Is it love?

January 8, 2008
“Cade, I don’t want to hear it!” Adrienne shouted at her ex-boyfriend as she slammed her locker door shut. Cade Owens, once again, was trying to convince her that “he was different now” and he “wants another chance at this.” Adrienne, of course, wasn’t buying it. She stormed off, heading for third period, leaving Cade extremely frustrated.
You probably want a little more background information than that. Let me start off by saying that a few weeks ago, Adrienne and Cade were ‘the couple’. When you saw one, the other wasn’t far; it was really an adorable thing. There’s something else you should know: Adrienne and Cade have been on and off for at least three years. I can’t really blame Cade for his obvious desperation, though; Adrienne is gorgeous. She’s about five foot three, athletic and thin. Her wavy brown hair compliments her tan complexion, and she has hazel eyes that could shine for miles if they hit the right light. The thing that she’s known for, though, is that unforgettable, absolutely beautiful smile. Adrienne only wished that Cade could see through all of that, and see the real her like he used to.

A couple of months into their latest rendezvous, something inside of Cade snapped. With Cade being the starting outside linebacker on the football team, and Adrienne being senior captain of the varsity dance team, you’d think their relationship was destined for greatness. Let me just tell you now, that isn’t the case. Cade had become someone that Adrienne had no idea existed. Out of nowhere, he stopped being the sweet, generous guy that Adrienne had fallen for. Adrienne tried as hard as she could to keep liking Cade, but she couldn’t take it anymore.

“Cade,” Adrienne started one night when they were on the phone. “I don’t know what happened to who you used to be, but I can’t deal with you. I don’t know who you are anymore.” Her heart was racing faster than a sports car; she thought it was going to pound right out of her chest.

There was a brief silence on the other end of the line.

“What do you mean? I’m exactly who I used to be.” Cade replied with a bit of an attitude. He was hurt, but he tried not to show it.

“You know exactly what I mean, Cade…and no, you’re not the same. Look, I want to be friends…I just need a break.”

“Adrienne, come on…don’t act like this. I love you, and you know that. I can change…whatever you want me to be, I’ll be.”

No, Adrienne thought. Don’t fall for this again…he never changes. No matter how much she wanted to believe whatever Cade told her, she just couldn’t do it anymore. She was tired of playing his stupid little games.

“Cade, I’m sorry, but I’m done.” And she hung up.

She didn’t know why, but every time she tried to give Cade another chance, she ended up hurt again. At times, he could be the sweetest guy in the world, but he also had the ability to be the complete opposite. That’s the part she hated; she missed the couple they were for the first time, back in freshmen year. Every morning, Adrienne would walk in to find Cade waiting for her at her locker, big smile on his face. They’d walk to class together and he would pull her back every time she tried to walk away, just so he could give her one more kiss. Now they were seniors, and things had changed. Adrienne decided she didn’t want to be “Cade Owens’s girlfriend”, or “Cade and Adrienne” anymore. She wanted to be Adrienne Carr. And that’s it.

When Adrienne came back to her locker after third period, Cade was there again.

“What do you want now, Cade?” Adrienne asked impatiently.

“Adrienne, what are we doing? You know you want to be with me…and you know I want to be with you. I need to be with you. You’re my everything.” Cade tried to sound convincing.

“Can you hear yourself? Cade, we’ve tried again and again, and all we do is fight!” Adrienne was really getting angry now.

“That’s not true!” Cade insisted.

Adrienne cut him off.

“Are you kidding!? What are you doing right now? Arguing with me! Cade, I told you…I’m done.” And once again, she shut her locker door, and walked to class.
On Thursday morning, while Cade was daydreaming in Stats, the principal came in with this artsy-looking kid. His backpack was bigger than him, and he had black, plastic-framed glasses. Cade took one look at him and couldn’t help but smirk. He couldn’t believe Reese was back. Reese Michaels has attended this school since freshmen year, too. His dad works for a real estate company, and he moves from state to state. The principal talked with the teacher for a few minutes, and Reese took a seat in the back of the room.
“Hey, Reese!” Cade shouted down the hallway after class, trying to catch up with him. “Hey…why in such a rush?” he asked.

“I have no idea where I’m going anymore, that’s all,” Reese stated flatly. “How’s it goin’ Cade?”

“It’s goin’, man. How about you? Why are you back already? I thought your dad had to stay in his new location for at least a year before you could move again.”

“Oh, pretty good. Yeah, well, he got a different job unexpectedly while we were in Arizona, and we decided to move back here. This is my next class,” Reese said stopping at a doorway to the science hall. “Talk to you later.”

After what seemed like a decade, the bell rang, and Cade sprang out of his seat
and into the hallway to try and find Reese. He caught sight of him, and yelled his name. Reese turned around and waited for Cade to fall into step with him. They continued walking and Reese asked, “Is that Adrienne?”

Cade glanced to his right and saw Adrienne at her locker, struggling to reach the top shelf once again. Wouldn’t you like to know, Cade thought to himself.

“Yeah, man, but don’t get any ideas,” he finally replied. “She’s off limits.”

“You guys are still together? I can’t believe it,” Reese said with a slight smile.
The next day at school, Cade walked in to find Reese talking to Adrienne at her locker. It appeared as if he was helping her with her books, and if you listened close enough, you could hear laughter. Cade couldn’t bear it; he had to go see what was going on.

“Reese, what did I tell you yesterday? She’s off limits,” Cade snapped sharply, staring Reese down.

“Cade, what are you talking about? I am not off limits. Stop acting like you own me!” Adrienne shot back.

“Okay, am I completely missing something here?” Reese asked.

“Not yet, but you’re about to be missing some teeth!” Cade shouted as he took a swing at Reese. Luckily, Reese has cat-like reflexes and ducked out of the way.

“What are you doing!?” Adrienne shrieked as she stepped in between the two boys. “Cade, how many times do I have to tell you we’re done? Let’s go, Reese.” Adrienne took the arm Reese offered her, and he walked her to class.

“I wish he would just leave me alone,” Adrienne sighed as a single tear rolled down her cheek. Reese gently pulled her to the side of the hallway and they stopped walking.

“What was that all about?” Reese asked. He wiped the tear off of her face and grabbed her hands. “I thought you two were done for good, but yesterday Cade told me you were off limits.”

“We were done when you left, but then I fell for the same old lines. Again. We’re done now, but Cade just doesn’t get it,” Adrienne complained.

“Adrienne, you are honestly the coolest girl I know. You’re not into what everyone else thinks, and that takes a lot of guts. Cade doesn’t see how great you are, and that’s his loss. I think you’re perfect,” Reese said.

Adrienne didn’t know what to say to that. Instead of saying anything, she started to cry. Really cry. She wasn’t afraid because she realized that Reese was what she was missing all along.

“Reese,” Adrienne started. “I’m glad you’re back.”

“Me too. Hey, what are you doing tonight?” Reese asked cheerfully.

“Oh, I don’t have plans,” Adrienne replied.

“Well how about we make some? Dinner? I’ll pick you up at five,” Reese insisted.

“It’s a date,” Adrienne said, and she smiled all the way to class.

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