January 26, 2005 - The day after Bella is saved by Edward from Tyler's car in the school parking lot
It had been one day since the infamous automobile incident, and already I was the center of attention at school. I tried to divert some of it to Edward, but no one seemed to recall him being there. It was frustrating. I knew what I had seen.
After school, I walked into the house and went straight to the kitchen, looking for a diversion. I decided to make lasagna. It would take a while to get all the ingredients made, and then it had to be assembled too.
It didn’t work. Thirty minutes later, there I was, at the stove, wooden spoon in hand, stirring sauce, and all I could do was replay the accident over and over in my head. Being alone was not a good way to clear my thoughts. I considered calling Jessica, but I’d only been in Forks for a week and a half. It didn’t seem long enough to call someone out of the blue to hang out.
I had finished assembling the lasagna, when Charlie came home. It was earlier than usual.
“Hey, Bells, I wanted to let you know that I’m going over to–“ He stopped abruptly as he entered the kitchen, noticing the dirty pots and pans. “Oh, ah… you made dinner… that’s great… okay.”
“Dad, did you have plans?” I asked. “The lasagna will keep until tomorrow,” I said, trying to ease his guilt.
“No, no, it’s nothing important. I’d rather be home with you,” he replied unconvincingly.
I took a look at the clock. It wasn’t even five o’clock yet. He never came home this early. “Dad, were you going to go over to Harry’s to watch a game or something?” I asked.
He got a sheepish look on his face as a red flush crept up his cheeks. Was that what I looked like when I blushed? “Well, there’s a game with the Supersonics and the Jazz, and Billy can’t get a ride, so he asked if I could come by his place. Hey, did you say you made lasagna?” he questioned.
“Yeah, why?” I answered.
“Well, why don’t we take it over to Billy’s? I bet you made enough to feed all of us and then some. You can meet Jake. It’s been years since you’ve seen him. It’ll be a good chance to thank him for the truck, since he was the one that built it, plus, he can take a look at it to make sure it didn’t get damaged in the accident.”
Charlie knew as well as I did that there was no “damage” to my truck, but going to the Blacks’ sounded like it could be the diversion I needed. Besides, Charlie seemed excited at the prospect of me joining him.
“Okay, sounds great. I can pop it in the oven once we get there,” I responded.
“Great! I’ll give Billy a call and let him know. Hey, want me to I ask them to get a salad?”
“Sure, dad. That’ll be great.”
It didn’t take long to get to La Push. In less than twenty minutes I was in Billy’s kitchen fiddling with his oven, getting it ready for the lasagna.
“Hey, dad, I got all the stuff you wanted. What should do with it?” I heard a voice calling from the front room. I was sure it was Jacob, but the voice sounded huskier than I would have expected from a young boy. Actually, I couldn’t remember how old he was, just that he was younger than me.
“Why don’t you take it to the kitchen? Bella’s there; maybe you can help her?” I heard Billy say to him.
“Hey.” I heard someone say behind me.
I slipped the baking dish into the oven, closed the door, and turned around.
“Hey,” I replied to the boy standing in front of me. He was smiling at me and for some reason his smile made me smile.
“I’m Jacob. You must be Charlie’s kid, Bella, right?” he asked.
“Yep, in the flesh!” I announced.
I didn’t remember him from all those years back and wondered why that was. It was hard to imagine I’d forget someone like him. Jacob had long, glossy black hair tied in a ponytail. His skin was smooth and the most beautiful color, like the type of tan every girl in Phoenix worked so hard to get.
“Thanks for bringing dinner,” he said, sounding genuinely grateful. “You saved me from having to cook. It was my turn today.”
“No problem. It beats having leftovers,” I replied.
“So, I hear you had a fender bender yesterday,” he added, putting the salad ingredients into the refrigerator.
I rolled my eyes. “Don’t tell me the news travelled all the way here too?”
