Reading Between the Notes
There were droplets of sweat in between my fingers; my head was bent down close to the pure white and black keys, making a drastic contrast between my extremely dark hair. I was breathing heavy, my fingers aching, my eyes wide while the pencil I had been gripping between my teeth fell and toppled across the heavy keys. It dropped to the floor, and the muted thud that hit my ears suddenly broke me out of my trance, and I returned to my sitting position instead of the slumped over one.
My fingers flew furiously over the keys of the little laptop I had, my eyes wide with excitement. That had been one of the best compositions I’d ever made yet, and it was totally freestyled. It was beautiful, hauntingly beautiful, filled with just the right amount of sorrow while the least bit of optimism was left. I absolutely loved it.
My cellphone buzzed, and I let out a grunt of irritation as I received the text message. I quickly grabbed the pencil from the floor and put it between my teeth – ignoring my OCD screams – and quickly typed a short summary of the song after recording it. I shut the laptop closed, wrote a few notes manually in my composition book, and sat everything down to read the text.
Want to go to the mall? Was what I read. It was from Sammy, one of my friends at school. I crossed my legs over one another and bit my lip. Stay here, pig out a little bit on some German chocolate, and end the day with video games? Or, act like a normal teenage girl, go the mall with a couple of friends, and actually have a life?
I felt like the hugest dork every as I texted back quickly, Oh, sorry, can’t. Have tons of Bio homework. Damn Honors. :P I added the little tongue wagging out face so that she wouldn’t question my motives. Most of my friends – not that I’m trying to say anything bad about them – but most of my friends have regular classes at the high school, but I’m in Honors English, Biology, along with AP Calculus. They’re hard, true, but not hard enough that I’m failing. Again, I feel like a total dork when I admit that the lowest grade I have is an A-.
Ahh, Irvine’s a bitch! Sammy texted back. He totally man-PMS’s. That’s why I’m so glad I have Heitland. Talk to you on Sunday?
Of course! I texted back eagerly, and felt guilty about it as I did. Locking my phone and setting it down on my desk, I thought about how nice, friendly, and open Sammy was, yet here I was, afraid to have any friends whatsoever.
About a month ago, my dad and I had moved here, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from our hometown of Calumet City, Illinois. When I was six years old, my mother left out of nowhere suddenly, and my dad and I were left alone to fend for ourselves. About three years later, we an officer arrived at our house, and told us that my mother had been intoxicated and jumped off a bridge to her death.
I guess I could say that my dad’s a pretty tough guy, but it really hit him hard. It’s been 10 years since my mother yet, and he’s only been in one other relationship. I try to encourage him to find someone that’s not a total hag, but, it’s still hard for him.
That’s the reason I don’t really like making friends once we move somewhere new; what’s the point of opening up your heart and sharing your insecurities when they just get stomped on anyway? What’s the point of being close to someone when they’re just going to leave? Anyways, that’s how I feel, so I’m quite a loner. Not to mention the fact I’m always absorbed into my music.
Unfortunately, I take many traits from my mother. Not just physical appearance with my raven-black hair, dark brown eyes, and a weird tone of voice that I would say sounds like Katy Perry, Courtney Love, and perhaps Alicia Keys all wrapped in to one, if you could imagine that.
Besides my physical appearance, I’m a lot like my mother because of my taste in music. As hard is it may to believe, she used to be avid pianist, drummer, guitarist, violinist, and a great singer. She almost had a record deal, but then her father – my grandfather – died and she decided to hit rock bottom by spinning out of control by drinking and getting pregnant with me. It just spun even more out of control as she grew older, ironically, instead of the opposite.
Shaking away thoughts about my mother, I leaned back in my chair, Godfather style, and tilted my head back after tucking my pencil behind my ear. Just what exactly to do? Here I was, blowing off the opportunity make a potential friend, and now I was bored as hell because I’m probably the hugest dork alive. I’m so awkward sometimes.
