The Stupid Boy and the Outsider Chapter 31
As I warmed myself in Pastor and Mrs. Jonas' shower I though about what had happened earlier. The first thing I remember was coughing up whatever wanted to come out. It felt like Iwas still under water. Once I saw that Joe was soaking wet I knew he was the one that saved me. I got confirmation of that when Ryan congratulated him for it.
Now I have to find a way to thank him. This is the second time he's saved me. I don't think a simple, "Thank you," will be enough.
When I was done showering I got dressed in the clothes Joe let me borrow. They smelled like him. I walked out to the hallway and Joe was there putting his clothes in the washer. He left it open for me to put my clothes in before we walked into his room. I stood there thinking of what to say.
"Did I say 'thank you' yet?" I felt stupid asking when I already knew the answer. He just shook his head. "Thank you," I said. I could feel some tears coming so before he could see Irushed up to him and engulfed him in a hug.
"Anytime," he said hugging me back. That was nice and it made the tears go away.
"This seems like a vicious cycle doesn't it?"
"What do you mean?" He asked.
"When we first met we hated each other," I said pulling away a little bit. "Then you save my life and we became best friends. After that we had a fight and now you saved me again and we're still friends."
"Yeah," he said with achuckle. "But you got that last part wrong. We did get into a fight, but we made up before I saved you. So the first time we were enemies that became friends." He stepped up to me, taking my hands in each of his and continued saying, "This time it should turn us from friends to... more than friends?"
Oh Mylanta. "That seems logical," I managed to say without freaking out.
A smile appeared that made my heart skip. His eyes burrowed into mine and I was drowning again. The irony of it all.
He leaned in slowly before pulling me in the rest of the way. I could barely concentrate on what was happening. All I could think about was how well I fit in his arms and how gentle he was, just like the last time.
Just when I thought I never wanted this to end I felt his tongue run along my lip. This brought me back to reality. I didn't know what I was doing. What if I was really bad? So I pulled away.
That's two for two Jackie. Good job.
"I'm sorry." I said not looking him in the eye. "I just..." How do I say this without making me seem like a complete loser? "It's just... kinda weird." Oh yeah Jackie make him feel bad."I mean different. I've never... done that."
"That's okay," he said pulling me closer to his body. I hadn't realized we were still holding each other. "We'll go slow, whatever makes you comfortable."
To make up for pulling away I said, "Thank you," and gave him a little kiss.
"So, will you be my girlfriend?"
Aww, he's so cute!
"Yes," I said, "I'd love to."
"Woah." The sudden sound made me jump away from Joe. It was Nick.
"Did you want something?" Joe asked rudely, so I hit him in the stomach.
"Yeah, where's Kevin? Does mom know you two are here? And why are you wearing Joe's clothes?"
Did Nick really think we'd do something like that? I mean we just got together. Then again I didn't know how much he knew about Joe and me.
I felt Joe wrap his arms around my waist, hugging me from behind.
"Don't worry Nick we weren't doing anything," he said.
An hour after explaining to Nick what happened we all headed down stairs. I saw dad's car in the driveway. I needed to go home and tell Berna and Ilana about this. I didn't want to leave and I didn't want to change out of Joe's clothes like I told him. It was the only excuse I could think of to get me home for minute or two of girlie-ness.
When I got home I went for the cordless phone before heading to my laptop. I can't remember if I said hi to mom and dad or not, but hopefully I did.
As I called Berna I typed up the email I was gonna sent Ilana. Berna's cell went straight to voice mail, so I tried her home phone, but no one answered. I tried her cell again, but it still went straight to voice mail. I gave up on Berna and just typed out the email and sent it.
I changed and headed down stairs. Before I could ask to go back mom started asking me a bunch of questions about why I was home so early and about the clothes I came home in. So I told her most of it, leaving out being pushed in the pool and my new boyfriend.
"Is there anything else you wanna tell me?" She asked.
"Like why there's been a big smile on your face despite falling into the deep end of a pool." I could feel my cheeks flush. "But if you don't want to tell me..." She left her sentence open.
I really wanted to go back and see Joe, but I didn't really get my girlie moment.
"Since Berna's not answering her phone," I said before telling her about everything the first kiss, Ryan, and today.
"By baby's growing up," she said, but it wasn't in a comical way, it was genuine.
She let me go over to Joe's house after that. He was the one that opened the door for me, but he didn't look as happy as I felt. He was practically begging me to stay earlier. What happened?
"Hey, is there something wrong?" I asked.
He looked hesitant at first. "Are you okay with us doing laundry together?" That was an odd question.
"Um... yes. It's just laundry." I hope that was the right answer.
"Yeah," he said with a sigh of relief. "Just laundry, everyone does laundry."
After that Joe seemed to go back to normal... almost. There was something a little different. Kevin and Nick were acting different too, like they had something on their mind. When I asked Joe about it he just said, "It's just some band stuff. Don't worry about it."
