The River's Edge // Part Three

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Betty and Veronica stayed after for cheer tryouts today, leaving me to walk home alone

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Betty and Veronica stayed after for cheer tryouts today, leaving me to walk home alone. I decided on changing and then heading to Pop's. I felt like I at least deserved a milkshake for my efforts these past few days. If I didn't, well, I was getting one anyway.

Pushing the door open, I took in the scent of the restaurant. Most people would be grossed out by the smell but I found it welcoming. It made me feel safe, comforted. Like I was back in the 50's when Cheryl Bombshell didn't exist and drama wasn't as intense as it was now.

Choosing a booth, I ordered an Oreo milkshake before distracting myself by scrolling through social media. A text came through from Ronnie that she and Betty made the team. I responded with a quick congrats before my milkshake was placed in front of me. I thanked Pop before focusing back on my screen.

I was interrupted, yet again, by a hand snatching the cherry from my milkshake. Looking up, I was met with a boy with dark, unruly hair. His head was covered with a beanie and a black jacket swallowed up his frame. A laptop was tucked under his arm and even then, I couldn't resist the fact that the person in front of me was undeniably beautiful.

"Out of every booth, you've managed to steal mine. Why's that?" He tossed the cherry stem on the table, a smirk gracing his lips.

I scrambled to grab my stuff and shifted away, "Oh, sorry. I didn't mean-"

"Whoa, calm down. I wasn't kicking you out," His hand grabbed my wrist to stop my exit as he slid down into the booth, "You're welcome to stay. It's not like I'm expecting anyone."

"Sorry. I'm Savanna Marrows," I smiled as I shook his hand.

"Jughead Jones, it's weird, I know."

I waved my hand in dismissal, "So, Jughead Jones. Are you a student at Riverdale?"

Jughead scowled, "Sadly. The student population usually causes me to hide out here. I'd rather not be seen, at all."

"Understandable. I'm the quiet one myself. I'm actually shocked I've managed to make a conversation this long." My eyes narrowed in on his laptop, "Come here to work?"

Jughead set the laptop on the table finally, "I'm a writer. Forget talking to peers, I'd rather spill it in grave detail on an expensive piece of technology."

I laughed, biting my straw, "I'm the exact same way. Ronnie hates it that I'd much rather spill my thoughts online than to her."

"Ah, Veronica Lodge. I presume you're related?" Jughead raised an eyebrow.

I nodded, "Her sister. The one and only. We just moved in from New York."

"So I've heard. So tell me, Savanna Marrows, what do you like to write?"


Hours passed and yet, Jughead and I were still chatting endlessly at Pop's. I decided to skip the semiformal, seeing as Ronnie and Betty were taking Archie together. I wasn't up for walking in circles by myself all night and I most definitely wasn't for hiding behind Veronica at a high school dance.

Jughead had told me about his novel and his interest in the Jason Blossom events. I had him fill me in fully on what happened July 4th of this summer. After that, Jughead and I talked every second. I felt like I had known this kid for my whole life.

My phone buzzed with a text from Ronnie. I paused my story with Jughead to read it.

I think I just fucked up, Vanna. If you see Betty, tell her we need to talk. Also, Mom wants you home by 11. Xo

"Can I sit, Jughead, Savanna?"

My thoughts were broken by Archie standing in front of us. I slid across the booth to make room for him. He looked exhausted. Whatever happened at that dance, wasn't good.

"What are you working on?" Archie attempted at conversation with Jughead who clammed right back up.

"My novel. It's about this summer, and Jason Blossom." Jughead's response was straight to the point.

Archie shook his head, "Seventeen years old and how will he be remembered? As captain of the water polo team?"

A laugh escaped my throat unintentionally. Both boys looked at me, confused. "Wait, you're meaning to tell me the captain of the water polo team drowned? That's some funny shit."

Jughead's lips tugged into a smile. Archie looked me up and down, "You're not so quiet when V is gone, are you?"

I shrugged my shoulders innocently as I turned back to Jughead, "You mean, The Aquaholics? Considering, as Vanna said, how he died, probably not."

"No, what I mean is...Was he doing everything he was supposed to do, everything he wanted. And did he even know what that was?"

Jughead's gaze left Archie to face the window. He took a minute before facing back to us, "Coach Clayton was in here talking to Pop Tate. Varsity. Does that make you, what, Mr. Popular Football God now?"

Archie shook his head, "No. In fact, I'm kind of terrified I lost my best friend tonight."

His words clicked in my mind as I remembered Ronnie's text. This sounds like my sister overstepped some boundaries.

"If you mean Betty, whatever happened, just talk to her. You know, it'd go a long way," Jughead paused before letting out a sigh, "Would've gone a long way with me."

Not long after, Archie said his goodbyes before leaving. I hoped he fixed whatever was wrong with Betty. I already knew I was going to kick V's ass when I got home. Betty had been extremely nice to us since we arrived and somehow, my sister got herself twisted into Betty's plans since the first word.

"Well, Miss Marrows, it was a pleasure to spend the evening in your presence today. Maybe we could do this again, sometime?" Jughead closed his laptop with a smile. I returned the grin before sliding my phone across the table towards him. He glanced at the screen and then me before typing on the device.

Once he returned it, I looked at what he had put in. The contact that I had labeled Jughead Jones, was now Jug :) with a phone number. A blush crept to my cheeks unwillingly as we both shuffled out of the booth.

"You kids be careful now," Pop shouted to us as Jughead pushed the door open for me. I pulled my cape's hood over my head as Jug and I shared glances.

"What happened?" Jughead looked at the owner.

Pop waved his hand towards the telephone, "Just got a call from Sheriff Keller. Jason Blossom's body was found. He was shot in the head."

And with those words, Jughead and I knew that sleeping wasn't happening tonight.

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