Falling

Jess is just starting her second semester of being a Junior in high school. To start the semester off, she volunteers to show the new kid around the school. Mainly because she gets to skip gym class, but also because she is intrigued by the idea of meeting someone new. Over the first month of school, Jess becomes really close friend with the new student, but who wouldn't become best friends with Louis Tomlinson. He's funny, entertaining, and not to mention cute, but Jess would never admit to thinking that. Louis is always there for Jess, especially when she gets heart shattering news that changes everything.

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20. Nineteen.

Somewhere in Massachusetts there is a place called Walden Pond. I first heard about it my sophomore year in one of my English classes, when we read a book called Walden written by Henry David Thoreau. In it, you read about Thoreau and his thoughts on the necessities of life, visitors, solitude and many other things while he builds his home on the pond and lives his life there. It's a very interesting book, at least it was for me, purely because of the way Thoreau writes. It's practically like you're inside of his brain, seeing everything through his eyes and experiencing everything like he would. The book gives you a real sense of place: an explanation of how certain aspects of a place make it special and unique. The main part of a sense of place is how the writer's experiences and past times with that place affect the way that they see it. The personal stories and connections create a sense of place that give the reader the illusion of being in that place. A sense of place discusses the past and the present, and how things have changed between those times. To have a sense of place, you have to have an emotional connection to that place.

I feel a sense of place when I'm at this park. My dad used to take my brothers and me to this park when we were younger; I can remember going to the park for the first time when I was seven, a few weeks before Jared was born. My dad took me there because I was starting to feel alone with everyone talking about the baby that was on the way. I felt like I had lost my parents. When my parents finally noticed my weird attitude, my dad decided to take me out on a special day. So, he packed a picnic and we set out for the park. When we got there, my dad lead me to a certain spot that contained the most beautiful purple and pink flowers. I was fascinated by them, I thought they were the most wonderful thing I had ever seen. My dad laid down in front of the flowers with me, handing me a sandwich. We ate in silence while I watched the flowers bend slightly with the wind, occasionally a few petals drifting to the ground in a pile of soft pinks and purples. I looked around and wondered how the flowers had gotten there. It had seemed like no one had set foot on the path that lead to the flowers in years. It didn't make sense to me why someone would plant such pretty flowers and never come back to see them grow.

“Do you want to hear a story, Jess?” My dad had asked me.

I nodded, setting down my sandwich to look at him.

About 11 years ago, I brought your mom here on a picnic, similar to the one that we are on now. I was really nervous that day, because it was the day that I was going to propose to your mom. When I asked her, I had told her that I wanted our love to grow, like a flower. That's when we planted those purple flowers there. Then, a little over 3 year later, your mom brought me back here and handed me a pack of seeds for pink flowers. That was when she told me that she was pregnant with you. Two of the best moments of life have happened on this little path, so I thought that you and me could do something special. Do you want to help me plant some new flowers? They can be our special flowers, something that belongs to just you and me. How does that sound?”

I was so overjoyed that my dad wanted to do something with just me, so of course I agreed. He had pulled out a package of blue flower seeds, and together we planted them with the other flowers. I felt so special to have something that belonged to just me and my dad. I also felt so grownup to have my own flowers in the park, especially since they were along side other flowers that meant so much to my dad.

The park continued to be a part of my life after that. My dad took me and Jared there when he was old enough to walk, and then when my mom told us that she was pregnant with John, I asked my dad if we could take Jared there to plant some flowers, too. Jared wasn't quite old enough to understand, only being three years old at the time, but I like to think that he still enjoyed the experience. And eventually, my dad took Jared, John, and me there together on a picnic, and we made it a tradition to go the first Saturday of every month. The park was such a big part of my childhood, so I'm glad that I it's still a part of my life now that I'm almost 17.

I knew that taking Louis here would be something special. I knew that packing a picnic, continuing the tradition my dad started, and bringing Louis' soccer ball would be the perfect plan to be together in a place that already has so many meaningful memories for me. I could imagine coming back with Louis, time and time again. I could picture us laying in the grass and letting the sun warm our skin as a faint breeze would blow over us. I could picture the clouds rolling by as time would tick on, and one conversation would fade into another. I could picture laying there with him, spending lazy afternoons on a blanket while we shared stories from our past. I could picture enjoying every single afternoon that we spent in that field, as it quickly became out spot. I could picture it becoming out special little place that we would go to when we wanted to spend time together, or where we would meet when one of us had a rough day, or simply a place to go where we could sit in silence and let the quietness of the park take away any tension.

I decided to share this place with him for that reason because I knew I could bring him here and feel at peace with myself and with the world around me.

“Okay. You an look now.”

Louis opened his eyes and looked around. “Wow. How did you find this place?”

“My dad used to take my brothers and me here all the time.”

“It's so amazing. Please tell me that we are going to play soccer here. I would love to pass the ball around this field.”

“We'll get there,” I laughed at Louis' impatience. “We have to eat first. I don't know about you, but I'm starving.”

