In Due Time

By J.Ross

This story and everything found herein is the property of the author. Any similarities to real people, places, etc. are strictly coincidental.
This story is not to be posted anywhere else without permission from the author.

Warning: This work of fiction contains sexual contact between two males. If you are opposed to reading something like that, or if it is illegal for you to read this type of material in your area, please leave.

Otherwise, I hope you enjoy. All comments/questions/complaints can be sent to

Chapter 6

I was sick. Tracy Marks and my date with her, was making me sick. I was so fucking nervous, my stomach was actually churning and I was having breathing issues. There was just a lot of fucking pressure. From everyone. From Ry, my dad, even my mother.

But mostly...from me.

"You're turning green, bro," Ry said as he rifled through my closet the night before my date. Apparently, my friends felt that I was incapable of dressing myself. Chloe had come over earlier to pick out an outfit for me and when Ry saw it, he decided to pick me out a new one because hers was lame.

Shane was the only one that hadn't offered to help me `prep' for my date. He hadn't mentioned it at all since I told him. But we were good, so it was okay. It's not like I wanted him to mention it anyway. Everything was okay. Or it was going to be. I just needed to get through my first date with Tracy.

"Green's a good color for me," I told Ry flatly, from my place on my bed. "I'm thinking of making it permanent."

Ry laughed. "You know you don't make sense, right? Oh! You'll wear these pants. I haven't seen these since, like, eighth grade."

"They don't fit," I said and Ry rolled his eyes at me.

"You haven't grown that much. all. Come on, wear `em. They'll make you look good. And Tracy's not easy to please."

"I'm not wearing them, mother," I said caustically and Ry threw the jeans at me. I caught them and tossed them in a corner. "Seriously, dude, stop," I went on, sighing. "I can dress myself and right now you sound like--,"

"A fag?" Ry said, raising an eyebrow. He stepped away from the closet and moved to throw himself on my bed. "You're right," he sighed, stretching out. "But consider the pants, bro."

I was actually going to say he sounded like a girl off some teen soap opera or other, or maybe I was going to compare him to his new girlfriend, who continued to annoy the shit out of me, but I didn't correct him. I didn't say anything. I shifted nervously, but I didn't speak. I'm cowardly like that.

"So, where are you taking her?" Ry asked, completely unaware of my discomfort. "It's gotta be good."

"Movies," I suggested, with a half shrug. Everyone went to the movies. It was normal. I wanted normal. And I was pretty sure I'd be able to handle it if she talked all the way through it. It never bothered me when Shane did it.

Ry rolled his eyes at me. "You won't get points for originality."

I sighed. "So? I'll make up for it with the points I get for wearing decent pants."

Ry shoved me. "Shut up, I never understand a word you're saying. Just sit there, quietly and be grateful you've got me. I've got a shit load of experience, you should be worshipping me, begging me to let you in on my secrets. You're gonna need all the help you can get if you don't want your date to bomb."

See what I mean? Pressure.

"What do you mean?" I asked, trying my damnedest to sound casual. My date could not `bomb'. I needed it to be good. I needed Tracy to have a good time and I needed her to fix me, before I did something stupid. Ry had said Tracy already liked me, I had no idea I was going to have to actually work to impress her.

Ryan grinned at me. "You've gotta play your cards right," he said, in a tone of voice that sounded for all the world like my grandfather's. "Like, some girls don't like it if you tell them to be quiet and leave you alone while the movie is playing. Actually, none of them like it and some of them, dump soda in your lap for it."

"Good to know," I snorted, fully thinking he was joking, until I saw the serious expression on his face. I broke down laughing. "You've gotta be shitting me. You didn't actually say that."

Ry nodded, sighing. "Yeah, I did," he said and then laughed. "You know, Jessie still won't speak to me. And she tells everybody I'm an asshole."

"You tell everybody you're an asshole," I retorted, pulling a pillow from the head of my bed to prop my head up on. I had to get another one, though, because Ry stole the first as soon as I'd gotten comfortable.

"Well, yeah," he said, banging his head against the stolen pillow, fluffing it. "But only because she started it." I couldn't really see the logic in that, but I nodded. It's the kind of thing Ry was doing all the time. He took the insults others threw at him and started spreading them around like he was proud of them. Like how he came to school in just his boxers the day after Shane stole his pants. Whatever. It works for some people.

