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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11. Ten.

“Since when did math get so hard?” Louis said, tapping his pencil against the table. He had been staring at the same problem for the last ten minutes, and I personally didn't think he was even trying. If he was, he would've realized that the problem was just asking for the definition of an integer. Which is something he should have known from at least eighth grade.

“Dude,” I said, “You should know the answer to that.”

“Well, I don't.”

“Think about it.”

“Just tell me.”

“It's a whole number, dummy.”

“I knew that. I was just making sure that you did,” Louis said.

“Okay, sure,” I laughed. I turned away from him to look at the clock. It was a little past noon. “Want to go get lunch?”

“Oh, thank the lord almighty,” Louis said, shoving the paper away from him and standing up. I grabbed my bag, and Louis and I left the room. On our way out, we let Mr. Zibel know that we were going to get lunch. He said that since we had been working so hear, we could take an hour for lunch.

After an argument about who was going to drive, that I won, we walked to Louis' car. I stuck my tongue out at Louis as I climbed into the drivers seat. He rolled his eyes in mock anger and buckled in. When I started the car, he reached for the radio, but I slapped his hand away before he could change the station.

“What do you think you're doing?” I asked him.

“If I have to suffer through your horrible driving then I at least deserve to pick the music.”

“That's not how it works.”

“Yeah, it is. I don't want to die listening to your pop music crap.”

“Fine. Pick what you want, but I get to pick where we eat,” I said, pulling out of the parking lot. Louis shrugged and changed the radio station to whatever he wanted to listen to. He picked one that played alternative music, which I actually found myself enjoying.

As I drove to my restaurant of choice, McDonald's since I really wanted a milkshake, I discreetly watched Louis play with his phone. He was slumped low in his seat, playing some game that he was very engrossed with. I think it was war game, and, form the looks of it, he wasn't winning. His eyebrows were scrunched together in concentration, while his thumbs were moving fast across the screen. I hadn't noticed what he was wearing until now, as well, and he looked quite cute. He was wearing a plain black shirt with a back coast that has a tan, sort of wool, collar. Plain jeans, white converse, and, to top it off, a gray beanie. It wasn't much, but he looked really cute.

“No!” He suddenly screamed. I slammed on the brakes, scared that something has happened.

“What the hell! Louis!” I yelled back, hitting him on the arm repeatedly.

“I died!” He whined, harshly kicking his legs out in front of him.

“Oh, my God,” I rolled my eyes, starting to drive again. “You're lucky you look cute today, otherwise I would be really pissed.”

“I look cute today?” He sat up straighter.

“You heard me,” I mumbled. His smile was goofy as he looked at me and sat back in his seat. He didn't talk for the rest of the ride, only smiled. And, I'm not going to lie, it made him look even cuter.

When we arrived at McDonald's, Louis immediately ran out of his car and into the building. I rolled my eyes and followed him in. He was already ordering his food when I walked in.

“And my best friend here will have a hamburger Happy Meal with a chocolate milkshake. Oh, and an extra side of small fries.” It kind of amazed me that he knew my order.

“Spot on, Tomlinson,” I smiled at him. While we waited for our food, he casually put his arm around me and played on his phone. I leaned into his side, feeling relaxed by his touch. It was nice to be in such familiar arms.

When our order was done, Louis and I walked over to the table in the very far corner, the one we always sit at. He pulled our food out of the bag, placing mine in front of me, taking a couple fries in the process. I started to eat, but I couldn't stop thinking about how thoughtful Louis is all the time. Whenever I have to talk, he's only a phone call away, he's only a five minute drive from my house, he's available all night long to stay up with me for as long as I need. I know that he really values our friendship, and I know that he's a part of my life that is necessary.

“So, Louis,” I said, wiping my mouth with a napkin. “How come you don't have a girlfriend?”

“What do you mean?” He chuckled.

“I just don't get why someone as sweet at you can not have a girlfriend. You always listen to what I have to say, no matter how stupid it is, and you know the perfect thing to say. That has to be a big hit with the ladies. I mean, you know my McDonald's order, how can someone now want to be with you?”

Louis stared at me for a little bit, an emotion in his eyes that I couldn't figure out. He looked at me like I was oblivious.

“What?” I asked.

“Isn't it obvious why I don't have a girlfriend?”

“No?”

Louis opened his mouth to say something but took a drink of his soda instead. We sat in silence for a little bit, the only being the wrappers from our burgers moving. He was going to say something, clearly something that made him a little uncomfortable, otherwise he wouldn't have stopped himself.

