Chapter 14: Caged Bird

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Sitting by the window in her room, Rosette thought back to Jake and how close they'd been. She loved the feeling but there was too much guilt with it. She thought about what she should tell Jake. Her phone rang and Olivia's face showed. Rosette answered the call.

"I'm here, bitch. Come on," Olivia said.

"Kay, coming." Rosette hurried out her room, her bag on her back.

When she got in the car, the first thing Olivia says is, "tonight is my date."

"What?" Rosette asks. "When did you get a date?"

"Tyler! Don't you remember? You've been so weird lately," she says with a frown. "Are you okay? Are things getting worse at home?"

"No, I'm fine." Olivia knew she wasn't, but didn't insist.

The rest of the car ride was quiet, with Olivia going back and forth with being excited for her date and worried for Rosette.

*****

After school Rosette was still befuddled. She lay on her bed, looking up at the ceiling turning over thoughts of Jake. What she felt was innocent enough, but she didn't want to hurt Olivia. She wanted what she knew she could have with Jake so much that she started to reason with herself. She finally settled telling Jake that she wanted what they could have. And so she called him.

"Hi, Rose," his voice said. Her leg dangled off the side of the bed, lightly going back and forth in the air.

"Hey, Jake," she softly said. "I just wanted to talk about the date."

"I've been meaning to talk about that myself. I'd prefer to talk face to face though. Why don't you come over? it's just me in the house tonight. Olivia's gone to another friend's house."

"Okay."

Once Rosette finally pulled up to the house, she found Jake sketching out of his front door. She walked up to him with a small smile on her face. He always had a way of calming her. A strand of his messy, short hair fell over his eyes and he kept fighting to push it back, it made her breath catch in her throat.

The lit up house surrounded by the night looked so mystical to her. She felt safe now that she's left her house and was with him.

"Hey, there," he said.

"We're sitting outside, I'm guessing." She smiled.

"If you want to. I've been sketching since Olivia left. It's a lot more inspiring out here than it was in my studio, you know. I needed a change of scenery," he said as she sat down beside him, making him begin to feel nervous. "But anyway, let's talk."

"Yeah." She'd thought out the whole conversation on the drive over, but she suddenly found herself speechless.

"So, how're you feeling? I got the impression that you were feeling guilty, if I'm honest."

"I was, and I know I'll probably feel guilty for a long while, but I think I understand myself a little more know," she said. "I know that I want this, and I don't think I'd be satisfied if I didn't at least try."

"I'm glad you said that. We're in a really unique position but I don't think I could be truly fulfilled no matter how far my career goes unless I gave us a try. I've known you for a year, and I've never said this but the moment I saw you in my house, sat alone in one of Olivia's parties, I couldn't really shake you off my thoughts. You were like a hook dug into my skin. It's not a pleasant thought, but the situation isn't pleasant either." He looked out at the starry sky.

"Yeah, I wish the context were different. I wish our creator, whomever it is, had placed us somewhere different. I wish the odds were stack with us not against us." Jake put his arm around Rosette.

"That wouldn't inspire any artist in the least though."

"Not everything is about art though. Sometimes it's about people."

"Well, did you think about about how you're going to handle Olivia? I don't want to force my ideas onto you. I know you can't look at it the way I do."

"I think I'm just going to take this one step at a time. Maybe we weren't meant to be together anyway, and maybe Olivia wouldn't have to hurt by knowing this." Jake knew right then that they were meant for each other. His fine-tuned intuition knew.

A/N

I hope you enjoyed this. I'm sorry it took awhile. A lot has been happening, and my heart goes out to the people in America. Things are really tough at the moment. I've watched far too many heart wrenching videos and I feel so changed. I could never imagine having to fight for justice and it's such an awful thing to have to witness. I hope things get better.

Based on a Maya Angelou poem.

Please don't forget to vote if you enjoyed💕

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