Through

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.

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15. Fifteen

Jack and I are in his kitchen the next afternoon and Jack's making cups of tea when Hannah comes into the kitchen, sighing heavily. Jack chuckles at her. 

"What's up with you?" he asks her. 

"Lilly's annoying.?" she says, getting herself a snack. "She's been getting ready in the bathroom for an hour even though she has a mirror in her room. I need to shower."

"Why is she getting ready?" he asks, passing me my tea. "Meeting Mr Lucas?" 

"Mr Lucas is coming here." she says and Jack sighs, putting his tea down. 

"Lucas is coming here?" he says and Hannah nods. He looks at me. "Wanna go somewhere?"

"No." I laugh, putting my arms around his waist. "You understand you're an eighteen year old guy afraid of meeting a fourteen year old boy?"

"I'm not afraid of meeting him." he mumbles. "I just don't love him dating my sister. I don't even like Cassie's boyfriends. Little sisters should never date."

"What do you think of this Hannah?" I ask her and she shrugs. 

"I don't care. Boys are stupid." she says and I burst out laughing.

"That's my girl." he reaches out and ruffles her hair. "Don't you ever like a boy."

"Nah, boys are dumb." she says and walks out of the room and we both burst out laughing. 

"You're insane." I tell him. "What if I had a big brother who said all this stuff to me about you?" 

"Completely different situation." he chuckles and I know he knows he's being stupid. 

There's a knock at the door then and Lilly sprints out of her room and smooths down her hair before answering the door. It is really sweet to watch, them both hug hello, a little embarrassed but also comfortable. Lucas seems like a sweet kid, shaking hands with Jennifer, Leo, Mike and Laura, introducing himself to Cassie and Hannah. Jack's still hiding out in the kitchen and just watching all of this unfold. Lucas and Lilly walk into the kitchen and Jack lets go of my hand and shakes Lucas'. 

"Hey man, I'm Jack." he says with a smile. Even to a guy he didn't want to meet he can't help but be friendly. "This is my girlfriend Jasmine."

"Hey." Lucas nods at me. He looks kind of overwhelmed by all the people he's meeting and I empathise with him because I was in the exact same position not long ago. 

"Right, we're going to my room." Lilly says, leading Lucas out of the kitchen. Cassie steps in front of the door, amused. 

"Nice try kid. Living room." she says and they reluctantly go. There's an awkward moment then when it's just Jack, Cassie and I. I do admire her fearlessness, I must admit. She's just shamelessly looking me up and down with the most unimpressed look on her face that makes me want to run right back to my own cabin. She looks up at Jack. 

"Do you want to out for dinner tonight? Sans siblings?" she asks him. 

"I'm going out with Jasmine tonight." he tells her and she sighs heavily. 

"Right."

"Oh, don't worry about that." I look at him. "You two go out, that'll be nice."

He frowns. "No, it's fine."

"Honestly." I nod. "I'm actually not feeling too well, I'm not going to be much fun."

"Are you ever?" Cassie says and I don't know how to reply to that so I just laugh even though that was really quite mean. 

*

In the end, Mom, Nat and I end up just having a girly night with movies and wine and it's really nice. I know Jack's the whole reason I stopped hating this vacation but now I am embracing being here with them. I wonder what it's going to be like when we're back at home. I feel like it's going to be so much better than before.

At around nine that night there's a knock at the door and when Mom returns from answering it, she brings Jack with her. I'm honestly surprised to see him. And also a little sheepish because I'm clearly not sick like I told him I was. 

"Hi." I say, laughing a little. I feel kind of nervous. Obviously it wasn't a huge lie but I feel so bad about it. "What are you doing here?"

"I wanted to see you." he says. "Do you want to talk outside for a minute?"

It obviously takes about five seconds to walk out to the porch and sit on the bench but it feels like an eternity. It's the feeling you get when you get told to step outside for bad behaviour during class. I just hate the thought that we might be about to get into a fight or something because everything about this so far has just been so good, I don't even want to have the smallest of disagreements with him. 

"I'm so sorry." I blurt out. "I know I lied about not feeling good and I really shouldn't have lied to you. It was just a white lie though because I thought you really needed to spend some time with Cassie and I didn't want her to be upset and I didn't want you to regret not spending time with her this summer, plus I didn't want her to hate me anymore, I thought this might make her like me a little more."

He looks at me for a moment before laughing and I feel completely relieved. 

"Jas, I'm not mad at you. I'm actually pretty thankful that you'd do that." he takes my hand. "Does it really matter to you that much?"

"Yeah." I shrug. "It's not right to fall out with your twin sister over a girl."

He nods. "I think you're right, even if that girl is you. It was fun hanging out with her actually. I forget that we're pretty much best friends."

"That's sweet." I smile. "I'm glad you had a nice time."

"I did." he admits. I'm quiet for a moment, remembering something he said earlier. 

"Did you call me your girlfriend this afternoon?" I ask him. "To Lucas?" 

He smiles, a little confused like he hadn't even noticed he'd said it himself. "Yeah. I don't know if you even want us to be so official, I don't know. It just came out like that."

"It does feel that way doesn't it?" I say and he looks at me. 

"Is it okay with you?" he asks quietly. 

"It is." I smile. "Definitely. It just worries me a little because... I don't know, what do we do when we both go home?"

He lets out a low whistle. "I've been thinking about that. I honestly have no clue but let's not stress about it too much until it happens."

He's definitely right. I don't want to waste this time worrying about something that may end up being absolutely fine. I couldn't ever be stressed about anything to do with him anyway. 

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