Music is blaring through the house. My friends and I are walking through the house trying to find some people.
"Lets go over there," Lucia points toward the living room. I feel bad that I'm getting annoyed about how Lucia always takes the lead. This whole night, Pateel, Lucia, and I have been hanging out at this party but it feels like we're just following Lucia. And it's like this most of the time. And I don't like to be thought of as a follower; I'm my own individual person. But I try to let the annoyance pass because Lucia is one of my really close friends, so Pateel and I follow Lucia. Lucia spots Brandon, her "best-friend" as she claims, (she has like 100 best friends) and walks towards the area where his is. Even though Brandon likes her as more than a friend, Lucia doesn't do anything about it even though she knows. She just flirts with him; just leading him on. Lucia is the flirtatious girl out of us. Lucia stops near where Brandon is but doesn't come up to him. Then she starts talking a little bit loudly about how she thinks this one guy is really cute.
I soon get the gist of her "plan"; she's making Brandon jealous and wants him to come up to her. Just like the other "plans" she inconspicuously tries; and her "plans" succeed. I check my cell phone.
"It's 10:20, I need to go find Jason," I say to them and start into the kitchen. Once I leave the circle, I feel instantly better. It feels good to just do what I want to do.
It was really crowded in the kitchen, and I'm trying to look for Jason in the middle of the chaos. Suddenly somebody bumps into me and pushes me against the kitchen cabinet.
"Sorry about that." I glance up and see a guy in front of me. He has dark brown hair, which falls over his forehead but doesn't cover his eyes. He's probably about only 5'6" while I'm 5'3". There's absolutely no moving space, and he's pushed up against me.
"It's okay…" I totally turn shy and I can feel the heat on my face. For some reason, whenever somebody I don't know is giving me a lot of attention, my face gets hot.
"My name's Cam."
"Short for like Cameron, or just Cam?" What a stupid question. I'm blushing like crazy now.
"Haha. Just Cam." He looks at me pointedly.
"Jacqueline." Pronounced Jack-A-Lean. "But some people call me Jackie for short." I start to feel uncomfortable because our bodies are against each other. "It's getting really crowded in here…"
"Here, I'll get us out". Cam flashes a little smile and offers his hand.
I hesitantly place my hand in his hand. His hand feels warm. He grabs hold of my hand and starts to push himself through the crowd.
We're finally out of the kitchen and we're out on the backyard porch and only a few people are hanging around the porch so it's quiet. A summer breeze comes by and lifts my think black hair that is three or four inches past the shoulder. Our hands are still together, and we awkwardly both let go.
I was expecting him to leave now and go try to find his friends, but to my surprise he leans his arms over the porch railing and looks towards the darkness with the full moon shining.
"The breeze feels nice," I say.
I've always told myself to be more outgoing and be open to people. So, I take a step and stand next to him.
"Yeah, better than the crowded and hot kitchen," he replies while looking out in the darkness too.
"I think they were having a drinking contest or something in there," he says. From my peripheral vision I see him turn towards me, so I turn towards him and look into his brown eyes.
"The party seems to be getting a little hectic. Once I got here there was no alcohol or this many people."
I'm the type of person who doesn't drink or get associated with drugs or smoking. It's totally against my morals and values. I wouldn't have even gone to this party if I knew there was going to be alcohol.
"Yea, I don't think I recognize most of these people here. You're Class '11 at Ayala High School, right?" he says.
"Um…yea. How'd you know?" I'm totally mystified about how he knows that. There's like tons of teenagers at this party that go both to Ayala and North High, our rival school.
"I think I've seen you at school last year," he replies. Whoa! That totally threw me by surprise. He actually noticed me during school. Sure, I have noticed him around before but I just never knew he would notice me.
"Yea, I think I've seen you around too," I reply. I know he's going to be a sophomore like me because I've seen him wear purple on our rally days. Purple is the color for Class 2011.
He was about to say something when someone interrupted him.
"There you are!" Jason says while walking towards us. Jason and I have been friends since eighth grade, so about two or three years. Our parents are entrepreneurs, and they've become close friends. Thus resulting Jason and I becoming really close friends.
"Hey Cam," Jason says and gives a nod. I never knew they knew each other.
"You guys know each other?" He looks between Cam and I.
"Yea, we just met," Cam says, while glancing over at me with a small smile.
"You guys know each other?" Cam asks, referring to Jason and I.
"Of course. We're really good friends," Jason replies before I can reply, and puts his arm around my shoulder.
Cam nods and asks Jason, "Hey, some guys are playing basketball tomorrow around 4:00. Want to join?"
"Yea, I'll play," Jason replies.
I take my pink razor out of my jeans pocket to check the phone. 10:30!
"Jason, we have to get back…Like now," my voice is urgent.
"What time is it?"
"10:30," I reply and show him the screen of the razor. We're supposed to be back home at 10:40 and it takes like 10 minutes to get back to my house. Jason's parents dropped us off here, since we don't know how to drive. Our parents said they wouldn't be able to pick us up because they were going to be at a meeting, but Jason said we can catch a ride from a friend. So, our parents let us go but on one condition. We had to wash the car, they drove us here in; and we agreed. But none of our friends know how to drive, so Jason and I planned to get home by walking.