Happy Wheels and Minecraft. I finally decided in my head before getting on the computer and playing those two games.
“Nope nope nope nope nope nope nope, nope.avi,” I repeated over and over again with one of my hands covering my eyes as I played the videogame Slender. I let out the highest, shrillest, most girliest shriek ever before the game finally closed on itself and I sat back in my chair in relief.
I heard the crunch of a tire against the gravel, and I looked up, alarmed, from my computer. Excitedly – like a five year old kid – I jumped out of my seat, ran to the front door of the house, and waited excitedly until my dad opened the door and stepped in.
“Dad!” I said excitedly, and wrapped him in a huge bear hug. He hugged me back eagerly of course, because he was just the kind of dad that was always saying “Proud of you” or just a simple “I love you”. Because my dad is just that amazing.
“Hey Jazlyn,” He smiled back, the crinkles around his eyes scrunching up together to give him that family-man kind of look. “Was that you I heard screaming?” He asked with a confused look on his face.
“Oh, yeah,” I said awkwardly, blushing a little. It was always obvious when I blushed; since my skin is so pale and everything, so I sunburn easily. “I was playing this video game named Slender. It’s pretty scary.” I admitted, smiling a little.
“Alright then, hon,” He said. He ruffled my hair a little on the top and gave me a weary smile. “I think I’m gonna hit the sack then.”
I was immediately disappointed. My father worked two jobs, so I rarely saw him. And I hated seeing him so worn down and tired; it just tore me apart.
“Are you sure?” I asked. “Because, you could just turn it into a nap, and then I’ll be making dinner at…6.” I said, taking a quick glance at the clock.
“Really?” He immediately perked up. “Well, that sounds nice. Do you have any idea what you’re making?” He asked excitedly.
“Erm…,” I trailed off, stalling for an answer while grabbing my jacket from the coatrack, I finally decided, “Um, manicotti. I’m making manicotti and gelato. Your favorite.”
He grinned from ear-to-ear. “Sounds great. I’ll start on my nap now.” He literally laid his head on the couch and fell asleep two seconds later. It was an amazing process to watch, really.
I smiled a little bit before draping the afghan across him, shrugging on my jacket, grabbing my wallet, and quietly closing the door behind me as I walked down the street to the little grocery store.
I had my hands dug into my pockets, watching the ground as I walked, my feet splashing a little in the puddles left behind from last night’s thunderstorm. Ever since I was little, I liked thunderstorms, which was odd since my one and uncle Earnest died after getting electrocuted from standing underneath a tree during a storm. Stupid on his part, but still, it was still pretty sad when I learned about it a few years ago.
I reached the grocery store, grabbed a few items to make the manicotti with, and went back up the aisle I had gone through, looking for the checkout counters. There was only one open, and the cashier behind it had his back turned to me, so I didn’t know who it was. I probably wouldn’t anyway; I’d just moved here and barely knew anyone’s names.
He didn’t look up until I made a loud noise by slamming my items onto the conveyer belt, and he lazily looked up at me. I was taken aback a little once I finally met his eyes, though. You know how you meet someone for the first time, and their eyes are the first thing you notice? His were such a brilliant shade of teal, I was literally amazed by them.
I guess the cashier guy found my surprised expression on my face pretty funny because he smirked at me and raised his eyebrow, which I noticed had a hoop piercing in it.
“Hello there,” He said, still smirking at me. “My name’s Ezra. How’s your day going so far?”
I could tell from his tone of voice that it was one of those things that the corporate store required employees to say, but the way his eyes watched me while he aimlessly waved the items across the little red light-thingy, I couldn’t help but feel a little embarrassed. Stupid, I know, because it was just some cashier guy checking out my stuff; big whoop.
“I’m fine, what about you?” I said politely, directing my eyes over to the rack of cigarettes instead of his entrancing eyes.
“I guess I could say I’m…absolutely perfect,” He said. He didn’t say anything afterwards, and I looked up and saw that he was staring at me expectantly, as if he was waiting for me to say something.
