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No Matter What
Today was the day I had returned home from college for the summer. My parents were happy to see me, and so was my new fiancé for finally being able to meet them.
Jack and I had recently gotten engaged and decided to tell my parents this summer while we visited.
My parents were waiting to pick us up from the airport, and I was nervous. Not only would this be the first time of meeting Jack, but this would be the first time they’ve seen me for months. I had promised several times to visit, but I never got the chance because of schoolwork and job interviews, and even because of Jack.
“It will be all right.” Jack reassured me as we stepped off the plane.
“I know it will.” I replied as I looked around for my parents.
When I spotted my dad waving at me, I pointed them out for him, “Right there,” I said.
“Ready?” He asked.
“Not one bit.” I quickly went over the guidelines for him while we walked across the landing, “Dad is going to ask you a lot of personal questions, so be ready. Mom is going to be asking if you’re hungry all the time because she loves to cook for guests. And lastly, they are never going to leave us two alone. Any questions?”
“Why all the rules?”
“I just don’t want you to be shocked when you meet them.”
“I definitely know I’ll never let your mom cook for nothing,” He took our luggage off the cart and handed me my bag.
“Good to know.” I said back.
We walked to my parents holding our luggage instead of hands. When we reached my parents I introduced them to Jack.
“Mom and dad, I’d like you to meet my boyfriend, Jack.”
Dad cleared his throat and said in a deep voice, which he does only when he wants to make himself look tougher, “So you’re the new boy we’ve heard about?”
“I hope so,” He outreached his arm, “Jack Johnson.”
My father shook his hand, “Nice to finally meet you.”
We sat there for a while to chat about the flight until my mom said, “You two must be hungry. Let’s get you something to eat.”
Jack and I shared a moment-glance, let the summer begin.
My father asked Jack many questions. He asked what Jack was going to do after college, what he was planning on doing after school, and many, many more. We also ended up telling them about our engagement, it was crazy.
That night when they went to bed Jack and I went to my old downstairs bedroom.
“So what do you think so far?” I asked him.
“They’re nice.” He said with a deep breath.
“Too soon?” I wondered.
“A little,” he sounded far out.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“Nothing.” He said.
“Jack, you can tell me.”
“It’s just something your dad told me today.”
“Don’t let him get to you. He’s just a little over protective.” I added, “Don’t worry about the tough-guy act either, he’ll wear down eventually”
Jack chuckled a little, “It’s not that.”
“What is it then?”
“If you feel uncomfortable you don’t have to tell me, but I was curious on who Alex is?”
I haven’t heard his name in a while. It had been a year and a half since I last saw him. “He was my boyfriend in high school. Did my father tell you about him?”
“You don’t have to worry. It’s over between Alex and me.”
“I’m not worrying.” He lied.
I sneered, “Is this you being jealous Jack?”
He got a little red in the face, “I guess you could call it that.”
The next morning I woke up, got into my shorts, and wrote a note to put on the fridge door for everyone;
Went for a jog.
Love you all,
I went out to the porch to put my jogging shoes on and tied my hair back. Once I started running, I wasn’t sure where I was going to go. I ran past many houses and apartments until I heard someone call my name.
“Jessica!” The person yelled.
I turned to see who it was. It was him.
“Alex?” I couldn’t believe it. He was actually here.
He ran towards me in his flannel pants and nothing else. Right then and there he grasped me into a tight embrace.
“I’ve missed you so much, how are you?” His voice was still scruffy and sexy, but I had to shake it off.
As I release from him my arm brushed his bare chest. Just like before, his touch had sent thousands of chills up my arm.
I regained my thoughts and answered, “I’m fine, Jack and I are here for the summer, but then we have to head back to Colorado.”
“Jack?” Alex asked puzzled.
I bowed my head down, “I’m sorry Alex. Jack is my . . . fiancé.”
“Oh.” We sat there in awkward silence for a while. Alex let it go and asked, “Do you want to get a coffee?” He chuckled. “I mean do you want to get a scone?”
“You remembered!” I exclaimed.
“Of course! How could I forget the first time we had coffee together? You completely spit it out at me!”
“I’m still sorry.” I admitted.
“Don’t be.” We stared at each other for a while. He had changed a slight bit in appearance. His hair was a little longer and curled out at the ends, and his tan was a deep bronze color. My eyes traced the lines of his face. I never noticed the light sprinkle of freckles that ran across his cheek bones before either.
“I should probably get dressed, so if you want to wait inside my house, you can.”
“Sure, thanks.” I followed him inside and sat in the living room. The walls were still the same shade of red, and the furniture was the same old maroon. The only differences in the décor were the photos lined up against the wall. There were pictures of Maria and her boyfriend, Alex and his high school graduation, and in the last photo was a picture on a recent picture of the whole family.
I waited only ten minutes before Alex came back downstairs.
I got up, “Let’s go.”
He drove us to the café near the lake. When we sat down with our scones Alex started talking about how his sister was getting married and about college.
“So how are your classes?” He acted as if he had to ask it.
“Well, I have-” I paused. “I’m sorry, Alex, I can’t talk about school. We both know what went on between us. We shouldn’t have to hide it.”
He took a deep breath. “I know. It just doesn’t feel the same as it was before. I don’t know how to talk as us being ‘just friends’,” he quoted.
“This is going to be an issue then isn’t it?” I turned toward my scone.
Alex sighed, “Let’s try it again, how’d you and Mr. Perfect meet?”
I giggled, “Oh come on. You haven’t even met him yet.”
“Yet,” he repeated.
Alex Hoffman and I had a strange relationship. It all started with the day we met. I was babysitting for my neighbors. They had eleven-year-old twin boys, Ethan and Aaron Davidson. I have been babysitting them since they were four years old.
We were walking to the library. Ethan wanted to get another book by his favorite author and as for Aaron, he hated reading, he was forced to come along with us.
As we were walking the boys saw a guy on a skateboard heading our way.
“Sweet board!” Aaron yelled.
“Thanks.” The guy said. I had noticed him before; he was Alex Hoffman, a new student at my school. My friend Summer Larson always teased me about how I liked him. The truth was I really wasn’t interested. He was so full of himself, a big ego, and, well, I guess he was kind of cute. Back to the point, I always ended up ignoring him whenever he came near me. All the girls had a crush on him, but I wasn’t going to get sucked into his spell.
“Hi.” He introduce himself, “I’m Alex. Alex Hoffman.”
“I know,” I said. “I’m Jessica Samuels. You can call me Jess.”
“Well, Jess, can I take you three out for lunch?” He looked at the boys with a smile.
