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?


12. Suffocating

In life, people can get second chances. Pete Rose once said, "If someone is gracious enough to give me a second chance, I won't need a third." I believed that this was my second chance at happiness. I fell asleep that night in pure bliss of the events that happened earlier that night. I fell asleep knowing that this was my second chance to find happiness along with finding a home in my heart again for Jackson. This was my second, and only chance I needed to tell him how I felt. 


As I woke up the next morning, I didn't know if it was the chicken noodle soup or the fact that Jackson was the one who brought me the soup, but it was as if I was in a completely different body. All the pain and ache had gone away, (along with the nausea, THANK GOD) but it was like the birds were singing and my head was up in the clouds. I got out of bed, and went to my bathroom to take a shower. As I was showering I kept replaying last night. I kept replaying me opening up my door and seeing Jackson there smiling and seeing him laugh. I also replayed how happy my heart felt. It was nice not to be alone for once. 

After I shut the shower off and went to my room, I realized that Sadie had been M.I.A. lately. I went to my phone and saw that I had no new messages. Huh, that's weird. I texted her if she was still alive hoping that she would respond with her usual witty comment but ten minutes went by and there was nothing. So, I texted Jackson asking if I could have a ride to school. He responded with,

"Already on my way"

I smiled to myself and then rushed to get ready. I made my bed and then went to my closet. I opted for a flannel and my favorite pair of blue jeans and my black puffer zip up vest. The air was still a little crisp and I didn't want to get sick again. As I sat down at my desk to do my hair and makeup I heard my phone ping. I walked over to my night stand and grabbed my phone and brought it with me to my desk. 'New Message from Sadie' it read. I unlocked my phone before previewing the message and read,


I typed back "What?" and continued getting ready. As I put on my makeup and brushed my hair I got concerned about Sadie's text message. I never knew if it was a real emergency with her or just a false alarm where she over reacted. After checking my phone a bazillion times and seeing no response from Sadie  I figured that she wanted to has out her "emergency" at school. I checked the clock and read that it was 7:13 which meant that Jackson would have been here soon, or now. I grabbed my backpack, threw it over my shoulder and shut off my bedroom light. As I was walking into my living room I saw Jacksons car pull up into my driveway from my windows. My heart sped up and I got a smile on my face. I opened up my front door and then searched for the key in my backpack. Once my fingers felt the usual rough edge, I grabbed it, and then locked the door. 

I walked down my front steps and saw Jackson sitting in the drivers seat. He had his usual one hand on the wheel and the other hand was waving to me. I waved back and watched him as he got out of the car. 

"Hey, you look a lot better." he said walking over to the other side of the car

"Yeah, I feel a lot better. Must have been a 48 hour bug" I said as he opened up my door.

"Or, maybe it was the soup I brought over" I smirked at me as I stepped up and made my way into the seat.

"Whatever makes you sleep at night," I laughed as he shut the door. As he jogged over the drivers side I realized how much I missed sitting in his car and joking with him. Sure, it was only one day that I didn't have the pleasure to have him drive me home but I still really missed it. 

Once he got in and buckled up, and backed out of my driveway he turned up the radio a little. It was silent between us for a while before I heard him chuckle and then shake his head. 

"What?" I asked taking a quick glimpse at him

"Nothing" he said trying to stop smiling

"No, nuh uh. You can't just laugh and then expect me not to want to know why you laughed. Spill," I said staring at him this time.

He snuck a quick glance at me before focusing his eyes back on the road.

"It's just that I missed taking our car ride yesterday. It feels like its a ritual now" he said not looking at me.

I cracked a smile and looked away hoping he wouldn't see that my face was burning up.

"When are you going to look at cars?" Jackson cleared his throat and broke the awkward silence between us.

"Well, my dad said whenever he came home. But who knows when that will be." I leaned my elbow on the console between us and scratched my knee with my other hand.

"Guess I'll just have to be your chauffeur until then" he smiled and looked at me.

"I guess so. Lucky me" I said in a sarcastic tone then laughed so he knew I was joking.

"But, I'm afraid I will have to charge a fee..." he said in a really serious tone.

"Sure, how much do you want for gas?" I said pulling reaching for my backpack in front of me for me wallet.

"Not money. Numbers" his eyes never left the road. 

"Did you say numbers?" I raised my left eyebrow.

"Yeah. I want the numbers of all the hot girls you know." he laughed and I slapped his arm that was on resting not the same console of mine. 

He laughed louder and took the arm that was on the console and replaced it with the one that was on the wheel. I took a glimpse as to where his arm was resting next to mine and realized that I was in so over my head. Jackson was just a friend, same as last year. He brought me soup and checked in on me because thats what friends do. He was giving me rides to school and home because friends help other friends out. 

"So, whadya say?" he said blending the three words "what" and "do" and "you"

"Sure. I'll find all of my friends and start a diary of all the numbers of the girls I know." I said in a really flat tone.

"You would want that" I mumbled to myself.

"Huh?" He asked obviously hearing me mumble something.

"Nothing" I said trying to cover up that fact that I just took a dig at him.

"No, you can't mumble something and then expect me not to ask what it was. A very wise, but weird girl once taught me that" he smiled and looked over at me.

I broke my poker face of trying to looked pissed and smiled. 

"I was just joking about the numbers." he said as we pulled up to a stop light. 