“You didn’t answer my question.” He said, literally stopping everything he was doing and staring right at me.
I lifted my gaze to his and said in a shaky voice, “What question? I said I was fine.” I said, a little bit confused.
“I asked you your name,” He replied, reaching down the conveyer belt to grab a box of tissues I’d picked up. He let out a grunt, trying to reach for it, and I simply moved it over to him and accidentally touched his hand. A spark seemed to run up my arm, and I jumped back a little and let out a little yelp.
Ezra smirked at me and swiped the box of tissues across, as if he knew that I would react that way to making contact with his skin. I looked down at my hand, expecting it to be red or something, but it looked normal. Glaring at Ezra, I walked back up to the front, separated by the checkout bar from him, and pulled out my money to pay for everything.
I hesitated when he reached out his hand for it, but I decided to stop being an idiot and grumbled as I placed the money into his hand. He simply smiled at me once again and put my receipt in the bag before scooting them closer to me.
“Jazlyn,” I mumbled under my breath, grabbing the plastic bags. “Jazlyn. That’s my name.”
He seemed a little surprised that I answered him, and looked up at me. “Jazlyn? That’s a pretty name.” He practically cooed.
I blushed a little; I had been hearing that a lot lately. Not because I was used to it, but because everyone else in this town had old fashioned names like Jane or John. I was getting ready to leave with my bags in hand, when I took a glance at his name tag. He had a little pocket underneath, and I was surprised to see a set of drumsticks poking out.
“Wait, you play drums?” I said, shocked, as my eyes scrambled wildly to meet his.
He looked at me oddly, which I guess I could understand, since I was staring at him like a lion running after a gazelle or something. “Uh…yeah? Do you like drums, or something?”
“Uh, yeah!” I said like it was obvious that I was practically in love with playing drums. I had to resist the urge not to jump over the counter and hug him to pieces. That’s just how crazy I am about the drums, ever since I was five years old. Taught myself after my mom left.
“We should play together sometime,” He said, giving me a little wink. “I’m going on break now.”
I expected him to leave, but he just stood there, waiting for me to say something. What was I supposed to say, exactly?
“What are you waiting for?” I asked, a little confused. I avoided his beautifully colored eyes by staring at his drumsticks.
“Aren’t you going to give me your number?” He asked, giving me a “you’re a dumbass” look.
“Oh!” Oh. Ohh. I realized in my head. He wanted my number. This pretty hot guy – I had to admit, I couldn’t deny it – was asking for my number. Holy crap. That never happened to me before. Like, ever. I was always too shy.
I ripped off a piece from a plastic bag as he handed me a Sharpie, once again sending an electric shock through my body when our hands touched. I jumped a little, and all he did was smirk at me like he had expected it would happen again.
I ignored him and the suddenly powerful electric current running through me and wrote down my phone number on the piece of plastic with my name written under it. I finished, handed him the note and Sharpie, and picked up my grocery bags.
“See you soon, Jazlyn,” He said as I walked away out the door. I turned around just in time to see him send me a wink before walking off to go on break.
Hey, want to help me study for that History test on Monday? –Sammy
The sound of my cellphone buzzing distracted me from rummaging through my closet trying to find my favorite guitar pic. It was pretty plain, just a flat black pic, but it had sentimental value. My mom had given it to me, like her dad had given it to her, and I couldn’t find it.
Personally, I don’t like playing guitar that much, I’m more of a piano and drums kind of girl. I bent down further, removed an old coat that I had used when I was a little kid, and there it was, my black pic sitting underneath all my old junk.
Satisfied, I tore it out from underneath the pile of clothes with triumph and sat it on my desk next to my computer. I looked at my shiny, black cell phone, contemplating whether or not I should answer it. It was Sammy, and I guess she was my “friend”, even though I have to admit, I really am pretty much anti-social.
Can you at least try to be the slightest bit normal? I asked myself sarcastically. Letting out an angry groan, I contemplated with myself and answer the text hurriedly.
