Over and Out

Emma Hamilton is dealing with being a senior while having a crush on Jackson Reeder who she can't seem to shake. With her two best friends as side kicks at her side, can she take the heat or will she melt under school and the pressure of the guy?

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22. Lonely Eyes

We took up five lanes all together. Melanie, Sadie, Dallas and I were still at our own separate lane while Jackson, Gavin, Mitchell and Tyler were at the one next to us. The rest of his friends were at the last three lanes. It was awkward because I wanted to impress Dallas, but I still wanted to impress Jackson deep deep down. The crush that I thought I could bury was still alive and growing. Honestly, screw boys. They make everything so complicated.

It was Jacksons turn to bowl, so to avert my eyes from checking out his butt I turned to talk to Dallas who was sitting at the chair next to me.

"Are you having fun?" I smiled at him. He looked at me and smiled back,

"Yeah, I am. But.." he smiled and then looked at me nervous.

"Oh no...there's a but" I dropped my smile. "Jackson's one of my good friends, but I have to ask.." he looked at Jackson and then at me.

This was it. He was going to ask if i had feelings for him. I was being completely obvious and he saw right through me. I swallowed the lump in my throat and then nodded motioning him to continue.

"Did you two ever date or have history?" he grinned at me. I almost threw up the lump I just swallowed.

I started laughing,

"No! Why would you ask that?" I kept laughing.

He shrugged is shoulders, "I don't know. He looks at you like he's your body guard. And then he looks at me like he's going to beat my ass up." he chuckled.

I laughed again and then nudged his side.

"How long have you two been friends?" I scooted a little closer to him.

"Since we were five. We were neighbors, for a bit but then I moved. We always kept in touch. His mom is best friends with my mom," he scooted closer to me too. "How long have you guys been friends?" he asked me.

"Well we were friends in seventh grade...but I guess we didn't really become good friends until last year," I looked at Jackson. He finished bowling and was sitting down in one of the chairs that was a good six feet away from us.

He kept looking over at us and then would look away when I'd make eye contact with him. He nodded his head as if saying,

"Ah I see," and then looked up at the screen where it showed the scores.

"Jackson never mentioned you before," I said trying to keep the conversation going. He looked at me surprised,

"He hasn't?" I nodded back and forth. "That's weird....now that you mention it, he's never mentioned you before either.." I looked over at Jackson and stared at him. He was on his phone typing really fast like it was something urgent. Not that I'm surprised he didn't mention me to Dallas, I mean I'm not that important but I was shocked he didn't mention is long time best friend.

"Your turn," Dallas pointed at the screen.

I snapped out of my thoughts and stood up. I walked over to the ball return and picked up my size 8 pink bowling ball and walked over to the lane. I held the ball up, eye'd down the middle pin and rolled it down in a straight line. I watched as it knocked down all the pins. I spun around on my heels and through my hands up in victory. Dallas stood up and clapped while he smiled at me. I walked over to him and held up my hand to give a high five but got cut off my Jackson running over and slapping my hand. I looked at him in a shocked and ticked off way. He looked back at me like confused and then turned away. Dallas came over and gave me a high five and then then put his arm around my shoulder and turned us around to walk back to the seats. We sat down again and he kept his arm around me the whole time until it was his turn to bowl again. He smiled to myself as I watched him bowl and get gutter ball because it was so cute how he turned his head to the right thinking that would change the direction of the way the ball was rolling. I laughed, but covered up my mouth so he wouldn't see me when he turned around and looked at me. He frowned and walked back over.

"I thought I had that one," he flopped his arms down on his legs.

I nodded,

"Yeah," I tried to hide my laugher, "You totally nailed it."

****

We bowled until midnight, and then decided to call it a night. I was untying my shoes when Jackson walked over to Dallas and I,

"You guys coming to Gavin's party?" his hands were in his pockets. I looked up at Dallas who was taking off is right shoe which he just untied. He looked back at me and shrugged,

"I think I'm gonna pass..." I put my head back down and took off my shoe.

I tried to ignore what Dallas was going to say back because I didn't want him going to the party. I wanted him to offer to take me out to get ice cream or something where we could spend more time together. 

 "I think I'm gonna skip it too man," I heard Dallas say.

I gave myself a small smile and undid my shoelace. I pulled the shoe off and tossed it on the ground next to the other one. I reached for my riding boots and slipped one on, and then the other. I grabbed the bowling shoes and stood up. Dallas was still putting on his regular shoe.

"C'mon Dallas. It's Gavin, his parties are always awesome. Just because Emma says she doesn't wanna go doesn't mean you have to listen to do what she's doing. Don't let her whip you," he avoided eye contact with me.

