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Maybe It Was Fate
I’ve always had a photographic memory. I could remember things very clearly in my mind. The placement of the pencil on the table, whether it was on the edge of the table or the very center. The lighting in the room, whether it was dark, dim, bright of fluorescent. I could remember the little things like that. I could also remember what a person looks like all the way down to the finest detail. There was one face in my mind that I seemed to always remember the best. That face belonged to Jason Beck. It was his eyes, they were sapphire blue. That’s what made him stick out in my mind.
Jason and I are lab partners. Our teacher hates change so he never changed who our lab partners were unless there was an urgent reason. Well, I had never seen an urgent reason, Jason and I got along wonderfully. He was smart, though he said chemistry wasn’t his strong subject, I thought he was great. I had always thought I was better at it than what I proved myself to be. But maybe it was because there were those sapphire blue eyes on me the entire time as I worked on the lab.
I’m the girl who is extremely studious. I work on my homework every day, a half hour after I get home from school. I’m in advanced classes. And in my mind, a C on any assignment is a failing grade. I always have my long golden hair down, no clips in or anything, I don’t wear makeup, and I don’t wear designer clothes. In my mind, I’m ugly, but if someone was to tell me I’m beautiful, I would want them to say that because I don’t look fake, not because I cover up my imperfections with makeup and other things that you can buy. After all, money can’t buy you love, right?
Jason is a sweet boy. He’s smart, but like most boy my age, he doesn’t always apply himself. He would much rather sit in class and shoot a text message to ten of his friends all at once than listen to the teacher’s lecture. He was the kind of guy who would go play video games or go skateboarding when he got home from school rather than do his homework like he should.
I got to my chemistry class not in a great mood. I was tired and a little irritable, my little brother was crying all last night because he continued to have nightmares which caused me to not be able to sleep. I knew I had dark circles under my green eyes, but I didn’t care.
“Naomi, are you okay?” Jason said to me during as we started our lab. I wasn’t my usual self, I just sort of stared at my lab notebook.
“Huh?” I said, shaking myself to be awake. Jason’s voice woke me up.
“Are you alright?”
“Uh, yeah… Let’s get started.” I said reaching for a test tube.
Jason interfered, he took my hand and looked my directly in my eyes. Oh, those sapphire blue eyes, they were sparkling, but they were so intense. “Naomi, you aren’t right. What’s going on?”
“I didn’t sleep.” I said plainly.
“My little brother kept me up. He’s having nightmares and it’s making him cry all night. His room is right by mine. He’s loud.”
“Are you going to be able to do the lab?” Jason said, he watched me push my long golden hair out of my face. “Wow, put your hair up. We’re using the burners for this lab.”
I tied my hair back with a hair tie on my wrist. Jason was right, I wasn’t myself. I always remembered to tie my hair back for a lab. “Yeah Jason, I’ll be able to do the lab.”
“Good.” Jason said winking at me.
We worked on our lab. I was moving at a very sluggish pace. Jason didn’t push me to go faster. He just worked at my pace. When we finished, Jason touched my hand in such a way that it was questionable if it was on purpose or on accident. Our eyes met… It was like one of those moments in the movies that the two lovers touch for the first time and they immediately have feelings for each other. “Naomi, you look much better with your hair down,” Jason said, he flashed a grin at me.
I felt tickled pink. Nobody had ever told me something like that before. After all, I was the girl who studied all the time and didn’t wear makeup. “Thanks, Jason.”
After school that day, I went to my locker to grab my books. I always did this every day. It was just part of my daily routine. I live off of routine. I don’t like change that much, I adapt, but change in my life isn’t my favorite thing. I opened my locker, and to my surprise, I found a single red rose. I had an admirer. With it was a note.
Hey, I wanted to brighten your day. You didn’t seem yourself today during Chem. I hope that this rose brightened your day, and that you sleep better tonight. Get some rest. And give me a call tonight.
