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…And Then…I Kissed Her

By: Jamie Sommers

 

Email:  jamiesommers23@hotmail.com

 

Rated:  P/G 13 for language

 

Synopsis:  Landon Carter needs help with his lines for the school play and Jamie Sullivan has agreed to give him a hand on one condition…he has to promise not to fall in love with her.

 

 

 

Chapter 9:  Chances

 

 

 

She looked beautiful.  Even out of costume she was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen.  She was talking with her father and some of the people from the church choir that had come to see her.  ‘Just go talk to her.  Yeah, not with her father there.  You’re gonna have to face him sooner or later, you know?  I’d rather it be later.’

 

“Hey, Landon.”

 

“Oh…hey Belinda.” 

 

‘Where’d she go?’  My eyes started darting around the room of their own accord, searching for Jamie.

 

“Are you looking for someone?”

 

“Uh…yeah…my mom.  Seen her around?”  ‘Quick thinking Landon.  Thank you.  I thought so myself.’

 

“I saw her talking to some guy in the auditorium.”

 

“Oh…who?”  ‘Is that her?  Nope.  Damn!’

 

“I don’t know.  I didn’t see his face.”

 

“Hmmm…”  ‘Did she leave?  She couldn’t have left yet.  Oh, please be around here somewhere.’

 

“Well, I just wanted to tell you that you were great.”

 

“Yeah…thanks.”  ‘There!  There she is.  Pheeew.  That was a close one, Landon.  I was frightened for a minute there.’

 

“…so I’ll just wait…if that’s okay with you?”

 

‘Wait for what?’  “Uh, sure.  Do what you want.”  She’s heading for the door…hurry up before she gets out.’  “Could you excuse me?”

 

“Man oh, man!  If it isn’t Tom Thorton.”  Eric and the gang had come backstage to give me some grief. 

 

‘Not now guys.  I’m kinda busy.’

 

“Holy shit Landon!  You didn’t suck.”

 

‘Gee thanks.’

 

“And the Virgin Mary…damn…”

 

‘Watch it, Dean.’

 

“I told you, it’s the quiet ones you gotta watch out for,” Eric laughed.  “She was looking…”

 

‘Just tell them to shut up.  Tell them to stop talking about her like that.’

 

“Look, guys…do me a favor and lay off Jamie.  She’s really not that bad.”

 

“Yeah…whatever.  So, you wanna go with us?” Dean invited.

 

‘No.  I wanna find Jamie and convince her to let me drive her home.  Maybe talk about that kiss.’  “Uh, where you going?”

 

“Down by the railroad tracks.”

 

“Nah.  I don’t think so.”  ‘Oh, man.  Lost her again.  Where are you Jamie?’

 

“Aww come on man.  You gotta come.  You’ve been ditchin’ us for weeks now because of this stupid play.”

 

“Yeah, well I still have one more night before this play is over so I’m gonna have to take a rain check, but thanks anyway.” 

 

As we said our goodbye’s I saw my mom walking up to me.  “Honey.  I couldn’t believe it.  What a transformation.”

 

“Thank you, but please stop it.”  ‘Please do not embarrass me by doing that MOM thing.’

 

“Don’t be home too late.”

 

“Okay.”  ‘There she is! Found her again.  Now all you gotta do is go talk to…’

 

“Interesting re-write you did out there tonight, Carter.”

 

‘Oh for Christ sake!  Wait.  Jamie.  Don’t leave.’

 

“Look I did my best.”

 

“And uh…your acting didn’t suck too bad either.”

 

‘Gee.  This is a surprise.  Did Eddie Zimmerhoff just pay me a compliment?’

 

“Well…gotta go.” 

 

‘Thank goodness.’ 

 

“Take it easy man.”

 

“Okay.”

 

‘Now to ask Jamie if…’

 

“Landon.  You were marvelous.”

 

‘What is this shit?  A conspiracy??  Well I don’t think so.’ 

 

“Thank you.”

 

‘Sorry Miss. Garber, but I’ve got a leading lady to catch and there ain’t nothing in this world that’s gonna keep me from…’

 

“Landon?”

 

‘No way…there ain’t no way in hell…’ 

 

“Fine performance, son.”

