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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6. Six

I'm not normally very brave. I always try to be and I always ask myself what I really have to lose but I never actually do anything brave. That's why I'm completely surprised when I have the courage to walk straight up to Jack who is riding around a paddock. I always get a little nervous that I'm bothering him but he sees me and rides over. He gets off the horse, leaning against the fence and taking his hat off.

"Hey!" he says. "Looking for me?" 

I wince. "Sorry. I was actually looking for the kayaking class, I must be a little lost."

"The kayaking instructor is kind of a douche so it was a lucky mistake." he says and then laughs. "For real though, when do you want those lessons?"

"Whenever's good for you." I shrug. "I don't want to be a pain."

"You're not a pain." he holds his hands out and helps me climb over the fence, fastening the hat onto my head. My heart is thudding so hard and my cheeks are bright red as always. There's no way he doesn't know I have a crush on him. "Alright. Up you get and show me what you can do."

So I ride around feeling more self conscious than ever before because he's literally just stood there watching me. After a little while he calls for me to stop so I do and he shrugs, smiling at me. 

"I honestly don't know what you're worried about. Maybe you need to work on your posture a little but everything else is perfect." 

"Oh." I laugh a little. "I guess I just needed reassuring then."

"I guess so." he smiles and then pauses for a moment before speaking up again. "So, are you on your way to that kayaking lesson now?"

"Oh yeah, for sure." I joke and he laughs. 

"Seriously though, you wanna go to one? There's a group starting in like ten minutes, I'm sure we can join."

"Okay." I agree because how could I pass this up?

When we get to the lake, Jack goes straight over to some girl (who looks like the instructor) and pulls her into a hug. My heart drops. She is so pretty and looks way more mature than I do. I didn't know I was assuming anything to do with Jack in my mind but it's clear now that I was assuming that it was possible for us to have some kind of thing but that was stupid. Why would he ever want some sixteen year old over the literal supermodel kayaking woman over there?

"Hey." he says to her and then turns around, beckoning for me to go over which I reluctantly do. "Cassie, this is Jasmine. Jasmine, this is my sister Cassie." I breathe a sigh of relief. Sister. "Cas, we good to join the lesson?"

"Sure." she says sounding friendly but she's giving me this look like she's judging me so hard.

The lessons actually really relaxed. It's not so much a lesson, more the whole group going around the lake and it's the most fun thing. I'm expecting Jack to go off and interact with everyone seeing as he works here but he sticks with me the whole time which I find more than flattering. Throughout the afternoon I feel like I know Jack more. Not really things about him but I just feel like he's more real to me. Before he was just the guy I admired but now I see he's so friendly and kind and fun and it's almost like we've got a little friendship now. I don't know how but I'm happy about it.

We're going around the lake when Cassie rows past so fast and knocks my kayak with her oar, completely tipping it over. I fall into the water and when I come back up to the surface, Jack is laughing so hard.

"Shut up!" I exclaim but he keeps laughing so I grab my oar and tip his kayak over too before climbing straight back into mine and starting to row away. Somehow he catches up to me and jumps onto the side of my boat, making me fall into the water again.

"Not so funny is it?" he splashes me when I come up to the surface. 

"Says you Mr Hysterical." I splash him back and Cassie comes back over then. 

"Alright, back in your kayaks please." she says like the instructor she is and Jack rolls his eyes as she rows away. 

"She thinks she's all official and cool." 

"She is." I grin, climbing back into my kayak. I'm not sure though. I wouldn't be surprised if she tipped me into the water on purpose.

That night me and my family go out to the restaurant for dinner and like I'm hoping, Jack comes over to the table. 

"Hey everyone." he smiles at Nat and Mom and then looks to me. "Hey. I just wanted to ask if you'd do me a favour."

"Sure, what is it?" I ask. 

"There's a riding lesson tomorrow afternoon for a little kid's birthday party, like all kids under 5. I could do with some help if you're up for it."

"Yeah, sounds good." I say and he smiles at me. 

"Great. Thank you. Okay see you then."

After he goes, both Nat and my mom are giving me those knowing smiles. I can't be bothered for them to make such a big thing out of this even though I totally am in my mind. 

"What?" I ask eventually. 

"I think somebody's a tiny bit infatuated with you." Mom says, her eyebrows raised.

"Nobody's infatuated with me."

"Somebody seems to be making a habit of coming over to talk to you at dinner." Nat says and I roll my eyes. 

"It's happened twice. And he came to talk to all of us."

"Oh come on Jasmine, he looked at us for about two seconds and then was all about you!" Mom says. 

"He asked me to help him with a kids party, that's not being all about me!" I protest.

They try and argue a few more points but eventually leave it alone. I don't really know why I'm arguing with them, of course I want them to be right. I just also don't want to get my hopes up I suppose.

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