By: kf6tac (Brian) and Jamie Sommers
Synopsis: This story is about Landon and Jamie’s budding relationship. They’ve had their first date; Landon has told her he loves her, now they have to face their friends, their family and their own fears. Written from both Landon (written in bold print by kf6tac/Brian) and Jamie’s (written in italic print by Jamie Sommers) POV.
I stood at the door, shaking--awaiting my fate. He gave me permission to take her out to dinner, but he didn’t give me permission to fall in love with her. I rang the bell and he opened it before I could take my finger off the button.
“Good mornin’ Mr. Carter. What brings you to my house so early on a Monday morning?”
“I…uh…I’m here to pick up Jamie for school, Sir.” I swallowed that huge lump in my throat and prayed that he wouldn’t kick me off of his porch.
“Well…” He scratched his jaw and looked me up and down. Talk about nervous--I was pretty sure he could see me sweating, but I stood my ground and waited for Jamie. Then she walked up beside her father and my heart stopped.
She didn’t look any different then she did any other morning she went to school. Her hair was in a ponytail, she was wearing a plain skirt and shirt, and of course, her sweater, but for some reason she looked just as beautiful to me as the night of the play. Gorgeous. I don’t really know when I began noticing little things about her. The way her hair felt like silk, her skin was flawless, the way her eyes sparkled… Jamie Sullivan was the most beautiful woman in the world and she was mine.
I was so nervous. I didn’t tell daddy about Landon picking me up for school that day. I thought I would just take my chances and see how he reacted. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. He told me that no one was allowed in the house if he wasn’t home and that he expected me home from school at the usual time. He did give Landon one of those looks that can make a person squirm though. It was like a warning--not for what he did, but for what he MIGHT do. Poor Landon. He just stood there and kept swallowing over and over again. He was so cute.
The first time I thought about him like that was that morning in church after that incident with Clay. He was sitting there with this huge white bandage on his forehead and he looked so…lost…angry. Everyone judged him. He was the reason Clay was in the hospital, but no one thought about the other kids, the one’s that didn’t hang around to make sure Clay wasn’t dead. Landon was the only one. He made everyone else leave so they wouldn’t get in trouble and he took all the blame himself. Sure he lied about what happened, but to be fair, so did Clay. No one stopped to think that Clay would’ve still felt peer pressure--he still would've jumped. The only difference is, if Landon weren’t there, then there would've been no one to pull Clay out of the water. Clay would’ve still jumped, he still would’ve gotten hurt and the rest of his friends still would've run...they DID run. Landon didn’t almost kill Clay that day--he saved him. So, that was the day I noticed that his eyes were troubled…and beautiful. I bet they sparkled when he smiled.
She held my hand on the drive to school and chatted about classes and church and anything else you could think of but the minute we pulled into the school’s parking lot she was quiet.
“Hey? You okay?” I asked her.
“Yeah. I’m just…Landon? Are you sure you’re ready for this?”
“For what?” I honestly didn’t know what she was talking about.
“The minute we walk across that campus everyone is going to know about us.”
“Good.” I kissed her then, just to let her know that I was more than sure. For the first time in my life, I didn’t care what people thought about me and it was pretty cool.
He opened the car door for me and held onto both of my hands. I was right you know--his eyes do sparkle when he smiles. He gave me a quick kiss and then we headed towards the school. We didn’t say anything to each other; we just held hands and walked. I was nervous, shaking almost. I knew we’d be walking right by the spot that Landon and his friends hung out at before, during and after school, only this time, Landon was with me, not them. I glanced at him, I wanted to see how he reacted when we saw his group of friends from where we were, but he didn’t seem to notice them. He just held my hand and walked me into the building like he’d done it everyday of his life. We could hear them saying things about us; hear their reactions, but neither one of us cared. If they didn’t want to accept us, then they didn’t have to. We were happy with or without them.
We went to his locker first--it was on the way to mine--then he walked me to my first class. We got a lot of curious looks in the hallways and I was a little worried about him changing his mind. What if the pressures of being my boyfriend got to him? It’s not like I’m popular or anything and well…he was. There’s not a girl in this whole school that wouldn’t want to be in my position--holding his hand--then I felt him squeeze it, like he was reading my mind and he was saying ‘everything’ll be all right.’ When we got to my first class he…I still can’t believe he did this, but…he kissed me. In front of everyone! He leaned over and kissed me and said, ‘wait here for me and we can walk to science together, ‘kay?’ I literally floated into psyche that morning. Landon Carter loved me and the best part was that he wasn’t ashamed to show it.
