All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
Not Yet But Soon
Chapter 1-Jamie “Hey Jamie!” I sighed and turned around at gossiping Ginny Brackson. She was pretty with blond hair and fake brown eyes along with her fake smile, fake nose, and fake enormous boobs. She was popular with guys for reasons that don’t need to be spoken and was looked upon as the sl***iest girl in the 11th grade. “Hey Ginny.” I said tucking a brown strip of hair behind my ear. Tucking away my anger. I thought to myself, I may look calm but I have killed you three times in my head. “What’s up?” I said with the kind of kindness that could be mistaken as genuine passion. “What’s Up?!” She said in that annoying squeaky voice of hers that makes me want to strangle her. “ The hottest guy in the WORLD just moved in the Jargon’s home!” That’s the thing about Ginny. You never know if it’s a REALLY hot guy, or just one she can play with. “Really.” More of a question than a statement. “Yeah! I mean what kind of guy would actually want to move,” She paused for affect. Then she snorted and said,” here. In Loser land.” Truth be told I love it here in Braxton. We were a small, gossiping town. So small that we didn’t even make the map. So small that everybody knew who slept with who and who died within minutes of the event. So small in fact , that the signs that had the population on them didn’t end up in our town. We had 350 people in our town. Our graduating classes were 60 people. Tops. But in my mind, it was the most beautiful place on earth. Right next to Lake Superior the temperature was cold peace overwhelmed the temperature. Our town was burned down 5 years ago and maybe it was a blessing because it was around for so long ( 1912), but anyhow we rebuilt a new, improved town which was ten times better. Ginny, on the other hand didn’t think so. She thought it was scummy, old and stupid. She hated how cold it was, hated how everyone knew her sex life, hated almost everything about the town. Once in 8th grade, when we just rebuilt the town, she said over and over again that it was still a scum town. I was getting fed up with it so I said,” Ginny, you fit right in this town. Only, you’re a little bit scummier.” That was a BIG mistake. To make a long story short , my parents found out( not surprising) and I ended up mowing the lawn for a week. But not my lawn. Oh, no that was too simple, not harsh enough. I ended up mowing Ginny’s lawn. She’s my next door neighbor which made it so much more convenient. This is why I didn’t bring up the subject again. “ So who’s the guy?” Not that I cared. It was more for the lack of people in this small study hall and that and that I didn’t want to look like a loser. “ I don’t know!” She almost shrieked. “ He’s in our neighborhood! And he’s SUPER hot!” What a shocker. I almost let it slip but luckily I caught myself. “ Is he in school today?” She sighed dramatically.” No. He’s moving in.” I nodded even more not interested. The bell rang and I ran out of there like a bullet. People filed into their cars and I slipped into mine as well. The radio blasted when I turned on the car and I turned it down faster than light( ok maybe not, but it was pretty fast). I drove home with Ginny’s pink Volkswagen trailing behind me. Everyday the same old thing. I got home and walked into the huge mahogany door. “ Hey Honey!” My mom said, rounding the corner with flour on her shirt. “ Hey.” I mumbled. “Good day at school?” I nodded. “ It was fine.” There was a pause. “ Want to tell me about it?” Thing is, I would have. In the past. Where everything was fine and dandy. But over the summer things have changed. I have changed. So instead of saying all things she wanted me to say I just said,” No, thanks.” I started to canter up the stairs, towards the safety of my room when she said,” Oh, honey! Can you bring these cookies over to the house three doors down? They just moved in and…” She rambled on and inwardly I rolled my eyes. But his was another part in our silent agreement: I did what she asked and she wouldn’t ask me about my personal life. Done. So I took the platter of sugar cookies and headed out the door. Just my luck, I thought as I looked to the left and saw Ginny. She had her mom’s famous casserole ( which I , personally, thought was disgusting) in her right hand which glittered with her fake diamond rings in the sunlight. As soon as she saw me she dashed over to where I was