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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9. Walking Can Be a Contact Sport, Right?

As the bell to my eighth and final period rang, I looked over at Sadie who was already packed up and ready to go. I looked at her and raised my eyebrows.

"What?" she asked

"Nothing, you just seem to pack up really fast in this class" I chuckled.

She rolled her eyes at me as I put my American History book in my backpack. I zipped it up and walked next to Sadie who was waiting for me at the door. We walked out and started walking towards our lockers so we could grab our coats. As we were walking, a freshmen ran past us and hit Sadie on her elbow. She stumbled backwards a little bit and then caught her balance.

"HEY! WATCH WHERE YOU'RE GOING FRESHMEN! YOU MAY BE CUTE, BUT YOU'RE NOT CUTE ENOUGH TO AVOID BEING SHOVED IN A LOCKER!" She yelled down the hall even though the boy was long gone.

"Ms. Branton, may I ask whom you were just yelling at rudly?" one of the foreign language teachers said to us as she stopped us in the hall.

"Me? I wasn't yelling at anyone Mrs. Theodore" Sadie said make her with her voice sound innocent, and then topped it off with a smile along with batting her eyelashes a little bit. 

The teacher looked at her through her glasses and then rolled her eyes. She mumbled something to herself as she walked past us. I wasn't quite sure what she said because she said it so quiet, and because I'm pretty sure it was in French.

We made it to my locker, and I did the usual spin the combination thing. I put my backpack on the ground so I could put my coat on but got distracted when I heard,

"Ready Hamilton?" 

I looked behind my locker door and saw Jackson making his way down the hall. He had a few books in his hand leaning up against his hip on his left side. 

"Ready? Where are we, um going?" I asked swallowing my spit. My vomit that usually happened when he talked to me had transferred over to spit. I think I'm making progress.

"I'm giving you a ride home. You don't have a car, remember?" He asked while opening up my locker door more so my whole body was exposed. Crap, now I couldn't hide behind that. Jackson was going to give me a ride home? Oddly enough I didn't want him to do that. I wanted to go back to my house and gossip with Sadie about how sweet Jackson was last night. 

"Oh, Sadie was going to give me a ride...."I said looking at Sadie who was taking selfies on her phone.

"Nonsense. I'll just take you home." he said while taking his hand and waving it down like he he was swatting a bug away.

"But it's completely out of your way. I wouldn't want to put you through any more trouble....and Sadie said she needed help with her math homework. Right Sadie?" I said smiling while looking at Sadie with bug eyes so she would catch my hint. She looked at me and I gave her a smile that said "Help me!"

"Should I do the sunset filter, and horizon filter If I do sunset, I look like a sun god. But if I do horizon, then I look like tree nymph. Which one do you think?" she said while showing me the picture of herself she took on her phone

"Really, Emma. Just let me take you home. It's the least I can do" he smiled at me. 

"Please, I owe you after what you did for me last night." I said while zipping my jacket up.

"So you can pay me back by letting me give you a ride home" He smiled at me. 

I glanced over at Sadie who was still looking at her phone completely clueless as to what was going on. I let out a sigh and said,

"Sure" and scratched the back of my head.

He grabbed my backpack off the ground and threw one strap over his shoulder as if it didn't weight 20 pounds and said, 

"Ready?" 

"Yeah," I closed my locker door shut. "By Sade's" 

She didn't look up at me so I waved my hand in front of her face to get her attention.

"Oh, yeah see ya. You two kids have fun" She winked at Jackson. 

He have a weird, awkward smile that was so cute I didn't even have time to think of how awkward Sadie made it.

As we were walking down the hall I swallowed another ball of spit and said,

"You didn't have to carry my backpack too. I mean you're already giving me a ride home..." I looked up at him and saw him look at me and give a half smile so his left dimple showed.

"Why can't you just let me nice to you?" he laughed.

I laughed back and thought about what he said. We were best friends last year and us walking out of school together was a ritual we had. This year, it felt so foreign though. Like it never happened. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but something was definitely different.

"You're right. Alright, I'll stop with the whole 'I can take care of myself act.' Besides, that shade of purple looks very nice on you" I laughed and pointed at my backpack that was a dark purple and grey. 

He looked over his shoulder at my backpack and laughed.

"Now if you keep making fun of me then I might just have to make you walk home" he winked at me.

Oh god that wink. Its so cute it make even Kristen Stewert smile. 

