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Moving On

Yet another Saturday at home, alone. I couldn’t remember the last time I had gone out. I mean, I had friends. I was invited places all the time. But I never went. I just wasn’t the kind of girl that hung out at the mall, or went out to lunch over the weekend. If you wanted to find me, I’d be in front of the computer writing. It’s all the entertainment I needed.

I don’t know what made me say "Yes." to going out that day. I guess something deep inside of me was ready for a change. So instead of sitting in front of the glowing computer screen, I found myself scrunched in the back seat of a car between some people that I knew, but wasn’t very close to.

"Where are we going exactly?" I asked the driver.

"We’re meeting some other people over at Terry’s house. It’s just a little get-together. You know."

"Oh," I said quietly, trying desperately to remember who Terry was. I was becoming more and more uncomfortable. I mean, here I was, sandwiched between two guys I barely knew and on my way to some stranger’s house. Now I knew exactly why I hadn’t gone out in a long time.

I guess the boy beside, who I am guessing was named Jeremy, noticed that I was feeling shy. He pulled lightly at the end of my ponytail. "What’s the matter? Come on, it’ll be fun!"

Sheridan, who was the driver, said, "Yeah, seriously Jude. This will be good for you. You really need to get out more."

I felt Jeremy wrap his heavy arm around my shoulder. "If it helps at all, I promise not to leave your side," he said, close to my ear. I guess he couldn’t really help it. There was maybe only half an inch between us. Nonetheless, I was feeling much better. It was strange, though. Normally, if a guy said something like that to me, I would turn bright red and immediately have to leave the room. Maybe, I thought, this is a new beginning for me. The new bold and flirtatious Jude has decided to break free!

I told myself that I was going to have a fun time, with tall, protective Jeremy by my side. And I even believed myself, until Terry’s front door opened to reveal him. He was sprawled out on a tacky green leather couch, his feet nonchalantly propped up on the arm rest. I barely heard Terry’s greeting or felt Jeremy’s arm around my waist. All I could see was his face. My heart began to race and I hated myself for it. Oh why did he have to be there?

He looked to the door and his eyes locked onto mine. I quickly looked down to my feet. I couldn’t tell anything from that split second that our eyes had met. Was he excited to see me? Disgusted? Indifferent?

I had to go home. I couldn’t stay there. Not with him there. I was furious with myself. Don’t let him bother you! I commanded myself. He’s just a guy. But I knew he wasn’t just a guy. He would never be just a guy. He would always be the guy who I had fallen madly in love with after years of a perfect friendship. He would always be the guy that found out, and then rarely spoke to me ever again. He would always been the guy that made my heart speed up and my face redden whenever he walked by. He would never be the guy who loved me back.

Jeremy led me to an empty chair, and then ran off to find a drink for each of us. I silently people-watched while he was gone. Most of the people there were familiar to me. They all went to my school, yet some were older and some were younger. They were chatting easily with each other, like they did this sort of thing every weekend. They probably did. I envied them. What happened to me telling myself I was going to have fun? What happened to being spontaneous and meeting new people? This is not how I wanted it to be! It was all his fault.

After four long hours of joking and loud music, couple began to wander off in their own directions and the music was turned down low. I really, really wanted to go home, but my chauffer was no where to be found. I closed my eyes and leaned my head back against the sofa. I wished that I was home, writing in front of the computer. Like every weekend. Why had I agreed to come?

I felt someone sit down beside me. It’s him! I thought, panicking. Oh, what do I do? I didn’t open my eyes. I just sat there as if I was asleep.

"Jude?" a voice said. I sighed in relief. It wasn’t him. It was just Jeremy. I opened my eyes and smiled over at him. I couldn’t see him clearly, because someone had turned off the lights. But I could tell that his face was way too close. I knew what was coming. The room suddenly felt really stuffy and hot and my head began to pound.

Suddenly, I jumped from the sofa. "What’s the matter?" Jeremy asked.

"I…uh…I’m going to go outside." I stuttered. "Be back later."

I heard Jeremy protest as I stepped over empty cups and couples that littered the floor. I flung the front door open and took in a deep breath of the cool night air. The pounding in my head subsided, and I felt a little better. I walked over to the front porch steps and sat down on the first one. I wrapped my arms around my bare legs and rested my chin on my knees. I felt like a complete failure. This really cute guy liked me and wanted to kiss me, but I blew it. And I knew exactly why. It was because of him. I just wouldn’t let him go. And because I couldn’t let him go, my night had been ruined. I couldn’t stand the thought of going all the way through high school all alone because I couldn’t let go of one stupid guy.

Behind me, I heard the front door open. The first thought that ran through my head was Jeremy so I turned around to tell him that I just wanted to be alone. My words caught in my throat. It was him. Oh God. He walked over slowly and sat next to me on the step. I clutched my chest so that my heart rate might slow down. I hoped that he didn’t see.

"It’s really hot in there, you know?" he finally said.

I nodded my head. Why wasn’t he back inside with all the other couples. No doubt he had some girl who wanted to make-out with him.

I heard him clear his throat. He leaned back on his hands. "Hey Jude?" he said.

"Yeah?" Oh my gosh, I’m going to have a heart attack.

"Do you still like me?"

I almost screamed out loud. How could he ask me that kind of question? I felt like the skin was going to melt off of my cheeks. I stayed silent.


"Why?" I blurted out.

"What do you mean," he asked, scooting closer to me.

"Why have you been doing this to me?" I asked, my anger growing.

"I really don’t know what you mean!" he replied.

"Yes you do!" I stood up. "This whole year, you have known that I liked you. You have known! And what do you do? You’ve ignored me!"

"No I haven’t!" he protested, standing up also.

"We used to be such good friends. And now, it’s like we don’t even know each other!" I shook my head and walked into the yard.

I heard his footsteps behind me and then felt his hand on my shoulder. My skin tingled.

"That’s why I came out here." he said quietly. "When you came into the house earlier today, I thought…I thought that maybe this could work out. You know, me and you."

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. My heart was saying "YES!" but my head was saying "Don’t do it Jude."

I shrugged his hand off my shoulder. "It’s too late." I whispered. I had made up my mind.


"I said," I turned around and looked him square in the eye, "it’s too late. You’ve had so much time. But you’ve waited too long. I’m through being miserable over you."

I started to walk back inside. He grabbed my hand. "Jude! Wait, Jude. I’m so sorry."

I turned around and looked him in the eye one more time. "I am too." His face fell. I was breaking his heart, like he broke mine. It only made me feel better knowing he would have another girl next week if he wanted.

I went back inside, and saw Jeremy sitting on the couch where I had left him. He stood when he saw me.

"Jude! I’m sorry Jude! I didn’t mean to scare you off…" he walked over to me.

I grabbed his hand. "It’s ok. Don’t worry about it."

"Do you want me to take you home now? Sheridan is ready to go too."


Jeremy led the way to the front door. I followed. At the door, I almost turned around to see if he was still there, but I stopped myself.

I was done with him and the way he made me feel. I was through.
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