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Chapter 9

Panic sets in overlapping the butterflies I felt in the parking lot as I walk into my apartment. I close the door behind me and slide my back down until I reach the floor. I sit there trying to calm my emotions and make sense of the rush of emotions I’ve been through in the last twenty minutes. I am excited to go on a date with Jackson but my subconscious reminds me that the only person I have been on a date with is Logan, which allows that nagging pain in my chest to poke its way back through.

“Charlie?” Kelly says while poking her head out of her bedroom looking at me sitting on the floor back still pressed up against the door.

“Hi.” I give her a small smile.

Kelly lets out a sigh and smiles at me then makes her way towards where I am sitting. She pushes her back against the door beside me and sits, reaching her hand over and resting it on my knee. I know she is trying to comfort me, and it does ease me to an extent.

“Are you going to tell me what’s going on?” she kindly asks.

“Jackson asked me out on a date… I said yes.” I practically whisper back.

I catch the small satisfied smirk run across her face. I knew this would make her happy and I am glad it does.

“That’s good. Isn’t it?” she asks.

“Yeah I think so. It’s just the last date I went on was.” I stop before finishing allowing myself to take a deep breath.

“Was with Logan.” She finishes for me.

“Exactly.” I reply flashing her a small pathetic smile.

“It’s time Char. You deserve to at least try to be happy.” She assures me and I know she is right.

“He does.” I say.

“Does what?” she asks wearing a confused expression.

“He does make me happy.” I finish. I didn’t tell her that this morning. I told her I enjoyed myself Friday, I told her the pain stopped when I was around him, but I never used the word happy. To be honest, I didn’t realize that’s what I was until being with him again today. Happy has been a feeling I thought would take me years to feel again. I catch her smile growing through the corner of my eye as she pulls herself off the floor beside me.

“Then its settled.” She says with a smile reaching both her hands out to help me off the floor. I grab her hands and allow her to help me get back on my feet.

“You are going on this date and I am going to help you get ready. You are going to knock Jackson off his feet.” She assures me.

“What other choice do I ever have?” I joke while wrapping my arms around her bring her in for a hug.

Me and Kelly decide to order in pizza and sit around in our living room in pajamas gossiping. She fills me in on all the details on her weekend with Kyler and I tell her more about my night with Jackson Friday and even our brief conversation about his past we had today before we venture off onto less serious topics like her trying to coerce me into wearing an outfit of her choice for my date tomorrow. She has the cutest clothes, but our styles are not necessarily the same. She can rock pretty much any top she puts on and loves to wear crop tops. I have bigger breasts than her, so I like to try and conceal them, I’m not sure why I have just always been that way.

Eventually both Kelly and I make our way into our rooms to go to sleep. When I reach my bed, I fall asleep almost instantly it feels like as I wrap my fluffy comforter around my body. I enjoy my sleep, I swear if I didn’t have class I could sleep until 11:00 a.m. I wrap

“How could you be with him?” Logan says.

“I thought you loved me. He is my best friend.” He shouts.

I snap awake and fling my body up in my bed unable to catch my breath for a moment. I am huffing with my hand on my forehead as I push my hair out of my face. I glance over to the clock and see that it is 7:30 a.m.

“It was just a dream.” I think to myself.

It takes me a moment to collect myself and get off my bed. I have gone several weeks without Logan invading my dreams and the night before my date with Jackson it happens again. It takes me a minute, but I am able to calm myself down and get my breathing back to a normal pace. I have to let it go, let him go fully. It won’t be fair to myself or Jackson if I don’t.

I jump into the shower and decide that I am going to let the water be the metaphor for washing away everything Logan and I had. It’s in that moment I tell myself it wasn’t real because if it was real for him the way it was for me, he wouldn’t have been able to the me behind. As the water rushes down my body I softly sob knowing it will be the last time I allow myself to shed any tears over him. My feelings towards Logan have shifted from heartache to anger and I like it better that way. I step out of the shower and begin to pull a hairbrush through my long blonde hair interrupted by my phone ringing.

“Hello?” I answer.

“Good Morning.” Jackson replies through the other end of the phone.

“Good Morning Jackson.” I respond with a laugh.

“Let’s spend the day together.” He says.

“We have class. You said a date tonight.” I tease.

