i am currently writing a teen fiction book called cool beans. it isnt done yet.
My name is Jessica Block, and welcome to my pathetic life in the state of Missouri. I didn’t always live in Missouri, apparently when I was two I lived in North Carolina with my mom, dad, and my sister, Amy.
We had the best life back then, when my parents were together and my sister was the best sister in the world. Now I'm fifteen, everything is different, and life pretty much sucks. My dad left us when I was six. I guess he just took off and went to Vegas to gamble away all his money. My sister lives in New Jersey with her friends and attends college, or so we we’re told. And my mom is a drug addict and alcoholic, so I don’t see her much. Mostly just on the weekends, if I'm lucky.
As for me, I live by myself in our rundown apartment paying the bills as much as I can with the little money my mother brings, and my paychecks.
I go to Hazelwood Central High where I’m a freshman.
"Jess," Amanda says for the third time. "We have to go to work, hurry up!" I was trying to figure out a proof from geometry class and the last bell rang about ten minutes ago. Even though I’m only a freshman, I’m luckily in geometry with Amanda. Amanda is a sophomore, so geometry is the only class I have with her. It really is not fun, though, because she is my only best friend. In the world.
"Just a sec," I answered, ignoring her impatient sigh.
"We're going to be late, again" she says in that whiney voice I am so used to. I have also practically become immune to it, so it doesn’t bother me much.
"No we're not, I'm done. Okay, let's go." So I grabbed my bag, and we left.
Amanda and I work together at the movie theater about two blocks from school.
It's really annoying when people from our school come to see movies while we're working. To them, we're just losers. I lost count of how many times they came to the movie theater for the pure enjoyment of making fun of us.
"Half the time, they don’t even see a movie," Amanda says one Friday afternoon. All the "cool people" were sitting at a table laughing at us again.
"They apparently don’t have anything better to do, how pathetic."
After three long hours of getting popcorn and sodas for impatient customers, Amanda and I walked a block to her house to get her car. Of course, she is sixteen, hence the fact that she has a car and can drive.
"C'mon Amanda, please just tell me where we're going", I beg because she wouldn’t tell me where the heck she was taking me.
"Jess, stop asking, god, you'll find out when we get there." So I just turned on the radio and sat back.
I watched Amanda as she drove her red Chevy Malibu. I've always been jealous of her, with her long, blonde hair, and big green eyes. I know I look pretty stupid next to her, with my long brown hair, and brown eyes. How boring.
As we pull into a gas station about five minutes later, Amanda says, "Okay, we're here." I slowly ask, "We’re at a gas station?"
"Mhm, I need gas."
"Uhm, but we're going somewhere else, right?" I was getting a little annoyed.
"No, I have to be home by eight, remember?"
I did remember, but I thought she was just kidding at the time. Apparently she was serious.
"So, you're just taking me home?" I feel pretty stupid now. I had thought we were actually going somewhere. How silly of me to think that we would go anywhere on a Friday night.
"Yeah, silly,” she said. “Where'd you think I would take you?"
When I got home, I was shocked to see the police in the parking lot, talking with the old lady, Ms. Miller that lives next to me.
"I wonder what happened", Amanda says as I just stare in fear at the police men. As I got out of her car, a police man was walking toward me. "Are you Jessica Block?" he asked me.
"Yes", I answered cautiously. By now, Amanda had already driven off because it was almost eight.
"Can you tell me where your mother is?"
"Well, she's actually not home right now," I said nervously.
"And when will she be home?" Jeez, I don’t know mister, when will your mom be home? Ugh, I hated this.
"Well, when she's done with whatever she's doing." I was not in a happy mood at the moment.
"I see, and when's the last time your mother's been home?” he asked sounding a little annoyed.
“Yesterday,” I lied a little too quickly.
"Okay, Jessica," he sighed. "You don’t need to lie to me. I know your mother hasn’t been around much lately, and my guess is that she isn’t coming back anytime soon-"
"You don’t know that." I cut him off
"Actually, I do", he nodded in Ms. Miller's direction.
All I could do was glare at Ms. Miller. I actually had thought of her as a good neighbor, I guess I was wrong. "Jessica, you'll need to come with me." And before I really knew it, I was being driven, against my will, to East Prairie, Missouri, where I would live with my Aunt Jenna.
ONE YEAR LATER…
"Jessica, could you come here please?" It was the first day of summer, and I was brushing Dakota, my three year old Siberian husky, out on the patio. I climbed the patio stairs and went in the house where I found my Aunt Jenna in the kitchen.
"Yeah?" I asked as I pet Dakota, who was now sitting at my feet.
"I thought,” She said, “you might want some new clothes for the summer." Handing me some money, she said, "You can go to the mall, if you'd like."