Jacob chuckled in the most enigmatic way. His whole face lit up even more than it had when he smiled. “No, Charlie told my dad about it, and he told me. Want me to take a look at the truck for you?”
“There’s no damage to it. That thing’s a tank!” I exclaimed.
“Yeah, sorry about that. I did the best I could, but it’ll never be fast,” he said, mistaking my meaning.
“Oh, no! I love it!” I chirped in quickly, “I don’t like driving fast anyway.”
“You love it? Really?” he questioned, looking incredulous.
“Okay, well, you’re welcome then. Come on, let’s go out and take a look anyway, unless you wanted to stay and spend some time with your dad.”
I peeked into the main room and saw Charlie sitting on the couch with Billy. The two of them were drinking beer and watching a pre-game show, or some other sportscast sort of thing.
“Doesn’t look like time for a father-daughter moment in there,” I answered, making my way out of the kitchen.
I followed Jacob outside to where the truck was parked. He inspected it thoroughly, all around, underneath, and even under the hood.
“Well, other than a few nicks and scratches, plus that one small dent, it’s in tip top shape. I can try and pound out the dent, but it’s pretty small. Besides, I think it adds character,” he commented.
“Hmmm, I think you’re right,” I said, inspecting the dent. I smiled and gave the truck a firm pat. “Looks like its been through a lot and survived. Imperfect perfection, I love it.”
“Great!” Jacob exclaimed, pleased with himself. “Hey, you want to see what I’m working on now, or do you have to check on the food?” he asked, changing the subject.
“The food’s fine. It just has to stay in the oven,” I answered. “I’d love to see what you’re working on.”
It was hard to believe a boy so young could build a car. I wanted to see how much “building” was actually involved. For all I knew, he was just tightening a few screws or something.
Jacob led me around to the back of their property. There was a lopsided building that looked like it was two make shift sheds put together to make one larger structure.
Once inside, I felt warm and comfortable. It was small and smelled of automobile grease, but everything was organized, with a place for all the tools and parts. I picked up what looked like a wrench from a table where every item was placed carefully beside one another in neat rows. It was heavy, the metal cool against my skin. I turned it around in my hand before putting it back down on the table. To the side were what appeared to be small car parts. I recognized one as the side view mirror. I touched the glass with my fingers, feeling the cold, smooth surface. My hand pushed a little too much, moving it to the edge of the table, but Jacob reached around me, taking a hold of it with one hand and my wrist with the other. His hand was so warm and soft in contrast to the cold metal and glass that had just touched my skin’s surface. It was the only time I had felt warm since moving to sunless, rainy Forks.
I looked up at him briefly and noticed his eyes were locked on mine as he took a discernable gulp. The moment was tense, but with anticipation, not anxiety. He let go, breaking out into a big grin.
“Here it is, my soon to be automobile!” Jacob announced, taking hold of me, and turning me around, so I was facing a car sitting on cinder blocks. The hood was removed, and even to my amateurish eyes, I could tell there wasn’t much in the way of an engine. I could see the frame and only a few parts inside it.
“That’s it?” I asked, incredulous.
“Yup. I know, it doesn’t look like much right now, but once I get everything done, it’s going to run like a dream,” Jacob replied with enthusiasm.
“You’re going to build a car from… that?” I questioned in disbelief. “How old are you?”
“You can’t even drive,” I commented off-handedly.
“I know how to drive,” he grumbled, irritated.
“You know what I meant,” I answered matter-of-factly.
“Well, one obstacle at a time. I need a master cylinder first, which is a real drag,” he said with a sigh. “They’re hard to come by and not exactly cheap. I’ve been combing the junkyards around here for one but no luck so far.”
“So, what are you going to do if you never find one these ‘master cylinder’ things?” I asked.
Jacob shrugged, reaching for a paper bag on a shelf. “I guess I’ll have to save up to buy one. I’m working on everything I can for now, but all that’s going to be done soon,” he replied, reaching into the bag. “Hey, want a soda?” he asked.