standing. “ Where you headed?” She asked even though she already knew.” To the super hot guy’s house.” I muttered. Oops. She heard me, and she beamed. “ Me too!” Goodness, I wanted to slap her. The entire way there she babbled on and on how sexy this guy looked. Finally, (and thankfully) we arrived. I had forgotten how beautiful the Jargon’s house was. It was doused in brick with a broad mahogany door that was identical to everyone in the neighborhood. I closed my eyes and remembered the maroon walls, the colossal picture of trees that hung in the living room, but most of all I remembered Lucy’s green room where we kept all of our girlhood secrets. Ginny pressed the doorbell and the door opened. There stood a guy about the age of seventeen with wheat colored hair and electric blue eyes. This time, Ginny was right. He was very cute. “ Hi,” Ginny squawked.” I’m Ginny, four doors down.” “Nice to meet you.” Oh, god, his voice was beautiful. It was soft yet rough and it made me feel like Fourth of July and Christmas at the same time. He suddenly looked at me. God, those eyes! “ I’m, um, Jamie O’Brian, three doors down. “Taylor Mcaidan.” He said, extending his hand to me and when I took it I was stunned to find that it was extremely soft. Suddenly jealous, Ginny stated,” This is my mom’s casserole.” She handed him the plate then pulled out a piece of paper from her breast pocket and handed it to him. “ And this…is my number.” I felt a bubble of laughter rise from my throat. Good ol’ Ginny. “ Well,” Taylor cleared his throat. “ um thanks…ah…” “Ginny.” She batted her lashes. “Right.” His lips upturned. “ See you around.” She winked then strutted down the street. “Is she always like that?” He asked and My laugh popped. “Yes and no. Around guys, yes. Around girls, not so much.” I handed him the plate of cookies and then stated,” From my mom.” He lifted the tinfoil carefully and peeked inside. “ Looks great.“ He glanced back up and said,” Aren’t you forgetting something?” “What?” “Your number?” I giggled then as he dug out a piece of paper and crossed of Ginny’s number, then I realized he was serious. I blushed then wrote my number down. “See you around, Jamie.” Taylor stuffed the paper in his pocket. “Yeah.” I said, wondering just where this was going to end up. “ See you.”
I had enough time to open our front door, kick off my shoes and touch the little piece of paper that meant the world to me before my mother bellowed from the kitchen," Jamie! Your phone is ringing!"
I heard the jingle of my cell phone I picked it up of the table and saw it was an unknown number. Cautiously I pressed the green button and asked in my best squeaky polite voice," Hello?"
“Hey is this Jamie O'Brian?"
“Yes; may I ask whose calling?"
“Taylor Mcaiden. I'm glad this isn't a fake phone number."
I giggled then said," I'm authentic."
My face was a tomato red and I was smiling like I was the cat who ate the canary. My mother must have sensed that I was talking to someone new because of the questioning look she was giving me.
“Are you going to be at school tomorrow?" I asked picking up a piece of my hair looking for split ends as if I really cared.
“Yeah. I'm almost done moving and- hold on a sec."
He hollered to someone I assumed to be his mom and I thought I heard," Mom, it's in the basement along with Dad's stuff!"
I heard static on the phone then," Sorry about that. Yeah I'm sure I can go."
"Which room is yours?"
“This green room. It's upstairs."
I know, I thought. "I have to do my homework." I winced at how pathetic that sounded and if even possible I turned more red.
“Well, see you tomorrow then."
“Yeah. Bye Taylor." I liked the way it rolled off my tongue.
I hung up the phone and my mom tried to say nonchalantly," So who was that?"
"But you said Taylor." It was more of an accusation than a statement.
I didn’t normally lie but this time I found my words tumbling out of my mouth. “It was a mistake. I'll see you later." I gave her a kiss on the cheek that we both knew hadn't meant a thing. I honestly don't know why I lied about Taylor, but I did and what's one more lie to a life of lies? I looked back and a whisper in my head said she was never there for you anyway. But the nagging in the back of my heart beat a steady rhythm that rang she's always loved you. I shook my head clearing it and then closed the door of my room, closing out yet another chance to get to mend my mother's and I relationship.