About an hour later, I took the money my aunt gave me, and walked the three blocks to the East Prairie Mall. Since it was lunch time, I decided to eat first, then shop. So I went to the food court, and headed toward the Subway corner and got a BLT. I sat at a table against the wall facing all the other tables. I was finished with my sub, and was almost done with my Mountain Dew. Just then, someone plopped down hard into the chair on my left, knocking me sideways into the wall, I hit my elbow. And suddenly, just like that, I was pissed.
"What the hell," I said, pushing off the wall. I turned my head, and saw a guy with shaggy brown hair, around my age, wearing a bright blue shirt. And for some reason he was smiling.
"Hey," he said cheerfully. "How's it going?"
"What is your problem?" I snapped.
"You just slammed me into the wall, idiot."
He blinked. "My goodness," he finally said, "such language."
I just looked at him.
“The thing is,” he said, as if we’d been discussing the weather, “I saw you in the line at Subway, I was standing over there.” He pointed to McDonalds, but I wasn’t about to look.
I was sure I didn’t have a happy look on my face. But he kept talking.
“I just thought to myself, all of a sudden, that something big was going to happen if I came over here to talk to you. I felt a sudden rush of adrenaline, and thought to myself that we were meant to be together.”
“You got all this,” I said clarifying, “at McDonalds?”
“Yes, I did, you didn’t feel it?” he asked.
“No, however, I did feel you slamming me into the wall,” I said evenly.
“That,” he said quietly, “was an accident. Just an unfortunate result of the enthusiasm I felt just knowing I was about to talk to you.”
I just looked at him. From the overhead speakers, I’m Yours by Jason Mraz was playing.
“Go away,” I told him.
He smiled again, pulling up his sleeves. Why he was wearing a long sleeved shirt in the summer, I had no idea. I considered in my head, his responses to me asking him this, but I knew better than to actually ask him. So I kept quiet.
“You know what?” he said, pointing up to the speaker. “From now on, this will be our song.”
“Oh my god.” I said as I took the last sip of my Mountain Dew. I stood up, and the guy beside me jumped to his feet.
“Wait, I only want-”
“I have some shopping to do,” I cut him off.
Handing me a little piece of paper, he said, “Here, take this.”
At a glance, I could see there was a phone number written on it. I looked at him.
“You are insane.” I threw the paper on the floor.
“Yo, man!” someone yelled from across the food court. “C’mon dude, let’s go!”
Before I could even react, he threw his arms around me in a hug. I tried to struggle free, but he wouldn’t let go. Finally, he let go and said, “See you later.”
“Dream on, freak,” I replied, but he was already walking away to whoever had called him.
I looked down, and picked up the paper I had thrown on the floor. There was black ink scrawled across it with his number, 698-0233, and one word under it, Blake. God, his handwriting was sloppy. When I got home, I had three new shirts, two pairs of shorts, and flip flops. I ran upstairs where I found my aunt in her room reading a book. She had gotten the book two weeks earlier, and is still not even halfway done with it. She’s a slow reader. As I waited for her to get to a spot where she could stop, I imagined what a miserable life it would be to be a slow reader. As I thought this, I shuddered. Finally she marked her spot with a bookmark I bought her, and she put the book down. I showed her my new clothes and gave her a hug thanking her for the money. As I went down the stairs, I took the time to notice the dusty pictures on the wall. There were a few of me from when I was much younger. There was even one of my mother and my aunt Jenna. I was taken when my mother was pregnant with me. But there was also a man in the picture. He was standing behind my mother with his hands on her shoulders. I automatically assumed he was my father. But, I guess I couldn’t be too sure. I had always wondered why he left. I didn’t know much about him. My mother never talked about him, and I was always too afraid to ask. Maybe my aunt would know, seeing as she apparently knew him. I would ask her about this at dinner, but for now I wouldn’t worry about it. Before supper, I decided to play my guitar. I’ve always played the guitar, it’s like my escape. It’s also become my best friend. Because sadly, I have no real friends. You’re wondering about Amanda, I’m sure. Well, Amanda and I don’t talk anymore. It’s like we were never friends. I’m sure she’s forgotten about me by now. I’m not sure how I managed to survive the tenth grade with no friends. But somehow I did.
My aunt Jenna suggested that I be a junior counselor at a summer camp. But of course I said no way. I’ve never even been to a camp before. And I wasn’t about to go to one now. But nevertheless, she kept trying to encourage me to go saying, “It’ll be fun!” or, “You’ll make new friends,” or my personal favorite, “You can bring your guitar.” Like that will convince me that going to this summer camp and herding little annoying children around would be the best experience of my life. Pshh, yeah right.For supper, we had Mac n Cheese. That’s one thing I love about my aunt. She doesn’t cook fancy meals that no one even likes. She just makes hotdogs and frozen waffles. The kind of stuff you can just throw in the microwave or toaster.
Just like I promised myself, I asked her about my father. “What was my father like?” I guess I caught her off guard because she looked very surprised. But then she smiled.