“Please? Can we?” Ethan begged.
“Yeah I guess we can come back to the library later.” I sighed.
Alex cleared his throat and said, “You can go to the library now if you want. I have to go get my car anyway. Not everyone can fit on my skateboard. Meet you in ten?”
“Sure.” I couldn’t believe I just agreed to this.
As Alex left I took the boys to the library. We saw him pull up exactly ten minutes later.
We ended up going to the Burger King in town. As the twins played on the playground outside I asked Alex, “Why are you doing this?” He knew what I meant.
“I did this because I like you.” He looked at me with gentle eyes, “I thought if I talked to you when you wouldn’t have any way to ignore me, I could get a date out of you. And that would mean even going to the local Burger King with nine year olds just to talk to you.”
“Actually, they’re eleven.” I corrected him.
Alex completely ignored the comment and spoke again, “Jessica, would you go to a movie with me tonight?”
I didn’t know what to say, at first I wanted to say no, but I noticed not only his smile, but his eyes were watching me, begging me to say “Yes.”
“Great, what time are you done here?”
“Oh no,” I checked my watch. I had half an hour to get the boys home. “In about thirty minutes.”
“Alright, I’ll bring you guys home.”
I went outside to retrieve the boys. “Aaron, Ethan, come on it’s time to go.”
We got Ethan and Aaron home, and I went home myself. At seven o’clock sharp Alex was at my door, talking to my parents as I got ready.
“Ready?” I asked coming down the stairs. He was wearing a Penn. State sweatshirt with khaki shorts. I couldn’t deny that he looked hot.
Alex looked up at me, “Yeah.”
On the way to the theater, I asked what movie we were going to see.
“A Wolf’s Howl.”
“Is it a scary movie?”
“Do you like scary?” He asked.
“What if I told you I don’t mind them if I’m with someone?”
“Well, I guess you’re with me then.” He was watching the road for a while, concentrating, and then he started again. “Tell me about yourself.”
“Tell me things about you that I don’t know for instance your favorite color and past boyfriends. Things like that. Just so I’m prepared.”
I laughed. “My favorite color is blue, I love tennis, and I have only had one boyfriend.”
“Anything I need to worry about with him? You know, for the future?” He looked away shyly as he said that.
“Well, his name was Kyle. We broke up because he was going to move far away and it wasn’t going to work out. Long distance just didn’t work for me. What about you?”
“I’ve had two main girlfriends one of them didn’t really count. We didn’t exactly go out. Nothing was clicking between us, we were more of friends. As for the other one, she was just using me to get back at her old boyfriend.”
We reached the movie theater. I expected a building, not and outdoor drive-in.
“I hope you don’t mind. I thought you’d like this.”
“Yeah I love it.” I truly did. I guess Alex did have a different side to him. But it was still too soon to judge, or was it?
He reached in the back and pulled out two bottles of coke.
“Thanks.” I said as he handed me one.
As we watched the movie I noticed that Alex had put his hand on the center armrest. I knew his plan was for me to take it, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to.
I studied his palm. He had a scar from the tip of his index finger to the base of his thumb; I had wondered how he’d gotten it.
Soon Alex shifted and his eyes locked on mine. He noticed me studying his hand, “I don’t bite.”
I let out a little giggle and took his hand in mine. He put his other hand on top of our combined grasp, but something caught my eye. He had a ring on his finger. “Where did you get this?”
It wasn’t just a ring. It was old, silver, and worn out.
“My grandfather past away a couple years ago, and this was left to me. I know it’s a piece of junk, but it’s all I have left of him besides a torn picture. It’s dumb, I know.”
I watched him spin the ring on his finger.
“No,” I interpreted, “It’s really cool that you kept it.”
He smiled at me and slowly came closer. I seriously thought he was going to kiss me, but instead he put his jacket around me. He must have noticed my goose bumps.
After a while of silence I rested my head on his shoulder.
“Is this alright?” I asked.
“Yeah, this is fine,” he said looking at me. Then I heard him whisper under his breath, “Better than fine.”
I think I might have fallen asleep, because when I woke up I had his jacket still around me, and everyone had started to leave.
“Jess, the movie’s finished.” I heard Alex say.
I sat up. “Thanks, I guess that wasn’t really a first date. I was asleep the whole time.”
“Well maybe we can rearrange that. Do you want to go to the beach with me tomorrow?”
“That sounds nice.” I smiled.
He took me home, and when he walked me to the door I thanked him and told him that I had a great time.
“I had a good time too.” He said as he stepped closer to me. “Jess, what would you do if . . .”
“If what?” I asked.
He hesitated and smiled. “What would you do if I kissed you? Would you let me?”
“Does this answer your question?” I leaned in and slowly touched my lips to his.
I suddenly felt a spring of joy wash through me. I could taste the sweetness on his lips as I breathe in the cologne he was wearing. His arms wrapped around me. It made me feel warm and secure.
I pulled away and smiled.
“Um I should go.” He looked pleased. “I’ll pick you up at nine? Or did you want to sleep in?”
“Nine’s great. I can’t wait to see you tomorrow.” I said it with complete honesty.
“Sweet,” he leaned in for one more kiss.
“You are.” I blushed.
I watched Alex drive off into the distance and smiled to myself. I have never felt like this before. I can’t believe I was the only one in the school that didn’t want anything to do with him before, but now that I’ve got him I want everything to do with him.
I ran upstairs, got ready for bed, and called Summer.
“Hey. What are you doing up so early?”
By now it was one forty five . . . in the morning. “Sorry, Summer. I’ve got big news, I kissed Alex Hoffman.”
“No way!” She screamed. “I thought you didn’t like him. I was so right!”
“I didn’t start liking him until this afternoon.”
I told Summer the whole story about lunch, the movie, and the kiss.
The next day I woke up to a knock on the door. I was expecting to see Summer, so I went to the door in my pajamas.
While I opened the door I said “You don’t have to knock. Just walk right- oh.” It was Alex.
“Hi.” He said.
“I’m sorry, I thought you were Summer.”
“It’s okay. You still want to go? It’s raining out, but it’s supposed to be a lot sunnier this afternoon. ” He nodded towards my outfit and chuckled, “You don’t look like ready yet anyway.”
I looked down. I was in my pajamas still in front of Alex.
I shook my head. “Sorry, I slept in by accident. I have to get ready yet. You want to hang out in here while I change?”
“Sure. Do your parents mind?”
“They’re not home.” I said.
He looked at me with nervousness and said, “Oh.”
