Disclaimer: I don't own Resident Evil, any of the characters or anything related to the series. This is simply a work of fiction and has no relevance to the series whatsoever.
NOTE: THIS STORY USED TO BE CALLED "UNDER THE APPLE TREES" BUT I HAD TO CHANGE IT AS THERE IS ALREADY A JAKEXSHERRY FIC WITH A SIMILAR TITLE. TO AVOID CONFUSION AND PROBLEMS, I'M CHANGING THE TITLE - I HOPE THIS DOESN'T CONFUSE ANYONE AND I APOLOGIZE FOR THE INCONVENIENCE.
Memoirs From the Garden
By: Violetta-Night Butterfly
~I could never forget the day we met. How we laughed, how we played - I could never forget the smile you brought to my face.
No matter what happened from that day on, I kept that beautiful memory. After all, it happened in our sacred place, in the garden, under the apple tree.
When we were young...
[Jake age 9 / Sherry age 8]
Jake was alone, his mother was too busy to deal with him and his father was nowhere to be found - most likely away on another business trip. He was used to it, he wasn't the average little boy - he liked to think of himself as being a young man.
In his opinion, he was free to do whatever he wanted for this very reason.
Despite his rebellious and troublemaking behaviors, he didn't wander off too far whenever he was left unattended. At most he traveled to the garden behind his house, his destination was always to reach the apple trees and then return before he was missed or caught by the owners of the garden.
He did this every so often and each time he arrived to his favorite spot, he was alone. Not once had he been caught – Jake liked to think of himself as a master of stealth. He was a pro at avoiding detection.
But that day was a very special occasion.
Sherry was also alone that day. Her mother had left her in the house alone while she was at work. Annette Birkin did this quite often because Sherry was a good girl, she never got in any trouble and was reliable at her young age. She assumed she was safe in the home so long as it was locked up and she was given food to last her the next few hours until she returned.
But little Sherry was afraid to be alone that day. There was a storm brewing in the region and her house was too dark for her to handle. She knew she wasn't supposed to leave the house but curiosity and fear peaked for her.
She grabbed the spare set of keys off the table and unlocked the door, running off into the garden her mother was so proud of.
Sherry had always been curious of what the pond looked like while the rain poured from the skies. She wanted to pluck roses from their stems and scatter them into it for her memories forever.
Her sandals echoed along the bricks as she moved, her white sundress fluttered in the breeze despite the drizzle from above. Brushing through bushes of azaleas and other blooms, Sherry jogged through the open white gates and farther into the flowery oasis she adored, hoping to reach the pond before the storm came.
The light shower had caused Jake to slip on the soggy grass and tumble down the small hill he had climbed to hide among the tall tulips. He fell into the pond below. He surfaced a moment later, spitting out the water and wiping at his eyes.
He didn't care if he was wet because he was before he even fell, but he was upset that he probably alerted someone of his presence. He stood still for a long while and until he started a slow maneuver up through the pond towards his destination.
The apple trees were around the small island that the pond circled, it wouldn't take him much to reach it if he swam through the pond to the other side so he decided to do just that.
Jake really didn't care whose garden this was. If anyone had a problem with him stealing apples, it was their problem, not his. The water wasn't any higher than his elbows, it was easy to walk across but he was rushing now, desperate for his favorite fruit.
Sherry had a basket full of rose petals in one hand as she walked towards the pond. The rain looked so pretty as it showered along the top of it, she could see bullfrogs nearby croaking as they floated along the many lily-pads that danced atop the water. There were a few turtles on the rocks but some were just swimming near a few fish. A few birds too - it was like a dream world in her girlish mind.
She was young but Sherry already kind of knew what she wanted to be when she grew up - she wanted to work with flowers and plants. Her mother told her that meant she could become either a florist or a botanist. Sherry wasn't sure what they were but if they involved nourishing the earth she was all for it.
She hummed as she crouched down onto the concrete bricks that aligned the pond, the basket was beside her and she stuck her hand into it gathering a handful of petals. She tossed them into the water and felt overjoyed so much that she removed her sandals and sank her tiny feet into the water.
Jake noticed the girl before she saw him. He almost panicked but decided to just climb out the pond to avoid detection. He stepped one foot onto the brick but he slipped once again and fell backwards into the pond. He surfaced immediately causing the girl before him to shriek and jump to her feet.
Dang it! She saw me! he fussed to himself, realizing he had resurfaced right in front of her.
He noticed she was wearing a white sundress that reached her calves, around her neck was a set of keys that looked to be attached to a golden heart-shaped locket. She had neck length shiny blonde hair and the biggest blue eyes he'd ever seen.
She's cute... like a little doll. He thought to himself as he stared at her.
"W-Who are you?" she asked, her eyes wide with fear as she clutched the basket against her.
"Uh..." he forgot he could speak for some reason. What's wrong with me - she's just a stupid girl!
She started to giggle at him and he wondered why until she spoke. "Th-There's a cute little f-froggie on your head." she managed and then started to giggle again.
Jake frowned and fanned the annoying amphibian from his ginger hair. Much to his annoyance, it flipped off his face before it leaped into the pond. He growled, wiping at his face. "Gross..." he voiced disgusted. Noticing the pretty blonde was still laughing, he glared at her - a pink tint coming to his freckled cheeks. "Stop laughing at me!"
She flinched under his tone and quieted immediately. "I'm... I'm sorry."