“He was a sweet man. Very nice.” I wasn’t about to leave with that answer.
“If he was so nice, then why did he leave us?” Her smile faded.
“Honey,” she said, “Your father loved you and your sister very much. You must believe that. He even loved your mother enough to marry her.” She paused, and then continued. “Your mom was an alcoholic, as you know, and she was drunk all the time. Your daddy never drank, never did drugs. Aaron never meant to leave you girls, he was a good man. He wanted to stay with you, to be a parent. But he couldn’t, honey. He just couldn’t. Honestly, I have no idea what he saw in your mother. She drove him away with her many problems. She was always filled with hatred and regret toward him. Poor Aaron just ran away first chance he got. But not until after he kissed you girls’ goodnight and told you he will always have you in his heart.” I was speechless. After a moment, I finally said, “How do you know all this?”
“Aaron told me, of course. Just before he left, he told me what was going on and why he had to leave. I didn’t blame the man. And you mustn’t either.” I excused myself from the table and went upstairs. A few minutes later, Jenna came to my door. “Jessie, honey, are you alright?”
“Yeah,” I said. And I was. I really was. I finally learned the truth. No I didn’t hate my father. I admired him, actually. And I was so relieved to learn that he really did and maybe still does love me. I changed into jeans, grabbed my iPod, and went outside. I needed to walk. To think. It was my very first walk of the summer. I was going to write this down on my calendar. I laughed to myself at what a nerd thing that is to do. I was about a block away from my house, when I felt a tap on my shoulder, I turned around, and sure enough, it was the freak.
“Oh, my god,” I said. “Are you stalking me?” He looked a bit taken aback as I said this.
“Stalking you?” he repeated. “What makes you think that?” He really did look innocent but I wasn’t going to fall for it. Yet.
“Why are you following me?” I asked.
“I am not following you,” he answered. “I just so happen to live in this neighborhood.” I sighed, sadly telling myself that this guy isn’t going to leave me alone.
“And what are you doing here?” He added.
“I live, like, a block that way,” I said pointing behind him. He grinned really big and said, “No way! I cannot believe this! I’ve lived so close to the love of my life forever, and didn’t even know it!”
“Whoa, buddy, slow down, what makes you think I’ve lived here my whole life?”
“Well,” he said. “I guess I have no idea, why did you just move here or something?”
“Of course! That’s why I’ve never seen you around,” he said, answering his own question.”
“Uhm,” I said.” “I moved here a year ago, I’m living with my aunt.”
“Really,” he said with that stupid grin. “Where do you go to school?”
“I go to East Prairie High, genius,” I said. “It’s like the only high school in this whole freaking town.”
He thought this over, and finally said, “Well, I haven’t seen you around there.”
Now it was my turn to just blink. We stared at each other for a few seconds. A dog barked from some nearby yard. I have to admit, he’s kind of really cute, in that boy next door kind of way. How ironic, he is the boy next door. Finally, because the silence was getting a little awkward, I just said, “I have to go, my aunt, is, uhm, probably wondering where I am.” I really didn’t want to go, oddly, despite his weirdness, I wanted to stay there and talk with him. But, I of course didn’t have the guts. So when he didn’t answer, I turned around and started walking away.
“Wait,” he said. “What’s your name?” Still facing the other way, I smiled to myself. How funny, I thought. He doesn’t even know my name. Well, I guess, I never told him, considering the fact that I was shocked with our first meeting. And I thought he was weird.
“Jessica,” I said. “Jessica Block”
“Sweet,” he said. “I’m Blake.”
“Yeah, I know.”
“Kay, well, see you later, Jess.” God, I thought, the sound of him saying my name, was really sweet. And he didn’t even say my name, really. He called me Jess. I’m sure I was blushing.
“Bye,” I said. Then I realized I hadn’t even made any notice to how he called me the love of his life. I smiled and went home.
The next morning I woke to the sound of bird chirping in the lilac tree near my window. My room is painted white, with lime green shades. The carpet is white, and my bedspread is lime green and purple polka dots. Dakota is still sleeping in her doggy bed that I have in the corner of my room. I throw on some shorts, a tank top, and my favorite necklace. My necklace, a silver heart with a peace sign in it, is the only thing in the world that I have from my father. I know that when he lived with us, he loved me in spite of his problems. So I wear this necklace everyday to remind me that I was at least once loved. I know my aunt loves me, but it just isn’t the same. I open the shades, and head downstairs with Dakota right at my heels.
My aunt is already up, with her favorite coffee mug, reading the newspaper. “Good morning,” she says. “I have a meeting with Mary at ten. So you’re on your own today.” I’m sure I had a disappointed look on my face, because she added, “you don’t mind, do you?” She works at Shelly’s Designs, where she assists her best friend, and fashion designer, Mary Shelly.