Alex came in, sat on the couch, and waited for me. I quickly went downstairs and got ready. I put my new bikini on, just in case we left the house, and threw on a t-shirt over it. After that I added a pair of short-shorts to match. Then I grabbed my beach bag off the floor to put by the front door.
When I came upstairs, I said “Ready. What do you want to do?”
“I don’t know, we have a while it looks like.” He looked me up and down, “You look great today.”
“Thanks.” I said. I couldn’t think of any ideas for what we could do. Finally I gave up and tossed out an idea, “Do you want a tour of the house?”
He grabbed my hand. I took it as a ‘yes’ and started upstairs.
“This is the upstairs where our office is and all the bedrooms are except for mine.”
We went through every room in the house until I had only my bedroom left. I walked him downstairs and into my room. Luckily I cleaned it yesterday so Alex wouldn’t have to see all my junk lying on the floor.
“This is my room.” It was a bright color of purple, and I didn’t know whether he thought it was too girly or not.
He looked around and noticed some of my books on my desk. “I take it you like to read?”
“I love reading and writing stories. That’s why I’m in the school newspaper.” I went to my desk and showed him a few articles I had written over the years. I only showed him the good ones though, mainly the ones that had gotten front page.
He looked them over and commented, “These are really good, have you ever thought about becoming a writer?”
“Once or twice,” I stepped closer, taking the articles and placing them back on my desk.
“You should think about it more, you’re very talented.”
I could see he actually meant it, and that made me feel good. I walked over to him and waited for him to lean in and kiss me.
When he did, he sent the shudders through my body all over again.
But when we were finally getting into it, he stopped. I gave him a confused look, wondering if I did anything wrong.
“Jess, I don’t want you to think I came here just to take advantage of you.” He explained.
I loosened my grip on him, “What if I wanted you to?”
He grasped me tighter and kissed me again, but this time he kissed me with passion. I could feel his tongue slip its way in to meet mine. As it did, I turned towards my bed and brought him with me.
We collapsed onto the mattress. I guess you could forget about my hair looking good today, because Alex’s hands were all over me. Not to mention mine were slipping to the edges of his shirt.
Somehow, his shirt did end up on the floor, exposing his full torso.
His chest was toned and tanned. I could see clearly all the muscles and his arms. They were huge.
I stopped kissing him and complimented, “I see you work out.”
Alex shrugged, “Only when I have time.”
I watched him speak with his soft, yet scruffy voice. My eyes traveled up to his, they were the greenest eyes I’ve ever seen. They were so deep, that I couldn’t help but blush when he noticed me staring at them.
Alex pulled me back into a kiss, and I slowly slipped my tongue into meet his again. As we deepened it, I removed my cover up t-shirt. It was okay considering I was wearing my bikini top, because that’s as far as I was going to go.
I pushed myself more up against Alex. Soon after that, I felt something move between us. He had his hands on my lower back, but soon he released his grip a little.
I giggled a little, then apologized, “Sorry, I shouldn’t laugh-”
He sat up and fixed himself, “No you can,” he laughed too. “I think we should slow it down a little.”
“I agree.” I stood up and walked over to the mirror. When I fixed my hair, Alex was putting his shirt back on.
He was over behind me within two strides. “It looks like the rain stopped. Did you still want to go to the beach?”
I checked the clock, three hours had passed. My parents were due back in two, so I told him we could go as long as we could have more time together.
We walked out to his car, and drove to the beach. It was mostly empty except for a few people and one family. Alex took a blanket and laid it out on the sand for us. After that, he sat down. I sat too. He was right about the weather; it looked as if it hadn’t rained at all.
“Can I ask you a question?” He stretched out his legs in front of him.
“Ask away.” I said.
“Why do you ignore me at school? Did I do something to offend you?”
“Um . . . well, I see all those other girls by you, and the truth is that I didn’t want to be one of them.” I told him.
“Really? You don’t like me?” He asked.
“I wouldn’t put it that way. I just wasn’t interested until . . .”
“Last night.” He finished. “Are you now?”
I smiled, “Didn’t this morning explain?” I softly kissed his lips as if to remind him.
“I guess it did, but I was just double-checking.” I pulled away. “I wasn’t done yet.” He complained and pulled me into another kiss.
We spent a while talking about each other, walking, then by the time it was sunset, I asked him if he wanted to finally swim. The beach was now completely empty.
“I’d love to.”
I ran to the water before him and jumped off the dock. As I watched Alex from the water, he took off his shirt and started running towards the water too.
Alex’s swimming trunks hung dangerously low on his hips, which was distracting me from his splash when he jumped in.
“Took you long enough,” I teased as he finally got up to the surface of the water.
“Yeah, well.” He smiled at me with his great smile.
The night ended too early. Alex took me home and drove out of sight. Tomorrow we had school, and I wasn’t sure if this weekend thing was going to last or if this was all in my dreams. I kept on wondering if we would walk down the hallways together or pretend this never happened while he went back to those other girls.
However, this morning when I was about to get into my car to drive to school Alex was already waiting for me. “Want a ride with me today?”
“Do you have to ask?” I responded. I was happy that we were still going to do this.
“Well then hop in. We haven’t got all day.” Alex opened the door so I could slide in.
When we got to school, sure enough all the girls that liked Alex were waiting for him in his usual parking spot.
As he got out he said “Good morning, ladies.”
After he did he came to open the door for me. All of the girls gasped and started whispering.
All day long I heard whispers and comments on how I was “Alex’s new girlfriend” and how “He’ll be on the rebound soon enough”.
I just kept right on smiling at the next girl who gave me a weird look or any sign of hatred. The funny thing was, some of them I had known ever since preschool, but as for Alex, they had known him since the beginning of the school year. I was starting to like this. And as Alex and I walked down the hallways together and ate lunch at our own table, I felt more comfortable with not only myself, but everyone else too. Alex was the one that held everything together.
“How’s lunch?” Alex asked me.
I looked at it and made a face. “I’m eating school food, is it supposed to be good?”
“Let’s go get some real food.” He took my hand and we left the table.
“Where are we going?” I questioned.
He took a set of keys out of his pocket, “We’re going to get lunch somewhere besides school. Then we can walk around the mall. Sound better than school?”
“You mean skip?”
“Yeah, is that okay?” He looked at me.
I got into his car, “As long as I’m with you.”
He smiled and kissed me, “Always.”
When I walked in the house mom was already making breakfast for Jack and dad.
“Want some dear?” She asked holding out a plate of eggs.
“No thanks mom. I had cereal before my jog.”
“Where did you go?” Jack asked.
“You know, just a jog around the neighborhood.” I kissed Jack on the cheek, “I’m going to take a shower quick and then we can go into town.”