Sorry dude, but I can’t; I have to stay home and clean for my Dad. – Jazlyn. I moved my thumb to hit the “SEND” button, but I was interrupted as my phone vibrated once again. Startled, I dropped the phone and hit my head on the edge of my desk when I reached down to pick it up. I grumbled as I opened the new text, scolding my impending stupidity.
Gah, who in the hell is texting me now? I grumbled to myself, then felt bad for whoever it was for forcing my social outcast-nicity on them. I opened the text hesitantly, expecting someone like a stupid jock from my school that had somehow gotten my number and was planning on harassing me.
Slim chances, I know, but still, who knew?
Look out your window. I’m in front of your house. –Unknown number
“Holy crap,” I breathed, a strange sensation creeping up my neck as the hairs stood on end. Someone was…stalking me? How…what?
Oh God. I gasped to myself, immediately freaking out. I looked to the door, expecting someone to barge in, and then I thought about my dad. He could help me; he could totally beat someone’s ass. He was an ex-marine, I shouldn’t be afraid. Right?
As I stood up to go look out my window and then run like hell to get my dad, I was interrupted as I received another text. I held my breath as I hit the open button, and waited for the message to load.
Lmao, just kidding. It’s me, Ezra. Sorry if I freaked you. Wanna hang?
“Goodness gracious,” I breathed again with relief. I put my hand to my chest where my heart was, as if the motion would stop my suddenly brought on heart attack. Once my shock faded, it was placed with anger.
Wth, man? You scared the crap outta me! Goddamn! Idk if I wanna hang tho… I typed back angrily, my thumbs flying across the keypad. I turned off my computer and turned on the T.V. before flopping down onto my bed, cell phone in hands.
I chewed on my thumbnail once I sat my phone on the end table next to my bed, trying to get into the episode of Breaking Bad. It’s a great show and everything, but I could ignore this nervous feeling running through the bottom of my stomach, the kind of feeling I got before I took a final I didn’t study for or something.
Why am I so nervous? I asked myself, confused. Oh my god, it’s not because of Ezra, is it? I gasped. Oh no! I think I have a crush for him, no, scratch that, I have the hots for him! Crap! I realized, starting to panic a little bit.
“No, no, no,” I said aloud, reaching up into a sitting position. I jumped when my phone buzzed. “Shit!” I ran to a corner of the room, away from my phone as if it was going to attack me or something.
“Nooooo,” I moaned again. This couldn’t be happening. I couldn’t have a crush on a guy, this is what I was trying to get away from! Anything but this!
“It’s happening again,” I said hopelessly to myself as I slumped down to the floor. I had gotten a crush on someone, once again, and it had only been a month since I’d moved here! Damn! That’s part of the reason why my dad and I had moved from Calumet City, to Philadelphia. Because my dad had gotten a new job, and he could have stayed, but I had encouraged him to.
See, the problem was that I had a boyfriend back in Calumet City, a really great guy named Joel. We were best friends before we started dating, but then, one dreaded night, he told me that he loved me. And I just absolutely freaked. I don’t like being in love, I don’t like having crushes, and I don’t like having your heart feel like it’s about to beat out of your chest when you see that one person you like. I don’t like it. That’s why I broke up with Joel the day before I moved, because I couldn’t take it.
And now, I liked Ezra. I could tell that I really liked him too, because when I just thought about the way he looked at the grocery store, and the shock that went through my fingers whenever I touched him, I knew it was a serious case of the hots, and probably something even a little bit more deeper than that.
No, no, this is fine. You may like him, but, eventually, these feelings will go away. I’ll be fine. Gosh— after all, it’s not likes me or anything like that! Things will be fine, we’ll just be really best friends!
Aw damn it, that’s how my relationship with Joel started out, too! I realized with a start. Begrudgingly, I walked back over and opened up the text.