It’s kind of funny, usually when people stare and wonder it’s an uncomfortable situation. It definitely was when I walked onto campus--with the assistance of crutches--after that whole mess with Clay. This time though, it was the greatest feeling in the world. Not that people stared, but because I knew I had nothing to be ashamed of. I didn’t even notice the others much. It’s like everything in the world just melts away when I’m with Jamie.
At first I thought it would be awkward walking by Dean and the old gang. But as it turns out, it wasn’t bad at all. Oh sure, Tracy and Belinda said things about us behind our backs and Dean… well… he’s just Dean. I’m sure he probably said some not-so-appropriate words under his breath too. But it didn’t matter. If they wanted to be friends with me, they’d have to accept my decisions and the people I love. Otherwise Landon Carter would be just as happy without them. I had Jamie with me, and that’s all that mattered.
As we walked through the halls to our lockers, people kind of parted. They didn’t all crowd to the walls, but they definitely spread out more than they would have for just any other couple walking down the hallway. When we got to Jamie’s psyche class, I kissed her and told her to wait up for me after the first period. Yeah, I kissed her. Not because I had anything to prove, just because I love her. I would have told her that, but I wasn’t sure she was ready to hear it again just yet. That thought made me a little nervous, but she had let me hold her hand and kiss her in front of the whole school. I wasn’t going to rush her--to be perfectly honest--I was in Heaven anyways. I watched as Jamie walked into her classroom, and when I turned around I saw Principal Kelly watching me from across the hall. I couldn’t help but smile--for once the principal was staring at me like he had no clue what was up, just like all the other kids in the hall. I just smiled at him and shrugged as I walked off to trig. Maybe, someday, I’ll thank him for making me do that play after all.
I waited after class for him. I felt a little awkward at first, but then Eddie Zimmerhoff came up to me and started talking to me--I'm not really sure about what though, because that's when I saw him coming towards me. My hands started sweating, my heart started racing and then he was there, right in front of me. He slipped his arm around my waist and kissed my cheek.
"Hey," he looked at Eddie and said, "Hey man. What's up?"
"Ummm. Nothing." Eddie looked like he swallowed a frog. "What's up with you?" He looked like he was going to smile, but he just wasn't quite sure if he should or not.
"Not much." Landon looked at me and said, "You ready?"
I nodded my head, I don't know why, but I just couldn't speak. He grabbed my hand and walked me to my locker than we headed off to science class.
I know trigonometry is almost always a boring class since Mr. Evans just sits up there at his overhead projector and rambles on in monotone, but that hour today felt like at least three hours. I just kept staring at that clock, waiting and waiting for the bell to ring. Everything Mr. Evans was saying about sines, cosines, and whatever else just drifted by me. And when the bell finally rang, I think I was the first one out of that door.
When I got to the door of Jamie’s classroom, she was there waiting for me. Even though she wasn’t really wearing or doing anything unusual, my heart still jumped when I saw her. ‘Cool it, Landon,’ I told myself. ‘Now is not a good time to do anything dumb.’ Anyways, I tried to stay as calm as I could and I walked up to Jamie and kissed her on the cheek. That’s when I noticed Eddie Zimmerhoff standing there. I guess he’d been talking to Jamie before I showed up. I grinned, and said hi to him too. I didn’t have anything against the guy, even if his play was a bit… well… corny. I think I might’ve caught him a bit off guard with kissing Jamie and all but that wasn’t something new… not today at least.
I have to admit, I was a little paranoid about class considering Dean was assigned to sit next to me at the beginning of the year. He showed up 10 minutes late for class that first day and the only seat left was next to me. It didn't bother me that he didn't want to sit there. I really didn't care. To be honest I would've rather sat by myself, but...I think God's plan was already in motion.
Landon and I were one of the last people to walk into class--he never let go of my hand--Mr. Gilbert looked up at the clock then did a double take at us and smiled. I wasn't at all shocked when Landon pulled out my chair, but I was pleasantly surprised when he took the seat next to me --Dean's seat--instead of his usual one next to Belinda.
We took our time getting to science class, just walking down the halls at a leisurely pace. The last thing I wanted to think about was cells and chemicals anyways. It just felt really good having Jamie there next to me, her hand in mine. But a passing period is only so long. We got into class just before the bell, so we weren’t late--technically, at least. We were the last ones in though, besides for Dean and Belinda. I don’t think anyone really expected Dean to come into class on time anymore, seeing as how he was ten minutes late the very first day. As luck would have it though, that’s how he got a seat next to Jamie. I figured Jamie was probably a little bit nervous about sitting next to Dean. I mean, Jamie isn’t the type to pick a fight with anyone, but Dean’s a pretty big guy. Thinking back now, I might’ve been really asking for it when I punched him last week in the cafeteria. And it’s hard enough for Jamie that he didn’t really like her to start with. After I pulled Jamie’s chair out for her, I sat down right next to her in Dean’s seat. I looked over at Mr. Gilbert to see if he was going to tell me to get back to my seat in the corner of the room by Belinda, but he seemed to be cool with it.