“Okay, I’ll be up here.”
I ran downstairs and turned on the shower. When I was done I dried my hair, fixed my makeup, and got dressed. As soon as I was finished, I grabbed my purse and keys to my car.
“It’s about time.” Mom said just as I walked upstairs. “Where are you off to now?”
“I thought I would take Jack out and show him around.”
“While you’re at it you might want to bring him to that little café by the lake.” She was finishing the dishes.
“What café?” Jack asked.
“Oh, it’s nothing. Just a place I used to hang out with my friends.” I had already been there today.
“Let’s go there for lunch.” He suggested.
I sighed, “Yeah, sure.”
I drove Jack to my old high school and showed him where I grew up. We also took a drive by the old hang outs I used to go to. Finally we went to the café. When we ordered our lunch I noticed our waitress was the same girl Alex and I had this morning.
“Weren’t you in here earlier with someone?” She asked.
I glanced at Jack then back at her. “Yes I was.”
I was really hoping nothing would come up about it, but just as she left, Jack questioned me, “What was she talking about?”
“I ran into someone during my jog this morning, we came here for a while to catch up.” I waited for his response.
“Who was it?”
“Alex, but nothing happened, I swear.” I continued, “He offered to buy me a scone and catch up on things.”
“You told him about me right?” He asked.
“Of course!” I stated.
“Good.” Jack took a bite of his sandwich. “Do I get to meet this guy?”
“How about never,” I said sarcastically. Alex and Jack meeting each other, they’re both so opposite, it wouldn’t turn out good.
As we finished our lunch Jack got the bill and waited for my answer.
“Alex was a part of my past, not anymore. Plus, I haven’t met any of your exes.” I mentioned.
“You know what? It’s none of my business just as long as he doesn’t try to steal you away.” Jack smiled.
“I don’t think he will. Even if he did I would turn him down because I love you more.”
Jack took my hand in his as we walked out. “I’m so relieved,” he said sarcastically.
“So, what do you feel like doing for the rest of the day?” I asked.
“Oh I don’t know. I just might have reserved a sail boat for us to take for the afternoon.” He smirked
I beamed, “When did you do this? Who told you about that?”
“Your mom told me that you missed going out on the lake. She gave me a number to call and told me to take you out sailing.”
“When do we get to go?”
“Whenever you want to go, I reserved it for the whole afternoon until seven.” He gave me a piece of paper with writing on it for proof.
I opened the door to my car and grabbed my jacket. “Let’s go now.”
“Okay.” He got his jacket too. “It’s about a half a mile that way.” He pointed to the west.
We walked along the calm beach as waves swept our feet. I had my sandals in one of my hands, and Jack hand in the other.
“Hmm?” He was caught up in some thought.
“Did you really want to meet Alex? If you did, I could talk to him.”
We reached the dock with a few boats left.
“Jess, I don’t care if I meet Alex or not. I just don’t want to spend the whole summer worrying about you and him.”
Jack got into one of the boats and held out a hand for me.
“I told you that there’s nothing to worry about.” I slipped on the step.
“Careful.” Jack grasped me. “I know, and it’s not that I’m so concerned. I just want to know what he did that caused so much trouble.”
“Here,” I got into the boat and took my shoes back from him. “I’ll tell you when we get out in the lake.”
Jack started moving the boat from the dock. As we floated away I felt a slight breeze on my shoulders.
We sailed out as far as we could which took almost a half hour. By the time we reached the point where we could no longer see land Jack stopped the boat.
“I have a blanket here somewhere.” He said looking around.
Once he found it he laid it down and had me sit beside him.
“Ready for the story?” I asked.
“Ready.” He got on his back and waited for me to begin.
“Alex had met when I was babysitting two kids. He showed up and asked us if we wanted lunch, that’s when it started. Things had been going quick, and before you know it, we had been going out for over a year.”
I was explaining from the very start of things. “You see, my best friend, Summer, had been upset with me because I hung out with Alex more than her. Then, like every year, she decided to throw a party after our homecoming football game.”
Jack was watching me attentively. “I thought I would take Alex and we could have a good time and maybe even make up for my missing movie nights with Summer.” I looked out into the ocean and watched the waves roll around.
“So Alex and I went and we had fun, you know, a couple beers, dancing and talking with friends. We were only seventeen at the time so we thought we were fine right where we were. Or at least I did. After a while of the party, they ran out of food and beer. I offered Summer that Alex and I would go get more.”
“Instead of going back to the house Alex brought me to the beach.” I glanced at Jack, “You know the one we just walked across. Anyway, he parked the truck and reached across the seat to me. He told me how much he loved me and how happy he was that we were together. As we were kissing and he wanted to go further. I asked him if he had a condom with him and he said the exact words, ‘I don’t know’.”
“Of course it was our first time, so I expected him not to be so drunk and careless. I said I wanted to wait and he said it was now or never. We had a minor fight and headed back to the party with more beer. I told Alex that I wanted to go home and he offered that he would take me after he brought the drinks inside.”
Jack now had his eyes closed, but he was still listening. “It took me about twenty minutes to realize that he wasn’t coming back anytime soon. I got worried that he had passed out, or maybe he was drinking more with his friends. I walked inside the house looking for him. I checked the backyard and the basement. I had left the bedrooms for last. I looked in all of them except for one. That was Summer’s bedroom. I knew that she didn’t want anyone in there, but it was worth the try.”
I hadn’t noticed, but I could feel a few stray tears fall.
“I walked into the bedroom to see Summer herself and Alex making out half-dressed on her bed. I never forgave Summer for what she did, and I told Alex to leave.”
I stopped for a brief second. “That month was hard to get through, but I managed. After three months of trying to forget and move on, I got a phone call. It was him.”
I had to stop for a brief second, and continued, “I thought he was trying to get me back, so I ignore his phone calls. He called almost every day and left multiple messages. I really thought he was desperate, so I kept erasing his voicemails. Soon he stopped by my house. My parents had left for my dad’s work trip. I was all alone in the house and here was standing Alex in front of me.”
“His eyes were red and he was panting. He told me that he had called and ran over here to tell me in person that Summer had gotten into an accident. Alex said that she was driving when she hit a sheet of ice and flipped her car.”
Jack noticed my tears and bound his arms around me.
I cried into his shoulder, “When he told me that she hadn’t survived the accident, my heart sank. I didn’t want our friendship to end the way it did. And I knew deep down that I could not have hated her. She was like a sister to me.”
“I was a horrible friend. I didn’t even go to her funeral. I didn’t know how I would react to it, so I went after they buried her. I put flowers and a picture of the two of us by her headstone. I went every day until I had to leave for Colorado.”
