The Stupid Boy and the Outsider Chapter 30
Kristine's pool party was going... well we were only here for 10 minutes, but for 10 minutes it was going pretty well. For a pool party there wasn't a lot of people in the pool, there were guys lining up for a massage, girls that were flirting with the lifeguard, and other people dancing or just hanging out. I guess that's okay, Jackie won't feel too weird about not swimming.
I was at some kind of bar type thing waiting for Francis's smoothie. I kinda felt bad leaving Jackie alone with Kristine and Francis, but she seemed okay with it.
"Strawberry smoothie and a Pepsi," the guy behind the counter said as he handed them to me.
I thanked him and walked back to the girls. Right when I turned around I saw Kristine push Jackie in the pool. The same reflexive instincts that happened five years ago kicked in again. As soon as Jackie hit the water I was running towards her with the drinks probably in a big mess where I dropped them.
I dove in the water and went straight for her. I grabbed her around her waist and headed back up. She wasn't moving when I got back to the edge of the pool. Ryan was there to pull Jackie out. The lifeguard swam up to the edge of the pool a second later and pulled himself out. I guess he was behind me the whole time. I just stayed where I was watching him give Jackie CPR. It felt like a million years passed before Jackie started coughing up pool water.
Kevin and JD helped me out of the pool as Ryan and the lifeguard led Jackie over to a bench. I was gonna follow them, but Kevin held me back.
"You okay?" He asked.
"Jackie's the one that almost died and you're asking if I'm okay?"
"She means a lot to you, this is the second time this has happened. And you've been holding in a lot of emotions. I just wanna make sure you're okay too."
I understood what he was saying. Jackie mentioned stuff about holding in her feelings for too long.
Before I could answer I saw Kristine and Francis talking a few feet behind Kevin. Without thinking I walked past him and over to Kristine.
"Don't do anything stupid Joe," I heard Kevin say as I walked away.
"What were you thinking?" I asked her. She was about to say something, but I kept talking. "You weren't thinking. If you were you wouldn't have don't that. And don't act like you didn't do anything because you did. I saw you push her into the pool. I don't even wanna hear what you have to say because nothings gonna make what you did okay and I don't wanna say something I might regret so I'm just gonna walk away."
So, I did. I walked away and over to Jackie. She was sitting between Berna and Ryan wrapped in a towel. JD came over with more towels and handed me one. I forgot I was wet too.
"Thanks," I said before turning to Jackie and saying, "Hey, you okay?"
"Yeah," she said. Her voice cracked a little. "I just wanna go home."
"I'll go get Kevin."
"I'll take you home," Ryan insisted. "Let everyone stay a little longer."
"You don't mind taking Joe and me home?" Jackie asked.
"Not at all, you both didn't bring any extra clothes."
"Are you sure you don't want us to go home with you guys?" JD asked.
"This shouldn't ruin your fun," Jackie said. "I'm fine, no one got hurt, and Joe and I need to go home, you guys don't. So, we'll go and you guys stay."
"Okay," Berna said without even thinking about it. She took the wet towel off of Jackie and replaced it with a dry one. "We'll see you guys later," she said.
We said goodbye and I followed Jackie and Ryan out to the parking lot. The ride home was pretty quiet. And felt like it lasted ten years instead of ten minutes. Ryan was the first to break the silence.
"I'm sorry for what Kristine did," he said when we rolled up in front of Jackie's house. "I knew she was abitch, but I didn't know she would... I just can't believe she'd push you in like that." So I guess I wasn't the only one that saw it happen.
"You don't have to apologize, you didn't do anything," Jackie said. "Thanks for the ride.
"Yeah no problem." He turned around to look at me in the back seat and said, "Good job man, you were faster than that lifeguard."
I gave a little nod and said, "Thanks. Uh... see you at school."
Jackie and I got out of the car and went to our separate houses as Ryan drove away. We practically ran since it was so cold. My hands started to shake as I took my keys out of my pocket.
"Joe," I heard Jackie call me. I looked over and saw her running toward me. "I don't have my key," she said. She was shaking a little bit too.
Without saying anything I opened the door for us to go inside. It was too cold for us to stand out there still wet from the pool.
Mom came down the stairs then with Frankie following behind her.
"What happened?" She asked.
"We fell in the pool," I said. It was partly true.
"And you walked home? Where's Kevin?" She sounded upset.
"We got a ride from JD's friend, Ryan, and told everyone else to stay."
"I'm sorry Mrs. Jonas," Jackie said. She wasn't shaking anymore. "I was supposed to stay at Berna's tonight and didn't bring my house key with me. Can I stay here for a little bit?"
"Of course. You two should shower and change out of these clothes. You can use the master bathroom, Jackie. Joe can let you borrow some clothes too."
