Things Change | Teen Ink

Things Change

July 9, 2011
By countrygirl3394, Carver, Massachusetts
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countrygirl3394, Carver, Massachusetts
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Favorite Quote:
No matter what you're going through, it will end eventually. So if it's bad, keep your chin up. And if it's good, enjoy it while it lasts.


Author's note: When I was a freshman in high school, I spent my spare time writing this story. Now, three years later, I want to share it with others that don't really know me and what I've been through. I hope that it can help people realize that a break-up isn't the worst thing that you'll experience in life. They're tough, but you'll make it.

Today has been the worst day of my life. Actually, it’s only been the worst day of the high-school experience that I’m almost done with. After all we’d been though, how could he have done this to me? It just doesn’t make any sense. I still remember the day that he asked me out as if it were yesterday.


I was jogging down Main Street early on an early summer morning. School had ended just a week before. I had just finished sophomore year of high school. My eyes fell on him as I turned the corner. He was wearing basketball shorts and a baggy tee-shirt. The shirt was soaked with sweat; he must jog, too. I couldn’t help but stare as he lifted his shirt to try and cool off. That was when he noticed me, five yards away, staring. Oh my God! What do I do? Should I go over and talk to him? Or should I keep jogging…away from him? I have to make a quick decision because he’s still staring. Well, it’s too late now. He’s coming over here, right towards me.

“Hey, you’re Mandy right?” He said as he got close enough for us to speak.

“Yeah. We have P.E. together, right?” I was trying to remain calm.

“Well, we did have it together but it’s summer, so we don’t have any classes together. At least we don’t yet have classes together yet.” He smiled. His teeth were a shade of white that was practically blinding. Again, I couldn’t stop staring.

“That’s true. So, how are you…” I wanted to make sure I knew his name. I still couldn’t believe he was talking to me. He is absolutely gorgeous and I’m nothing but a geek that nobody seems to like.

“I’m pretty good, actually. Summer has been great. How are you?” He asked.

“I’m great. I found a job, thank God. My parents have been bugging me for months to get one. And I’ve been running to get ready for field hockey next season and get in shape.” I was looking at my shoes then I realized what I was wearing. How could I leave the house looking like this? My sneakers are ratty and old; my sweats are ripped and covered in paint; my shirt is three sizes too big; I can only imagine how my hair and face look.

“I don’t think you need to get in shape. You look great.” He smiled again practically making me weak at the knees with that statement and his smile.

“Thanks.” I could feel my face turning red. “I think that I could be in a little better shape though. All girls think it. ”

“Do you umm… like to watch… movies?” He stammered.

“As an American teenager, I spend a portion of my time with movies and television.” He had a slightly confused look on his face. I usually had that effect on people. I could be such a nerd that I made a bad impression. “Yes, I like movies.” I changed my answer to a normal response. Gosh, I’m such a loser! Why can’t I talk like a normal person?!

“Do you want to see one,” he began, “with… me?” He finished.

“I’d love to.” I smiled showing off the metal on my teeth.

“Great. How about tonight?” He smiled, too. After only one conversation with Jason, I’d fallen in love with his smile.

“Tonight? Let me check my cell to see if I’m doing anything.” I took my phone out of the pocket in my sweats. I opened it and checked my calendar. Yes! I’m free! “Tonight would be perfect.”

“Okay. Do you want to meet there or carpool?” He asked.

“I live a block from the theater so I’ll meet you there but I’ll need a ride home if it’s dark out?” My statement somehow became a question.

“Sure, my older brother can bring us back. Is that okay? I would drive you but I’m not allowed to drive with anyone but family. Sorry.”

“Oh, don’t be sorry. I don’t want you to break any laws for me. A ride from your brother would be great.”

“Okay. I’ll see you at seven.”

I nodded. Then, I smiled at him and turned away. I jogged away from him trying not to make a fool of myself.




I was welcomed back to reality when my phone rang. I leaned towards my nightstand to get my phone. The screen read: New Text Message from: Jason<3

Yikes, I have to edit my contacts, my Instant Messenger information, and all of my other profiles. Why is he even texting me? What more could he have to say that he didn’t say earlier?

I opened my phone to read his message.

