“…And Then…I Kissed Her”
By: Jamie Sommers
Rated: P/G 13 (for language)
Synopsis: Landon Carter just got sentenced to do the spring play, but he needs help with his lines and Jamie Sullivan has agreed to help him on one condition…he had to promise not to fall in love with her.
‘There is no way in hell I’m asking her. No way! I just can’t. Nope.’ I began shaking my head back and forth trying to convince myself, ‘I’m not asking Jamie Sullivan for help.’
My mind started going down a mental list of all the other cast members, checking them off one by one.
‘Sally hates me plus…she’s a bitch. Eddie? Hell no! Jill? Nope, she’s never gotten over that crush she had on me in the third grade. Parker? Nuh uh. Too many zitz. I don’t think I could look at her for more than a second without thinking pizza face and I like pizza waaay too much to give it that kind of wrap. That blonde haired girl? What the hell was her name again? Cross her off. She wasn’t even good enough to get a speaking part.’
Dammit. Jamie Sullivan was my only option.
‘You do have the most lines together so… Geez, Landon. You’re gonna have to ask the Virgin Mary for help. Shit. Like going to church once a week wasn’t bad enough.’
I tried to work up the courage to ask her during the entire play practice, but there was always someone around and there was no way I was asking her in front of anyone.
‘It’s bad enough I had to do this screwed up play, I sure as hell don’t want to give these people the impression that I’m willing to socialize with them.’
I overheard her telling Sally that she had to go to her locker after rehearsal--she forgot something.
‘Great. I’ll just talk to her there. Miss. Garber has a habit of keeping us about 15 minutes longer than she’s supposed to, which is why Eric left me hangin’ that first day of play practice, he got tired of waiting. No one will be in the hallways, so I won’t have to worry about anybody seeing me with her. Cool.’
I had a plan. Plan A.
I screwed around for a while with my books and shit, when Miss Garber dismissed us. Jamie seemed to be talking to Sally again and it was taking her forever to leave.
‘Come on. Let’s go.’
I was getting a little edgy. I was afraid she wasn’t going to leave that damn theater…ever. So I left. I sat in my car for waiting for her, but when she came out she was with that damn Eddie Zimmerhoff.
‘God I hate that guy.’
It was obvious he had a crush on her, but there was no way in hell the Virg…Jamie was gonna give him the time of day.
‘Hell, even she’s got standards. Face it Eddie, you’re a total loser. I mean…Tom Thorton? Trouble and cheap spats? Geez buddy…get a life.’
‘So now what Landon? Follow her home? Yeah, I don’t think so. Oh well, there’s always tomorrow. I’ll just get to school early and catch her at her locker before class. No one’ll be in the hallways. Nobody willingly gets to school early…nobody but Jamie Sullivan that is.’
Yup…I had a new plan. Plan B.
“Landon!! You’re gonna be late!”
“I know Mom. I know.”
‘Geez, the one day I have to get to school early and I sleep through my alarm. There was no way in hell I was gonna make it to school early enough. No way. Shit!!’
“There’s a bagel in the toaster and some juice…Landon? Landon?”
I didn’t mean to ignore my mom, but I knew if I had said goodbye to her, she’d make me eat whatever it was she was cooking for me and I just didn’t have time for that this morning. I had to get to school! Fast!
I made it there in record time. I didn’t hit one red light--nothing but green, well…there was that one yellow light, but I made it through before it turned red, so that doesn’t count. I pulled into the closest parking spot I could find, grabbed my stuff and practically ran to her locker.
‘Don’t run Landon. Who’s running? You are. No, I’m not. I’m just walking…really, really fast.’
‘What the hell? Where is she? Oh, that’s just great! She’s not here. Can you believe the nerve of this girl? I skipped breakfast and everything.’
‘Okay…new plan. Plan C. I’ve got second period with her…and Dean…aaaand Belinda. Nope, can’t ask her then.’
‘Okay…another new plan. Plan D. I’ve got morning break and then it’s history. History. Is she in that class? Damn, I can’t remember. She must be. I swear she’s in every one of my classes. All right, I’ll blow the gang off and head to history class early. I’ll catch her there. She is in that class, right? I think she is.’
‘Science class…boooooorrrrrrring. And where the hell was Jamie today? Why is it whenever I need something I get hosed over? Why can’t things go my way…just once? I don’t think I’m asking for much here.’
“…so do you wanna take me? Landon?”
“Huh?” ‘Oooops.’ Belinda was talking to me.
“I asked if you wanted to go with me tonight? Tracy was supposed to but she’s grounded so I thought…maybe you and I could go together. What’d ya think?”
“Ummm…sure I guess.” I have no clue what I just agreed to or where exactly I’m going, but wherever it is, I’ve got to pick up Belinda by 7:00pm.
