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Will 2009 be a good year?
I looked out the car window as we drove through town, I didn't own a car myself, otherwise I would've gone alone. James was at
every life changing event in all of my young adult life, whether he wanted to be or not. You see James is my best
friend and the only friend I've had since I was in the second or third grade, I can't really remember which. Though we didn't get
along right away, I knew he was worth most of the trouble and woes that he put me through, which are far and few between,
James never really does anything... I on the other hand do a lot of stupid things (which aren't really worth mentioning but
nonetheless I will probably bring it up later with out even thinking about it.) and James always finds a way to come for the ride. I
ride a slippery slope and most of the time no one is there to catch me when I reach the edge of some cliff or when I fall face first
in some very bitter and cold snow, (metaphorically speaking of course) James will come to my rescue every once in a while. But
I don't tend to be the typical damsel in distress, I can take care of myself, sometimes I don't want to is all.
James was driving, because the car, his car, was his baby, no one can touch it, let alone drive it. I tend to drive without thinking
and it has caused many accidents, no I didn't kill anyone, except maybe a tree or two ... Oh and a few mail boxes. My mom
doesn't let me drive her car anymore, but my dad, well I can talk my dad into letting me do anything, well just about, poor guy he
is so clueless. Now don't be shaking your head at me when reading this, because I'm not as bad as you think I am and I do care
about my parents a great deal, but I'm seventeen and a young girl like me has to have a little fun every once and a while. As long
as I don't end up dead in a ditch somewhere I think I'm pretty well on my way to becoming a responsible adult, I have my own
ideas and opinions and I can now think for myself and you know what? I found out something very new about myself, I have
integrity, yes it's a hard thing for some people to come by, but I found it with ease and I found that out about a week ago. I live in
Flagstaff Arizona and it is seldom warm here, but I love it anyway. My house is out in the middle of no where and we rarely get
any visitors I mean besides James of course. But that doesn't matter to me, though I enjoy the company of others I enjoy my
own just as much, I think if I was stranded on some beach or island somewhere all by my lonesome as long as I had food and
shelter, I think I would be fine with it. Well maybe I would require James to come by every so often, just because I am used to
We had been riding in the car for quite a while and James hadn't said anything since he asked where we were going. I looked
over at him and he was looking at the road, he was smiling, he was an odd fellow of sorts, that is probably why we got along so
well, I was just as odd as he was. "What are you smiling about?' I asked. He looked over at me quickly and then turned his
attention back on the road, "I was thinking, why do you always and I mean always have to do everything in an extreme and
I looked at the box full of trinkets in my lap and back at him. "Well what should I've done with all this crap?"
He shrugged and scratched his scruffy chin. "I don't know maybe you could've given it back to him? Or I don't know just thrown
the stuff away?"
I laughed, "that is what I'm doing! Throwing it away, all of it, that way it wont sit around my room and remind me of him."
He glared at me, "I meant throw it away, in like a trash can or dumpster or something like that? Instead the first thing that comes
to your little warped mind is, throwing it into Lake Mary? I don't know how you come up with these random ideas. And if
someone sees us or finds that stuff you could get fined, but here I am anyway helping you, I don't know why ... But I'm here
I looked down at my box again, yes I have a warped little mind, but this was the only way I could really see myself getting past
everything that had happened in the last week, I needed to get forget about Brad and this was the only way I knew how, well I
didn't know if it was going to actually work but I figured it was worth a shot, right? "Well, I would do it for you, you kn-"
He interrupted me, "well that's the difference between us I wouldn't want to throw random gifts from my ex into a lake and I
wouldn't want you to know about it if I was and I wouldn't dare ask you to drive me, that's for sure."
I sighed, "well you have a car and I don't and I don't have siblings or 'girlfriends' to share this kind of stuff with and I don't even
think I would want to share it with them either way."
He looked at me again. "Well then the problem must be that we have gotten way too close over the last couple of years,
seeing how you are comfortable enough to share this kind of embarrassing stuff with me." I laughed and he laughed with me or at
me I'm not sure. He pulled off onto the side of the road it was pitch black outside and I was glad I remembered to bring dad's
flashlight. It was so cold and there was snow on the ground, not a lot but enough that you could hear that little crunch
underneath your shoe when walking on it. Even though there wasn't a soul or car in sight I felt the need to whisper and James
quickly pointed that out to me.
"Why are you whispering? Do you see anybody besides me out here?"
I stuck my tongue out, "you're cranky tonight, you can wait here if you want, it'll take me a minute to toss this stuff."
He came up beside me and scoffed, "if I had to come all the way out here with you, then I should at least get to throw some stuff
I looked up at him and smiled, "thanks James, you don't really hate all my crazy antics, do you?"