Mandy, I’m sorry. I just didn’t want to hurt you more. My family is moving.

I closed my phone without replying and placed it back on my nightstand. I got off my bed and sat at my desk in front of my laptop. I decided to go online and change everything that had to do with the boy that broke my heart. The first thing I changed was my status message. Now it reads,

you told me you’d never hurt me
I know that I’m being dramatic, but it’s how I’m feeling right now. I can’t change that. I deleted everything about him from all my profile pages and accounts. A chat window opened on the screen.

IM from: XxSaMaNtHaxX: hey babe!

OXmandyXO: hi…

XxSaMaNtHaxX: wanna come over? You can spend the night.

OXmandyXO: umm, let me ask

XxSaMaNtHaxX: okay

OXmandyXO: my mom said yeah but if I don’t finish my homework, I’ll be grounded =[

XxSaMaNtHaxX:yikes, don’t worry

OXmandyXO: what time?

XxSaMaNtHaxX:whenever

OXmandyXO: half hour?

XxSaMaNtHaxX: sounds great

Auto-response from OXmandyXO: spending time with your best friend is the best kind of medicine.

I put my laptop on hibernate and called for my mom as I headed to the kitchen downstairs. “Mom! Where’s my bathing suit?”

“It’s April. Why do you need it?” She looked at me as if I were on drugs and asking her for money to buy more.

I sighed, “Sam’s parents just got a hot tub and we’re going to use it tonight.”

She looked relieved. “Oh, check the basement then.”

“Okay, thanks Mom.”

I went downstairs and into the laundry room. I checked the dirty clothes pile on the floor. Thankfully, it wasn’t there. Next, I checked the pile on the folding table that I was supposed to fold and put away yesterday. The only bathing suit I could find was my blue and purple polka-dot bikini. I grabbed the suit from the pile and headed upstairs to my room. I walked through the family room and the first thing I noticed was the pictures of me and Jason from Junior Prom last year. How could he not care anymore? That was only a year ago. We were so in love. He had his hands on my hips and I was looking up at him. The picture next to that was of the corsage he bought for me. The last one was of Jason sneaking up on me and wrapping his arms around my waist; we were both laughing hysterically. I could barely hold back my tears so I walked away from the photos and towards Allison.

She was sitting on the couch curled in a blanket and reading her newest book. Allison and I were identical despite her age. She was too involved in her reading to notice me so I tapped her shoulder. “Hey, do you need anything?” I asked.

“Umm, actually,” she placed her bookmark on the page where she left off and closed the book. “Do you have that book we were talking about earlier?”

“Yes, I do. It’s in my room. You can take it off the bookshelf whenever you want it. But I’m spending the night at Sam’s house, so be good for Mom and Dad.”


“I’m always good. Have fun and tell Sam hello for me.” She got off the couch and followed me upstairs to my bedroom. Once in my room, she grabbed the book, gave me a hug, and went back to the basement to continue her reading. I opened my closet and took out my duffel bag and backpack. My backpack had all of my schoolwork in it so I didn’t have to add anything else. I quickly made a checklist of everything that I needed to bring for the night. I searched my room until I had everything on the list neatly packed in my duffel bag. There were also a few last minute additions like movies and CDs.

As soon as my bag was ready, I closed it and threw it over my shoulder.
My backpack was on my other shoulder. When I was in the kitchen I called for my mom to say goodbye.

“What’s up, honey?” She said as she came upstairs holding a pan of frozen lasagna.

“I wanted to let you know that I’m leaving and I’ll be home tomorrow night.”

“All right. Are you okay? You look tired.” She placed the lasagna on the counter.

“I’m fine, Mom.” I lied but I’ll tell her tomorrow. I have to talk with Sam first. She’s the only one that completely understands how I feel all the time.

“Okay. Call me later?” That was a rhetorical question. I couldn’t go long without talking to my family. It was obvious that I would call her before I went to bed that night.

I nodded. “Love you.” I gave her a hug, took my purse off the kitchen table, and headed outside to my car. My radio turned on in sync with my car. There was a country singer wailing rhymes about her heartbreak. For the first time in my life, my heart was broken and I could relate to how she was feeling. Listening to the song made me realize that I hadn’t removed the picture of me and Jason that was hanging from my rearview mirror. So I took it down.