"Good. Because that would be very douche bag of you" I crossed my arms and stared at the license plate of the car ahead of us.

"I don't them anyways. There's only one person who I really want to talk to anyways." he said pressing the gas a little as the light turned green.

"And whose that?" feeling my heart speed up a little bit. 

For some odd reason I thought he would say me and this was the moment where my second chance was finally going to happen. But the disappointment and hysterics came tumbling at me when he said,

"My mom"

I looked at him and we both started cracking up.


We finally made our way into the school parking lot and parked. 

"At least its Friday" I said taking a deep breath and unbuckling my seat belt. 

"Yeah, thank god. I don't think I could handle any more school this week. My brain is in over load mode. I've been putting one hundred and ten percent into school recently to make Concordia notice me more but it's stressin' me out." Jackson let out a deep breath and unbuckled his own seatbelt.

"Well I hate to break it to you, but we still have seven more months to ago" I chuckled and got out of the car. 

As Jackson made his way out of the car and walked over to me he said, 

"Thanks for the motivational speech Oprah. You've really out done your self this time." he started clapping.

"Thank you" I took a fake bow. We laughed but then got cut off by Sadie yelling across the parking lot


"I was home sick yesterday. I texted you but you never responded." I held up my phone.

"Ugh, I've just been so busy and confused lately. We have some major issues we need to talk about." she started grabbing my arms and pulling me towards the school.

I stopped her and turned back around to Jackson,

"Sorry. Is it okay if I go? I didn't mean to leave you here," Sadie started tugging me again as I started walking slowly backwards.

"Yeah, go ahead. Girl world beckons. I need to talk to the guys about tonight anyways. See ya" he waved at me.

I waved back and thought out loud and said,

"What's tonight?" 

"Who cares? I am freaking out. Tonight is my date with Rider and I have nervous beyond hell." I caught a glimpse of her hands shaking.

"You really like him, don't you?" I smiled and nudged her elbow a few times.

"Don't touch me! I am not in the joking mood today!" she said brushing me off.

"Wow, some one is PMSing" I whispered to myself.

"I am not! I'm just really nervous! Okay? Leave me alone" she fake pouted.

"Now you know how it feels" I said to her as I opened up the door to the school.

"If this is what if feels like to really like someone then I am screwed. Im shaking just thinking about the date, what am I going to do when we're actually on the date?" she said biting her thumb nail.

"I don't know. Shit yourself?" I laughed and nudged her again.


School flew by kinda quick for a Friday that day. Maybe its as because I missed one day, but that week seemed to fly by. Jackson and I did our usual thing and walked out to his car after eighth period but today his friends were surrounding it.

"What up man" Gavin said giving Jackson a head nod.

"Emma" he smiled at me and then looked at his friends.

"Um, hey Gavin" I said suddenly self conscious that the guys were staring at me, tearing me down about how Jackson is too good for me.

"Are you coming tonight?" he asked me.

"Coming where?" I looked at Jackson.

"No where. Come on, I'll take you home." he said quickly while placing his hand on my back leading me to my side of the car.

"You didn't tell her about the party Jack?" Mitchell said looking at me.

"There's a party?" I said suddenly intrigued.

"It's just some dumb party. You said it wasn't really your scene anyways, right?" He stopped and looked at me suddenly looking mad.

"What if she wants to come?" Mitchell said taking a step away from Jacksons car.

"Yeah, what if I want to come Jackson?" I raised my left eyebrow at him again. 

"Emma, you know there's going to be drinking there..." he said not dropping his pissed off face.

I stood there in silence not sure of what to say. I felt intimidated by Jackson right now to say no that I didn't want to go, but deep down I did. I wanted to experience something crazy in my life and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

"Come on, lets go" he opened up the car door indicating for me to get in.

I looked at him and then got in silently. I jumped when he slammed the car door shut. He walked past Mitchell and stared at him and shook his head. Mitchell gave a grin and then waved at me. I have a half hearted smile and then buckled up my seat belt. Jackson slammed his door shut, louder than when he slammed mine and started the car and stormed off before he even buckled his seat belt.

"You don't have to go tonight if you don't want to." he said bringing up the party again.

"I...I want to go" I said quietly suddenly feeling like the mouse next to a lion. 

"You, Emma Hamilton want to go to a party?" he said slamming on his breaks at the stop sign and then looked at me.

Avoiding eye contact I said,

"Yeah. It sounds fun and I've never been to one." I started biting the inside of my cheek.

"Well then I guess I'll take you." he said in a deep, low, flat, and pissed off tone.

It was if all of a sudden I felt like I was suffocating in his car. It was clear that Jackson didn't want me finding out or going to the party which only made me want to go more. If he was hiding something from me I wanted to know, especially if it was a girlfriend. I made a fool of myself before, and I didn't want to do it again. As he slammed on the gas and made our way onto the highway to take me home I knew that I wasn't suffocating, but just to afraid of my own thoughts. I looked at Jackson and stared at him. His face was red and his left had was gripping the steering wheel so tightly his knuckles were white.

Carlos Ruiz Zafon was said, "There are no second chances in life, except to feel remorse." As I was sitting in that car, the car that felt suffocating, I felt nothing but remorseful. And in that moment I knew that my second chance was not now, and that it might never come. 

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