He shook his head, "I just like aggravating you! It's a blast, I like to watch as your forehead gets all wrinkly when you're annoyed
I turned on dad's flashlight, "does my forehead do that?"
He nodded, "only when you're really frustrated. When you are really upset your voice gets lower and your mouth turns into a
frown then I know it's not the time for teasing."
I was somewhat shocked by what he had said, had we really been friends for so long that we could tell what the other was
thinking or feeling? And if so, why was I shocked by that? We have been friends for a real long time I could easily tell when
James was angry, sad or happy I could tell when he was faking any of those emotions as well. I could tell what he was feeling
even if we weren't standing next to each other looking each other in the eyes, I could tell or I could sense it rather, just by
catching a quick glance his way in the lunch room at school, maybe we were a little bit too close. Oh well no matter, tonight was
about forgetting Brad.
I was carrying the box full of stuffed animals and movie ticket stubs and other girly stuff like that, including the gold chain and
heart locket he got me for my birthday last year. It was heavy and my arms were getting tired, but I bore my anguish in silence,
James suddenly took the box in his arms and handed me the flashlight we exchanged glances nothing more, then kept walking.
Instead of parking next to the picnic tables at the far end where we would be more likely spotted, James pulled off to the side
and we had to walk down the steep hillside down to the lake, it was 11:30 at night and even though the place looked deserted we
knew better. Teenagers often came here to fool around, so far we didn't see anybody,
"so do you think I'm crazy?" I asked. I watched our feet and the flashlights beam as we walked, you could see the muddy snow
beneath our feet along with pine needles and rocks, some rocks were big enough to trip over, if you weren't paying close
attention. I always somehow find a way to trip on at least one whenever I go hiking.
"No, you're just in a weird place and I think I can recall telling you, that this 'Brad' guy was a bad idea, but did you listen? No,
you never listen to me."
I punched his arm, "c'mon, I can never turn down a pair of beautiful blue eyes and a nice set of strong arms! And we went out for
a long time before he started acting like a jerk." (That was a lie Brad had always been a jerk.)
James grunted, "I've never liked that guy, man, he just got on my nerves. He had a totally different persona when he was with
you, he was a phony, a lying, cheating no good-"
I interrupted, "okay! I get the point, it's over and you won't have to pretend to like him anymore."
He grimaced, "I never pretended to like him, I told him straight to his face I didn't like him!"
I coughed and almost choked on my saliva, "you didn't! Did you really tell him that?" He nodded, "well, what did he say?"
James shook his head, "that's not important, as long as my message was received and it was. Your boyfriend was very quarrelsome to say the least."
I pushed him, "tell me what he said! I must know!"
He laughed at me and replied rather sarcastically, (which wasn't necessary) "is it a matter between life and death? Will you just
die if I don't tell you?"
James frustrated me so much, he drove me absolutely insane, I wanted to just to hit him. "Fine, don't tell me, but I'll figure it out
eventually, someone at school is bound to know what went down!"
He shrugged, "I doubt it, since this all went down at his house on his front porch."
That stopped me dead in my tracks, "are you telling me that you deliberately went to his house and told him that you didn't like
him?" James kept walking and even though it was dark and I couldn't really see his face, I could tell he was blushing. I pulled on
his arm, "James, did you?"
He shifted the box from one hand to another, "I guess I knew he would do something stupid and I just wanted to see and ask him
if everybody was wrong about him, some of the things you hear around here, really make you wonder."
I realized my mouth was hanging open and I snapped it shut, I was surprised, I had heard nothing but good things about Brad,
from all the girls at school they talked about him like he was some kind of god or something. I mean he looked like a god that
much was certain, I could still see him that first night we went out, his parents were lawyers and he was brought up in a very
wealthy home, he has only known the finer things in life and he has never had any real problems to deal with, since his parents
deal with all that for him. Of course he was a little conceited, but what good-looking guy isn't? And any flaws he had, his
appearance and intelligence made up for that. I know I sound materialistic but I'm seventeen for Pete's sake. That first night we
had went out he looked like he had been chiseled by the gods from stone. I never thought I would ever have a chance with the
likes of him, he was considered royalty at school and every girl wanted to get with him and for some reason he chose me, I can't
for the life of me figure out why.
When we had gone out on our third date when he started tongue kissing me, I was shocked to say the least, since I hadn't
tongue kissed before, I wasn't even sure what I was doing then he started getting all aggressive and I had to push him away on
several occasions. Since it was only date three, I didn't want to known as the high school slut.
Date four he had told me he thought he was falling in love with me, now don't think I'm some flaky teenage girl I did think that
was odd, since I wasn't even sure what love felt like, I mean besides the love you feel for family or friends, I knew that love well.
