"Guys, this is Elyse." Alex said. Jack, Zack, Rian, his girlfriend Kara and I looked at the tall blond standing in the doorway of my dorm. Alex had finally gotten a new girlfriend.
"Hi." I said, feeling the awkward tension in the room. We were just hanging out when Alex called and said he wanted us to meet this girl. So I invited them over for lunch.
"Elyse, these are my friends."
"Hi, nice to meet you." she whispered. Was I this quiet when I met the guys? After we individually introduced ourselves, I led everyone to the dining room/kitchen area.
"So, Elyse, where did you and Alex meet?" Jack asked as I got everyone a drink.
Elyse looked at Alex, and then back to Jack. "A coffee shop. He knocked over my cappuccino." she said with slightly higher volume. The entire room was laughing, even Elyse.
"What is everyone doing tonight?" I asked as I sat down next to Jack.
"Me, Kara and Zack are going to the movies." Rian said.
"Elyse and I are going with a couple of her friends to go bowling." Alex said. Everyone turned to him with confusion, probably thinking of some witty thing to say.
"What?" he asked, honestly misunderstood.
"You? Bowling? Hell has frozen over." Kara giggled, beating us to the punch.
We were merely eating when there was a knock on the door. I quickly got up to answer it.
"Grace? Open the door! Grace?" I could hear my roommates calling. There was only two weeks left of summer, so they were all coming home.
I opened the door to see my friends slightly sorrowful. Their bags and suitcases hung off their bodies, just waiting to be put down. I got out of their way as they walked inside. I was still standing in the doorway, admiring our green grass, when the girlish screaming began. My eyes widened in horror. My friends were tremendous All Time Low fans. Uh-oh.
I turned around and strode to the kitchen, walking past the luggage automatically dropped on the floor. My two best friends were standing in complete awe of the guys sitting at their table.
"Oops, I forgot to tell you guys something."
My friends could hardly speak.
"Uh, guys, these are my best friends, Holly and Paige. Holly, Paige, this is Jack, Zack, Rian Alex, Kara and Elyse."
"You have a lot of explaining to do." Holly said, still staring.
I explained my reuniting with Jack, the whole love triangle, and the dangerous aftermath.
"You're dating Jack Barakat!" Paige screamed, of course with Jack sitting right next to me.
"Yes, Paige. I am." I said squeezing his hand tightly.
"Wow." said Holly, "This is crazy."
After everyone left to go about their original plans, and my friends finally left us alone, me and Jack headed back up to my room. I sighed a sigh of relief that my room was spotless. We didn't have anything else to do, so we talked.
"What do you think of Elyse?" I asked Jack. He thought about it before answering.
"She is really quiet, but she seems nice." he said simply. That was also my first impression of her, except that I thought she was really pretty. I imagined he thought so too, but knew I wouldn't enjoy hearing that.
"She'll make him really happy." I sighed. At least I hoped she would.
Jack started realizing this a while ago. Whenever Zack or Alex were brought up, I went into an emotional state.
"Do you regret choosing me?" he asked. I had had this question asked multiple times. The answer I had grown to express with ease.
"Jack Barakat!" I said with fake anger, "Haven't I told you a million times that for one, I didn't choose, you did. And two, no! I am unexceptionably happy and undeserving of that! How do you not get this? I love you Jack, I do." I said, but once the words were out, I wanted to take them back. I hadn't quite told Jack that I loved him yet.
Without saying anything, Jack stood up and walked over to me.
He put his hands on either side of my face and looked me deeply in the eyes. He was searching for what to say.
Our lips touched, embraced and melted as one. It lasted for moments and lingered for the longest time. My heart raced and the most amazing feeling swept over me. Dizzy with excitement, he left me dazed from his touch.
"I love you too, Grace." he whispered.
I felt exhilarated to know that he loved me. And I also felt better finally telling him.
He and I sat on the bed for the longest time. Most of it was silent due to my raging thoughts. After my love was explained, memories splurged of the events of only 3 months ago at the beginning of summer.
My lovely luck that brought me to Lucille park the exact day a gunman decides to show up. Amazing. But I went to that park because it had memories to it. That was the park where I grew up, but mostly, it was the park where I met Jack some 10 years ago. And my 'hiding spot', under the slide, was where we later shared our first kiss.
It took a long while for Alex to finally move on, but it was different for Zack. Zack didn't take it as personally. He had my utmost interest in mind. It was hard being around them for a while, especially Alex. He would give me this look like I destroyed his life, but Zack would seem happy to see me. I felt bad that Alex had gotten a girlfriend, but Zack hadn't yet. But I knew he would make someone happy soon.
I chose that spot knowing Jack would find me there. The biggest reason was that I felt safe with him, I felt closure, and I felt like I was home when he was with me. Jack and I could sit in silence for hours and never be bored, and that is why I loved him.
"Grace?" I heard Jack whisper. My eyes were wet from the tears of my memories, and they were sliding onto his shirt.
"Are you alright?" he asked with concern.
"More then alright. Perfect." I said wrapping myself around him. Jack laughed and held me close. We sat in another moment of silence until I wanted to remind him.
"I'm glad you picked me." I whispered as I smiled up at him.
"I'm glad I did too." he said as he leaned down to kiss me once more until we drifted off to sleep.