I took my time getting to history class; Jamie wasn’t here today anyway, so why bother blowing off the gang. I shuffled in like a minute before the bell rang and who do you think is sitting in the front row? You know what? Jamie Sullivan is getting to be a huge pain in the ass.
‘All right. Plan E. After class. I’ll catch her after class. Landon my man, you’re back in business. I just hope you ask her before you run out of letters to use for your plans. There are only twenty six ya know?’
“Class dismissed. Mr. Carter? May I have a word with you?”
“Ummm…sure. What’s up?”
“Mr. Carter I spoke with principal Kelly and…”
‘Wait. Jamie. I need to talk to you. WAIT!!! I can’t believe this. What did I ever do to deserve this? Other than this small thing with Clay Gephardt? And the drinking on school grounds? And the police chase? And cracking up my car? And… Oh, Landon. The list is endless.’
“I do not want you to take this discussion lightly. Do I make myself clear Mr. Carter?”
“Crystal.” Don’t ask me what he said. I have no clue. All I know is that he talked with Principal Kelly and that he wants to be taken seriously.
‘Then lose the Mr. Rogers sweater or shave the Colonel Sanders beard. Pick an identity and go with it man. Nobody takes Colonel Rogers seriously.’
“Thank you for your concern Mr. Wilkes.”
I booked into that hallway. Looked left. Looked right. ‘Oh, man. No Jamie Sullivan in sight. What letter was I on? Oh, yeah…Plan F. Lunch. I’ll ask her at lunchtime. Yeah, all you gotta do is figure out a way of talking to her without Dean and the gang finding out about it. Well…you could always go to the bathroom or say that Kelly needs you to do something custodial. Yeah…that’s it. I’ll blame it on Principal Kelly.’
I rubbed my hands together and thought, ‘Plan F is looking preeeeety promising.’
“So are we still on for tonight?”
“Tonight?” I’m not sure how many times I’ve told her, but she just doesn’t seem to want to get it through her thick skull.
“Um, yeah. What time again?”
I know I shouldn’t keep looking over at Jamie’s table, I don’t want to seem too obvious, but I was starting to get pretty anxious about this.
‘This is stupid. It’s not like you’re asking the girl out, you’re just asking for help with your lines. She’s the logical choice Landon. Nobody else in the play has as many scenes with you as Jamie, so she’s the one you need to rehearse with. Besides, she is the best one in the class. She won’t say no. She can’t say no. Yeah, but what if she does say no. Oh, Christ. She could say no. This never occurred to me before--she could actually say no to me. Nah. She won’t turn you down. She’d be an idiot if she turned you down. You’re Landon Carter. You’re…oh shit…where the hell did she go?’
“…then I thought maybe we could go to the…Landon? Landon, where are you going?”
‘Just stay cool Landon. Don’t lose it. You’ll find her. She’s probably in the bathroom or at her locker. Go check out her locker and if she isn’t there THEN you can lose it.’
‘Holy shit! She’s there and she’s alone. Now what? Now you ask her. What? Just like that? You’re being an idiot Landon. This is Jamie Sullivan we’re talking about here. Exactly, it’s Jamie Sullivan…the reverend’s daughter. So, just play it cool. Just be nice to her and say please. Don’t forget to say please.’
I opened the door and walked into the hallway, kinda looking around to make sure no one I knew was around.
“Jamie?” ‘Why does she have to look at me like she can see right through me?’
“What’d ya want, Carter? I’ve known you for years and you’ve never been the first to say hello.”
‘Throw yourself at her mercy Landon.’ “I need help with my lines.”
“Landon Carter is asking me for help?”
“Yeah.” ‘You don’t have to seem so shocked, ya know.’
“Okay…I’ll pray for you.”
‘Oh, she is just not getting this.’ “Jamie…no…look…I really need help…”
“You’ve obviously never asked anybody for help before, right?” ‘Well you don’t have to look at me like that’s a bad thing.’ “A request like yours requires…” ‘Could we stop walking here. Shit…I know some of these people.’ “…flattery and groveling. It has to be for the common good of everybody.”
“It IS for the common good, okay. Eddie Zimmerhoff deserves the best.” ‘She’s not falling for it. Time to break out the big guns.’ “Please.” ‘Now flash her that puppy dog face you use on your mother and…’
“One condition though Carter.”
“You have to promise you won’t fall in love with me.” ‘You’ve got to be kidding me, right? Have you seen the way you dress.’
“That’s not a problem.”
“Okay…I’ll see you this afternoon after school.”
“Okay.” I knew I needed her help, but I just couldn’t seem to get this thought out of my head, ‘what’ve you gotten yourself into Carter?’
Chapter 2: Let’s Play