Welcome To The JFK

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
***My entry for storyofmylife's competition: a story based off of the song Almost by BFS***

Agoraphobic JFK…or Kai as he would much rather be known, never truly trusted the outside world. After an unpleasant high school experience and having his dreams shot down in LA he lives an almost-made-it-big lifestyle running how own music based businesses from home. But 15 years on he receives an invite to his high school reunion and immediately sees it as a chance to rectify the past and see his childhood sweetheart again…

Submitted: April 25, 2009

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Submitted: April 25, 2009

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Welcome To The JFK

Opening the door he invited sunlight into his home for the first time in years. Standing with invite in hand, Kai strained to pull himself past the entrance. Reassuring himself, he tried to encourage what he was doing; “You can handle this”. Sure, it had been 10 years since he had last left the house but everything would go downhill once he took that first step. The memory of her spurred him on.

After a half hour of wrestling with himself he managed to bring his whole hand outside of the house for a good three seconds: “That’s almost a record!” he said to himself but secretly he knew he was getting nowhere. Kai slumped down against the door frame to reassess if what he was doing was truly the right thing for him. He looked at the invite he’d so dearly held onto throughout his attempts to exit and read it through once more “Dear JFK” it began; they’d decided that it might create some kind of amusement to call everyone by their high school nickname, something he’d rather forget “it’s been almost 15 years since the class of ’94 went their separate ways, and I for one would love to see everyone back at Milton High so I’ve sent this letter out to invite you to a special reunion dinner and dance (just like the old days). It’s a chance to see all the old faces and reunite with ones you’ve lost touch with. I do hope you come, signed Sarah Fielding (head teacher of ‘94).” Although he must have read it a million times one part stood out to him the most “reunite with the ones you’ve lost touch with”, from the first time he read it Kai immediately though of her and an image of beauty from a decade and a half ago drifted back into his mind – he had to go, he had to see her.

ButKai didn’t want to be let down again. He’d been let down once before when he moved out to LA in search of fame (and almost got it too when he scored a guest slot on The Thom Shiner Show) but those dreams were soon shot down (when they found another musician who’d recently had a one-hit-wonder in the charts to fill his spot) and so he took a different path in life which almost landed him in jail. This all helped him to conclude that wherever drugs or thugs were was not the place for him eventually he moved back to his hometown, renting out a flat, living in a quiet neighborhood and making money from his internet business selling instruments and making online “how to play guitar” videos.

Refreshed he was now sure of what he was doing. He had to see her and it had to be today. There was no compromise. Passing the door frame he stepped into the light and felt it on his skin. Warmth. To his surprise Kai didn’t have second thoughts about it this time (and even more shockingly, didn’t melt into a pool of mush when making it onto the other side of the door). He was on his way now.

***

He’d found the school with relative ease as it was one of the very few “outside world” routes which were engraved into his memories and was now standing in the main auditorium, making small talk with former fellow peers. Although he’d been inside the house for so long, Kai hadn’t lost the art of conversation (as he had to constantly monitor the forum and comments on his website often asking complete strangers how they had found his products/videos). Even if a few of them insisted on addressing him by his nickname (JFK) he didn’t mind, and instead retained a smile on his face, secretly laughing at how their lives had panned out:- the homecoming queen Katie was now a hot mess covered in makeup and insecurities (after loosing a Miss Texas beauty pageant to a girl with more assets), all the jocks were either super body builders or had let themselves go over the years and all of the geeks had acquired an ego along with their Harvard doctorate in rocket science. Looks like he’s shown everyone that his life had turned out great, a few of them even started warming towards him (unlike the old days). But none of these people mattered, his eyes only searched for her and just before the end of the night they found what they were looking for.

She was across the room and before second guessing himself he walked straight up to her and introduced himself praying she remembered. When she did it was like heaven to his ears and three and a half cokes later he had enough sugar in him to ask her to dance. Surprisingly she gladly accepted and they both made their way onto the dance floor Just in time for “Close to you”. “Wonderful” he thought to himself, as well as the relief of not having to jive to a hip-hop or dance track he wanted to take his time with her and make up for all the lost years in that one night. He missed his footing once or twice, but that was okay because she too occasionally stumbled at the chorus: neither one feeling embarrassed just jeering at the fact neither one had “been at this since the old days”.

He looked into her eyes and told himself “this is what he had been saving himself for” and flashed back to the high school dance, even when the prettiest girl in school (crowned homecoming queen) got drunk enough to try and make out with him Kai didn’t take advantage because he wanted someone else: Julia.

Getting cocky he decided to ask her something seeing as the night was going so well “Uh…Julia…you know…all these years, I’ve been thinking about you and how much fun we had together. Maybe you’d like to have fun again? Say, with me over dinner or something…I mean…you don’t have to bu-” she broke him off in mid sentence as they slow danced through the last verse “Look Kai, you’re real sweet ‘n all and if you had the balls to say this to me 15 years ago I’d have jumped at the chance…but things are different now and I look at you as more of a brother”. The song faded and he slowly let her go, suddenly Kai felt As if Julia were on an iceberg slowly floating further and further away from him. “Brother” he said as he turned to walk away feeling the heat rising under his collar, but he turned back.

Reaching into his shirt pocket he pulled out a crumpled piece of folded paper that had the appearance of an aged scroll and handing it to her “I almost forgot” he beamed as she unfolded the piece of paper before him “I wrote this for you ages ago, back in school; I’d always walk up to you trying to tell you how I felt but then would chicken out and ask about the homework or something so I turned to my talent and put it in a song”. He could see her eyes welling as they passed over the words on the page, transfixing on the chorus lines especially “It’s no use to me now so I thought you’d better have it. Looking back, I almost wished you would’ve loved me too” he concluded echoing the last lines of the song.

A tear escaped and ran down her cheek but it was too late for him to see. He’d already made his way out of the building by now. Turning to the nighttime sky he thought to himself: “So this is why I never left the house”.


© Copyright 2018 Nina Skye. All rights reserved.

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