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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10. Ten

I'm so excited to see Jack the next day. I'm also a little nervous just in case it's awkward. I don't know, this has happened with guys before, we've kissed one night and then the next day they're reluctantly holding my hand and hugging me because they feel they have to. I think I'd just up and leave if that happened with Jack. 

When I go out into the kitchen Nat and Mom aren't there, there's just a note saying they've gone out for a walk so I decide to go out to see if I can find Jack around anywhere. I really should get his number or something. 

He's there at the horses like I expected and I feel so nervous. What if this is awkward? What if he doesn't actually want anything to happen between us? But he spots me and smiles.

"I'm unsure as to whether I can kiss you this morning or not." he calls, a grin on his face as he walks over.

"I think you're safe." I say as he gets to me and he smiles, kissing me. This is surreal. This cannot be my real life. It's weird because I surely can't really know him but I feel like I do. 

"I need to get your number." he says, his hands staying at my waist when he pulls away. This is weirdly natural. I hold my hand out and he puts his phone in it and carries on talking as I enter my number. "So, do you want to come to dinner tomorrow night? At our cabin?"

I look at him as I hand his phone back. "Your family knows?" 

"Well yeah, I had to explain where I was so late." he chuckles. "Yours doesn't?"

"Well I haven't seen them yet today." I explain. "But I'll tell them."

He smiles, kissing me again. I'm a little taken back that he's told his family that we're together. Not in a bad way, I'm just surprised because I didn't know what this was. There's so many things it could be called, we could be seeing each other, dating, actually together- I don't know. It feels a little too soon for 'together'. I don't know what he's told his family but I'll have that conversation in another setting. I don't want to bring a heavy conversation like that into this moment. 

"Well well." I hear Nat's voice behind me and Jack jumps away from me, his cheeks glowing red. I turn around to see Mom and Nat, Nat with the smuggest smile on her face and Mom looking all proud and fond.

"Morning you two." Mom beams. Something tells me she approves of Jack. "We're going to get some breakfast, do you want to come along?" 

"Thank you but I've got some work to do. Thank you though!" Jack's voice shakes through the sentence, his cheeks bright red. 

"No problem sweetheart." Mom smiles at him. 

"I'll come." I say to try and get them away from him so he can regulate his heartbeat again. It's cute how embarrassed he is though. I turn around to him. "See you later."

"Yeah, see you later." he smiles awkwardly, glancing back at Mom and Nat who are still beaming at him.

It's quiet at breakfast and I'm just waiting for them to say something. It's not that I think they'll disapprove or anything, it's just annoying how smug they are that they called this. 

"Jack is a lovely young man." Mom says and I roll my eyes but I can't help but smile. "So you're together?"

"I don't know what to call it but something's going on, yeah." I laugh a little. 

"I could tell." Natalie says. "She hasn't had an attitude in a long time."

"Oh thanks!" I laugh. 

"See!" she points at me. "She's not getting all bitchy about that little comment!"

I just laugh that comment off too but I appreciate her saying it. My general attitude has been a lot better. I think back to before I came on this vacation and I know it's only been just over a week but my mind feels clearer. I wasn't particularly stressed back home but it feels good to get away, to be nice to my family, to meet someone new and to be somewhere new. It's refreshing.

*

We're all by the fire that night when my phone lights up with Jack's caller ID. I step outside onto the porch, shutting the front door behind me and sitting down on the little swinging bench out there. 

"Hey." I say when I answer the phone. Thinking back to home earlier made me appreciate here so much more. I never thought I'd be so content with just a pretty view and one person on the phone but I am. I can't imagine what else I could want. 

"Hey." he says, cheerful. "Do your family hate me?" 

I laugh. "Why would they hate you?"

"I don't know." he admits with a little laugh. "It was just embarrassing earlier."

"They're fine." I promise him. 

He's quiet for a moment but I can just picture the little smile on his face. "So what about dinner tomorrow night? My mom and dad are coming to stay for the next month or so starting tomorrow so I thought it would be a good time for you to come over."

"It sounds good. How come they're staying?" 

"My mom's eight months pregnant and doesn't want to give birth without us there. I don't know why, it was some emotional turmoil she went through last night." 

"Your mom's pregnant?" I ask. "That's so exciting! Are you excited?" 

He laughs. "I mean it gets a little old the fourth time around if I'm honest."

"You're so boring." I tell him and he chuckles. I pause, wondering whether I should clear up all my confusion about what exactly we are. I realise when I'm considering it that I'm not even nervous about asking. "Hey."

"Yes?" 

"What exactly would you call us?" I ask him. "Like, dating, together, what?" 

"I don't really think we have to call it anything." he tells me. "Like I wouldn't say we're either of those things. We're just... I don't know, we like each other, we've got a thing. Don't worry about labeling it anything."

I sigh, relieved. Is everything with him going to be so simple? 

"Okay. Well I'd better get back to my family. I'll see you tomorrow."

"See you tomorrow. Sleep well."

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