Jake stormed out of the pond, lifting himself onto the stones to wring out his wet clothes, as well as pour the water from his shoes. "Stupid girls, they think everything is funny." he mumbled irritably.
Sherry was perplexed by this boys' presence. She'd never seen anyone come to her mother's garden besides her and her mom, to see this kid here was so odd but she welcomed it. She'd been alone all morning, she even woke up that morning without her mother so it felt good to see someone.
She was silent as she watched him shake a tiny tadpole from his shoe. He was beyond annoyed, judging from his expression. She wondered why he was in the pond on such a rainy day. It was warm outside but not really swimming weather thanks to the drizzle.
He was quite tall and this made her wonder his age. He had eyes the color of rain and on his head was a full head of messy wet auburn hair. He wore a black long sleeved shirt and blue jeans, he also had a green over the shoulder bag on him.
The boy noticed her staring at him and shot her a hard stare. "What?" he snapped.
She flinched again. "N-Nothing, I was just curious, um why were you in the pond?" she asked timidly, fidgeting with the straw of her basket.
"Why are you out in here in the rain?" he challenged. Sherry noticed he was very moody.
"I like to put flower petals in the pond... I-I think it looks pretty." she answered honestly. "U-Um, my name is Sherry... what's yours?" she asked sweetly.
Jake stared at her. She was obviously a nice girl, perhaps too nice. "Jake." he had no idea why he told her. He didn't mean to.
Sherry smiled brightly and Jake felt warm all over. She was like a little nymph or fairy from the tales he always heard from his mother, she looked pure and heavenly.
It was gross to think of her like this but it wasn't often he talked to girls long enough to notice their looks, but when he did none of them ever came across like this little girl.
They were all so boring and whiny, always playing with dolls and afraid of getting dirty or messing up the hairdo their mother did for them. But here was Sherry, she was small, visibly wimpy but she didn't seem scared of frogs [she called it cute], was wet from the rain drizzling around them and she even had a little mud on her feet and the end of her dress.
"Why are you here, Jake?" she asked him in that tiny melodic voice of hers.
Sherry found him interesting. She wondered more and more about him as he stared at her with eyes like rain. He was mysterious and she was sure he had a motive for being here in her mom's garden. She was curious about where he came from and how he found this place.
"I uh -"
Just then, thunder echoed across the skies above. Jake's eyes gazed to the heavens as he realized he wouldn't be getting to the apple tree today if he didn't hurry. He'd have to ignore this girl and hurry back home before his mom came looking for him.
He looked down and noticed the little blonde girl had ducked down, covering her ears and was visibly shaking. "Hey, what's wrong?"
"I-I'm s-scared of th-thunder." she told him weakly.
Jake pouted and stamped his right foot. "Why are girl's so weak? For God's sake it's just thunder - it can't hurt you!"
Sherry looked up at him. "H-How do you know?"
"Because it's just a loud bang in the sky! Now lightning is a different story." he said proudly, pleased that she was listening to him. He didn't get to show his smarts very often to people but when he did he enjoyed it.
"A-Are you sure, Jake?" she asked, slowly rising from her the ground.
"Yep," he heard the thunder again and felt annoyed that she was shaking from it once again. "Look - I'm trying to get to the apple trees, you wanna come so I can protect you from the scary thunder?"
Why am I being so nice to her? She's just a dumb girl! He wondered to himself as he extended his hand to her. When he saw her tear-filled eyes light up, glistening prettily and a bright smile come to her blushing face - he couldn't help it. He smiled back to her. She's a wimp but at least she's cute.
Sherry took his hand and followed him back through the garden she came from. Her basket was in her other hand and petals scattered as they ran. She'd left her shoes at the pond but she didn't care, she was finally able to make a friend, something she didn't have in school or anywhere else.
They reached the apple trees and hid beneath them as the rain picked up. Jake handed Sherry his bag and unzipped it. "Try to catch the ones I drop into the bag, got it?"
Jake climbed the tree until he reached the top and snagged some very ripe ones, red and shiny so they made his mouth water. He stuffed his pockets with them and went on to pursue some more.
He dropped some down to Sherry, she caught most of them in the bag but the last one hit her on the head, making her feel a bit dizzy. "Ow..."
"You alright, Sherry?" Jake called down to her, his face etched with concern.
"I'm - I'm okay, did you still want this one?" she asked meekly holding up the one that had fallen, it was covered in mud.
"Nah, I've got plenty - I'm coming down so head's up."
He jumped down in front of Sherry and she stumbled backward until he grabbed her small hand and tugged her back to her feet. They gazed into each other's eyes until lightning struck in the sky. Sherry shrank instantly, covering her ears and whimpering. Jake crouched down beside her, instinctively wrapping his arm around her small shoulders.
He pressed his back against the tree, hoping she would stop her annoying crying. "Hey, it's okay - we're gonna be fine."
Sherry sniffed and raised her head to look him in the face. He smiled warmly at her. "R-Really?" he nodded to her. "Thanks Jake, you're really nice." she said cutely.
"I guess." Jake shrugged.
"Um, can we be... friends?" she asked shyly as she fiddled with the bottom of her dress.
Jake frowned. "Why would I be friends with a girl?"
Sherry looked defeated, her face lowered to her lap and she felt more tears come to her eyes. "I'm... sorry. I-I just d-don't have any friends... and I thought maybe y-you..."
Jake felt extremely guilty - more than he ever did before. "H-Hey! Uh... fine. I'll be your friend - will that make you stop crying?" Sherry sniffed and nodded. "Okay, okay - we're friends, ya happy now?"
