Thinking about Jackson didn't get me anywhere; thoughts of his lips on mine and the intoxicating scent of his cologne that still lingered in the air only made me feel one thing, and I'm not going to talk about it. I figured it was best to just let it go. Every time I closed my eyes, however, I saw Jackson. It wasn't an unpleasant image, but it made it really hard to sleep. When I finally did get to sleep, he haunted my dreams. I woke up feeling refreshed, but I was a little worried about riding with Jackson. Sure, we'd supposedly gotten rid of temptation, but I had the feeling that it wouldn't stop Jackson from making a move.
At 7:40 in the morning, Jackson honked his horn. I grabbed my purse and rushed out the door. I got into the front seat of the car and gave Jackson a smile.
"Morning Sophie," he said.
"About last night..."
"It'd be best if no one knew about it."
Was he embarrassed about making out with someone as uncool as me?
"It's not that I'm ashamed or anything, but if Simon catches wind of it... he'll get really upset, you know?"
I wondered if that was the real reason. Jackson was a good liar, and I knew that for a fact. I wasn't going to worry about it, I decided. "Okay."
"Hey, I'd tell everyone if I could, all right? You're a great kisser."
I fought against a smile and lost. "Thanks."
For a while it was quiet. "So," he began after a while. "Did you and Simon ever... you know... have sex?"
I felt a blush spread across my cheeks. "Um..."
"You don't have to answer... sorry I asked."
"No, it's okay... We did it a couple of times... but Simon just isn't that into me physically... I always wonder... what's wrong with me," I whispered. I'd never said that out loud. I wasn't sure why I was saying it now, to Jackson. I was surprised how much it hurt to think about how many times I'd faced rejection from Simon. I mean, he'd kiss me, but that was about it. He never showed any interest in my body. Whenever I took off any of my clothes he just looked at me like I was some sort of freak. Maybe my body wasn't perfect, but I wasn't deformed or anything.
"Nothing's wrong with you, cupcake. Maybe Simon is gay."
I stared at him.
"Okay, so that wasn't funny." He sighed. "I was just trying to make you feel better."
Well, at least he'd given an effort.
"Sophie, why would you wanna be with someone that makes you feel so unsure of yourself? You deserve to be with someone that lets you know how beautiful you are every day."
I rolled my eyes. "Yeah, because there are so many guys out there that are like that."
"I'll get you and Simon back together if that's what you really want... but you could do better."
I smiled at him. "I appreciate the sentiment... but despite his flaws, Simon really means a lot to me."
"Then I'll make it work." He parked the car and we started towards the school interest. "I'll take you home with me today, we'll hang out; make a plan to get Simon to remember how fabulous you are. I'll meet ya by your locker."
"All right. Thanks Jackson," I said, flashing him a grin as we went our separate ways.
"I think it's a little weird that Jackson is being so nice to me," I said to Ellie when I got to my locker.
"Well, he likes you."
"He's an amazing kisser," I murmured.
"What!? What did you guys do?"
"He came over last night... and we made-out... I'm not supposed to tell anyone, 'cause if Simon finds out he'll be pissed. So don't mention it."
"He is amazing," she said. "I bet he's even better when he likes you."
"He doesn't like me!" I sighed. "He just wants sex."
"Whatever you say, Sophie. Do you think that Simon will take you back?"
I grimaced. "Guess we'll find out soon enough."
The day wasn't too bad, but it went extremely slow considering I was anxious to go to Jackson's and figure out how to get Simon to forgive me. Every time I passed Simon in the hall he sent me a death glare. On the bright side, though, I'd gotten through the entire day without anyone asking me about what had happened at the party... at least until five minutes before the bell during seventh hour.
"So, what's happening with you and Simon? He was really pissed when he pulled you off of Scott at Jackson's party," said Brenda Hampton. I sighed heavily; Brenda was one of Jackson's closest friends, so there was a good chance Jackson would fill her in if I didn't.
I was quiet a while. "Well, he broke up with me, but Jackson and I are going to get things worked out."
"Gosh, Jackson is so sweet." She smiled, twirling her long blond hair around her finger.
It was no secret Brenda was smitten with Jackson; it was also no secret that they'd slept together on more than one occasion. Despite all the chemistry there seemed to be between them, Jackson never asked her out. I'd have to find out why later on.
"Yeah, it's nice of him to help me out." I said.
"I can't believe you made out with Scott, though. He doesn't seem like your type!"
"I was drunk. He's not my type at all."
Before she could say anything else, the bell rang, and I was off like a shot.
I didn't have to wait long for Jackson to meet me at my locker. We walked out of the school without saying anything, I noticed he was walking a little closer to me than usual, but I didn't comment.
When we got in the car I looked over at him. "Tell me about Brenda."
"She's my friend... sweet girl, nice boobs."
"You guys have slept together."
"Sure. What does this have to do with anything? I've slept with a lot of girls."
"She really likes you. How come you've never asked her out?"
"Did she tell you to ask me?" He shook his head. "Brenda is hot, but I just don't date. Everyone knows that."
"She didn't tell me, I was just curious."
He frowned. "Well... enough about that. How was your day?"
"It was fine. I'll feel a lot better when Simon stops giving me dirty looks."
"Soon, cupcake." He turned on the radio, but kept the volume low. "Quiet enough for your fragile eardrums?"
I smiled. "Yes."
When we got to the house, Jackson and I sat on the couch and talked about Simon for a while. Then he stood up.
"I'm gonna get a drink, want anything?" He asked.
"Just some water would be great."