"I don't blame her," I said shaking my head. "I can't believe you said that. I'm not even that stupid."

Ry snorted. "Whatever, it was a good movie. I don't see what she got so pissed about; I paid seven dollars to watch a movie, not listen to her talk through it."

"It was a date," I said. "You're supposed to focus on your date when you're on the date." The sentence sounded weird and I wondered if it made any sense but Ry nodded.

"I get that," he said. "I was holding her hand and all that. But you don't go to the movies to talk. You get that. Chloe gets that. More girls should be like Chloe. And Eve called her uptight. Bullshit. Chloe's the only girl I know that isn't an ice queen."

"Why don't you just date Chloe?" I asked and I could have kicked myself. I was sworn to secrecy. Chloe had pinned me down, her knee in place to hit me where it would hurt my unborn children and made me swear. Shutting up was probably the best option for me right then.

I didn't though. Ry started laughing his ass off, so I kicked him and kept going. "I was being serious, Ry," I said, and he looked at me like I was crazy.

"Uhm, she's Chloe," he said slowly, like he was trying to explain quantum physics to the worlds biggest idiot. "I couldn't date her."

"Why not?" I persisted. It didn't make sense. Chloe was pretty enough, which seemed to be just about all Ry needed before he asked a girl out, so she definitely qualified. Plus, he already knew her and he just said he thought more girls should be like her.

"I just couldn't," Ry said, and now he looked uncomfortable. I looked at him expectantly and he shrugged, sighing. "Jake," he said, shaking his head. "This is stupid, she's Chloe."

He sounded desperate, like he really needed me to understand and drop it. I didn't.


"So," he snapped, sitting up suddenly. "I couldn't. None of the girls I've dated even speak to me anymore unless they're telling me to fuck off. Chloe's my friend. I like it that way. I, dude. We're dropping this."

And then I did drop it, because he called Chloe his friend, like he meant it. Maybe he couldn't think of her that way and I couldn't either, so I got it. It sucked for Chloe, but I understood and I hated that I couldn't feel about Shane the way I felt about Chloe. That I couldn't say Shane was my `friend' and I `liked it that way'.

"Sorry," I said, after a few moments of listening to Ry breathe. "It was just a question, dude."

"A stupid question," he snapped.

"Yeah," I said. "I get it. She's my friend too."

"Yeah," he said and he nodded. "Good."


"Whatever," he sighed. "So, let's never talk about it again. And never tell Chloe we did."

"Never," I agreed, mostly because Chloe would kill me if she ever found out.

"Cool," he said and he sounded relieved. He smiled at me. "Now, back to your date."

"Or not," I muttered, frowning. "We can drop that too."

"Come on, Jakey," he said, ruffling my hair. "Who else are you gonna talk to about it? Chloe? Shane? Your Daddy? Yeah fucking right."

I glared at him. "I don't wanna talk about it at all," I snapped. "To anyone."

Ry sighed and rolled off the bed, making his way toward my closet to dig through more of my clothes. It sucked, yeah, but at least he wasn't trying to talk to me anymore. Not about Tracy, at least.

"You know," he started slowly, frowning at a yellow polo he'd pulled out of the back of my closet and I was glad that if he said anything about it, I could honestly tell him that my grandmother had given it to me and that I only wore it when she came over. "I kind of hate you sometimes," he finished, throwing the shirt over to my waste basket.

"I kind of hate you too sometimes, Ry," I responded, but I was smiling. I couldn't figure out why because for the most part, the statement was true. I did kind of hate Ry sometimes. And that didn't seem like something that I should be smiling about. It wasn't funny either, not really. But I was smiling, because even when I hated Ry--even when he pissed me the fuck off or disgusted me--he was still my best friend. He was still Ry.

And, you know, maybe if I ever really pissed Ry off, and he really hated me...maybe I'd still be his best friend too.


It's not really considered lame yet, when you don't have a car at sixteen. It's still acceptable then and since I hated driving, I had planned to avoid getting a car for as long as possible. My dad had offered to help me learn to drive and even said that if I kept my grades up, he'd help me buy a used car for myself.

I declined. And yeah, there were a few kids at school my age that already had cars, Ry and Shane both did, but they were in the minority, so it wasn't lame to not have one yet.

