It's the little things, really. That's how she'd say it started, with the little things.
It's just, Jeremy is around so much these days, isn't he? He's always around play practice, and in her Math class, and with Rich, who's always with Jake, who is also always around.
So, like, of course she talks to him a lot. A lot. So what? It'd be weird if she didn't talk to him, wouldn't it? They're costars. Be nice to costars, if at all possible, and it is so possible, with Jeremy. Talking doesn't usually feel so comfortable.
Uh, so they're friends. Friends talk, friends see each other. So it's super not weird that she wants to send him nineteen snapchats of her dog sleeping, that everything she does usually leads to "I have to show Jeremy," It's just how close friends are. It's fine.
It's also kinda that he's got this, like, goofy sorta nervous grin? And she feels for it, feels like it, kinda knows what he means by it. It's definitely really sort of that.
He and Michael are weird, but maybe kind of a cool weird? Nobody else thinks so, she knows, but she always thought they were kind of a cool weird, like maybe Michael knew what it felt like to not want to sit still, like maybe Jeremy knew what it felt like to drown. Stuff she felt. You know, the little things.
Christine's kind of a cool weird, she knows. Christine isn't one to follow the hierarchy, but she knows the cliques, and she knows Brooke and Jenna like to hang out with her, so she can't really be weird, but Chloe doesn't, so she can't be cool. She knows what the in between is.
Jeremy and Michael don't belong where she does, she knows. They're squarely in the weird crowd, she walks a tightrope between decently-liked and completely ostracized. They have nothing to lose.
Jake's cool. Jake's really cool, cool like he dated Chloe and slept with Madeline, cool like Dillinger parties were legendary parties, cool like his presence made Chloe sign up for the play. Jake wants to talk to her after plays, now, and that means Rich does, and that’s cool. Rich is cool. He has more energy than anyone, save maybe herself.
Jenna asks her who she’s dreaming of, when she zones out at lunch one day. She says nobody, and they tease her, of course, ask if his initials are J.D., and her gut twists uncomfortably. No, she thinks, but they’re probably J.H.
It’s stupid to worry over such small things, because when they’re out of high school nobody is going to care who was cool when they were juniors, and nobody is going to stop being her friend if she asks Jeremy out, and she wants to, she realizes, she wants to, she wants to, she wants to, so she’s going to. She likes talking to Jeremy. He babbles like she does.
What if they do, though? Stop talking to her, that is. Her friends, that is. Jenna thinks Jeremy is a loser. What if that matters a lot more to her? She likes Jeremy, she won’t lose her friends for him. But she’s halfway through telling him, isn’t she? Halfway through asking him out, halfway through saying your weird is my weird, is considering just making a noise not unlike a bleating goat, because that’s kinda how she feels, nervous and awkward, and she doesn’t like feeling that way. Nervous and awkward isn’t who she wants to be. She wants to be chill.
“The guy that I’d kind of be into,” She says, and Jeremy looks so hopeful it hurts, and she is so scared it burns, “ is Jake.”