I set the basket down on the ground and got out the blanket. Louis helped me spread it out and take out the food that Johannah had packed for us. There were sandwiches, chips, watermelon cubes, and a couple cupcakes. While Louis and I ate, we walked about everything there was to talk about. Even though we were close, there was still a lot that we didn't know about each other. Louis told me that he could play the piano, and I told him that I could do a back tuck. Of course he wanted me to show him, but I refused, since I was wearing a dress. I told him that I would show him someday, but only if he played something on the piano in return. We shook on it.

“Do you want to kick the ball around now?” Louis asked me.

“Sure. Don't be surprised if the ball goes into the woods or something,” I responded. “Sports aren't my specialty.”

“Then why'd you tell me to bring the ball?” He laughed, picking up the ball and tossing it between his hands.

“Because you like soccer.”

“Why does that matter?”

“You'll find out soon enough,” I told him.

“You just enjoy keeping things from me, don't you?” Louis said, kicking the ball to me.

It rolled right past me.

“Nice one, Jess.”

“Ha. Funny. I wasn't ready,” I walked over to the ball and kicked it back to Louis.

He stopped it under his foot and paused, a mischievous smile spreading across his face.

“What are you thinking, Tomlinson?” I asked.

“I came up with a game,” Louis smiled.

“Elaborate, please.”

“It's like a miniature version of football-- I mean soccer. We pass the ball back and forth, and if one of us kicks the ball past the other, that counts as a point. First person to ten points wins.”

“Wins what?”

“That's the fun part. The winner gets to give the loser a date, and the loser has to do it, or else they have to walk home.”

“That's not fair. You know I'm going to lose,” I whined.

“Come on. Don't be a party pooper. It'll be fun.”

“Fine. I'm only going to play if you give me a kiss.”

“Deal,” Louis said, swiftly walking over to me and planting a big, wet kiss on my lips.

“Ew,” I wiped my mouth.

Louis winked at me and skipped, actually skipped, away from me.

“Let's do this!” He hollered, raising his fists into the air.

He looked at me to make sure that I was paying attention before he slowly passed me that ball.

“Come on, Louis, don't go easy on me,” I complained, kicking the ball back to him.

“Okay, but don't cry when you lose,” he said, kicking it back.

I rolled my eyes and stopped the ball with my foot. I kicked it back to him, laughing as he swore because the ball nearly went passed him. I watched Louis line up the ball, yelling at him to hurry up and kick it already. I rolled my eyes when he said that his skills take time, then stared in awe as his fingers grabbed onto the hem of his shirt and yanked it over his head, kicking the ball in the process.

I blinked several times when Louis stared cheering, realizing that the ball had rolled right passed me.

“That's cheating!” I exclaimed.

“Don't pretend like you don't love it,” Louis said, holding his arms out to the side and spinning in a circle.

“This just got serious,” I said, kicking the ball, hard, to Louis.

It went right passed him.

“Nice one, Benson,” he complemented me.

I smiled and did a little curtsey.

Louis and I kicked the ball back and forth for a while. It got pretty intense at certain points, but Louis ended up winning. He bragged for the longest time, running around the field and twirling his shirt above his head, screaming that he was the champion. When I sat back down on the picnic blanket, Louis ran over to me and flopped onto his stomach next to me. He had a big smile on his face. I knew that he was going to make me regret agreeing to play that game.

“What are you going to make me do?” I asked him.

“You have to play twenty questions with me, and you have to answer all the questions.”

“Sounds easy enough.”

“Okay, first question: what did you think of me when you first met me?” He asked.

“I thought that you were really funny and really attractive. I actually texted Jenna and saying something about how hot and British you are,” I giggled.

“What do you think of me now?”

“I think that you are the sweetest person I've ever met and you make me so incredibly happy. I feel so grateful to have you in my life.”

“You are so sweet,” he smiled at me. “What did you think after that first time we met, when I first met your family?”

“I thought that it didn't feel right, but it also gave me butterflies.”

“Same. Who was your first boyfriend?”

“I dated Bentley my freshmen year,” I laughed.

Louis laughed loudly, “Oh, my gosh. What was that like?”

“He was a really bad kisser.”

“So many gross images going through my mind,” Louis pretended to throw up. “Have you ever been in love?”

“I'm not really sure.”

“Are we going to share a tent when we go camping next week?”

“Obviously.”

“Why did you plan today?”

“I wanted to make up everything that happened on our first date.”

“Do you still regret kissing me?”

“No. I look back and I'm glad that I did. Even though it ended poorly, it got me to realize that I like you way more than I thought.”

“Why did it take you so long?”

“I think part of me was scared to change anything about our friendship. Especially since everything was going so downhill with Jared, I didn't want to lose you, too.

“What is your favorite thing about me?”

“The way you treat me. You care so much about me, it's so clear in the way that you talk to me and the way that you hug me. I love being around you more than anything.”

“What do you think of my parents?”

“I think that you're mom is so sweet, which is clearly where you get it from. I haven't been around your dad too much, but he is so funny. I can see you in your parents, they are so similar to you. They are so inviting and so welcoming. I love being with your family.”

“What does your family think of me?”

“Well, my parents adore you. I haven't seen them since we become a couple, since they've been out of town, but I know that they will be overjoyed. My brothers love you, too. Especially Jared. He loves when you visit him, it makes his day. And John asks about you all the time.”

