The Stupid Boy and the Outsider Chapter 25
I was so happy. I got second place and won the laptop, just like I wanted. But of course Kristine had to go and ruin it. I'm guessing she's either telling the truth about telling Mr. Pacho whatever about me, thus making me feel bad about getting second or she's lying and never told Mr. Pacho anything, but still wanting me to feel bad... which she did. Why does she have to be such a bitch?
"Hey," Joe said from next to me at Ricado's. "You really were great. I'm sure Kristine was lying about telling that judge about... whatever she told him."
"Thanks," was the only thing I could think of to say. I was still a little confused with the whole kiss thing. It felt weird talking to and being close to Joe. I didn't know how to act around him.
"Okay you guys let's say grace," Pastor Jonas said when all the food was brought out.
I was a little hesitant to hold Joe's hand, but he had no problem taking my hand in his. Sometime during the prayer Joe started to caress the back of my hand. My heart rate sped up so much that it felt like my heart was gonna burst out of my chest. As soon as Pastor Jonas said Amen I whipped my hand back.
"Are you okay Jackie?" Berna asked me.
"Yeah, I'm fine." I didn't sound very convincing and Berna gave me a curious look, so I guess she didn't buy it.
"How about we have a girl's night tonight?" She asked before turning away from me and looking at Maya. "We can have a sleep over."
"What about us?" Joe asked.
"That's gonna be so much fun!" Maya said.
Joe's expression towards Maya ignoring him was comical and I couldn't help but laugh. His face softened when he looked at me. He had a cute little smile on his face. It made my heart beat even faster than before, I could feel my face heat up, my stomach felt all funny... and I did not like this feeling.
"So," I said turning away from him. "Who's house are we gonna stay at?"
After asking our parents it was settled that they were gonna sleep over my house.
Berna, Maya, and I were sitting on my living room floor when Berna asked me, "What's your problem now?"
I guess I must have zoned out a little. "What?" I asked confused. Partly lying I continued to say, "There's nothing wrong."
"Well, I think there is and Ibet I know what it is." She had a big grin on her face.
"If you think it's Kristine, then you're wrong," I said sticking my tongue out at her.
"Actually I don't think it's... her." I rolled my ayes at the fact that she didn't want to say hername. "I think you're problem is with Joe."
"You two just finished fighting and you're fighting again?" Maya asked.
"We're not fighting..."
"But you definitely have aproblem with him," Berna interrupted me. "You two were acting a little weird all night. Now spill it or I'm gonna ask him and purposefully blow things out of proportion."
I though about it for a minute. Maya and Berna were both watching me closely. They really wanted to know... and I did need to tell someone.
"Fine," I sighed. "Well... we kind of... kissed."
"You kissed Joe?" Maya asked with a disgusted look on her face. "He's just so... Joe. I always thought you'd go for someone like JD... but I guess that's out since Berna's dating him."
"Wait," Berna said putting her hands up. "Why?... Where?... When?"
I told them all about the watch and what happened before the contest.
"We were in the boys' bathroom and I heard the janitor coming. I panicked! I didn't know what else to do. People make out all the time in... janitors closets, the projection room above the auditorium, and bathrooms right? So I just thought that it'll let us off the hook without looking suspicious."
"So, if the janitor hadn't come in..." She left the end of the sentence open for me to answer.
"Well, if he didn't come in them we wouldn't have kissed in the first place." I knew what she was asking, but I really didn't want to answer.
"You know what I mean. If you thought he was coming in and you kissed him, but he didn't come in, what would have happened?"
I really didn't want to answer that. I didn't even want to think about it, but if I was honest with myself... "Weouldakegon," I mumbled looking at them sheepishly.
They looked at each other with confused looks on their faces before turning to me. "What?" They asked at the same time.
"I said, 'We," my voice was pretty loud, "would have," it was still pretty strong, "kept," not so strong anymore, "going,'" I finished lamely.
"Ohmygosh!" They squealed out at the same time.
I fell back on the floor and covered my face with a pillow.
"So, now what? What happened after that?" Maya asked.
I took the pillow off my face and said, "Nothing. We haven't talked about it. If we did dinner wouldn't have been so awkward... or it would have been more awkward, I'm not sure which. I probably just ruined my friendship with him," I whined. Berna and Maya just patted my legs trying to comfort me. After a little whining I sat up and said,"I don't wanna talk about it anymore." So we didn't, but I'm sure Berna wouldn't just drop it like that. She'd make sure to bring it up again later.
