“There you are,” Jesse said, stepping in front of the exit.
I sighed and placed a weary hand to my brow. “Yes, here I am…”
“Can I walk with you?”
I looked over at Megan. She stared at Jesse in the most conspicuous way. Her mouth was half open and she looked like she would have fallen if she hadn’t been standing so close to me.
“Well, Megan? Can he walk with us?”
“Well, I thought we were gonna ride with my mom?”
“Your mom?! No! You know I hate riding with your mother!”
“Well, she’s out there right now… So…”
“I am not riding with your mother,” I hissed at Megan.
“Fine,” she retorted, “enjoy your walk home! Um… Jesse?”
“You are more than welcome to take Jen’s seat if you’d like,” Megan said, then finished the sentence with a pitiful wink.
“How sad…” I whispered under my breath.
“Maybe some other time,” he said smiling. “But thanks.”
“No problem,” Megan said smiling. “See ya, Jen!”
After watching Meg get into the car with her mother, I realized that I had made the dumbest decision ever… That ride was my only way out of talking to Jesse… and now, not only was I without a ride home, Megan had left me alone with him. Damn it…
I pushed the door open and started down the street. It was mid-September, and it was becoming very cold. I pulled my jacket close to my body, and I put my hands in my pockets.
“Um… if you’re that cold, you can have my jacket.”
“But… you’re practically shivering… are you sure?
“Yes, I’m sure.”
“Jen, it’s not that big of a deal, really. I have on a sweater. You need it more than I do.”
“You’re not gonna chase me down the street for taking it, are you?” I retorted.
“Ha, funny,” he responded dryly, pulling off his jacket and taking my book bag. “Here, I’ll hold it so you can pull it closer to you, okay?“ he said, draping the jacket over my shoulders.
“It’s seriously not that cold out here…”
“I beg to differ. I‘ve got low blood iron.”
It got quiet for a while, but I slowly started to enjoy his company. He was sort of pleasant to be around… So what if he chased me down in the rain for an umbrella? All of that can be forgiven and forgotten. I half expected him to bring up the kiss again, but he didn’t. And, I didn’t dare to remind him.
He walked me to the front door, as he did a time before, and the same intense moment passed between us. Was he gonna ask for another kiss? Was he gonna ask for a hug? Damn it, he’s thinking of something to say…
© Copyright 2016 Jennifer Brighton. All rights reserved.
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