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Never... or Not?

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I walk into school just like on every other Monday, dragging my feet and trying to keep my eyes open. It’s only January and I am counting down the days until school is over. Which, counting today, is 164 more days.

I sigh as I make my way toward my locker. As I’m putting books into my bag, I feel a tap on my back. It’s my best friend, Shayla.

“Oh my god, oh my god! Jess, guess what?!” my friend says enthusiastically, jumping up and down at something.

I look at her with wide eyes. “What?”

She grins, flashing her white teeth. “There’s a new student here, and he is incredibly gorgeous!”

Oh, so that’s what her excitement is about. I shake my head, laughing lightly. Of course it had to do with boys if it was coming from her.

She stops bouncing and looks at me and frowns. “Why can’t you ever be excited about stuff like this with me?”

I look at her. “Because I’m not boy crazy like you are. I bet he’s not even that good looking.” And it’s not like anything would ever happen with him and me. I never get the guy, I add silently.

Shayla is one of the girls that all the other girls want to be. She is tall and thin with long golden locks that reach the middle of her back. She has a perfect complexion and she is amazing at choosing what to wear. Boys worship her feet. Sometimes, it’s really hard to be her friend, but I just keep telling myself that it’s not her fault. And she really is a good friend.

I glance into the mirror hanging up in my locker and think again, I never get the guy. It makes sense, looking at my straight brown hair that meets my shoulders and my cheeks covered in freckles. I look at my sweatshirt-and-jeans-look and then down at my ratty converse. I’m just so… ordinary,

I shut my locker before walking off with my arm linked with Shayla’s.

“Oh trust me, Jess. He is! You’ll know what I mean when you see him. I hope I have a class with him!”

I laugh and shake my head at her again, before taking my arm back. “I have class Shay. I’ll see you next period,” I tell her before turning into my English classroom.

I sit at my desk in the back row, waiting for everyone else to arrive, when I see him walk in. I can tell because he really is gorgeous!

My heart races and my eyes bulge as I see him walk to the back of the room. He has shaggy brown hair that falls over his forehead that looks like he just rolled out of bed and he’s tall. He’s wearing worn and torn jeans with black vans and a grey hoodie. He definitely pulls off the I-am-just-going-to-throw-on-some-clothes-and-leave-my-house-look.

He reaches the back and sits in the desk next to me. I can’t help but continue to look at him. He looks up and catches me staring. I blush and turn my head toward the front of the room as fast as I can.

I glance at him out of the corner of my eye and see a grin fighting his lips. Oh no. He’s laughing at me! I shouldn’t have stared. I’ll just keep looking at the front of the classroom and hope he doesn’t notice my sure-to-be-red cheeks.

I continue to look at the front until the class is over, when I hurriedly grab my books and shove them into my bag. Without looking up, I go to walk towards the door but I bump into someone.

“Sorry!” I say, looking up and realizing it’s him. Of course! These kinds of things only happen to me!

I look at the floor and realize that I knocked all his books down. I feel the blood swirling in my cheeks again.

I kneel down to grab his books at the same time he does and our heads collide. Oh my god. Could this get any worse?

“Sorry!” I say again, picking up some of his books and handing them to him.

He smiled at me sweetly. “It’s okay. No biggie.”

I could have melted right there, hearing his voice.

I nodded as I got up off the floor.

He rubbed his head where I hit him and chuckled. Then he looked at me. “Thank you,” he said, gesturing to the books.

I nodded again, feeling idiotic.

He stood there, not moving. “I’m Jake by the way.”

I nodded again. Talk, Jess! Speak!

He waited, but then said, “And you are?”

“I’m Jessica. But my friends call me Jess. So you can call me Jess. If you want. Or Jessica. It doesn’t matter to me,” I ramble.

He laughs lightly. “Nice to meet you Jess.”

I smile at him, ignoring the burn on my cheeks. “Nice to meet you too. Sorry about the books and everything.”

He shakes his head. “Really, it’s cool. So, what class do you have next?”

At least I can answer this one easily. I memorized my roster already. “Geometry. You?”

He frowns. “I have chemistry. Too bad. We could’ve walked together,” he says, looking at the clock on the wall. “I should probably get to class. Don’t wanna’ be late on my first day. Hopefully I’ll see you around.”