Sherry beamed at him and hugged him tightly. "Thank you, Jake!"
"Ew! Gross get off me!" he said while struggling to get away from her.
She pulled away but stared at him affectionately and he found that he really liked it. He quite liked her. "How old are you, Jake?"
"I'm nine, you?"
Sherry blushed prettily. "Eight, you're really tall for a nine-year old."
"And you're cute for a wimpy girl."
Sherry squeaked and covered her reddening face. She didn't get compliments often – if his calling her a 'wimp' was to be taken that way, still he found her cute and that wasn't common to her ears from boys her age. This Jake boy was very moody on first encounter but she came to see he was quite nice and he was sweet - caring enough to try and help her get over her fear of storms.
I like him. She thought to herself, shyly avoiding his gaze.
Jake snickered. "You're blushing - you look like a cherry! Heh, Cherry-faced Sherry, I like it!" Sherry joined him in his fit of laughter.
"I'm glad we're friends, Jake." she said sweetly. "Can you promise we'll always be friends?"
"Uh... sure." Jake said with a sheepish grin, a light blush on his cheeks. "In fact we'll be better than friends - one day you'll be my girl!"
"Your girl?" she repeated, she was confused by what he meant. Sherry was naive, Jake noted this and oddly it didn't bother him. She was just too cute in his opinion.
"Yep. When we're older, you'll be all mine - I promise!"
A second later the sound of someone calling Jake echoed across the area and he hopped to his feet instantly.
"Sounds like my mom noticed I'm gone. I'd better go." he helped her stand beside him and they made their way towards the pond which he came from.
Thunder sounded loudly in the sky and the rain picked up even more. Sherry slipped her sandals on her feet as Jake started around the pond. He turned around to face her, she was soaked and had mud caked on the bottom of her dress, her legs and feet. Still, Jake thought she looked pretty with her blonde hair clinging to her face and her big eyes were narrowed so she could see him in the rain.
"You live over there?" she asked and he nodded to confirm it.
He blushed and reached out for her hand, she obliged him gracefully. "I'll see you again right Sherry?"
She smiled warmly and then nodded to him. "I'll always be here, Jake. We're friends now so I have no reason to go anywhere!" she giggled cutely before adding: "Just promise me you'll come back for me."
Jake smirked. "I promise, I'll meet you whenever I can… under the apple tree." Sherry giggled lightly and offered him the bag full of apples. He took it and sent her one last smile before he started across the pond.
Sherry couldn't wait to see him again.
From that day on, they met under the apple trees...
Jake and Sherry met every day in school. They played together during recess and even sat together for lunch. Sherry always packed an extra lunch for Jake with her mom's help.
It was funny how they never noticed each other before, but after growing closer they were inseparable. Their teachers noticed and often commented on how cute they were. They appreciated the change that emerged in both of the little ones as of recently.
Jake was once a difficult child, he wouldn't play with others because he found them to be annoying. He sought solitude most of the time, preferring to read alone than run about having fun with others. When he did engage in activities with others, he was an excellent athlete but a poor teammate.
However, since he made friends with the gentle and demure Sherry, he'd become a lot less distant. He didn't socialize with everyone but he was definitely comfortable with being around the tiny blonde.
Sherry on the other hand wasn't difficult, just painfully shy and quiet. Teacher's often struggled to get her to make friends, but not because she chose to be alone - she just wasn't good with other children. Sherry would often sit among the other kids and just crumble while they teased her for childish reasons.
Now that she was friends with Jake, they were elated to see her smile and laugh more often. Her usually pale cheeks were always flushed pink when he was near and whenever she made a move to go anywhere, she would wait patiently for Jake to accompany her.
They seemed to be truly, truly happy.
Jake chased Sherry around the pond's border for the third time in a row. A few feet ahead of him, she laughed cutely, her hand gathered up some of her sundress so she wouldn't trip on the ends of it. Jake had a sneaky grin upon his young face, he was holding back so the chase could last forever. He was more than capable of catching her but pursuing her was so much fun.
Their fathers were nearby on the hill behind Jake's house, observing the two as they frolicked about with one another. A soft breeze stirred both men's blonde hair as they watched the two for quite a while, neither really looking forward to ending the children's fun.
"Wesker," started Sherry's father, Dr. William Birkin. He was a forensic scientist with much prestige behind his name. His short blonde hair almost a mirror reflection of his daughters, the same applied for their eyes only while little Sherry's looked like water, his were more similar to the sky. "Do you think this is a coincidence? I mean, you and I met when we were young too, now we're partners in business. It seems fate is a devious mistress indeed, isn't she?"
Albert Wesker was Jake's father, a tall man with an aura of mystery to him. He was a straight-faced man with cold piercing eyes hidden behind his black sunglasses. All of his features are sharp, he must maintain this mask – he is the chief of police in their small town. "I will leave that decision in the hands of time, not fate." he said flatly. "Time is capable of anything."
Meanwhile, Sherry ran off into the garden, Jake of course chased behind her. She slowed down once they reached the apple trees and glanced over her shoulder at her red haired friend, a sweet smile came to her face. Jake walked up beside her to poke her in the stomach. She giggled and followed him to have a seat beneath the trees.
"Our dad's know we're friends." Jake said softly as he gazed at the sky above.