Just over a mile away, I passed Jason’s house. I knew he wouldn’t be home because he had band practice with his friends. Outside, Mike, his younger brother, was playing basketball by himself. I knew what he was doing. For the past few months, he’d been trying to lose weight so people would be friends with him. I felt bad for him. I wish there was something I could’ve done for him. Since I got to know Jason’s family so well, Mike was like a little brother to me.

“Jason! Knock it off!” I begged as Jason was on top of me during a tickle fight.


“Come on baby! You know you like it.” He smiled.

“I have to be at work early tomorrow. I should get going.”
I was teasing him; I did have to work early the next day but I usually stayed up late anyways. I pushed him off and sat up, he did the same.

He made an innocent face that I couldn’t say no to. The face where his eyes were big, his smile was gentle, and his arms were extended for a hug. I went into his arms and hugged him. He whispered into my ear, “Stay for dinner?”

“Okay. But I’m leaving after.” I was serious about wanting to get home early. I didn’t want my parents to think I was taking advantage of their lenient rules.

“Alright, I guess that’s fair.”

I started to move out of his arms when he began tickling me again. The only way I could stop him was by kissing him. So I gave him one short kiss and pulled back from him.


“Hey, come back.” He pleaded. We’d been together for five months and he always said the same thing when I moved away from him. He was insanely cute when he wanted something. I couldn’t resist him. I laid down next to him with my head on his chest and my arm around his waist. You’d think that after dating for five months, the butterflies in my stomach would’ve disappeared but they haven’t. I lifted my head and kissed him, lightly, on his neck. He smiled and tightened his arm around my waist. That made me smile. Moments like this were should go on forever, the ones you don’t want to forever. The feeling I had when I was with him was better than anything I’d ever felt. I knew that as long as I was with him, I was safe. Our great and quiet moment was interrupted when Mike opened Jason’s bedroom door. We jumped.

“Were you guys kissing?” He teased.

“Mikey! Go away! And no we weren’t kissing. We were just laying here.”

“Babe, calm down.” I whispered into his ear. Also, I put my arm tighter around him to make sure he wasn’t going to attack his little brother.

“Yeah, babe calm down!” Mike copied.

“Mikey, what do you want?” Jason was aggravated.

“It’s time for dinner. Mom wants you two to eat with us.”

“Alright, we’ll be down in a minute.” After Jason said this, Mike left the room and closed the door behind him. “Have I ever told you how your eyes sparkle?”

I couldn’t help but laugh. He was so corny but I loved it. “Yes you have told me.” I kissed him softly on the lips. He put his arms around me when I sat up for a second. Then, we were both horizontal, his body on top of mine. The kissing continued for about five minutes and stopped when Jason started sliding his hand up my shirt. “Jay…”

“I’m sorry.” He got up and sat at the end of his bed, seeming aggravated.

“No, it’s okay but we’re supposed to be eating dinner with your mom and Mikey right now. Your mom might suspect something when we don’t go downstairs.” I sat behind him and rubbed his back.

“You’re right.” He grabbed my hand. “Let’s go eat.”

“Hold on.” I pointed to my hair with my left hand as I fixed my shirt with my right hand. He handed me a brush and I fixed my knotted hair as quickly as I could. The second that I put the brush back on his dresser, Mikey came back into Jason’s room.

“Mom wants you to feed the dog, now.”

“I’ll be right back.” He released my hand and went out the door.

As he left, I wanted to talk to Mikey. “Hey, Mikey, why do you always tease me and your brother?”

“Honestly? Because I know how much it bothers you guys. It’s fun to annoy you.” He was smiling from ear to ear.

“Fair enough. I can understand that.” I laughed. “Now, let’s go down for dinner before it gets cold.”


When I got to Sam‘s house, I took my bags out of the passenger seat, and headed to the front door. Sam’s mom opened the door as she saw me.

“Hi, Mrs. Haven.” I said once I reached the door.

“Hi honey, how are you doing?” Of course Sam had told her. Mrs. Haven is like a second mother to me. I would have told her if Sam hadn’t.

