The Stupid Boy and the Outsider Chapter 26
I've been meaning to talk to Jackie, but she's been avoiding me since the day of the kiss. The least she could do was avoid me so it wasn't too obvious. Every time I see her she turns and walks away in the opposite direction, which is really stupid, especially when her next class was the one I just got out of. Nick and Frankie's birthday parties were pretty awkward. I knew she still didn't want to be around me and hid every chance she got. Well, if she doesn't want to talk to me, then she doesn't need to. I'll just give her time to think for a little bit before I talk to her. That was the right thing to do... right?
It was Wednesday, a few days before the big homecoming game and the homecoming dance. Everyone was riled up in the hallways. I would usually join in, but I just wasn't into it this year.
I was walking to the cafe with Jerby and JD. When we got there our usual table with the girls was empty. They were usually the first ones there.
"Where's Berna?" JD asked.
"I dunno," Jerby said. "Did you do something to make her leave too?"
Yeah they knew about Jackie and me. It didn't explain why Berna wasn't there, but it explained why Jackie wasn't.
"She's probably with Jackie in the library," I said answering JD's question.
"You knew Jackie was hiding out there all this time, but never went to talk to her?" JD asked.
"If she wanted to talk to me she would. She wants to be alone right now and I'm gonna respect that."
"Dude," Jerby said, "it's been like two weeks."
"Yeah it's been a lot of time to think," JD added. "You obviously like her so at least tell her. Maybe she's scared that you don't."
"But what if she doesn't?"
"Why lose a friendship over something so small?" JD had a point.
We all left the cafe to look for the girls in the library. I finally found them in the back corner. I should have guessed.
"There you guys are," I said.
Jackie's back was towards me, but I still saw her tense after hearing my voice. I managed to have a smile on my face when I stepped up to the table and she actually smiled back.
"I'm gonna go look for JD," Berna said before leaving.
Jackie didn't get up so I sat in the seat Berna just left. It was quiet and I didn't really know what to say. She probably didn't want to talk about us.
"Are you going to the game this Friday?" Jackie just nodded. "Yeah, me too." She just nodded again. "Are you going to the dance?" She shook her head this time. At least she was listening. "Why not?"
"No one asked me." Finally, actual words and no signs of competition. "Arrrreeeee... you going?" She asked.
"No, I can't." Her eyebrows scrunched together a little bit. I never noticed that she did that when she was confused, but looking back she always did. I never noticed how cute she looked doing it either. "We have a gig early Sunday morning; we don't have time to go to the dance."
"Cool," she said. It was my turn to look confused. "About the gig I mean." She looked at her hands and started playing with the pages of the book she had opened in front of her.
"I wish I could though." She looked up at me. "The girl I wanna go with doesn't have a date."
Jackie just nodded and said, "Cool," before looking down to read her book. Cool? Even I know that doesn't make sense. What do I do now? Does she know I was talking about her?What if she did? Now she's acting all weird. But if she didn't then she thinks I'm talking about someone else.
I decided to take a chance. Ireached over and placed my hand on one of hers. "I think you might know her," I said. I saw her eyes look at our hands before looking at me. "I hear she has this awesome, good looking best friend that's in this rockin' band with his brothers. Her voice is pretty awesome too." That got a smile out of her, but that was the only response I got since the bell rang.
--- --- --- ---
Two days later and everyone was riled up for the homecoming game today. Since one of my best friends is on the football team I had to go. Oh well, if it gives me a reason to be loud then I'm all for it.
"So what's the plan for today?" I asked during lunch.
"I think we should just hang out here 'till the game starts," Berna said.
"I can ask Mrs. Bautista if we can hang out in her class," Jackie offered. "I wanted to develop my pictures anyway."
"Will she be okay with all of us?" Berna asked.
I counted in my head four or six of us since Kevin and Brandon might or might not hang out with us and JD would be getting ready for the game.
"Do you think Kevin and Brandon will wanna hang out too?" Jackie asked me.
We seem to be back to being just best friends and things seem normal again.
"I don't know. Brandon's been flirting with some girl. You know how he is," I said as everyone nodded their head, understanding.
Brandon and Kevin might be best friends, but they are pretty opposite. Let's just say if Kevin is the good Christian boy we all know he is then Brandon is... a male whore. Everyone knew he only had a girlfriend for two weeks max and that he wasn't a virgin, but he was just as nice as Kevin. The girls didn't mind having just two weeks with him. It's not like he sleeps with all the girls he dates... at least that's what Kevin says.
"So Brandon might not join us?" Jackie asked.
"Kevin might not either. He's trying to get with that girl's friend."
"Well, I'll just ask for six just in case."
"And if they wanna bring their potential girlfriends, then they should find somewhere else to stay," Berna said.
"Berna," Jackie said with alaugh. "That's not very nice."
"Well, they should be alone with them anyway, right? That way they can get to know each other better and sort out their feelings."