Temporarily, Jason's family is staying at my house because they're reconstructing their house. So far it's been a month since he's been living under the same roof as me.
"Okay, let's get going," Jason replies and takes his arm off my shoulder.
"I'm heading out too," Cam says. "The party seems to be getting a little hectic," he states while looking at me. As if right on cue, there's a crash in the house and people chanting, "Drink! Drink! Drink!" I stifle a smile because I said the same line not just long ago.
We head back into the house, and I see my friends near the front door.
"I'm leaving now, talk to you tomorrow okay?"
"Yea, we're leaving too. My mom's coming in fifteen," Lucia replies. Darn it. If Lucia's mom was coming earlier, she could have given us a ride, but fifteen minutes is a long time. I wave bye to them and look around trying to figure out where Jason went. I finally spot him waiting on the sidewalk; talking to Cam. I walk up towards them and we start walking down the street. I end up in the middle of Cam and Jason when we're walking down the sidewalk; the music from the house fading away. It's silent for a while.
"So tomorrow at the Coral Ridge Park right?" Jason asks Cam.
"Yea, Coral Ridge."
"So, who else is playing?"
"Um…Taylor, Jacob, Adam, Stephen, and some other guys."
"Oh, cool," Jason replies.
"So, where are your guys' houses?" Cam asks.
"We're headed to Sunset Drive," I reply.
"Cam, remember I said that I was staying at a family friend's house? I'm staying with Jackie over here," Jason says while pointing his finger at me.
"Yea, that's me," I reply.
"Oh yea, I remember….Well, my house is over there," he points east, "See you guys," he gives Jason one of those "boy-handshake-hugs". Honestly, I have no idea what to call those. "See you later Jacqueline."
"Bye," I reply. And he crosses the street, while Jason and I continue down the street.
We still have a couple more streets 'till we get to my house, and I start to feel uneasy about walking in the middle of the night and a cool breeze comes. I shiver.
"You cold?" Jason asks with concern in his voice.
"Kind of. And it's kind of scary walking out at night," I confess while hugging myself even though I have a jacket.
"We're almost there," he reassures me and puts his arm around my shoulders and brings me close to him. I instantly feel better for some reason. Okay, I have to be honest. At first, Jason and I were good friends and then I had a crush on him for a while. But that crush ended when I found out he got a girlfriend, Lauren. Sure, I was devastated but I moved on. Four months ago they broke up but I never really knew the reason for it.
Before his relationship with Lauren, we were kind of flirtatious but nothing more happened. And now that he lives with me and after the breakup, we've gotten closer. But those feelings I had for him never came back. Sure, I care for him because we're really close friends; but nothing else. I know that I can count on him and he can count on me for anything. But there has been the occasion when we flirted…a little…
It was so silent; we could hear our footsteps and our breathing.
I start thinking about the "Lucia Situation"; I'm sure what I'm feeling is just a temporary thing but I hate feeling like a follower. I started thinking about what I should do about this….
"So, you had a good time?" Jason asks, interrupting my thoughts.
"Yeah, it was fun in the beginning until it got really crowded. Did you?" Glad that I have something else to think about.
"Yea, it was fun."
"Do you think our parents are home?" I ask.
"I hope not…"
"I can not afford to get in trouble, or my dad won't let me leave the house ever again," I say. I'm always the good girl; who obeys her parents and tries to get good grades. And I rarely even go out too. Aren't I boring?
He laughs. "I think you're being a little dramatic, Jacks."
Don't ask me how he gave me that nickname, but it seemed to grow on me.
"Ugh, no I'm not."
But then I surrender, "Okay maybe a little, but it was hard enough trying to convince him to let me go if not for your parents…and your good negotiating skills," I say, a smile playing on my lips.
"Aren't you lucky to have me then, huh?" And he flashes a smile at me.
"Yea…I'm so lucky," I say sarcastically and give him a smile of my own.
We arrived at my house, and we tried to be as quiet as possible because now it was 11:00. No lights were on in the house, so either our parents were asleep already or they're still out.
"Let's go through the back door," I whisper to Jason.
"Okay," Jason says and he grabs a hold of my hand. He leads us through the wooden gate and down the cobblestone pathway, which leads to the back door. The lights are off so it's completely dark except for the moonlight shining in the backyard.
We reach the backdoor and I turn the doorknob ever so slowly and we step in.
Are fingers are intertwined still; even when we're slowing walking up the stairs.
We pass by my parents' bedroom and the door is open. Meaning our parents aren't home yet.
I sigh a sigh of relief. And say, "They're not home."
"We got lucky tonight," he replies and starts leading me down the hallway, where our rooms are. Our rooms are right across from each other, and I break my hand away from his when we're standing in the hall, between our rooms.
I stifle a yawn.
Jason laughs, "You look really beat."
I laugh too, "Yup. You look pretty tired, yourself."
I step inside my bedroom and see the neon numbers on my clock say it was 11:00. I turn around to close the door. I catch a glance of Jason in his doorway with his back towards me, stretching his arms above his head revealing his muscles on his arms.
Then I feel something….
Am I starting to have those feelings again? Those feelings I had a year ago for him? Those butterflies I get in my stomach when Jason smiles at me? I haven't had those feelings when you have a crush, for a while.