“I’m okay… I guess. I probably feel how I should.”

“You’ll be alright. You’re a strong person.” Then, she leaned over to give me a hug. Sam saw and called me into the house. I put my bags in her room and took out the Snapples I’d bought down the street from her house. Sam took hers and read the cap out loud.

“Hey Mandy, did you know that Dalmatians are born all white?”

I sat down on her bed and replied, “Actually, I did.”

“Nerd. Only you would know that.”

“No!” I defended my self, “Have you seen the 101 Dalmatians? They say that.”

“I haven’t watched that movie in like… ten years.”

“That’s because you don’t have to baby-sit a seven year old three times a month.”

“True.” She sat down next to me on the bed.

“I say that we watch a movie.” I suggested.

“Sure. What’d you bring?”

“Umm, I think I brought The Notebook, Steel Magnolias, Clueless, and My Best Friend’s Wedding. Pick one.”

“Let’s watch The Notebook. If that’s okay with you…” Her voice trailed off.

I nodded. Then I grabbed the DVD from my duffel bag and headed down the stairs. Secretly, I felt like crying. Jason watched the movie with me dozens of times because he knew it was my favorite. I put the disc in the DVD player and sat on the couch. After about five minutes, I knew that I had to talk about it. “Sam?” My voice was scratchy from holding back the tears.

“Yeah?” She turned around in the recliner and faced me.

“Why’d he do it? Did he talk to you? He promised he’d never hurt me!”

“Mandy, first off, all guys make that promise and break it. I’ve told you that many times. And he has to move hun, he’s moving half way across the country. He has no choice.”


“I know that he’s moving Sam. When? Plus has he ever heard of long
distance relationships? Why can’t we try? I love him the same way that he loves me. Our feelings for each other aren’t going to vanish once he leaves. At least my feelings for him aren’t going to. He told me our love could survive anything. Why not this?”

“Well, he told me that he thinks guys will want you once he leaves. He doesn’t want you to waste your time on him.”

“So what has the past year and a half been? All a waste of time?” I snorted. “Is he serious? He means everything to me! I don’t want to lose him.”

“You have two choices right now; you could either relax and forget about him or you can cry your eyes out. It’s your choice.”

I sighed. “I think I’m going to relax and try to forget about it for now. I don’t feel like crying right now.” That was a lie but I wanted to stay strong.

“I think you should. It will help. It’s helped me in the past. All the jerks that I’ve dated and then I realized ‘What the hell was I thinking?’ Remember all I did was cry?”

“True. But you were smart enough not to stay with a guy for a year and a half. Why did I do this?” I was having more trouble staying strong as the moments passed.

She smiled. She was about to make an obvious but serious point. That was why she smiled. “Because you love him.” There it was.

“Exactly. I love him. I will always have a piece of my heart for him.” I stretched to the length of the couch as Sam turned to face the TV. My eyes were fogging up with tears. I began to silently sob.


“Mandy! Wake-up! Mandy!” I felt a nudge on my shoulder. I opened my eyes and saw Sam standing above me.

“What?”

“You fell asleep. I could hear you muttering about Jason.”

“Oh, for how long?”

“About half an hour. It’s four o’clock. We have to make dinner.”

“Ooooh, fun!” I jumped off the couch and ran into the kitchen. “So what are we making? Is it your famous Macaroni and Cheese?”

“Haha! No, this will be a real challenge. We’re making pizza and get this, it’s not from a box.”

“Sweet!” I laughed and then set the oven to 350°F. She had followed me into the kitchen and was now looking through a cookbook.

“I’ll grab a pan. Can you get the dough and tomato sauce?” She pointed to the fridge.

“Sure.” I jogged to the fridge and slid on the floor because of my socks. When I had what she asked for, I placed them next to her so I could wash my hands. I turned the radio on to our favorite station. Sam and I finished making
the pizza while singing along with the radio.


An hour later, I was sitting to dinner with Sam and her family. I poured myself a glass of water and passed the pitcher to Sam’s older brother.

“Thanks.” He mumbled.

“No problem.” I smiled. “Mr. and Mrs. Haven, thanks again for having me. I really need the girl time with Sam.” Sam nodded in agreement and made a gentle smile that seemed to say ‘I’ll always be here for you.’