It was lame, however, to not be able to drive. It was lame because it meant that if you ever had a date with a really pretty girl, you'd have to find a ride from someone else to get where you needed to go instead of just borrowing one of your parents' cars.

Fortunately for me, I didn't have to ask one of my parents to drive me and Tracy around for our date. Tracy borrowed her mother's car.

Unfortunately, having Tracy drive me around for our date in the mom mobile was not something I'd live down anytime soon if word got out. I thanked God for the tinted windows of her van when she arrived at my house and tried to ignore my dad when he patted my shoulder and let me know that his offer to teach me to drive was still good. Even my father thought I was lame.

And then Shane showed up. Just as I walking out to Tracy's car because that is just exactly what I needed right then.

He took one look at me and one at the van in my driveway and frowned.

"I forgot it was today," he said instead know, `hi'. I shrugged.

"It's cool," I lied. Seeing him was not going to help anything. I was supposed to be focusing on Tracy. Seeing Shane just brought up all sorts of uncomfortable feelings and made me want to get into his car instead of Tracy's and go off to the park and talk about the fucking squirrels in the trees.

"Yeah," Shane said awkwardly. "I'm gonna go. I just brought something. But I'll leave it. Uhm...have fun. Or whatever." And he got back into his car without leaving whatever it was that he brought and took off.

Dear World,

You suck. Kind of a lot. Please eat shit.

Jacob Miles Taylor

I was in a shitty mood when I got into the car with Tracy and I actually slammed the door. She jumped, but she didn't say anything about it.

I spent all of five minutes in Tracy's car before I decided that Mariah Carey was Satan incarnate. Who sings that high? And long? Nobody human. Jesus, could you even call those notes?

I didn't think so. Tracy, however, didn't just believe that they were actual notes, she also seemed to be under the misguided impression that they were notes she could actually hit and she sang along. Or screamed along, however you wanna look at it.

She was really into it too. She moved with the music of some slow love ballad and she seemed completely lost in it. It was annoying at first, but the song progressed and Tracy screamed louder and I couldn't help but laugh. I had been nervous as hell about making a fool of myself and ruining my date, but Tracy was just driving along, not paying any attention to me as she screamed her head off like some sort of tortured banshee.

I was pretty sure that what she was doing would definitely qualify as making a fool of herself and she didn't seem to mind one bit. And somehow, that helped with my nerves. Just a little bit.

Tracy's cheeks were tinged pink when the song finally started to fade out and she looked over at me with a smile. Probably because I was laughing and she could finally hear me.

"What?" she asked, raising her eyebrows at me and I laughed harder because she was actually asking me why I was laughing like what she was just doing was completely normal.

"Don't like Mariah?" Tracy asked after I'd sobered a bit. There was another song playing, but it was low and I wondered when Tracy had turned it down. I definitely hadn't seen her do it.

"No," I answered, honestly, shaking my head. "But I like it when you're singing with her."

I had meant for her to take that as a joke. I mean, I was being honest, I'd liked listening to her, it made me laugh. But I was kind of going for sarcastic...that's not how Tracy took it, though. At least, I'm pretty sure she didn't.

She blushed and smiled at me.

"Thanks," she said, quietly.

I shrugged. I didn't really know what to say. I mean, `you're welcome' is what you usually respond with when someone thanks you but it didn't even sound right in my head so I kept quiet.

"What kind of music do you listen to?" she asked after a second, which was encouraging. Maybe she wouldn't be terrible at making conversation, which was good, because I was crap at it.

"Uhm," I said, thinking. "I listen to everything." She raised an eyebrow at me, so I added. "Except for Mariah Carey. I don't like banshees."

She laughed and shoved me, playfully. It was weird. I was used to being shoved around by friends, but I barely knew Tracy. It was nice, though. Comfortable. I was used to it.

"You're missing out," she said clucking her tongue. And that was weird too. But I liked it. I liked her.

We didn't go to a movie. Tracy, apparently, agreed with Ryan on the topic of conversation during movies and told me we wouldn't be able to have one during a movie. She drove us to a restaurant.

A fast food restaurant. And I think I liked her even more, then. No pressure from Tracy. She seemed really laid back and it was easy to relax around her and joke and...she made me laugh. She was fun.