Sherry nodded, scooting closer to him to lean onto his shoulder. "Yea, my dad's happy I made a friend. I was surprised that he knew who you were." she said in that quiet, dainty voice of hers.
"Same here, I've lived here for years and the first time I ever saw you was the first day we met." said Jake, he was blushing a bit.
Sherry folded her hands in her lap. "I haven't lived here long, I was with my aunt and she home-schooled me. Wherever she moved, I moved… Part of the reason I don't make friends is because of that..."
Jake pouted. "I don't want you to leave, Sherry. We're best friends and I want us to be together forever."
Sherry felt dreadful, she never wanted to part from Jake either. "I wanna be with you too, Jake. You're fun and funny, I like you a lot." she said honestly, a red hue came to her face.
Jake laughed lightly. "I like you too, Sherry. You're really nice and you're cute too." he wanted to slap himself for admitting that to her. The last time he did he was simply teasing her, but this time he really meant it.
Sherry gasped and hid her face behind her hands. "Y-You're t-teasing me, Jake!"
"No I'm not - I'm serious!"
She tackled him to the ground and they began to wrestle and tickle each other while laughing the entire time. Just then, Wesker and Birkin showed up to retrieve them. It was getting late, the sun was setting in the sky and the two had to get ready for school the next day.
Birkin took Sherry's tiny hand into his. "Come now, sweetheart. You have school in the morning and it's best you get ready for it."
"Jake, you would be wise to do the same." Wesker said sternly as he stood behind his small son.
Jake glanced over his shoulder to him and frowned. "No way! I wanna play with Sherry!"
Wesker remained stoic. "Little Sherry has school as well. Should you endeavor to do the same as she is, you will be able to play with her in school tomorrow."
Jake stared at Sherry, he knew his father was right, but he was starting to feel strange - he was worried that Sherry would move away... and then he'd be alone again. He felt a knot in his stomach at the idea. He hated the other kids, he just wanted Sherry to be with him forever.
She said she moved wherever her aunt moved. If her aunt moved again… would she go with her? He wondered and felt a sharp pain in his chest.
Sherry gazed at Jake longingly. She wanted to play more too but she knew her father was just trying to help. If they played all night they wouldn't get to sleep and would miss school.
"It's okay, Jake - I'll see you tomorrow." she said kindly, coming over to give him one more hug before starting to leave with her father. "Goodnight!" she beamed cutely with a wave, her dress fluttered in the breeze as she walked away with Birkin.
Will I have to see her leave like this again one day...? He wondered to himself.
Jake watched her go and felt something boiling inside him. He wasn't sure whether it was fear or anger and at his tender age, he attributed it to a feeling of the former. Boys weren't supposed to be afraid of anything as far as he was concerned, so anger was the only logical explanation he could think of.
He felt enraged at the idea of Sherry leaving him.
She better not ever leave me or I'll hate her forever. She's supposed to stay with me, not leave! The little boy balled his fists up in frustration.
Wesker observed the sudden change in his son's mood. "Come along, my son. You will see her tomorrow."
Jake followed his father, his attitude remained consistent as he faced the ground. She's supposed to be mine! We're supposed to stay together forever! How could she leave me...?
He was just too young to understand.
A few days later, Sherry came to school with the same bright smile she always did as she imagined the fun she would have with her best friend, Jake. Lately he'd been acting strange but she still wanted to be around him.
Imagine how crushed she felt when she found Jake unwilling to play with her.
She innocently figured he just wasn't in a playful mood at the time, therefore she carried on her day with hopes he would feel better by lunchtime.
Lunchtime came and Jake didn't even sit with her, he sat with a group of boys. She offered him the daily lunch she always would give him...
He snatched it from her and stepped on it right in front of her tear-stricken eyes. "Beat it!" he shouted meanly. "I don't want your food!"
Sherry's eyes were wide in shock. "J-Jake, what's w-wrong? I-I thought we were -"
"Friends? Heh! Yeah right! Go away weirdo, find someone else who wants to be friends with you!" he spat viciously before returning to laughing and playing around with the other kids at his lunch table.
Sherry felt like her world was shattering in front of her. Jake didn't want to be her friend anymore. But why...? What did I do? We were...
Tears streamed down her pale cheeks as she turned on her heels and ran from the lunchroom. She didn't make it very far, the school nurse Ms. Rebecca Chambers stopped her and pulled her into the nurse's office nearby.
The small nurse beckoned the petite little girl towards one of the chairs in her office so she could speak with her. "Sherry, what's the matter sweetheart?" she sat beside the little blonde to provide support.
"J-Jake d-doesn't wanna be my f-friend a-anymore..." she cried softly, choking on tears after every word.
"How come?" Rebecca asked sweetly, trying to comfort her by rubbing her back.
"I don't know!" Sherry cried, covering her face. "W-We were b-best friends but he h-hates me today..."
Rebecca felt sympathy for the little girl. She was so close to Jake and it was visibly tearing at her to hear him say he didn't want to be friends anymore. Rebecca smiled to try and ease her. "Sherry, boys at his age are always going through things. He's probably just upset and unsure how to talk to you. Maybe you should just give him some time, I'm sure he'll come around."
Sherry wiped at her tears and looked desperately to the short haired brunette beside her. "R-Really?"
Rebecca nodded. "If it helps, you're free to stay in here and finish your lunch." Sherry's eyes brightened as well as her smile, Rebecca giggled. "Glad to see you're cheering up and don't worry, I'm sure Jake's going to come around - just you wait."