“Honey, you know that you are always welcome here. You’re practically family.” Mrs. Haven replied.

“And you can cook! Unlike our Samantha here.” Mr. Haven added with a chuckle.

“Hey!” Sam yelled. “At least I try, unlike John, the low-life.”
“Proud to be.” John was a smart ass but not in an arrogant way.

“I’m serious though. You know why I need Sam right now.” I tried to stop the two of them from fighting because sometimes it got ugly.

“Girls, this pizza is delicious.” Mr. Haven changed the subject. He wasn’t much for teenage relationships. He allowed his children to date but tried not to get too involved in everyone else’s business.

“Brava ladies.” John added like the smart ass he is. He glanced across the table and smiled at me. I returned the gesture.

“It was all Mandy. All I did was get a pan and open the dough. Remember, I suck at cooking!” Sam confessed.

John reached for a high five and I extended my arm to complete the action.



We put the dishes in the sink and went up to Sam’s room to begin the hours of homework we had. After spending fifteen minutes trying to understand my History homework, I slammed my book shut.

“I don’t understand why we need to know this!” I yelled. “It’s useless!”

Sam laughed at me. “I agree but you have nothing to worry about. You’re doing great in that class. I’m starting to understand after your tutoring, even though we’re in the second semester. I should have accepted your help back in November.”

“Yeah and I’m glad I helped you. I just wish I was consistent in that class. My grades have been up and down like a Pogo stick.”

John appeared at the door to Sam’s room. “Sam, Mom wants you in the kitchen.”

She closed her History book and stood up. As soon as she left the room, John took Sam’s place next to me.

“So, what’s up?” He said as he took my book away from me.

“Nothing.” Should I say it? “I’m just heartbroken.” I tried to get my book but he wouldn’t let me.

“Sam told me. That sucks. He’s not worth it if he stays with you through everything then leaves you because he’s moving. I think he’s an ass.”

I pulled my knees to my chest and whispered, “I gave him practically everything.”

“I’m here to talk if you need to.” He offered.

“No thanks.” I answered.

He nodded. “Alright but let me say this, everyone ends up with a broke heart at least once in their lifetime. I’ve been heartbroken twice but hearts heal. You just need to find the right person to heal it. Being in love is taking a risk. When you fell in love with Jason, you took a risk. It’s okay to risk again.”

While he was speaking, I had this odd urge to put my arms around his neck and kiss him. He was gorgeous. His eyes were like a mud puddle. Normally, mud is gross but his eyes made my heart skip a beat. His hair was short, he had just cut it all off and it agreed with him. He had broad shoulders that were followed by muscular arms. He worked out. Sexy! He wore Polo shirts with the collar down; he’d rather wear jeans instead of sweatpants. He had total prep written all over him. I liked his style. I don’t remember feeling like this with Jason, ever. I could have felt this though. I’m sure I did.

I was speechless. I know I can risk again. It hasn’t even been a day yet. When I do risk my heart again, I’ll be careful. “You’re really good with
advice.” I complimented him.

“Thanks, I have experience. Every girl I’ve been with seems to only want me because I’m done with high school and I was well-known as a student. Do all girls date for popularity?” He was making eye contact with me. I could feel my face flush.

“To be honest, I think maybe fifty-percent of teens date for popularity. I would never date for popularity. I care about personality.” I answered his question with the truth.

“So, you wouldn’t date…” He better not say him! He continued, “me?” He said it! Now I have to answer that question! “Well…?” He added.

“Honestly, John, I think you’re great. You’re nice looking, you seem sweet, but I only know you as Sam’s older brother. Plus, the last thing I need right now is another relationship. Eventually, I’ll be ready but that’ll be at least a month. I’m seriously heartbroken.” I was having difficulty holding back my tears. John noticed this and reacted by placing his arm around my shoulders. After what seemed like an eternity, I shrugged my shoulders and he removed his arm.

“I’m not trying to be a jerk but I’m slightly uncomfortable with guys right now.”

He sighed. He was so close to me, I could feel his breath on my neck. The warmth sent chills down my spine.

“What’s going on in there?” Sam was coming up from the kitchen.

