"Okay," Justin took a deep breath in. "If you won't say anything... I will." He grabbed my hands and caressed my knuckles with his thumbs. "Pidge, I love you." He admitted softly. My heart stopped for a second.
"What?" I had heard the words before, but he was beyond drunk when he told me. I had passed it off as something that slipped out of drunkenness. Now that he was sober... well, it was actually him talking this time-- not the alcohol like last time.
"Are you okay?" Justin asked.
I shook my head slowly. I looked up at him. "You can't say that. You can't mean it."
"That's not exactly what I was hoping you'd say," he responded, disappointment evident in his tone. He ran his hand through his hair.
"I'm sorry..." I started.
"Don't be, it's okay." He replied quickly, suddenly trying to downplay the situation. He then thought better of it, and asked, "Are you seriously telling me you don't feel the same way?" I held my breath, and my heart ached.
"I...I just..." I stammered. "Can we just stay friends?" I begged.
"But you're not denying that you feel the same way."
"Please, can we just be friends?"
He didn't respond. Instead his phone went off. He pulled it out and looked at me. "I've got to take this-- it's my mom."
I nodded, and he left his room. Soon after, I heard the door leading outside open and close.
I became aware that I was strangling my hands and released them.
He found me twenty minutes later, sitting on the bed. "We can be friends." Justin said, grabbing my hand, "for now." He smirked. I shook my head. "I mean, were already friends, so nothing has to change. Okay?" He smiled sincerely.
I had no idea what had happened in those twenty minutes, but he was not the same as when he left.
"Yeah, okay," I said slowly. I tried to smile back.
We left on Friday. I was afraid to see him on Monday, afraid of the awkwardness between us. However, there wasn't the tension or avoidance that I anticipated. Everything was back to the way it was before last week-- but then again... It wasn't.
I noticed his presence a lot more than I had before. Every time he brushed past my arm when we walked down the hall or leaned in close to whisper something to me in Biology, it sent thousands of sparks flying through my body. I found myself smiling more and caught up in his gaze longer. It was like I was noticing him for the first time.
Justin sat closer, walked nearer, and looked longer. He started storing his books in my locker between classes, placing his hand on the small of my back when reaching over me to retrieve them. These subtle touched would ignite a warmth in my chest, and release tingles up the back of my neck. He didn't hold my hand in school, but he always found a way for the backs of our hands to lightly touch when we were near enough.
We were engaged in a very intricate dance of touching without touching, knowing without saying, and feeling without expressing. We were friends walking along a ledge, a very thin ledge-- and I was too caught up in my heightened awareness of his existence to realize that the ledge was crumbling beneath my feet.
"What's going on with you?" Allie asked during our ride to school on Thursday. I hadn't told her everything that morning after. I told her almost everything, leaving out how he confessed to me that he loved me and other intimate details. I couldn't bring myself to say the words out loud.
"What do you mean?"
"You and Justin have been acting really... different the last couple of days. Did something happen that you're not telling me?" She glanced over at my avoiding eyes and declared, "Something did happen! Farrah, did he kiss you? I can't believe you didn't tell me!"
I just didn't answer. Luke cleared his throat.
"Fine, don't answer... You two are almost too... close, or something. I can tell it’s not the same. So, what happened?"
"We're just friends." I emphasized.
"Did he say something?" She demanded excitedly. I couldn't even conceal my pink cheeks. "Oh, my gosh, that's it! He finally told you how he feels about you. You have to tell me what he said."
"It doesn't matter." I retorted, getting redder as I recalled what exactly what he he'd said. "We're going to be friends, so I'm not going to talk about it."
"Please, tell m--" Luke slammed on the brakes, causing us to jerk forward in our seat-belts. He glared at Allie. I sighed, sitting back in my seat.
Allie didn't carry on with her interrogation, but a knowing smile crept over her face.
In Geometry, Justin passed me a note.
Can’t go to homecoming. sorry.
I looked up at him. He mouthed sorry with a shrug. I sighed. Great. Now I was on my own for homecoming. I wrote a reply on the back of the note.
It’s okay. Why can’t you go?
I quickly threw it back to Justin's desk. He handed the note back to me within the next minute.
My mom wants me to go to one of this party thing with her Friday night. They're like really high maintenance and stuff.
