How about you leave my boyfriend alone?” she yelled.

“Whoa,” Katherine laughed. “I can’t help it if your boyfriend came after me.”

“Shut up! Come on Derek.”

Derek put his arm around Jill’s waist and shot Katherine a dirty look before going off with Jill.

Derek enjoyed finally being away from Katherine as he drove home from swim practice a few days later. He even let himself blast the radio and forget about his problems.

He heard light footsteps following him up the porch and seconds later heard the unforgettable, seductive voice.

“Excuse me, don’t I know you?” Katherine whispered into Derek’s ear.


Derek tightened up feeling her hot breath on his cool skin. “What are you doing here?” Derek asked still facing his front door.

“Well,” she sighed rubbing her hand up and down his tense thigh. “I figured you’d want to invite me in.”

Derek’s whole body stiffened as her hand slid up farther and began to grope. He slapped her wrist away and turned to look at her.

Her cold, green eyes held his gaze for no longer than a minute before he angrily jammed his key in the lock and slammed the door behind him leaving Katherine stranded on the porch.

“God, I’m getting so sick of Katherine” Derek complained to Andy as they were walking to their cars after swim practice. “It’s been a month and she still won’t give up.”

“Well, just go on one date with her and then she’ll leave you alone.”

“Yeah, I’ll lose Katherine and Jill. Why doesn’t she go after you? Every other girl does.”

Andy laughed, “I guess I’m just not her type.”

“Katherine doesn’t have a type. She dates anything that moves.”

“Wait, I have an idea.”

“There’s a first,” Derek joked. “What is it?”

“Ask Katherine out-”

“Haven’t we been over this?”

“Hold on, hear me out. Ask Katherine out, but then instead of you picking her up, I will. You said she’d date anyone, so she probably won’t care.”

“That’s actually not a bad idea. And hopefully, like every other girl, she’ll fall in love with you, and I don’t have to worry about her anymore.”

“Exactly,” Andy replied smiling.

“Awesome. I’ll ask her out for Saturday night,” Derek called getting into his car.

“And now I get a date Saturday night,” Andy laughed.

“So we’re both happy.” Derek shut the door and drove off.


The next day after school, Jill planned to invite Derek over to hang out before her cheerleading practice. When she finally found him outside the school doors, he was talking to Katherine. She knew it was wrong, but she hid behind a pole and listened to the conversation.

“So,” Derek sighed, “you were right. You are irresistible and I was wondering if you wanted to go out tomorrow night.”

Katherine laughed, “Your little girlfriend won’t mind?”

“Umm, no, it doesn’t matter.” Derek could barely get those words out.

“Then yeah, I’d love to go out with you.”

“Great, I’ll pick you up at eight.”

Derek felt so awkward with this. But he kept telling himself that he was just doing this to get rid of Katherine. Jill snuck inside, and then came back out through the doors like she was never there.

“Hey Derek,” she called out, expecting him to explain about Katherine.

“Hey hun,” he answered surprised. “What’s up?”

Not much, just wondering if you wanted to hang out after school today.”

“Yeah sure, but I told Andy I’d give him a ride home so I’ll come over around three.”

“Sounds great.”

They walked to their cars in silence and Jill was waiting for him to bring up Katherine. When he didn’t she figured she’d try to get it out of him. “So, what are you doing tomorrow night?”

“Um, Saturday… nothing. Why?”

“Just curious.”

“Oh ok.”

Jill couldn’t believe it. Derek had never lied to her and now he was lying about going on a date with another girl. A girl she hated.

When they reached the parking lot, Andy was sitting on the hood of Derek’s car.

“God, you take forever, school got out like ten minutes ago.”

“Sorry dude,” Derek said laughing.

“Well come on.”

Derek got in his car with Andy and drove off with the stereo blasting. He completely forgot to say goodbye to Jill.

As Derek drove home he felt awful. He knew Jill could tell something was up and was mad at him. But he figured he’d explain it all when he got to her house.

Jill got in her car and just cried. It took her about five minutes to be calm enough to finally drive. When she got home she decided to call her friend Aden and invite him over. She knew Aden liked her and she figured if Derek was going to date someone else, she would too.

After calling Aden, Jill ran upstairs slamming her bedroom door behind her. She pulled down the heavy, leather covered book and read the carefully engraved cursive letters: Jill and Derek- Book of Memories. After tracing her finger along the large heart boarding the words, she carefully opened the first page.

This book was a collection of pictures, movie tickets stubs, quotes, everything relating to her relationship with Derek. This book started when they were six and she continually added to it. She even kept candy wrappers from the really memorable movie dates.

It recorded when their first kiss was, when they officially started dating, EVERYTHING!

Now this book was a symbol of pain. How her relationship with Derek was ended because of one girl.

She took the top corner of the first page, and with tears in her eyes, ripped it out.

After about five minutes and the floor littered with pages and the book half destroyed, Jill heard the doorbell ring.

She wiped her tears away and invited Aden in greeting him with a long, hard kiss.


“So,” Andy joked. “You’ve got a hot date tomorrow night.”

“No,” Derek replied a bit defensively, “you do.”

“I know, I’m just trying to lighten the mood. Things looked really tense between you and Jill.”

“I know. I can tell that she knows something is up. I’m going over there after I drop you off.”

“Dude, I don’t want things to get messed up between you two over this. Let’s just both go over there now and I’ll explain all this. It was my dumb idea.”

“Um, ok.” Derek turned the car around and started to drive toward Jill’s house.

When he got there, he saw Jill making out with Aden through the window. Fueled by anger, he jogged up her front steps and rammed his fist on her wooden door. When he saw Jill, his anger only escalated. “What the h*** were you doing in there with that dude?!”

“I… ah,” Jill stammered, “I only did it because you did it first!”


Derek’s gaze immediately softened as he looked into Jill’s hurt eyes. “What are you talking about?”

“You and Katherine!” Jill screamed. “I know it was wrong but I eavesdropped on your conversation and heard you asking her out so don’t even try to deny that!”

“I didn’t! I wouldn’t! I love you, baby!” Derek cried out. “Andy will tell you. It was his idea!”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Andy replied shrugging. “You were always telling me how good Katherine was in bed and how badly you wanted her.”

The look Derek saw on Jill’s face killed him. The last time he cried was when he was seven and broke his wrist falling out of a tree but now he felt the tears forming at the edge of his eyes.

“Jill,” he practically whimpered, “I would never, I swear! I don’t know what Andy is talking about. I would never hurt you like that.”

Jill gave Derek once last look as a single tear escaped the edge of his eye. “You already did.” She closed the door hard and left Derek alone.

He quickly turned to Andy who was leaning casually against a tree with his hands resting in the pockets of his worn out jeans. “WHAT THE F*** IS WRONG WITH YOU?!” Derek screamed. “Why didn’t you back me up?!”


Andy didn’t say anything; just stood there. Derek got into his jeep slamming the door and driving away just like Aden had ten minutes earlier.

Andy walked up to Jill’s door intending to finally act upon what he had been planning for two months now. Starting with the night at the pizza place where he got Derek to talk to Katherine.

Jill opened the door to Andy who had his arms outstretched. Her small body fell easily into his. Andy let her cry holding her tight against his chest. After about five minutes he leaned down and kissed her gently on the forehead.

“So,” he whispered leaning back so he could look at the face of a girl whom he only liked for looks. “Do you want to go out sometime?"





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