“No, of course not,” I say. “I was just going to apply for that job at the café today.” I really need a job; I can’t keep getting money from my aunt. The café was really close to the mall, so I just walked. Not that I had a choice, because I didn’t have a car yet. When I got there, I got a vanilla late, and asked for an application. When I was filling it out, someone sat next to me. I didn’t even bother to look.
“Whatcha doing?” Blake asked.
“I’m filling out an application, stalker.” I smiled, and looked at him. He was wearing a green shirt today, with baggy jean shorts. He smiled too.
“Why do I get the feeling,” he said, “that you really don’t mind my presence, in fact I think you enjoy it.” God, he was so right.
“Actually, it’s more that I am oddly now used to you suspiciously showing up everywhere I go.”
“Hey,” he says jokingly, “I lived here first.” Without thinking, I stuck my tongue out at him.
“You know what?” he says. “I think you like me.”
“I really do not.” I said.
“Really.” What was I supposed to say?
“Well,” he says. “That’s depressing. I like you. A lot.” Holy crap. How can a person just say that to someone they just met? That’s crazy.
“Well, that’s just crazy.” I said.
“And why do you say that?”
“Because, it just is,” I said. “People don’t just say that to someone they just met. It’s weird. I don’t know.”
“Whatever you say. But no matter what you tell me, I know you secretly love me, just as I love you.”
“Okay, whatever. I need to finish this application.” I sign it and get up to hand it in.
“What are you doing today?” God, he’s so cute.
“Uhm,” I haven’t really thought of that. “I don’t know.”
“We should hang out,” he says.
“Okay,” I say. “But only if you promise me something.”
“Sure,” he says eagerly. “Anything for you my dear.”
“Don’t call me that.” I smile and playfully push him out of the way.
“Okie dokie.” He says with that grin I already fell in love with. I gave my application to the lady at the counter, and Blake and I headed toward the door. I wasn’t sure what to do now.
“What do you want to do today?” he asks.
“Uhm, I don’t know, what is there to do?”
“We could just walk around and talk?” We were outside now, just standing there.
“Okay, sure.” I say smiling again. To my great surprise, he grabbed my hand. I didn’t object or anything, I liked the feel of his warm hand with mine. We turned left and just started walking. I had no idea where we were going, and I didn’t care.
“So,” he says, “How come you live with your aunt?”
“It’s kinda of a long story.” I say, not sure if I want to tell him or not.
“We’ve got all day, don’t we?” he squeezed my hand.
“Haha, okay,” I give in. I take a breath, about to tell him all about me. My life. I sure hope he doesn’t think I’m a freak after I tell him. Here goes nothing, I guess.
“My mom is an alcoholic and drug addict. Last year I lived with her in our apartment, but she wasn’t ever home. So I basically lived by myself for while. My dad left when I was six, and my sister goes to college in New Jersey.” I paused to see if he would say anything. When he didn’t, I continued. “I only had one friend, and she’s a year older than me. So I really didn’t have anyone to talk to in high school. I still don’t, but at least I had her after school and stuff. One night when she dropped me off at home, there were cops in the parking lot, and they took me to my aunts. And that’s how I ended up here, living with my aunt and my dog.” I stopped talking to let him take this all in.
“Wow.” He said. I hoped he didn’t think I was a freak. When he didn’t say anything else, my hope fell.
“I’m sorry; I knew I shouldn’t have told you that.”
“Hey, why? Look, I’m sorry. I’m glad you told me that. It helps me understand you better. Now that I know where you come from, I feel like I know you a lot more. Like, really know you. I don’t know, I’m sure you think I’m a freak, but I honestly do like you a lot. And I’m glad you moved in with your aunt.” I started to laugh.
“Why are you laughing at me?” He playfully hit me.
“Because, I don’t think you’re a freak, okay well I did when we first met, but I really thought you’d think I was a freak if I told you what I told you.”
“You’re not a freak. You really aren’t.” he said sincerely. We were now in the park, walking really slowly. To the left, there were some kids on the swings and slide. To the right there were some older kids, probably about nine and ten, running around playing tag. We walked toward the benches, and all of a sudden, he stopped.
“So you really don’t like me?” he asked for about the third time. This time, I was going to give him a different answer.
“I do like you,” I said shyly. He squeezed my hand again, and I squeezed it back. He grinned the biggest grin yet, and at that moment, I knew I had fallen. I fell so fast, and I knew he caught me. I also knew the answer I had given him was so wrong. I wasn’t even close to the real answer. I was irrevocably in love with him. But I wasn’t going to tell him that just yet. I realized I didn’t know very much about him, so I decided to strike up a conversation again.
“It’s my turn.” I said.
“Okay, shoot.” He said as we started walking again.
“What about you? What’s your story?”