"All right. Be right back."
Turns out that Jackson was lying. He didn't come back. Not after five minutes, not after ten. All right, I'm lame; I actually sat on the couch for ten minutes waiting for Jackson to come back with my drink. Finally, I got up and went into the kitchen. I didn't see Jackson, instead, I saw Simon drinking orange juice out of the carton."Sophie?!" he cried, almost spitting out his juice."Um... Where's your brother?""He left... what in the hell are you doing here?""What do you mean heleft?!""I mean he got in his car, started it, and drove away," he said slowly.I sighed in frustration. "He was supposed to help me get you ba-ahh... never mind.""What were you going to say Sophie?""Nothing," I said defensively."What was Jackson supposed to help you with? Oh and why did he go to your place last night?""Simon, we were jus
"I hardly think this is the time!" I said. I didn't want to lie, but I couldn't tell the truth. "Jackson has been very good to me these past couple days, and that's why I'm so freaked out. We're friends.""Whatever, Sophie.""There's that lack of trust again," I growled. "You know what a cry baby I am; I can't believe you're surprised that I'm getting all worked up about this."He said nothing until we pulled into the hospital parking lot."I'm sorry," he said when we got out of the car. "I'm just stressed out; I didn't mean to snap at you." He pulled me to him and kissed my hair. "Jack is going to be fine, I know it."Simon's mood swings were worse than mine, and I had an excuse once a month. At least he'd apologized, though."It's okay," I said, taking his hand. "Let's get out
By the time Simon and I got to his house, I wasn't even eager to see Jackson. I just wanted to go home and bury my disgusting face in my pillow and hide."I'll be back," he told me when I'd settled on his bed. "I'm gonna go check on my brother."He came back a few minutes later. "Want to run out to grab something to eat with me? I'm just going to get McDonald's or something. Jackson is really hungry."I frowned. "Simon, I really don't wanna go anywhere. I had a shitty day."He looked thoughtful. "All right," he said finally. "I'm going to let you stay here because I… I'm going to trust you. Don't betray that, all right?"I nodded. "Thank Simon, for giving me a chance." I got up and kissed him. "You're a doll.""If Jackson needs anything, don't feel like you have to get it. He can wal
"Um… hi Mrs. Sutterfield. We were just napping… we weren't doing anything… We're still wearing clothes…"She stared at me.Maybe I should have stopped at 'hi Mrs. Sutterfield'."Hello Sophie," she said finally. "Could you wake him up, please? I need to speak with him."I shook Simon lightly. "Mon, wake up.""Mm…" he leaned up to kiss me, not opening his eyes."Simon!" His mother snapped.He backed away from me, slowly turning to face her. I'd never heard anyone use his full name before, so I knew she had to be pissed."Hi Mom," he said awkwardly. "You look pretty today.""Come with me," she ordered."I'll be right back," he told me, rolling his eyes.
Around 5:30 the next night I stood staring at myself in the mirror, just as I had before the first party. I was a little more sexed-up this time. I'd curled my hair, my gray eyes were lined heavily in black, and my pimple was completely gone. I thought I looked kinda hot. Maybe hot was an overstatement, but it was the best I was gonna look.I arrived at Simon’s house around 6:00. I went in without knocking. Jackson was dragging a table from the garage to the living room."Let me help you with that," I said, approaching him."I'm fine," he said through clenched teeth."You're going to hurt your ribs.""They ain't going to get any more broken. You look pretty; go see your boyfriend before I lose self-control.""Can we talk first?"He shook his head. "I'm busy," he said
As much as the brothers fought, they told each other almost everything."It seems like I was so much younger than I am now and a lot fucking stupider. Funny how much one year can do. We had sex right here on this balcony." He shook his head. "I didn't use a condom… she asked me too… but I didn't have one… and…" He ran his hand back through his hair."Did she have an abortion?" I asked carefully."No… we were gonna keep it. Brenda’s family is Catholic, they would've disowned her. She had a miscarriage. I hate to admit it… but I was really glad. How fucking wrong is that!? Sophie, I regret that every day of my life. I don't know how Brenda can still speak to me after I pressured her into having unprotected sex. I wasn't man enough to tell my own father. I just kept it to myself… like no one would ever find out."
"Can you get me the trashcan?""Sure cupcake."He came back with the trashcan and then sat on the bed beside me. I just wanted someone to hold me, but Jackson was dating Brenda now, and I was determined to make things work with Simon."This is the second time you've had to take care of me," I murmured. "I'm sorry.""It's okay, you can't help being sick.""So you just left all those people in your house?""Yeah… looking back, that probably wasn't a good plan, but I was worried about you."We laid in silence until Jackson's phone rang."It's a text message," he said after a moment. "From Simon. He wants to know what's up. I'll just tell him it was nothing and stay with you tonight.""Actually Jack&he
It may have seemed like I was overreacting, but I'd caught Caroline all over him before. I didn't really blame Simon, since he'd pushed her away; but if I wasn't there to watch him, would he let her have his way with him? Maybe I was just as guilty of being untrusting as he was. I shut my eyes and groaned. Things were never going to work out. Something had changed between us over the last week, and no matter how hard I tried to deny it, thoughts of Jackson were always lurking somewhere in my mind. I needed a distraction. The only problem was I didn't really feel well enough to go anywhere. I called Ellie."Haven't heard from you in days," she said when she picked up."I know, sorry! Things with Simon have been a little crazy."We went through the obligatory small talk and then I invited her over."Why don't we go out? I've been cooped up in the ho