“Sure,” I answered.
Jacob tossed a can of cola directly at me. Of course, I missed even though the throw had been so good that it had landed in my lap.
“Thanks,” I muttered, picking it up.
“Wait!” he shouted.
It was too late; I had already opened the can and was now covered in wet, sticky soda.
“Darn! Why wasn’t I thinking?”
“Here, let me help,” Jacob offered, as he looked around for something to clean the mess up with. Finally, he reached for a towel and handed it to me. I took it from him, using it to wipe my face, but there was nothing to be done about my top. Why, oh why had I decided to wear a white shirt?
I looked up and noticed Jake gawking at me. He looked away almost immediately, but not fast enough. Even with his dark skin, I noticed him blush. Of course, that made me blush too. Jacob started unbuttoning his shirt.
“What… it’s okay, really, keep your shirt on!” I shouted.
“I have a tee shirt on underneath,” he replied, rolling his eyes.
“Oh,” I answered, embarrassed again.
Jacob tossed me his shirt, which I caught this time, and turned his back to me, so I could change. I thought of turning my back to him as well, so if he peeked he’d only get a view of my back, but that meant I wouldn’t know if he peeked. I decided not to turn around. Instead, I made a point of changing quickly. I tossed my shirt off, threw on his shirt, and buttoned it. It smelled wonderful, like pine needles and salty, ocean air.
“Okay, I’m decent now; you can turn around,” I stated once I was done.
“Cool,” Jacob responded, turning to face me. He was tall for his age, but still thin and gangly, like many boys his age. Even then, I could still see he had pretty good muscle tone and would likely fill out nicely.
My eyes lingered too long on his chest, shoulders and arms. The next thing I knew, I felt the tell tale heat of embarrassment creep up my neck and spread over my face. I turned quickly, not wanting him to see.
“Let’s go back. We should probably start making the salad,” I mumbled, moving towards the door.
I kept my face down, walking as fast as I could, but stopped abruptly when I felt a hand grab my arm.
“Uh, Bells?” He caught me off guard. Only Charlie called me that, but for some reason, it sounded… right coming from Jacob. “You’re going the wrong way.”
I looked up and noticed I was headed for the forest. “Oh, yeah. I guess I wasn’t paying attention.”
“Here, let me lead the way,” Jacob chuckled, taking my hand and pulling me along. It felt warm and familiar. I didn’t let go, letting my hand linger in his as he led me back to his house.
That night, I didn’t dream of Edward. That night I dreamt of Jacob. It was a wonderful, happy dream full of sunlight, laughter and warm soda.
For the rest of that week, Edward seemed to avoid me, and I let him. Quite frankly, I didn’t care. I was certainly grateful that he had saved my life, but what more was I supposed to do? I thanked him and decided to go about my business, no longer desperate to know the secret to his strength. Maybe some part of my truck had stopped Tyler’s car and I had failed to notice it? I did have a dent after all.
Of course, the apparent discomfort between Edward and me only encouraged Mike to keep hanging around my desk in biology class. At first it bothered me, knowing his intentions were not strictly friendship, but I shrugged it off, deciding I’d take the friendship, and if he assumed more, I’d set him straight. It was better than sitting in silence all period next to Mr. Stone-cold-silence. I may be quiet, but I was at least polite!
Jacob and I spent the next weekend together as well. He asked me to come to the beach on Sunday while Charlie was out fishing with Harry and Billy. I remembered the beach in La Push from when I was a kid and looked forward to seeing the tide pools. It was much too cold this time of year for swimming, which was a relief, because the water in Washington never got warm enough for me.
Sometimes, I forgot Jacob was a freshman. I suppose it was because we didn’t go to the same school. He was also tall for his age, and although his face had that soft, rounded look that young boys had, his voice was deep and husky, and he seemed mature beyond his years. In many ways, it felt as though we had a lot in common. He was raised by one parent, like I had been, and he had likely gained his maturity from having to care for Billy, in the same way I had gained mine by taking responsibility for things that Renee had not.