The bell rang, and Mr. Gilbert started drawing some diagrams up on the chalkboard. As I leaned over to get my notebook out of my bag, I saw Belinda and Dean coming down the hall toward the door. ‘Moment of truth,’ I thought to myself.
They weren't there yet, but they were coming, they usually showed up late for...well for every class that I can think of. I got my binder out of my backpack and I could feel Landon stiffen next to me--they were here. I really didn't think Dean would do anything. I figured he'd just glance over and see Landon sitting next to me and just take the seat next to Belinda. After that incident in the cafeteria last week, you'd think I would know better.
“Yo," he looked at me with such hatred. "I think you're in my seat man."
Landon just shook his head and said, "I didn't really think you would mind."
“Well, maybe I do."
I knew Landon was trying to keep calm, he licked his lips and just exhaled through his nose, I was so scared that he was going to get into another fight with Dean over me, so I put my hand on his leg and shook my head. Thank goodness Mr. Gilbert interrupted.
"Is there a problem Landon? Dean?"
"Yeah," Dean interrupted, "as a matter of fact there is. Landon's in my seat."
"Well there seems to be an empty chair over in the corner...why don't you take that seat?"
I looked down at my notebook and pretended to be copying down Mr. Gilbert’s diagrams, but I didn’t think my little ploy would fool anyone. To be honest, I was doing everything I could to sit still. I wasn’t really sure what Dean and Belinda would say to my changing of seats. I kinda hoped to myself that they would be cool about it and not make a big scene, but things just haven’t gone my way lately with them.
Dean walked up to me, his backpack strap twisted around his arm like usual. I heard the bag drop to the floor with a loud “thud”, and Dean stood there in front of the desk.
“Yo,” he said, casting a glare at Jamie before turning back to me.
I could hear the irritation in his voice. “I think you’re in my seat man.” As if it weren’t obvious to start with.
Part of me wanted to just hit him again, yet another part of me wished he would just go away. I was lucky no teachers were around last week in the cafeteria to bust me. I wasn’t so lucky this time, and I really couldn’t afford to get in trouble this close to graduation.
“I didn’t really think you would mind,” I told him, trying to hide my own agitation and nervousness.
“Well, maybe I do.”
‘Go away Dean, just sit down and get over it,’ I kept wishing in my head. I was pretty sure the entire class was staring, and this was one of those bad stares.
Mr. Gilbert jumped in just at the nick of time, and even though Dean protested he was told to go sit in my old seat. I let out a long breath, glad to have been pulled out of that situation. A few seconds more and I don’t know what I would have done. I was already starting to break a sweat. Mr. Gilbert went back to the board, and I tried to calm myself down enough to finish--well, start actually--my notes.
On the way out of class that day Mr. Gilbert asked Landon and I to stay after. I've been going to school here for four years and I've never had to stay after class for anything...ever.
"You wanted to see us, Mr. Gilbert?" I squeezed Landon's hand. I think he knew I was a little nervous.
“Yes, Miss. Sullivan. I just wanted to let you both know that I really enjoyed your performances in the spring play.” He looked down at our joined hands and smiled at us again, “Congratulations.”
I wonder if there was a hidden meaning in his ‘congratulations?’
As Jamie and I were walking out the door, Mr. Gilbert asked us to stay after. I kicked myself for my little stunt with the seat switching. It’s not that staying after class was anything new to me, but I didn’t mean to drag Jamie into it. She hadn’t gotten in trouble her whole time at this school, and I felt terrible for being the one to ruin that track record for her.
I was really relieved to find out that Mr. Gilbert wasn’t going to write us up. As it turns out, he didn’t even talk to us about the seats. He had just wanted to tell us that he liked the play and to congratulate us.
When we got outside into the hallway, I turned to Jamie and gave her another quick kiss.
“Hey, sorry about that mess in there. I just really wanted to sit next to you, that’s all. And I didn't think you'd want to be dealing with Dean today.”
“It’s alright Landon. We didn’t actually get in trouble, and it was nice to get a compliment from Mr. Gilbert too.”
“Yeah,” I said with a chuckle. “So…. We’ve got ourselves a ten-minute break here. What do you want to do with it?”