“I just wish that I could have said I was sorry to her before she died. She was my best friend and the last words I ever said to her were ‘I hate you’.”
“Jess I’m so sorry. I didn’t know.” Jack said in empathy.
“That’s not the whole story.” I wiped my eyes and started again. “The day of my high school graduation Alex asked me for a second chance. He told me how he would never do that to me again and how he still loved me. I was dumb enough to take him back. However, it ended again right before I left for college. He didn’t follow through with the long distance relationship thing, so it ended early. Then I met you.”
Jack just sat there and watched me. “Wow.”
“I shouldn’t have told you, now you’re going to think of me as the person I was.”
“Jessica, I’m not going to think any less of you. Just because you have a past, doesn’t mean I don’t. I’ve made mistakes too.”
“You have? I thought you were perfect,” I laughed, jokingly.
“That’s only when everyone’s watching,” he joked back, “I’m serious, no one’s perfect. Not even me.”
We sat in silence for an hour and watched the sun lower into the water.
“The sunset is so beautiful.” I thought aloud.
“Almost,” Jack corrected. Nothing compares to you.
Ring Ring, Ring Ring. There was the phone again. Alex promised me that he would call me every day. He was off with his parents to a cousin’s wedding, and since he wouldn’t be back for two weeks, we’re going to contact each other a different way.
I walked to the phone and picked it up. “Hi Alex, you’ll never guess-”
“Actually Jess, this is Summer.”
“Oh hey, what’s up?”
“I was wondering if you wanted to hang out. We haven’t seen each other for days.”
“I’ll be over in five minutes.” I hung up and got into my car.
I drove into the driveway and knocked on the front door.
“Hey.” She said hugging me. “I missed you.”
“I did too. You want to go to the mall or the beach?”
We ended up going to both. Summer and I bought brand new outfits, plus we had our nails done.
At the end of the day, Summer asked me to stay over. She wanted to talk about Alex, I was pretty sure.
“Is he a good kisser?” She asked.
“Very. He doesn’t take control, but he doesn’t make me lead either. Every time he kisses me it sends chills down my back just like the first time.”
“What’s he like with you?”
“Well, he’s very comforting, caring, and he understands me. It’s like we’re different in many ways but the same in others.”
“You haven’t . . . you know.”
“No, we haven’t had sex yet, I’m not ready. Plus we haven’t talked about it. We’re fine where we are right now.”
“Has he said ‘I love you’ yet?”
“No.” I said.
“Do you think he’ll tell you soon? Like prom?” She asked as she put a movie in the player.
“I don’t know. I haven’t even told him yet.”
“Do you love him?”
I smiled and admitted, “I think so.”
I got the remote and pushed ‘play’, but Summer told me to wait.
“Did we forget anything?”
“No, it’s just that I wanted to talk to you about Alex.”
I sat up, “We just did. What else is there?”
She looked serious. “I don’t want you to be mad at me, but I feel like our relationship has come down ever since you and Alex have been getting more into yours. We haven’t had a sleepover in months.”
“What are you saying? Alex is more important than you?”
“That’s kind of how I feel.”
I got up on my feet. “I’m sorry Summer, I guess I shouldn’t revolve myself around Alex. It’s just that I like him so much, and it’s the way he makes me feel when I’m with him.”
“Jess I think you should take a break from him for a while.”
“Why?!” I demanded.
“You keep shutting the rest of the world out.” She answered.
Just because she was feeling left out didn’t mean I had to leave Alex. “No I don’t!”
“Oh yeah? When’s the last time you went out with just friends without Alex? You can’t stay away from him and you know it. If you just could see how he’s keeping you locked up.”
“Summer, I think you’re the only one with the problem. I think you’re just jealous that I am having fun where I am right now and you aren’t.”
“Yes, I do!” I shouted.
“Well maybe you should just leave and go have more fun without me!” She yelled back.
“Maybe I should!” I picked up my stuff and stormed out of the house.
The next day was going to be better. Alex was coming back. I was going to meet him at the airport, and then take him out to dinner tonight. Tonight was also when I was going to tell him that I loved him.
When he got off the plane he was helping a girl with her luggage. It looked like he was being a little too friendly to her. He took her suitcases in one hand and gave her a kiss on the cheek. Then, he looked around until he spotted me. When he did, he waved and smiled. Alex set the girl’s luggage on a nearby cart and ran.
He ran with open arms. He came up and spun me around in his arms.
“I missed you so much!” I said kissing him.
“I did too.”
I broke away and asked, “Who’s this?”
He looked over his shoulder, set me down, and said, “This is Maria, my sister.”
I guess there was a little resemblance between them two with the blond hair, but I was too worried to notice. “Hi, I’m Jessica.”
Maria grinned and said, “Nice to meet you. I have heard way too much about you from my brother.”
“I didn’t know you had a sister Alex. Why didn’t you tell me?”
He laughed and said, “You never asked.”
“Ha-ha, very funny.” I said. “We better go before I get a parking ticket.”
He pulled me close again, not letting me go.
“Later.” I warned. Alex knew what I was talking about.
“Fine.” He gave up.
Alex and I helped Maria get her stuff in the car, and we drove off. Alex let his sister take the front seat of my car while he took the back and fell asleep.
While Alex was sleeping Maria asked some questions about school. She asked me about my relationship with Alex and even about my family.
When we got back to Alex’s house I helped unload their luggage. Maria went upstairs to take a shower, and Alex’s parents were still gone.
“Is it later yet?” Alex asked me with pleading eyes, “I’ve missed you so much, I need you now.”
I took his hand and led him to his room. “Yes.”
“Good.” Alex kissed me.
We got tangled up in his unmade bed sheets. He had his hands moving up and down my arms, finally wrapping his arms around me. Alex was kissing my neck when I let myself say what I had wanted to say, “I love you, Alex.”
Alex completely stopped what he was doing and looked at me. “What?”
“I love you.” The second time was easier.
All of a sudden we heard a knock on the door, “Alex, mom wants to talk to you. She’s on the phone.”
I hadn’t heard the phone ring, and I thought Maria was in the shower. I glanced at the clock. We had been in here for almost thirty minutes.
“I’m coming.” He answered. Alex got up and went to the door. He took the phone from Maria and said, “Hey mom, what’s up?”
I stepped off his bed and grabbed my keys. Then I told Maria that I would call later.
On my way home Alex called. “Hey.”
“Hey why’d you leave?” He asked. “I wanted to be with you.”