Jennie rolled over and giggled like the girls we used to be. “Oh my gosh. He’s perfect! What about abs?”
I blushed. I seemed to be doing a lot of that these days. “Jennie, stop. We are only friends.”
“That’s what they all say.”
I rolled my eyes. Jennie’s had more boyfriends than I’ve had… which is none if that tells you anything.
“So what did he say when you called?”
“You mean when he called?”
She waved me off as if this detail wasn’t any more important than lasts night’s leftovers of spaghetti. ” Whatever.”
“Well we just talked for a bit.” I curled my finger around a strand of my golden hair. Another one of the many things of how Jennie and I were totally different from one another. Brown hair, blonde hair, blue eyes, brown eyes, and our style. Jennie loves the color pink. Or any neon color for that matter. She likes to stand out. I, on the other hand, like solid dark colors like grayish purple, gray and a very baby blue on special occasions. Jennie wears miniskirts and low cut shirts to school like the rest of the girls at school while I’m mostly wearing jeans and a brand name t-shirt to school like Hollister or Gilly Hicks. But somehow in all our differences, we became friends the year Lucy left.
“ What did he say, Jamie?”
I blinked out of my memories and said,” He said that he’s coming to school tomorrow.”
Jennie, looking disappointed by my answer, did a summersault off her bed and jumped up, walking to her closet. “What are you going to wear?”
“To your first date!”
“Jennie, He isn’t taking me out on a date tomorrow. He’s just going to school tomorrow. End of story.”
She snorted.” Yeah right. Bet you twenty bucks that you’re going on a date after school tomorrow.”
“Fine. Twenty bucks it is.”
“Jamie, como te llamas?
“Me llamo Jamie, Senora Gorgisa.”
“Muy Bien.” Then Mrs. Gorgisa came to my right side and whispered in my ear,” Please pay attention, ok?”
I nodded and looked at the door one last time. He wouldn’t be coming today.
Once Mrs. Gorgisa had gone through the whole class asking their names, she sat down at her computer and yelled above her chattiest class,”Por favor tenga a su favor, las hojas de cancion y escuchar a lo largo y rellenar los espacios en blanco. Vamos a escuchar.”
The request was followed by a number of,” What did she say?” and “ What?” and my personal favorite,” No hablo espanol.” Which meant I don’t speak Spanish. Mrs. Gorgisa repeated the request once more as the advanced students shouted out for everyone to hear,” Take out your song sheets and fill in the blanks! We’ll listen to the song twice!”
Mrs. Gorgisa sighed when the kids would do this but she never did anything about it. Old age was kicking in I guess. While Mrs. Gorgisa started to play the video everyone got out their sheets and chatted. When Sharika started to sing the chorus of Waka Waka , the choir kids who thought they were real hot shots started to sing along. The guys took off their shirts and tried to dance like Shairka making everyone have a good laugh until Mrs. Gorgisa sent them to the office letting everyone know that she meant business.
Our class reduced to quiet whispers and pencils scratching the paper, filling in the words to the song. When the door creaked in the middle of the song, the whole class averted their gaze to the door. I didn’t want to look because it was at my favorite part where the African girl starts to sing in African. But then Mrs. Gorgisa pressed pause and the image froze in place. I shifted my gaze to the guest in the front of the classroom.
“ Hola. You speak Spanish, right?”
“Como se llama?” Mrs. Gorgisa questioned.
“Me nombre es Taylor.”
Mrs. Gorgisa beamed, obviously pleased. “Excelente, Taylor!”
She turned to the class and asked,”’Cual es su nombre de clase ?
We mumbled back the answer and she smiled. “Si.”