Did Berna know about Jackie and me? Who am I kidding, of course she knew. Girls talked about these things. She might have been saying that stuff to Jackie, but I'm sure she said it for the both of us.
The rest of the day I though about what Berna said. I really should talk to her. I started to at the library the other day, but we got interrupted by the school bell and we haven't been alone since. I guess I just have to try harder to get her alone.
After school I walked with Berna and Jerby to Mrs. Bautista's class. It was Jackie's last class so she was already in here.
Kristine, with a smile on her face, stopped me right outside of Mrs. B's class. I didn't notice she was around. It was like she just appeared out of thin air. Jerby and Berna just kept walking, leaving me in the hallway with her. They're great friends aren't they?
"Hey, so are you going to the game?" She asked me. Wow, she didn't waste any time getting to the point.
"Yeah, of course."
She nodded. "How about the dance?" Of course she was gonna bring that up.
"Can't, my brothers and Ihave a gig. It's not possible to be at the dance an on the road at the same time."
"You, you're so funny," she said giving me a playful push and letting out an annoying giggle.
"Uh, thanks." I didn't think it was that funny.
"Are you gonna be here next weekend?" She asked when she stopped giggling.
"Yup." I didn't want to ask why. That would only make her think that I care and might give her hope of us getting back together, which we're not.
"Good!" She said. "Because my birthday is next week and I'm having a pool party next Saturday to celebrate. I really want you to come."
"A pool party?" I asked before looking into a classroom through the window to see everyone outside in asweater or jacket.
"It's an indoor pool silly. It's heated and everything." I though about her invitation for a minute, Ididn't really want to go. "You can bring your friends along, Rada and Mathews too."I raised my eyebrow at her. "We all know we don't get along, but... I know you would want your friends there too."
"Okay, well I'll tell them and... we'll see."
She nodded and I walked into Mrs. Bautista's class. Luckily she didn't follow me in. That would have been bad.
When I walked in the class Inoticed it didn't have individual desks like other classrooms. There were only four tables, but it wasn't like the ones in science with the black top that only fits 2 people. These tables were bigger, enough for eight people, and under the table looked like cabinets.
Kevin and Brandon were already there. Brandon was shamelessly flirting with a girl. I think her name is Jessie, at least that's the name Brandon mentioned. Kevin was talking to another girl. I didn't know her name, but she was arranging some film slide things. I guess she took photography too.
"So what did shewant?" Berna asked when I sat down next to her.
"What did who want?" Jackie asked a little distracted.
"Kristine," I answered. "Oh and thanks for just leaving me there you guys."
"I would have left you out there too," Jackie said with a laugh still doing whatever she was doing. It was simple laugh, but a lot nicer than Kristine's. Who was I kidding? It was the best laugh ever.
"So, what did she want?" Jerby asked breaking me out of my thoughts.
"She invited all of us to her birthday party." Jackie finally looked up. She and Berna were looking at me with their eyebrow raised. "I think she's only inviting you guys so that I'd go too."
"Eww," Berna said. "Pass. Next subject." And that was the end of that. She didn't want to talk about Kristine after that and neither did I.
"How about that?" I pointed over to Kevin and Brandon.
"Rosa's really quiet," Jackie said. I guess that was the girl Kevin was talking to. "She's really nice too. We have this class together. She and her friend... umm, I think her name is Jessie, are seniors."
"Are you talking about us Mathews?" Rosa jokingly picked a fight from her seat at the table next to us.
"If you didn't hear me talking about you needing a nose job, then no I wasn't," Jackie joked.
"Actually we were talking about Kevin needing a nose job," I joined in.
Eventually the eight of us were talking like old friends and we all went to the game together. Unfortunately for all of us Kristine, Cindy, and Francis sat with us. We were all getting into the game, even Jackie and Berna were. Well, all except for Kristine who kept trying to talk to me, but I just pretended that I didn't hear her, like I was Benny not paying attention to Carmen. Sometimes I really didn't because Iwas so caught up in the game, but it didn't keep her from talking and hanging on my arm. To be honest I kinda felt bad for ignoring her, but I really didn't want to listen.
"Whose idea was it to make the homecoming theme scary movies or whatever it is?" Berna asked during half time when they were showing off the different class floats.
"Maybe blood and gore is actually romantic," Brandon joked.
My eyes wandered from Brandon over to Kevin, Rosa, and landed on Jackie. She had a sad look on her face. It looked like she was looking at Kristine and my linked arms. I took my arm away from Kristine and saw Jackie look up at me. When she saw I was looking at her she quickly looked away. I tried not to think about what she must have thought, but my enthusiasm wasn't the same.
We ended up wining 24-10. Berna practically flew down the bleachers to see JD before he got to the locker rooms. She jumped into his arms and gave him a hug.
"You were great out there man," I said as he let go of Berna.
"Thanks," he said giving Jackie a little hug.
"Eww, you're sweaty and gross," Jackie joked pulling away.
"Fine," he said giving us guys hi-5's. "I'll go change and stuff. I'll be out in a few."
