It Was Always You

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Summary

Emi All I wanted was for Jack to realize how much I loved him. I spent years hoping he would come around and finally stop hating me. Jack Remi has always had my heart but she has always preferred my brother. I’d rather be hateful and mean than to show her how much she hurts me. Emi and Jack spent years wanting each other but miscommunication and assumptions caused them to drift apart until Emi moves back to town nine years after leaving for college.

Genre:
Romance
Author:
Meghann Crane
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
38
Rating:
4.7 30 reviews
Age Rating:
18+

|1|

Author’s POV

20 years ago

“Mom, who is that next door?” Jack asked his mother.

Tyson and Jack were six years old when Emi moved next door and immediately wanted to get to know their new neighbor.

“Those are our new neighbors, sweetie, and it looks like they have a little girl your age.”

Jack looked over at the little girl playing in the front.

“Can I go play with her?”

“Why don’t you ask her?” Jack’s mom pushed him towards the little girl.

Jack was the quiet one out of her two children, and she always worried about him being outshined by Tyson.

Tyson was never afraid to do things or to make friends, whereas Jack was quiet and got angry easily when he felt overwhelmed. He didn’t do well with being social. He would rather be in his room reading or playing a game alone.

Jack slowly approached the little girl and stared at her. The little girl looked up at him and waited for him to say something.

“Do you want to play with me?” She asked when he didn’t say anything.

Jack shook his head yes and sat next to the little girl, secretly happy that she asked.

“My name is Remington.”

“Isn’t that a boy’s name?” he blurted out. He regretted his question when he saw Emi’s face.

Emi wrinkled her nose at the comment. She hated it when people pointed out how odd her name was.

“What’s your name?” She snapped back.

“Jack, it’s short for Jackson.”

“Cool, my dad calls me Emi, so I guess you can call me that.”

“Can I call Remi? I like your name.”

Emi shook her head in agreement. Emi didn’t know why, but she automatically liked Jack. She felt comfortable with him sitting next to her. She was happy to find someone close to her age. They had moved for her father’s job again and she had to leave the friends she had just made behind.

“What are you guys doing?”

Emi looked up at the person who interrupted her and Jack.

“Why do you guys look so much alike? Are you brothers?”

“We’re twins. My name is Tyson and I think you’re pretty.”

Emi blushed at the compliment that Tyson gave her while Jack was already annoyed with Tyson.

“Do you want to play with us?” She asked Tyson.

“Sure.”

Tyson sat between his brother and Emi, causing Jack to get more angry. He hated How Tyson loved being around people. He felt like he was always in his brother’s shadow.

“I’m Remington, but Dad calls me Emi,” she told Tyson.

“Emi is a nice name and easier to say.”

Emi didn’t feel the same way when Tyson complimented her name. She preferred Jack, but to her, it looked like Jack was annoyed with her.

“Do you have a brother or sister?” Tyson asked Emi.

“It’s just me and my dad.”

“Where’s your mom?” Jack asked.

Emi shrugged her shoulders. She didn’t know where her mom was; all she knew was that one day she woke up, and her mom had left, leaving her and her dad behind.


15 years ago

“Where is Jack?” Emi asked Tyson.

“He didn’t want to join us.”

“But he enjoys swimming in the lake.”

“Don’t worry about him. Let’s have fun.”

They were now eleven, and Emi considered Jack and Tyson her best friends, but Jack was spending less time with them, and she wanted to fix that.

Emi started walking towards the twin’s house to look for Jack.

“What are you doing, Emi?” Tyson asked.

“I’m going to tell Jackson to stop being stupid.”

Emi didn’t even knock on the front. She swung the door open and yelled.

“Jackson Dane!”

Jack came downstairs when he heard Emi yelling.

“What do you want, Remi?”

“For you to stop being stupid and come swimming with us.”

“No.”

Emi didn’t understand why Jack preferred to be by himself; she didn’t like it. She enjoyed having him around and wanted him to enjoy having her around.

“Please! You don’t have to swim; just hang out with us.”

“No, besides, Tyson doesn’t want me there.”

“Do you always care about what Tyson wants?”

Jack shrugged his shoulders.

“Don’t you?”

Emi felt hurt by his question. She cared more about what Jack wanted, but he didn’t seem to care.

“Fine, I didn’t want you to come, anyway.” Emi huffed out and walked away.

She was mad at Jack for not caring about hanging out with her, but at least she had one twin that liked her, she thought to herself.


12 years ago

It was the first day of high school, and Emi was upset she didn’t have any of her morning classes with the twins and was looking forward to seeing them at lunch since they have the same lunch hour. She was hoping to have more classes with Jack so she could interact with him more.

She stopped at her locker and saw Tyson approaching her.

Both Tyson and Jack started changing over the summer. They looked bigger and more masculine; their voices had become deeper, and she noticed they were both good-looking boys. She often looked at them a little too long, especially Jack. As the summer ended, she wanted Jack even more.