“I live with my mom and dad, and my younger brother Kevin. He’s eleven, and a pain in the ass. My dad is a cop, and my mother works for a catering business.” When he stopped, I thought it was the time I was supposed to ask questions.
“So, how old are you?” I realized I didn’t even know this, or what grade he’s in. It’s Funny how you can fall in love with someone and know so little about them.
“I’m sixteen,” he said. “I’m going to be a junior next year.”
“Just like me.” I said. Now that I know we have at least one thing in common, I wanted to find out more.
“So, what kind of music do you like?”
“A lot, just not opera, or weird stuff like that.”
“Well, that’s specific.” And I stuck my tongue out at him for the second time. I realized to him that must be flirting. I’ve never flirted with a guy before, and I’ve never even thought about flirting with a guy before. It’s fun, though. We’ve been walking for almost an hour now, and still holding hands. All of a sudden, his cell phone started ringing. His ring tone was I’m Yours. He dropped my hand and took his phone from his pocket and turned it off. He put it back in his pocket, and took my hand again. I just looked at him.
“What?” he asked, in his innocent voice.
“Why didn’t you answer your phone? Isn’t that the whole purpose of it?”
“Well, I don’t know. I’m with you and I didn’t want to ruin the moment, although the phone kind of did that.” How sweet. I smiled for the billionth time today since we were in the café.
“Hmm,” he said, “do you skateboard?” What a random question.
“No, silly, I don’t skateboard. I’ve never even tried before.”
“Do you want to learn how to?” he looked at me hopefully.
“Sure...” I said not completely sure how to react to the fact that I am going to learn how to skateboard.
“Sweet, I love skateboarding, and I think you’d be a cute skateboarder.” I’m sure I blushed because my face became warm, and I all of a sudden became a little shy and nervous. I really hope I don’t make a fool of myself in front of him. When we got to his house, Blake went in the garage and brought out two skateboards. His house was really big and white. There were flowers lining the house, and a big maple tree in the front yard. When he got over to me, a short boy with brown hair, who I assumed to be his brother Kevin, came outside. When he got over to where Blake and I were standing, he asked Blake who the babe is.
“She’s standing right here, retard. And don’t call her that. Her name is Jessica.” He sounded annoyed.
“Why is she here?” Kevin asked.
“I’ll tell mom if you don’t tell me.” Kevin challenged his brother.
“I don’t care; tell mom, and how is that a threat?” Blake asked, sounding kind of ticked. He went to the garage to get something. Kevin turned to me and said, “Hello.”
“Hi,” I said.
“Are you my brother’s girlfriend?” he asked. Blake was walking toward us again.
“Well, are you?” Kevin demanded.
“Is she what?” Blake asked.
“Your girlfriend,” Kevin repeated.
“Yes she’s my girlfriend, idiot, get away before I kick your butt.” Blake said still sounding ticked.
“I’m going to tell mom that you have a girlfriend.” And with that, he ran into the house.
“Haha, sorry about that, I told you; he’s a pain in the ass.”
“It’s okay, he’s kind of cute.” Blake raised his eyebrow.
“For a little brother,” I clarified and smacked him on the shoulder. He got on his skateboard and went down the driveway. He did a pop-a-wheelie thing and a jump. Then he came back to me.
“Show off” I said. This time, he was the one to stick out his tongue. I was already smiling.
“Okay,” he said. “Now get on it.” he pointed to the skateboard on the ground in front of me. So I put one foot on it and it rolled a little. I was too scared to put my other foot on it, positive that I would fall backwards right in front of him. As if he could read my thoughts, he said, “Give me your hand, you can hold on to me for balance.” So I put my hand on his shoulder, and put my other foot on like he showed me.
About two hours later, I had mastered the skateboard. Well not really, I could only ride it; I couldn’t do any tricks or anything cool like Blake. His mom called him from the house.
“C’mon,” he said with exaggerated excitement. “You can meet my mom!” he grabbed my hand and we ran up to the house. Inside, it was huge and bright because of the big windows.
“So, so this Jessica, mom,” he said when we were in the kitchen. I have never before in my life seen a red kitchen, but it was amazing.
“Hello,” she said smiling.
“Hello.” I said politely.
“It’s nice to know that Blake is associating with people again-”
“Mom,” Blake cut her off, “what’s for lunch?” He didn’t really seem like the kind of guy that would cut somebody off. I wonder why he did.
“Whatever you’d like, Blake.” With that she walked out of the room.
“So, that’s my mom,” he said.
“She seems really nice” I said, not really sure what to say. Kevin came running in the room, with a dog chasing him.
“Hey Jessica!” he said.
“Hi,” I said, “Aww, that’s a cute dog.”
“His name is Riley, he likes cheese.”
“Haha, really?” I asked, feeling a little more comfortable talking with Blake’s brother. “My dog is a Siberian Husky. Her name is Dakota.”
“Sweet! A Siberian Husky?” He looked extremely excited.