I didn’t have to suggest the tide pools to Jacob, because that’s where he wanted to go as well. Sometimes, as we spoke, it felt like he could read my mind. At one point, I was walking behind him, along the rocks. I was having a hard time and began lagging behind. Without he looked behind, Jacob stopped and reached his arm out to take my hand. It was as though he could sense I was further away than before. I reached out and grabbed it, as he turned and stepped closer.
Normally, I’d be too shy to hold a boy’s hand, but something about Jake made it feel right. I enjoyed feeling his soft, warm fingers around mine, and he was so casual about it, never trying to turn it into anything else. Holding his hand was a part of our developing friendship.
We were at the third tide pool, when I decided to ask Jake what was in the knapsack he had been carrying on his back. I was waiting for him to pull whatever it was out, but it hadn’t happened.
“So, what’s in there?” I asked, patting the pack.
“Oh, that. I thought it’d be nice to have lunch on the beach, if you don’t have to get back right away that is,” he replied shyly. “They’re just hot dogs, but we can build a fire with driftwood. Have you ever seen a driftwood fire?” he asked.
“No, at least I don’t think so,” I answered.
“You’d remember if you had. Come on, it’s close enough to lunch. Let’s go start our search for driftwood.”
It didn’t take long to find enough for our small fire. The beach was riddled with it.
Jacob was very efficient as he got everything set up and a nice fire started in no time. I found out then what he had been talking about. I watched as some of the flames licking up and crackling burned a beautiful blue-green. He noticed my wide-eyed gaze and answered my question before I asked.
“It’s the salt in the wood that makes it burn that color. Pretty, huh?” I nodded, still staring and closing my hand around his just a little tighter.
Later that evening, I sat down for dinner at home with Charlie, thinking about my day in La Push. The two visits I’d had there, were the best times I’d had since moving to Forks. I knew it was because of Jacob. His company felt natural and easy. My mind drifted as I envisioned his illuminating smile, heard his deep, husky voice, and felt his warm, russet hand around mine.
“Bells? Did you hear me?”
“Huh?” I asked, looking up. I hadn’t noticed Charlie was speaking to me.
“I asked if you’d mind me having Harry and Billy over for Super Bowl Sunday. If you have to study or something, I can tell them no, and we can do it in La Push,” Charlie offered.
“Oh, no, I’ll be fine,” I replied. Immediately, the first thing that popped into my head was if Jake would be coming with them. The thought made me blush, which made Charlie look at me strangely, raising his eyebrow. Thankfully, he was as painfully bashful as me, so he didn’t say anything about it.
“I appreciate that, Bells. Do you want me to ask Billy to bring Jake so you won’t be bored, or do you have plans?” Again, I felt my face get warm. What was wrong with me? He was a freshman, and I was a junior!
“It doesn’t matter dad. I wouldn’t want Jake to feel like he had to waste his Sunday hanging out with me. I’ve got stuff I can do,” I muttered, shoving the last forkful of food into my mouth and clearing my plate as fast as possible. The conversation was making me feel awkward, and I didn’t like it.
Jake did end up coming over after all. I had no idea if Charlie had asked Billy to bring him, but he seemed happy enough to be here. The problem was, our house was pretty small. The only place for us to hang out was either the kitchen or my room. I was definitely not going to hang out in my room with him. The kitchen was okay, but cramped, but that was where we invariably ended up.
“So, this is your domain,” he commented, looking around.
“My domain? What’s that supposed to mean?” I asked, perplexed.
“Well, that lasagna was fantastic, and Charlie says you do all the cooking,” he answered.
“I do all the cooking because I want to live to see eighteen,” I snorted, willing myself not to blush at the underlying compliment.