“How were your morning classes?” Tyson asked her.

“They were alright, at least I have one class with Alyssa. How was yours? Do you have any courses with Jack?”

“We have almost all of our classes together.”

“At least we have lunch and PE together.” She mumbled.

“Come on; Jack is saving us a table.”

It surprised Emi to see a girl next to Jack when they got to their lunch table. It surprised her even more when Jack was openly holding a conversation with her.

Emi sat down across from Jack, causing the new girl to look at her.

“Hi, I’m Lauren.”

“Emi,” she said in a jealous tone.

“Lauren and I have most of our morning classes together this semester,” Jack stated with a smile.

Emi felt like her chest was being squeezed. She wanted Jack to be that happy about her being around.

“What do your afternoon classes look like, Remi?”

“Well, you, me, and Tyson have PE together, and then I have music and history.”

“So, is your name Remi or Emi?” Lauren asked.

“Both. My name is actually Remington and everyone, but Jack calls me Emi.”

“That’s interesting...I didn’t know you were a twin.” Lauren looked between Tyson and Jack.

“Yup,” Tyson said as he sat my tray in front of me.

“Are you two dating?” she gestured towards Tyson and me.

“No! I mean, we’re neighbors. We grew up together.”

Emi looked at Jack and noticed he looked annoyed.

“Although I think she has a crush on Tyson. She follows him everywhere.” Jack started in a mocking tone.

Emi felt her face heat of embarrassment.

“Stop being an ass to Emi.” Tyson scolded his brother.

“I have to use the restroom. I’ll see you guys later.”

Emi stayed in the restroom for the rest of lunch. She didn’t want to look at either brother. She had a crush but it was on Jack, not Tyson.


10 years ago

Emi and the twins were sixteen, and their junior year was getting ready to start. Emi had been away all summer visiting her grandmother and hadn’t seen Ty or Jack all summer.

She was nervous about seeing the boys again. Over the summer, she had changed. She gained curves, her breast grew, and she even experienced her first date and kiss with the boy who lived next door to her grandmother.

Jack was sitting in his room, tossing his soccer ball in the air. Soccer was his sport; it was the way he separated himself from Tyson. Tyson played football and was the typical popular jock at school.

The ball was in mid-air when he noticed movement outside his window. His window faced Emi’s room, and when she left her blinds up, he could see in.

He sat up and looked across the little alley between their house and it looked like Emi had just gotten out of the shower. Her hair was wet, and she was wrapped in a towel.

“She’s hot, isn’t she?”

Jack jumped back and looked at his brother.

“Don’t worry, man, I see why you were looking, but don’t let Lauren see you are checking Emi out.”

Tyson loved messing with Jack. There was nothing going on between him and Emi, but he wanted his brother to suffer for being a jerk and not getting with Emi like he wants to.

“Fuck off, Ty.”

“Oh, I plan to.” he winked at Jack.

Jack and Lauren started dating halfway through their freshman year of high school and have been on and off ever since, and they were currently on. Tyson didn’t like commitment. He preferred to hop around, enjoying his time with the girls.

Emi walked over to her window, still wrapped in a towel, and when she looked over, she saw Jack looking at her. Her face turned red, and she waved hello before closing her blinds.

Emi got more attention from the boys at school, and she hated it. They would look at her chest when talking to her or make a comment that sexualized her body and was at her locker when a random guy approached her.

“Your name is Emi, right?”

“I’m not interested.”

“You don’t even know what I was going to say.”

“I’m still not interested.”

Emi slammed her locker shut and tried to walk away, but the guy grabbed her.

“You don’t have to be a bitch; I’m trying to ask you out.”

“And I said I’m not interested. Now let go of me. You’re hurting my wrist.”

“She said to let go of her.”

Emi didn’t have to look to realize it was Jack.

“Interesting. I thought you might have been with Tyson.”

“I’ll give you two seconds to let go of her before I punch you in the face.”

The guy dropped her wrist and backed off.

“Point made. I don’t want trouble.”

Emi watched the guy walk down the hall and disappear.

“Thanks.”

“Maybe you shouldn’t wear such tight shirts to bring attention to yourself.”

“Are you seriously blaming me for this, Jackson?”

Jack winced when she used his full name.

“You’re such an asshole, and you have no right to tell me I’m dressing wrong.”

Emi stormed past Jack and decided she couldn’t handle being at school for the day, and told her dad she wasn’t feeling well and went home.

Days had passed, and Jack had stopped sitting with her and Tyson. She hadn’t spoken to Jack since the altercation in the hallway and it was eating her up inside.

“Are you going to the party tonight, Emi?” Alyssa asked her.

“I promised Tyson I would.”

“Good, I need a wing woman.”

“What about Sam?”

“Sam hasn’t wised up any, so I’m just going to have some fun.”

“Do you know if Jack will be there? I heard he and Lauren are on another break.”