"I hate pickles," Tracy said, taking a small bit of her burger. She'd driven up to the lookout at the park. It was just a parking lot, pretty high up on the hill the park sat on and it looked out over the city. There were a shit load of cars parked around us and I thought the place probably would have been a great `make out' spot for kids our age, but the park closed and you had to be gone before it got dark enough to actually do anything.

I didn't care. I didn't give a damn that we wouldn't actually get to...'do anything' whatever that might mean. It pissed me off. I felt like I should be disappointed or something. Ry always was, when his dates ended with anything less than a full blown make out session.

I didn't care, though. And my mood darkened considerably when I realized it. But...I's not like I really knew Tracy. Maybe those things took time, right? Like, it was only my first date, I couldn't be expected to...


I was vaguely aware of Tracy talking in the background about pickles and incompetent drive thru workers that insisted on putting the damn things on her burger. I crumbled my own burger up in the wrapper was kind of a bad idea because ketchup and mayonnaise leaked through a rip in the wrapper and all over my hands. And...gross.

I tossed the burger back in the bag and was just about to look for a napkin when Tracy handed me one.

"Are you okay?" she asked, her expression somewhere between worried and amused. It made me wonder what the hell I looked like right then. I had to be the most transparent person alive.

"I'm cool," I said, taking the napkin. "Just not really hungry."

"Oh," she said, looking at her own burger a little forlornly and I couldn't help but laughed.

"You can finish," I said, forcing a smile. "I just kind of ate like a fat ass before I left my house. I thought we'd go to the movies. But you can finish. I don't mind waiting."

She smiled, but she tossed her food into the bag right along with mine. "We can still go to the movies," she offered before taking a drink of her soda. "I mean, it's still early."

I would have preferred home just then, but there was a hopeful sort of tone in her voice and...I was stupid. What the fuck was I doing? I liked Tracy. She was cool and fun, even if her taste in music was worse than my mothers. I liked her. That was a good thing.

I just needed to try harder. I couldn't expect everything to be `fixed' right away. I needed to give it time, and I needed to try harder. I could do that.

"Nah, I don't feel like watching a movie," I said, smiling at her. It wasn't hard to do. The smiling thing. I really did like what I knew of Tracy. Everything could work out. I mean...I was just being impatient. Maybe I had to actually get to know her a little better; spend a little bit more time with her before I actually...wanted more than friendship.

Yes, the thought crossed my mind that it hadn't taken long at all for that to happen with Shane. I told the thought to fuck off.

I liked her.

"Do you like swimming?" I asked, suddenly. I just...really felt like being in a pool somewhere.

Tracy looked surprised and she was smiling widely at me. "That's original," she said, and she nodded, pulling her keys from the car ashtray. "Yeah," she continued, chuckling and I had no idea why. "Let's go swimming."


Going swimming with Tracy was the worst idea I'd ever had in my entire life. All sixteen years of it, and I'd had some pretty bad ideas.

It'd seemed like a great idea. Tracy wouldn't stop smiling and I'd get to be in the water. It was, like, a win-win situation.

Until we got to the junior high school, where the pool was actually outside and realized we didn't have any clothes to swim in. It wasn't a big deal for me. I mean, my boxers covered way more than my Speedos did, but Tracy...

Swimming was just the worst idea I'd ever had in my life.

"It's still early," Tracy said, staring at the overly blue pool water in front of us.

Blue. Like Shane's eyes.

Stop. I wasn't thinking of him. Not on my date. Not like that.

"Uhm," I responded, looking at the pool water as well. Anywhere but at her.

"I mean, if you're uncomfortable..." she let it hang.

It sounded like a challenge. A challenge I would have been happy to turn down if I wasn't terrified of what that might mean about me. Any other guy I knew would be thrilled to be in my shoes. So, I turned to look at Tracy, swallowed and raised an eyebrow.

"I'm not uncomfortable," I said, all attitude. "I thought you might be."

I put as much of my mother in my voice as I possibly could and hoped that my `I though you might be' would sound a lot like `you should be' and prayed she'd back down.

She didn't. Not even a little.

"No reason to be," she said. "I've got a tank top under my shirt."

Yeah, so...whatever. Who cared, it's not like I'd never seen a girl naked before. Yeah, they'd all been in the movies that Ry had brought over, but still. Same thing. Same parts.