Kristine and her friends were already gone when JD came back out, but he wasn't alone. He was with some new kid.
"Guys this is Ryan. He transferred here from Maine," JD introduced. "Ryan this is Jerby, Kevin, Brandon, Jackie, Joe, and my beautiful girlfriend Bernadette."
"Aww," the girls said together at JD being mushy.
"I have a couple classes with Kevin and Brandon, Jessie and Rosa too," Ryan said.
"I would have introduced you girls too, but I didn't know who you were. Sorry," JD said. Jessie and Rosa just smiled and shook their heads.
"Well, it was nice meeting you guys," Ryan said shaking all our hands. "And it's especially nice to meet you, Jackie was it?" He said shaking Jackie's hand.
Why did JD bring him out here?
"Yeah," she said with a shy smile. This Ryan dude was still holding her hand and staring at her. What is she thinking? Does she seriously like this guy? This was notgood.
"So!" Berna said getting rid of the awkward silence. "I'm guessing you're a senior since you have classes with those guys?"
"Yeah I am," Ryan said before finally letting go of Jackie's hand.
"Oh well the rest of us are all sophomores."
"Cool. Uh... there's gonna be aparty over at my house to celebrate, you guys should come," he offered.
"Joe and I need to go home actually," Kevin said looking at his watch.
"You two brothers?" Kevin just nodded. "Cool. Well, how about you Jackie?"
Could he be any more obvious?He's making himself look desperate.
"Actually I have to go home too... and Kevin's my ride. Sorry."
Ha ha! Eat it!
"That's okay," Ryan said. "Maybe we could hang out some other time."
After a few minutes of talking Jessie and Brandon decided to go to Ryan's party, so they left. But most importantly Ryan left. Good riddance!
We all walked to the parking lot. Jackie, Berna, Kevin, and Rosa were walking ahead of Jerby, JD, and me.
"Why are you trying to hook up that Ryan guy with Jackie?" I asked JD.
"I'm not," he answered. "He just told me he wanted to meet my friends. He's new so I said okay. I didn't know he meant just Jackie."
"JD wouldn't do that knowing how much you like her man," Jerby said.
"I know," I sighed. "Sorry. I guess I'm just a little jealous. I mean, did you see the way she looked at him?She never gave me that look. She never gave anyone that look."
JD gave me a pat on the back saying, "Don't worry about it. Everything's gonna work out."
I hope so. I should really do something about this, but what should I do? I really did a lot on Wednesday and now this Ryan guy came into the picture and ruined all of that.
While dropping everyone home I decided that tonight would be the night. She's gonna know I like her whether she wants to know or not and I'm gonna find out how she feels too.
"Hey Jackie," I said when Kevin parked the van in our driveway. "You think I could hang out for a little bit?"
I could see Kevin watching us through my peripheral vision. Jackie looked hesitant. Maybe tonight's not the night.
"Uh... never mind maybe some other time," I said before turning around.
"Wait," I heard her say. "I don't see why not." That just made my night.
"Tell mom and dad where I am," I told Kevin before walking with Jackie to her house.
"So," Jackie said as she plopped down into the love seat. I sat on the couch right next to the love seat. The two couches made an L formation around the coffee table in front of their TV. "What are you guys gonna be doing tomorrow?"
"We have practice. It's only supposed to be two hours, but if Nick has any say we'll be there all day until we leave."
"Can you blame him? This is his dream."
"It's Kevin and my dream too," I said a little offended.
"I know that," Jackie said with a laugh, "but you and Kevin are a little more laid back. Nick is so much more serious about this stuff. He wants it to be perfect."
"Yeah, yeah, whatever," I looked over at her hand resting on the love seat arm rest. It was literally inches from my hand. "We need to hang out before we leave."
She let out a little laugh, "Joe, you're leaving for like a day, less than a day."
Why does she have to make this so hard?
"That doesn't mean I don't wanna hang out with you."
"Well, if Nick lets you guys out early I'll be at Berna's tomorrow."
Do it now Joe. Tell her how you feel. If you don't that Ryan guy might steal her away when you're gone.
"Let's watch a movie," she said, getting up to put in a movie. Damn, I was too slow. I expected her to sit back on the love seat, but instead she sat down next to me. "You're okay with that right?" She asked after turning to me and placing her hand on my knee.
That shocked me a little bit. "Uh... yeah."
She nodded before grabbing the remote from the coffee table to turn the TV on and play the movie. When she leaned back she kinda leaned on me too. Maybe I didn't need to tell her. I stretched my arm out and she leaned in a little more and rested her head on my shoulder.
I didn't pay attention to the movie and we actually ended up falling asleep on the couch.
Author's Note: Yay an update! Haha Thanks for being patient for it and thanks for reading.
Oh! And a shameless plug. I made a street team for a friend of mine Nikki Lorenzo it's myspace.com/nikkilorenzo808st. Add it please. Last name is Hawaii if you need it and also check out Nikki's actual myspace a myspace.com/nikkilorenzomusic. Please and thank you!