Twenty-Two: A Private Talk †

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It was Saturday again and in the time that I had followed Jason to the warehouse and had that dream, I couldn't hold a proper tête-à-tête with him.

I'd see him in the corridors or at practice or in the food court, and I'd greet him with pleasantries but the images wouldn't shake from my mind. They were embossed there and that's what taunted me.

Though Jason was diverse and tantalising and that's what allured me to him, regardless of the obvious bad-boy charms and good looks. He was attractive but he also has a girlfriend. We've shared intimate moments and consequently, I cherish those memories. For what I can say about Jason, conversely, I have no idea.

At the moment, I was walking through the town. I had just brought a pack of new pens. I'd lost two pens of mine in my room – the question was Are they behind the bed? – but I could just buy some more. They weren't too experience from a little corner shop.

On the way back to college, I could see Scott walking towards the direction of the town and myself included. His eyes landed on me and nodded, opening his mouth. I stared at him, perplexed until he halted in front of me and looked down – I was small, after all.

"You know, Ruby's furious with you," he declared.

I rolled my eyes. "She hates me, I know. It seems to be my friendship with Jason that angers her."

Scott nodded. "Yeah, well, at the moment, I'd say she loathes you."

I furrowed my eyebrows enough to cause the skin to crease between them. "Why? What's happened?"

Scott sighed, stuffing his hands in his pockets. He shifted his weight from foot to food, almost in a dispute with himself to whether he should inform me of this predicament. Forlornly, I was very intrigued by this point so Scott delaying answering me was sending me insane so I pressed on the matter. Again, Scott sighed and contorted his face up in prior to responding appropriately. To some extent, I mused.

"There's rumours and she "cares about Lea"," he spoke, gesticulating with the quotation marks using his hands. "I don't know much. Jason's quite a private person, as you'll probably know being friends with him. But I don't know, Ruby's just being Ruby. She's annoying."

"Scott!"

Someone behind Scott had hollered his name. Scott turned around and I stepped to the side, glancing around Scott's broad physique and wide shoulders. He could make a good boxer, I deliberated. Discarding that aimless thought, I saw Jason trotting up to us. Today, he was wearing an uncommonly bright outfit: blue jeans, red top and green shoes. I raised my one eyebrow. Okay, he can make entrances, huh? Slightly amused by my own speculating, Jason greeted me with a smile.

"Scott, Coach wants to talk to you about the upcoming game next week. He's in his office at the moment and he's just asked me to find you," he articulated, turning his body to Scott as soon as he stopped.

I glanced down at the ankle-high midnight boots and wrapped my cardigan around myself tighter. Today wasn't as chilly as the previous days, notwithstanding the fact that it was the end of the first week in October. Even so, when I lifted my head up again, Scott was already strolling off back to the college – where he had just come from.

And that left two: Jason and I.

"Hi," I spoke, plastering a discomfited smile onto my face. "We haven't spoken properly in awhile." Not since I stalked you that one night, I added as an addendum.

Jason nodded. "Yeah, I wanted to talk to you about that." He paused, glimpsing over his shoulder. "Can we go somewhere private?"

"Yeah, sure," I breathed, surreptitiously worrying due to the fact that he might have clocked I was following him that one night. That would be a disaster if he knew I was following him. He can't know at all. If he found out it would mean the end of our friendship and to the project for Psychology class.

Jason guided me off the beaten track for a couple of minutes until we found ourselves in an alley. I remembered that this was the alley where I witnessed Jason having an argument with Lea about something and that tugged at my heartstrings. I had no idea what we were doing but I had a pretty good idea what the discussion was going to be.

On the other hand, though, Jason wasn't annoyed at me. He greeted me with a smile so maybe it's not what I perceived.

We got halfway down the alley and Jason turned to me. He ran a slender hand through his tousled hair. He turned to me before ambling to the wall. He leaned on his right side and faced me tilting his head slightly.

"Is everything okay between us?" he asked.

I nodded. "Why wouldn't it be?" Trying to keep my cool was a lot harder than I thought it would be.

He shrugged, sighing. "I don't know, but I feel we haven't spoken very much after the whole you being in my room thing and what happened. Mark hasn't said anything, don't worry." He paused. "Damn, I feel like I'm harbouring a secret of cheating or something."

"But we're not," I quickly interjected.

"I know," he affirmed. "But I don't want to lose our friendship and I don't care how many times I've said that before but you know I mean it."

"I know you do."

In the next few seconds of silence, I bowed my head. Jason sighed and then spoke. "Come here," he whispered.

Before I could say, I lifted my head just in time to see Jason with his arms out and stepping forwards to me. He wrapped his arms around my waist and brought me forward into a hug. I leant my forehead down on his shoulder and wrapped my arms around his neck. I was astonished by the embrace, wholly taken off guard.

We pulled back a moment later but Jason didn't fully step back. He shunted back and kept the the close proximity between us. He was staring down slightly at me and smiled. I yearned to know what he was thinking right now but that wouldn't damage the contentment between us right now: He still had no idea I had been stalking him but I craved for answers but I couldn't tell him and ask him abruptly.

"You know," he breathed, "you'd be a really good girlfriend to someone and that person is going to be lucky to have you." His smile wavered just a little bit as a conclusion.

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Author's Note:

SO IF JASON THINKS WHOEVER HAS TIEGAN AS THEIR GIRLFRIEND WILL BE LUCKY, WHY ISN'T SHE HIS GIRLFRIEND? ;) How do you feel about how Jason is acting? Do you guys feel sorry for Lea? I know I do!

Thank you :) x

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