And it was normal for me to be nervous, right? My experience started and ended with an awkward, experimental, two-second kiss with my best friend. And Chloe had actually laughed afterward.

"All right," I said, and I hoped Tracy couldn't hear me swallow nervously. I turned away from her and pulled off my shirt as quickly as I possibly could. I wanted to get into the pool and away from the bad situation where I'd be faced with looking at her and trying to figure out the right way to react to seeing her half naked. Like, was I supposed to pretend it wasn't happening? Or check her out. Or...god, what if she expected me to say something?

No, I definitely couldn't face that.

So I dropped my pants and dove, praying that she'd be in the pool when I finally came up for air.

The water was warmer than I thought it'd be. It was getting late and you'd expect the water to be cold, but it wasn't. I'd dove into colder water on extremely hot days. But the water actually felt warmer against my skin and I made a mental note to swim at night more often.

I must have crossed half the length of the pool before I finally came up for air. It took me awhile to find Tracy, but I did, eventually, sitting on the steps at the other end of the pool.

"You're on the school team, right?" she said, smoothing her wet hair down. "You as good as Ryan?"

"Yeah," I lied, snorting. "I'm better."

She smiled at me and moved to swim toward me. It hadn't occurred to me until then that swimming with a girl would be a lot different than swimming laps at swim practice. I was actually going to have to interact with her and...stuff.

Her `tank top' was white. And I could totally see through it. Chloe would have called her a slut.

I didn't. I had a few brain cells to my name. Plus, she didn't look bad. It was...interesting. She was wearing a bra, so I couldn't really see anything important, but her shirt clung wetly to her skin and I could tell that her nipples were hard. It was different--much different--than seeing the girls in the movies Ry had shown me and I was a little...intrigued.

And I took that as a good sign. This was good. This was improvement. I was proud of myself...

...For all of about two seconds. Tracy had noticed where my eyes had drifted and my face heated. My ears actually burned.

"I'm sorry," I said.

Yeah, I actually apologized.

I was never going to speak again.

Tracy thought it was funny though, and she swam closer, laughing the whole way and she clucked her tongue again when she reached me. "You should be sorry," she said, grinning.

I think I blushed brighter, but I didn't offer anymore stupid apologies either.

"Hey," Tracy said, reaching out to put her hand on my shoulder. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean..."

"Forget it," I said, trying to smile. "No big deal."

She smiled back at me. "For you, maybe," she said. And then she dunked me.

It a word, weak. I could have stayed above water even if I hadn't been able to touch the ground. But dunking and playing around seemed like a much better idea than continuing our awkward conversation, so I let her push me under.

I also dragged her down with me. She was sputtering when she came back up and whipping her long hair out of her face in a way that reminded me of Marco when he was still alive, and I laughed at her.

"Oh, not cool," she said, chest heaving and tore off after me. Ha. I didn't even have to try to keep a good distance between us and it wasn't long before she gave up.

"Jesus, maybe you are better than Ryan," she said and I almost let it slip that she just really sucked and was kind of the slowest person I'd ever been in the pool with. Being around Chloe, though, made me cautious and I wondered whether I'd get hit for saying something like that. And it's never fun to get smacked when you're wet.

"I told you I was," I said, instead, grinning at her. "You thought I was lying?"

"No," she said, swimming closer to me, and she looked harmless enough so I didn't run. "I just thought you were doing the `guy' thing."

"What guy thing?" I asked curiously, furrowing my eyebrows. She laughed at me, coming closer still.

"Never mind," she said, shaking her head. I shrugged.

"Okay," I said, slowly, dipping lower into the water to get away from the cold night air. I wondered if it might be time to call it a night. "So, do you think--," was about as far as I got when trying to ask her if she agreed.

She tackled me and this time, I didn't have to drag her under with me, because she came willingly. She had her legs wrapped around my torso and one arm wrapped tightly around my neck in a way that I assumed was supposed to be rough, but wasn't at all. Tracy was softer than anyone else I'd wrestled with and gentler too. I wondered if she was doing it on purpose. I grabbed her, trying to pry her off, but she held tight. I didn't want to push too hard. With my other friends, I would have punched and kicked and if all else failed, I'd do the bitch fight thing and pinch.