I said srry, sheesh! Accpt my apology, I dnt do it alot! Whaddya mean u dnt no if u wanna hang? –Ezra
“Goodness gracious, I feel like he’s pulling me in,” I admitted embarrassingly as I read his text. I chewed on my lip, contemplating what to do. Should I go hang with him, or make up an excuse like I had with Sammy? I mean, I barely knew this guy, after all, I had only met him yesterday.
But there was something else about him; I felt as if I had already known him before. I know how corny that sounds too, and just the fact that I’m able to say it like that shows that I don’t even really think it’s corny since I didn’t hesitate to say it. Er— or, actually, think it.
I decided to be straight-forward and honest with him: Well, I just met you yesterday, an idk, I dnt rlly hav a reason to say no, but still!
His reply was almost immediate as soon as I pressed “SEND”: Oh, ic. Well, I was gettin ready to jam with my drums, thought you might be interested…?
I’ll have to admit, once I read where he had typed “drums”, my heart starting fast, thumping against my chest furiously. Not only because I had a teeny-tiny, itsy-bitsy crush on him, but because I have to admit, I’m a total nerd for drums. And a part of me suspected that he knew that, since when I had first met him and had ogled his drumsticks in his pocket like I was crazy.
You’re gonan hate yourself, Jazlyn. You’re only pushing yourself in deeper. I told myself as I typed back quickly, Where are you playing?
That’s how I arrived at the top of an apartment building, sitting crisscrossed with my legs on top of the cement roof watching in admiration as Ezra played the drums like a pro. I was just simply amazed with his talent; I couldn’t believe he had only been playing for a month. I know that drums seem like a pretty instrument to learn, it still takes time, practice, and concentration to really master.
He finished, his cheeks red and his eyes wide with excitement as he looked up at me. He smirked as he asked, “So? How was that?”
I think I’m in love with you. I joked inside my head. I ignored that a perhaps a little part of me begged to differ and wanted to deny that what I had thought wasn’t a joke, but I just pushed that thought down.
“That was…fantastic,” I breathed as I uncrossed my legs to get up and walked over to him. “I mean, I feel insecure now with my drumming abilities.” I admitted sheepishly.
He waved his hand in dismissal. Since we’d started talking on top of his apartment building on the roof, he kind of seemed like a different guy that I had met in the grocery store. He still had a mysterious feel to him, but just the way he smiled when he talked, I don’t know, I felt like that smile was just for me, and it gave me those little warm fuzzies inside.
“You play for me now,” He said, staring at me with those insanely beautiful teal eyes. His teeth tugged on his lip piercing as he stuffed his hands into his pockets. “I want to see what you sound like.”
“W-what?!” I stuttered, my cheeks instantly flushing red. I blushed even deeper for my stupid reaction. “M-me? But I can’t compete with…that. You’re too good.”
“It’s not a competition,” He explained as he walked behind me and pushed me by my shoulder blades to the seat behind the drum set. “I just want to see. So please? Will you do it? Just for me?”
I turned around to reply “hell no”, but he was giving me puppy dog eyes, and goddamn it, he looked too cute pouting like that. I found myself reluctantly replying, “Fine. Okay.”
He simply smirked as I sat down and I refused the action to blush. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath just like I always did before playing drums— or any other instrument for that matter.
I started to play the drums to the song “Chop Suey!” by System of a Down. They screamed a lot in the song, and it was actually pretty hardcore, or at least for someone like me who the most hardcore band they listen to is Linkin Park.
But anyways, I played that song because the drums go absolutely crazy in that song, and before I knew it, it was like my hands had taken a mind of their own. One minute I was dreading to having to play in front of this literal rock god, and the next, I was hitting each and every note without trying. It was like whenever I played any instrument, my mind transported into another place, and suddenly, I couldn’t see anything around me anymore besides whatever I was playing.
It seemed as soon as I started, it was only a few seconds until I finished the entire song without even trying. I finished the last note, and dropped my head down until I found myself resurfacing back into the “real” world. I set the drumsticks down on the ground next to the seat, and turned around to Ezra.