The little fairy-like child smiled sweetly and started to pull the components of her own lunch from her bag. Her smile slowly began to fade. "I-I tried to give Jake a lunch a-and he stepped on it." a lone tear escaped her.
Rebecca moved to sit behind her desk, hoping to finish her own lunch after she was interrupted by the little girl's cries. She glanced over her shoulder as she took a bite of her turkey sandwich. She felt terrible seeing Sherry so hurt. "It's... going to be okay sweetheart, you'll see."
Sherry hoped she was right. I know, I'll stop by the apple trees when I get out of school - we always meet there! She bit into her peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a small smile etched on her face.
Sherry had stayed out there for hours underneath their favorite apple tree.
Jake never showed.
The next day at school, Jake gave her the same cold treatment. He ignored her and threw away the lunch she'd made him and like the day before, Sherry ran away in tears to Ms. Chamber's office.
She didn't want to give up on him - not after he promised they'd be friends forever.
She returned to the garden every day and waited for him.
A week went by.
Then two weeks went by.
A month passed...
Sherry finally realized what Jake was doing.
He was rejecting her... and their friendship.
She'd lost her first real friend and she never knew why. They were supposed to be friends forever, she was supposed to be his girl one day but now that seemed to be forgotten.
As time went on Sherry began to see their moments among the apple trees as just that - moments. With time they would fade away to be lost in memories of the better times in her life. She was all alone again - she had no one to play with, no one to make her smile.
All she had was memories.
Jake was simply trying to prepare himself for her departure. He wanted to be ready so that once she did leave, he wouldn't be hurt by it because he'd have new friends.
But his new friends weren't like Sherry. They liked to bully others and get in trouble - they were a lot like him [trouble makers] and he was okay with that.
Every time Sherry came to him and begged to be his friend, he felt his heartache. He wanted to be with her again - but he couldn't.
If she ever left him, he'd be hurt and alone.
He was just trying to make things easier for himself. He wasn't aware that Sherry was hurting as bad as he was - at least he wouldn't let himself be. Instead, he ignored her and shooed her away before those weird feelings got the better of him.
He told himself she was just a girl. She was just like the rest, annoying, whiny and a bore to be around.
But she wasn't. Sherry wasn't annoying, sure she cried a lot but she also was cute and liked to play. She wasn't boring at all - she was tons of fun, a lot more entertaining than the crowd he was with but he couldn't admit that.
Admitting that meant that he cared about her and if he cared then he would be hurt to see her leave him.
Sherry didn't know but Jake did return to the garden every day at the same time she did, but he hid from her so she wouldn't see him. He was a master of stealth so he was able to do so without any detection from her. He listened to her cry and whenever she did, he would force himself not to care.
Her tears always affected him, he wanted to protect her forever and keep her with him but he couldn't.
The day that Sherry stopped visiting the garden was the last time he felt grief.
Instead, he felt resentment. She had given up on their friendship too easily for his tastes. She was weak and he could tell she never cared about him - she used him to keep herself happy.
What Jake once felt for Sherry was innocent affection, now he was bitter to her.
He told himself he hated her.
To prove it to himself, he developed a better method of hurting her like she'd hurt him.
[Jake, 11 / Sherry, 10]
Sherry was quietly coloring alone in art class. It had been a whole school year since she and Jake stopped being friends so she had made some steps to associate more often but they always turned out to be with girls who thought she was weird because she loved the earth.
Eventually, she did make a few friends. The first was Yoko Suzuki, a Japanese girl who was quiet and studious like herself. The second friend she made was Finn Macauley, another social outcast kind of like herself. He was really nice and had a love for science just like her. The last was Quint Cetcham, a super genius [according to himself] with a love for anime and video games.
Sherry and Finn had only been friends for a few weeks [Finn was first just a good friend of Quint's] but she, Quint and Yoko were going on a month now and were always together, and especially at lunch so Finn was welcomed with open arms.
Today, she'd picked up the nerve to want to surprise Finn with an extra lunch she brought from home. He never seemed to have his own lunch [he was a nervous wreck every morning while trying to be on time for school so he would forget it] and he would lightly imply how he disliked the school food so she figured she'd help him out.
"Here Finn," she said sweetly as she passed a brown bag to him. "It's a lunch, you know, since you always forget yours."
Finn's eyes lit up as he looked at her sideways. "Wow, you're too nice Sherry - thank you so much." he peeked into the bag and got ready to pull out a sandwich when he noticed the math teacher was signaling him over. "Um, I gotta go see Ms. Ashcroft. " he said sheepishly. "You mind holding onto it 'til I come back?"
Sherry nodded with an understanding smile. Finn stood up, anxious to hurry and see the teacher so he could get back and enjoy the rest of his lunch with the others. The group watched him race awkwardly towards Ms. Ashcroft as she waited impatiently by the auditorium's entrance.
"Aww..." Quint whined from beside Yoko, they were sitting across from Sherry while she was originally sitting next to Finn. "Why didn't you bring me a lunch, Sherry?"
Sherry blushed. "Um, I didn't know you wanted one - next time I'll try to pack another." she glanced over to her Asian friend who was occupying herself by skimming Quint's game magazine. "Would you like one, Yoko?"
She looked up and shook her head, her dark eyes blinked innocently behind her large framed glasses. "No thanks, I usually have something picked by my dad before I leave so I just eat that. Thanks anyway."
"Oh boy..." Quint voiced out which caused the girls to question him. "Here comes trouble."