Then she turned to Taylor and whispered,” Please take a seat by Jamie for right now.”
My face flared as he sat down in the empty desk beside me. This is unrealistic. The kind of stuff that happens in movies and novels; not everyday life.
Mrs. Gorgisa pressed play and Shairkia came to life but suddenly I wasn’t interested anymore.
A piece of notebook paper fluttered onto my desk that said, “Hey.”
I made sure that the teacher wasn’t looking and wrote back,” Hey. I thought that you weren’t coming today.”
I passed it to his waiting hand. He read it then picked up his pencil and scribbled back,” Sorry. I thought a bus was coming to pick me up but then my mom called the school and found out there was one bus and it was used for kindergarders through third grade and disabled people. So I ended up walking.”
I coughed to cover up my laugh.
“ Better get used to these small town traditions. 4th grade and up walk to school unless you have a car.”
“My mom takes the car to work, so I’ll have to walk until I save up for a car. What about you? Walk or ride?”
“ Walk. Saving up for a car.”
“ My mom only lets me use the car for errands and other stuff that she wants.”
“ My dad doesn’t want me to have a car just yet. He says we live in a small enough town that I don’t need to ride anywhere.”
Taylor smiled at me.
“Does your dad let you ride with nice big city boys?”
Now it my turn to smile. “ A big city boy? I don’t know. They seem kind of dangerous…”
“ Oh they’re not believe me. You’re dad will like these boys.”
“ I’m sure.”
“ By the way, Is that Rosa place good in town?”
Rosa’s Diner. It made me hungry just thinking of it. Rosa’s had the best strawberry shakes in the world and the hamburgers are to die for. She names everything after the people in town and their favorite specials. Mine is “Jamie’s Jumpin’ Strawberries” Which was the strawberry shake. I wonder if Taylor will get one someday.
“It’s amazing. The drinks are delicious and the food is even better.”
Taylor glanced at Mrs. Gorgisa who was now carrying on about the vowels in the Spanish alphabet then passed the note back.
“So considering that your dad will probably like a big city boy like me and the food at Rosa’s Diner is amazing. Can I ask you out on a date tonight?”
A yes and no box was at the bottom. I blushed and glanced at Taylor who was beaming. I checked the yes box and passed it back.
“We’ll ride in the car. It’s old though.”
I smiled to myself. I don’t care if it’s old or not. And I really don’t care if I lost my bet with Jennie.
“I’ll pick you up at six ok?”
Mrs. Gorgisa came to the right of my desk and held out the not basket. The note baskets was a box where Mrs. Gorgsia keeps the notes that she finds during that year. When senior year comes around, She’ll read off all the notes that aren’t too inappropriate for school to the parents, students, and teachers. Last year there was one about two cheerleaders talking about a girl who liked football player who happened to have a girlfriend at the time and his girlfriend thought he was cheating on her with the other girl and left. And as the story goes he admitted he also had feelings for the girl and as far as I know they are still together.
“Jamie, I saw you passing notes. Please put it in the basket.”
I just stared at her for a moment, hoping she was kidding. She shook the basket indicating that she wasn’t. My wobbling hands picked up the little note and plopped it in the wicker basket.
“Thank you, Jamie. I trust you won’t be doing that again?”
I nodded with a small brim of tears in my eyes. I hated to be yelled at by a teacher; or even talked to in that not-so-good way in a classroom.
Suddenly my heart stopped. What if she read it? What would she say? I felt myself lighten a skin tone of about five shades.
For the rest of the hour, I didn’t dare look at Taylor in fear of that I'd feel my eyes start to brim up again. Maybe it's just PMS, I thought to myself as I worked on a Spanish crossword puzzle. Maybe that's why I've been so edgy lately. Well whatever it was, it didn't keep my hands from sweating and looking up every so often to see if she was reading the note. But each time she was helping a student with their homework or instructing the class. When the bell chimed I hopped out of my desk and tried to mingle with the crowd out or the classroom but Mrs. Gorgisa called me back to her desk and said." I read your note Jamie."