“Sorry about that,” I apologized sheepishly, almost unable to meet his beautifully-colored eyes. “I didn’t mean to play the whole song…” I looked up to finally catch his gaze, and saw that he was looking at me with wide-eyes, as if he couldn’t even believe what just happened in front of him.
“Aw man, was it that bad?” I groaned. “I knew it.” I said, covering my eyes with my hands in embarrassment.
He didn’t say anything as he walked over to me, put his hands on my shoulders and said in a quiet, serious tone, “Will you be a band with me?”
What else could I say besides yes?
And that’s what I said exactly; yes. And well, I wasn’t expecting it, but joining Ezra’s two-man/woman group band was actually a benefit for someone as anti-social as me. It was just us in the band, but I don’t know, I think it was better with just the two of us. Not that I wanted Ezra all to myself. Okay, well, that last bit was a lie no matter how much I tried to deny it.
I found myself getting very close with Ezra right from the beginning, and before long, he was my one and only best friend, the kind of person that I told everything to, even about my mom’s death and outrageous actions that led to it. I also got the nerve to sing in front of him – something that about killed me from stage fright – and he wanted me to be the lead singer and guitarist, but I refused. So in the end, I was just the backup vocalist and drummer.
Besides having effects on Ezra and my friendship, I also started to become just a little more social in school. Which meant not ignoring my texts sent from Sammy and the rest of her friends, which meant that I was at home less, which in turn put a smile on my dad’s face since he was worried for my social health.
So, in the end, that yes that I had said to Ezra in a way had changed my life. The one flaw in the whole thing though was that well, just perhaps in the tiniest bit way, my crush had grown into what felt like a full grown love bug.
I couldn’t stop thinking about him, when I was with him, I couldn’t help but think how well we worked together, he always told me he loved me (in the friend way, he clarified), but I could see the way he looked at me. I could see that he felt exactly the same way I did.
But, once again, there was one more thing.
He was 19 years old.
I was 17, and from the way he talked in disgust about his 18 year old brother dating a 16 year old (because according to him, they were in two different stages of life), if he knew that I was only 17 and not 18, he wouldn’t want anything to do with me. Because he thought that was wrong. So, I had screwed myself over by saying yes to him in the first place, too.
That night, we had decided to practice at my house with my little drum set while my dad was at work. I had introduced Ezra to my dad a few weeks ago, and of course, he was weary that just like every other guy in his mind was just trying to get in my pants. But he also told me that he couldn’t deny how happy Ezra made me, which was why he was semi-okay with him being at the house all the time.
“I wrote another song, J,” Ezra announced as he flopped onto my bed as soon as he walked in.
I narrowed his eyes at his shoes until he took the hint and threw them aside. Putting a smile back on, I replied, “Really? Another one already? Sheesh, you’ve written like 5,000 so far and I only have two.” I pouted.
He smirked at me, “Ezra 5,000, Jazlyn two.”
I rolled my eyes and sat down into my computer chair and scooted it over next to the bed near him. “So, is this just gonna be another hang out night? Or are we actually gonna practice?”
Ezra drew his eyes away from the T.V. and turned to me. I still hadn’t gotten used to just how beautiful his eyes were. Sometimes they were a teal, and sometimes they seemed like an extremely bright green. I was surprised that he didn’t have that many girlfriends. I didn’t want to admit it, but he could get a lot of girls just based off of his looks. But paired with his personality, he seemed like Mr. Perfect. Expect, of course, he just had to a year older than me.
And I couldn’t wait a year for him.
“Well,” He started off before he reached up a single finger and started playing with a strand of my curly hair, “I think it’s going to turn into a hang out night. You alright with that?”
“Uhm…mhm, yeah, I’m fine with that,” I stuttered a little bit, mesmerized by his finger playing with my hair. He was making physical contact. Friendly physical contact. I grumbled to myself.
“You know something?” He suddenly asked, pulling me out of my trance.