“I changed my mind; I don’t want to wait. I want to spend the day with you like an all-day date.” He says sweetly.

“You’re so cheesy.” I poke at him.

“Cheesy huh?” he laughs. “Just be ready in thirty minutes.” He says before ending the call.

The thought of spending the entire day with Jackson makes me even more excited than I was before. I feel goosebumps build on my skins surface trying to think of what we could possibly be doing all day.

“Wait only thirty minutes?” I think to myself and instant panic mode sets in.

“KELLY!” I boom from my room.

I hear her running against the hardwood floor through the living room and kitchen then into my room. She looks like she just rolled out of bed with her hair being unbrushed and she is rubbing her eyes.

“What is it? You alright?” she asks.

“Jackson has decided he wants to make this date an all-day thing. He is going to be here in thirty minutes.” I rush the words out of my mouth.

“An all-day think huh? Am I the only one who didn’t know he was actually nice?” she teases.

“No time for your jokes right now! Look at me, I’m no where near ready.” I respond

She looks me up and down taking in my appearance. I have a white towel wrapped around my body, my hair is dripping wet and my face is bare. I think it takes her mind a second to arrive at the fact I have thirty minutes to get date ready.

“Oh God!” she says when she finally puts the pieces together.

“Okay pull up a chair in front of the mirror, I will blow out your hair while you do makeup!” she squeaks.

I pull the chair over and situate it in front of my mirror as Kelly grabs the hair dryer and gets to work on my hair. I put my foundation on and top it off with a light powder to make sure it stays on all day before I brush blush over my cheeks. I decide to add a pop of shimmer eyeshadow before ending the look with my black mascara. Kelly uses a round brush to add curls to my hair while drying it simultaneously. I have to admit I love the way it looks, the blow dryer added some extra volume making my hair appear extremely thick.

“Perfection!” she gushes while looking at me through the mirror.

“Now outfit! I have the perfect thing. I’ll be right back.” Kelly says before running out of my room. I look at myself in the mirror and try to calm my nerves down. I expected to have all day to mentally prepare for this not minutes.

“This is it!” Kelly says as she rushes back in the room and lays an outfit out on my bed.

I take a look at the outfit and instantly look back at her.

“No way.” I say.

“Yes. It would look so good on you.” She assures me with a smile.

On my bed is a white skinny strapped crop top that is a little skimpier than I would ever choose for myself along with a pair of my black ripped jeans she chose and a pair of black ankle boots.

“Seriously?” I ask. “It’s kind of cold out anyways!”

Kelly walks over to my closet and grabs my light distressed jean jacket and holds it up to me.

“Put this on with it!” she begs sticking her bottom lip out at me.

“Fine, I’ll wear it.” I cave in as I pull the jeans onto my body. I get myself fully dressed and pull the books on my feet. I look at myself in the mirror and I am completely shocked by the sight. I got ready in thirty minutes, but I feel so confident. Kelly was right the top is perfect, it compliments my small waist and large breasts, the hem stopping by the button on the top of my jeans, the jacket is cropped as well so it only drapes past the hem of the shirt by an inch or two.

“I love it.” I say with a smile.

“I knew it!” she beams. We both burst out into laughter until we hear a knock on our front door. I know its him, its been thirty minutes right on the dot.

“Go!” Kelly says gently pushing me out of my room with a smile.

I walk towards the front door taking deep breaths. This feels like more than first date jitters, its so much more intense. I know we went to formal together but I don’t know if either of us thought that was a date even though by the end of the date, I hoped it was.

I grab the doorknob and pull the door open, immediately seeing Jackson standing on the other side. He is in jeans, a light grey collared shirt it looks like a golf shirt to me that has University of Oregon Baseball printed on the right side of his chest, our eyes look and my nerves flood away and I feel content.

“You look amazing.” He says with a smile.

“You too.” I reply returning the warm smile.

“Let’s go.” He says as he reaches down and grabs my hands locking our fingers together as we walk down the hall of my apartment complex towards his truck. His touch alone is enough to send sparks shooting through my arms and into my stomach. He opens the truck door for me and I climb in.

“Where to?” I ask when he takes his seat next to me.

“It’s a surprise.” He smiles

“I’m not a huge fan of surprise.” I kindly inform him.

“Well to bad.” He teases.

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