The rest of the day was pretty uneventful, but I couldn't stop thinking about what was bothering them. Maybe things with the band weren't going as they wanted it to.
--- --- --- ---
On Monday morning Joe held my hand as we walked down the hallway. When we caught up to Berna, JD, and Jerby, Berna's jaw dropped and she shamelessly pointed at our intertwined hands.
"When did that happen?" She asked.
"Saturday after the party," I said.
"I..." She didn't finish her thought. Instead she hit JD.
"Ow! It's not my fault you dropped your phone in the sink," he said. He then continued to tell us about what happened on Saturday. "Berna let Kristine have it after you two left. She went up to the DJ's mike and just..."
"Bitched her out," Berna interrupted. "It was quite a shining moment for me."
"Yeah, everyone applauded, "JD said with a chuckle.
"And she stormed out of there. Didn't show her face after that," Berna said very proud of herself.
"Good, she deserves it," Joe said giving my hand a light squeeze.
"I wonder if that statement is a little biased," Berna said throwing a glance at Joe and my interlocked hands.
Joe gave my hand another squeeze. "So... about your phone?" I asked changing the subject.
"Well, I think Kristine deserved what happened too, but I kinda think it's karma that Berna's phone broke. I mean... she pushes you in the pool, Berna tells her off, and then Berna's phone breaks."
"But I did a good thing," Berna pouted.
"But it wasn't your fight, not really," JD explained.
"Whatever. So JD and I left alittle after that and he came home with me." Joe and I each raised an eyebrow at her. "Don't look at me like that. Anyways, I was in the bathroom washing my hands when my phone rang. I left the water running and... I dropped it in the sink."
"Thanks for calling me back," I said sarcastically.
"It wasn't your call. It was my dad."
"But that doesn't explain why you didn't answer your house phone. You and JD were there..." I trailed off realizing what they were probably doing. "Oh, never mind."
"We weren't doing anything bad."
I just rolled my eyes at her before they wandered over to Jerby leaning on the lockers behind Berna. "What's up with him?" I whispered.
"I don't know," JD said. "He won't talk to me. You talk to him this weekend?" He asked Joe
Joe shook his head. "No."
Before we could ask Jerby what was wrong the bell rang. I think the guys should handle Jerby anyways. He was never really close to Berna and me.
When we got to math class Joe came up behind me before class started and gave me a kiss before heading to his assigned seat.
"Joe just loves being your boyfriend," Berna said with a laugh.
When the lesson was over everyone was working on homework... or at least that's what we were supposed to be doing. Berna leaned over and asked, "So how was your first non-single weekend?"
"It was... good," I answered. "For about a minute I thought Joe was hiding something from me, but I guess not."
"What do you mean?"
"I went home to call you, but since you didn't answer I went back to his house. He was acting kinda different. He started talking about laundry. I'm not sure what that was about, but after that it was okay," I explained.
"I've always thought that he was a strange boy, but laundry?" I nodded. "Like when your clothes are dirty?" I nodded again. "And then you wash them?" And then I nodded again.
I felt a tap on my shoulder so I turned around. It was Cindy.
"Hey," she said.
I looked over at Berna who had one eyebrow raised. I looked back to Cindy and said, "Hi."
"Listen," she said, "I'm sorry about what Kristine did on Saturday. I just wanted you to know that I wasn't a part of that. I didn't even know she was gonna do it so... I just wanted to say that."
"Uhh..." I looked at Berna again. She just shrugged this time. "Okay... cool."
"So you're not mad at me?" She asked.
"Well, you didn't do anything and you're apologizing for your... friends, so I guess I have no reason to be mad."
That seemed a little weird, but that wasn't the only weird thing. After math class Joe seemed a little out of it again. It was like he was nervous or upset about something. He and JD walked Berna and me to our next class, but he didn't hold my hand like he did this morning and when he and JD left he just ran his hand down my arm and said, "See you at lunch," before walking away.
"What's up with him now?" Berna said.
"You noticed it too?"
Berna nodded. "I wonder what happened. I mean he was normal when he walked in class, a little love sick, but normal."
"I didn't do something did I?" I asked her.
"Like what? Listen and take notes in class?" She asked sarcastically. "You didn't do anything."
"Soo... I guess... I should talk to him?" Is that what girlfriends do? I've always ignored the problem in the past, but is it different now that we're not just friends anymore?
"I'm not sure." She had athoughtful look on her face. "He just seems bothered by something. Maybe he's thinking it through. Give him a couple of days. He might come to you first."
I guess I didn't need acouple days. At lunch I was waiting with Berna at our lunch table when the guys came in. JD and Jerby sat down, but Joe walked up to me and said, "Can I talk to you?
Isn't that the infamous opening question before "I think we should see other people?" Or is it, "We need to talk?" Is there a difference? If there is what's the difference?
I should just become a nun and join a convent.