“It seemed like you didn’t have anything to say, so I thought I would go home and get ready for tonight.”
I didn’t hear his voice for about a minute. “Jess I don’t think I can make it tonight. When my mom called she said their car broke down. I have to go get them.”
“Can’t Maria?” I know I was being selfish, but I hadn’t seen him in so long.
“She’s going with me. I’m sorry Jess. I’ll make it up to you. I promise.”
“That’s fine.” I was about ready to hang up.
“Wait, you know what you said earlier? It was just a shock to me. You know how I feel about you.”
“Yeah,” I waited.
He paused, “Jessica, I love-”
“Alex! We need to go.” I heard his sister say in the background.
“I’m sorry.” Alex said.
“It’s fine. I’ll see you tomorrow.” I set down the phone.
“Bye.” He hung up.
I drove the rest of the way home just thinking. Alex was about to say he loved me too if only his sister would have waited another second.
That night as I got ready for bed I heard taps against my window. I walked over to it and opened the curtains. I saw Alex standing outside knocking on my window.
“Open the window!” He yelled.
I did and Alex climbed down inside my room. As he sat on my windowsill I asked, “What are you doing here?”
“We had a date, I missed it and I want to tell you how I feel. It’s important.”
“How much time do we have?” I asked. “What did your parents say?”
“They don’t know, and yours don’t either. So I can stay as long as you want me to.”
“My parents are going to leave for work early tomorrow and won’t bother me. Can you stay all night?”
“Like I said, anything you want.” He showed me his backpack.
As I left the window open, I pulled him inside and folded myself in his arms.
He let go, looked at me with a smile, and he said the words I’ve been waiting to hear, “I love you Jessica.”
I grinned back and kissed him. Alex walked me back to my bed. As I sat down, Alex kept kissing me. I stopped him and took my robe off so we could have more room, but Alex must have taken it as an invitation because he started sliding the straps of my tang-top down.
As he did, I noticed he wanted more.
I held his hand still, “Wait.”
“I’m sorry.” He whispered.
“I didn’t know that you-”
“Alex, do you have protection?”
He looked up and said, “Yeah. I always do, just in case.”
“Are we ready?” I asked.
“Are you?” He questioned me.
“Do you want to?”
“More than anything, but if you don’t we don’t have to. I’m fine with it just where it is.”
“I just don’t think we should with my parents upstairs. And I’m not sure.”
“How about we just stick with this tonight?” Alex kissed me.
After a while we both fell asleep in each other’s arms. The next morning, my parents left early as I had said, and Alex was still there.
When I woke up I went to take a shower. By the time I got out Alex was up. I walked to my room in my towel. Alex was sitting on my bed looking out the window. He watched me walk in the room. “Hey, I was wondering where you went.”
He stood up and walked over by me.
“Alex, can I get dressed first?”
“Yeah, I have to change too.” He took his bag he brought and went to the bathroom.
When he came back, I was already dressed. He knocked on the door before he came in.
“It’s okay Alex.” I said. He walked in and saw me struggling to shut the window. I managed to get it shut, but I closed my finger in it. “Ow!”
Alex came to my side and opened the window so I could get my finger out.
“Is it okay?” He asked taking it my hand.
“I think so, just a little swollen.” It still hurt. “Can you get me some ice?”
When the ice was on it, it felt much better.
We watched TV for a while. When the commercial came on Alex asked how my finger felt.
“It’s better now that I have ice, but you know what would make it feel even better?” I scooted closer to him.
“What?” He asked.
“If you could kiss it for me,” I held my hand up and he kissed it.
“That better?” He asked, smiling.
“Much.” I replied.
We went out for lunch later and to the beach. We also went to get a coffee.
When we got to the counter at Starbucks, I received my coffee, took a sip, and spit it out at Alex.
“Oh my gosh! I am so sorry.”
Alex grabbed a bunch of napkins and asked, “Too hot?”
“No, it’s gross, how can you drink this stuff?”
“You’ve never had coffee before?”
“No.” I said.
He laughed and instead we got sodas.
“Really?” He asked later, “You have never tasted coffee before? I live on it.”
“No, I haven’t, I don’t have a reason to.”
When we got to his house, I was still helping him get the stain out of his shirt. “Hey I’m really sorry about the stain. I can get you a new shirt.”
“It’s fine Jess. It’s just a shirt. I’ll go put a new one on.”
He ran upstairs and I followed him, but he hadn’t noticed until I snuck in while he pulled off him stained shirt. I slipped my arms around his waist, hugging him from behind.
“What are you doing?” He turned around to face me, “Come up to ruin my whole wardrobe?”
“I didn’t mean to do it on purpose,” I tried. “I promise it will never happen again.”
He leaned down to kiss me, “I’m not worried.”
His warm, bare skin had me enthralled into more. I just couldn’t bear the thought of stopping now. We kissed until Alex brought me down on his bed with him, kissing me rougher than before. I had gotten used to his kisses, but nothing like this. He slowly pulled up my shirt and kissed my stomach, making his way lower until he hit the edge of my jeans.
“Alex,” I murmured.
“I know, I know,” He kissed me on the mouth again, “I won’t go anywhere you don’t want to go.”
Alex dropped me off at my house at nine. Mom was waiting for me.
“How was your day with Alex?” She asked.
“It was fine.”
“Can I talk to you for a minute?”
“Sure.” I went to the couch and sat by her.
“Tell me you two are being responsible.”
“Mom, we haven’t done anything yet. We are just . . .” I stopped, “there is nothing to worry about.” I insisted.
“I hope so, you’ve been spending so much time with him, we never see you here anymore.” She sighed, “Just be careful, I don’t want you end up hurt.”
“Thanks mom.” I got off the couch and headed to my room, everyone thought that Alex and I were having sex. I didn’t even know if I was ready. When would I be?
Jack and I walked inside and everyone was asleep. I guess we hadn’t realized it was past ten. We ended up going to my room downstairs.
Jack and I weren’t ready for bed yet, so we stayed up talking.
“Jessica,” Jack started. “You’ve been more than honest with me today and I feel like we can fully understand each other.”
He looked around the room and noticed a yearbook sitting out. As he started looking at it he commented on a few pictures.
“Did you ever get in trouble in high school?”
“Plenty, I spray-painted the lockers at my high school, and I even pulled a couple fire alarms. I got a two week suspension for each fire alarm and a few days for the lockers.”
“Why did you do that?”
He shrugged and closed the book, “I don’t know. I guess I just wanted to prove I was cooler than everyone else. I even made up the hideout where all my friends and I would skip school to take our girls to go . . . well, you know.”
“Did you bring many girls there?” I questioned.