Oooh, fancy ;) You'll have fun. Allie will probably get Collin or some other guy to take me, though.
He finished reading the note, and frowned. He crumpled the piece of paper up, and shoved it in his pocket. He didn't look at me for the rest of the class.
I was at my locker at the end of the day when Justin closed my locker door. I turned my head, annoyed, to see him leaning on the lockers with a huge grin plastered on his face.
"What's up with you?" I cocked my eyebrow. Justin stood straight, and began walking. "Are you going to tell me?" I called. He turned around and shrugged before he was swallowed by the stampede of students. I finally caught up to him again at the main entrance of the school. I asked him about what he wasn't telling me.
"I think I've thought of a way to still take you to that homecoming party at Jason's..." He dragged me over to his black Harley as I kept going on about how he most definitely did not need to feel like he needed to take me.
"Get on; I'll tell you on the way over to your house." Justin said. I hopped on the bike, behind Justin. This had become such normality, I guess, that he only momentarily tensed up under my fingertips. We drove around on the freeway. He, however, didn't speak until we came to a stop.
"So, you can come with me to dinner--" Before he could continue, I took in an audible gasp of air. "It won't be that bad," He assured me by placing his hand on top of mine. "It'll get you warmed up for Jason's party. You can be my excuse to getting out of staying the whole time, and then we can go to that party together. You'll miss the game, though."
"Okay." I said. I wasn't sure what was more terrifying, going to a party practically alone or meeting Justin's mother.
"Maybe I'll just beg Allie to stay home and watch movies instead," I whispered as he made a turn.
"I knew it was a long shot." He said quietly. "I hate when she makes me go to these things. I thought maybe you being there... you'd make it less miserable."
I didn't say anything as we reached my home. I took a deep breath and swallowed. I knew I'd be doing the right thing.
"I'll do it." I said, at the front door.
"I think it's a good compromise." I tried sounding confident. "I'll go to dinner with you, and you go to the party with me." He examined me, making sure I was serious before he let a smile release on his face.
He picked me up and spun me around. "I owe you one, Pidge." He winked, making my heart flutter.
"Put me down," I giggled, trying to pry his fingers off my waist.
"I do." He said.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever," I waved my hand dismissively.
These four days better go by SLOWLY.
"Hey, D and J," I greeted Allie's parents in the kitchen.
"Isn't that Luke's cousin Justin?" Diane asked, continuing to peel potatoes.
"Um, yea, that was...Luke's cousin...Justin." I said.
Neither Diane nor Jon looked at me; just at themselves with a grin.
i finally got my ipod and laptop back today. i've been writing... like, with a pen and paper, and daaayyuuumm. it's a killer. i prefer typing hah. i wrote like 3 chapters AND I HAVE BEGUN MY SPRING BREAK STARTING TODAY AND I DONT HAVE TO GO TO HELL FOR SIX HOURS EVERYDAY FOR THE WEEK AND THEN I COME BACK AND GET TO WEAR MY SUMMER UNIFORM NOT THIS RATCHET PLAID SKIRT THAT I WEAR FOR WINTER AND IM SO EXCITED..
oh and i think you guys should go buy "Surfboard" by Cody Simpson bc
~♥~˚ ✰* ★/ \ ˚. ★ *˛ ˚♥* ✰??˚ ˚ღ??* ˛˚ ??~♥~˚ ✰* ★/ \ ˚. ★ *˛ ˚♥* ✰??˚ ˚ღ??* ˛˚ ??~♥~˚ ✰* ★/ \ ˚.
??*˛˚ღ •˚ ˚ ˚. ★ *˛˚ღ??* ˚♥* ✰??˚~♥~PERFECTION~♥~˚ ✰* ★/ \ ˚. ★ *˛ ˚♥* ✰??˚ ˚ღ??* ˛ ~♥~˚ ✰* ★/ \ ˚. ★ *˛ ˚♥* ✰??˚ ˚ღ??* ˛˚ ??~♥~˚ ✰* ★/ \ ˚. ★ *˛ ˚♥* ✰??˚ ˚ღ??* ˛˚ ??~♥~˚ ✰* ★/ \ ˚.
and you guys are gonna flip over Chapter 23 just saying ;)