“Okay. See ya later,” I tell him before he walks off in the opposite direction that I have to go.
~~~

The rest of the day was uneventful. I had no more classes with Jake, and to my best friend’s disappointment, neither did she. (We’re in the same classes except for English).

Shay turns to me as we’re making our way to the buses outside of school. “I cannot believe we don’t have ONE class with him! This sucks,” she says, frowning.

“Well… I have first period with him…” I tell her hesitantly.

She stops walking and stares at me with her mouth hanging open.

“Why didn’t you tell me?!” she demands.

I shrug. “It’s not that big of a deal.”

She glares at me. “How is that not that big of a deal?”

I shrug again.

She starts to walk again and we continue our way outside.

“Did you talk to him? What’s his name?” she asks me, eyes wide.

I look at her. “Well, I sort of bumped into him when we were leaving the class. He just said his name is Jake and asked me what class I had next.”

“Ugh! You are so lucky!” she exclaims.

I shake my head at her, holding in a smile.
~~~

The next morning, I can’t explain why, but I was anxious to get to school. I’m never anxious to get to school.

When I walk through the doors, I walk to my locker quickly and get my books out. Shayla comes up behind me. (This is a daily routine)

“Hey Jess.”

Wait. That’s definitely not Shayla’s voice. I turn around to see Jake, standing behind me and smiling.

I stare, until I realize he’s waiting for an answer. Heat rises to my cheeks.

“Hey Jake,” I tell him.

He smiles again. “I thought we could walk to English together if you wanted. Since that’s the only class we have together.”

He noticed that too?

I smile back. “Sure. Sounds good.”

I look over at the clock and it shows we have three more minutes until the bell rings, signaling that you have three minutes to get to class.

I try to think of something to say, and come up with, “So, how do you like school so far?”

Really? That’s the best you could do?

He shrugs. “Eh, it’s alright. Kind of hard since I don’t know where all my classes are but it’s okay. I wish I just knew more people here.”

I look at him. “But, I’m sure you’ll have a lot of people to be friends with. I mean, what’s not to like about you?”

He smirks. “Well, why thank you.”

My cheeks burn again. “Sure.”

I hear someone clear their throat behind me. I turn around and it’s Shayla.

“Hey Shay,” I tell her, smiling.

She glances from me to him and then back to me. “Hey.”

Silence, until Shayla hits my foot with hers.

“Oh, um, Jake, this is my best friend, Shayla. Shayla, Jake.” I say, pointing to each one.

She flashes him her perfect teeth. “Hi Jake.”

He smiles back. “Hi.”

The bell rings.

Shayla puts her arm in mine and turns to walk, and I signal for Jake to walk with us.

Before I can say anything, Shayla asks him, “So Jake, How old are you?”

“Sixteen.”

I open my mouth, but am too late again.

“Awesome. Can you drive?” Shayla asks.

He nods. “Yup. Just got my license about a month ago.”

Shayla gaps. “That is so cool! I don’t even have my permit yet.”

Jake turns to me. “What about you? Can you drive?”

“Well, I have my permit but I don’t get a lot of chances to drive,” I tell him, before stopping. I point to the English classroom. Shayla pouts.

“Well, see you guys later. Bye Jess,” she says, hugging me. “Bye Jake.” She smiles flirtily at him before walking off.

I roll my eyes and walk into the back of the classroom to my seat, and to my pleasure, Jake follows and sits in the desk next to me again.

He turns to me, about to say something, when a girl in the class comes up and stands right next to him, blocking my view of him.

“Hi Jake!” she says.

“Hey,” he says, sounding irritated. (Is it bad that just that little thing makes me happy?)

I turn to my book and tune the girl out. The bell rings and the class starts and the girl gets yelled at to sit down.

After looking at the board, I glance down at my desk and see a piece of paper folded into a little square.

I open it.

Hey. I feel like I didn’t really get to talk to you at all yet today. So many interruptions. So I thought now would work :)

I look over at Jake and he’s smiling at me.

I take out a pen and scribble on the paper,

I know. Shayla can be a bit much at times but I love her. And as for the other interruptions, girls just can’t seem to stay away from you huh?

