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.


19. Nineteen

I'm stood with Jack by his car saying goodbye before he goes down to Knoxville for the weekend. I'm still so mad with my mom for not letting me go. I'd understand if it was any other boy but it's Jack. She knows how responsible he is and she knows how responsible he makes me. It just makes me mad that she's acting like we'd get into trouble when Jack's the one who would stop me from doing anything like that.

"It's not too late to take me with you." I tell him, my arms around his waist. 

He chuckles. "You're not coming if you're not allowed. I'll be back in no time anyway."

"No you won't. This is going to be the longest three days of my life." 

"It wouldn't go so slow if you'd talk to your family." he points out and I just roll my eyes. "Anyway, if you miss me then it'll be much better when you see me next."

"I suppose." I say, not looking at him. I don't want him to be all positive about this, I want him to be mad. But as always, he's Mr Cheerful.

"I'll see you soon. I love you." he says.

"I love you." I mumble and he laughs, kissing me. 

"I'll be back in no time." he says again, getting into the car.

The rest of my day consists of being forced to do activities with my family. I've been doing my best not to sulk because I don't want to be labelled as the moody teenager and prove them right that I'm irresponsible but it's difficult. Throughout the whole week since Mom told me I couldn't go I've been devising ways that I could actually sneak out to Knoxville without them knowing but I never considered really going through with it. Until one little comment.

We're just watching TV that afternoon, some reality show, and a mom on the show is talking about how she's not sure whether her daughter will ever grow out of being a 'moody teen'. My mom laughs at this and says "That's how I feel about you Jasmine!"

I've been patient all week but that comment gets to me. I've been nice all week despite me being so mad and despite her being unreasonable and she's calling me a moody teen? That just makes me so angry. It's like she wants me to be a bitch just so she has something to complain about. 

"Mom, do you even want me to be nice?" I ask, maybe a little harshly. 

"Jasmine." Natalie frowns. 

"Seriously." I shrug. "Do you even want to get along with me? Or do you just want a daughter who disappoints you so that you can keep making me feel bad even when I've done nothing wrong?" 

"Of course not!" Mom protests. 

"Really?" I feel so angry now I'm shaking. "Because I've really changed recently, I've been way better than I used to be but you're still making these little comments about what a horrible person I am! You can't even trust me to go to Knoxville!"

"Oh not this." she puts her head in her hands. "I'm not letting you go! That's it!"

"Why though?!" I can't help shouting. "I don't get why you don't trust him, he's nothing but responsible!"

"It's not him I don't trust, it's you!" she shouts back. "I don't trust you to go there and make smart decisions!"

"When have I ever given you a real reason to not trust me?!" I yell.

"It's just the way you are Jasmine." she sighs. "You're impulsive and you don't think things through. Look how you're acting now! Therefore I'm not letting you go three hours away where I can't get to you if you don't think something through."

That genuinely hurt me. Is that really what she thinks of me? That I don't think things through, that I'm going to make some huge mistake and get into trouble?

"I'm going to Jennifer and Leo's cabin." I mutter, getting up. 


"Let her." Nat says. "She needs to cool off."

I slam the door behind me and start walking. I walk straight past Jack's cabin and straight out of the ranch and find my way to the train station. If she doesn't want to trust me then I'll give her a reason to not trust me.


I get the train to Knoxville successfully and there's still not a word from Mom or Nat who must still think I'm with Jack's family. It's eight o'clock and Jack's probably at this party that he was telling me about, it's at his friend Logan's house I think. I get a cab to the college and find the right dorm and it's packed full of people. Eventually I find Jack in a quieter room, drinking with a couple ofguys. Even that's endearing, that he's not out with the crowd, he's just in here with his close friends. He looks up when I walk in, looks away and then looks at me again when it clicks. He looks so shocked. 

"Jasmine!" he says. "What are you doing here?" 

"Nice to see you too!" I say and he chuckles, getting up and putting his arms around me. 

"What are you doing here?" he asks, pulling back a little. 

"My mom let me come." I feel bad lying but I know he'll just send me home if he knows I'm not allowed to be here.

"Well your mom's the best." he kisses me. 

"Alright man, we were in the middle of a conversation five seconds ago." one of his friends says, laughing. He nods at me. "You must be Jasmine, I'm Logan."

"Hey." I smile. 

"I'm Taylor." another guy gives a little wave. "So you're the reason Jack has barely called either of us all summer?"

"I haven't called either of you all summer because you're douches." Jack says and Logan winces before grinning at me. 

"Want a drink Jasmine?" 

"No." Jack cuts in. "She's sixteen."

"So?" Taylor raises an eyebrow. "Dude, you're eighteen, you're not even allowed to drink yet legally."

"Yeah but I'm an adult." he says, defensive. 

"I can handle a beer, my god Jack." I nudge his ribs, taking a drink from Logan. 

"If you end up throwing up I'm calling your mom." he teases. "How come she let you come here anyway?" 

I shrug but my heart is beating fast. I hate lying to him, it feels so wrong. "She just felt like she'd been unfair."

He smiles. "I'm happy you're here. I love you."

"I love you." I say as he pulls me closer to him. 

"You guys are disgusting, I'm going to find a new girlfriend." Logan walks out then, Taylor following him. 

I feel kind of anxious. I'm here and my family don't know yet. When they do they're going to be angrier than they've ever been with me. Plus, if Jack finds out that I lied about being allowed here he's going to be so disappointed in me, maybe even angry too. I don't know if I've made a mistake by doing this, maybe I should have thought it through more, but I'm here now and I've just got to go with whatever happens.

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