Holding My Heart

Jo's life is insanely UN-complicated. It doesn't have to be, but she makes it that way. It's just a lot easier to deal with. But everyone knows that sometimes life has to make EVERYTHING complicated.
When an unexpected scare almost costs Jo her life one night at a party, she soon figures out she can't get through this life alone. But how difficult will it be to find the right person, someone who will truly understand her, and do more than just hold her hand?


1. Senior Year

Senior year causes most people to become nostalgic. You know, remembering all the memories you've ever had in your high school career. For example, that tree with the bark almost fully ripped off reminds me of the time I was making out during lunch with Anthony Sanders behind a similar tree in front of the science lab, and all the kids in extra help were watching both of us grope each other for a good fifteen minutes. Or last year, when I "accidentally" spilled my burning hot tomato soup down Anna Dickinson's shirt and she left school the very next day because, god forbid, you have a SINGLE embarrassing moment in your life.

For me, those are my favorite memories. Not the sweater I wore the first day of freshman year, or the trophy I won for being Most Improved on the JV soccer team. In reality, who cares. If you don't, nobody does. I'm pretty sure we gave that sweater to Goodwill anyway. 

Besides, it's still only the fall. It won't get really annoying until exam review starts (if you're one to even study for exams). I do fine in school, but could do much better if I actually put the effort in. 

I was walking down the sidewalk on the way to school when I felt a pull on my jacket hood. Of course, it was my best friend Mia. And by best friend I mean only friend-she's the only person I let talk to me. I had thought about the reasoning behind this for a while in the past. I had finally come to the conclusion that it makes things less complicated-no more drama, social interaction, or parties than there needs to be. 

"Hey Jo," Mia said with a smile. She was always so quirky and fun in the mornings. Ugh.

"Hey," I managed a half-smile back. It was the most I could do every morning. "Why are you walking from this way?"

"Oh, I just had to meet some people before school. Nothing big." 

"What time did you get out of bed, like 5:00?" I asked as we approached the school.

"Wait." Mia said and stopped abruptly. I did too. "Did you, like, dye your hair over the weekend? It's like a million different more shades of blonde than it usually is." I tugged at the ends of my short hair and nodded no, but before I could respond, Mia was already running off to socialize with some more people. Typical Mia, typical Monday morning.

On my way through the doors I passed "The Group," as I preferred to refer to them as, dressed in their daily outfits of unusually skimpy skirts and J. Crew sweaters. Each of them also sported Ugg boots (in the fall...?) and a coordinated Coach bag. Why anyone would spend that kind of money on material items is beyond me. I glanced down at my worn out jeans and jacket that had probably made their way through my school rotation hundreds of times. So much less complicated than skirts and Uggs. 

I was constantly asked by my parents and some much-ignored classmates why I didn't "try harder." According the them, I would look much prettier with my hair a certain way, or wore certain clothes, or socialized with a certain amount of people. I always responded by telling them it was much too complicated. Which it was. As you can probably tell, I tried to keep my life the least complicated as possible. 

Unfortunately, I didn't see Mia at all that day until the lunch bell rang. We both carried our somewhat edible cafeteria food to our usual table right smack in the middle of the entire lunchroom. I recall just a few weeks ago, Mia and I selecting which table to sit at for the year, since we were no longer juniors and could no longer sit at the junior tables. Mia wanted to sit around everyone so she could converse while we ate. I, on the other hand, wanted the nice corner table with as little interaction as possible. We finally settled on the center table, but nobody was allowed to sit with us. The only exception was Freddy, an awkward kid in our class whose main purpose was to sit at the far end of the table and basically agree with us when he was asked.

As soon as we sat down, Mia began her usual scope of the cafeteria. "Okay, Carlissa Jones is definitely pregnant. You can almost see her bump through that skin tight shirt she's trying to pass off as a dress." I nodded and looked at Carlissa where she was standing. Mia kept talking. "She took the bathroom pass in a rush during AP Chemistry today, and I'm positive it was to go throw up."

"Well, she wasn't at the top of my list, but I guess she had it coming." I said. Mia wasn't even listening.

"Why does Jennifer all of a sudden think that Chris is totally okay to talk to? I mean, he's not dating Abby right now but but everyone knows she totally has it out for anyone who even looks in his direction. And, wait-is that Danny being walked in with the principal?"

"Who's he with?" I asked.

"I think his name's Griffin. I've actually never talked to him but he seems cool."

"Oh" was all I said before Mia moved on to giving yet another opinion about someone else. Nothing interesting ever happens at school, but I like it that way. 




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