Jessica Thompson as That Girl

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XXXIX. Mess Up Pie

Jessica’s POV:

Jax stared at me as if I turned into a giant mythical dragon with four heads. I wish I was a mythical fire breathing dragon so I can turn him into dust. Conflicted feeling resolved.

I huffed a breath and stomped my way back towards the school.

“Hey!” Jax shouted. “Are you really going to walk away?”

“No! I’m flying away!” At least I know my humor is still intact even when I’m angry.

“Can’t I have some time?”

What is he talking about? I didn’t bother responding. Responding is equivalent to acknowledgment. I shouldn’t encourage his insane behavior any longer. Hotel del Grinch is permanently closed. I’m sleeping with my bedroom door open, so I can scream for help whenever Jax appears. That’ll keep him away.

Jax blocked my path.

The nerve of the guy.

I stepped left.

He did the same.

I stepped right.

He copied my action.

I glared at him.

He spread his arms.

I ducked underneath his arm.

He spun around and blocked me again.

“What are you doing?!” Maybe if I’m angry enough, I’ll turn into the Hulk. I’ll freaking smash his face. I knew I shouldn’t have watched that movie with Brody.

“Give me some time.”

“For what?”

“To think about this?”

“W-What?”

“This.” He points at me. “You.” He clenches his fists. “Us.”

“What are you? A caveman? Use sentences so that I can understand.” How am I supposed to know what he’s saying if he only gives me bits of a sentence? I’m not a mind reader.

Jax exhales a sharp breath, “This is the first time I like a girl.”

“Okay? Would you like a trophy?” I know I’m being incredibly mean to Jax, but if it keeps him away I’ll be evil to the bone. I cannot see us ending well. It’s one thing to be somewhat friends with each other. It’s another thing to have mutual feelings with one of the town’s bad boys.

Jax forced a smile, “You’re still angry.”

“I applaud you for your deduction skills.” I slowly clapped.

“And I can tell when you’re angry. You get extremely sarcastic.”

“Wow.” I clapped even slower.

Jax held my wrists and forced me to stop clapping. “I’m asking you to give me time to sort out my feelings. I don’t want to jump into something that can end badly.”

I can see things crashing and burning. Sadly, I can also see myself above the wet pillow and buried underneath the mountain of blankets. Beside me would be a bucket of ice cream or a bag of chips. It’s too cold for ice cream. “Your interest in me is only temporary.”

“I meant for me.”

Pause.

Rewind.

Wait.

Did he say for him?

“What?” I ask.

Jax removes his hands from my wrists, “I don’t want to get hurt.”

Pause...again.

Rewind...twice.

Halt the whole darn conversation.

My brain stutters, “Huh? You get hurt?”

“I’m not going to lie. I’m more than interested in you, Jess, and well, you like another guy. Isn’t it obvious that if we hook up, I’ll be the one who gets hurt?”

I covered half of my face with my hand, “You get hurt?” I repeated.

“Yeah.” He made it sound as if it’s the most obvious thing in the world.

“What about me?”

“What about you?”

“What about me getting hurt?”

“I mean if we break up. You’re obviously going to get hurt,” he said. “But I’m going to get hurt more.”

“No. No. No,” I chant. “You’re not going to get hurt more. I’m going to get hurt more.”

“What?” He scoffed, “I’m not the one who likes someone else.”

“W-What? Are you kidding me?”

“What do you mean if I’m kidding you? Do I sound like I’m joking?”

“A little bit - yes.” I expect Jax to burst out laughing and screaming something stupid, but he didn’t. He’s dead serious.

“Come on, Jess. Everyone knows that Toad-” I’m not even going to correct him. It’s not worth it. “is single now.”

“What does Toa- Todd being single have to do with anything?”

“Because you like him!”

“I rejected him a few days ago!” I shouted.

“He confessed to you?”

“No. But, we talked about it. You know, not beating around the bush and all that stuff. And you-” I pointed at him, “Even if I still do like Todd, you have no right to put me in that spot. Not when you left with Megan Miller at the autumn festival! And don’t you deny it, everyone knows!” There’s a hint of jealousy in my voice, and I know it. I’m certain Jax picked it up.

“Megan Miller?” Jax grunted, pressing his palm against his forehead. “Okay. That may look bad.” I lifted a brow. “But, there’s a logical explanation of why.”

I waited for his explanation.

“Do you trust me?” He asks.

“No.” I thought it was blatantly obvious. Why should I trust a guy who says he likes me but left the town festival with another girl. A girl he had absolutely no association with. If they were friends, then it would’ve been less suspicious.

I would lie if I haven’t pondered on the reason why Jax left the festival with Megan. But, no matter how many times I think about it. I can’t figure out the reason. I’ve never heard or seen them talk to each other. I can only think of two linkages between them. One, they’re enrolled in the same high school. Two, Jax knows me who knows Todd, who was Megan’s ex-boyfriend. The only logical conclusion I can come up with is Jax Rocco is messing around with Megan Miller.

“Okay. You don’t trust me, but I have a good reason why I left with her, and it’s not what you think it is.”

“So, let me get this straight. This whole situation,” I said. A car passed by us. We probably look like a couple who is fighting. The driver is half right if he assumed that. “We like each other, but you’re not sure of your feelings, so you want some time. You still think I like Todd, so you’re even more uncertain. There’s also the fact that you left the festival with Megan Miller, Todd’s ex-girlfriend, who has absolutely no relations to you, and you won’t tell me the reason why.”

“It’s a private matter.”

“Right.” I pat his shoulders. “Jax. You’re cute. Probably a better guy than what society perceived. But, this whole situation between us sounds like one wad of a mess up pie. I’m going to be honest. I’m not the type of person who likes cleaning. So, I’m not cleaning up the mess up pie.” I hope that made sense. I turned around and walked in the other direction.

I’m going to go home.

“I’m not asking you to clean up the pie. You don’t have to do anything.” I cannot believe he followed the pie analogy. It didn’t even make sense to me. “I’m just asking for some time. Some time to clean up my own life. My own pie mess.”

He sounds so cute using my pie analogy.

I must be strong.

Take another darn step.

Why is walking so troublesome?

“My life is messed up, Jess.” I stop walking. He isn’t going to do it, is he? Is he going to use that card? “Everyone says my life is good, but my life is really messed up, and I don’t want to drag you in it. But I really like you.” How unfair of him to use that card.

I couldn’t move from my spot.

I don’t know whether or not I can believe him.

“I know it sounds like I’m messing with you, but I’m really not.”

It felt hard to breathe.

“Grinch?”

Truly difficult.

“Please, say something...Anything.”

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