I kept repeating to myself that this was going to be okay, that I had to do this to help him, but it was like my mind was rejecting my words. I hadn’t slept last night, the scene of Jasper saying goodbye kept flitting through my mind like a broken VCR set on repeat, I had cried until my head hurt and my throat felt on fire. I had cried myself dry until all I could do was lay on my bed and shake. It hurt to think about it, but I had to somehow try and talk myself out of this stance I had been in. But how do you suddenly accept the fact that you are no longer friends with someone whom you have known practically your whole life? I could still remember the first time I met him when I was 4 years old, eating snack in a new school for the first time. He had stuck a spider down my shirt, and I had kicked him in the balls. My daddy had always told me that if a boy tried to hurt me or scare me, I should always kick him there, a little self defense for my little girl, he had promised, tucking a flyaway piece of hair behind my ear for me. Jasper had cried for what seemed hours, and I had been made to apologize, and then had to talk to Mr. Winters, our teacher about it. A smile crept on my lips, and then disappeared as I thought about it. 12 years ago and so much had changed. Dad was somewhere, where I didn’t know. Ever since he had switched to the FBI I barely got to see him anymore, let alone talk to him. Occasionally he still sent packages, all of them with foreign stamps, and letters covered with, “I hope to see you soon, and I love you’s,” but letters could never fully replace being actively involved in my life, of course, when your parents are divorced it is hard to be fully active in your daughter’s life with shared custody. I sighed, thinking, and then of course there was the whole Jasper deal. My eyes burned with unshed tears and I lazily crawled out of bed, knowing that I didn’t have much time to make it to school this morning. I would have to ride the bus for the first time, seeing that before I had always been accustomed to riding with Jasper in his car. I hated this, and it didn’t help that my mother, being super paranoid about teens and driving, refused to take me to get my permit, and I was 6 months past my 16th birthday.
Minutes later I was dressed, pulling a brush through my dark hair, and forgetting makeup. I stumbled down the steps, noticing a note on the counter that mom had left.
‘Have fun at school. Don’t forget to eat breakfast. Supper at Denny’s at 6.’
I smiled, and grabbed a doughnut that she had placed beside the note, good ol’ mom, even though she was half psychotic sometimes.
The screen door slammed behind me, and tumbled down the flight of steps and landed on my butt on the sidewalk. As I said before, clumsy was my middle name. As I sat there, ankle throbbing, head beginning to hurt a red jeep pulled up. I glanced up, gazing into the face of Jason.
“Need a ride?”
My throat constricted, he was obviously drunk, and I really didn’t want to see him again. “No.” my voice came out in a whisper and I tried to stand up, but my ankle gave in, keeping me on the ground. “No, no, no.”
“Why don’t you get in honey? We can start where we left off.”
Panic bled through me, and I tried to scream, but only a whimper rose in my throat. When he turned off the engine, I thought I was going to die. You know how in the movies when the girl’s feet just kind of stay there, that’s how I was. A movement behind me, caught my attention, and I turned around. Clenching his jaw tightly stood Jasper.
“Go. Get in my car. Now.” Somehow, I managed to get onto my feet and limp to his car. His voice was hard, but somehow it calmed me down, like a sudden rain after a drought.
I listened as best as I could to their conversation, but only managed to catch bits and pieces. Jasper leaned against Jason’s car and said in the most menacing voice I had ever heard, “I swear, if you ever come near her, talk to her, touch or even breath around her, I will kill you.”
Jason didn’t even look scared, his smile just got bigger. “Oh, do you promise?”
Jasper just gave him a long look, and walked away, leaving Jason sitting there, a grin spreading from ear to ear. Disgust filled me, and rage. I felt like the princess who always needed rescuing from her prince. I didn’t want this life, I didn’t want Jasper to keep rescuing me, I didn’t want Jason to keep following me, the scream that I couldn’t produce before, rose to my tongue, and before I knew it I was screaming. Jasper reached the car, and took one of my hands.
“Why do you keep insist on running away from me?” He went straight to the question, no beating around the bush this time. I shrugged, but he wouldn’t buy it. “I’m not so stupid as to not tell when you’re lying to me.” I tried to glare up at him, but his eyes probed into mine, as if forcing my answer to my tongue.
“Life sucks, and mine just happens to suck a little more than anyone else’s. I’m glad you came when you did, I-I don’t want to think about what would have happened if you didn’t, but things like this just happen to me. It was my fault.”
He jumped up, and grabbed a hold of my shoulders. “Your fault?! Are you crazy? That disgusting son of a bitch tried to take advantage of you again, and you blame yourself? How do you figure that? Do you know how badly I want to hurt him?” His voice shook as is his fingers dug into my shoulder blades. I could see his lips trembling as he spoke. I tried to take a deep breath, but ended up choking. His eyes penetrated into mine, the storm clearly raging in them, and I began to speak.
“Jasper, there are a lot of things you don’t know about me. I’ve never told you about them because I wanted to save you from…I don’t know, the whole thing scares me so badly, but I guess I need to tell you now.” I took a deep breath, and continued. “My father as you know, is an FBI agent, and he has put away a lot of criminals. One of them was Jason’s father who was a murderer, and wanted on high levels of crime from countries around the world. Jason seems to think that he cannot rest until he has seen me through - one way or another, and many other people in the world believe that too. By getting me, they think that my father will fall for the trap and comply with any of their wishes, you know, national secrets, people going free from jail, money, you name it.” I bit my lip, and lowered my eyes, not being able to take the scrutiny of his gaze anymore. “But that’s not even the worst of it. Ever since I’ve moved here, I’ve gotten so much hate mail; death wishes, you name it. My father is going crazy, blaming himself, and ordering for me to move to California where he can keep me with him, or he’s going to send 2 security guards to come live with me. And now this…no one has ever taken a serious attempt on my life, or at least dared to touch me.” I started to shake again, and couldn’t continue. Suddenly I was folded into his chest with a crushing hug, his hands holding my sides pulling me to him.
“I won’t let anyone hurt me. I promise.” He promised in my ear. I tried to believe him, but I was too hurt.
“I’m sorry for pushing you away.” I murmured against his shoulder. “I’m sorry for not telling you before.” My apologies melted against his chest as his cold lips kissed my throat. I sighed, and pulled away, staring up at him. “How did you know I was here?” I questioned, awed at how he could always seem to find me so quickly.
“Um, I, uh, guess we are on the same frequency.” His voice sounded stilted to my ears, and I frowned. He sounded different, weird sort of. A laugh bubbled out of his throat, sounding in the silence, but sounding forced, fake.
“Jasper?” My eyes searched his face for some sort of reason behind his actions, but his face was suddenly devoid of whatever I had seen in it before. I blinked; maybe I was just seeing things.
“We better get you to school.” He mumbled, pulling the car into gear, and turning on a CD. Seconds later my favorite song came through the speakers, and I began to relax, almost forgetting the mishap that morning. Almost. We drove on, Evanescence’s, my immortal, ringing in my ears.