I cleared my throat and moved away from John. “Nothing.” My voice was scratchy and I was partially breathless.

John’s brown eyes were staring at me. I felt like he could see everything about me. I felt as if he could see everything about me. I felt as if he could read my mind. He responded to her question with the same answer as me.

“Hey, Mandy, how much homework do you have left?”

“All I have to do is study for the Spanish exam. Why?” When I answered, she started to take off her jeans. “What are you doing?” I followed






11
her into the bathroom. “Sam! What the hell are you doing?”

She laughed and answered, “We are going in the hot tub. Get on your suit, now!”

“Sorry I wasn’t stripping in front of your brother!” Not that I would mind so much… I went to her closet and took out my suitcase. Right on top, I found my suit from last summer. I went into Sam’s parents’ bathroom and changed into my bikini. Within two minutes, I was as perfect as I could be. Sam opened the door on me while I was fixing my boobs in my top.

“Damn! You look great! You’ve lost weight since September, not like you needed to, of course.” Sam was pretending to take pictures of me. When I looked past her, I noticed John was gone. Had be been there when I said I couldn’t strip in front of him?

“Thanks, Sam. You look hot, too. Let’s swim… or relax rather.”

“You are such a nerd. Who says ‘rather’?”

I pushed her towards the staircase. Once we reached the back door, John whistled. Sam ran up to him and jumped on his back. “Shut up!” She shouted as she messed up his hair.

“I’m just saying.” He brought Sam to the couch. As he walked into the kitchen, Sam approached the back door again. I managed to get John’s attention.

Stop it! I mouthed.

He smiled, Stop what?

You know what! I turned and went outside. He was still staring at me in my polka-dot bikini. I closed the door and said, “Your brother is so annoying!” Then, I lowered into the hot water.

“Try living with him for seventeen years. I wish he didn’t decide to wait for college. He better go in the fall. Even though it won’t matter. I’m leaving, too. I just don’t know where I’m going yet.” She sounded nervous because she has no idea what college will accept her, but then again, no one does.

“Don’t worry. I don’t know either.”

“Mandy, you have absolutely nothing to worry about! You’re the student council secretary, in National Honor Society, performed extra community service. Plus, don’t you have like twenty extra credits? That’s a rhetorical question. You’ll get into any school you want.”

She’s right. “You make me sound like a goody-two shoes!”

“You are.”

I stuck my tongue out and we both laughed. “It’s not a bad thing to be dedicated to schoolwork. Once college starts, we’ll never see each other again.”

I remembered movie I saw as a child and the characters were in a similar condition: afraid of losing a friend. “We can’t let that happen. We’ve been through too much together. We’ve helped each other with relationships, family, school, and jobs. And we have too many things that only we should know.” I paused and Sam had watery eyes. “This relationship is too important. Right now, swear that whenever we need each other, no matter what, we visit each other and help.”

“I swear.” She put her hand on mine which was on the edge of the hot






12
tub.

“I swear too.”





“What time is it? I look like a prune.” I complained.

Sam got out of the hot tub and went to check inside. As she went to check inside. As she left, John came outside and joined me in the hot tub.

“Hey.” He greeted me with a smile. His teeth were perfectly straight and pearly white.

“Hi.”

“Mandy! Do you want him out? It’s half past seven by the way.” Sam called out the window.

“I’m getting out now.” I called back. I rose out of the steamy water and wrapped myself in a towel. When I got up to Sam’s room, I checked my cell phone. Nothing.

“Oh yeah!” Sam was walking into her room. “While you were asleep, Jason called me. He wants to see you before he leaves. He suggest the day after tomorrow.” She finished.

I looked down at my bare feet that had a fresh pedicure. “Do you think I should see him?”

“Yes.”

“Okay. I’ll text him now.” I opened my phone and sent him a message.

we can talk. see you then.

Jason


The last thing I expected to happen was my phone to ring, but suddenly, I heard the sound that meant I had a new text message. I opened my piece of crap cell phone and saw what Mandy had replied to my earlier text that I sent to Sam.

we can talk. see you then.

After reading her message, I closed my phone. I couldn’t reply; that’d be too much for me to handle right now.


“Jason! That tickles.” Mandy squealed.

