The Journey

April 23, 2009
By
The usually blue tab at the very bottom left corner of her page turned orange. ‘Justin has left you an instant message’. It was just like every daily conversation. Two teenagers beaming through the fact that they were ‘in love’.

justinn says:

kaylen told me she likes me today

jadeksjdhsd; says:

…why are you telling me this? i mean, shes your ex. i dont need to know about it

justinn says:

i told her to stop. seriously. you know youre the only one for me…forever. i love you.

justinn appears to be offline.

The clock was ticking away, getting ready to play Jade’s most hated rap serenade or their song. Their song, she thought to herself. It was theirs. I mean, through all those days singing it in the park, whispering lines on the phone when it was too late and they were supposed to be in bed. It meant something. It was more likely to be the rap serenade though.

The five hours of sleep she got last night just weren’t enough. Maybe it was the fact that her heater was making strange noises, maybe because she had no curtains, or maybe because her phone kept going off randomly, someone calls, someone texts. It was something about the atmosphere these days. The way her Ihome buttons lit up, leaving a glossy orange tint to her light green, yellow, maroon walls. The way the gate right by her window clanged each time the wind blew, making sure everyone knew night was still alive, and she was still awake.

Off went Lil’ Jon and his other special friends with their rant about how this one woman was like ‘a cop car’ and Jade swore it was the only thing he said the entire song. Her stomach was eager and her eyes were hesitant. Maybe 10 more minutes. She slammed the snooze button and dozed off as the cop car did the same, slowly fading.

“Jade? Wake up honey, you’re going to be late. Coffee or tea?” Great. Guess she turned her clock off instead of on snooze. That would happen. “None!” she screamed back at her mom. It was a sign. A sign that she shouldn’t go torture herself in a school full of immature annoying folk or where most of the teachers don’t even care about their students and teach off of worksheets. Whatever. It’s a new day. Just get up. He’ll be waiting.

7:52. It’s 7:52 and Jade’s bus leaves at 8:07. She had 12 minutes to get dressed, do her hair, put on makeup, brush her teeth, and if she got lucky, eat a cereal bar. 12 minutes to save the world. Save the world from a white eyed, stomach growling monster. At least he wouldn’t care. He liked her that way. READ THAT TEXT MESSAGE, JADE, she thought.

She hated stairs. Oh my, how she hated those stairs. They were her only exercise though, so she always tried to see the good in them. Keeping her head down as always, she heard two girls whispering and giggling.

“OMG! The trio members are all finally taken! OMG! Triple dates!”

She tilted her head and looked out of the corner of her eye. She was forced to look at Ciara and Lily. Ciara. Lily. That means Kaylen was the third. Ciara and Mason. Lily and Nathan. Kaylen and…? As of yesterday Kaylen apparently liked Justin. Move’s on fast, that one, she thought to herself.

When she was younger she always dreaded walking up the stairs and walking towards her locker where all her friends were jammed together like oil in water, clogging the rest of the hallway. It was just so awkward to walk up there, knowing they were looking at you, seeing you in your worst moment, flushed from the cold, breathless from the ongoing stairs.

As she got to her locker, she was surprised to see that Justin wasn’t there. He was probably just late. His sister Jenna, Jade’s best friend, apparently always took too long to get ready, according to Justin but according to Jenna, Justin was always the one who took too long at breakfast. Who knew. After gathering her bulldozer of books and folders, she wandered to homeroom. Right as she walked in the door Jenna called out.

“Jaaaaade!”

Jade turned her head in that direction to find Jenna running up to her, and Justin behind her at Kaylen’s locker. Kaylen, twinkly eyed and rosy cheeked. Justin had on his ‘I can be your high school sweetheart’ face. Unable to digest it all, she slowly unplugged her headphones and wrapped them around her dying, overused IPod.

She blocked out what she saw behind her and forced a smile “What’s new?”

First block was over, second block was nearly over, then she was sure Justin would finally come up to her and give her that daily “Hey beautiful”. Stepping out of history, she headed straight over to his locker. His face turned at the sight of her.

“Hey cutie, can I have your number?” she joked around, taking their favorite line from their song.

Turning around slowly, his eyes tangled in confusion, he asked “Huh? Jade, didn’t you get my text last night?”

“Oh! I meant to, but I kept forgetting. What’s up?”

He looked behind him, as if he had somewhere to go, and then told her to read it. She pulled out her phone, trying to keep her eyes on him. One new message.

Justin

Hey. I made the wrong choice before. I choose Kayley.

You’re just too young for me. We don’t click the way

me and Kaylen do, we have history. Please don’t be mad.

You’ll always mean a lot to me.

Sent: 3:04 am



Her face drained of all color. She looked up at Justin and then at Kaylen, with her hair tied up in a messy bun, little helpless strands falling in her face. Of course Justin would pick Kaylen over her, she was perfect. Being late today was definitely not beneficial in anyway.

“So, you choose her first of all, after telling me not to worry. Then send me a text at 3 in the morning, expecting me to read it by now!? And you don’t even have the courtesy to break up with me in my face!? Did I get that right Justin? Did I? Because if I didn’t, please care to inform me.”

She felt herself screaming now, oblivious to the fact that the tears running down her face were cooling her hot and steamy cheeks. Her breath was heavy. He had nothing to say. Behind him Kayley approached, carefully sliding her hand into his and squeezing it lightly. He gave her one last look, of pity almost, and turned away. With Kaylen. Without her. Leaving her waiting, hoping. She slowly slid down to the floor and plugged in “All you could ever know” by The Journey. It was supposed to be theirs. She bet it was theirs now.

“All that I ever need. All that we need to be. Us. You, me. Us.”





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