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…And Then…He Kissed Me

By:  Jamie Sommers

 

Email:  jamiesommers23@hotmail.com

 

Rated: PG 13

 

Synopsis:  Jamie Sullivan has just been hurt in her efforts to help Landon with the school play.  Landon Carter has been doing everything in his power to change her mind.  Will he?

 

 

Chapter 5:  A Friend In Need

 

 

“He’s watching you again.”

 

“No he’s not.”

 

“Yes he is,” Megan giggled.  “Landon Carter is staring at you like you were the only person in this room.”

 

“Megan, knock it off.  He is not.”

 

“Don’t believe me?  Turn around and look for yourself.”

 

I kind of took a sip out of my glass and lifted my eyes to his side of the room, ‘Oh my gosh!  He is staring at me.’ 

 

“See…I told you.”

 

“Told me what?  He’s not looking at me,” I denied and glanced openly in his direction.  “He’s talking to Miss. Garber.  He’s not looking at me.  He’s not.”  ‘Who’re you trying to convince Jamie?  Megan or yourself?’

 

“Sure Jamie.  And he’s also not walking over here.”

 

‘WHAT??’  I choked on my punch. 

 

She giggled and said, “See ya later.”

 

‘Okay Jamie just stay calm.  You don’t want to talk to him anyway.  Okay, so move.  I can’t.  Why not??  Because…I don’t know…I just can’t.  You’re waiting for him to talk to you.  No I’m  not.  I’m drinking my punch and eating my cookie.  Sure you are Jamie.’

 

“Hey.”

 

‘Okay…say something.’  “Hey.”  ‘Now what Landon?  How are we going to play this tonight?’

 

“Pretty good punch, huh?”

 

“I guess.”  ‘Why didn’t you kiss me tonight Landon?’  I wanted to ask him so badly, but I just couldn’t bring myself to so instead I started to walk away however, he kept me occupied until…

 

‘How much more of this are you going to take Jamie?  How many more times are you going to let him hurt you?’  As I stood in the parking lot of the school’s auditorium, I relived the end of mine and Landon’s conversation within my head.

 

“Do you even know what happened between your parents?”

 

“All I know is that he stopped loving us.”

 

 “One day you just might see things from his point of view.”

 

“Yeah, well I wouldn’t go holding my breath if I were you.” 

 

“All I’m saying Landon is that in time…”

 

“Save it Jamie.  Until you go through losing a parent…”

 

I knew he didn’t mean to say it intentionally, but it still hurt…bad.

 

“Jamie??”  I heard Miss. Garber calling out to me and I wanted nothing more than to pretend like I didn’t hear her, but I turned around and faced her instead. 

 

“Oh, Jamie,” she ran her thumb across my cheek and wiped off the tears that I hadn’t known were there. 

 

“It must be hard sometimes, not having a woman around to discuss these things with,” she obviously knew what was going on between Landon and me.  “Would you like to talk for a while?”

 

I couldn’t find my voice so I nodded my head and we walked arm in arm around the school’s campus.

 

“You know I lost my mother a few years ago.  It was one of the hardest things I had ever gone through.  In fact it’s still very difficult when I think about it.”

 

“I never knew my mother.  She died when I was born.”

 

“Oh,” she said softly.  “I’m sorry.”

 

“It’s okay.  It’s just that sometimes it’s hard when people…” I began crying again thinking about Landon’s words.  I wanted to tell him, ‘No Landon, I had never actually felt the pain of losing my mother because I had never known her, but that didn’t mean it hurt any less.’

 

“Is that why you’re crying?  Because of your mother?”

 

I automatically shook my head ‘no.’

 

“Is it because of Landon?”

 

There was no need for words.  I simply looked at her and she took my hands asking me, “Jamie.  What happened with Landon?”

 

‘Should you tell her everything or just about tonight?’  I decided on tonight, “He just made a really stupid comment and it kind of hurt.”

 

“What did he say?”

 

“He said that I didn’t know what it was like to lose a parent.”

 

“He did?  Why on earth would he say something like that?”

 

“Well, we were talking about his father and…”

 

“His father??,” She interrupted.  “I find it hard to believe that Landon would bring up his father for no good reason, not after the way he turned his back on him last night.”

 

“Well, he didn’t actually bring him up.  I did.”

 

“Oh.  Well, perhaps it’s hard for Landon to talk about him.  I realize that losing a parent to death is different than losing a parent to divorce, but it doesn’t mean it’s any less painful.  In fact…I bet in some ways it could be harder.  Just think about it.  What if your mother were alive yet you were still unable to see her?”

 

“But he can see him.  That was my point.”

 

“Yes, but does he want to see him?  Put yourself in his place.  He was awfully young when his parent’s split up, so I’m sure he’s spent that entire time feeling as though he was part of the reason his father left.”

