I, Gemma Buchannan, am once again sitting at home alone on a Friday night. I'm one of the most popular girls in school, but even my boyfriend doesn't want to go out with me. Something is obviously wrong here. I couldn't even begin to tell you where Jackson had disappeared off to this time. He'd mumbled something about lacrosse before ditching me at school. I spent an hour tracking down Lydia, just so I could get a ride home.
Never mind that it just so happens to be mine and Jackson's one year anniversary. At the very least he could have brought me flowers or something, right? I sighed and collapsed on my bed. I needed my best friend to tell me I wasn't over reacting, that I really had a right to be this upset. But I couldn't call Lydia and interrupt her perfect night with her perfect boyfriend. Stiles would never ever ditch her because he loved her way to much for that. Did I mention, perfect?
And anyway, it wasn't like this was a random occurrence. Jackson had a habit of avoiding me. Sometimes he'd stop talking to me for days at a time, sometimes he canceled our dates last minute. It was almost always for "a lacrosse thing". Right now, Jackson was probably at a party with his teammates. He'd probably forgotten all about my existence, let alone that today was our anniversary. Well this time I was not about to let him off the hook. No matter how many times he apologized, I wouldn't budge. If he wanted my forgiveness, he was going to have to earn it.
Two and a half hours later I was still sitting in my room having an internal monologue, when the doorbell rang. I debated getting out of bed for half a second. I had wanted ice cream to drown my sorrows in and the fridge was downstairs, but then thought better of it. My bed was comfy and warm and had a stuffed bear that was my only friend at this moment. "Sending your friend up," my dad called up the stairs.
I leapt up quickly and tossed Harley the Bear under my bed and gave him a kick. I was not about to let any of my friends see that I still slept with a stuffed bear. There was a knock on my door and I did another once over on my room for embarrassing items. I opened the door expecting Lydia. Instead Jackson leaned against the door frame looking totally casual. "Oh, it's you."
"You're mad," he said.
"Not at all," I said sarcastically.
"I'm sorry. Coach has been making us do tons of extra practices. You know how he gets around this time. The big game is coming right around the corner."
"Do you even realize how many times you've used that excuse? I'm so tired of this, Jackson. Stiles is on the team too, but he went out with Lydia tonight. I know you didn't have practice."
"Stiles is a bench warmer, we don't need him." That was true, but I wasn't about to agree with him in the middle of our argument. "Can I at least come in, or are you going to make me stand here?" I sighed before stepping out of the way and letting him in. The first thing he did was grab Harley from under my bed and set him in the middle of my pillow. He was one of the only people who knew about the bear and yet he'd never once picked on me about keeping it. Focus, Gemma, you're mad at him.
He sat down on my bed and put a bag I hadn't noticed down next to him. He unloaded a white cardboard box with a Sprinkles Cupcakes label on it. I felt my will to be mad weakening. It wasn't exactly fair. He knew Sprinkles was one of my weakness. In fact, he knew all my weaknesses. He pulled out a simple bouquet of orchids and sat them next to the cupcakes. Then glanced up at me and gave me a tentative smile. I sighed, it was impossible to stay mad at him. "Do you want to forgive me yet or should I keep going?" He asked.
"It depends, what else is in there?"
"Just this," he pulled out his iPod and scrolled through it. "Gems, I'm really sorry about today. Honestly I did forget, and this afternoon I sort of panicked when I remembered. This is what I came up with on short notice. Maybe we could reschedule our anniversary and I'll take you somewhere nice for dinner."
I laughed. "Last time I checked you can't just say you want to move the 15th of November over a few days. I don't think the calendar works like that. But this is perfect. I don't care about some fancy date, I just want to spend time with you."
"I love you," he said. We'd been together for a year but that was the first time he'd ever said I love you.
"I love you too," I said trying not to smile too big, though I was sure I was failing miserably. "Now what's on the iPod?"
"This is going to be cheesy, you already forgave me now-"
"Cheese is good," I said cutting him off.
"I came up with our song."
"Well, play it!" I said after a long pause. He hit play and She Will Be Loved by Marron 5 started playing. I laughed when I recognized it and he paused it.
"I mean, isn't it a little cliché?"
"It's just, I'm a jerk and I've screwed up over and over. But I want to be better and…You don't like it?" Jackson stumbled over his words and he looked down and I'm pretty sure he was blushing. Jackson was the captain of the lacrosse team, and the single most popular guy at Beacon Hills High. But he was always seeking approval, and I knew he was trying to be cute, and I laughed in his face. Two points for Gemma.
"Of course I like it. It just wasn't what I expected."
"Gemma, your father and I are going to bed. You know the rules, you should be saying goodbye to Jackson now," My mother said sticking her head in my room. I hadn't realized how late it had gotten. I sighed, what a perfect way this night had turned out thanks to me and my big mouth. Jackson stood up and I walked downstairs with him.
"I have a lacrosse thing this weekend. I really do this time, I promise."
"I know, Lydia's been groaning about being separated from her boyfriend for a whole two days."
"I'll pick you up on Monday for school though, ok?"
"See you then." I heard my mom moving around at the top of the stairs. I knew that she was about to come down here and bring out the mom voice if I didn't make Jackson leave soon. I kissed him quickly and then he left. I watched through the window till his Porsche drove off. "Mom, why do you have to be such a creeper?" I asked walking up the stairs.
"I like that boy, but I also like sleeping."
"And you still don't trust me to be alone with him after you two fall asleep."
I rolled my eyes, deciding it was better to stop talking before I got myself in trouble one way or another. "I'm going to bed." I walked down the hall to my room and sat down on my bed. I opened my laptop, pulled up iTunes and bought She Will Be Loved. I grabbed Harley and got comfortable. Somewhere around the fifth or sixth time through the song I finally fell asleep.
Monday morning I woke up humming She Will Be Loved quietly. I'd listened to it almost nonstop since Friday night. I'd even played it in the car while Lydia drove us to the mall. I thought she was going to shoot me, after the third time I played it. But she wasn't fed up with me enough to deal with a weekend alone. Seriously that girl needed some more friends. Every time Stiles had something to do, I was dragged all over Beacon Hills at Lydia's every whim.
I brushed my hair and did my normal make up. Then pulled on one of the new skirts and tops Lydia had picked out for me, the girl did have impeccable taste. I was downstairs just in time. Jackson pulled into the driveway and I met him outside. I tossed my school bags in the back and hopped in. "Good morning," he said. I leaned over and kissed him.
"Good morning." I smiled. His iPod was sitting in the pocket under the radio and I grabbed it. I scrolled through the songs for a minute. "Did you delete it?" I sighed and grabbed my phone and plugged it in instead. I scrolled through my songs till I found what I was looking for. I hit play and Maroon 5 filled the car. I interlaced my fingers with his and glanced over at him, he smiled at me.
"I mean every word."
It was my turn to smile and l squeezed his hand. Maybe no one could compare to Lydia and Stiles' flawless relationship. But we could still be our own kind of perfect. "I know."