I bit my cheek and my cheeks were on fire. I tried to remember if we wrote anything about her in our note. I'm going to faint.
" I hope you enjoy your date tonight at Rosa's, Jamie."
I smiled as a bucket of relief washed over me. " Thanks, Mrs. Gorgsia."
I met Taylor outside the hall and hollered over the crowd,” Six!”
He apparently heard me because he shouted back,” Ok!”
And I was shoved into the high school hallways my heart lighter than air.
I tied my tie the wrong way, again, before I realized that I was way too over dressed. A Navy blue Hollister T-shirt would be just fine. So I slipped that on and before I could change my mind, grabbed my wallet and sweatshirt and bounded down the stairs. Well, I would have been bounding if not for the boxes that lined the stairs.
“Taylor, Where are you going?” I turned and saw my mother wiping her hands on dish towel and saw again how this past year has aged her.
“I- um-“ I rubbed my hand on the back of my neck, the movement that that makes mom’s heart melt. “Mom, I have a date.” I could have slapped myself. I sounded like I was unsure about it.
“Taylor, honey that’s great…but…”
“I’ll help you put all this stuff away tomorrow. I’ll even stay home from school tomorrow if I have to.”
“Taylor, please don’t play that game. You know that I will not let you miss school, number one and number two, I don’t like being into things.” She busted out a smile and kissed me on the cheek and said,” Your father would have been proud of you, you know.” I held her hand for a moment and whispered,”I know.” She dropped the keys to the beat up truck in my hand and I walked out the door.
Jamie’s house was only three houses door but I still got in the truck and started the engine and drove it down to her house. It seemed like hours to get there but in reality it was only about three minutes or less. Her house was really beautiful. It was a fully white bricked house with a mahogany door and porch. I peeked in the back while I was waiting for someone to open the door and found that a beautiful view of Lake Superior was about sixty feet away from the house.
Suddenly a click was heard and I turned just in time to see a 6’6 man standing in the doorway.
“Um, Hello, sir. My name is, Taylor and-“
“Who is it Greg?” A woman appeared underneath the man’s arm and as soon as she saw me her smile dropped.
“What’s your name again, son?”
I put my hands in my pockets and played with a piece of lint as I said,” Taylor.”
“Sarah, this is Taylor.”
I reached out to shake her hand but she only repaid me with a cold stare so I returned my hand to my pocket and looked past the couple.
“Are you looking for Jamie?”
“She’s getting ready.” Her mom stared at me giving me a cold glare.
“Oh, well, I’ll just wait in the truck.”
But her father said,” Come on in. We’ll get you somthin’ to drink while you wait.”
Hesitant, I looked at the mom and the dad then stepped inside the door. I was in awe of Jamie’s house. A crystal chandelier hung from the ceiling and an iron staircase elegantly swerved its way up to the second level of the house. Off to my right a burnt red dining room was accompanied by a maple dining table which was fifteen feet long and overlooked Lake Superior. Actually, the whole house overlooked Lake Superior. It was a lot more extravagant from my own home which was all white except for the kitchen which was brown and the living room which was also brown.
Greg led us all into the living room which was all white except for the flooring which was maple.
He looked at me strangely and then laughed. “No. We meant non-alcoholic wine.”
“Oh well then I’ll have White Grape.” I felt myself redden slightly but not enough to notice.
“Sarah, will you get this boy a White Grape in a wine glass and a Cabernet sauvignon for me.”
She took off and he turned to me. “So, Sam, What are you planning to do after high school?”
“My name is Taylor, sir, and I want to be a doctor.”
He leaned back on the chair and then Sarah came in with two glasses of wine and he grabbed his and Sarah handed me mine then she sat down next to Greg.
“A doctor? What field?”
I swallowed. “I’m specializing in cancer treatment.”
“What made you decide that?” Sarah asked.
