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Peter and Janie
Peter and Janie stumbled out of Benny’s Pizzeria, laughing so hard that their knees hurt. Peter looked at his best friend like it was the first time, Janie’s hair a sunny gold from the California sun, and her beautiful laughter like a bubbling fountain. He wondered what it would be like if Janie loved him back.
For a few years, Peter thought that it could actually happen someday. All that had changed, however, when Caleb Ryan moved to town. Janie fell in love with his perfectly white, shiny smile and his athletic mindset. Caleb was competition. He wanted to win, and would never quit until he did.
“Peter?” Janie asked, every word like wind chimes in the soft summer breeze. She placed a tender hand on Peter’s shoulder and guided him towards the park.
“Yeah, Janie?” said Peter, his feet slowly tapping the sidewalk. Why is she taking me here? He thought, frowning.
Janie and Peter sat down on the light brown bench, their cheeks stained with the bitter cold of the wind.
“Peter, I have to tell you something,” said Janie urgently.
“Me too,” sighed Peter. “I’ll go first.” This is it, he thought, the moment where I finally tell her.
Peter took a deep breath in, ready to say those words he had felt for years. But just as he prepared to say those three magic words…
The magnitude of Janie’s words slammed into Peter like a speeding cement truck. He felt like he was falling, falling from the sky into an unforgiving ocean.
“Who?” He asked, his voice ice cold. “Who is the father, Janie? Answer me!”
Janie put her head in her hands, and her body shook with tears. “C-C-Caleb,” she whispered. “He left town when I told him. Peter…save me?”
Janie looked into Peter’s eyes like a lost child, scared and alone. Peter took Janie’s hand and touched the very quietness of it. He felt her soul, a confused thing.
In response, Peter bent down and kissed Janie. It’s gonna be okay, Janie, it’s gonna be okay.