 

‘Oh, great.  She’s gone.  Thanks a lot dad.’

 

“What’re you doing here?”

 

“Your mother told me about it.  I thought maybe we could get a bite after the show.”

 

“I’m not hungry.”

 

“Landon.  Don’t walk away.”

 

“You taught me how.” 

 

##

 

We had just finished our last performance and there were people gathered all around the back stage area.  There was a table set up with punch and cookies.  ‘Quite the cast party we got going on here.  Didn’t realized that people actually drank punch anymore.’   Now this normally wouldn’t have been my kind of seen--I just wanted to leave--but there was one thing stopping me…Jamie. 

 

She was standing there sipping from her glass and nibbling on a cookie.  ‘Have you ever seen anything so beautiful?  She looks so sweet…dainty.  Oh Landon…you’ve got it bad.  No I don’t.  Yes you do.  Why else would you be staring at Jamie Sullivan and using words like dainty to describe her?’  All right.  I had a point.  I guess I did have it pretty bad.  She smiled at Megan and a chill shot straight down my spine.  ‘Did I say pretty bad?  Talk about an understatement.’

 

I stood by myself for a while talking to passers by as they gave me the occasional, ‘congratulations, great job’ and tried to keep my eyes off of her, but no matter how hard I tried, it was like my gaze was just drawn to her. 

 

‘Talk to her Landon.  And say what?  Anything.  Great job with the play.  You sounded really good tonight.  You looked beautiful out there…so beautiful that I couldn’t move when it was time for our kiss.  I was petrified.  I wanted to kiss you so badly, but I was afraid that you wouldn’t think last night’s was special and it was Jamie…it was.  I felt that kiss shoot straight to the tips of my toes.  Jamie, can you please forgive me?  I never meant to hurt you.  I was a fool.  An idio…’

 

“Landon?”

 

‘GEEZ!!  You shouldn’t sneak up on a guy like that.’  “Uh…hey Miss. Garber.” 

 

“I just wanted to tell you that I think you were the perfect choice for Tom Thorton.  No one else could’ve done that role as well as you.  I’m very proud of you.”

 

“Thanks.”

 

She must’ve noticed me staring at Jamie because she said,  “Why don’t you talk to her?”

 

“Talk to who?”  ‘Yeah, that’s right Landon. Play stupid.’

 

“Jamie,” we both glanced at her then looked back at each other.  “Landon, she can’t stay mad at you forever.”

 

“Actually I think she can.  Or at least die trying,” I chuckled at my little joke, but for some reason Miss. Garber just stared at me blankly.  ‘Well I thought it was funny.’

 

“Life’s too short to play games, Landon.  If you have feelings for her, and I know you do, then you’ll find a way to get through to her.”

 

“Look Miss. Garber…” I was just about to deny the fact that I had ‘feelings’ for Jamie, but instead I found myself saying, “Is it that obvious?”

 

“Only to those that can see.”

 

‘Great…that’s just great.’

 

“What’s the worst that could happen?”

 

“She could turn her back on me and tell me to bug off.”

 

“Well, from the looks of things she’s been doing that for a few weeks now.  So I guess it can’t get much worse, can it?” I felt her hand on my back as she gave me a little shove forward. “Go ahead.”

 

‘So what’re you going to say to her?  I have no clue.  Hey…here’s a thought, how about I’m sorry?  Or better yet, I’m sorry and by the way…I’m in love with you.’

 

The minute I got within a foot of her I was completely flustered.  I just said the first thing that popped into my head.  “Hey.”

 

“Hey.”

 

“Pretty good punch, huh?” ‘Oh yeah Landon, that’ll sweep her off of her feet.’

 

“I guess,” she was about to turn around and leave.  ‘Quick say something to stop her!’

 

“I see your father made it again.”

 

“Mmmmm hmmmm.  I saw your mother, but didn’t your father make it?”

 

I was mesmerized as the bright pink tip of her tongue poked out of her mouth and licked the punch off of her lips.

 

“Nah.”  ‘Get it together Landon.’ 

 

“That’s too bad.”

 

 “Yeah, well…I didn’t really expect him to come back after last night.”