“Mhm, she’s three.” I said proudly. For some reason, Kevin made a face at Blake, so I turned around, and he smiled quickly.
“What do you want for lunch?” he asked.
“I don’t know.” I realized I was starving.
You can have a hot dog,” Kevin suggested.
“Uhm, okay, I guess.” So we ate hotdogs with chips and lemonade. Kevin was very talkative. He talked about everything. His school, his friends, his bike, and his toys. I just nodded, and listened intently.
Finally, Kevin was done with his lunch and went back outside to play.
“He talks a lot,” I said.
“Yeah, he doesn’t shut up.” When we were both done, Blake asked, “Do you want a tour of the house?”
“Sure” So we got up and went through the huge house. When we were on the second floor, I saw Kevin’s room. When we got to the last closed door, he stopped and said, “Yeah, this is my room.” And he opened the door.
The first thing I noticed was the brightness. There was a patio right outside his room on the second floor. The walls were white, and his bed and drapes were blue. One whole wall was filled with CDs and DVDs.
“Wow,” I said. “It’s big”
“Yeah,” he said.
I also noticed on one wall, by his bed, there were picture frames with no pictures. How strange, I thought. In one corner there was a laptop on a desk with a giant chair. He even had a bookshelf with tons of books.
“So you like to read?” I asked.
“Yeah,” he said. “I liked the Twilight saga.”
“Oh! I love Twilight!”
“Hey,” he said, “want to have some fun?”
“Okay, let’s go.” And he went onto the balcony and jumped off. I ran out there and looked down, there was a huge pool.
“C’mon!” he yelled.
“Oh my god, no way!”
“Please, Jess! It’s fun!” So I jumped. The water was warm, and it was fun! Blake splashed me, and I splashed him back. We basically had a splash fight.
“Blake!” his mom yelled, “Get out of there!” So we got out but we were laughing our heads off. We grabbed some towels and dried off as best we could.
“Jess, you’re freezing.” And he put his arm around me.
“Yeah, I’m kinda wet,” I said.
“Hey, I’m gonna go change quick, I’ll be right back.” And he ran into his house. I was out there all alone, so I sat in the grass in the sun, and Riley came to lay by me. About five minutes later, Blake came out in dry clothes and he looked cuter than ever.
“Sorry, my mom had to give me a speech just to tell me to never go in the pool with clothes on.”
“So, do you want to go home to change?”
“Yeah,” I answered, shivering.
“Okay, I’ll walk you there.”
So we headed to my house, hand in hand. When we got there, my aunt wasn’t home yet.
“Want to see my house?” I asked him.
“Sure” So I showed him the whole first floor, then had him wait with Dakota while I went to change. It took me about ten minutes to do my hair and get dry clothes on. Then I when back downstairs where I found Blake sitting in the middle of the floor and petting Dakota who seemed to adore him.
“You dork,” I said, “There are chairs, you know.”
“Yeah, I know.” So I grabbed his hand, pulling him up, and took him upstairs to my room.
“Whoa,” he said. “You have a lot of books, you could, like, start a library in here.”
“Haha, very funny,” I said. He picked up a picture book and sat on my floor, so I sat next to him.
“Is this your friend, Amanda?” he asked.
“Yep, that’s her.”
“Cool,” he said. He was just so breathtaking, sitting there in the middle of my bedroom. He even smelled good. It took me a while to realize that I was just staring at him, and he was staring right back. He put the book down, and leaned toward me. He was right about to kiss me, when Dakota came running in and scared the crap out of us. My aunt was home. I heard her walking up the stairs.
“Okay, that’s my aunt, and I don’t know how she will react to you being here.” I really hoped she wouldn’t freak out.
“Okay, that is not the best news, but alright.” He said.
“Jessica,” she called, “are you home?” Thank goodness she didn’t come in here.
“Yeah, just a second,” I said.
“Okay, I really don’t think she should know that you’re here, so I’ll be right back,” I said quietly.
“Okay, well I’ll be right here, I guess.” He said with a sad face.
“Actually, do you want to get out, while I go in there and talk to her? I will meet you outside, and then you can meet her, if you want.”
“Haha, sure, that makes sense.” He stuck his tongue out at me. I smiled and went to my aunt’s room. A few minutes later after I had told my aunt about Blake, I brought her downstairs and to the front door. We let him in and I forgot about Dakota. She was by him wanting to play because she already knew him. Thankfully my aunt made no notice of this.
“This is Blake,” I told her. “Blake, this is my aunt Jenna.”
“Nice to meet you,” she told him, shaking his hand.
“You too,” he said.
“And you live down the road?” she asked him.
“Uh, kind of. I live on Woodcrest Circle.”
“Oh really? What’s your last name?” Oh my god, I realized that I don’t even know his last name!
“Westerly” Blake Westerly, hmm, I like it.