Sherry looked behind her and felt a knot in her tiny stomach. It was Jake and his new friends Chris Redfield, Steve Burnside, Keith Lumley, Piers Nivans, and Carlos Oliveria. They were a bunch of mean little boys, the only one who didn't bully someone or pick on them was Piers but that was because he had a very strict father...
Sherry felt her nerves kick in as the group neared, odds were high they would say something mean to all of them. She fidgeted with her bagged lunch, unable to open it and eat because just the sight of Jake still stirred her into an internal battle against tears. She could practically feel his eyes burning holes into her skull as he approached.
She let out a mousy cry as Jake forced her to slide over by pushing her roughly with his hip. She regretted ever taking the edge seat...
He glared sharply at her and she shriveled up, glancing back and forth from the bags she held tightly in her arms to him. Keith smacked Quint in the back of the head and then stole his magazine to run around dangling it in front of the entire lunchroom making the other kids laugh.
Sherry felt Jake push her over even more and she begged him to stop. Chris took a seat next to him while laughing at Keith. Carlos purposefully hovered over Yoko, making her extremely uncomfortable. Piers just stood by looking mildly amused.
Jake stared the timid and visibly shaken Sherry dead in the face. She was trembling as she tried to scoot over even more but every time she did he came closer.
"J-Jake... stop. G-Go away." she managed weakly, tearing away from his gaze.
"That lunch for me? You mean you still ain't quit?" he teased bitterly, when he reached for it Sherry tore away from him, standing on her feet and backing away from him entirely.
"Th-This is for Finn..." she replied defensively. "Now leave me a-alone."
Jake's brows elevated and Sherry's breath caught in her throat when she saw a dark look to his eyes childish eyes. "Finn? You got a crush on that loser?"
"C-Crush?" Sherry was taken aback, a blush of embarrassment came to her pale cheeks.
Jake slammed his fist on the table and stood up, taking her backpack into his hands. He unzipped her bag and tipped it over, pouring all the contents onto the floor. She just watched him, horror written on her innocent and youthful features. "J-Jake... why?" she whispered, tears streaming down her face. "How could you...?"
He didn't answer, he just threw her bag into the air and stormed from the table over to where he and his friends usually resided. Her bag landed the garbage nearby, everyone in the lunchroom erupted into laughs except Yoko and Quint.
Eventually the rest of the boys went to join Jake, leaving the three alone for the rest of lunch. Sherry looked devastated as her drawings, poems, and other belongings were scattered across the tables and floors. The other kids didn't care, they walked around stepping on them and one even poured the rest of their milk out over her bag that was in the garbage.
Yoko looked saddened, she wished there was something she could have done to help but she was just as helpless as Sherry was. Quint was visibly angered but he was no fool, he was much shorter than those boys and they would wedgie him and throw spit balls at him all day if he did anything.
They were helpless to do anything.
When Finn returned, he was shocked by the scene. He went to comfort Sherry but she was unresponsive as she tried to pull her bag from the garbage. The kids just laughed mercilessly at her and Finn decided to help her, he didn't care if he was teased too, she was a sweet girl and she didn't deserve this.
As he pulled it out, he cringed at the food contents and wet milk that covered her denim blue and beige bag. It was usually so clean and cute to see on her but now it was a nasty mess. "Who did this, Sherry?"
Sherry said nothing, she glanced quickly to Jake and saw he had his back to her. She started to cry again, unconcerned that the bag was ruining her clothes as she pulled it against herself. She shoved the bags of lunch into Finn's arms, picked up as many torn and ruined papers as she could and stormed out the lunchroom.
She couldn't believe she and Jake actually were friends at some point. The Jake that would purposefully hurt her feelings was nothing like the Jake she knew before, the one who chased her and played with her, vowing to protect her. Now he was escalating from just giving her the cold shoulder to actually...
It's just like my old school... she thought as she raced to Ms. Chamber's office like she always did. Luckily the woman was always kind enough to let her inside.
Maybe I should just go back to homeschooling with Auntie Hunnigan… she thought as her heart broke. I just can't take this… especially not from Jake.
He was no better than the bullies at her other school.
Jake Muller-Wesker was a monster.
How dare she bring him a lunch?! Is she trying to replace me?! Jake thought as he watched her leave the lunchroom. He felt good, it felt great to make her cry. That was her punishment for picking up crushes on losers.
If he hadn't stopped being her friend, she would still be sitting with him and he'd tell her every day how pretty she was and how much he loved her lunches.
He missed her.
It pissed him off to see her smiling and having fun with other people. She was his - they had no right to even be around her.
I'll show her. I'll make that stupid girl see how serious this is.
Sherry emerged from the girl's restroom with her backpack covered in the garbage bag the school had lent her. She was going to have to have her mom wash it when she went home as well her clothes which were also stained with chocolate milk where it dripped from her bag onto her.
The office had just called her down to come home much to her relief. After what Jake had put her through, she wanted to go home and just stay there.
She made her way towards the office when Jake emerged out of thin air. He cornered her beside the girl's restroom and stared harshly at her, he was angry and it scared her to no end.
"J-Jake..." she squeaked, trying to get passed him but he blocked her path.
"So, you like losers, wimp?" he snarled harshly, his youthful face sporting a permanent scowl. "I'll treat you like a loser every single day - understand? I'll scare off all your friends and embarrass you for being a wimp. I might even stick you out in a thunderstorm just to watch you cry!"
