No Matter What
Chapter 1: PresentToday 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.