“Then I’ll keep doing it.” I replied. Her smile was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. When her braces were removed two months after we had our first date, she became aggressive with her kisses. Her laugh made me smile. That is why I enjoy tickling her so often. Today, I was tickling her with my three-day stubble. I smiled at her. She kissed me and parted my lips with her tongue. She was very open to me. Not many girls like her- meaning smart girls- make the first move in relationships. She’s been aggressive for about four months. Today is our six month anniversary. “I love you, babe.” I whispered.

“I love you, too.”

I rolled gently on top of her. Just days before, I figured out how to be gentle while I was on her. Ten minutes later, I placed my right hand on her hip. I lifted her shirt but my hand stopped when I found another underneath. She realized I was having trouble and she giggled. Luckily, she continued to kiss me. That made me feel like less of a idiot. As soon as I figured out her tank top, I had to solve the problem of her bra. This made her laugh even more and she eased her back off of my bed. Once her back was off the bed, I unhooked her bra in record time. While I was kissing her collarbone, I felt her cold hands sliding on my back. She managed to remove my shirt much easier than how I handled hers. Then again, I wasn’t dressed in multiple layers. Since I’d already unclasped her bra, I lifted her shirt over her head. She was starting to breathe heavily; she was nervous. I stopped kissing her.

“Hey, are you okay?” I asked her.

“Yeah.” She paused. “I’m just… I don’t know.”

“Nervous?” I questioned.

“I think so.”

“Do you want me to stop? I respect whatever your choice is. I want what you want.”

“I want this.” She lifted off her tank top and her bra fell with it. “I love you.” She pulled me back down on top of her. We were now chest to chest; we were now bare chest to bare chest.

“And I love you.” I whispered in her ear.




“Jason, where did you put the tape?”

“I have it!” I yelled back to her.

She entered my room. She looked disgusted as she scanned my unpacked room. “Honey, we’re leaving in three days. Why haven’t you packed yet?”

“I’ve told you a hundred times Mom, I am not going with you and Mikey. I’ll stay with Eric and his family.”

She laughed at me. My own mother laughed at me! “Young man, you are coming with your brother and me, whether you like it or not. You will not break up this family!”

“This family broke up when I was ten and Dad left. He broke our family our family. Not me! Even if I were to come with you, I’m going to college in the fall.”

“College? We’ve talked about this; you’re not going. You’re joining you uncle’s company.” She demanded.

“Selling fish? Are you serious? Mom, I’m in the top five percent of my class. I have potential! Once I turned eighteen, you lost control. Deal with it!” Technically, she still had control over me until I moved out but that would only be another three days.

Instead of speaking, she took the tape off of my desk and walked out of my room. I’d her hurt feelings when I yelled at her. It was my only option, though. I’ve been the man of the house for eight years and I was done. I felt terrible that Mikey would have to deal with it but I know he’ll be alright. He shouldn’t have to deal with her but college is what I want. I’m not giving up my dreams and becoming a loser like my father. After graduation, I’ll find an apartment near the college that I chose. Then again, maybe I should stay with my brother until the fall. He’ll need me a little longer.



“Jason? Honey, can I come in?” Mom asked from the outside of my bedroom.

“Sure.”

She sat down on my bed as I was sitting at my desk. “Is the only reason you want to stay because you’ll miss Mandy?” She seemed somewhat concerned.

“God Mom! Didn’t you notice? I broke up with her!”

“Well, that’s good. You’ll meet a girl in Michigan.” She smiled.

“Good? And I want Mandy. Like it or not, I love her. I’m not going to meet another girl. Why don’t you like her?” I was getting angry with her, more than earlier. How is it good when people that are completely in love break up?

“She seems too perfect. She has to have a terrible secret. She wants to be too successful. Plus, she changed you to something that you’re not.”

“First, how can someone want to be too successful? Mom, she made me a better person! After a few weeks with her, my grades improved vastly. All I need is her. She is the key to my locked happiness. It seems like you don’t want me happy. Is that true?” I had felt that way for a while and been waiting to tell her for months.

“You’re delirious! All I want is for you and Mikey to be happy. You two mean-”

I interrupted her, “Do you know why he’s always outside? He’s bullied for his weight and he’s tired of it. He’s trying to lose weight so that people will accept him.”

