The Stupid Boy and the Outsider Chapter 37 (Epilogue)
Here's a link to the song I imagined being played at the end. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ID0RQosTqRQ You don't really need to listen to it, plus it's really bad quality, but if you still want to just play it when it says a slow song started or something like that.
I don't own the song, "I Wouldn't Say I Love You," nor am I associated with Ilona Irvine and the Jonas Brothers.
Chapter 37 Epilogue
Buzz, buzz, buzz.
My phone was vibrating on my desk which only made the buzzing louder and more obnoxious. I found the buzzing more annoying than the actual alarm.
There were multiple reasons why my phone was buzzing all the way on the other side of the room; there were also reasons why I was dreading today.
My phone was still going when a little girl with curly light brown hair came running into my room and jumped on my bed.
"Wedding day! Wedding day!" She was screaming.
I just hugged her to me and pretended to go back to sleep.
"Jackie, are you awake?" I heard mom ask.
"Shh sissy sleeping," Yup that little girl was my four year old sister, Mari.
She couldn't pronounce Jackie just yet and called me sissy instead. And no, my parents didn't adopt. That weekend trip mom and dad went on five Halloween's ago got mom miraculously pregnant.
"Sissy isn't sleeping Mari, she's pretending. Now come on Jackie get up. Aren't you excited to se Joe again?" Mom asked. I just groaned.
Joe and I have been on and off throughout these past five years. Mostly off, just like we were right now.
So whose wedding are we going to you ask. Well, it's less like a wedding and more like vow renewals between my parents. It's been 25 years to date since my parents' first winter wonderland wedding.
"Who Joe?" Mari asked.
"An old friend. You were still a baby when you met him and his family so you don't remember," Mom explained.
My phone stopped buzzing then.
"That means it's time to get up," mom said giving me a pat on the back.
"Fine, fine," I said as I flipped the sheets away shooing mom and Mari out of my room.
It's been months since I last saw Joe and the rest of the Jonas family.
Two weeks after Mari's... um... conception the boys and Pastor... I mean Paul, were already out on the road for that school tour. It wasn't too long after that, that Denise and Frankie joined them. Denise and Frankie leaving was when Joe and I called it off the first time. It was just too hard.
A week later I got a call from Joe telling me that Nick was in the hospital and was diagnosed with diabetes.
"You're the only person I thought I could talk to," he'd said when he called.
We spend an hour on the phone as he recounted everything that happened.
"Sissy!" Mari called when I stepped out of my room holding my dress in the bag thing mom kept it in. "I nike bread," Buy nike she meant like and by bread she meant a sandwich, peanut butter and jelly to be exact.
"Jackie could you please get her a sandwich and make sure she doesn't get messy. I'm almost getting my things together and then we're off to the church," mom requested.
She was always anal about things. I mean... we lived in the same house next to the parsonage. If she forgot something I could just walk home, get it, and be back at the church within five minutes.
Dad was already there making sure everything was going smoothly.
When we got to the church I swear I looked like some paranoid druggie the way I kept looking around the room. I really didn't want to see Joe just yet. I was actually dreading it. Inever knew what dating rumors were true until I saw him again. But they hurt all the same; truth or rumor.
Mom was getting dressed as I helped to keep Mari preoccupied when Berna and Ilana came into our room.
Ilana and I were now going to small college nearby as we both take part in their BSW program. She and I have been hanging out a lot since she moved out here. She lives in an apartment here in town with Ryan. They've been together for two years now. I guess he has athing for adopted orphans.
When Ryan graduated his parents helped him get an apartment here. For about two years he'd been sharing it with Brandon, but when Brandon decided to join the army Ryan was left needing a roommate.
Luckily for him Ilana was looking for a place to live for her first semester at college. He needed someone to help with the rent and take care of the place while he was in college at Washington State and Ilana needed a place, plus Ryan could be gone most of the time while still playing half the rent. It was a win-win situation and I gladly united the two.
If you must know, Kristine was sent to an all girl Christian school while Francis was sent to an all girl boarding school. I haven't heard much about them since.
"Hey girls," mom greeted Ilana and Berna. "How are things?"
"Same old, same old," Ilana replied.
"How's the University of Pennsylvania?" I asked Berna. She just transferred there this past fall.
"It's supposed to be one of the best medical schools in the US so... I'm not gonna complain."
"And JD?" Mom, Ilana, and I asked together.
Just like Joe and I, JD and Berna have been on and off through the years. She gets jealous and annoys JD because of her jealousy, but I can tell he really does like her... a lot.
"We got back together last night," Berna said. "We've decided that we would only date when we're not at school since that seems to be the usual pattern.
I wish Joe and I had a pattern, but no. Sometimes we get back together when we see each other. Sometimes we spend the week we have together as just friends. Sometimes we break up before he leaves. Sometimes we break up while he's on the road. Sometimes we call each other and say how much we miss each other without actually being in a relationship with each other or even getting back together. We are very confusing.
"And what about you?" Berna asked.
"Yes what happened to that Todd boy you were seeing?" Mom asked after she finished with her makeup.