~Jason Carter Beck
How did he know which was my locker? How did he get it in there? How did he get the rose? Why did he even think of that? I was just the girl he worked with for his labs. Did he really like me? I got a warm fuzzy feeling all throughout my heart as I read the note. I went to my car, feeling overjoyed. I never had something like this happen to me in my life. When I got home, I was so excited about the rose and the note that I didn’t feel nearly as tired as I did earlier. I picked up the phone and called Jason.
“Hey, it’s Naomi,” I said when he picked up the phone.
“Hey there,” I could tell he was slightly nervous. I didn’t understand why, I mean, it’s just me… Naomi.
“Thanks for the rose,” I began, I didn’t really know how to go about saying all of this. “I really liked it. I have never gotten anything like that. It really brightened my day.”
“You’re welcome, Nay.”
No one ever really called me ‘Nay’. I liked it. This could be his nickname for me.
“So how was your day?” I asked him, trying to strike a conversation.
“Good.” Jason said. The way he spoke was very straightforward, there weren’t any “um’s” or “uh’s”. I enjoyed talking to him. I guess you could say talking to him was easy. “What about yours?”
“Fine. The best part was the rose. And now talking to you is also one of the best parts.” Oh goodness, why did I say that? That was beyond corny… I told myself right after the words came out.
I was looking at the note he gave me with the rose. “So your middle name is Carter?”
“Yes. My mom’s maiden name.”
“Ha, ha, alright. What’s your middle name?”
“That sounds really British.”
“Okay Naomi Emma Grant.”
I smiled, I liked the way he said my full name. Even though it was how any other person would say it, there was something about his voice that made it special.
We sat on the phone talking for hours. We talked about everything. We talked about school, we talked about life, we talked about our families, we even played twenty questions, just learning about each other. When I got off the phone after hours of non-stop talking, I felt like I knew my lab partner much better. It felt like maybe he wasn’t just my lab partner. I went to bed that night, my final thought being of Jason. Why was he on my mind? Maybe it was those sparkling sapphire blue eyes. Maybe it was that perfect voice of his.
A few days passed. Jason would walk with me to classes and we would talk non-stop during our chemistry class. This made us take longer to get our labs done. It also made it much more fun. With Jason, I felt like I could almost let my guard down. I was comfortable with him. The day after he gave me the rose I realized I loved how his hair flipped up gently just above his eyes. I realized that I had feelings for him the day he and I got yelled at for laughing and not working on our lab.
Jason and I were walking to our next class when he stopped me. I looked at him rather confused. “What’s up?” I said to him, wondering why he stopped.
“Well, Nay, I was curious if you’d like to go out with me tonight,” it was Friday, my parents only let me out on weekends, so this was perfect. “We could go ice skating maybe?”
I smiled, “yeah, I’d love to.” I thought about how in magazines they would say that an ice skating date would be a perfect chance for him to hold your hand. Maybe Jason would hold my hand tonight.
“So I’ll pick you up at six. And I’ll have you home at exactly ten.” Jason said. “I don’t want to get you in trouble with your parents. You mean a lot to me.”
“So this is a date?”
“Yeah, I was thinking it would be.” Jason said, his smile starting to fade.
“Okay good,” I said, making his smile grow. “You mean a lot to me.” The rest of the day I thought about what tonight would be like. Why I couldn’t get Jason off my mind I didn’t know. Maybe it was his sparkling sapphire blue eyes. Maybe it was his voice. Maybe it was the way his hair gently flipped up just above his eyes.
That evening, I took a while to get ready. I wasn’t sure what to wear. I tried on endless amounts of outfits. I finally decided on my dark wash jeans with white stitching and a baby blue shirt. I put my charcoal gray pea coat on and my white beret, scarf and gloves. At five to six, I was ready. I was sitting in the chair in front of the front window waiting for Jason. When I finally saw him pull up, I felt my heart skip a beat. I let him inside, greeting him with a “hello” and a hug.
“Are your parents in?”
“I’d like to have a word with them.”
“Oh okay. They’re in the family room. I’ll show you.”
I led Jason to my parents, they were watching A Christmas Story. It was my mom’s favorite Christmas movie. “Mom, Dad, this is Jason,” I said with him standing closely nearby.
