Everlasting

l was taught to be a good man; a gentleman. Hold doors open for others, not just women. Say "please" and "thank you". My mom would scream at me if I wasn't polite and respectful, especially out in public. She must be rolling around in her grave these days. 
You must think my story is a bad one, like a romantic love story about a girl that falls in love too quickly. However, mine's way different. You know, you read those books all the time about the love and the romance, but you don't often read about their lives and about how they got to where they are in life. 
This is our story.

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7. Chapter Seven

Song: Heartbreak Girl by 5 Seconds of Summer

Radioactive by Imagine Dragons 

Poppy smiled as she leaned closer into my chest as we watched a movie in my room. Since she still has boxes in her house, she refuses to allow me to come over because of the 'clutter and mess' all over the place. However, I could care less.

"Where's your bathroom?" She asked, looking up to me. 

"Right next door on the left. I'll pause the movie for you," Poppy spending the night with me has never happened before, mostly because I would blow her off to be with Amber, who, by the way has gotten herself a boyfriend. They've been going out for a good month now but she decided to keep her relationship a secret from everyone else because sometimes the girls tend to make a bigger deal about it than others but although a month into their relationship, they ended up started quickly. 

I felt my phone vibrating on my lap as I thought about Amber and sighed. Maybe heaven answered dreams? However, Amber calling this late is unusual, she's always afraid she'll be too loud and wake up her little brother in the room next to her and he'll find out.

"Amber? Why are you calling me at one in the morning?"

"Can you talk?" She asked.

"Are you crying? What happened?"

"If you can't talk, it's fine, I'll deal with it on my own."

"No, no. Tell me what's wrong. I have Poppy over but she's in the bathroom."

She took a deep breath, "you're the only one who knows about Jake and I, besides my parents, but he's been cheating on me. He has two other girlfriends at school and when I confronted him about it, he-"

"What'd he do, Am?" I pressed as she continued to cry hysterically.

"Well, first he said I didn't mean anything to him. He said I was hot and wanted to try me out. And then, I pushed him around and hit him and then, well, next thing I knew I was on the ground and his hands were out in front of him a-"

"He put his hands on you?"

"Yes, Jackson. I came home and laid in my bed all day. Mikey has been knocking on my door since he came home from school and he just stopped when my mom out Leo down for bed. But I just can't open my door to face him. Jack, I really liked him, like really liked him. I was gonna break things off with us and then this happened."

"I'm sorry, Am. Do you want me to do something?"

"No, it'll make things even worse than they are. My dad already has phone calls to the school and other people as it is and you getting involved will make it worse."

"Alright, I'll stay out of it. Poppy is back in the room so I'm gonna go. But Am, I know we aren't anything, but if you need someone to talk to, you know I'm here for you,"

"I know, and thanks for that. I guess I'll see you tomorrow at school. Thanks for being a friend, Jackson," I closed my eyes and nodded as I hung up.

"That's the fifth time she's called you tonight,"

"Don't worry about it."

I slammed Jake's locker shut while he was about to stick his hand back into it. He jumped back in shock as people gathered around us, "what the hell, Phillips!"

"Let's have a chat, yeah?" I asked as Jason folded his arms across his chest. I called him this morning while Poppy was showering and told him about what happened with Amber and he agreed I can't sit and do nothing. Even if Amber and I are friends with benefits, she's a friend first and I defend my friends to the best of my ability.

"You know what I hate, Jake?" I asked as more people crowded us in a circle. He shook his head. Personally, I think people aren't afraid of me. I don't think they realize how angry and how protective I can get if you end up on my bad side. Yeah, I was taught to be a good person but also along with that, I was raised to defend and fight for my friends and the people I love.

"I hate when people lie to others. Especially girls. And then to top it off, lay their hands on their girlfriend when the only time a real man should lay his hands on a women is to please her. See, when someone puts their hands on girls, I don't find it right."

"Amber can't even fight her own battles. What a little bitch she is," he laughed as I moved my head side to side. "I'll admit, Jackson, I don't know how you can be just friends with her. She's-" he didn't get another chance to speak once my fist collided with his jaw. He chuckled and fought back. Jason pulled me up from the floor and stood next to me as we both ended up fighting him.

I got pulled up from the floor and forced away from Jake as was Jason. I looked ahead of me as Amber stood next to Talia with her arm crossed. Behind her was Poppy with a blank stare on her face, however, her eyes went from me to the back of Amber's head.

"My office, now," Mr. Lionel said as he walked me and Jason down the hallway. I heard the girl's voices behind me but the only voice I didn't hear was Amber's.

"Who wants to go first this time?" Mr. Lionel asked as we entered the main office.

"I will, sir,"

He sighed and closed his office door, "what're you doing, Jackson? Fighting isn't what you do."

"I know, sir,"

"And this kind is fighting won't make the process of military any easier, you know?" Since I'm still in high school, I had to inform Mr. Lionel about my decision and when my departure will fully take place. He only had to know because of boot camp training, which takes place every morning until twelve noon and in order for me to join, he would have to sign off.

"I'm aware, sir. But I didn't do it because I wanted to, well, I wanted to but he was asking for it. See, I'm kind of seeing Amber York-"

"Jackson, I really don't need-"

"And she called me hysterical crying last night. She was dating Jake and he had another girlfriend and she said he pushed her to the ground. I was only fighting him because I was raised to respect women, unlike him," in a way, I'm like Jake and I hate the thought of that.

"Although your reasons are accurate, I can't let this go. You have two options here, either you take a Saturday detention or you skip a day of boot camp to help the janitors clean in the morning."

"I'll take the detention,"

Mr. Lionel called Jason in as I walked out of the office but unfortunately, because Mr. Lionel didn't yell, I get to be yelled at by someone worse.

"What the hell is wrong with you?! I told you not to do anything! I told you it would make things worse, so you go and do things anyway!" Amber yelled.

"I had to. I couldn't just sit around and do nothing. You were the one who called me up last night, I did what any guy in my position wo-"

"You are not my boyfriend, Jackson. Get that through your thick skull. No strings attached. We are not together. And never will be."

"Jackson," I turned around to find Poppy standing there with her arms straight down to her sides.

"Got it, Amber. Don't call me next time, then. But you know why I did what I did and I'm not sorry for it. You don't want someone to stand up for you like a real man should, that's fine. But you need to find someone else to play this little game of yours because I'm done. You. Win."

I sighed as Poppy ran off with her head in her hands, "Poppy, wait,"

"How long have you been seeing her?" No tears, no anger, nothing.

"Not technically seeing her-"

"Jackson."

"A few months."

"What is it? A friendship? Ex? Girlfriend?"

"Friendship. It was before I met you. It was simple hookups, nothing else,"

"Do you know how that sounds? It was just hookups. Tell me something, do you love her?" I looked down.

She sighed, "I can't fight for you if you love her. She's a nice girl and I can see the way you look at her, I just didn't want it to be true. You look at her as if she's the only girl in the world,"

"I'm sorry,"

"So am I. But I really hope we can be friends, Jackson. You're a good guy and a great friend," I nodded and watched as she turned around and walked down the hallway to the doors of the library.

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