Chapter 7

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It was late enough that the stars were up and Jake took my arm in his as we walked on the path that would take us closer to the lake. As of then , we weren't speaking. It seemed as if neither of us could find words to say that were appropriate, when something sparks between you and another person like that it can be pretty hard to feign normalcy . We walked until we reached a wooden bench pretty close to the lake and Jake gestured for me to sit down first and then did the same. For a while we sat in silence looking at the gentle wind inspired waves and the reflection of the night sky in the lake.

"And the sea is a just a wetter version of the skies" Jake said.

"Regina Spektor" I said my mouth breaking into a smile.

"Yup," Jake said smiling in return. "Folding Chair".

" I was starting to think that no one in the world listens to the music I listen to" .

"I don't think that applies to the whole world, maybe it's just the people here"

"I guess you're right" I said, looking down at my feet. I felt Jake's hand go over mine.

"I didn't mean that in a bad way" he said, his gaze sincere "I guess I just wanted to tell you that the reason you feel weird or out of place isn't because you're weird. It's because you're in a place where everyone is the same. "

I looked straight at him. "This is a five star resort. Every year thousands of people from everywhere in the world come in and out. Are you really telling me that they're all the same?"

"Essentially yes," he said confidently "Only a certain kind of person come to Africa looking for this kind of getaway or experience. Mostly they come cause they've been told to, by friends, friends of friends. They want to tell everyone when they get back that they did just what their friends did. They want to show all their friends that they're the same as them".

I could hear the waves gently crashing despite the stillness of the night.

"Then why," I asked hesitantly "Are you here?"

Jake let out a sigh.

"Honestly" he said "I don't know. I guess it's a number of reasons that when added up equate in me needing a break. I'm not here to try and be trendy" he said  wrinkling his nose at he thought.

"Would you like to talk about those reasons? " I said slowly.

"Not now," he said shaking his head "right now I just wanna enjoy...this" he used one hand to gesture to the lake and the other to tighten his grip on my hand. 

"How long have you lived here for" he asked, changing the subject. 

"My mom and dad bought this place when I was 3, and apart from the short time I spent in boarding school I've lived here ever since".

"It must be amazing to wake up every morning to something so beautiful" he said.

"Not really" I began slowly :I've found that over time even something shockingly beautiful can begin to look ordinary. You have to look at it again, explore ever corner and find the magic there if you want to experience it's beauty again" I hesitated "that's one of the reasons I usually carry my camera around".

"And the other reasons?" he asked raising an eyebrow.

"I don't wanna talk about that right now" I said looking at him mischievously "I just wanna enjoy...this" I gestured towards the lake in an exaggerated manner.

"You silly girl" Jason said laughing."Fine I'll tell you the reasons. One: I'm overworked. Two: I'm under pressure to do something I don't want to do. And Three: I'm confused ".

"Confused about what?" .

"I'll tell you some other time" I smiled a little inside at that, he wanted there to be another time. 

"I'm confused about a lot of things" he continued"but you know what I'm sure of?" he said turning towards me.

"How old you are?" I said grinning.

"No" he said moving closer, his voice softening "How much I like you".

I burst out laughing. A heavy laugh that involved giggles and even a snort. I rubbed a tear from my eye and looked back at Jake. 

"I'm sorry " I said " but that was a really lame line".

Considering the fact that I had just laughed at him Jake wasn't embarrassed or blushing, instead he was grinning. 

"You silly kid" he said leaning down and kissing my forehead.

I've been kissed on the lips before a few times but none of those hands-in-hair back-stroking moments felt as intimate to me as this small lips against skin gesture.

After that we talked,and in between lingering gazes I told him things. Many things. Things I thought no one cared about before like what my favourite color was, and what vampire saga I found particularly boring. He told me things too, like what it was like growing up in London and how much things had changed for him since then. We talked until I felt my phone buzz repeatedly in my purse alerting me to the fact that my mother was calling me.

It sucked to leave that bench. It sucked to leave that night, and those moments with him. But he made it all better by saying when we reached my door "See you tomorrow V".

And with one last smile, he left.

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Author's Note: Thank you for reading! So Jake and Vannessa just had a pretty cozy time! What's your Idea of the perfect date? Comment below.

Love, RossLynn.

Love, RossLynn

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