“I always had an interest for it.” I lied.
There was an awkward silence as Greg and Sarah looked at my wine glass pointedly, indicating I should take a sip. I slowly brought the wine glass to my lips and took a drink of it. It had a clean and fresh taste so I took a big gulp.
“So have you had any other girlfriends?”
I choked, surprised, and ended up coughing. Brilliant, I thought, as Sarah gave me a napkin and I coughed into it. Greg patted my back harshly, which only made me cough more. I waved him off, and he stopped.
“Don’t take such a big gulp.”
I looked up at Sarah who, as usual, had a frown on her face.
“What’s going on?”
Jamie was standing in the entry way to the living room, her body leaning on the wall. She was in dark jeans with a plain black shirt with a dainty gold chain laid across her neck.
“We were just talking to your boyfriend…”
“Taylor.” Jamie offered to her father.
“Ok well be back by nine.” Then he turned to me and said,” No funny business.”
I laughed, trying to make light of it, but realized he was dead serious and took my laugh as offensive so I cleared my throat and said, ”Absolutely not .”
Jamie grabbed her purse by the counter and I took that as an opening to leave. I stood up and shook Jamie’s dad’s hand and said,” Nice to meet you, Mr. and Mrs. O’Brian.”
They said the same and as I was shutting the door I heard her father yell, “Nine O’clock!”
“Sorry about that.” Jamie said blushing.
“Not at all. Your dad was nice.”
She turned to me and said,” Don’t lie.”
“Ok fine. He was a little…”
“No more like… protective.”
She was silent as we hopped in my truck then she said,” Have you been to Rosie’s yet?”
I shook my head.
“Well, I think you’ll like it. It has a…homey feel to it.” She smiled at me and I wanted to take her home to my mom and show her that Jamie wasn’t just another girl in my truck.
“Turn right on Morris street then a sharp right on Don’s Ave then you’ll see it from there. “
I followed her directions and soon I found myself with the ugliest building in my life. It had a shade of a purple running down the side of the concrete walls then neon green and a musty yellow in strips all along the building. Jamie must have seen my expression because she laughed,” The outside needs a little work. Come on.” She led me to the left of the building and opened a solid oak door and surprised me. Everything inside had a homey feel, just like Jamie said. Burnt orange covered the walls and Mahogany chairs and tables sat neatly around the restaurant with a karaoke stage off to the right corner with someone belting out the lyrics to,” Sweet Home Alabama”. You could tell who were the locals and the tourists by the way the locals all sat at around each other, talking and laughing, while the tourists sat away from the locals in a corner, chatting amongst themselves. It’s funny seeing the total difference between them in just where they sat.
Jamie said hi to a few people she knew and she led me to a private table by off to the left of the karaoke machine. We ordered drinks and food as I realized that Jamie had a smoothie named after her. The waitress was less than enthusiastic but still gave us everything we needed. Jamie was pointing out people she knew to me as the waitress served to other people.
“ That is Dustin and Veronica over in the back corner. You’ll know them in a day or two. Our waitress is Tracy. Believe it or not, she’s actually fun to hang around.” Jamie laughed and startled I asked,” What?”
“That’s John Boot. When he’s drunk, he likes to sing karaoke.”
“ Sing as in…”
“Slur,” she finished for me.
After John got done slurring the words to yet another country song Jamie and I got our food and she asked where I was from.
“ New York.”
“What’s it like?”
I hated when people asked me this kind of question because it was one of those kinds of things that you are at a loss of words for. But I said,” Big,” and felt like an idiot because she wanted a real answer.
“Yeah, but is it overrated-“
She sat back obviously disappointed and said,” Oh.”
“But does have some really cool stuff,” I said quickly so she wouldn’t be too disappointed.
“Well,” I tried to think of a store a girl would like, but couldn’t think of anything accept for one.