"That's been over for awhile," I answered.
"He was so... bland," Ilana said. "I mean you need someone to compliment you. Don't hate me for saying this, but you two together was like hanging out with disgruntled librarians or something. You need someone more exciting in your life."
"I wonder who that would be," Berna said out loud, sarcastically tapping her chin.
I rolled my eyes and stepped behind the changing screen to get into the dress I would be wearing in the ceremony. I was mom's maid of honor I guess. Is that what they're called at avow renewal? And Uncle Walter was dad's best man. Mari was the flower girl, while our cousin Benny was the ring barer.
"Mari, will you please hold still while I put your shoes on?" I heard mom say as I slipped the dress on.
I stepped out from behind the screen and mom started oozing with motherly love. She started complimenting the way the dress looked on me. It was a simple tea-length, v-neck, light blue(which looked practically white to me) and dark brown trim along the neck and waist. I must admit it is pretty.
That was when Cindy came in. She and Jerby weren't together anymore. They eventually grew apart during our junior year. Now Cindy was an available advertising and marketing communication major at FIT in New York.
"You shouldn't leave this door open. The groom might pass by. Wedding or vow renewal it's still bad luck," she said.
"We didn't leave the door open," mom said as Berna, Ilana, and I took turns giving Cindy hugs.
"Well it was open when I came in," Cindy said.
Just then we heard a giggle and small footsteps walking away from us. It was Mari.
"I'll get her," I volunteered since Cindy still needed to do mom's hair and Mari didn't really know Berna very well. She's not good with strangers.
"I'll help you," Ilana volunteered.
When we walked out into the hallway Mari was nowhere in site.
"I think I heard the giggle come from that direction," I said pointing to the right.
"Okay, but I'll go to the left just in case," Ilana suggested before we split up.
After five minutes, looking in/knocking on 10 doors, and yelling "Mari," for the 100th time I came to across roads. I could either go straight or turn left.
"Aaaahhh!" I heard Mari scream from straight ahead.
"Mari?" I yelled running now.
"Strange, stranger, stranger!" I heard her scream.
I turned a corner. "Mari?" She saw me and came running. I made sure she was okay. She didn't seem hurt or dirty, just a little scared by this stranger.
"So that's little Mari huh?" I heard a familiar voice say.
I looked up and there he was. Joe was wearing black slacks and dress shoes, white long sleeve button up shirt, and a silver skinny tie. His hair wasn't as long as it was the last time I saw him. I had an urge to run my fingers through them like I always do, but I refrained.
"Y-yeah, this is... Mari," I stuttered a little while Mari clung to me and buried her face in my dress.
"Well, I'm sorry Mari," Joe apologized. "I wasn't gonna hurt you."
Mari just clung to me tighter.
"I should get her back to mom. It was nice seeing you again," I said.
"Yeah, great... and you look amazing," he said back with a gorgeous smile on his face that almost made me melt into a little Jackie puddle on the floor where I stood.
"You too," I said awkwardly before waving and walking away with Mari.
When did the Stupid Boy turn into Mr. Suave?
--- --- --- ---
Jackie walked away with Mari, her little sister. I remember the day Mari was born. It was one of the times Jackie and I were actually together. I was sitting in the waiting room late at night with Jackie half asleep in my arms and our friends and family sitting around the room. We were only there for a few hours after Mari was born before we had to leave again.
"Joe, where have you been?" Dad asked.
"Just looking around. I miss this place."
Dad just nodded and led me to greet Mr. M... I mean Arthur. Since Jackie and I turned 18 our parents insisted we call them by their first name. I was still getting used to it.
Throughout the ceremony up to the reception I couldn't keep my eyes off of Jackie. She looked beautiful in that dress. Then again, she always looks beautiful.
"Here you go man," JD said handing me a soda.
"Thanks," I said.
"Man, Jackie looks really good in that dress," Jerby commented.
JD was studying to be aphysical therapist at some college in Arizona and Jerby was still her in Jersey as an engineering major. The three of us are still really close, even though we don't hang out as much.
Kevin and Brandon are still close too, but since Brandon joined the army we don't hear from him as much as we used to.
I don't really know what happened to Rosa and Jessie. Brandon and Jessie lasted only two weeks. Kevin and Rosa broke up a little after the school tour when we got back to Jersey.
"Hey you okay?" JD asked as he and Jerby nudged me at the same time. "Jerb's not gonna hit on her or anything, he was just making an observation. Don't go and beat him up or something."
I let out a chuckle thinking back about five years to when JD and I got into a fight. "No," I said. "I wasn't thinking about getting in a fight. I was just wondering if Jackie has anew boyfriend."
"So go ask her," Jerby suggested.
I stood there for a second before Jerby pushed me forward. I turned to glare at them, but they were too busy laughing at me. I took a deep breath and walked over to Jackie who was just finished greeting some people at the entrance of the ballroom.
"Hey," I said getting her attention.
"Hey, umm... enjoying the reception?" She asked.
"Yeah it's great. So how's... life?" Small talk can be so awkward.