“Will you be upset if I told you how many?”
“No, I’m just interested.”
“I’ll only tell you that I took many girls up there just to mess around, but I only took one for getting serious. She was the only one, I promise.” We sat there for a minute. “Was Alex your only?”
“He was the only one.”
There was another silence.
“Jess, I know we haven’t been down that part of our relationship yet, but I want to let you know that when we do, it will be worth much more than my last relationship.”
I smiled, “Thanks Jack.”
The next morning I woke up before Jack. I waited about twenty minutes before he opened his eyes.
“Hey.” He yawned.
“Morning,” I said, “How are you feeling today?”
“Great.” He sat up. “I’m glad we talked yesterday.”
“Me too,” I agreed. “What’s on the agenda today?”
“I thought since your dad invited me to a baseball game we could go pick out a ring later tonight.”
“Sounds good,” I said. “I guess that gives me time to go to the library and finish some errands around town for mom.”
We got dressed and then Jack left with my dad while I left for the library. When I got there, I went to the section I needed. Just as I was going to take the book of its shelf, someone else took it.
“Hey-” I looked at the person. Of course it would be Alex.
“I’m sorry. You can have it.” He raised his head to look at me too. “Jessica? What are you doing here?”
“I should be asking you actually. What are you doing here?”
“I was researching something. Surprised huh?”
“Little bit.” I said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen you in a library.”
“Well now you can go tell the world it’s a miracle!” He laughed and so did I.
A librarian hushed at us which only made us laugh harder.
“We probably should go somewhere else.” Alex guessed.
“Yeah, you’re right. I should go.” I took my book and headed out.
“Jess, I meant did you want to go somewhere else with me?”
I turned around. “What did you have in mind?”
“I thought we could take a walk to visit Summer.” He mumbled her name.
“Sure.” I said.
We drove to the cemetery together. Alex parked the car and we got out.
As we walked side by side he said, “Jess, I’m still so sorry for what happened that night. I wish I hadn’t. I don’t even know what I was thinking, if I even was.”
“Alex, it’s over, the past is over, stop apologizing.”
“That’s the thing, I can’t.” He tried explaining, “If I wouldn’t have went to the party that night, you and I would still be together.”
I didn’t respond to his comment, however, I wanted to say, what I’d been thinking all these years, desperately.
I spotted Summer’s headstone. I sat down next to it and read what her parents put on it.
-A beloved daughter & best friend-
She will be remembered for her humor,
love and dedication.
I started tearing up.
“Jess, are you okay?” Alex asked. I shook my head as he came to sit by me. Then he pulled me close to his chest.
I cried into his tee-shirt. “It’s not fair. It was my fault.”
“No, Jessica it’s not your fault. You didn’t do anything.” He said hugging me tighter. “I bet wherever she is right now she doesn’t think that.”
“I was the one who wouldn’t talk to her. If I just answered her message she wouldn’t have died.” I wiped my cheeks with my sleeve, “If I hadn’t dragged you to that party, she would still be here going to college and giving me advice on what to do about you.”
Alex caught my eye when I said that, I hadn’t meant for those words to pour out of my mouth, but they had, and somehow, I didn’t regret it.
Finally, Alex spoke, “If you think that’s the reason, you’re wrong. It was icy and the roads were bad. No one is to blame.”
“I still can’t believe she’s gone.” I tried.
“I know.” I could have sworn right then I heard a sniffle from him.
He let me cry for a while until I calmed down. “Come on. Let’s go to my house, no one’s around, I’ll make you some lunch.”
Alex helped me get up and we left.
“What about my car?” I asked able to keep calm.
“I can drive you back later.” He answered.
Coming up to Alex’s house I saw he was right, no one was home.
He parked his car in the garage. I walked into the house that was so familiar with that certain green apple smell I had picked out just the other day.
Alex came in behind me. “Are you better now?”
“I’m better,” I promised. “I didn’t mean to burst out in tears back there. It’s just-”
“You miss her.” He finished.
We went to the kitchen and Alex recommended his home-made pancakes.
“You can read and cook?” I joked.
“Ha-ha, very funny. Here,” he gave me two eggs. “Put these in a bowl.”
I took them and put them in a glass bowl. Alex added milk and the pancake mix.
When Alex started to blend the mix in with the other ingredients, it flew out of the bowl. Almost half the gooey mix splattered on us and half on the floor. I shrieked.
“Damn! I am so sorry Jessie.” He grabbed a towel and handed it to me.
“It’s okay Alex, you look the same. Plus, a towel isn’t going to do any good.”
We finished making the rest of our pancakes and Alex said, “You’ll probably have a lot to explain when you go home, so if you want you can take a shower here and borrow some of Maria’s clothes.”
I went into the bathroom and took a quick shower. When I got out I grabbed a towel from the shelf and wrapped it around me. I found a hair dryer, dried my hair, and when I was done, I opened the bathroom, running right into Alex.
“Um,” He said, his eyes traveling down to the towel. “I brought you some of Maria’s clothes.”
“Thanks.” I took the clothes from him, not missing eye contact.
We still hadn’t moved away from each other, and his lips were right there. They were inches in front of me, distracting my thoughts. I wanted to kiss him so badly, but I knew I shouldn’t. Alex continued to look at me, his eyes moving to my lips. I grabbed a handful of his shirt without thinking and kissed him full on the mouth. He kissed back without hesitation. His hands on my back pulling me against him made it feel so good having his lips on mine, I couldn’t help it. His tongue had slipped into my mouth, making me go over the edge.
I heard myself groan and start to drop the towel, the only thing holding it up were our bodies pressed together. I grabbed on tighter to him, but then, Alex froze. The kiss didn’t last for more than two minutes before Alex pushed me off of him. “Jess, you know I want to, but we can’t.”
“I’m sorry,” I took the clothes from his hands and walked back to the bathroom.
“Jessica,” Alex tried to follow me into the bathroom, but I shut the door on him. He knocked. “Jess, open up.”
“Go away.” I said as I pulled on the pair of jeans.
I heard the doorknob twist. Soon Alex was standing next to me again. “First of all, this is my house, I can’t leave. Second, locking the door won’t do any good because all of the locks in this house are messed up.”
“I’m sorry. I don’t know what I was thinking.” I said, pulling a shirt over my head.
“It’s fine Jess. Let’s just put it behind us.”
I walked passed him to the front door, “That’s the problem,” I stated as I turned back to him, “Obviously I can’t make up my mind. Just let me go.”
“At least let me drive you to your car. Then I’ll leave.” He said.
The car ride to my library was only ten minutes, but it felt more like ten hours.