I looked at him with a death glare that I swear could have cut right through his head. Don't let her whip you?! What the hell was that supposed to mean?! I didn't tell Dallas to say that, he chose to say it himself. Dallas put his other shoe on, grabbed his own bowling shoes off the ground and stood up. He let out a sigh,

"Look man, I'm just not feeling it tonight," he looked over at me and I walked on over next to him. We made our way off the alley and took a step up onto the carpet and walked over to the counter. We set our shoes down and started walking towards the hall that led to the doors. Melanie and Sadie were behind us giggling at something on Sadie's phone.

"Wait!" a faint voice yelled behind us. We all turned around and saw Jackson jogging towards us,

"You guys should come. It's gonna be fun..." Jackson looked right at me with his green eyes.

I swear those eyes had beckoning powers that could make me do anything. I used all my willpower to avoid them but they just kept drawing me in,

"Well..." I looked at Dallas.

"You wanna go?" he looked at me shocked.

"It might be fun," I said in a hushed tone. He looked at me and then gave a crooked grin,

"You should go." That's it? He's not going to come?

"You're not going to come?" I tried to hide my frown.

"I don't really feel like it. It's okay, you should go," he smiled and nudged my elbow. I looked at Jackson who had the biggest grin on his face.

"Melanie...Sadie, you guys up for a party?" I smiled at them trying to look enthusiastic. They both looked up at me at the same time and gave me a look that had no emotion.

"Sorry, but Melanie and I are going to go back to her place and watch a movie." Sadie said looking back at her phone. I slumped my shoulders,

"Maybe I won't go.." I looked up at Dallas. He looked at me like he was going to ask me something.

Good lord I hope he was going to ask me something so I would have a valid excuse not to go to the party. He opened up his mouth but then didn't say anything.

"You coming?" Jackson looked at me. I looked at Dallas, and then Jackson, then Sadie, then Dallas, then Melanie, then Jackson, then Dallas.

He had a smile on his face but I couldn't tell what he meant by it. I held my breath but then let it go and quickly spit out,

"I guess I'll go to the party." I squinted my eyes and then opened them back up and looked at Jackson. He had the biggest grin on his face and was already grabbing his keys out of his pocket and walking over to me.

"Sweet, lets go.." he said walking past Dallas and I. "One sec.." I held up a number one towards him "Mel, Sades...I'm gonna go to the party with Jackson," They both nodded at me without looking away from Sadie's phone. I rolled my eyes and looked up at Dallas,

"I had a lot of fun tonight," I smiled and my hands in my vest pockets. He smiled back, "I did too. We should hang out again, but just the two of us next time,' he chuckled. I laughed back,

"I think that sounds like a great idea," We both looked at each other and I got that feeling.

That feeling when you look into someones eyes and you know you're going to kiss them. When you feel your heart beating so loud you think that the person in front of you and everyone around you can hear it and you think you might throw up. You get so nervous and your hand starts to shake and you wonder if they're thinking and feeling the same thing. They start leaning towards you and you know that after this you'll never get a first kiss with them again, and you want to take a mental photograph of this moment because everything feels so perfect, and then,

"Lets go!"Jackson yelled at me.

 Moments ruined. I groaned and looked at Jackson. He was leaning against the door that led outside while staring at me.

"I'll text you later," Dallas said. He opened up his arms and I went in for a hug.

He embraced me and I felt embarrassed because my heart was still beating really fast. We both let go and I smiled at him. I started walking towards Jackson and dropped my smile. He opened up the door and motioned for me to exit first. I looked at him and rolled my eyes as I stepped out into the crisp September air.

"Ready to party?" Jackson jogged up behind me and said in a girly voice.

I crossed my arms and ignored what he said. He pressed the unlock button on his keys and his truck headlights lit up twice and make a honking noise. I opened up the car door and got in. Jackson did the same and started his car,

"Are you mad at me?" he said while buckling up his seatbelt. I ignored him and did the same.

"Okay, I'll take that as yes," he said.

He put the car in drive and sped off as quickly as he could.

****

He pulled up into a driveway that was out in the middle of no where. It took us forty five minutes to get where we were going and I was tired. I lost the excited feeling of going to another party and just wanted to go home. Jackson put the car in park and then shut it off.

"Look," he let out a sigh and then turned to me,

"I'm really sorry for whatever I did that I obviously didn't realize I did wrong." I looked over at him and looked into those green eyes of his and rolled my eyes,

"It's fine." I said in a flat tone.

"You sure?" he asked sounding concerned.

I nodded quickly before I changed my mind. He pulled his keys out of the ignition and we both unbuckled our seat belts at the same time. As I got out of the car I heard music playing away in the distance.

"Where are we even?" I closed the car door and looked around. Jackson walked over to me and I heard gravel move as he did,

"They go here in the summer, Gavin and his family. They rarely use this place so Gavin takes advantage of throwing parties here. It's the perfect place too, it's in the middle of nowhere," he looked around.