But Tracy... She was...smaller and softer than Ry and Shane and even though Chloe was just as small, I knew her well enough to know she could handle the roughness. I didn't want to hurt Tracy though, so I didn't try too hard to get her away.

Instead, I let her drag us down until my feet hit the bottom of the pool and kicked, pushing us both back to the surface for air. I expected Tracy to stay latched on but her legs lost their grip and she only had her arm around my neck when we broke the surface.

"You," I gasped, kicking my legs to stay afloat. "Bitch."

My eyes widened when the words left my mouth mother didn't raise no fool and I was pretty sure that the word I'd just spoken was enough to get me stranded at the junior high school with no clothes and no ride home, but Tracy just laughed.

"Serves you right," she said, breathlessly and that probably would have been my cue to laugh. But I didn't. Because her chest was heaving against mine, her clothes slightly scratchy against my skin. And she was close. Too close and instead of wanting it and leaning toward her, and thinking about her...

...all I could think about was him. I'd barely thought about him all night, and there he was. I could see his eyes, his smile, in my mind and...just... Cold fingers and warm, sweet breath and strong arms and...Fuck.

I hadn't thought about him all night. Or I had, but I'd been doing so well when it came to repressing.

But I couldn't just then.

Tracy was leaning in, closer and closer and it was taking forever and I wasn't afraid of her. She wouldn't ruin my life. She'd fit right in and I liked her. I fucking liked her.

But I didn't feel anything. I liked her and I didn't feel a thing. With Shane, there had been the paralyzing fear but...I'd wanted it. I wanted him. I was warm and my heart was pounding against my chest and everything was spinning and it felt...good. It was what I wanted to feel with Tracy. It was what I'd been expecting.

But I didn't feel anything. I didn't want it. I could have initiated a kiss with Tracy; it would have been so fucking easy. But...I didn't care. I didn't want to.

I wanted Shane. I wanted him and I couldn't make it go away. And it didn't matter how many girls I fucking dated.

I was vaguely aware of Tracy's eyes closing and her lips were touching mine and I didn't want to run. I went with it, but...Fuck.

She was actually kissing me and I'd gotten more feeling from an almost kiss from a boy.

God, I was so fucked up.

I wasn't scared of her the way I was with Shane but I didn't feel any of the other things I'd felt with him either. It was just...happening. And maybe this is what normal felt like, because I really did like her. I didn't understand anything.

I was kissing Tracy back and it was nothing. Just her lips rubbing against mine. We may as well have been thumb wrestling. I didn't want to run, and I didn't want to respond either. I was shocked that it was happening and it had been all I wanted and he was all I could fucking think about and I hated him for it.

So, I let Tracy kiss me, and I kissed her back, my legs barely kicking beneath me anymore and I slowly started to sink.

"Whoa," she whispered, trying to pull me back up. "Would that qualify as knocking you off your feet?"

She'd said it with a chuckle and I was pretty sure she was kidding but I couldn't laugh. I wanted to go home. I wanted to be alone.

"Jake?" she asked pulling at me shoulders. She looked worried.

I felt like shit. She liked me. And I really did like her and I didn't understand. I didn't understand anything.

"Jake," she said again, gripping my shoulders tighter and I really wondered whether it'd be too much to ask to drown right then. The way she was looking at me was...god, I really felt like shit.

"It's getting late," I said, and I finally started to kick again. "I should go home. My parents..." are not lame enough to ask that I be home at eight but it seemed like a good excuse. And it was the only one I had.

"Right," she said, frowning. "What's--,"

"Nothing," I interrupted, and I fought to put a smile on my face. "Seriously, everything's good. We should hang out again." I wasn't sure if I meant it but it was enough to make her smile and I just...hated myself. Really a lot. Fuck, I was an asshole.

"All right," she said nodding, smiling shyly. "I'll drive you home."

And she did. I didn't know what to say to her and I couldn't even respond when she attempted conversation. I kept my eyes on the road and waited for my street to get close and eventually Tracy gave up on trying to get me to speak, smiling at me shyly every time we hit a red light.

I was going to burn in hell. She was sweet and nice and I liked her, so why wasn't anything working the way it was supposed to?

Tracy kissed me on the cheek when I got out of the car and I promised to call her before I slammed her car door and ran into my house.

Nothing made sense. Nothing. I didn't understand and I just...