“From what I’ve sampled, I’d say you cook as well as I build cars,” he replied proudly.
“Hey, you’ve only built one car while I’ve cooked more meals than I can count!”
“Hey… “ Jake said with his hands in the air and a big smile on his face. “I’m not trying to knock your mad skills. I surrender; you win; you’re the better person.”
I started giggling, which made Jake start laughing. It was nice. The whole evening ended up being very pleasant after all. We made some brownies together, followed by watching the half time show, and then went for a short walk around town. Jake held my hand, and I let him.
The following week at school, I couldn’t stop thinking about that Sunday together. I hadn’t told anyone about Jake and wasn’t sure I wanted to. It was partly because he was a freshman, but there was also a part of me that didn’t want to share him. He wasn’t a part of my school life. He didn’t fit into the simulated interest around our lunch table or the forced courtesy when Mike flirted. He certainly didn’t have anything to do with Edward’s increasingly odd aloofness. Jacob was mine, and mine alone.
The next weekend I had no particular reason to go to La Push, nor did Jacob have one to come to Forks. We hadn’t yet graduated to a level where I felt comfortable enough to call him spontaneously and make plans independent of our fathers. So, that Saturday I was at the Thriftway, combing the aisles when I came across a display of Valentine’s chocolates. The first thought I had was of Jacob, making me blush.
If only he were two years older. Of course, the more I thought of that, the more annoyed I got at myself. Why should two years make a difference? I mean, it would be different if I were in my twenties, and he was still in high school, or if I had more “experience” with boys, but the truth was, I was probably as innocent, if not more so, than he was in the romance department. If anything, young Jacob would be more likely to have the patience to accommodate my shy, hesitant personality than someone like Mike Newton.
No matter how much I argued with myself on an intellectual level, the irrational teenager, focused too much on what her peers thought of her, wouldn’t let the issue go. I ended up going past the display without purchasing anything. I told myself buying a heart-shaped box of chocolates was something boys did, not girls — so much for women’s liberation.
On Monday, I was up and downstairs a little earlier than usual. Charlie had been awake for a while and was sitting in the kitchen drinking his coffee.
“Oh, hey, Bells! Happy Valentine’s Day, sweetheart,” he said cheerily.
“Yeah, happy Valentine’s Day, dad,” I replied as enthusiastically as I could. I was pretty sure my acting skills were as horrible as ever.
“So, any big plans?” he asked.
“It’s just a Monday, dad,” I mumbled as I poured cereal into a bowl.
“Okay. Well, I have to get going, but uh… I was wondering… if you’re not planning anything…”
I smiled at my father’s timidity, knowing it was the same as my own. “We don’t have to do anything special, dad. I meant it when I said it was just a Monday.”
“Okay, but… uh… I was wondering if it would okay to have Billy over again? We’ve really gotten into the basketball season and there’s a game today.”
“No problem, dad. Should I make extra for dinner?” I inquired.
“Yeah, that’d be great. Oh, the game’s early, at four in the afternoon. That’s why I took the early shift,” Charlie said in response. He stood up, took one last sip of his coffee before putting the cup in the sink. “And Jake’s probably coming too,” he added, as he made his way out.
He wasn’t facing me, so I couldn't tell for sure, but I would bet money he had a smug smile on his face.
That morning, I got to school a little earlier than usual. I guess Charlie’s early morning got me off to an early start as well. I was debating whether I should stay in my car to read, or just make my way in early. I decided on something in between and grabbed my book bag as I got out of the truck. I rifled through it until I found the book I wanted to read and leaned against the driver’s side door, reading. This way I didn’t look closed off to social interaction like some hermit, but I also didn’t look desperate for company either.
I should have thought better of it before balancing my bag on one shoulder, while holding a book up to read. Of course, I ended up dropping everything, and in classic Bella fashion, by bag was not clasped properly. All its contents came tumbling out. I bent down to gather up my books when I saw a pale hand reach for them. I looked up and there was Edward. Where had he come from?