I fold it back up and stealthily put it back on his desk and glance at the board, waiting for his reply.

He places the note on my desk.

Yeah, it’s weird. Never happened to me before. It’s kind of annoying really. I don’t even get why. I guess cause I’m the new kid.

He honestly thinks that? I write back,

You really don’t get the reason? Jake, every girl in this school thinks you’re insanely gorgeous.

My cheeks get hot as I pass him the note when the teacher isn’t looking. I look over at him while he reads it, and I can see the grin on his face. It isn’t an “oh-I-know-I’m-hot-already” grin, but just a nice one. He hands me the paper.

Hmm. That makes me wonder. Do you think I’m “insanely gorgeous” too?

I really hope he isn’t looking at me right now. I’m probably as red as a tomato. (I blush a lot) I hesitate before writing,

Of course I do.

I toss the note back to him. I glance over and see him read it and smile brightly. He looks over at me. I immediately turn to the front of the classroom and listen to the teacher for the rest of class.

When the bell rings, I get up to leave quickly, but Jake passes me a note, before leaving the class. I open it up and read:

Well, I think you’re insanely gorgeous too.

Butterflies start flying everywhere in my stomach as I walk to my next class, smiling.
~~~

The next day went about the same, and the next and the next and the… well you get it. Jake always meets me in the morning to walk with me to class now. Shayla always gets to my locker early so she has time to talk to him. (More like flirt with him, but oh well) It seems like he likes her, and I mean, why wouldn’t he? But that’s okay with me. I’m used to her getting the guys and I’m okay with just being friends with Jake, even if every time I see him my stomach flips. But that’s beside the point.

Today was just like any other day, I walk to my locker and see Jake there waiting for me. I smile brightly at him.

“Hey Jake.”

He flashes his teeth at me. “Hey. What’s up?”

I shrug. “Not much. Same old, same old. How about you?”

He looks at me and waits. Usually he’ll just say, “Oh same with me,” but this time he isn’t saying anything.

I wave my hand in front of his face. “Earth to Jake!”

“I have a question,” he states.

I wait for him to elaborate, but he doesn’t. “Uh huh…?”

He takes my hand in his and pulls me to the supply closet at the end of the hallway.

“Jake what are you doing?” I ask him, confused.

He just keeps pulling until he pulls us both into the closet and closes the door behind us. The room is pitch black and extremely small, so Jake is pushed up against me and my back is against a shelf.

“Jake?” I ask again.

He pulls a light switch on and a very dim light shines just enough so we can see each other’s faces. I look up into his eyes, breathing heavy.

His eyes meet mine and he leans down so that our faces are almost touching. I open my mouth to say something else but he puts his finger over my mouth. His touch sends tingles through my body. He moves his finger over my cheek and down so that his palm is resting on the back of my neck. He looks down at my lips.

My breathing hitches as he leans down and presses his lips to mine. He kisses me gently, his hand still on his neck while the other hand wraps around my waist and pulls me close to him. After a long moment, he pulls away, smiling.

“Will you be my girlfriend?”

I stare at him, my head still spinning from the kiss.

He waits, smiling still.

“I- I. I thought. You and Shayla?”

He looks at me strangely. “You thought I liked Shayla?”

I nod, not able to speak coherently.

He shakes his head. “You must be very oblivious because I only have eyes for you Jess,” he says, chuckling lightly.

I stare into his eyes and a smile appears on my mouth. “Really?”

He nods.

“Yes.”

He looks at me, confused. “Huh?”

I smile. “Yes, I will be your girlfriend.”

Understanding appears on his face just before a huge smile does. He gently pulls my face closer to his and kisses me again.

“Jess, I couldn’t take my eyes off you since the first day of school. And then once I got to know you, it just made me like you even more.”

I feel my cheeks get red.

He brushes his fingers over my cheek. “And I love it when you blush.”

“I really like you too, Jake.”

He smiles again before kissing me, Okay that will never get old.

“You know we’re probably missing English class right now, right?” he says against my lips.

I was about to say “Oh no, that’s my favorite class,” but then I remembered it’s only my favorite class because he’s there.

“Oh well,” I say, smiling.

I guess sometimes I do get the guy.





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