Sherry was taken aback entirely. Her mouth hung open in confusion and disbelief. "W-Why Jake? Wh-What did I do to you?" she whimpered meekly.
"...I hate you." with that, he walked away leaving the brokenhearted Sherry alone.
The First Year of Middle School...
[Jake, 12 / Sherry 11]
Jake became a vicious bully for her. He was torturing her and Sherry was beginning to see no way for her to escape it. Everywhere she went in the school, he would follow her and knock her books from her hand or slam her locker shut while she was putting things into it.
He even started throwing paper balls at her in class, dousing her locker with milk, pouring water down the back of her shirt with his water bottle and showering her with water balloons - even in the winter.
They were in middle school now and it just seemed like Jake had no intent on leaving Sherry alone.
Poor little Sherry was at her wits end. The school didn't care to help her, siting the fact that Jake never hit her or hurt her as a reason for her to just bear with it, they assured her he would stop eventually but it was all just too much.
The last straw came in the middle of their sixth grade year.
It was February and of course, the youth of the school were pairing off for Valentine's Day as the school was hosting a dance for the sixth graders to enjoy.
Everyone had a 'date', everyone it seemed but Sherry, Finn, Yoko and Quint.
Sherry had saw with her own two eyes as Jake asked one of the popular girls named Alexia Ashford to go with him, of course she agreed - Jake was much taller now in sixth grade and he was surely going to become even more suave in the years to come. It would be a lie for Sherry to say she wasn't jealous.
Despite the hell he was putting her through, she still couldn't let the past go...
She was slowly but surely making an effort and things were mellowing out for her, but she knew deep in her heart that she would never be over him, he was her everything a few years ago and she just couldn't forget that...
Sherry sat in the lunchroom beside Quint as they waited for Yoko and Finn to arrive. The group had a table in the corner of the room to avoid much attention even though they were always caught anyway. Sherry sat closest to the wall, she'd learned well that Jake would push her around if she wasn't away from the edge.
She saw him enter with Alexia and turned her head, unable to bear watching him with another girl. Just then Yoko and Finn came into sight and she beckoned them over with a smile.
"Hey, erm, Sherry?" she blinked at Quint as he nervously fiddled with something in his bag. "I uh, got you this." he took out an artificial rose and handed it to her.
She gasped and observed it with a pleasant smile. "W-wow, it's pretty - where'd you get it?" she asked shyly admiring it with a glint to her eyes. Her love for flowers was strong as ever.
"I uh got it from a store." he answered awkwardly. "I know how much you like flowers and I uh wanted you to have it..."
"Wow," she breathed, ghosting over the petals - fake or not, she appreciated his kindness. "Thanks, Quint - I love it."
He beamed. "You do? Awesome! Okay, I just have one request..."
"What's that?" she asked with a slight tilt of her head.
"Would you um... you know, mind coming to the Valentine's dance with me?" Sherry blushed and covered her face with her hands, careful not to poke herself with the rose. Quint laughed at her shy behavior and gently tried to pry her hands away. "Oh come on, please? We're friends right? It couldn't hurt!"
Sherry finally pushed herself to nod and accept his invitation. Quint felt like doing back flips. He was actually going to have a date and it was going to be awesome.
Yoko and Finn arrived to the table and Quint shared the big news.
"Funny, I was just asking Yoko to be my date." Finn said blush.
Quint and Sherry shot Yoko a look and in response she nodded stiffly, implying she had accepted his offer. Sherry felt all giddy inside knowing she was going to the dance with all her friends.
"Well, well, well..." came an annoying and high-pitched voice.
Sherry cringed upon noticing Alexia and her friends Jessica Sherawat and Ashley Graham hovering by them. They weren't the only ones present, there was also Keith and Carlos accompanying Jake.
"Looks like the losers are pairing up for the dance." Alexia giggled. "Too bad you won't be allowed, you have to be good looking or else we just might throw you out."
They all laughed except Jake who kept his hard gaze on Sherry's trembling form the entire time.
"What are you talking about ash-crack?" Quint challenged.
"Watch it, nerd." Keith spat but Quint didn't seem to care.
"You're just mad because you know Sherry's the prettiest girl in the sixth grade!"
Silence enveloped the entire lunchroom.
Sherry felt like she was going to throw up. "Quint, please, don't say things that aren't true..." she lowered her gaze to the rose in her hand.
Jake agreed with Quint wholeheartedly about Sherry's looks. She was always amazing to look at in his eyes. Three years down the line and she still looked like an otherworldly nymph.
He hated her. He hated that he still freaking liked her.
"Heh! Please! As if a little sack of garbage like her could ever compete with girls that look like us!" Jessica retorted, snorting in disgust at Sherry.
Jake wanted to snatch her hair off her head.
"You said it." Ashley chimed in. "Look at her, she looks more like a boy than anyone I've ever seen with that short duck hair of hers. She's more like an animal than a person!"
Jake slammed his fist onto the table, startling everyone. "What's wrong, Jay-Jay?" Alexia asked in an awfully fake concerned voice.
Jake ignored her. He hated her more than any other girl he'd ever met but at least she was proving useful. He didn't miss the sad glances Sherry made his way whenever he was with Alexia, his plan was working it seemed.
He was only taking Alexia to the dance because he wanted to hurt Sherry's feelings by going out with a girl who hated her. He'd rather burn Alexia alive than actually be with her - she was annoying, bratty and spoiled, everything Sherry wasn't.
