…And Then…I Kissed Her
By: Jamie Sommers
Rated: P/G13 for language
Synopsis: Landon Carter needs help with his lines and Jamie Sullivan has agreed to give him a hand on one condition…he has to promise not to fall in love with her.
I started off my morning with Dean grilling me the about where I’ve been disappearing to lately. “Lahhhhndon! Where have ya been?”
“Nowhere.” I sure as hell couldn’t tell him I’d been spending my days with Jamie Sullivan.
“Hey, come here.” He threw his arm around my shoulder and pulled me over to the side, “Are we cool?”
I just looked at him like he was crazy and said, “yeah.”
Then after history class Jamie stopped me in the hallway, “Hey Carter!”
“Hey. What’d ya want?”
“I can’t run lines with you after school today. I have an appointment.”
“Ummm…okay.” I kept shuffling my feet like I was in some kind of hurry--I just didn’t want anybody to see us talking.
‘Hope I’m not being too obvious.’
“Are you in a hurry Carter?”
‘Guess it was obvious.’
“Well sort of.”
“Okay, well I just wanted to let you know that tomorrow would be fine, but not today.”
“Okay. Great. I’ll see you tomorrow after school.” ‘Just leave before somebody sees me with you.’
“ ‘kay. Bye.”
I saw Eric and Belinda walking down the hall towards us as she turned the corner and I thought, ‘that was a close one. Too close.’ “Hey guys!”
“Landon!” Eric and I began doing our handshake, which we had mastered over the years, while Belinda rolled her eyes at us and laughed. “My man! You still going tonight?”
“Ummm…yeah. Wouldn’t miss it for the world.” I just had to find out what it was I wasn’t missing.
“Dean’s coming too.”
“I still can’t believe you guys are going across the state line just to see a bunch of strippers.”
‘That’s right! We were going to that strip club tonight. Thanks for reminding me Belinda. This day is actually turning out pretty good. I don’t have to spend the afternoon with Jamie and her father plus I get to end it with a bunch of naked women shaking their groove thing in my face. Yep. This is gonna be a great day.’ So why did I have this feeling of disappointment sitting in my stomach like a rock?
When I left school that day I automatically drove to Jamie’s house before remembering that she wasn’t going to be there. ‘That’s right, she had an appointment. That’s too bad. I really wanted to show her how many of my lines I had memorized.’ So I went home and studied the script some more. I thought it’d be cool if I surprised her tomorrow by knowing all of my dialogue and not having to use my script all the time.
“When you walked out of the rain and into my club, that wasn’t just a coincidence, was it?” I repeated this over and over until I had it committed to memory, then I heard Jamie say her line in my head, ‘nothing’s coincidence. I love the way she says that line. She’s got such a softness about her.’
“You remind me of this dame…” I practiced my lines while getting ready to go out with the guys, all the while imagining Jamie’s response to everything I said in my head, ‘tell me about this dream girl.’
I had spent the better part of the afternoon rehearsing my part and the majority of the evening thinking about Jamie. ‘What’re you doing, man? Why are you thinking about her all the time? This is crazy. You’ve known this girl since kindergarten…’ But somewhere in the back of my mind I wondered, did I really know her? I couldn’t seem to keep her off of my mind and it was starting to bother me. I got into my mom’s car and started driving to meet Dean and Eric. ‘Just crank up the radio.’ But when I did, this CD started playing. It was the one she loaned me a yesterday.
“I don’t think this is really my kind of music, Jamie.”
“Would you just try it? Come on. You never know…you might actually like it.”
“Look Jamie, I don’t think so.”
“Please,” she tilted her head and smiled that sweet innocent smile and said, “for me?”