 

“I don’t see why?  I mean leaving a marriage and abandoning your child…it’s two completely different things.”

 

“Yes…to you because you’re not in the middle of it.”  She stopped walking and turned to face me.  “You say your mother died when you were born?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Did a small part of you ever feel as though it were your fault?”

 

“I suppose.  When I was younger, but now I know that I couldn’t have controlled it.”

 

“Yes…now you know, but what about when you were a child?”

 

“Well, I used to think that if I wasn’t born, then my mother would still be alive.  I didn’t understand that she would’ve died from the aneurysm regardless of whether or not I was born.”

 

“And how did you come to this realization?” We began to walk again.

 

“My father helped me to understand but mostly it was my faith in God.”

 

“Ah, your faith.  There are a lot of people in this world that have never experienced faith.  You’re one of the lucky ones.” 

 

We talked for a while about my faith, my beliefs.  We talked about school, about life…death.  It was during our conversation that I realized Miss. Garber knew about my health.  “Who told you?”

 

“Told me what, dear?”

 

“About my leukemia?”

 

“Oh, that.  Your father thought it best that I knew about it to make sure I kept an eye on your health during some of our late rehearsals.  He never meant to betray your trust, he just wanted to…”

“It’s okay.  I don’t mind.”  ‘You knew this whole time and you never once treated me differently.  Thank you.’

 

“May I ask you about it?”

 

“Sure.”

 

We discussed my failing health and some of the options that were out there for treatments.  I assured her that we had looked into everything, exhausted every last resource and that there was nothing that could save me now except for a miracle.

 

As she walked me back to my car she said, “Jamie, there are many children…adults even that still have a hard time coping with their parents decision to divorce.  Somewhere in the back of their mind they always wonder, ‘if I had picked up my bedroom a little more,’ or ‘if I had just behaved when they told me too…’ They don’t understand that it had nothing to do with them.  I have to imagine that it must be hard to be a child of divorce.”

 

‘I had never thought of it that way before.’  “I suppose you’re right.  I probably shouldn’t have brought it up to begin with.”

 

“Why did you bring it up Jamie?”

 

“I don’t know.  Just because I guess.”

 

“Is it possible that you wanted to hurt Landon?”

“NO.  I wouldn’t do that.”  ‘At least I don’t think I would do that.’

 

“Well it just seems to me that you and he have been at odds with each other for a few weeks now and I’m just wondering why that is?”

 

“You mean you haven’t heard?  I thought it was all over the school by now.”

 

“Well, I’ve heard what’s been going around, but I’d like to hear your version of it.”

 

I explained how Landon had asked me for help with his lines and how we began to build a friendship with one another.  “He made me feel special, like he actually cared about me, about what I thought…my beliefs, then he proved me wrong.”  Explaining that scene by the lockers to her hurt even more than it had the day it happened.  “I never expected him to say anything so spiteful, but he did and he still hasn’t apologized for it.”

 

“He hasn’t?  Really?  Considering I see him using any excuse he can muster up just to be in the same room as you…”

 

“Well it’s true, he’s never apologized.  I mean…he’s tried talking to me, but he’s never actually said the words, I’m sorry.”

 

“Oh…so it’s the words you’re waiting for.”

 

“What else would I be waiting for?”

 

“Have you ever heard the saying, actions speak louder than words?”

 

“Yes, but…”

 

“Well has Landon made any attempts to mend things between you?  Has he tried to show you that he’s sorry?”

 

“Sort of.”

 

“For example?”

 

“He tried talking to me the day after it happened while we were on the bus to Jefferson.  He was even waiting for me in my usual seat on the ride back and asked me to sit with him,” for some reason I was smiling at the memory of him sitting there with that petrified look upon his face.  “And he has tried talking to me on a few other occasions, but for some reason we always seem to…” I let out a deep breath, “…I don’t know, it’s like he brings out the worst in me.”

 

“Yes, men have a tendency to do that.  Especially the man you’re in love with.”

 

“Oh, I’m not in love with him,” I denied a little too quickly reminding myself, ‘You know it’s a sin to lie.’

 

“Of course you aren’t.  I’m just saying that one day, when you do fall in love, you’ll see that it’s the people that mean the most to you that can cause you the most pain.  You know another saying comes to mind.”

 

“What’s that?”

 

“You always hurt the one’s you love.”

 

 On my way home I decided to stop by the cemetery for a while.    I glanced at the clock on the dashboard of my car and noticed that it was a few minutes before midnight.  ‘It’s late Jamie.  You should really be going home.  That would be the smart thing to do.’  But something--I couldn’t put my finger on it--was pulling me to the cemetery.  As I parked my car, I could’ve sworn I heard the roar of Landon’s engine in the distance.  ‘Great.  Now you’re hearing his car Jamie.’