I gave Jackie some clothes before she headed to mom and dad's bathroom. I headed to the other bathroom more than ready for a warm shower.
I was putting my wet clothes and towel in the washing machine when Jackie came out to the hallway holding her wet clothes. I motioned for her to dump them in with my clothes. While our clothes washed we headed to my room. I didn't really know what to do so I just stood there watching her and she did the same.
"Did I say 'thank you' yet?" She asked. I shook my head. "Thank you," she said before rushing to me and giving me a hug.
"Anytime," I said hugging her back.
I hadn't realized how small her waist was until just then. I guess the baggy clothes she wears doesn't show off her real size. I could even smell mom's shampoo that she used. I wonder what she usually smells like.
"This seems like a vicious cycle doesn't it?" She asked bringing me back to reality. She didn't let go so I didn't either.
"What do you mean?"
She pulled away this time. "When we first met we hated each other, then you save my life and we become best friends. After that we had a fight and now you saved me again and we're still friends," she explained.
I let out a small chuckle. "Yeah." It was silent for a little bit as I thought of something. "But you got the last part wrong." She gave me a confused look so I said, "We did get into a fight, but we made up before I saved you. So the first time we were enemies that became friends," I stepped closer to her and took her hands in mine. "This time it should turn us from friends to... more than friends?"
Jackie lightly bit down on her bottom lip nervously before saying, "That seems logical."
I let go of one of her hands so that I could cup the side of her face. I leaned in slowly before stopping for a second. Our lips were just millimeters apart. If she wanted to pull away she should do it now.
I used the hand already cupping her cheek to move a strand of hair out of her face, placed it on the back of her head, and pulled her the rest of the way. She guided my other hand that was still holding hers, to her lower back before wrapping her arms around my neck. This kiss felt just as good as the first one. Her lips were just as soft as I remembered, but this time we wanted to kiss and we like it. So, for asecond time I took a chance. I ran my tongue along her bottom lip, the same lip she lightly bit a minute ago. Then she pulled away.
What was it this time? At least she didn't let go, her hands were still around my neck.
"I'm sorry," she said. "I just..." she couldn't find the words to explain and bit her lip again. "It's just... kinda weird. I mean different." She corrected herself. "I've never... done that," she said in a small voice. I saw her cheeks turn pink at the same time.
I should have guessed. All of this was new to her.
"That's okay," I said. I hugged her tighter to me and rested my forehead on hers. "We'll go slow, whatever makes you comfortable.
A smile appeared and she said, "Thank you," before giving me a light kiss.
"So, will you be my girlfriend?" I know that sounds lame, but now we won't be confused. I still don't know when Kristine and I became "official."
She let out a small laugh. "Yes, I'd love to."
"Woah," I heard someone say causing Jackie to let go and back away.
Nick was standing in the doorway. I should have closed the door.
"Did you want something?" It sounded a little ruder than I though it was gonna be and Jackie hit me for it.
"Yeah... where's Kevin? Does mom know you two are here? And why are you wearing Joe's clothes?"
Was he insinuating something? Wow, good word Joe, Jackie would be proud.
Speaking of Jackie, she looked like a deer caught in headlights. I stepped up behind her and hugged her from behind.
"Don't worry Nick we weren't doing anything," I said rolling my eyes. We all sat down and told him about everything that happened.
"That sucks," Nick said. "Are you okay Jackie?"
"Yeah, I'm fine. Things turned out pretty well," she said looking at me.
"It's about time. I don't think I can take Joe complaining about that Ryan guy anymore," Nick said.
I threw a pillow at him and Jackie laughed. Nick ignored the pillow and the three of us just hung out. I could tell Nick had something on his mind, but didn't bring it up.
An hour later Jackie's parents got home, so she went home to change.
"Do you really have to go now?" I asked like a lame whipped boyfriend... which I don't mind as long as Jackie's the girlfriend.
"It would be nice to be in my own clothes."
"But your clothes are in the dryer; just wait a few more minutes."
"I'll be back for those, don't worry," she said before she kissed me and walked out.
I watched her run to her house just as Kevin pulled up in the van.
"Was that Jackie I saw?" He asked. "In your clothes."
I rolled my eyes and told him about Jackie being locked out and changing here.
"So you guys are doing your laundry together? Wow," he said before heading up the stairs.
What is he talking about? "Wait," I said following him. "What's that supposed to mean?"
Kevin stopped at the top of the staircase and turned to me. "Think about it Joe, you're dirty laundry mixing with her dirty laundry. Your underwear is probably touching hers right now. That's a pretty big thing." I must have had a scared look on my face because Kevin said, "But not everyone thinks that. I mean, everyone does laundry right?"
Our underwear is touching? A big thing? I told Jackie we'd take it slow.
"Kevin you're home," Nick said. "Come on, I have something to tell you guys."
Nick looked pretty upset so we followed him to his room.