--- --- --- ---
It's been two weeks since the kiss and I've been avoiding Joe and since JD is one of Joe's best friends and also Berna's boyfriend, avoiding Joe also means avoiding Berna. I wish I didn't have to do that, but I just didn't want to deal with Joe. At the same time Ineeded to talk to Berna. Since that was hard to do and happened less frequently, I turned to my other female friend. No not Maya, she was too young. I'm talking about Ilana.
Ilana and I have been growing closer through our letters. Now that I got my new laptop and dad had internet installed I've been emailing Ilana like crazy. She and Berna seem to think the same thing. They've been telling me to talk to Joe, but I can't, not now.
I did everything I could to keep away from Joe. Whenever I saw him in the hallway, I'd turn around and head in the opposite direction, whether he saw me or not. It was a lot harder to avoid him at Nick's birthday party and just as hard at Frankie's, but I made it happen. I even stayed in the library during mid-morning and lunch everyday at school.
It was the middle of homecoming week now and the halls were filled with loud school pride. Luckily it didn't trickle through into the library. All I wanted was quiet time and to be alone.
I was in the library now, sitting all the way in the back corner, hidden behind rows and rows of book shelves. Iknew Berna would never come in here to look for me, but I guess it was different today.
"There you are," Berna whispered. It wasn't actually a whisper. It was more like one of those people that "whispers" to a friend from across a restaurant. Just be cause you strain your voice a little bit it doesn't make it any less loud.
"Shh... this is a library," I said to her.
"Why are you in here?" Was she serious?
"You know why I'm in here," I answered. "You know how I know? Because you let me stay in here for two weeks."
"I know, but I'm starting to get worried," she said. "Two weeks is way too long and I miss hang out with my best friend."
"We can hang out, just don't bring Joe along." I know that's an irrational request, but when have I ever been rational.
"Jackie, he's your friend too. He misses you; I can see that he does."
"So then why doesn't he come here and look for me?"
"Gee, I don't know," she said sarcastically. "Maybe it's because you're avoiding him. Maybe he knows you're avoiding him and he's mad at you now. Or maybe he's giving you time to think while he thinks about it too."
"So all of you guys have talked about this?" I asked accusingly. "Behind my back?"
"I've hinted a little bit, but we haven't actually talked about it." I just sighed. "Oh come on, it's not like we all don't know." I gave her a questioning look. "Joe knows obviously, I'm sure he knows that you've told me about it, and it's not like guys don't talk about these things, so he's probably already told the other guys and his brothers... or at least he will sometime soon."
I sighed again. "I really didn't want other people to know about this. Why can't it just be between Joe and me?"
"You needed someone to talk to, he needed someone to talk to, so you both talked to people. Big deal. What you need to do now is walk out there and talk to Joe."
"But I don't want to," I whined like a stubborn child.
"Jackie." She sounded like my mom before she was about to lecture me. "Do you like him?"
The question shocked me a little bit. "I don't know. Sometimes I think I do and other times I think I don't."
"But you liked the kiss."
"Yes... I guess," I answered pathetically while I played with the pages of my book.
"So what's the problem?"
Where do I start? "Well... I haven't exactly been in this situation before. It's kinda scary."
"Understandable," Berna commented. "Continue."
"Joe and I haven't always been friends you know." Berna nodded. "We get into fights and he knows the right buttons to push... it might hurt a hundred times more if we... you know, got together."
"Love and heartbreak kinda go together. It's like... being a celebrity and paparazzi, they're almost always together, but sometimes there are some celebs that don't attract paparazzi so much." I laughed a little at her analogy. "And if he does say something stupid just give him a good right hook. We all know you can." That was true. "So don't you think you should talk to Joe now?"
"I don't know," I said throwing my hands up in the air before crossing them on the desk and resting my head on them.
I felt Berna pull on my long sleeve shirt, so I looked up.
"You need to talk to him, not just about the kiss, but to be his best friend again. That's gonna help you figure out your feelings. You owe yourself and Joe that much."
Berna was right Joe shouldn't lose me as a friend just because I don't know my true feelings, and I don't want to lose him either.
"There you guys are," I heard someone say behind me. I didn't need to turn around to know who it was. I knew that voice.
I looked up when he stepped up to the table. He had a small smile on his face and his eyes twinkled with ahint of playful mischief. From years of knowing Joe I've seen these on a daily basis, but it wasn't 'till now that I really noticed them. I couldn't help, but smile back.
Author's Note: Finally a chapter! Haha Sorry its been so long. I'm trying to write every chance I get. Thanks for reading!
Oh and if you want something else to read while I'm writing, you're more than welcome to read my other fic "Just You and Me." It's another Jonas fic. I just posted the last chapter and I'm posting the first chapter of the spin off tomorrow.