“I don’t know, and you know they’ll probably get back together tonight.”




The party was already going by the time Emi arrived with Tyson. She scanned the room, looking for Alyssa. Instead, she found Jack talking to Lauren. She sighed and went to find drinks.

“What will you be having?”

“Just some water, please.”

The guy handed her a bottle of water and she inspected it to make sure it hadn’t been opened before she drank out of it.

“Thank you.”

“My pleasure. I’m Jake. Are you here with anyone?”

“Emi, and no. Are you new? I haven’t seen you before.”

“No, I’m visiting. My cousin is throwing this party.”

“Cool.” Emi felt awkward; she wasn’t used to making conversation with people.

Jake surprised Emi by taking her hand and leading her to a love seat.

“So Emi, tell me about yourself.”

“Um, what do you want to know?”

Jake shrugged. “Anything you’re willing to tell me?”

“Well, I’m sixteen and a junior.”

“Now your turn.”

She got lost in conversation with Jake, and she was enjoying her time with him.

“I have to use the restroom. I’ll be right back.” She told Jake.

On her way to the bathroom, she bumped into a pair of bodies.

“I’m so sorry,” she said as she looked up. She was looking at Jack and Lauren.

“It’s ok; it’s pretty crowded in here,” Lauren said.

Emi wanted to hate Lauren for being with Jack, but it was Jack who picked Lauren over her.

“Let’s go upstairs,” Jack said, guiding Lauren away from Emi.

When Emi reached the bathroom, she took a moment to gather her thoughts. She didn’t understand why Jack was hateful to her. She doesn’t remember doing anything to him.

She took one last breath before leaving the bathroom and when she opened the door; a smiling Jake greeted her.

“You were taking a while, and I wanted to check on you.”

Jake stood next to her and kissed her, and she didn’t fight it. It wasn’t the first time she was kissed. She had a make out sessions with the boy the lived next door to her grandmother. She used that boy to move on from Jack, even though she knew it wouldn’t work.

Jake walked her back against the door and deepened the kiss, and she kissed back. The kiss didn’t give sparks, but she was enjoying it.

“Do you want to find somewhere more private?” Jake asked.

Emi shook her head yes. She knew what Jake wanted, and she didn’t care. She wanted someone to want her, and he was there. He was showing her attention, and knew after tonight she would never see him again and she didn’t care.

She followed Jake upstairs and found an empty bedroom on the second floor and followed him into the room and watched him lock the door.

Emi was nervous. She hadn’t gone all the way before. She didn’t see her virginity as something to keep sacred. Her father was always open about sex and told her to make sure she was safe and it was consensual.

Jake returned to her and kissed her while walking her back to the bed. He broke the kiss to undress and when she didn’t move; he hesitated.

“If you don’t want to do this, just let me know.”

“It’s not that...I’ve actually never done this before.”

Jake took a seat next to her. “We don’t have to do anything.”

She kissed Jake and started taking his pants off to tell him she wanted to continue.

It didn’t take long before they were both laying in bed naked.

“You can still say no.”

“Just put the condom on, Jake.”

Jake laughed and was being nice, which made Emi feel better about her decision. She found Jake attractive, but she figured it would be better to lose her virginity to someone she wouldn’t see after the awkward encounter.

When Jake started entering her, she flinched at the pain, but once he was completely in her, the burn of the intrusion wore off.

“God, you’re so tight, Emi..”

After a few more pumps, Jake released himself into the condom, and Emi couldn’t help but feel disappointed. Her friends always told her how great sex felt, but it felt like nothing to her.

As they were getting dressed, Jake asked for her number and she gave it to him, knowing he would never call her and she was ok with that.

She was still fixing her hair when Jake left, so she left the room a few minutes after he did, but when she left the room, she ran into Tyson.

Tyson was smiling at her. “I’m so proud of you Emi, you finally had your cherry popped”

“Shut up.” She said while throwing a punch to his arm.

Tyson put his arm around her shoulder and, just as they were about to walk away, Jack came out of a room and looked at Tyson and Emi.

Tyson gave his brother a wink, and Jack flexed his fists.

“If you’re jealous, you should have made your move.”

“Shut the fuck up, Ty.”

Jack stormed off, leaving Emi confused and curious.


9 years ago

Graduation day. Emi was excited. High school was over and she was accepted to her first-choice college, located three states away.

But Tyson and Jack decide to attend the local university instead of moving away. She was sad that she wouldn’t have Tyson by her side. Over the past year, she realized Jack hated her, that he would never be her best friend again, and she didn’t know why.

Even though she wasn’t on good terms with Jack, she still got him a graduation gift and left it with his mother along with Tyson’s; she hoped both boys would enjoy their gift. She had to work hard and earned enough money throughout the year. She gifted both of them personalized watches. Hoping that each guy wouldn’t forget her and would remain friends.

She knew this next step would be taken without the people she knew, and she knew she would probably lose touch with most of them.

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