I hated Shane. I hated Ryan and my family and I hated me. I was scared and I just...I couldn't understand. I couldn't understand why I couldn't feel anything with a girl who was normal and good for me. I liked her and I couldn't feel anything for her and I was going to hell.

I ran up to my room and I paced for all of about five minutes before I decided that destroying everything I owned was a much better idea. I wasn't crying. I really wasn't. My chest was heaving and I was sobbing, but there were no tears. I was frustrated. I hated everything and I couldn't stop being angry. So, I threw things. I threw things until my parents came home and I still threw things.

But...that sort of thing makes a lot of noise and it wasn't long before my mother came barging in. Without even knocking.

"Jake," My mother gasped staring at the disaster area that was my bedroom. I was shaking and tired and I swear I would have collapsed if I wasn't so...I don't know what I was.

"Mom," I croaked and then my eyes did water. Because I couldn't fucking fix anything and I loved my mother. I loved her and I couldn't change and she was going to hate me. "Mommy?"

And my mother rushed forward the way she had when I'd fallen off my bike my first time without training wheels. She hugged me, tightly and rocked me side to side and I could hear her asking me what was wrong but nothing made any sense anymore. I couldn't answer. And, though my eyes had watered, I couldn't cry.

"What's going on in here?"

It was my dad, standing in the doorway to my bedroom staring at my mother and me with an expression that may have just been worried, but looked suspicious.

I couldn't handle that. I couldn't handle anything.

"I've got to go to the bathroom," I announced, stalking past my dad, out of the room. The bathroom was down the hall but I'd never intended to go there. I just knew I'd never get past my dad if I'd told the truth.

I ran down the stairs, ignoring my parents' shouts and shot out the front door before they even took a step to come after me.

I don't think I need to tell you where I ran to. I'm not exactly the unpredictable type.


Shane's house was dark when I got there. I didn't even go to the door. I stood on the sidewalk staring at it, wanting more than anything to throw some more stuff.

I never rang the doorbell. I wasn't sure what I was doing there exactly, but I didn't want to see him. I was positive that seeing him in the middle of my breakdown was probably the worst thing I could do.

But...remember how the universe hates me? I never had to ring the doorbell. Shane came out. He cheated, though. He didn't come out of the front door where I would have seen him and had ample time to run away. He came around the side of the house. Fucker. I didn't think his house had a backdoor. I definitely hadn't seen one when I'd been over last.

"Someone's going to call the cops on you," he whispered, scaring the shit out of me. "There are kids in the house and you look like a creepy serial killer."

"I hate you," I responded, crazily. Shane frowned at me, reaching for my arm. I ripped away.

"Come in, Jake," he said, looking at me a little cautiously. "I was serious about my neighbors calling the cops on you. You'd have been hauled off by now, but you look too short to be a serial killer."

"No," I snapped and he rolled his eyes. "I don't want to come in."

"Then go home," he sighed. "You choose."

He turned away, retracing his footsteps around the side of the house and I followed him, angrily.

"You ruined my date," I called after him at the side of his house and he whirled around to face me, eyes blazing, blue, so fucking blue and I was going crazy.

"Did I?" he asked crossing his arms over his chest.

I nodded, completely ignoring the warning tone in his voice. "Yes," I went on. "And you broke my TV, and you destroyed my room and you're driving me crazy!"

He shrugged, glaring at me. "It's been a busy day, hasn't it?" he said and I shoved him against the side of the house.

"It's not fucking funny, Shane!" I screamed and he stopped glaring at me long enough to look around, assumingly to see if my yelling had attracted any attention.

"Jesus, Jake, be quiet," he said. "My family is sleeping; we have church in the morning."

"I don't care," I said, but I lowered my voice, thinking of his father. "You're ruining my life."

"Fine," he snapped, pushing me away from him. I kept my balance and pushed him right back. "Then why don't you stay away from me?" he said, raising his voice. "What the fuck are you doing here?"

I couldn't answer that. I couldn't tell him that things just weren't good without him and I was going crazy with him and I was confused and...Jesus. I couldn't tell him about what happened on my date or that...that I thought about him. I hadn't meant to come to his house and I hadn't wanted to see him. But...I needed to yell at him. I needed to yell at someone and he was the only one that knew. He was the only...just...

He was the only one.

"I fucking hate you," I said finally and I leaned in and kissed him.


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