“Hmm?” I asked, absent mindedly, finally drawing my attention from the T.V. back to him.
“You have really pretty eyes,” He said softly, looking right into mine. “I like them when they’re brown though; not green.”
I was a little taken aback. “Pfft, Ezra please. What’s so special about mine? I like yours way better.” I said sheepishly, smiling at him.
“Well yeah, but at least yours change color,” He replied. I suddenly felt his arm go around my shoulder as he rolled the chair closer to the bed. I almost flinched as he laid his head on my shoulder and I could feel his lips brush against my neck.
“S-so do yours,” I said, a little bit out of breath. “Sometimes they’re teal and sometimes they’re green. Not just plain brown and…green.”
I trailed off and slowed myself as I looked down and saw that he removed his head from my shoulder – brushing his lips against my skin once again – and was staring right up at me again. Slowly, he moved and sat up instead of lying down, and settled his face just about two inches from mine.
“I love you.” He whispered softly. He didn’t mean my eyes as he said it, but focused on my collarbone. He slowly started to lift his eyes towards mine, while my heart and mind were racing.
Is he shitting me? Was the first thing that went through my mind. Holy crap…he means it. He loves me, too. Probably even more than I love him! Oh my god, I’m panicking, what the hell do I do, WHAT DO I DO??! Where’s Sammy when I actually need her advice?!
“I love you too.” I heard myself say. I was surprised that I said it so easily, like it was no big deal without stuttering or anything.
Before I could comprehend what I had really just said, he leaned in and kissed me full on the lips. I was a little bit startled, but before long, I had my hands curled into his hair while he held me by my waist. He pulled me up, and I scrambled onto the bed, still entirely focused on him.
He grabbed me up onto the bed and I pushed him against it as we rolled around. One minute, things were innocent enough as we were talking about the color of our eyes, and now things weren’t…innocent, as I felt his hands creep up my shirt while my hands were planted firmly on his belt. If I wanted him to keep them on and unbuckle it, I wasn’t exactly sure.
We momentarily broke from the intense kissing with me on top of him, it was a little awkward to say in the least. Our eyes were locked with each other’s, and I knew that this was the time to tell him. If he could accept me like this, then one little birthdate wouldn’t matter.
“Ezra,” I breathed softly. “I…I’m not 19. I’m 17.” I said, and it almost felt like a huge weight was lifted off of my chest. We didn’t have any restrictions now; we were going to be fine.
“What?” He said sharply, and I flinched, his voice was so loud from just a few seconds ago when he was whispering. “You— you’re only 17?” He asked incredulously.
I nodded silently, suddenly afraid from the outraged expression on his face. I suddenly got the sinking feeling that this was going to change things drastically; he still didn’t think we could be together. I’d made a mistake. I should have never said yes in the first place…
In a flash, he rolled out from underneath me without making any eye contact once, and ran out of my room and out the door. He was gone. He left me, just as I feared he would.
I stared blankly around my room, not being able to understand what just happened. But after a few seconds, my lips started to tremble as I begin to whimper. I collapsed onto the bed and sobbed myself to sleep that night.
No phone calls. Not texts. No sort of contact from Ezra for two, whole straight weeks since the night I’d told him my real name. That first night, I really did cry myself to sleep, and the next day, I refused to go anywhere. My dad was confused as to why I was so depressed and sad out of the blue, but I didn’t have the heart to tell him.
The following Monday, I barely paid any attention in class. During astronomy, the teacher asked me a question, to which I replied “go fuck yourself”. I was sent to the principal’s office and was suspended from school for the next week.
My dad was pissed that I got suspended from school, and in turn, grounded me for two weeks. So basically, all I did for those two weeks he didn’t talk to me was sulk, cry, pig out on chocolate and no food besides that, and finally stop feeling so sad for myself and became pissed, dangerously pissed.
I was so outraged at Ezra that I wanted to kick his ass. So, the weekend before I had to start school again, I quickly got dressed, ran a comb through my hair, and stomped down to the grocery store to give Ezra a piece of my mind.