“Hello Jason,” my father said.
“Hi sir, I’m Jason Beck.” He shook my Dad’s hand with a firm grip. I liked seeing how he respected my father. “I just wanted to introduce myself to you guys. Naomi and I are going to go ice skating, I’ll have her back at ten o’clock sharp.” Jason said.
“Thank you Jason.” My Dad said. I was grinning, this night had barely begun and it was already fantastic. “I’ll see you later tonight Naomi,” Dad said giving me a kiss.
“Night Daddy,” I said as I walked out of the house with Jason.
I could hear my parents murmuring something that sounded like “well that was very nice.”
When we got on the ice, I was extremely unsure about ice skating. I nearly fell immediately. Jason took my hand and held me up. I could skate as long as Jason was holding my hand. “I’m not exactly the most well balanced person,” I said as we skated around the rink.
“It’s okay. I’ll help you balance things out.”
Having my hand in his felt right.
“You look cute tonight,” Jason said he was facing me, we had stopped skating momentarily. People kept skating on by us not noticing that we had stopped.
“Thanks, Jason.” I said.
“You’re welcome Nay,” I smiled again at this perfect nickname. “I’m so glad you came tonight.”
“I’m glad I did too. Thanks for inviting me.”
“Do you think we’ll be able to do something like this again?”
“Think so? Hmm… no.” Jason’s face went blank. I laughed. “No Jason, I know so.”
Jason bowed his head towards me, I know this wasn’t a moment that I shouldn’t have a million thoughts racing through my head, but I couldn’t help myself. I didn’t want to mess this moment up, it was my first kiss. I didn’t want him to think I was a horrible kisser. I wanted to remember this moment forever and always. I felt Jason’s lips press against mine gently. My mind went blank all of the sudden. This moment became perfect. This night, was beyond perfect. I knew I would remember this night forever. Maybe it was his sapphire blue eyes. Maybe it was his voice maybe it was the way his hair flipped upward just above his eyes. Or maybe it was the way he kissed me.
<<**>> Six months later.
Jason and I had been going steady since that perfect night back in December. I had quickly learned that life can change just by saying yes to one thing. I thanked God every day for Jason giving me that rose. I had even dried it and pinned it on my wall. It was mid-June now. School had gotten out for summer break. Jason and I were spending our days together walking in the field behind his house barefooted and holding hands. It was one of those moments that I thanked God for my photographic memory. This day stood out the most in my mind.
Jason and I were lying in the grass on our stomachs facing each other. The sun was shining brightly and making the air hot. The fluffy white clouds were floating across the sky making the day even more picturesque. “Jason, do you think it was fate?” I asked him, my head propped up by my hand.
“Think what was fate?” Jason said, his brow making a V.
“That we were assigned as lab partners for the year.”
“Maybe it was,” Jason said. I smiled wryly. My feelings for him had multiplied exponentially each day I spent with him. “Don’t smile like that, Nay, you make me want to kiss you too much.”
“Then do it.” I said stretching my wry smile even more.
Jason cupped my face in his hands and kissed my lips. I let this moment last a little bit longer than I normally would have.
“Do you think it was fate, Nay?”
“Yeah, I do.”
“I’m glad it happened. Otherwise, I don’t think I would have taken the time to get to know you. I would have just stood far away from you, too nervous to tell you you’re beautiful.”
“I would’ve been too nervous too.”
“Thank God for lab partners,” Jason said laughing lightly. Goodness how I loved his laugh.
“I’m glad fate took us this way.” I said kissing Jason. “I love you Jason Cater Beck.” I said this to him for the first time in my life.
“I love you too Naomi Emma Grant.” His eyes were sparkling more than normal as he said this to me for the first time.
This day stuck out in my mind the most of all the days I had spent with Jason in the six months that we had been together. Maybe it was his sparkling sapphire blue eyes. Maybe it was his voice. Maybe it was his hair. Maybe it was his kisses. Maybe it was the way he loved me. Maybe it was all of these things. What I do know is that it was fate that we were brought together.