“I didn’t notice your car here,” I commented as I stood up, looking around the parking lot. As I had suspected, there was just my car and a few of the teachers’.
“Yes, Alice dropped me off early because she had something to do this morning and wasn’t sure she’d be able to make it to school on time,” he replied smoothly.
“Oh,” I answered, deciding I really didn’t care to hear the details of his haughty family’s strange habits.
Somehow, Edward was able to pick up everything in one go and put it back in the bag before our short exchange had ended. He handed me the bag, bowing slightly as he did so. It made me uncomfortable. Who did things like that?
“Bella, may I ask what you have planned for today?” he queried as I opened my book to read.
It seemed like a strange question. Most days he did everything in his power to ignore me, while other days he just glowered at me. Now, he wanted to know what I was doing today? What business was it of his?
“I’m going to school and then going home? I don’t understand what you’re asking me, Edward,” I answered, not hiding my irritation.
“I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to be so forward. It’s just that it’s Valentine’s Day…” he hesitated, as though waiting for me to answer. I didn’t. He continued, “You seemed a little… different of late. I haven’t heard much about what you’ve been doing lately.”
“Have you been checking up on me, Edward?” I asked accusingly. The conversation was definitely starting to feel strange.
I considered pulling the “my dad’s the chief of police” card when he interjected quickly with, “No, of course not! It’s just… you’ve been quite the topic of… conversation among the boys since your arrival and… I haven’t… I mean…”
I raised an eyebrow. It was unusual to see Edward fumble with his speech. Usually, he was very sure of himself, able to make anyone succumb to his suggestions, including the teachers.
“Exactly what do you mean?” I enquired suspiciously.
“Perhaps we could do something after school? Maybe talk for a few minutes?”
“Sorry, Edward,” I replied with an exasperated sigh. There must be something in the water around here. None of the boys in Phoenix ever noticed me, but here, it was like I had turned into Jessica Alba. “I have plans after school.”
“Oh, of course… yes… it is a holiday after all… well… ah… is this a male friend?” he asked.
“A family friend,” I responded
I wanted to leave, but there was nowhere to go and getting in my truck seemed rude at this point.
“Was there anything else you wanted, Edward?”
He looked extremely agitated, like I owed him more information. I tried not to let it get to me; it was an assumption after all. I didn’t really know what he thought.
“No, nothing else. Well, have a good morning, Bella,” he said, again bowing slightly as he walked away.
The day seemed to drag on, but school did finally end, and I raced to Thriftway. I had never gone through a supermarket so fast before. It was a miracle I didn’t fall and break a leg, but I came out in one piece.
I was at home, happily in the kitchen, in the middle of a mess of food, when I heard the front door open.
“Bells? It’s me,” Charlie called from the foyer. “Billy and Jake are here too. They were driving in as I turned onto our street.”
I rinsed my hands and made my way to the front hall.
“Hi Bella, thanks for having us over again,” Jake said as he made his way in. He was pushing Billy’s wheelchair, as Charlie helped get past the threshold.
“No problem, Jake. I fully expect you to pull your weight,” I joked.
“Your wish is my command,” he replied with an exaggerated arm gesture that made me giggle.
“So, what’s my first job?” Jacob asked, once our fathers had settled in front of the television.
“Well,” I answered, thinking of an easy task. “Do you want to peel the potatoes?”
“Sure, sure,” he replied, picking up the peeler and getting started.
Jacob was more adept than I had expected, but I guess it went with the territory of caring for his father.
Dinner was fairly quick work with Jacob helping. After we had prepared most of it and all the food was in the oven, we went out to the backyard.
“Hey, you’re a good sport, Bells,” Jacob commented as we walked.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“Staying around here tonight, cooking for us,” he answered.
“Oh, well that’s no big deal. I’d have to cook for Charlie and me anyway,” I replied.
