50 first dates that never happened

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Chapter 4 (v.1) - Better Than I know Myself

Submitted: August 07, 2016

Reads: 73

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Submitted: August 07, 2016

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December:

“Jace?”

“What’s up Sam? You sound upset.”

“Well I can tell you I no longer have a date for prom.”

“What? I thought Alex was taking you.”

“Not if he has a dance class. Being apart of one of the most important nights of my life wasn’t a good enough reason to be excused.”

My best friend was quiet for a minute. “Sam, I’d be honored to take you to your prom.”

“Really? You would do that for me?”

“Of course. I would have taken you to junior prom too if you had wanted me to.”

“I appreciate that, but junior prom just wasn’t my thing. I feel like senior prom is the one you look back on and remember for the rest of your life.”

“Yes Sam and memorable it will be. Do you feel better now?”

“Like I always do after talking to you. Thank you.”

“No problem. Let me know if you need me.”

“I will. Bye Jace.”

~

Best friends are the people you depend on. They’re the ones you call when you’re upset and need a pick me up or use as a date when you’re single on Valentine’s Day. They make you laugh, are ready to beat up anyone that hurts you, and cause obsessions over the strangest types of music. The only problem with having a best friend is if one of you is female and the other is male. Everyone assumes that you’re a “thing” or will be one soon enough since guys and girls can never just be friends. I of course was confident that this would never would happen since my best friend and I had one thing in common: we both liked guys. So we would be those best friends that would break the stereotype right? Maybe not.

~

May: “Look at you being all dapper in a tux,” I said to Jace when he walked in.

“You don’t look half bad yourself…even though you’re still shorter than me in heels.”

“I thought I was pushing it with four inches so anything over that was out of the question.”

“Whatever you say Sam. We better get going with the fancy corsage and boutinere stuff if we want to make it through pictures and get to the school on time.”

“With my mother? She may need a new SD card just to hold all the pictures she’ll want to take.”

After pictures we walked into prom and all eyes were on us. We were the dark couple with me in a deep purple gown and Jace’s matching bowtie while everyone else wore various shades of peach and pink. We melted into the crowd after awhile, dancing with a group of friends. I even had my first slow dance interrupted by my best friend, Katie.  I was having the time of my life and knew that part of it was because of Jace. He got long with my friends, looked great in a tux, and really knew how to make me feel special. As the evening drew to a close our prom king and queen were announced, but what really made us emotional was one of the girls in our class dancing with our principal. As other couples took the floor with them for the last song, Jace held his hand out to me, asking for the dance. I accepted and the two of us made our way out to the dancefloor.

 “You are beautiful in every single way,” Jace sang to me as we swayed to the music. I think that was one of the first times in my life that a guy said I was beautiful and it was the most amazing feeling in the world. This feeling stayed with me on the bus ride back to school, the car ride home, and when I crawled into bed that night. At the time I just took it as the joy of prom and the happiness I felt being with my closest friends. It wasn’t until I woke up the next morning that reality slapped me in the face: I was in love with Jace.

I really tried to ignore it knowing he was gay and all, but eventually I told him what I was feeling. It was a slightly awkward conversation along he lines of “ I’m flattered that you like me, but I’m gay.” That was enough of a reason to move on plus the fact that I would be going to college in the fall. Of course, it was hard to move on after this little incident.

June: “Alright. Who asked my dad to play High School Musical?” I asked.

“Does it matter? Just get in front of us and do the dance,” one of my friends yelled over the music.

So I hopped in front and we all started doing the moves for We’re All in this Together. Then Start of Something New came on and I grabbed Ryan to dance.

“Are you okay?” I asked a little into the song.

“Yeah. The ground is just really hot and I don’t have shoes on.”

“I gently pushed him towards the stairs. “Go put your shoes on before you hurt yourself.”

As Ryan left I noticed Alex attempting to dance with my friend Courtney.

“Mind if I cut in?” I asked.

“Not at all. His steps are way too confusing,” Courtney replied before walking away.

I smiled as I took up dancing with Alex. “Did you enjoy messing with Courtney?”

“Sorry. I guess my dancing got a little carried away.”

“No need to be sorry. If you have the moves you might as well use them.” The two of us danced until the end of the song and as another High School Musical song began to play, all of my friends left the dancefloor. Everyone except Jace.

“we’re soaring, flying, there’s not a star in heaven that we can’t reach,” he sang as he closed the distance between us. At that moment, everyone else disappeared and it was just the two of us singing one of my favorite songs from one of my favorite movies. By the end of the song our faces were mere inches apart. My heart was racing thinking that I was going to get my first kiss. Unfortunately the music ended, the spell was broken, and Jace pulled himself away from me. Although I didn’t get the kiss, I knew deep down that Jace had to feel at least a little bit of what I felt for him. He even told me later on that night that he wanted to kiss me. So for the rest of the summer I couldn’t stop obsessing over my best friend and the possibility that we could be a thing although he repeatedly told me that he didn’t feel the same. One conversation in particular really stands out to me from that crazy summer and went a little something like this:

“I’m in love with you okay? I know you’ve told me you’re gay and not interested, but that isn’t just going to magically change how I feel.”

“Sam…it’s not that I’m not interested. I just couldn’t live with myself if I hurt you.”

“What?”

“Think about it. You’ll be at school five days a week and may be home on the weekends. What if I meet someone while you’re gone? I know you wouldn’t date somebody else, but I like having people around and can’t promise the same. And I couldn’t look at you knowing you’d forgive me for doing something that awful because I would never be able to forgive myself.”

I sighed. What Jace was saying made perfect sense, even if it was tearing me apart on the inside. “I understand, but we’re still friends no matter what.”

~

We were still best friends no matter what. Yes, he sent me so many mixed signals that my first year of college was spent adjusting and sorting out my feelings about Jace. Although it took me until the summer to get over him, it finally happened and was a momentous day for our friendship. Now we’re closer than we’ve ever been and have learned to appreciate the time we have together now that we’re both in college. He’s still the person I call when I can’t sleep at night or need someone to listen to all of my crazy ideas. Jace will still come to me when he needs advice about a guy or needs a pick me up after not getting the job he wanted. At the end of all of this I realized that it was much better to have my best friend stay my best friend and not have him as a boyfriend. Would it be nice to have someone take me out on a date or stay inside and cuddle? Of course, but I don’t need a boyfriend for that.  Jace is the perfect person to cuddle with, especially since he knows how to break my terrible migraines. He’s also made a pretty good date on Valentine’s Day when we’ve both been single. Plus, being best friends means that we can cause all sorts pf shenanigans together. We’ve driven through town with the windows rolled down singing anything from Wham to Wicked. There was the year we went Christmas shopping together and we had to carry bags of toys around until we found the Toys for Tots drive( we’re pretty sure people thought we were carrying dead bodies around the mall in garbage bags). During a trip to a favorite amusement park we managed to get stuck on a rollercoaster along with my little sister who we had to keep from completely freaking out. We succeeded, but then I had an anxiety attack on the ride. And my favorite, getting to see one of our favorite artists, Adam Lambert, in concert. So I guess it was for the best that Jace and I never became a couple. If we had, I don’t think I could honestly say that he’s one of the only people in my life to know me ‘better than I know myself”.


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