"Where is everyone?" I looked around.

"Let me show you," he smiled at me and then grabbed my hand.

When he grabbed my hand my heart sped up and I felt like I was going to be sick. He still had that effect on me and the I felt my hand getting sweaty. I wanted to pull it away and wipe it off but I knew that would look gross. So, I hoped that the cold air would somehow sneak it's way in-between our hands and air out the sweat. He led me into the darkness and down a hill, and I felt like a horse clomping because my feet wanted to go faster than my body could keep up with. I saw a fire down at the end of the hill with people standing around everywhere, a lot of people, everywhere.

"Do I know anyone here?" I leaned over and whispered to Jackson.

"You know me, Gavin and the guys.." he said ending the sentence with a tone that sounded more like a question. "Don't worry, you'll be okay," he squeezed my hand a little tighter.

We approached the crowd and got bombarded by Gavin and his crew.

"I was wondering when you were gonna come," Gavin gave Jackson a few hard slaps on Jackson's back while he had a beer bottle in one of his hands. Jackson let out a chuckle and then let go of my hand and put it on my back,

"And you brought Emma," he gave Jackson a sly smile and then looked at me.

"Hey Em," he nodded at me. I cringed at how he said, 'Em' and smiled back.

"Well come and join the party," he opened up his arms wide and started walking backwards.

He turned around and we followed him.

"Emma," he picked up a beer on the ground and turned around,

"Catch," he tossed the beer at me before he even said the word. I took a step back and caught it startled.

I looked at it and then at Jackson,

"I don't really feel like drinking.." I held up the beer to give it to him.

"You sure?" he looked at me and then the beer.

"Yeah, you already wasted a party taking care of me, here," I put the beer in his hands. He hesitated before he took a sip of it,

"Then here," he handed pulled out his keys of his pocket

"You mean I'll actually get to drive your truck??" I said with a huge smile on my face.

"You're the only one I'd trust to do it," he grinned at me with a sarcastic tone then placed the keys in my open palm. I pocketed the keys in my vest and watched Jackson as he took a few more swigs of the beer.

"I've never seen you drunk before," I laughed.

"Well, you're about to," he smiled,

"I apologize in advanced if I say anything weird or inappropriate," he laughed and took another drink. I held up my hands,

"Hey, no judgment here. I was the one who held up my knee and tried to have you use it as a key to my door," I chuckled.

"And I also believe you told me I had really pretty eyes," he smiled at and looked at me out of the corner of his yes, "Yeah...that too," I said quietly feeling my face getting red.

"You also told me that the truth comes out when you're drunk. Watch out Reeder, or you might spill all the beans to me," I joked.

"Well then I guess I better keep drinking," he laughed.

****

It was almost three in the morning and I was watching Jackson from a distance. He was was drinking from a bottle of clear liquid which I was assuming was vodka and was standing in a circle with his friends. He kept laughing and looking over at me throwing me a huge smile. I'd smile and wave back while pretending to be on my phone. I looked up and saw his spot where he was standing empty. I looked around suddenly panicked because I lost site of the only person I really talked to.

"Emma," I heard a voice say behind me with the 'a' dragged out.

"Jackson," I let out a sigh as I turned around and saw him standing there. He had a dopey smile on his face and his eyes looked lazy.

"How much did you have to drink?" I laughed.

He held up his hand and pinched his pointer finger and thumb together,

"Pequeno," he swayed back and forth. I laughed,

"Okay. Ready to head home?" I walked up to him and put my arm around his waist and tried to guide him forward.

"I am so ready to go home," he said taking a stumbling step forward.

We slowly made our way up the hill as Jackson waved goodbye to strangers he's never seen before and occasionally had to recuperate because Jackson fell down a few times. When we reached the top of the hill I pulled out his keys and pressed the unlock button and helped him make his way to his truck.

"This isn't my truck?" he looked at me weird and make a weird face. I laughed myself,

"Yes, yes it is Jackson," I put my hand on his back and opened up the passenger side door. "Okay, put your foot on the step," I said guiding him.

He slapped his foot down and on the step and literally crawled into the seat.

"You all good?" I looked at him as he sat up. He nodded and then put his seatbelt on. I closed the door and walked over to the drivers side.

This was a new feeling; I opened up the door and then sat in the seat. As I reached over and closed the door I knew I would have to change the adjustment of the seat and mirrors. I placed my hand underneath the seat feeling around for a bar to pull the seat forward and then realized that once I didn't feel one, that the controls must be on the side of the seat. I moved my hand over to the left side of the seat on the bottom and sure enough felt a knob. I pushed it forward and felt the seat slowly move forward itself as a small engine noise went off. Once I could actually reach the pedals I adjusted the two mirrors and then the rearview mirror.

