Jessica Thompson as That Girl

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XV. Attractive Males

Jessica’s POV:

I groan slightly, pressing my head against my palm. I regretted ever rejecting Jax a cupcake. If I gave him what he wanted, he probably would’ve gotten bored with me and left me alone.

My eyes skew towards another table. Todd is staring at me. He didn’t notice the subtle messages between Jax and me, right?

The bell rang, and we all packed up for class. School is as dull as usual. And with that, the whole week passed.

Jax didn’t do anything.

Todd didn’t talk to me about what he may witness during lunch on Monday. Which meant, he didn’t notice it. Right? Then again, does it matter if he does see? He can’t tell me who I can and can’t talk to.

I sank the math book into the locket and made my way towards the front of the school. Brody had extra practice, so I’m hitting a ride with Krista and her fake boyfriend, Francis.

Krista rushed towards me, with a smile that can’t be hidden.

“Why are you so happy?”

“The autumn carnival is coming up!” She exhales softly, “I cannot wait to go.”

“Exciting.”

“Together. With my best friend.” She grins widely. “And-” she started before I could intrude. “I invited Ivan and Shannon, who isn’t a couple so that you won’t feel like a third wheel. The three of you can talk about my disgusting display of affection with Francis.”

“Brody is going, isn’t he?”

“Victoria signed up for the autumn queen pageant. So, yeah. He will be there.”

I exhale softly, “Kris-”

“And, Megan also signed up.”

“I’m there.” I wasn’t going to go, but since Victoria and Megan are entering the autumn pageant, I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

Megan is the ballerina princess.

Victoria is the head cheerleader.

It’s going to be a good battle.

If this were a story, I would say Megan and Victoria are fighting for the leading character. And I can be that side character rooting for them to tear each other throats out.

“Hey,” Todd appeared with Megan beside him. “Did you see Brody?”

“No. What’s up?”

“I was going to tell him that I don’t need the ride to your house. I’m going to hang out with Megan and a few others.”

“Call him.”

“I did, but he didn’t pick up.”

“Message him.”

“I would, but when I called him, it went straight to voicemail. I think his phone is out of battery, and I don’t want him to wait for me.” Brody often forgets to charge his phone.

I shrug, “Well, what do you want me to do?”

“Can you tell him?”

“Can’t,” I respond. “I’m going back with Krista and Francis.”

“Come on,” Megan said. She plastered on a smile, one that forces anyone to do anything for her. “We need to go to meet a few other people. It’s an important meeting for the autumn fair. Just this once, please.”

I look at Megan. Then, Todd. And lastly, everyone behind them.

“Fine.”

Megan smiled, “Thank you so much! We owe you one.” She grabbed Todd’s hand. “Now, we can go.”

“Thanks,” Todd said.

“Really?” Krista question. “You’re going to stay here?”

“Yeah.” I rested my books against the cement and sat down.

“Jess, they’re using you.”

“I know.”

“Then, why did you say yes?”

“I’m a pushover?” Even I can’t wholly block peer pressure.

A car honks, and we look forward to seeing Francis.

“Go ahead. I’ll meet you two tomorrow. And yes, I’ll go to the autumn fair with everyone.”

Krista exhaled lightly and hugged me. “Alright. But, if Brody comes out too late. I say: call me and ditch.”

“Thanks,” I respond. I wave towards Francis, and he returns my greeting.

I kick my legs back and forth before plugging in my headphones. Rolling my backpack around until I found a comfortable position, I laid my head down.

It’s chilly.

There’s a part of me that wants to go into a classroom until Brody’s practice is over, but I’m too comfortable.

I know it’s not my responsibility to do this. Why do I please a bunch of people who talk behind my back? I should say: Fuck you. Then, I should’ve walked away like a boss.

But that’s not who I am.

I may act like I don’t care, but I know there is a part of me that does. There’s a small portion that hopes they would talk less about me if I did something for them.

Someone removes my earphones. “What are you listening to?” I turned my head to the left and saw Jax. He grins, “I like this song too.”

His face was much too close for comfort. I swallow furiously like something is stuck inside my throat. “H-Hey.”

“You know, I’m still mad.”

“About?”

“Really?” He tilts his head. I noticed how his hair is a bit longer. “Upset me any further, and I won’t talk to you for another week.”

I cannot believe he is not talking to me because he was mad at me. I thought he got bored and moved on to his next target. “Don’t you dare threaten me with a good time. I may take it.”

Jax laughs, “Why are you here?”

“Waiting for my brother.”

“What kind of brother forces his sister to sit out in the cold? Why don’t you hatch a ride with a friend?”

“Are you concerned with me?”

“If I were concerned, I would’ve offered a ride.”

“Even if you were offering a ride, I would’ve rejected it.”

“And why would you reject it?”

“Why would I accept it?”

It was weird. Exchanging conversation with Jax. I never thought there was going to be a day where I would flirt with any guy.

“Are we flirting right now?” I ask.

Jax smiles, “And here I thought you were blind.”

“Jess?” Immediately, I sat upward at the sound of a voice. I look straight, past my messy hair, to see Todd.

What is he doing here?

Todd’s eyes went from me toward Jax, who was still squatting on the ground.

“Hey,” I said. “You’re back.”

Todd scratches his head. “Yeah. I felt bad that I left you here, so I came back to take my place.”

It was weird. To be in the same distance as Todd and Jax. I don’t think I’ve ever seen them interact. They probably heard of each other, though.

“My ride left,” I said.

“Oh, I’m sorry. I-”

“No, it didn’t,” Jax intervened. He stood up. “Since you’re here. Jess can’t say no to my offer.”

“Offer?” I question.

“To take you home.” Jax grabs my hand and pulls me upward. I stumbled into his chest. It’s a nice chest.

“Really?” Todd asks. “You’re going home with him?”

I never expect this to happen. To fall in between two attractive males. I wonder if I somehow died and went to heaven because there is no way this is happening.

I pinched Jax.

“Ow!” He leaps back. “Why did you pinch me?”

I guess it’s not a dream and I actually have to decide between two attractive guys.

First is the school’s bad boy, and he annoys the heck out of me.

Second is the school’s most popular boy, and he doesn’t annoy me.

“I mean, it’s cold,” I said. The choice is obvious. It’s nice that Todd returned, but I’m not going to stay with him knowing that we may get caught alone in public. Getting caught with Jax is one thing, but getting caught with Todd, who has a girlfriend, is another.

Then, it came. When I looked into Todd’s eyes, the guilt arrived. Am I really going to make him stay here all alone after he came back for me? I mean, he should’ve been here, to begin with, and not me, but I still feel bad.

“Well-”

“Great,” Jax responds. “Let’s go.”

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