I was never sure about unconditional love when you're a teenager, not for someone that isn't a family member or close friend, but I got proved wrong. Apparently you can have unconditional love for someone who you've only known for a month, the kind of love that won't fade through anything, even if you want it to.


18. Eighteen

"Skipping dinner was the best decision I ever made." Jack says, kissing me.

Since baby Ben was born Jack and I haven't had a chance to be alone or even together very much, but tonight everybody (including Nat and Mom) is out at dinner so Jack and I are left in his cabin alone. I think Laura understood that it can get a little crazy around here so she didn't mind us not going to dinner with all of them. 

We're in his room and I thought we were just hanging out but he made this really sweet and romantic. He's lit loads of candles and our favourite music is on and it's just sweet that he tried. We're not doing anything but kissing really but I'm just glad to be in his company. Before I was always happy in my own company, I never really got lonely or anything, but Jack's like my comfort zone now. I start to feel like things aren't right if I go too long without spending proper time with him. I'm trying to commit every part of this evening to memory and appreciate it fully because I know that within a matter of weeks I'm going to wish I had this back. 

"What are we going to do when we go home?" I say, kissing him again.

"I don't even want to think about it." he sighs, shifting from over me to lay beside me. "Really, what do we do when we're home?"

"We just make it work I guess." I shrug. "I really wasn't planning on this being so serious if I'm honest."

He chuckles. "I know, neither was I."

I'm quiet for a moment. "It was crazy seeing you with Ben when he was born."

"Really? Why?" 

I shrug, shy all of a sudden. "It just was."

His mouth quirks into a little smile. "Why though?" 

I laugh, burying my head into his shoulder. "Don't ask. I wish I'd never said anything."

"Hey." he lifts my chin up, smiling at me. "Tell me."

I roll my eyes. "I just thought... I don't know, I could see that being our future you know? I know that sounds crazy, I'm not saying that's in the cards or anything, I could just picture it."

He's quiet then. He doesn't say anything and he has kind of got a smile on my face but I don't know if he's secretly freaked about by what I told him or actually happy or what. 

"Say something!" I hit his arm and he laughs. "Seriously, call me a crazy girlfriend, whatever you want, just talk."

"I'm not going to call you a crazy girlfriend." he chuckles. "I'm just quiet because I'm literally trying not to cry. That was the best thing anybody has ever said to me."

I scoot closer to him and kiss him. I'm so glad that made him happy. I'm so glad I make him happy. It feels like an honour and also like my main priority at the moment. I feel like as long as I'm making him happy there's nothing else I'd want to do.

The door bursts open then and Jack and I jump apart. Tommy stands in the doorway and he laughs happily when he sees us. 

"Jasmine!" he says in his little voice. "Jack, I want to watch Cars."

"Ask Cassie, Tom." Jack says. 

"What's that?" Tommy runs towards a little group of candles and Jack jumps up, picking him up out of the way. 

"Woah kid, that's a candle and that's fire. You can't touch that, it's too hot." he explains.

"Too hot." Tommy repeats and then Laura and Mike come to the door. Jack closes his eyes and I feel the heat rushing to my cheeks. They'd probably be a little suspicious anyway that we're in his room for no reason seeing as they were all out but it makes it so much worse that Jack's hair's a mess and his bed sheets are all wonky and there are candles lit everywhere. We weren't actually doing anything too serious but it definitely looks like we were. They just sort of stand there looking a little stunned. 

"Hi kids!" Laura says eventually. "Have you eaten?" 

"Yep." Jack says, clearly wanting them to leave. Mike's still looking around at all of the candles, bewildered.

"Oh good." Laura says but she's still taken back. 

"Well I'm going to head back home." I get up, awkwardly grabbing my things. "See you guys."

I feel a little bad leaving Jack in the most awkward situation of his life but more relieved. If he really loves me he'll leave me out of something so uncomfortable. He calls me later that night though.

"Fun fact." he says when I pick up. 

"Oh yeah?" I smile to myself. "What's that then?" 

"Eighteen year olds can indeed be given the talk."

"Oh my god." I laugh. "Are you kidding?" 

"I wish I was. That was painful. You'd think they'd know I'd know what I'm doing. They actually asked me if I knew where to buy condoms."

"Well do you?" I tease.

"Shut up." he says but he's laughing. 

"What else did they say?" I ask. 

"They were saying how I need to be sure before you and I do anything so I don't just break up with you and then have you feel like you regret it. They spent the whole time protecting you to be honest." he chuckles. 

"That's what I like to hear." I say and then see that Millie's trying to call me. I feel a pang of guilt. I haven't spoken to them at all. It sounds mean but whenever they call me I just can't be bothered because I'd rather be with Jack and I know that's the worst thing a friend can do. "My friends are calling, I'd better see what they want."

"Oh, speaking of friends!" he says. "I'm leaving here next week, just for the weekend. I'm going down to Knoxville for Logan's birthday, I want you to come with me. Will you be allowed to come?"

"Yeah, I'm sure that'll be fine." I say, excited. "Alright, I'll talk to you tomorrow."


I decide to ask Mom if I can go to Knoxville the next morning at breakfast, figuring it won't be a big deal. 

"Hey Mom, Jack's going back over to Knoxville for the weekend, can I go with him?" I ask and she chokes a little on her water. I guess it is a big deal. 

"Absolutely not young lady."

"What?" I frown. "Are you serious?" 

"Yes I'm serious." she laughs, getting up and washing her plate. I don't get it. She's been so relaxed with everything to do with Jack, why not this?" 

"Why?" I demand. 

"You want to go three hours away with Jack for the whole weekend?" she raises an eyebrow. "That's why."

"That's so unfair!" I say. "That doesn't make sense! You let me go to Nashville with him all the time! You let us sleep at each other's places all the time! Why not this?" 

"Because you're in Nashville for a few hours at most. And when you sleep at each others' your families are around. You're sixteen, there's no way you're going three hours away for the whole weekend with just Jack."

"God you're miserable." I mutter and she raises an eyebrow. 

"I thought we were past this Jasmine. No more attitude or you're not seeing Jack at all. Forget it." 

I just go into my room then to stop myself from saying anything stupid because I know I'd just regret it. I'm so mad though. I really wanted to go with him and it's the principle behind it as well. Does she not trust me enough to not get myself killed or do something stupid for a weekend? And I'm even more offended that she's acting like Jack isn't responsible enough either. She's just being stupidly over protective because she can be. 

I got a text from Jack earlier asking if I could go so I reply now:

I can't. Mother is a bitch. 

He replies:

Oh :( never mind though, there will be other times

I reply:

I'm coming though

He sends back:

Jasmine, no

I reply:


He says:

You're not going on a trip that you're not allowed to go on

I say:

Don't be so boring

He replies:

I'm being boring, I don't care. 

I reply:

It'd be fun, just saying

He replies:

Forget it

I know he really does want me to go so I'm just going to have to find a way around this. I kind of don't like that I feel like I'm being a bratty teenager again but I do like that I feel like I'm willing to be that way for Jack. Even though he'd definitely hate for me to be like this and I don't like being angry, it feels good that I love someone so much I get mad that I can't spend a weekend with them. However cliche it is, I've never felt like this before. It feels really special. 

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