 

“Why not?” ‘Please Jamie, don’t bring up my father.’ 

 

 “Let’s just say he wasn’t really welcome.”  ‘Probably not the right thing to say to her Landon, but at least it was the truth.’ 

 

She was awfully quiet until she said, “You know Landon…one day you’re going to regret not letting him into your life.” 

 

“Yeah…I don’t think so.  Besides, he’s the one that left me.”

 

“Did he, Landon?  Or did he leave your mother?”

 

‘Excuse me??’  “It’s the same thing.”

 

“No it isn’t.  It’s two completely different things.”

 

I couldn’t believe this.  I wanted nothing more than to bury the hatchet between us and she brings up the one thing that can set me off, my father and his abandoning us.  “How can you say that?  He walked out on our family!”

 

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

 

‘Do I know??  Do I know???  Yeah I know.  One minute we’re a family and the next we’re not.  That’s what I know.’  “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…” It was out before I could even stop myself.  The realization of what I had said smacked me dead in the face.  “Jamie…I’m sorry.  I didn’t mean…”

 

“Well, at least you have both of your parents Landon.  Some people aren’t that lucky.” 

 

I watched her as she left the theater and thought, ‘Great Landon.  Just great.  I think you would’ve been better off with, I’m sorry and I’m in love with you.’

 

“What did you say to her?  Landon?  Landon??” 

 

“What?”  I turned to see Megan standing next to me looking at me like I had just kicked her puppy.  She was obviously coming to Jamie’s defense.

 

“What did you say to Jamie?”

 

“Nothing.”

 

“And that’s why she left so abruptly?”

 

“Look Megan…” I didn’t know what to say.  I couldn’t seem to blow her off like I had in the past, and I had…many times, but it was like something inside of me knew it was wrong to lie, so I told her the truth.  “I didn’t think and I said something about her not understanding what it was like to lose a parent.”

 

“Oh,” her eyes averted mine as she looked down at her feet.

 

“Geez,” I ran my hand through my hair.  “Why do I even bother?”

 

After a few seconds of scrutinizing me she said, “Because you’re crazy about her.”

 

I looked over at her and thought, ‘Am I really that obvious?  Is Jamie the only person in this whole school that can’t see it?’

 

“You’ve been staring at her all night.”

 

I sighed and laughed at the same time and said, “Pathetic aren’t I?”

 

“No.  Sweet is more like it.”

 

“Sweet?”  Ask anybody that knows me to describe me with just one adjective and I can guarantee that no one but my mom would use the word sweet.

 

“Yes, sweet.  But…you know you’re going about this all wrong.”

 

‘Okay…I’ll bite.’  “What’d you mean?”

 

“I mean the way you’re trying to get Jamie to talk to you.  She’s pretty upset with you.  We all are, but…well, truthfully I had intended on coming over here to give you a piece of my mind about the whole situation…”

 

“So what stopped you?”

 

“The look on your face whenever I say her name.”

 

Just thinking about her makes me smile and I guess that wasn’t as much of a secret as I had thought.

 

“You know Landon, I remember asking you to the Sadie Hawkins' dance in the 9th grade and you turned me down.”

 

“Yeah,” ‘Shit.  She remembers me blowing her off.’  “Sorry ‘bout that.”

 

“At the time I was so mad at you.  You were such an immature ass back then, but now… Landon, Jamie is a very special person.  She’s different then most girls.”

 

“I know that.”

 

“Then stop going about this like you would with just any girl.  You have to be honest with her.  Tell her how you feel because Landon Carter AKA immature ass isn’t going to cut it but, the Landon Carter I see standing before me just might have a chance.”

 

As I drove home I thought about what Megan had said.  ‘Tell her how I feel. And then what?  Then…I don’t know.  And when am I supposed to tell her?  Well Landon, there’s no time like the present.’  I turned my car around and headed to the cemetery.  Something inside of me knew she’d be there.  ‘She has to be there.’

 

I pulled in and walked to the spot where her telescope was set up in hopes that she would show.  After two hours of waiting I thought, ‘this is crazy Landon.  It’s after midnight for goodness sake.  She’s not coming.’  I left and hoped that I would still have the nerve to tell her what was in my heart at school on Monday.