"Hm, well I'm a 20 year old college student that works at the housing office at the university, but only during the semester and I still with my parents. Couldn't get any better," she finished with a light laugh.
"Well if it makes you feel any better Kevin and I still live with our parents."
She nodded, but it slowly turned into a head shake. "Actually it doesn't, but thanks for trying."
There was an awkward silence between us as Jackie greeted a few more people that came through the doors.
"It must suck that you're stuck here at the door greeting people," I commented. "Especially for your date." That was smooth right?
"Well I won't be here the whole time, just for another 15 minutes... and I don't have a date so..." she trailed off and shrugged.
"Oh," was all I said. "I don't have a date either. Maybe we could... keep each other company?"
"That would be fun."
When Jackie finished at the door we sat down at an empty table and spent most of the party talking and catching up. It's been almost a year since I last saw her during this past Valentine's Day, but we were with other people then.
"Your hair is getting pretty long," Jackie said flicking some hair out of my face. Things seemed more normal now after an hour of just talking.
"Well your hair is different," I said taking some in my hand and feeling now soft it was. "It looks good by the way."
"Thanks, I cut it a few months ago. Ilana got me to get layers instead of the usual straight cut."
Just then I heard someone clear their throat. I looked up to see Erin.
"Hey mom," Jackie said pulling away. I didn't realize how close we were leaning towards each other.
"Sorry to interrupt, but could I borrow her for a minute?" Erin asked me.
"Sure," I answered.
Erin thanked me and I watched as she walked away with Jackie. They walked to the entrance where a photographer took family pictures.
To anyone passing by Jackie stood out like a soar thumb. Arthur, Erin, and Mari all had the light brown hair, while Jackie's was practically black with some dark brown high lights. They'd burn while she'd tan, she didn't even look like them, but I knew she belonged. She wasn't just a random outsider that came to live with them one day. They might not look alike, but they acted the same. Jackie acted like her dad when she was angry and acted like her mom when she was nervous or disappointed.
When they were done taking pictures one of Jackie's annoying aunts swooped in to pester her about something. She looked uncomfortable so I decided to help her out.
"You're too thin, that's why you don't have a boyfriend," I heard the crazy aunt say as I got closer.
"Excuse me," I interrupted."Sorry I just wanted to ask this beautiful young lady for a dance."
Luckily the next song that was starting to play was a slow one.
Jackie's aunt pinched my cheek and messed with my hair a little bit.
"I guess you'll do," she said before turning to Jackie. "Keep him interested, not many people are attracted to skin and bones."
As we walked to the dance floor I said, "You're not that skinny."
"You know what I mean," I said taking her right hand in my left while my right hand went to her back and she put her left hand on my shoulder. "You're not anorexic skinny, you're... normal."
"Thanks," she said with alight laugh. There was a pause before she pointed up and said, "My mom's song."
I was confused for a little bit. "Your real mom? Who's singing it?"
"I am," she said looking away awkwardly. "I called your dad a few weeks ago to hook me up with some studio time to record this as an anniversary present for my parents."
"Oh... well it sounds great, you sound great."
She smiled. I could see her blush a little.
I took this time to really listen to the words. It kinda reminded me of us. I remember the first time Itold her I love her. I meant every word. She said it back without a second thought and I think she meant it too. I just dated those other girls to keep my mind off Jackie when we were broken up. But she was always there for me when I needed her, even if it was just a simple phone call. She's never let me down once.
I placed her right hand around my neck and placed my hand on her back, bringing her closer to me.
"I still love you," I said looking into her eyes. "I never stopped."
I felt her rub the back of my neck. "I know... me too. I wouldn't say I love you if I really didn't love you,"she quoted the song.
I sighed in relief. "Now what?" I asked hugging her closer to me and leaning down to rest my forehead against hers.
"Whatever you want to happen," she whispered.
"Come on tour with us."
She moved away a little. "Joseph..."
"We go on another tour in January, come with us," I was practically begging.
"You know I can't, I still have school."
This was always our problem. I know we wanted to just give up everything to be with each other, but we had responsibilities.
"Why can't things be easier?" I asked myself out loud.
Jackie led me out of the hall. "Maybe," she said sitting down on a bench in the hallway. "Maybe we could just try harder."
"But it would be so much easier being in the same state... in the same city," I said slowly pacing in front of her.
Jackie stopped me in my tracks and engulfed me in a hug. "You don't want to leave the band and I want to get school out of the way."
"Even when you're on break and I'm not on the read we're still in different states." That was the bad part of moving to California then to Texas.
Jackie nuzzled against my neck. "Then come and visit me," she said.
What was she doing to me? Was she doing this on purpose? Darn this purity ring.
"Or you could come and visit me."
She pulled away and looked me in the eyes. "I'd love that," she said.
I leaned in to kiss her. It felt like the first time as did the second, third, and every time we kissed after that. I hope that I'll get to experience this for the rest of our lives. I just know she's the one I'm meant to grow old with. I was wrong in telling her she was an outsider, that she didn't belong so many years ago. She did belong... here... with me by her side.