"Okay, all set," I said out loud.

"On guard!" Jackson shouted and pointed straight ahead. I laughed and started the car and pulled out of the grass slowly.

"You better not scratch my baby," he mumbled as he closed his eyes and leaned back in his seat.

"Don't worry," I said pulling onto the road.

"I may be drunk, but I'm not an idiot" he said.

"You're gonna think you're an idiot when you wake up tomorrow and realized how much you drank," I turned his brights off so I wouldn't blind the car that was driving towards us.

****

We pulled into my driveway and I shut the car off.

"This isn't my house," he said through squinted eyes.

"I know, it's my house. You can stay here tonight. I don't want to take you home and have your parents see you like this. Besides, how would I get home then?" I got out of the car.

Before I made my way over to him he was already falling out of the car door. I put my arm around him again and helped him stand up straight even though it was hard because he was so much taller than me.

"How much did you have to drink?" I smelt the alcohol on him.

"A few drinks here and there," he said slowly.

"Do you usually drink this much?" I looked at him. He nodded back and forth.

"Alright, we're gonna go up the steps, okay? Here we go," I took a step forward helping him, he took a step forward and made his way up the first step,

"There ya go. Just remember there concrete so if you fall I probably won't be able to catch you.." I kept helping him up.

We made our way up all the steps and stood in front of my front door. I reached in my other vest pocket and pulled out my house key. I stuck it in the lock and felt Jackson's hand on my back,

"Emma." he said in a deep, quiet voice I swallowed and shakily turned around.

"Y,yyes?" I mumbled. I looked up into his green eyes which looked more alive than ever.  

"Emma.." he said again. "You're so nice," he said leaving his hand on my shoulder. "You're so nice,." he said suddenly looking sad.

"What?" I said confused and startled.

"You're so nice." he smiled.

"Well thanks," I laughed knowing this was the alcohol talking and not him.

"Your so beautiful too" he said looking right into my eyes. I didn't say anything back.

I for sure knew that was the alcohol talking.

"Your so beautiful Emma, I'm so lucky." he moved his hand from my arm to my hair and started stroking it.

He twirled it in his hand and then looked at me again. We both looked at each other and I got that feeling. I kept looking into those green eyes that just a moment ago looked so alive, suddenly looked so lonely. They looked like they wanted something anything, me. They captivated me and made my heart skip two beats. Their flecks of gold and brown kept drawing me in, not letting me look away. Then, I got that feeling. That feeling when you look into someones eyes and you know you're going to kiss them. When you feel your heart beating so loud you think that the person in front of you and everyone around you can hear it and you think you might throw up. You get so nervous and your hand starts to shake and you wonder if they're thinking and feeling the same thing. They start leaning towards you and you know that after this you'll never get a first kiss with them again, and you want to take a mental photograph of this moment because everything feels so perfect, and then,

He threw up everywhere. All over my front porch.

"Holy..." I looked at him,

"Are you okay?" I asked gasping. He nodded and I led him inside.

I walked him over to the couch and then ran over, shut and locked my front door.

"Stay there, I'll be right back," I said to him and made a 'stay' motion with my hands.

I ran to my kitchen and pulled open the second drawer that was next to my sink. I polled out a bottle of pain reliever and then got a glass of water. I pulled out an old ice cream bucket that was in a cabinet and a kitchen towel. I walked back into the living room with the supplies and set the towel down and placed the bucket on top of it. I placed the bottle of medicine and water on the coffee table behind me and then helped stood back up.

"Is it okay if I lay down?" Jackson said leaning over on the couch.

"Yeah, of course," I laughed lightly.

He laid down and laid his head on top of arm as I grabbed a two blankets that were folded neatly on the love seat next to the couch. He closed his eyes as I unfolded the blankets and laid them on top of him. I stepped back and was about to go up to my room before I stopped, and snuck another glimpse of him. His eyes were closed and he was breathing so steadily and quietly. The thought came into my head that I would give anything to have him be mine, and to be able to lay down with him and feel happiness and joy. Then I remembered that he was drunk, passed out and puked out on my couch. Doesn't exactly scream romance. I looked at him one more time before I made made my way over to my stairs and made my way up to my room.

I opened up my door, turned on my light and walked over to my closet. I grabbed a pair of pajama pants and a t-shirt and put them on as quickly as possible. I walked back over to my light, turned it off and then made my way through the darkness to my bed. I pulled back the covers, laid down and pulled them up to my shoulders. I paid my head on my pillow and closed my eyes, excited yet nervous for the morning. I mean, after all, I had a drunk Jackson Reeder on my couch. Who knew what that was going to result in.

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