“Yeah, but it’s Valentine’s Day,” he added.
“It’s Monday,” I said, rolling my eyes.
Jacob smiled, not needing any further explanation. He immediately changed the subject, telling me all the latest news with his friends and the Rabbit, as he led us into the trail behind my house.
“You really didn’t have any plans tonight?” Jacob asked after a momentary lull in the conversation.
“No, I really didn’t have any plans tonight,” I responded.
“Yeah, sure,” he said, absent-mindedly.
“What do you mean by that?”
“Nothing,” he muttered. I gave him a look that clearly said I didn’t believe him. Jacob rolled his eyes, running his fingers through his hair, worn loose today. Even in the dim light of the setting sun, I could tell he was blushing. “It’s nothing, Bella, really.”
“You can’t start something and then not tell me. Did my dad say something?”
“No, it’s nothing like that.”
“Then what’s it like?” I persisted.
“It’s kind of embarrassing,” he mumbled.
“I’m great with embarrassing. In fact, I’ve spent half my life feeling embarrassed,” I replied encouragingly.
“I just assumed a pretty girl like you would have a date, or something. I heard that guy, whose parents own the sporting goods store, was dating you.”
“What?” I nearly shouted in shock.
“Hey,” Jacob exclaimed, holding his hands up. “Don’t shoot the messenger. I just heard him talking about it last weekend down at the beach. I guess he was talking about going out with you, and I assumed he was already dating you.”
“Mike was in La Push?” I asked.
“Is that his name?” he returned.
“Mike Newton, yeah,” I answered.
“The townies come down to La Push fairly often. There’s not much to do around here, you know.”
“What about you? No plans for Valentine’s Day?” I asked, diverting attention away from me.
“It’s Monday, remember?” Jacob replied with a chuckle.
“That’s right,” I returned, chuckling myself.
“Pretty good for a Monday, though, don’t you think?” he questioned, smiling.
“Yeah, pretty good,” I replied with a shy smile.
“It’s actually the best Monday I’ve ever had, you know, so far,” Jacob added, almost whispering.
After a short silence I responded by saying, “That’s funny because it’s the best Monday I’ve ever had too, you know, so far.”
“Really?” he asked, looking over at me.
“Really,” I answered, staring directly into his deep eyes.
We stopped walking. I noticed we were holding hands. I hadn’t noticed before. Had he taken my hand, or had I reached out for his? Jacob took my other hand and we stood gazing at each other for a long time.
I knew what he wanted to do, but he was scared, because he was a freshman and I was a junior.
I knew what I wanted to do, but I was scared, because I was a junior, and he was a freshman.
I decided those were stupid reasons to be scared of something and leaned into him, my eyes beginning to close. Jacob met me halfway as our lips touched.
It was my first real kiss. There were no fireworks, no symphony playing in the background, and no shower of rose petals. Instead, I felt warmth, comfort, and devotion, all the things I valued in life.
I heard a quiet rustle in the forest, as a cool breeze blew by. Jacob pulled away slowly, and my eyes opened. He was looking off into the forest, where the breeze was blowing in from, his nose wrinkled.
“Something wrong?” I asked.
“Do you smell that?” he asked. I shook my head, hoping it wasn’t me. “I think a skunk sprayed close by. Come one, let’s go inside. If that’s what it was, it takes ages to wash out the stink.”
Jacob draped his arm around my shoulders, holding me closely as we walked back to the house. I looked behind me as we left the trail, wondering what he had smelled, because I hadn’t detected anything. In fact, I had thought it smelled quite nice, like freesias. All I saw was something light — almost white — flash against the moonlight from inside the trees before it disappeared.
Jacob felt me hesitate and stopped to ask me, “Everything okay?”
“Everything’s great. In fact, if this is what Monday is like, I can’t wait until Tuesday!”
He leaned down, kissed the top of my head, and we made our way in.
It really was the best Monday ever.