She was right. ‘I hate it when she’s right.’ I did like it. It was nowhere near the kind of stuff I normally listened to, but it was kinda cool in it’s own way. ‘What’s happening to you Landon? The next thing you know you’ll be feeling guilty about going to this club with Eric and Dean tonight.’ I no sooner said it, but felt it: GUILT! It was coursing through my veins. I slammed my finger onto the eject button and put on some heavy rock. ‘She hate’s this kind of music.’ It was like I was listening to it just to spite her.
As I drove down the road I told myself to relax. ‘There’s nothing to feel guilty about it’s not like she’s gonna catch you…’ That’s when I saw her. She was walking into the cemetery and I wondered aloud, “What the hell?” I pulled over to the side of the road and got out. ‘What are you doing Landon? You’re supposed to be meeting Dean and Eric right now, not chasing after Jamie Sullivan in a dark cemetery.’
I kinda hobbled after her and said, “Hey.” ‘I was just thinking about you.’ “What’re you doing here?”
“I should ask you the same question.”
“Do you normally walk by yourself in the cemetery at night?” ‘That’s not too safe ya know?’
“Maybe.” She turned to walk away.
“Hey,” for some reason I really wanted to stop her from leaving. “Where ya going?”
She turned and flashed her flashlight in my eyes. “Come and see.”
I told myself that it was for her own protection. ‘She shouldn’t be walking around here by herself at night.’ She led me through the cemetery to an area where this big, white…thing was sitting. “Okay…what is that?”
“This is my telescope. I built it when I was twelve.”
‘Hmmmm, what’d ya know. Bible thumper slash Handyman.’
“Take a look.”
I bent down and looked through the eyepiece. “Saturn. Very cool.”
“Yeah, I’m planning on building a larger one so I can see the comet Hiakutaki. It comes this spring, but nobody knows when it’s coming back.”
“Ahhhh. Nature’s miracles.” I knew I was being kind of a jerk. I was on the verge of making fun of her--something I promised her I wouldn’t do--I just couldn’t seem to help myself. “I get it.”
“That you’re into all this stuff.”
“This stuff. I have my beliefs. I have faith. But don’t you?”
“No. There’s too much bad shit in this world.”
“Without suffering there’d be no compassion.”
“Yeah, well tell that to those that suffer.” I could hear her sigh as she stood there shaking her head back and forth at me.
I knew I should’ve left. I should’ve met Dean and Eric like I had planned but instead I heard myself saying, “So why don’t you try to convince me that I should believe in this shit?”
She tilted her chin and blinked real slowly, I suppose she was trying to determine whether or not I was being legit. “Okay.” She took out a book from her backpack and opened it up. “This is Cassiopeia,” she pointed to this constellation of stars on her page then adjusted the telescope to find it in the sky. “See, if you connect the stars you’ll see an upside-down crown in the sky.”
“Looks like a “W” to me.”
She began to laugh that lighthearted giggle and then began explaining the legend of Cassiopeia; how she was doomed to spend an eternity in the sky, which wasn’t so bad, except she had to do it upside-down.
“So doesn’t her dress fall over her head?” We both started laughing and I got this really good feeling inside of me. “I mean...Hercules is probably staring at her unmentionables as we speak.” Her laughter was contagious, I just kept cracking jokes and she just kept laughing. Before I knew it, it was after 10:00. ‘Too late to meet up with Dean and Eric, so might as well enjoy yourself with Jamie. Enjoy yourself with Jamie? Who’d a known it was possible?’
We talked for another hour or so then she said she had to get home. Her father would be worried about her being out so late on a school night. I offered to drive her home, but I could tell that she wasn’t too sure about it.
“I don’t know Landon…my father…”
“I’ll drop you off down the block from your house. He’ll never even know that you were with me tonight.” I couldn’t believe I was trying to convince her to let me take her home. The entire ride to her house I just kept telling myself, ‘you don’t want to take her home. You don’t want to do this. You’re asking for trouble. I’m not asking for anything, I’m just giving someone a ride.’ I stopped the car at the end of her block. ‘Then why are you sitting in your car staring at her back while she walks into her house?’