But relationship love? Now that was something foreign to me, it was some fantasy land too far away from my reaching and
longing arms. I knew I didn't quite feel that for him, was he really 'falling' for me? I did have my doubts, but I did continue to go out
with him. Since we young girls are lonely and vulnerable, guys like Brad think they can talk us into doing anything as long as
they paste the word 'love' to it, it doesn't really mean anything to them. They just say it to get what they want. I know what you
are thinking, that I'm bitter from the whole situation, but I'm really not, he opened my eyes and now I feel stronger and more
confident than I have in all of my young life. Especially since I turned him down for sex on three occasions, the last time was the
final straw for him, to say the least.
I remember the first time he had asked, he hadn't even gotten to second base! And he was already asking for home plate! And
when I had said (in the most polite manner I could) No, he nearly took the necklace he had bought me for my birthday! And even
though he had stormed out and hadn't talked to me for days, he called me one night and apologized for everything and like a
ding-dong I accepted it. Now you're thinking what a moron! Well don't judge me, this was the first guy to take a liking to me and I
wasn't going to end it, well not right away. You should see the way people treat you when you go out with high school 'royalty' I
felt like princess Diana, it was marvelous. Brad had been saying I love you to me on a daily basis and I still had not said it,
because I still didn't know if I felt the same. And after every date we would get all 'hot and heavy' in his car and he would try to
touch certain areas and I still wouldn't let him. Kissing was the extent of 'fooling around' with me, I didn't feel it necessary to
apologize for it either.
We had been going steady for about a year it was Christmas I saw him a couple of times during Christmas break, not a lot. We
exchanged gifts, I had bought him a T-shirt with a band logo on the front and some candy and he bought me a stuffed dog with
some candy (the candy is unopened in the box that I'm about to toss in the lake along with the dog, which I had ripped to
shreds) We kissed and that was basically Christmas.
New Year's Eve was our last night together as a couple we were both invited to a party at his friends house, (just another jock
his name is unimportant) There would be alcohol and dancing and we would watch the pinecone drop downtown in Flagstaff when
the time came. Brad started drinking the minute we came through the door, I don't drink, I was just brought up to not take
drinking alcohol lightly. The night was going okay, James wasn't there, which was a drag, but I kept dancing and enjoying my
time as best I could. But partying was never really my thing and I wasn't good at it either, perhaps I needed more practice.
Anyway Brad dragged me up to a vacant room in the house and we sat down on the bed, he kissed me, he tasted like cigarettes
and smelled somewhat like vomit. He was slurring on his words, he was tiny bit wasted, (as he put it when I had asked him) He
put his hands around my waist and I then I stood up, Brad sighed and grunted. Here is summary of what was said that dreadful
"Why do you keep pushing me away?"
"I told you I'm not ready ... And you're drunk, I think we should head home."
"I guess you don't love me then, if you loved me, we would've done this a long time ago ... Maybe we should just go our separate
"I guess I haven't been clear with you, but you are never going to have sex with me, sex is never going to happen and I'm not
going to apologize for not 'going all the way' with you and you're not going to make me feel guilty for it.
Brad got up in my face, I can still see him, his face was completely red with fury, he had never looked so unattractive to me, my
gut told me to run, but I stayed and I could feel my hands trembling. I stood my ground, he nearly spit in my face, he began
yelling and I yelled back, suddenly he grabbed a hold of my arms and he was shaking me a bit, I was telling him to stop but he
wouldn't listen, he pushed me onto the bed and I thought for a minute he was going to do something ungodly but instead after he
pushed me down he left the room and slammed the door behind him. I was shaking all over, I wanted to cry or punch a wall I
can't be sure which would've helped more. But I did neither, I just sat in that empty room, in the floor, I hugged my knees, I
stayed there until the shaking and trembling in my body subsided. Needless to say I haven't spoken to Brad since that night, it's
been a week, after I regained my composure I called the only person in the world I really trusted. James took me home that
night, he never asked for an explanation, we rode in silence, when we got to my house I didn't feel like going inside and that's
when the water works started and it wouldn't stop it, I cried on James' shoulder for at least forty-five minutes and he just held me.
When I climbed out of that car, his shirt was stained with my snot and tears but he didn't complain, He walked me to the front
door and we said our good-byes, he looked so sad, he looked like he was full of pity, pity for me. I hugged him and he hugged
me a long time and then I went inside. We didn't speak of it the next day and he hasn't brought it up since that horrible night, he
must know I feel completely embarrassed about it otherwise he'd be talking about it. Even though I came home that night
swollen and wet from all my tears, I was proud of myself, I never gave in and I'm glad Brad wasn't my 'first time' he was such a
jerk and I'm pleased that I can see that now.
I had been thinking about Brad and that whole mess so hard that I had not noticed James had been talking to me, finally he
flicked me on the cheek and I came back to reality. "What?" I asked,
James pointed at the lake. "Are you ready to toss that stuff or not?" A pang of sadness hit me in the stomach and I felt a tear
stream down my face.