We walked out of school and made our way to his truck. As we got closer I saw all of his other friends parked near him including Mitchell. When we got closer I saw Gavin nudge Mitchell, who were both leaning up against the side of Mitchell's truck. He looked up, saw me and smiled. He started walking towards us and suddenly the spit got substituted back to vomit. 

"Hey Em," he smiled and nodded at me and I cringed. I hated being called Em. 

"Jackson" he gave Jackson a nod but without the smile.

"Hey Mitch. Nice truck, did you get a paint job?" I asked trying to play nice.

He looked at me and nodded 'yes'

"You noticed." he sounded overjoyed. "What are you two doing?" he asked looking back and forth between the both of us.

"Im gonna take Emma home" Jackson said. He then took his hand and placed it on the middle of my back and gave me a little push, indicating for me to start walking. 

We started walking to the passenger side door of Jacksons truck, and Jacksons hand was still on my back. And I did not object.

"Oh, where do you live?" Mitchell asked me while walking next to me. 

"Castleburry" I said feeling incredibly awkward. I started to feel smothered by Mitchells questions and Jacksons hand.

"Oh, I live ten minutes past there. Why don't I just take you home. It's way out of Jacksons way" he said looking at Jackson and giving him a smirk. A rude one too.

"Nah man. I got it....didn't you say you had a last minute paper to right tonight?" he said placing his hand on the handle of his door. 

"So? I'm going the same way anyways. Let me take her home man, come on" he gave Jackson the same eyes I gave Sadie at my locker previously and I started to sweat. Mitchell wanted to take me home because he liked me, and I did not want that. I was about to say something when Jackson sternly said.

"I said I can do it." and whipping open the car door. 

I stepped up and got in the passenger side seat and looked at Mitchell. He looked at Jackson and nodded behind him and said,

"Can I talk to ya for a minute dude?" 

Jackson looked at me, and then raised his eyebrows like he was looking for approval.

I smiled and said,

"Im good. Go ahead, I don't care." 

Jackson closed the car door and I said there. Pretending to look at my phone, but was actually looking over at the corner of my eye at them. 

Mitchell looked pissed and was using his hands to talk. He stopped and looked at Jackson who held his hands up in defense and then shrugged his shoulders. They both talked for a little bit, and then they both looked at me. I quickly averted my eyes back to my phone so it wouldn't look like I was eavesdropping. 

I kept my eyes on my phone until I heard Jacksons driver side door open. He sat in the seat and slammed the door. He didn't look pissed, but content.

"Ready?" He asked. 

I grabbed my buckle and clicked it in the device and nodded.

He started his truck and pulled forward. As we slowly drove past his friends and their cars, I heard them make 'oooo' noises and whistling noises through Jacksons window.

"Get it man!" one of his friends yelled. 

Jackson flipped him off and then sped away.

As we hit our first stop sign he looked at me. His cheeks looked flushed, like he had a fever.

"Sorry. My friends can be assholes sometimes." he said. 

Trying to be polite I said, "It's okay. My friends can be ditzes sometimes." I felt really bad for just slamming my friends but I knew that they wouldn't care about what I said. 

He looked over at me and smiled. 

"Your cheeks are really red. Do you feel okay?" I asked with a concerned look on my face.

He quickly turned his eyes back to the road and cleared his throat, 

"Yeah. Mhm, I'm good." 

When he checked it was all good to go, he hit the gas and we started the long drive back to my house. It was quiet for a little bit. The radio was playing quietly and in that moment, I felt safe. The silentness wasn't awkward, and I felt like there was no place in this world I would rather be but in Jacksons truck. I heard the radio get turned down all the way, even though it was really low to begin with.

"My cheeks get, uh, they get red when I'm embarrassed..." he said keeping his eyes on the road.

Did that mean he was embarrassed to be seen taking me home?

"Oh...mine do too..." I said looking out my window to the right. I was staring at the trees as they quickly whipped past me, not giving me enough time to admire their beauty. 

"I know. I noticed that last year after I called out for checking out that guys butt" he laughed.

I got a little flashback to last year when Jackson and I were sitting at the lunch table during free period and we were talking. A boy walked past us, a very cute boy I might add, and so naturally I looked at his butt. Jackson turned around to see why I got distracted in the middle of our conversation. He turned back around and laughed at me while shaking his head.

"Hey, Chris!" he yelled at the guy who's butt I was just admiring 

"Whats up man" he stopped walking and turned to us

"My friend here was just checking out your ass."