That asshole’s going to be regret ever being born. I growled in my head. I speed walked over to the store, and there he was, standing at his register near the front. I physically stomped over to his register and implanted my finger into his chest.
“You have a lot of fucking nerve!” I yelled loudly, enough that I attracted a little bit of attention from the customers already in the store. “I’ve have spent my whole freakin’ life, trying to stay away from ever falling in love, and then I finally get the grapes too, and you run away from me!
“I mean, I could understand if you gave me a reason, or you said that perhaps we should wait, but no! Instead you go and act like a pansy and run off without saying a damn thing to me for two whole freakin’ weeks! Are you fucking insane?!?
“Just to let you know, and this is why I initially came over here, I’m over you,” I said matter-of-factly, narrowing my eyes at him. “I’m soo over you. And you know what? I might just do the stereotypical thing of a teenage girl and write thousands of songs about you! Hell, I might get famous like Adele! Who knows!”
I turned around to go stomp out of the store back home, but then I turned back around to face Ezra, who’s eyes are wide (and still beautiful, unfortunately) and frightened. “And if you think that age is good reason to break up with a girl, then you’re, you’re…you’re wrong!”
I was surprised to note that after my heartfelt speech, there were tears brimming in my eyes. Goddamn it. I muttered in my head. I turned away from him on my heel and started to walk away so that he wouldn’t see me cry. Don’t let him see you cry. I repeated in my head firmly.
“Jazlyn, wait!” I hear him call behind me, but I don’t stop walking. I’m done.
Unfortunately, I guess he’s a fast runner and caught up with me literally seconds after he called out my name.
“Don’t leave,” He said, grabbing me by the shoulders and spinning me around. “You, you didn’t even give me a chance to explain.”
“I don’t have to give you a chance; that’s why.” I replied sarcastically, rolling my eyes.
“Please listen,” He said, not even phased. He tried to grab my hands, but I jerk away. There’s a look of hurt in his eyes, but so what? He deserves to get hurt like I did. “I’ll admit, that was really stupid of me to walk away like that, and I want to apologize for doing so in the first place.
I merely roll my eyes once again before he continues talking.
“I really didn’t know how to react. I knew from that first day when you came here that you would seem like a pretty cool person; anyone who plays the drums that good is held pretty high in my mind,” He said sheepishly, and I’m unable to stop myself from blushing.
“And I knew from all those practices we did and all the times we saw each other would probably make some feelings arise, but I didn’t think so quickly. I knew that you were still technically a minor, I just acted like that was a problem so that I wouldn’t try to make things move too fast,” He admits, looking straight into my eyes the whole time.
“You what?” I gasped. “You knew that I was 17, and you didn’t even care? It was all an act?” I cry.
“Not in the way that you think,” He said hurriedly, so he doesn’t lose my attention. “We haven’t even known each for that long, maybe a month, and by the second week, I already knew that I was in love with you. But when you told me why you moved here, just to get away from your boyfriend, I just held it in so that I wouldn’t freak you out.
“And when you told me that night, you looked so scared, and I thought maybe you were just saying that to push me away sooner. In the end, it was wrong what I did, and I just wanted to say sorry because of it. I understand if you don’t want to forgive me.” Ezra finishes quietly. He didn’t even wait for me to reply; he just turned around and walked back to his register.
Oh my god. I gasped to myself in my head. The only reason he reacted that way was…because of me. I did this. This is all my fault; it was from the beginning! I suddenly seem to realize. I can’t mess up again.
“Ezra! I—oomph!” I yell out as I run through the store’s automatic opening door. I ran into someone, and like an idiot, ended up with my bum on the floor. I look up to apologize to whoever I ran into, but find that it’s Ezra.
“I was hoping you’d forgive me,” He said sheepishly as he helped pick me up.
“Why do I love you so much?’ I whisper as he picks me up by the waist and kisses me.
I guess I didn’t have to run away from love after all.