On The Cheek

Disclaimer: Don't sue me. I only have like 20 bucks in my bank account.

Author's Note: I've never done a first person fanfic. I've also never done a one piece fanfic either. I wanted to try something new and this has been gnawing at me since I found out these spoilers. So everyone bear with me. I wanted to wait to post this until You Shook Me aired so I didn't spoil anyone else about bad times ahead.

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I knew this day was coming.

From the moment Jackie ran out of my car after breaking up with me, I knew that I would have to face this exact moment. I just never thought I'd have to actually watch it.

Why did I have to come home at this exact moment? Why couldn't I have spent just five more minutes at The Hub with Eric and Donna? Fate is against me just like everyone else. Which is why I'm stuck on the Forman's driveway watching her. Watching her come home from a date with some guy.

I'd almost made it to the back door when I heard her laughter. It was actually more like a squeal. It was the same noise she used to make whenever I tickled her. I used to find that sound so annoying, but now it makes me feel warm inside.

So being a glutton for punishment, I decided to walk over to the hedge to see if I could see her. She was standing on Donna's front step looking absolutely beautiful. She was standing on Donna's front step looking absolutely beautiful with some other guy.

My first instinct had been to go over there and tell him to leave her alone. She didn't need some loser stalking her. What made him think he was worthy to talk to her or spend time with her? I was all ready to jump over the hedge and defend her honor when reality came slapping itself back in. She was smiling and laughing. She was dressed up. She was holding what seemed to be a stuffed animal. It was then that I realized, that I was witnessing the end of Jackie's first date since our break up.

It had been a month. One month since I threw away the first relationship I actually cared about. One month since Jackie had looked up at me with huge tears in her eyes and told me it was over. One month since Jackie had stopped coming around the basement. It felt like yesterday.

I knew I should have turned around the minute I realized what was going on. It was wrong to spy on her, and it probably wasn't the best thing for me either, but I couldn't move. All I could do was stand and stare safely hidden by the Forman's hedge.

I watch her shift back and forth from one foot to the other and wring her hands together. I realize that she is nervous. This clown was standing too close for my comfort smiling down at her like some damn clown. He's too tall. I mean seriously the guy looks like a giraffe. Not somebody I'd want to be hanging around.

I wish I could hear what they're saying. Maybe she's telling him to get lost. Maybe she'll need a friend after he's shown himself to be the jerk he undoubtedly is. We haven't talked since the break up, but I'm sure she'll appreciate a friend.

I notice she's put her hand on the door handle, and I breathe a sigh of relief. This is almost over. She's about to tell this jerk to take a hike and go date some amazon like Donna.

Suddenly though, its like a bad dream. He's leaning down. He's actually leaning down for a fucking kiss. My hands clench tightly as the scene before me plays out like some slow motion movie. His eyes are closing as his face approaches hers. Her eyes close slowly as she lifts her face up to meet his. My breathe stops, my heart skips several beats, and I can't turn away from the train wreck in front of me. Finally he reaches down and kisses her on the cheek.

On the cheek.

She turned her head at the last moment. She couldn't go through with it.

Smiling with relief, I watch her say good-bye and open the door. He looks disappointed, but walks to his car after giving her a smile and squeezing her hand. Who gives a hand squeeze? Eighty year old women that's who. What a dumbass.

My attention shifts back to Jackie who is still standing in the open doorway. She's watching this guy leave with her hand on her cheek. Her cheery facade has faded away, and a look of sadness appears. Tears are welling up in her eyes and slowly fall down her cheeks. She quietly closes the door.

I know I'm the cause of that sadness, and it kills me. It's been on her face ever since that day. I see her smiling at school or at the Hub, but it never reaches her eyes. Her eyes are always somber and silent. I put that pain in her, and there's not a damn thing I can do about it.

I hate that she's in so much pain. I hate that she won't talk to me. I hate this entire situation.

But I'm glad it was only on the cheek.

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I shouldn't be here.

It's one week later, and I'm waiting. I'm waiting for Jackie to get home from another date. This time isn't an accident. This time I'm waiting. God what a pathetic loser I've turned into. I finally understand what Forman went through when Donna was dating Casey. I hate that I can relate to Forman in any way.

His name is Tim Foster. He's a junior like Jackie. Apparently he plays on the basketball team. I didn't even know we have a basketball team. What the hell kind of sport is that anyway. A bunch of guys in too tight shorts running around bouncing a ball. Stupid game.

I overheard Jackie telling Donna she was going out with him again tonight. She said he was sweet and funny. She also mentioned that his dad owned a ranch in Texas. I thought she hated Texans. She also mentioned the kiss.

She said she couldn't kiss him. It just didn't feel right. Donna asked if it was because of me. Jackie didn't answer. I shouldn't feel happy that she can't move on, but I do. I don't want her dating other guys. I don't want her kissing other guys. Because that means its really over.

A part of me thinks that she'll come back. I mean look how many times she went back to Kelso after he cheated on her. I only did it once. Shouldn't that count for something? But she said it hurt more when I did it. She said that she never in a million years that I could do that to her. She told me about her promise to never date another guy who cheated on her. Jackie's finally realized that she deserved better than that. I always hoped she would. I just never thought it would mean I'd lose her.

