I never meant to fall in love with Joe Jonas, it just kind of happened. Then again, it was never my intention to even cross paths with him in the first place. It’s funny how life works like that sometimes. The things we never planned become reality, and sometimes the reality we planned gets turned on its head. The bizarre happens when we least expect it. And bizarre is truly what the night was, the events that would shape the rest of my life. It was early winter, sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas, when this story began. It was a Wednesday, I was sitting in my final exam of my college career, just moments left on the clock before I’d be free forever from the hell that was an undergraduate degree, when my best friend Gavin called me. Like a lightning bolt of good luck coming from some higher power, striking right at the perfect moment, my instructor released us from her clutches and I answered the phone as I threw my laptop bag on my shoulder and headed out of the classroom.
“Hey, what’s up?” I said, holding my phone between my ear and my shoulder in my best attempts to not to disturb the delicate balance of notebooks and textbooks I held in my arms. I really should’ve taken the time to put them in my bag before I left the classroom but of course, foresight has always been my biggest weakness.
“Maggie, You might want to sit down for this…” Gavin teased, and I rolled my eyes. He was always so dramatic.
“I just got out of an exam, my last exam to be exact, so tonight you and I are gonna party. Anyway, I’m on my way to my car. Just tell me the news.” I responded as I approached the last door to freedom (read: the parking lot) and started to search for my keys in my bag.
“Well,” He started, “we might have to put the party on hold for tonight because, drumroll please,” There was a pause on his end that I’m sure he intended to be filled with the sounds of stomping feet from my end, but no such sounds came. He retorted, “Okay, or not... Anyway, I scored us two VIP tickets to the Jonas Brothers concert tonight!”
The delicate pile of things I’d been holding crashed to the ground along with my phone as I emitted a small yelp. I was awestruck. I’d been a Jonas Brothers fan as long as I could remember. It started in high school, I’d choreograph dance routines to their music and make audio edits of their songs with echo effects and audience noises to make it sound like I’d recorded it at their concert. I grew up in a fairly poor family so an experience like that wasn’t anything I ever even considered asking my parents to shell out the money for. Around the time I finally got a job and hoped I could start saving up for tickets was the same time my mom got sick and I needed to start taking care of her and paying bills.
Back on the ground where I’d just fallen, I started to pick up my things and shove them into my bag. Suddenly, I saw a flurry of movement out of the corner of my eye and then Matt, my ex-boyfriend, was hurrying over to help. He kneeled beside me and began to corral my things.
“Are you okay?” He asked, and for a moment I’d forgotten we’d even broken up just a few days prior.
Sunday night I’d finally dropped the bomb on him. “I got a job in Los Angeles…” I started. You see, Matt and I had been together for almost four years at that point. We’d met during a prospective students day, months before classes even started. We stood in the back of the group during the campus tour and cracked jokes about the architecture, the classrooms, the people, and talked about anything and everything under the sun. We kept in touch through the rest of our final year of high school, despite living a thousand miles apart. He even flew out to go to prom with me. I asked him to be my boyfriend that weekend. A little non-traditional, yes, but I couldn’t wait. I was in love.
Maybe I’ve always fallen in love a little too easily. There was a boy in pre-school named Leland, he was blonde and quiet and I loved him, but he moved away the following year. There was Geoffery in the fifth grade who I loved and “dated” for approximately six days before he dumped me and said he only really went out with me to make my best friend jealous. In high school I was in love with countless boys and girls who never seemed to last.
Matt was different though. He was so good to me and so fun to hang out with. He was smart and funny and never needed to ask how I was feeling because he already knew, sometimes even before I did. It was like we were attached to one another. But I knew he wanted to move back to New York after graduation. And maybe some part of me wanted a change of scenery, some excitement. Maybe that’s why I turned down the countless job offers in New York for the one that was physically the furthest away from Matt I could get and still be in the continental United States.
“I start January first…” I continued, never looking away from Matt, trying desperately to gauge his reaction. He wouldn’t look me in the eyes. There was a long moment of silence before he finally spoke.
“So that’s it?” He finally let out, sitting down on the arm of the couch behind him. “For us? We’re done?”
I wanted to say we could make long distance work. I wanted to give him an award winning monologue about how our love was strong and if we’d been together this long we could continue our relationship despite the nearly three thousand miles between. I wanted to point out that we made it work in high school and we could make it work again, but all I could get out was, “Yeah… I guess so.”
I knew too much had changed. We’d been together too long to be that far apart again. But in that moment, on the floor I’d almost forgotten all the pain from a few months prior. I looked up from gathering my things to look at Matt and everything came rushing back. Push it back down, I thought to myself.
“Yeah, I’m okay. You know how clumsy I can be.” I chuckled nervously, hoping he couldn’t read my mind in that moment.
“Okay, good.” He responded, short and a bit cold, before handing me a notebook and standing up. He turned to walk away but looked back at me one last time and said, “Have a nice life, Maggie.”
I stood there speechless for a moment, not exactly sure what my next move should be when I heard a tiny voice on the floor below me. Gavin. I quickly picked up my phone and put it to my ear.
“Hey sorry, I kinda dropped my stuff.” I said, intentionally leaving out the quick brush with Matt. Gavin, as the all-knowing being he is however, wouldn’t let me slide that one past him.
“Was that Matt?” He asked, “I thought I heard Matt. Is he bothering you?”
“No,” I responded quickly, “he was just helping me. It’s okay. So anyway,” I continued, eager to change the subject, “Jonas Brothers? Tonight? What time? I’m so frickin’ excited, you have no idea!”
Little did I know that in just a few hours, everything would change.