"Don't cry about Brad, he's not worth it." I nodded, I didn't know where that sadness came from, possibly thinking about that
night brought some misery. James handed me the box and I knelt to the ground and began rummaging through it. "What should I
I looked up at James and he shrugged, "how about the locket?" I shook my head that was the last thing I wanted to toss, don't
ask me why, I wasn't sure. I kept looking and I thought what the hell, I picked up the box and just dumped the entire thing. The
wind sent chills up and down my body, I watched as the stuff, my memories fell into the water, I was amazed that I felt nothing
not sadness to see the stuff go or happiness that it was gone, I felt absolutely nothing.
I looked at James and he was smiling at me, I suddenly felt this butterfly in my stomach I didn't know where it came from and I
didn't delve deeper to find it's meaning, I looked back at Lake Mary, the moon was reflecting off of it, now that my eyes had
adjusted to the darkness I could see just about everything. I could see the snow and the water, it was a beautiful night. Too bad
it was so cold otherwise I would stay a lot longer.
James interjected my thoughts,"He told me I needed to get over you because I was never going to have you." James had nearly
whispered that last part but I still heard it, I turned towards him, he had his hands in his pockets and he wasn't looking at me but
at the ground.
Even though I had heard him I said, "what?"
James shifted from one foot to the other, "that night when I went to his house and told him I didn't like, he said I needed to get
over you, 'cause you and me, that was never going to happen."
I tried to laugh, but I knew he wasn't kidding, "what else did he say?"
James came a few steps closer to me, "he said when you two were together you would make fun of me and tell him
embarrassing stuff about me."
I was so mad, "James, I would never do-"
he interrupted, "I know" he looked out to the water, he wouldn't meet my gaze, I touched his arm.
"James, what else happened?"
He smiled and rubbed his chin, "I gave him a black eye that night,"
I put my hand to my mouth, "he told me he got that from falling down the stairs!" I was shocked and bewildered.
"It took everything in me not to give him another one after I dropped you off at your house the other night."
James was suddenly this whole other person to me, it was like he had been standing in the dark this entire time and now
someone turned on the light. That butterfly in my stomach came back.
"Why did you do that, I mean why did you go to his house and do all that?"
He finally met my gaze, "I thought you had figured that part out already?" I shook my head, he sighed. "You are impossible
sometimes ..." He came up closer, we were face to face, he put his hands on each arm.
Everything in my body came to life, my heart began to beat rapidly, was this really happening? Why hadn't I thought of James in
this way before? And why was I suddenly head over heels? Was this a dream and if so would I wake up and still feel the same
way about him? These questions were burning through my mind but all I wanted to do was kiss him and that thought alone
terrified me, James? That can't be right, can it?
I looked into his eyes and I felt warmth and comfort in them, had I always felt this way about him?
James asked rather awkwardly. "Are you going to say something, or should I just go in for the, um, kiss?"
I looked around, I couldn't find the words, James leaned in his eyes were open he was waiting for a reaction and I closed my
eyes so I think he took the hint, his lips touched mine, they were soft and a little cold from the winter breeze, my heart felt like it
was going to burst out of my chest. The kiss was sweet and he started to pull away but I pulled him back, then my hands were
up in his scruffy hair I didn't want the kiss to end, the kiss became deeper and more intense, I was standing on my tip toes, so I
could reach him. One of his hands was on my face and the other on my neck, he stopped kissing my lips so he could kiss my
cheeks then my nose and then my eye lids, then he kissed my forehead, he kissed me all over the face and then he reached my
lips again and he kissed me once lightly then he stepped back. I was still standing on my tip toes and my eyes were closed, my
hands still reaching for his soft brown hair.
My eyes opened, he was smiling, I realized I had stopped breathing, I took a breath and sighed, Then I said, "well, now what?"
He ran his fingers through his hair, "I'm not going to be the rebound guy," then he started heading back for the car he looked
back at me and he had this big goofy grin plastered on his face.
My arms dropped to my sides and I ran to catch up to him, I was trying to find the right words to say then he said rather smugly,
"you left your dad's flashlight, you must've dropped it when you were distracted."
I looked back behind me and there it was on the ground, the lights beam still on, the battery's life slowly draining, I moaned and
ran back, I snatched it up, I looked at James and he was waiting on me. I ran back, he took the flashlight from me and turned it
off, then he took my hand in his and we continued our little walk to the car. I still didn't know what to say, he opened the car door
for me and then the words came to me finally, "I'm going to have a good year, aren't I?"
He looked at me and replied, "I hope so ..." He kissed me lightly on the cheek, I wanted to attack him again but I resisted.
I climbed into the car and he went around and climbed in, then I thought to myself, yes, 2009 was going to be a very good year.