“Oh that’s right; you’re Sheriff Westerly’s son. I thought he had a younger son though.”
“Yep, my little brother, Kevin, is eleven.”
“Your brother is crazy,” I said feeling left out of the conversation. My aunt gave me a puzzled look.
“I met his mom and brother today,” I explained.
“Alright, well I have work to get done, and I have to get supper ready,” she said. “We’re having hamburgers, Jessica.”
“Okay,” I said. And she went upstairs.
“So, yeah,” I said. “That’s my aunt.”
“She seems nice,” he said. “I should probably go; my mom doesn’t even know I left the house.”
“Alright,” I said unwillingly.
“See you tomorrow, Jess,” he said.
“Okay, see you tomorrow,” I said smiling. And he walked out my front door.
After supper that night, I took a quick shower and went to my room to find some books I haven’t read yet. I didn’t find any. So I decided to listen to music and found myself listening to I’m Yours. About fifteen minutes later, my aunt knocked on my door.
“Jessica, the phone is for you.” So I grabbed the phone and turned it on wondering who in the world I even know that would call me.
“Hey Jess.” I smiled and my heart jumped.
“Hey Blake,” I said. “What’s up?”
“Nothing really,” he said. “I was just wondering if you had any plans for tomorrow.”
“Nope,” I answered. “But I did want to go to the library, I need books.” I wondered if he could hear the excitement in my voice. “Why?” I asked curiously.
“Do you want to hang out?” he asked with obvious hope dripping with every word he said. “We could go to the library together.”
“Of course I want to hang out, silly.” I said trying to sound casual and not overly excited.
“Sweet,” he said. “Hey can I come by your house to pick you up?” he asked. “Then we could go to the café.”
“Yeah, that would be fun,” I said.
“Okay, sweet,” he said. “Bye Jess!”
“Bye Blake,” I said and hung up.
After I calmed myself down a bit, I went downstairs. I told my aunt about tomorrow, and then went back upstairs. I couldn’t fall asleep that night. He wouldn’t leave my mind. He has pretty much become my wonder wall.
The next morning, I was too nervous to eat. But my aunt made me eat a piece of toast anyway. After I changed my shirt a million times, I ended up wearing the first shirt I had put on. When Blake got there, I grabbed my iPod and we left.
“Why do you have your iPod?” he asked.
“Because, I don’t know. I never go anywhere without it.”
“Okay,” he said. “What kind of music do you have on it?”
“Lots of stuff,” I said. “Country, pop, rock, and some oldies.”
“Cool,” he said. “I don’t really like oldies much though.” And with saying that, he stuck out his tongue at me.
When we got to the café, I got a mocha and he got a coffee. He went to get sugar, and when he got back to the table, I could have died. He jumped onto the table and knelt on his knees holding a fork as if it were a flower. And he half spoke, half sang loudly, “Jessica Lynn Block, will you marry me?” I’m sure I was beet red, and everyone was staring shocked and curiously waiting for my answer. Blake was grinning, so I just said, “Blake, you are an idiot.” And I started to laugh. He jumped off the table and sat across from me. Then said with false sadness,” You hurt my feelings. But you’re right, I am an idiot. But it sure beats not being an idiot.” Then he started laughing. Uncontrollably. “Okay,” I said, “I don’t think you need any more coffee.” And I gently kicked his foot under the table.
“Blake, how did you know my middle name?” We were walking to the library. It was really sunny, and Blake had given me his baseball hat to wear.
“I asked your aunt,” he confessed.
“When did you talk to my aunt?” I wondered aloud.
“I asked her this morning.” Of course, when I ran upstairs to get my iPod.
“Well why didn’t you just ask me, silly”
“I don’t know, actually.” We were at the library now and of course, it was closed for the day.
“Okay, so now what?” I asked him.
“I don’t know, we could just walk around, if you want.” So we ended up back in my neighborhood. We were almost to my house when a truck pulled up beside us.
“Blake,” the man said, “I need your help, hurry up and get in.”
“Dang, sorry Jess,” he said. “I’ll see ya later, okay?”
“Kay,” I said. He got in the truck and they drove away. So I just went home.
“Jess,” Jenna said. “You really should meet the new neighbors. I hear they’re real nice.” So I went to the blue house where the new people lived. I rang the doorbell and a young girl answered. She looked about eight years old and had long blonde hair and bright blue eyes. Hitler would have liked her.
“Hello,” she said.
“Hi,” I said, “Is your mom home?”
“Bailey,” a woman’s voice called, “Who’s there?”
“A girl,” she answered. To me she said, “Come in.” So I stepped into her home.
I was in the very white living room with seven year old Bailey Jean Lerner, and her mom, Victoria Lerner. I was getting to know Bailey Jean because I had just agreed to babysit her this summer.
“Jessica!” Bailey Jean sad excitedly, “Guess what?”