“What is your favorite movie?”

“Finding Nemo.”

“What is your favorite band?”

“Twenty One Pilots.”

“Who is your favorite person?”

“You,” I giggled.

“I think I already know this, but what do you want to major in?”

“English,” we said at the same time.

18 “What would you do if I shaved my head?”

“I would cry.”

“What's your favorite pizza topping?”

“Veggies.”

“Last one: Can I kiss you?”

“You don't even have to ask,” I smiled.

We stayed at the field for the rest of the afternoon, kissing, talking, and laughing. We laid on the blanket together and discussed every topic. There was never a dull moment, but there never is with Louis. We could talk about cotton balls and it would still be interesting, and I would still end up laughing until I cried. Louis is so easy to talk to; it's easy to get lost in a conversation with him. I feel like I can tell him things that I've never told another soul. I know that he will keep my secrets to himself. And I know that it's the opposite is the same: I would keep his secrets until the end of time. He's also not afraid to be blunt with me. He tells me what he thinks, and he tells me it straight. I like that.

“You know, we really should be going back to my house soon. I still have some things planned,” I said, my hand drawing shapes onto his chest. We were laying down, Louis on his back, me cuddles close to his side. Louis had pulled one of my legs onto his, his hand holding it there. His thumb ran over my thigh. I rested my head on his chest, listening to the thump of his beating heart and absorbing his warmth.

“As long as it includes dinner, I'm okay with that,” Louis replied.

Louis stood up, holding his hand to me to help me up, and together we packed the basket. While I was bending over to pick up the blanket, Louis' arms came around my waist to pick me up. I laughed hysterically as he spun me around in circles. When he placed me back on the ground, I took off running.

“Hey,” he yelled. “I wouldn't take you as the kind of girl to run away from a kiss.”

“I'm not,” I yelled back, running to him.

Louis held an adorable smirk on his face as I jumped into his arms, legs going around his waist, arms going around his neck. I giggled as I burrowed my face into Louis' neck, leaving a trail of kisses as I made my way to his lips. I placed my hands on his cheeks and attached my lips to his in a breathtaking kiss. I was blown away by the wave of feelings that crashed over me as Louis' lips moved against mine: feelings from happiness, to adoration, to pure joy.

When we got back to my house, my head still spinning from the kiss we shared at the park, I asked Louis if he wanted to cook dinner with me.

“I love cooking with my Jessi-poo,” he exclaimed.

I smiled at him and nodded my head in the direction of the kitchen to get him to follow me. He jumped off the kitchen, a little too eager to help out with dinner, and bounded passed me.

“How are you always so full of energy?” I asked Louis when I walked into the kitchen after him.

“I'm a very excitable person, Jess,” he told me seriously. “What are we going to make?”

“My mom's lasagna,” I smiled. “I know it's your favorite.”

“You're the best,” Louis said.

“I try,” I winked, pulling out my mom's recipe book.

I found the page for the lasagna and listed off the items for Louis to get from the cabinets and fridge. He found everything, with a little help from me, and we began cooking. Louis was a rather good chef, surprisingly. He knows the basic techniques, though he almost added sugar instead of salt, claiming that he couldn't tell the difference between the two. I pointed to the label, saying that it clearly said 'sugar', but he was convinced that the label wasn't there when he looked. After that, I told him that he wasn't allowed to help anymore. He just said that he was a better watcher anyway and sat on the counter to observe me cooking.

Once the lasagna was done cooking, I got Louis' favorite cucumber lime drink from the fridge and set it on the table. Louis shrieked, again, and attacked me with hugs and kisses. I pushed him off me, telling him that there would be plenty of time to kiss later. He then sat down at the table like a good boy, even putting his napkin in his lap, and waited patiently for me to bring the food over. Louis and I ate dinner, again talking about everything that came to our minds. Conversation flowed so naturally between us, new topics always arising and new opinions always coming about. One thing would bring up another, and that would bring up something else, and we would end up talking about strawberries when we started out by talking about mustard.

“I have to say, I'm really good at helping make lasagna,” Louis said as we cleared the table.

“Says the guy that almost put sugar in the sauce,” I raised an eyebrow at him.

“Just a bump on the road to my successful career as a professional chef.”

“You're cute,” I smiled at him.

“Do you have anything else planned? Or can we kiss now?”

“Just some movies and cuddling.”

“Let's do this,” Louis said, taking my hand and dragging me to my room.

Louis and I spent the rest of the night in my bed, watching his favorite movies and stealing kisses. He gave me his shirt to wear, the comfort of the fabric soothing me into a restful state. His bare chest was warm and his hands were soft as they ran up and down my arm. The movies merely played in the background as our attention was more focused on each other than what was happening on the screen. We talked some, but we mostly say in silence, enjoying each others comfortable embraces and subtle touches. I easily got lost in his eyes, forgetting that other things were going on around us. The clock on my wall continued to move, the movies kept playing, and time kept moving. I feel asleep when I couldn't possibly keep my eyes open. I was with Louis, something that I could never grow sick of.

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