I immediately felt my face heat up and my eyes go wide. I looked away and pretended to do my homework. Chris laughed and said, 

"Well tell her I'm flattered."

I watched him walk away, and when I knew he was gone I took a piece of paper, crumpled it up and threw it at Jacksons face.

"What?" he asked laughing at me.

"I can not believe you just did that!" I said mortified. 

He laughed harder and I buried my face in my hands.

I ended the flashback and looked at Jackson who was still smiling.

"I still haven't forgiven you for that. I was completely embarrassed!" I said looking straight head instead of out of my window.

"Don't be. You look cute when your cheeks turn red. Cute like an elf" he laughed again.

I lightly slapped the side of his arm with the back of my hand and gave in and laughed too. This felt like old times. Not the riding in Jacksons car part, but the part where everything is light and happy. Before everything turned heavy and crappy.

*****

We made our way to my house and he slowly pulled in my driveway.  I noticed that both of my parents garage doors were closed which meant they were still gone.

"Looks like my parents are still gone. I said grabbing my backpack Jackson had placed by my feet earlier. 

He got out, jogged over to my side and opened the door. I slid/stepped out and reached in the side pocket of my backpack to get my house key.

"Are they usually gone?" he asked. We didn't move. We were standing outside of his truck, with his passenger side door still wide open. I was looking in his eyes, and I wanted to kiss him. I wanted to kiss him to fulfill the aches in my heart that wondered what it would feel like. I knew that would probably be a bad idea, so instead of used my words and said,

"Yeah. They own a business together so they usually spend their week, and sometimes weekend in California." I said. I reached up and grabbed my backpack straps because I was shaking.

"That blows. I mean my parents are gone a lot, but we always have one family dinner a week. I'm sorry you have to be alone so much" his eyes told me that he was as sorry as his words sounded. 

I shrugged my shoulders.

"Its whatever. I mean, I've gotten used to it." I slammed his door shut because I was so anxious I didn't know what to do with myself.

He smiled at me and said, "Still.." 

I smiled back and just stood there.

"Well, I guess I should get a start on my homework..." I said starting to step backwards. 

"Yeah, I guess I should get home and not start mine" he chuckled a small laugh.

Because I'm socially awkward around guys, and especially Jackson, I laughed way too loud. Embarrassed, I turned around to avoid anymore awkwardness on my behalf but forgot that a huge object called his truck was behind me and I smacked my face in his mirror.

"Owwww...." I said to myself and held the side of my face.

"Are you okay?" He asked getting closer looking at my face.

I tried to play it off all cool even though my face felt like it was on fire, and trust me...being on fire isn't as nice as that song by Alicia Keys makes it out to be.

"Yeah, I'm good. Barely even felt anything" I said turning around slower this time and made my way to my steps which led to my front door.

"See ya tomorrow Hamilton." he waved at me, and then opened up the door, and got on his truck. 

He looked at me one more time, and smiled at me. But his eyebrows were scrunched together, and it looked like he wanted to tell me something but then decided not to, so instead he asked,

"Are you sure your okay?"

"Yeah, I'm all good. Nothing to worry about here." I said and threw him a thumbs up. Oh. My. Gosh. I was such a noob.

I smiled back and put my key in the lock. It took me 5 seconds or so because I was shaking so much. When I entered my house, I closed the door and leaned against it. I let out a sigh and then held the side of my face with my hands.

"OWWWWWW" I screamed out the scream I held it previously. 

I dropped my backpack on the ground and walked to my bathroom. My face had a huge red line/ bump on it and it looked like I had an allergic reaction. That's probably why he asked if I was okay. I looked at at myself in the mirror and laughed.

"You are in way over your head Emma." I said out loud to myself.

"Hell ya you are!" I heard a voice from my butt speak.

"What the...." I pulled out my phone from my back pocket and saw that I butt-dialed Sadie.

"How long have you been on the phone?!" I asked.

"Eight minutes or so." she said.

Even though I wasn't with her, I knew she was painting her nails. She always painted her nails on a Monday night. 

"Thanks for that boost of confidence by the way." I said leaving the bathroom.

I walked over to my couch and laid down.

"Sorry. I'm in a mood.I need to get out of my house. My mom is so far up my butt I can taste her, and if that isn't craptastic enough I keep seeing her and her boyfriend mahout. They've been raping each others faces all night."

After Sadie's response, I knew that I was completely, totally, 100% over with this day. 

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