So now I'm sitting on the El Camino drinking a beer trying to look like I'm just hanging. The rest of the gang are all down in the basement. I'm sure Donna knows something is up, but thankfully she didn't say anything. I think she knows I need this. I'm just not sure what I need it for.

All of a sudden I hear a car door slam. They're here. Pushing myself off the hood, I walk quietly over to the hedge to watch. Jackie's wearing this long black dress with her hair up. Tim's wearing a suit and tie. They must have gone somewhere really nice. I never took Jackie anywhere nice. She's carrying a rose this time which is so cliche. I mean seriously, can't this guy come up with anything original?

They've reached the front step by now and are talking. The jolly green giant is saying something, and Jackie's nodding. I wonder what she's agreeing to? He's probably one of those smooth talkers who convince girls to dump all their friends and worship him. Jackie's probably agreeing to give him all the rest of her money.

It's time. She puts her hand on the door handle and smiles. Tim, the boy dolt, leans down again. Doesn't he take a hint? The world stops for a few seconds as Tim's massive head lowers and connects with Jackie's cheek.

On the cheek.

She turned her head again leaving him with a mouth full of cheek.

Tim straightens up and looks like he's about to say something. If he has the nerve to say anything about this to her, I'll head right over there and kick his ass. Who the hell does he think he is?

He must have changed his mind though because all he does is smile, give her one of those stupid squeezes, and walk away. I spend a few seconds glaring at him, willing him to trip and fall before I turn back to Jackie.

She's framed in the door way watching Tim like last time. Except this time she's not sad. This time she looks angry. Her eyebrows are knotted together, her mouth is twisted in a scowl. For a hopeful moment, I wonder if she's mad at Tim. Then I realize she's mad at herself. Mad that she can't go through with the kiss. Mad that she can't move on. This time the door slams closed.

I stand there for awhile just staring at the door. She wants to move on. She's trying to forget about me. But she can't. It gives me hope. Hope that this whole thing will end soon because I don't know how much more of this I can take.

I hate that I'm standing out her basically stalking her. I hate that she's trying to move on. I hate that I can't even think about moving on.

But I'm glad it was only on the cheek.

**********************

I think I need help.

I wonder what the stalking laws in Wisconsin are. Is it considered stalking if you're still on your own property? Of course the government represents the epitome of stalking so I don't think they have any room to talk.

Another week. Another date. Another night of waiting.

Apparently this Tim is one of the good guys. Donna was telling Eric about him last night. He's your typical nice guy with money. Evidently he's told Jackie that he knows she been hurt and is okay with taking things slow. Donna thinks he's this great guy. I think he's full of it.

I've noticed them hanging out at school several times this week. It's gone beyond occasional dates. I don't know why she keeps hanging out with him. It doesn't make any sense. He's the complete opposite of me in every way.

He's a straight A student. I barely make it to class. He's a jock. I'm a rebel. He's the proudest thing in his parent's life. I'm the biggest mistake of mine. He's rich. I'm poor. How can she go from being with me to being with him? I just don't get it.

I made this mistake of blurting all this out to Forman. He didn't say anything after I finished. He just looked at me with pity. PITY. He didn't even give me that look when my parents left. It's like he knows something I don't.

I hear the now familiar car door slam and make my way to the familiar hedge. There they are walking up the path. He's got his arm around her shoulder, and she's wrapped her arm around his waist. It looks awkward. They don't fit together.

Once they reach the front porch, he doesn't let go. Instead he wraps his arms around her waist. She seems to be smiling. They keep on talking much longer than usual. What is there to talk about? They just spent the entire evening together. Just get your kiss on the cheek and get the hell out of here Timmy.

Finally she breaks free from his hold and reaches for the door. It's like a pattern. She reaches for the door. He leans down. She leans up. She turns her head. And he kisses her on the cheek. It's like clockwork.

Except this time she doesn't turn her head.

This time they're kissing.

I feel like my stomach exploded into a million pieces and my heart jumped out of my chest onto the ground. This isn't how its supposed to go. She's not supposed to kiss him. She's supposed to realize that we need to get back together.

His hands are touching places that only I'm supposed to touch. That's my hair he's touching. Those are my lips he's kissing. That's my back he's caressing. He's stolen it from me.

They break apart after a few minutes. A few minutes that felt like a million lifetimes. He's looking at her with concern. He's fucking concerned about her now? After he's just assaulted her? She nods gently and touches his cheek. Then he walks away. He walks away with a smile on his face. Damn bastard.

I glance back at Jackie. She hasn't made a motion to go inside yet. Instead she sits down on the step. She's smiling. And for the first time since our break up, the smile reaches her eyes. She's happy. She's genuinely happy.

My heart breaks.

This is what Forman knew. This is what Donna sees. This is what I couldn't understand before now. Tim makes her happy.

She doesn't move, and I watch her for a long time. I watch the way she swings her knees back and forth. I watch the way she keeps flipping her hair over her shoulder. I watch the way her lip keeps curling up into a smile. I watch the way she gazes dreamily at the stars. I watch her being happy.

Closing my eyes, I turn and walk away leaving her on the step. I don't need to watch her anymore. That's somebody else's job now.

I hate that I feel so miserable. I hate that she kissed him. I hate that I lost the first love of my life.

But I'm glad she's happy.