Jake noticed the rose in Sherry's hands, he felt that familiar fire blaze within him and in a split second, he pushed past Ashley and snatched the fake flower, ripped the bud off the stem and threw it into the air feeling quite satisfied when Sherry began to cry.
Quint had no right to give Sherry a fake anything. She was his, end of story.
"Next time, buy her a real flower, dummy!" he teased meanly. "And when you do, I'll even break that one!"
He and his friends walked away, spitting nasty things about Sherry and her friends. Jake was no fool, he was well aware that these girls were jealous of Sherry - they always talked about her and for stupid reasons but he decided he would bear with it for the time being. After all, everything would be fine so long as they didn't put their hands on her.
No matter what, no one was going to hurt her while he was around. He made sure to protect her from physical harm because Sherry was his to touch.
Sherry was his.
The day of the Valentine's dance came, Sherry and her friends were both excited and nervous. It would be the first time they all actually decided to go to a school event so they awaited the experience, hoping things would go well and their bullies would be too occupied to bother them.
Sherry wore her favorite a pink short-sleeved dress that stopped just below her knees with ruffles at the end. A black camisole was worn over it and her mom had styled her hair by placing a cute black headband with a pink heart on it into her short blonde tresses. She also wore black tights and cute shiny shoes.
She felt confident and pretty as she walked into the school's gym.
At first, the day was going extremely well. She had danced with Quint and Finn a few times before they all convinced Yoko to join them. It was a blast.
That was until Jake and his 'posse' showed up.
Finn got splashed in the eyes by Jessica with a cup of punch – causing him to scream and beg for help but the others kids just watched, petrified. Chris and Carlos started dropping candy into Yoko's shirt and then stole her glasses, rendering her helpless.
Quint was carried to the dumpster and Keith tried to dump him inside it but one of the teachers stopped him immediately. Sherry screamed when Jake grabbed at her, her tiny form stood no chance against the bigger youth as he cornered her to say mean things.
The same teacher that caught Keith noticed Sherry's distress and hauled Jake off to the office.
Sherry thought she could breathe a sigh of relief but the moment Jake left she was confronted by Alexia and her friends. They pushed her into the girl's restroom nearby and began pushing her around - pulling at her short hair, kicking her and they even ripped her dress.
As a final means of degradation, Alexia slapped her to the floor. Sherry laid there on the cold dirty tiles, holding the cheek that burned. Alexia smirked as all of her friends laughed.
"Get over it," she spat venomously. "Jake will never like trash like you."
She spit on her and then the little girl's piled out of the room.
Sherry had never felt so worthless. Alexia was right, she should forget it. She and Jake were over, they would never be close again.
Because I'm trash...
He noticed the first day of her absence, then the second and finally she was missing for over two weeks.
Jake visited the garden every day, waiting for her. On the third day, he watched her Japanese friend Yoko pay a visit to her house only to leave a few moments later, visibly saddened.
Eventually he built up the courage to ask his father about her. Their parents were still friends despite their breaking apart and his dad expressed his contempt for his son's behavior towards her daily but Jake ignored him, he didn't care about her.
The day he asked about her was the day reality hit him.
In the end, his assumptions and actions to prevent his heartache were justified... right?
Because no matter how hard it was to admit, Jake was devastated.
She had gone to live with her aunt, she would be homeschooled again.
She was gone. Sherry was gone. His Sherry was gone...
Jake walked into the garden and to the apple trees. He glanced at the sky as storm clouds rolled in. Just a few years ago he had sat beneath this very tree with her – his best friend, a girl he actually liked more than apples...
They'd played here, shared secrets, laughed.
He had promised she would be his girl one day. He promised they'd be together forever because she was his. She belonged to him.
But the truth was, she didn't belong to him anymore because she was gone.
And he was all alone.
Little Jake laid there in the wet grass as the rain fell, it was as if heaven was torturing him with memories of the little fairy he adored...
A lone tear escaped him and merged with the rain drops on his lightly freckled cheeks, then another… and another.
The thunder that roared thereafter overpowered his heartbroken cries as he begged the heaven's to bring her back to him. He collapsed to the ground, pouring his heart out and begging for his friend to return.
The response he was given wasn't what he expected, but it gave him a bit of hope he'd get another chance. Where he landed was an object she'd worn the first day they met.
A golden locket.
He put it into his pocket and left the apple trees.
Jake would hold onto this locket because he could feel it in his heart that Sherry had left that for him to let him know she still cared.
One day, we'll meet again...
A/N: THERE'S CHAPTER ONE! :D
Poor Sherry - she just wants things to go back to normal and retain her bond with Jake, and poor Jake, his boyish foolishness has driven away the girl he absolutely adored. They just don't understand each other because they're so young XD
If some things seem odd it's for a reason. A lot of moments in this chap are something of a revelation or backtracking of events leading up to these two's relationship in the future chaps. There's a lot more that has happened between them and a TON more to be revealed about their personal lives and stuff as well as the significance of the apple tree for them, her locket, etc. The upcoming chapters will provide an explanation for all of these loose ends.
I'm really excited for this fic. I originally thought this may be 3 to 5 chapters long but I'm starting to think it could stretch longer, at max between 8 and 10, I'm leaning towards 8.
To fans of A Remedy for Lonely Hearts, don't worry I'm working on the next chapter for that and it should be up soon. In the meantime I hope everyone enjoys this!
If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to let me know and please R&R! I plan to update soon!