June 6, 2012
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The chill night air stung my tear-streaked cheeks and the scent of warm apple pie lingered in the air. Mrs. Arehart must have been baking again. I lifted my head reluctantly when I heard the familiar creak of Jake's front screen door. Sure enough, it was Jake, my comfort. His large figure filled the door frame. He had probably seen me stumble up his gravel drive-way – again. The porch light cast shadows across his tan face, but it only served to make him more attractive. He must have been getting ready to go to bed, judging by his plaid lounge pants and loose gray tee-shirt. Jake had probably put the latter on to spare my innocent eyes. I studied my neatly-folded hands in my lap and silence reigned between us. No words were needed. I must have looked dreadful, with my auburn hair falling in stringy knots and my minimal make-up streaked by my tears.

Jake's foot steps thundered as he flew across the porch. The next thing I knew, his muscular arms were wrapped securely around me. I sniffled juicily and buried my head in his broad chest. I always found solace in his arms. I breathed deeply. My nerves began to settle as the tangy scent of the woods after a rain – a smell that was uniquely Jake – washed over me like a comforting tidal wave. I felt tears begin to stream down my face and Jake tightened his hold around me. Right there, I was home, and all my doubts and fears dissipated, gone like the winter snow in spring.

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