“How are we going to finish the summer like this?” I asked after a moment of silence.
“We’re not going to do anything. I’m going back to school for the rest of the summer so we don’t run into each other again.”
“You can’t do that. It’s not fair!” I objected.
“To which one of us?” Alex eyed me.
I honestly didn’t know where I was going with that. “Everyone,” I pointed, “You and your family.”
“I’ll pretend that’s what you meant. I’m not staying. They can deal with it. I’ll see them at Thanksgiving.”
“You can’t just go Alex.”
“I can Jessica, and I will.”
It had been almost three months since Alex and I broke up. He hadn’t called me since the breakup, probably because we both needed space and he knew that. Several times, I wanted to pick up the phone and call him, but I didn’t I was afraid I would end up taking him back.
So I waited. This week was different than the rest. He called nonstop, and today, multiple times per minute.
Summer had called yesterday, but I still hated her for what she did to me. I know she was drunk that night, but still, she was my best friend. Best friends don’t do that.
When she called, I clicked the ignore button and returned to my homework. I had an essay for my government class that has to be done by tomorrow. I didn’t have time to waste on listening to apologies.
I heard wind howl outside. The snow was blowing around and the roads were icy, so I decided to stay in all weekend.
It was getting late, and my parents were away to one of my father’s yearly work trips. Of course my mom would call me every night at exactly nine thirty to make sure I was okay.
“Are you okay there? Did you find something for dinner?” She asked.
“Yes mom. Everything’s fine here.”
“Just don’t go outside unless you have to, I heard there’s a lot of car accidents out there.”
“Got it mom,” I insisted.
“Be careful, we’ll be home soon.”
“I will, bye mom.” I hung up and got ready for bed.
The next morning I heard someone talking on the phone and then hang up. I knew it wasn’t my parents, and the voice sounded dreadfully familiar.
I walked up stairs and spotted Alex sitting as the kitchen table. He wasn’t doing anything, just sitting there.
“What are you doing here?” I stammered.
Alex turned around and I noticed his eyes were exhausted. “Jess, I’m so sorry.”
I thought he was going to cry for a minute.
“What’s going on Alex?” I was so mad, I really wanted him out. “How did you get in here?”
He stood up and walked over to me, sure enough his eyes were watery.
“I’ll call the police,” I warned.
“Then get the hell out of my house!”
He walked even closer to me, “Jessica stop!” He yelled.
He had never yelled at me before and now that he has, it makes me feel like a child getting scolded.
“Sit down.” He ordered. I did as he told me to do.
“What’s going on?” I asked again.
He looked at me with sympathy, “Jess, you need to be strong for what I’m about to tell you.” A tear was sliding down his cheek which made me uncomfortable.
“Jessica, Summer was on her way here to apologize to you and her car flipped on a sheet of ice.”
I felt a rush of emotions flew through me, “What hospital is she in? Can I go see her? Is she okay? How-”
“Jess, Summer isn’t in a hospital, she was killed in the accident. She was already dead when they found her.”
“No.” I was crying with anger, “NO!”
“Jess, I’m sorry.” He grabbed me and pulled me into an embrace, I let him.
“She’s not dead. She can’t be. She called me last night.” I insisted.
“Jessica.” Alex murmured.
“It’s my fault, I didn’t answer her call and she died because of me!” I was crying hysterically into Alex’s chest. “It’s my fault she’s dead!”
“No it’s not Jess, you didn’t do it.” He told me. “It’s not your fault.”
He held me for hours as I cried it out. Eventually I fell asleep in his arms and when I woke up I was in his arms still, and we were in my bed.
“Alex.” I noticed he was sleeping too.
I turned around so I could face him and watched him slowly wake up.
When he completely came aware, he started moving, “Sorry, I’ll go.”
“No.” He stopped. Alex just stared into my eyes.
“Jess-” He started.
I could feel another set of tears fall. “Alex, make me forget.”
He continued to stare, and then he wiped a tear from my face.
“Please.” I climbed over on his lap and breathed in his scent.
He took my face in his hands, “This won’t mean a thing, we’ll forget about it after this.”
“I promise.” I wrapped my arms around him and kissed him carefully.
He pulled me back down on the bed and kissed me back with everything he had.
All of our emotions poured out of us and we collapsed into each other’s need. We forgot time and we forgot all the things surrounding us. I didn’t feel the pain in my heart anymore, and I certainly didn’t remember anything from the last few hours.
I felt Alex’s body press against me more as we fell deeper into the moment. My Legs were wrapped around his waist while he pulled me down onto the mattress. The way he was so gentle with me made me forget why I had ever let him go, it was as if nothing in the past had happened before.
He hadn’t taken his hands off the small of my back, so when he let go I thought he was changing his mind. I opened my eyes and saw him take off his shirt. His body stunned me. I knew what I wanted, so I took my shirt off too, then my pants.
He grabbed my waist and pulled me close again. I managed to reach down and unbuckle his pants. There was only a thin layer of fabric between us now.
I kissed him harder as he let out a soft moan. He slid his hand higher onto my bra hook. I let him take it off as I had my fingers entwined in his hair.
As we got closer, I helped him undress the rest of our clothes. He got a condom without taking his lips off mine. He put it on and we were closer than ever.
I knew we weren’t going to ruin the moment with talking, so we just watched each other afterwards. We waited for each other’s reaction. Even though this was the first time for both of us, we stayed quiet. I know we both had never thought it would happen like this let alone the two of us. Alex just watched me carefully. He took my palm and kissed it.
He stayed until later that night. He helped me with keeping calm as I told my mom, and he soothed me as I fell asleep. His arms were around me, pulling me closer and not knowing how long this was going to last. We both knew that this would be a one-time thing, and we knew that this didn’t mean we were getting back together. We just let our emotions get too far ahead of us.
I eventually fell asleep that night, but woke up in grief again. Alex was gone, but he had left a note for me:
I know we’re not together just because of what happened, but I want to let you know that I still love you. I wouldn’t have done that if I didn’t. I’m really sorry I left, but I knew we needed time to ourselves to cope with what happened, and I know you need your space. Maybe in a year from now we’ll be able to look past everything and move on. Just know that last night wasn’t a mistake for me, and I hope not for you either. I will love you no matter what, and know that you never have to worry about being alone. I’m always here.
Truly yours forever,
P.S. Breakfast is on the table, no coffee, I promise.
I had to laugh at that comment. It wasn’t really a moment for that, but I knew he meant for me to.
I never did go to Summer’s funeral because I was afraid of what she would think of me if I went considering my last words to her.