“What?” I said.
“I have a loose tooth!” She jumped onto the couch next to me. “See?” she said wiggling it with her tongue.
“Wow,” I said, “Are you going to put it under your pillow when it comes out?”
“Yep,” she said. “And the tooth fairy is gonna give me money, ain’t she momma?”
Victoria smiled, “Yes honey.”
To me, Bailey Jean asked, “Why are you wearing a boy’s hat?” Oh, I had forgotten about that. I was still wearing Blake’s hat. Just then, Victoria’s cell rang and she went in the kitchen to answer it.
“Because I was with my friend this morning, and he had to leave. I guess he forgot it.”
“Oh,” she said. He mom came back.
“Jessica,” she said, “I know this is really short notice, but I really have to go to this meeting and-”
“Don’t worry about it,” I cut her off, “I’ll watch Bailey, It’s fine.”
“Oh, thank you so much!” she said. “I’ll be back in a few hours.” After she gave me her cell number and all the necessary information, she left.
“It’s Bailey Jean” Bailey Jean said as we were walking to the park.
“Yeah,” I said, slightly confused, “I already know your name.”
“No, you called me Bailey. It’s not Bailey. It’s Bailey Jean.”
“Oh, I’m sorry Bailey Jean. I didn’t know that.”
“It’s okay Jessica,” she said. “I forgive you.”
“So,” she said, “what’s his name?”
“Who,” I asked.
“Your boyfriend. Duh,” she said.
“Uhm, sorry?” I said confused again. And annoyed how she seems to expect me to know what she’s talking about all the time.
“Hello, the boy that gave you that hat,” she said pointing to Blake’s hat on my head. “Your boyfriend. What’s his name? Frank? Billy? Charles?”
“Oh,” I said laughing, “Blake. And he’s not really my boyfriend. I think.”
“Sure he is,” she said as-a-matter-of-factly.
We were at the park now, and Bailey Jean spotted an old homeless man that she said she needed to talk to.
“Do you even know him?” I asked her.
“No, but I need to talk to him. C’mon, please! Just think of how lonely and sad he probably is.”
“Okay, fine.” I gave in once I saw her adorable innocent face. “But don’t scare him.”
“Hello,” Bailey Jean said as we approached the man sitting on the park bench. When he didn’t answer, she said, “What’s your name?” He turned to us looking confused.
“Maybe we should go,” I told her, tugging her sleeve.
“No,” she said. To the man, she asked, “Sir, what is your name?”
“Charlie,” he answered with a gruff voice.
“Well Charlie,” Bailey Jean said, sitting down on the bench next to him, “How are you today?”
“I’m fine,” he snapped, looking irritated. “Now leave me alone!”
“Okay, Bailey Jean,” I said quickly, “Let’s go.”
“Fine,” she said sounding crushed.
She took my hand and when we were out of the park, she became happy and her voice full of hope.
“Let’s go get a donut!” she said. So we went to the Bakery and Bailey Jean insisted on doing the ordering. So I let her.
“Bailey Jean,” I said, “why did you get three donuts?”
“Because,” she replied. So we got three donuts and she suggested that we go back to the park. Okay, I get it now.
As we approached him, he said, “I thought I told you to leave me alone.”
“But Charlie,” Bailey Jean said sweetly. “I got a donut for you.” He looked suspicious. “Why would you have a donut for me?”
“Because,” she explained, “I accidently got three donuts. So Jessica and I want you to have the third one.”
“Why don’t you have donuts?” he asked still suspicious.
“We were hungry and already ate ours,” she said not at all offended by his rudeness. “Here you go,” she said handing him the donut.
“Oh,” he said looking surprised, “Uh, thank you.” And he took the donut. “Sorry for yelling at you.”
“It’s okay,” Bailey Jean said sitting next to him again. “I forgive you.”
As Charlie took a bite of the donut, Bailey Jean told him, “My name is Bailey Jean. And that’s Jessica,” she said pointing to me. “Her boyfriend, Blake, gave her that hat.”
“Is that so?” he asked me surprised by the random information Bailey Jean gave him.
“Kind of,” I said and we both smiled.
As Charlie took the last bite of the donut, Bailey Jean asked a million questions.
“So, Charlie, what’s your favorite color?”
“Well, Bailey Jean, my favorite color would have to be red.” I was amused by Bailey Jean’s attempt to sound intelligent. After what seemed like ions, Bailey Jean finally seemed to be out of questions, and we pretty much knew Charlie’s whole story. After a moment of silence, I decided we should probably head back. Bailey Jean hugged Charlie and said, “Bye Charlie, I hope we see you again soon!”
“Poor Charlie,” she said as we were walking back to her house. I just nodded in agreement, because I knew somewhat how Charlie was feeling. He was until now, friendless and alone in the world. But then Bailey Jean just happened to come along and change everything, I thought with a smile.