(So, what’s worse? Knowing that you should hate him or knowing that you don’t?)
We rode the rest of the way in silence; all the while I laced and unlaced my fingers together. How could this be? Every kiss, every look, every hug a mistake. Anger mounted in my heart and soul, and I couldn’t help but feel cheated. Tears no longer coursed down my face, and all I could do was stare blankly out the window at the scenery, although the scenes didn’t connect with my mind. A little part of my brain reasoned that I couldn’t completely blame it all on him, that my father partly shared in the blame as well, but I ignored it. He had stolen my heart and handed it back in thousands of unfixable pieces. My dad had always told me that I should be careful to whom I would give my heart…little did he know how right he was. As much as I tried to take my mind off of him, his scent filled the car as the heater turned on, and all I could seem to remember were the things I wanted to forget. Jason, Jasper, school, my locker, Brittany. With my thoughts little sentences that Jasper had spoken before seemed to click now. “…I don’t care about Brittany…. I guess we are on the same frequency…I will always protect you….” I could feel my hands clenching and unclenching in my lap as we drove, and it was all I could do to keep them in my lap. Questions burned through my mind, and finally I turned to him, brushing my hair from my face as to see him better.
“How old are you?”
“17.” His voice sounded tired, as if he had aged within the last minutes.
“What is your real name?”
“Jasper Howard.” I could see a frown slip onto his perfect lips. With his answer came more pain, how could he have done this to me? How? He of all people should know, that I hated deceit and yet he had blatantly ignored that. Why had my father turned my own friend against me? I bit my lip to keep from cursing, and asked another question.
“When you first saw me at my locker…you were assigned to me weren’t you?” My voice trembled as I thought of it, the first friend I had made in a new school, had proved to be fake.
“Yes.” I could see his jaw tighten, but I pressed on, needing the answers.
“When you asked me out, you were told to ask me out weren’t you?”
“So every kiss, every hug, every word of love and affection you were TOLD to say? And not only that, but everything I said was heard and recorded through you, because you were probably being echoed all over kingdom come because of your status, wasn’t it?” My voice was growing louder, and my breathing began to grow ragged, but I couldn’t stop myself. “I believed in a lie. You told me that you loved me, and yet you lied to me? Wasn’t it you that told me that honesty and trust were the keys to every relationship? Or was that just a way to get me to tell you more things?” My voice cracked, and I could no longer look at him.
“Jordan. Please, don’t do this. Listen to me.”
“Listen to you? I think I’ve done more than my fair share of listening.” I stated. Minutes passed and I heard profanities I had never thought would come out of his perfect mouth, as he continued driving. “Jordan.” His voice was back to professional, all business like. “You can’t let your emotions rule you, listen to you.”
“Emotions?” My voice turned into a shriek. “EMOTIONS? I thought I loved you, I let you have my heart, and you broke it, and now you tell me not to be emotional. Well, let this be an emotion for you, you self-centered, deceiving piece of shit. I. Hate. You.” His face paled, and then instantly regained composure, I saw him open his mouth as if to speak, but then he closed it. Slowly he picked up the ear bud that lay on his lap, and stick it into his ear once more.
“Yessir, sorry, I had a momentary problem…no, it is all fixed now. Yes, Midnight is flying.” I saw him dare a glance at me for a second. “No sir, she’s quite alright…no sir, I’m aware of the dangers and I’m prepared to deal with them…. Yessir, I understand…I will be leaving at the end of the week. Yessir.” I couldn’t help but overhear his conversation, and I slouched in my seat, impatient to get home.
“So you’re leaving?”
“Yes, at the end of the week.”
I counted the days on my fingers. 3 days. I pressed my lips together, I should be ecstatic to get rid of him, after all, he had brought nothing but trouble to my life, but somehow my heart couldn’t help but complain about it.
Minutes later, we arrived at my house, reluctantly Jasper unlocked my door, and I crawled out, hate still quite clear on my face. Hesitantly I walked up to the door, and tried to open it, but it was locked. Then I remembered, I was supposed to eat at Denny’s that night. I glanced at Jasper still sitting in the car, and I couldn’t help but see the shadow of a smile appear on his face, as I stood there, and then trudged back to his car. As soon as I reached his car, and was safely strapped in, he began driving.
“Where are we going?” My voice was loud and panicky. No response. “Jasper Dunn Howard, where are you taking me?” Still no response. I twisted my hands in my lap, and glared at him, how could he possibly annoy me so much? Somewhere in the depths of my heart, I found this rather exciting, and knew I still loved him…but that knowledge lay too deep in my heart for it to make a difference at the moment.
I dozed in and out for the next hour, and when I awoke, I found myself sitting in the car in the middle of the woods, Jasper nowhere to be seen. I rubbed at my eyes, and glanced at the clock. 4:23, but it was really dark, and I could see that a storm was definitely coming. I shuddered, and wrapped my arms around me, trying to warm myself up. Where was he? Not that I really cared, but I didn’t really care for being left alone in the middle of the woods, with a storm coming. After five minutes, I began to get worried and unwillingly unbuckled my seat belt, and opened the door. Dangit Jasper, know I had to look for you. I took a step, gingerly, trying to balance my weight on a bad ankle, and somehow found to my surprise, that I could walk, or at least limp, without too much pain. I checked my watch, 4:30, and tentatively took steps into the woods. I would look 20 minutes, but that was all I would look.
It was dark, and cold, and rain began to fall, dampening my thin sweater, and chilling me. I always hated the cold, was terrified of the dark and rain didn’t really help me when I was already cold and frightened. In my fear I began to shout Jasper’s name, he had to be around here somewhere, right?
“Jasper!” No answer, I wondered if he was mad at me because I had told him that I hated him, but I had every right to hate him, didn’t I? I rolled my eyes, and continued walking. “Jasper…Jasper!” My teeth began to chatter, and the rain fell harder, bouncing from the tree branches onto my thin frame. I took a deep breath, and glanced around. The woods had always scared me, and today was no exception. With no leaves, they looked haunted, and I pulled my arms tighter around my body, my fingers shaking in the cold. I looked at my watch, trying to see the time…5:00. I turned around, I had spent too much time looking for him as it was, and I was cold, wet, tired, scared and angry. How dare he make me look for him? I needed to get back to the car. But where was back? Anxiety tightened in my throat, and a shiver raced up my backbone. Instinctively I reached for the necklace that was laced around my throat, but my empty fingers found themselves closing around emptiness. In my anger, I had dropped the necklace on the floor of Jasper’s car. I slammed a hand into my forehead. How could I have been so stupid? Tears blurred my vision. I was tired of crying, but it felt like that was all I was good at anymore. I was cold, my ankle hurt, I was wet and tired, and now I was lost as well. I took a step, trying to find myself back in the darkness and cold. Minutes passed as I stumbled on, tripping over roots and leaves, but always picking myself up and continuing. My eyes closed momentarily as drowsiness seemed to overwhelm me, I stopped for a second, resting my back against a tree. Rain fell on my head, cascading down my hair and cheeks and then dripping into puddles at my feet. Mud caught at the hems of my jeans, and pulled me down into the souse earth. I wiped a hand across my face, and tried to breathe, but I was too tired. Thunder rumbled the ground beneath me as I stood there, my face uplifted towards the heavens, mouth opened to catch the raindrops that wettened my tongue. Lightening flashed before my eyes, bigger and brighter than I had ever seen it before. A scream rose in my throat, but it never went heard. I was falling, fragmented images and little spots of light dancing before my eyes…A tree cracking in half…branches…lightning…and then everything went dark.