…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.
The next day I caught some heat from Dean and Eric about blowing them off. I had to make up some kind of story about my mom’s car running out of gas and how I had to walk a couple of miles to get some. It was a crock of shit and I knew it, but there was no way in hell I was admitting where I had really been. I would’ve never heard the end of it. ‘Spending the night with Jamie Sullivan instead of a bunch of hot strippers? Landon. That’s just not natural.’
“Oh my goodness. Ya see this is what I love about early spring…” Eric was making some kind of lewd gesture towards this girl that was walking down the hall, “…where have those legs been hiding all winter?”
We all started laughing at him when Tracy said, “Well if it isn’t the Virgin Mary?”
‘Shit. Jamie please don’t talk to me. Please.’
“Hey dude. Here comes your leadin’ lady.”
‘Oh, God! She’s stopping.’
“Hey Carter. So I’ll see you today after school?”
I don’t know where it came from. “In your dreams.” I don’t know why I said it. ‘No. You know why you said it Landon.’ I just hoped Jamie would understand. I couldn’t let my friends know about us. I had a reputation around this school and Jamie Sullivan just didn’t fit anywhere into it.
She nodded at me like she got the point and then walked off while all my friends just stood there making comments about her and laughing at her. ‘What did you do Landon? What did you do?’
I drove to her house after school and prayed that she would understand. She had to. As I turned the ignition off in front of her house I knew I would have to do some fancy footwork to get around this. ‘Maybe if I just pretended like it didn’t happen…No Landon. It happened. You were a jerk and you owe her an apology.’
I could here her piano playing from where I stood and rang the bell a couple of times, waiting for her to answer. When she did, that welcome smile she would always have waiting for people immediately left her face. I just stood there with my mouth open like an idiot. ‘Jamie I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have treated you that way.’ I was trying to get the words out, but I just couldn’t. She closed the door on my face.
“Come on Jamie. Open the door. Please,” I begged, but when she did, I wasn’t too sure if I had done the right thing by asking her to come back outside. She had this look on her face…she was pissed. “Oh,” I took a few steps back fearing for my life. “You’re not in a good mood.”
“You don’t miss a thing.”
‘All right Landon. Just apologize. Just admit you were a complete moron this afternoon.’ “Listen Jamie, I was hoping we could run lines together.” ‘Oh, yeah. Great apology.’
“Mmmm. Okay but just not so anybody knows, right?”
‘Hey, maybe she did get it after all?’ “Well,” I stupidly went along with this theory. “I just figured we could surprise everyone with how good I get.”
“Like we could be secret friends.”
“Exactly.” ‘What’d ya know, she DID get it.’ “Exactly. It’s like you’re reading my mind.”
“Good. Umm…Maybe you could read mine?” I watched as her face morphed from one of happiness and understanding to one of anger and pain. It looked like I’d have to explain myself after all.
“Jamie. Jamie…I can’t just be your friend…” ‘Not after all these years of making fun of you behind your back. My friends would kill me.’
She walked inside her house and stood just inside of her door. “Landon look. I thought I saw something in you. Something good. I was very wrong.”
‘Ouch.’ When she closed the door on me that time I knew it was for good. I screamed out “Dammit!” I made my way back to my car knowing that I just screwed up something really good. I didn’t even get the word out of my mouth before her father was standing on the porch with his hands on his hips. “Sorry.”
I got in my car and realized just how sorry I was. I hurt the sweetest, kindest person in the world and I didn’t even have enough nerve to tell her that I was sorry. ‘You know what Landon? You don’t deserve to have her as a friend.’
I stormed into my house and slammed the door closed. I couldn’t believe what I had done. I had to make her understand, I had to somehow let her know that it wasn’t personal. ‘But it is personal Landon. How can it not be personal when you pretty much told her that you didn’t mind hanging out with her as long as no one knew about it? If that’s not personal, I don’t know what is.’
I began running my lines on my own, but the last thing I wanted to do was look at a reminder of Jamie, so I shoved the script into my backpack and went into the kitchen to get something to eat. I looked through the fridge for a few minutes and realized that I wasn’t hungry. A drink. I’ll have a drink. I saw a couple of bottles of my mom’s beer in the back of the fridge and decided to pop one open. When I did, the entire thing exploded on me and I got beer all over myself.
‘Oh, this is just great! Now I’m sure the reverend’s got connections up there.’
I threw my stuff in the wash, jumped in the shower and changed my clothes. Thoughts of the day kept flashing through my mind, and the more I thought about it, the more horrible I felt about it. After I was done in the shower I turned on the radio and lied back on my bed. ‘Jamie. I’m sorry. I’m really sorry. I should call her and apologize. I should just tell her that this past week has been really great. That if it weren’t for her I would’ve never gotten as far as I have with my lines. I would’ve never looked up Cassiopeia in the encyclopedia. I would’ve never practiced my blocking for the play. I would’ve never listened to that weird CD you gave me and liked it. I would’ve never…I would’ve never done a lot of things.’
I picked up the phone and heard her gentle, “Hello.”
After a beat I said, “Hey Jamie. It’s Lando…” She hung up. ‘Okay…so the phone was a bad idea.’
“Landon? Are you home?” I heard my mom calling out.
“Yeah mom. I’m in my room.”
She opened the door and asked me, “Didn’t you start dinner?”
“I’m not really hungry mom. If you want I can make something for you.”
“No. Don’t be silly. I just thought…Landon?” She looked at me kind of funny. “Are you all right?”
“Yeah. I…I’m just not hungry.”
“Are you sure?” My mom had a way of knowing when something was bothering me and knowing my mom, she wouldn’t let up until I gave in and told her.
“Mom? I did something kind of stupid today.” I sat there told my mom everything about the last week, with the exception of the strip club, and asked her what she thought I should do.
“Well, I can’t really tell you what to do, but I do know you need to apologize to Jamie.”
“Mom, that’s just it. I’ve tried, but she won’t listen to me. She closed her door in my face. She won’t take my phone calls...”
“Then you’re not trying hard enough.”
‘Not trying hard enough? What am I supposed to do? Hire a plane and have them skywrite, I’m sorry Jamie in big letters?’ “You really think I should keep on fighting to get her to listen to me?”
“Well, that’s up to you and whether or not you think she’s worth fighting for.” She patted my leg and got up to leave my room, turning back when she got to the door. “Landon. I think you really need to think about this long and hard. Think about why you’re trying to apologize to Jamie. What if she does except it tonight? Can you promise her that it won’t happen again tomorrow?” She just stood there and looked at me. “Think about it.”
I paced around my room for a bit, trying to get rid of this restless feeling inside and turned the radio up. I sat on the bed’s edge with my elbows against my knees and began thinking about what my mother said. Would I be able to face my friends and tell them that I was spending time with Jamie? Probably. Would I be able to face them and admit that I actually enjoyed the time we spent together? Probably not. ‘What kind of jerk are you Landon?’
At some point in the night I picked up my yearbook from last year, I started flipping through the pages. I don’t know what I was looking for when I came across her picture. It read, ‘Jamie Sullivan: Red Cross; Stars and Planets; Drama Club Ambition: To witness a miracle.’ I thought about this for a while. A long while and I realized something. Jamie Sullivan was worth fighting for. At that moment I made a promise to myself to try and be a better person, if not for myself then for Jamie. I needed to earn her respect, her trust…her friendship. I needed to make this up to her, and I knew just how to do it. I dialed 411 and asked some questions and eventually I got all the information I needed.
“Yeah…I’d like to name a star after someone…”
For Jamie’s POV read her story entitled, “…And Then…He Kissed Me.”