Jed's Story *title suggestions welcome!*

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June 21st, 2017

I think this is basically just going to serve as one giant “P.S.,” so here we go:

Last night we had a bonfire. It was something Jacoryn and Isaiah had been wanting to do ever since they graduated, but it took awhile for the people they wanted to invite to find a day that most of them could come. There were some friends of theirs from high school, Zeke’s boyfriend and baseball teammates, and some of Zeke and Israel’s friends from the boot camp they went to. I even invited Martin and Matthew, who were really excited to come, even though Matthew is still acting mad at me.

Isaiah, his parents, Jacoryn, Zeke, Leo, and I spent all day making a firepit, cleaning, shopping for food and supplies, and helping Isaiah’s mom cook. People started showing up at six, and it got really crowded really fast. I didn’t really know anyone and I was pretty overwhelmed, so I hid inside with Isaiah’s mom and helped put out drinks and serve food and stuff.

After a bit, Jacoryn poked his head inside. “Hey Jed, there’s this guy here who says he knows you.”

“Who?” I asked.

“He’s like, Zeke’s friend’s friend or something.”

I had no idea what he was talking about, but I followed him outside. We weaved through some people, and then I saw him.

Cameron. Cameron, of all people to be at a stupid bonfire in Missouri! Cameron Alexander was right there looking at me.

I ran over and hugged him, and he hugged me back. I think he cried a little, but I was too shocked to cry.

“What are you doing here?” I asked when we let each other go.

Cameron laughed. “My cousin brought me.”

The guy standing next to Cameron waved at me. I looked back and forth between them, but there wasn’t much resemblance.

“I’m Gray,” the guy said, sticking out his hand. I shook it. “Jed.”

“Gray, you should go check if they had more hamburgers,” Cameron suggested.

“Do you want one?” Gray asked.

“No.”

“Me neither.”

“Gray,” Cameron said, looking at me, then back at his cousin. “Maybe you can find something else to eat.”

“Okay, sure. I guess.” Gray said, and he walked away.

“He seems nice,” I said, laughing a little.

Cameron smiled. “He is.”

“Are you happy?” I asked.

Cameron nodded. “Are you?”

I shrugged. “Getting there.”

We both looked away. I stared at the fire, wishing I could repair things between us.

“I’m sorry,” Cameron said.

I looked back at him.

“I shouldn’t have kissed you like that.”

I kind of smiled, I think. And I did this weird nodding/shrugging thing. “It’s really okay. I’m glad you told me.”

“I don’t know if I am,” Cameron said, his voice shaking. He crossed his arms. “I just… I don’t know if it would’ve been worse holding it in or letting it out.”

“It’ll be okay,” I said. What do you say when you’ll never love someone the way they love you?

Cameron sighed. “You’re right. Plenty of fish in the sea, right?”

I smiled. “Right. You deserve the best one, Cam. You really do.”

He smiled back, then looked at the fire. “Want to make a s’more?”

“Sure,” I said.

And after last night, I feel truly okay for the first time since I left home.

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