When we finished our food, we walked back to the car, neither of us having said anything yet. It was weird; usually I can't Louis to shut up. It didn't take us that long to eat lunch, so I made the decision to drive back to my house to hang out for a little bit. When we got to my house, Louis still hadn't said anything. It was getting relentless. He didn't even complain when I changed the radio station to some pop music station. He just sat there and stared out the window. He looked stressed, and I didn't know why. All we did was go to McDonald's.

“Do you want to know why I don't have a girlfriend?” Louis asked, finally breaking the silence once we made it to my bedroom.

“Please enlighten me.”

“It's because of you,” he said.

“Excuse me?” I said, offended at the possible accusation that I could be keeping him from having a girlfriend.

“Just shut up and listen to me,” he said. I nodded and gestured for him to continue. “I don't know how you haven't noticed, because plenty of other people have, but I don't have a girlfriend because I have a crush on you.”

After a long pause, I quietly asked, “What am I supposed to do about that?”

“You can let me take you out on a date,” he said, looking me right in the eyes.

“Okay.”

“What?”

“You can take me on a date.”

“Are you joking? Because it's not funny to--”

“Louis. I'm not joking,” I smiled at him.

He looked at me for a second before engulfing me in a hug. I hugged him back and laughed as he thanked me over and over again.

Then it occurred to me that something could go wrong, causing the end of our friendship. I don't really know I feel about Louis. I'm not sure if I like more than a friend so this could help me sort our my feelings for him. Or I could realize that I only like him as a friend, which could make things awkward between us. Or it could go great, and we could go on more dates. But then we could end up breaking up and never talking again. Or he could realize that I only that I'm annoying and never talk to me again. Or something bad could happen and he would just plain out hate me forever and ever. I mean, no matter what possibility goes through my head, I always end up losing my best friend. Am I ready for that to possibly happen?

What if I hate the first date but feel to awkward to say no to his other offers, so we end up dating for years, until, finally, we are married and have three kids, then I finally get the courage to say that I don't actually love him at all? And then we have to get a divorce and make our children chose who they want to go with, but they all choose him, so I'm left all alone again. And my own family starts to hate me because of what I put Louis through and how I lied to him about loving him, and then they disown me, and I don't even have a family anymore. Then I end up homeless, with nowhere to go, so I live in the streets, and then I'm forced to join a gang and have to sell drugs to make money. Then I end up getting shot, and it's all because I went on that one little date with Louis, all the way back in my junior year of high school and couldn't say no to second date.

Okay, I may be over thinking the whole situation a little bit.

Or a lot.

“How about we go to dinner this weekend and see a movie afterward?” Louis asked, interrupting my panicked thoughts.

“Oh, um, yeah. That sounds nice,” I fake smiled at him.

“I can't wait,” he said, pulling me in for another hug.

I sighed and hugged him back, telling myself that it couldn't possibly be as bad as I'm thinking it could be. But one part of me started to think about what kind of box I'll have to use to make a home when I'm all alone and living on the streets.

“If you were homeless, what would you use to make a house?”

After I blurted that out to Louis, he wanted to know what I was talking about. So, stupidly, I told him every single little word that was in my brain.

“That's not how I see it happening,” Louis said. “I see it ending with you working the corners, not selling drugs.”

“Louis!” I exclaimed, pushing him away from me.

“I was kidding! Come on, Jess. None of that is going to happen. It's just a date,” he said. “Are you not excited?”

“No, it's not that. We are such good friends, and I really don't want things to be awkward between us. I don't know what I would do if something happened and we weren't friends anymore. You're basically my only friend, and I would probably die if we stopped talking. You mean so much to me, Louis,” I said, avoiding Louis' gaze.

“You know that's not going to happen. If anything happens, we can both act like mature adults. I'm one hundred percent sure that nothing is going to happen. I promise that if it does, we will remain friends. I mean, if I break your heart, I will totally suck it up and be normal.”

I snorted at his comment. When I finally made eye contact with Louis, I burst out laughing.

“Okay. I admit that I'm being ridiculous. Must be stress related,” I laughed.

“Speaking of stress, we should get back to death on paper. I mean homework.”

“That's probably a good idea. Oh, and put some thought into our date. I know how hard it is for you to think sometimes,” I said, patting him on the head.

“You know, I'm having second thoughts about this. You're too sassy for me,” Louis said, snapping his fingers in a circle.

“You love my sass,” I stood up and started walking to the door.

“Take away an 's' and you got that right.”

“What's a 'sas'?” I questioned him, tilting my head to the side.

“You know what I said.”

I hummed. “Now get up, let's go.”

Louis smiled at me and followed me out the door. His arm came around my shoulder and pulled me close to his side. I felt content.

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