Around six o’clock, Jonah pulled up next to my house. My mom’s car wasn’t there, so I could tell that no one was home. I didn’t want to be in there alone.
“Do you…” I tried to summon the nerve to ask him. “Do you maybe want to come in?”
He glanced up at me, visibly surprised. “Uh, sure.”
I nodded, secretly happy, and got out of the car. I was still wearing Jonah’s sweatshirt, and planned to keep it on as long as possible. Walking towards the house, I slipped my key out of the pocket of my jeans and unlocked the door. Opening it, I stepped inside, Jonah following close behind me. He shut the door and I walked into the kitchen, heading straight for the fridge. Finding nothing worth eating, I went to the pantry.
“You hungry?” I asked Jonah.
He shrugged. “I guess I could eat something.”
I nodded. We had nothing, and I mean nothing to eat. Had Mom forgotten to stock up again? Where was she, anyway? Even though she worked a lot, she was always home before I got here. She should be home by now.
“Um,” I said, still searching for something that Jonah could eat.
“I’m not really that hungry,” he said. “I was just trying to be polite.”
“Okay, good, ‘cause we have nothing.”
He shrugged. “No big deal.”
“So…” I said, “Want to watch a movie or something?”
He shrugged again. “Yeah, that sounds good to me.”
I walked past him into the living room. Noticing that it was already starting to get dark, I turned on a light before I started sifting through movies. “Do you really want to watch a movie?” I asked. “Or do you want to like, try to find some show?”
He shrugged. “A show’s good, too.”
“Okay,” I said. He had already sat down on the couch. I sat down next to him, but nowhere near close to him. I turned on the TV and began flipping through the channels.
“Wait,” Jonah said.
“Go back two.”
I flipped back and found myself on Animal Planet. “Animal Planet?”
He shrugged. “It’s interesting.”
I covered myself up in a blanket and settled in.
“Destiny,” I heard someone say. I felt hands gently shaking me awake. I sat up suddenly, making Jonah jump. I had fallen asleep. Again. Yawning, I stretched and glanced around the room.
“Is my mom still not home?”
“I think I just heard her car pull up.”
“Will she be mad if I’m here?”
“Uh, she won’t be happy. Why didn’t I think of this? Here, quick, follow me,” I said, jumping off of the couch. I ran up the stairs, hearing Jonah coming up behind me. I lead Jonah into my room and instantly began blushing at the messiness of it. “Excuse the mess,” I said.
“Stay here,” I ordered him, “until I come get you. Okay?”
I nodded and walked out, closing the door behind me. When I got downstairs, I realized that my mom was just simply sitting outside in her car. I sat down on the floor and waited. She came in minutes later.
Getting up, I greeted her at the door.
“Hey Mom,” I said.
“Mom? Where’ve you been?”
“I just—I had to stay late and work.”
“Oh, okay,” I said quietly.
“I’m tired. It’s almost eight. I think I’m going to go ahead on to bed,” she said, pulling me into a hug.
I watched her walk slowly up the stairs. I knew she wouldn’t go into my room. My shoulders sagged slightly. I felt bad for her, working all the time. Once she disappeared, I followed her up the stairs and went into my room. Jonah was asleep. I didn’t want to wake him. Shouldn’t he get home, though? Weren’t his parents worried? I picked up his car keys from their spot on the dresser and tiptoed downstairs. Had Mom not even noticed Jonah’s car? Well, it wasn’t right outside our house. It actually looked like it could be either parked outside of our house or our neighbors.
Walking up to his car, I unlocked it and got in. I opened the glove compartment and a neatly folded up piece of paper fell onto the floor of the car. What was I doing? Why was I snooping around? Jonah never told me anything about him; I just wanted to see if I could find anything. I shouldn’t be doing this, though. Sighing, I put the piece of paper back inside the glove compartment and closed it. I didn’t read it. I opened my door and got out. Glancing up, I froze.
Jonah stood before me, fuming.
“What the hell were you doing snooping around my car?”
“I saw you. Don’t lie to me. What is wrong with you?”
“No,” I said, taking a step towards him and laying a hand on his arm, “Jonah, I didn’t—”
He cut me off again and yanked his arm away from my touch. “You read it! I saw you!”
He didn’t understand. I didn’t read it.
“No! Jonah, wait, listen!”
But he wouldn’t. He snatched the keys out of my hand and went around to the driver’s side. He got in and put it in drive.
“Jonah!” I screamed as he sped off.
He was gone.
He was gone.
What had just happened?
I didn’t even read the paper! He didn’t even know what had happened. But I knew how it looked. All he probably saw was me putting it back into the glove compartment. But I hadn’t read it. Whatever was on that paper must be important, or else he wouldn’t have freaked out like he did.
I collapsed on the sidewalk and sighed. Just when things were going good with us, just when things were looking up, I had to mess everything up. Why? Why did I even go to his car in the first place?
The next day I missed the bus on purpose, thinking that Jonah would offer me a ride and we could talk things out.
Boy, was I wrong.
He sped right passed me and didn’t even spare me a glance. I had to walk all the way to school, and I was beyond late. I could tell he was really mad, but I was going to try and talk to him during lunch and clear everything up. Once he knew the truth then everything would go back to normal, I hoped.
I didn’t even bother getting a lunch. I was nervous about talking to Jonah, and I couldn’t handle to eat anything. When I saw him walk outside, ear buds in, I became even more nervous. He sat down on the same bench he always did and slightly bobbed his head up and down. I got up and walked over to him.
“Jonah,” I said.
He continued to bob his head to the music.
“Jonah,” I said a little louder.
He stopped bobbing his head, but he didn’t look at me.
“Jonah, I didn’t—”
He stood up abruptly and walked away.
I stood there in shock as I watched him walk into the building.
So, I thought, this is how it’s going to be?
I sat down on his bench, still wearing his sweatshirt. Now, with Jonah ignoring me, my mom stressed out more than ever with work, and my dad gone, I felt more alone than I ever had in my entire life.
A ragged breath escaped me as a single tear rolled down my cheek.
I wiped it away, furious with myself for being so weak.