She stood up, looking annoyed because I had won the argument. “We will talk more later. I need to finish packing the bathroom.” She closed my door as she walked out of my bedroom.

I grabbed my car keys and went downstairs. “I’m going for a drive, I’ll be back later.” I announced as I let the door close behind me.

“Jason, where are you going?” Mike yelled out the window.

“For a drive. I’ll be back for a dinner.” I called back. I knew for sure I would be home for dinner because we ate at the same time almost every night. I still had at least an hour to drive around and clear my head.

“Okay.” He walked away from the window.

I got into my care and headed to Mandy’s house. When I got there, her car wasn’t in the driveway but I stopped anyways. I walked up to the door and knocked. Mrs. Stead opened the door.

“Hello Jason. What are you doing here? Mandy is over Sam’s house for the night.”

“I’m sorry that I hurt Mandy. I’m here to apologize and talk to her.”

“You hurt her?” She was confused. “What happened with you two?”

“She didn’t tell you?” I was shocked. Mandy and Mrs. Stead talk about everything. Mrs. Stead shook her head. “Well, my mom just told me and my brother yesterday that we’re definitely moving out west. She thinks it’ll be better for us. I didn’t want Mandy to feel like she had to stay with me, so I ended it earlier today. But I didn’t explain myself at all. I realized I made a mistake. I want her to take me back.”

“Do you want to come in? We can talk more inside.” She suggested.

“Sure, thanks.” I smiled. I took a step into the seemingly perfect house. Normally, a mother wouldn’t want anything to do with her daughter’s ex-boyfriend, but Mrs. Stead didn’t care about things like that. She would do whatever it took to help someone when they need it.

“Jason!” Allison ran up to me and I gave her a hug.

“What’s up, Ally?”

“The usual homework and reading.” She was just like her older sister. I’ve always thought that was adorable.

“Allison, I have to talk with Jason for a little bit.” Mrs. Stead stated and Allison grabbed her book and walked downstairs.

“So, Jason, what are you going to do now?” She asked me.

“Well,” I sat opposite of her on the other couch. “I don’t want to lose her. She’s been the best thing in my life for a while. She’s my best friend. But I don’t want her to feel like she has to wait for me when I have no idea when we’ll see each other again. Why is life so complicated? Things were going so well until my mom told me this.” I complained.

She laughed, “Jason, life is the way it is because when a mistake is made, something is learned and you have to find your way out of it. I think you should see what she wants to do. I like you Jason and I know my daughter does too.”

“I’m going to see her the day after tomorrow. I just thought I could try and see if she was here. I should’ve figure she was busy.”

“I hope that things will work out for you two. Regardless of what happens, you will be fine. I don’t have to remind you that everything happens for a reason. Whatever happens with you and Mandy will have a reason. I promise.”

“Thanks. I hope things work out too.” I stood up. “I should get going. I left without telling my mom when I’d be back.”

“No problem. Drive safely.” She smiled as I headed for the door. “And Jason, good luck.”

I nodded and left the house.




“Where the hell were you?” My mother asked my as I walked through the door. The clock read exactly nine and she was setting the table with my brother.

“I was at Mandy’s house.” I said as I sat down at the table for dinner.

“I thought you two broke up.” I felt like I was being interrogated.

“That could all change. We might be getting back together.” I was happy that there was chance of us getting together again. I was partially bragging to my mother about it too. Her face was flushed with fear as if she’d just seen a dead man walk in front of her. The thought of me being Mandy terrified her.

“No, you’re not! I won’t allow it.” She exclaimed from the kitchen as she grabbed the pan from the stove.

“Are you serious? Mom, I am eighteen years old. You can’t tell me who I’m going to date.”

“When you live under my roof that means you have to do what I say.”

“Damn it, Mom!” I stood up and started to go up to my room. “No, you can’t.” I took my iPod out of my pock and put my headphone in y ears to drone out the sounds of my nagging mother.

A dozen thoughts were running though my mind. What should I do? I love her with all my heart. I am not going to lose her this easily. I am going to fight for her. I just need a well-devised strategy.



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