” My Dad owned this really cool jewelry shop for guys and girls and we used to sell these little surfboard magnets and stuff. “
“Wow,” she said, sounding genuinely interested. “That’s really cool.”
“Yeah,” I thought for a second, actually letting myself remember it and saying,” It was.”
In the car, I couldn't stop stealing little glances here and there at her as she was leaning against the window almost asleep. My arm was tingling to hold her even though I barely knew her. I glanced at her again but this time she was looking at me too and she turned away, blushing. The silence that was just silence became awkward so I said," So your mom..."
She glanced up and I had the feeling that I touched a soft spot. No turning back now.
"She, um, really cares about you," I looked over at her, hoping she didn't think I was a complete moron.
Jamie looked like she was going to say something when my truck made a noise that sounded like a mix between someone screaming and a balloon deflating . I checked the gas tank before I realized what was going on.
"Oh-" I almost slipped a swear word but then caught myself in time and said," crap."
"This car is older than I am, and today it finally decided to give out."
" Oh, that sucks."
"Actually," I admitted as I took out my phone from my pocket," I've waited for this day since I got my permit.”
She smiled at me and then asked,” What are you doing?”
“Well first I have to call a tow truck to come bring this thing back to my house and second I’ll have to call my mom to come and get us.”
“Oh, that’s ok. You can come and get it in the morning.”
I blinked and said,” But I don’t want somebody to steal it even if it is a piece of crap.”
“Nobody is going to steal it. This is Braxton, population about three people.” Jamie winked.” She’ll be fine. Somebody will probably bring it to your house if you leave the keys under the mat.”
I didn’t quite trust this theory but I wanted her to think I totally trusted her so I threw the keys underneath the mat and shut the door.
“So are we going to walk home or hitch a ride…?”
“We’ll walk. It’s not far.”
Jamie and I walked in silence for a moment and suddenly she startled me as she said,” What’s your favorite time of year?”
I thought for a moment then said,” I really like winter but I have to say fall is my favorite time of year. You?”
“I like spring. You get to see all these little baby animals and watch all the trees blossom…I don’t know, it’s a new beginning I guess.”
“Hands down, The Notebook. I love how they go their separate ways and then find each other again.”
“Oh how romantic,” I mocked. She smiled and nudged me.
“Ok then, what’s your favorite movie?”
“Not bad. Out of five though, it’s a three.”
Jamie shrugged.” I don’t know just not a big fan.”
“You can’t not like a movie for no reason.”
“ Maybe I’m just more of a romantic time.”
I looked at her hand and back up again before she could see.
We strolled the streets in silence and I think most of it was my fault because I was thinking about how much more different the big apple was from Braxton. The streets in New York were always flooding with life and sound while tiny little Braxton had a silence from nine-thirty to dawn. And the people in New York were always a little big-headed and thought they were too good for anyone else. Jamie didn’t posses any of those things. She was just sweet, opinionated, and made me feel like I could do anything. I rubbed my sweaty palms on my jeans and cautiously whispered,” Can I hold your hand?”
She waited for a second and panic rose up inside me that she would say no but she nodded and we linked our fingers together. She smiled and we walked a little closer together and to be honest, when I saw her house, I felt a sinking feeling inside and dreaded as we got closer to her doorstep.
“Well, um, thanks for the date Taylor.”
“Thanks for coming.”
We stood there awkwardly until I murmured, ”Do your parents have blinds on the windows?”
She blinked, clearly unsettled by the question and stuttered,” I-I think so why?”
“Are they closed?”
“Um, yeah, why?”
I thought, Lord help me as I said,” So I can do this,” And I kissed her.
She didn’t react right away but then she suddenly started to kiss me back.
I don’t know how long we sat there but it was clearly long enough for her parents to start flashing lights.
“I have to go in,” Jamie breathed and I kissed her one last time and as she was climbing the steps to her porch I told her,” Goodnight.”
She just smiled and stepped inside.
And the next morning I found my truck sitting in the driveway with the keys under the mat.