I hear Jenna open the bathroom door and I stand up. When I look at her, I know exactly what's going to happen tonight. She's wearing a black lace dress and her hair is straightened. It's so long that way that it touches her waist. She gives me a funny look and says, "You okay?"
I nod and swallow the lump in my throat before thinking of something "normal" to say. "I'm thinking that I better change if I'm going to be walking around with you. You look beautiful." She looks more than beautiful. She looks like a girl who knew the cost of beauty way too early in her life.
She just laughs uncomfortably and tells me that I'm fine. I take one last look at Josephine and kiss her right on the lips. It's like kissing a corpse. When my eyes jump back to her sister, my heart stutters for a moment. "He's going to be here in an hour or so," Jenna informs me with a funny look on her face.
I just stride for her, lace our fingers together, and drag her after me. It feels foreign to hold hands like this and my entire palm tingles. "Let's go make some reservations and get in character. Shall we?"
Jenna nods and we both step into the elevator. The ride is long and silent, but not awkward. So unlike the first time I was with this girl.
I would be lying if I said that I had never thought of what it would be like to date Jenna. In the beginning she seemed so unobtainable--older, beautiful, hostile, and mysterious. But after seeing her laugh, scream, sob, and jump around like a three-year-old, she actually seems like a person. A person who threatened me a little too much.
When we step out into the air that's growing more frigid by the minute, I choose to remove my hand from Jenna's only to wrap it around her waist. It feels strange. Josephine was a lot taller and skinnier than Jenna. I could always feel Jo's hip bones. Jen stiffness for a second before relaxing into me. It feels so natural that it sends a pang of guilt through my body. Touching Jenna isn't supposed to be like this, but it is. Why was I expecting anything different?
She and I walk until she motions to a hard bench cemented to the street. She pulls out her phone and starts browsing for restaurants. I have an uncanny sense of deja vu--to the time where I was watching Josephine go through my music.
Her beautifully structured face is illuminated by the blue light from her phone, her lashes almost touching her cheeks, her lips painted a brick red. A curtain of her straight hair falls over her face right as she looks directly in my eyes. Right on the street with people yelling and boots slopping in the puddles, I take Jenna's face in my hands and pull her against me, our mouths finding each other as naturally as a compass finds north. Or maybe something less cliché.
My head starts to grow hot and I'm wanting to transition her onto my lap when she pulls away quickly and rests her forehead on mine. "John Andrew Montgomery."
"I'm so sorry, Jenna." She just nods and stands up slowly, running her hand desperately through her hair and faces away from me.
"My word, I hate you!" She squeezes her eyes shut as she signs this.
"Jen-" She bites her lower lip, clutching the hem of her dress and almost stomping like a kid, the frustration radiating off of her almost tangible.
"John. I have kissed so many boys. And it's never been anything like that." She sits down again, her jaw set firmly. I had never forgotten what Karen told me about Jenna's past, what I read on the students' skin. I know that she's much more experienced than I am and I should be very, very careful. So I decide to play it down, even though I know that it's pointless because I'll come back to her somehow. Funny how things change so quickly.
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Skin Deep (Featured - Completed)Teen Fiction
John is blank in a world where everything anyone says appears on their skin. They're held accountable for every secret, every demand, every sacrifice scrawled across their foreheads in bold black letters. He grew up in an insane asylum and had acc...