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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:
Excerpt
Chapters:
3
Rating:
4.8 47 reviews
Age Rating:
18+

|1|

Author’s POV

20 years ago

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

He was watching through the living room window. He saw a girl hopping around outside while grownups carried items into the house.

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

Jack looked back outside, trying to figure out it would be ok to say hi to her.

“Can I go play with her?”

“You should ask her?” Jack’s mom guided him to the front door and gave him a little push, hoping to encourage him.

Jack was the quiet one out of her two children, and she was always worried about him being outshined by Tyson. Tyson was never afraid to do things or to make friends. Jack was quiet and got angry easily when he felt overwhelmed. He didn’t do well with being social and he would rather be in his room reading or playing a game alone, so it made her smile to see him willingly approach another child.

Jack slowly approached the little girl and stared at her. The girl looked up 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 her, secretly happy 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.”

He wanted to call her Remi because he wanted to be different. He wanted to stand out. For the first time in his life, he wanted someone’s attention.

Emi shook her head in agreement. Emi didn’t know why, but she 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 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. She looked over at Jack and saw him scowling at his brother.

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

“Sure.”

Tyson sat between his brother and Emi, causing Jack to get angrier. He hated How Tyson loved being around people. He felt like he was always in his brother’s shadow and Tyson always had to be the better twin.

“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 it looked like Jack was annoyed with her now.

“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. She missed having Jack around, and it hurt her feelings when he ignored her.

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

“What are you doing?” Tyson asked.

“I’m going to tell Jackson to stop being stupid and to come swim with us.”

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?” he snapped. Seeing his brother behind her made him angry.

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

“No.”

Emi didn’t understand why Jack preferred to be by himself.

“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 about how she felt.

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

She didn’t want to fight with Jack, but he always made her angry.


12 years ago

It was the first day of high school, and Emi was disappointed she didn’t have any 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 found her crush on Jack settling in deeper.

Over the summer Tyson started dating and bringing girls around and it made Emi uncomfortable when he would kiss them in front of her. The boys weren’t interested in her, they never asked her out, or to go somewhere. She was usually invited by Jack or Tyson.

“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, which sucks because I don’t have the chance to convince Jack to trades classes for the day like we did in middle school.”

“We have lunch and PE together.” She mumbled.

“Come on; Jack is saving us a table,” Tyson stated.

It surprised Emi to see a girl next to Jack when they got to their lunch table. Jack wasn’t social, so to see him hold a conversation surprised her and made her angry since it was with another girl.

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 smile at her like that.

“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 on 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. She hated it when people asked her if she was with Tyson.

“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, but she wasn’t going to let Jack mock her in front of people.

“Stop being an asshole. You know good and well that it’s not like that with me and Tyson.”

Emi put her lunch back on the table and left for the restroom. She didn’t want to be around Jack if he was going to be a jerk to her. He has to know that she likes him, Tyson called her out on it a long time ago, so if Tyson picked up on it, Jack must have.

Jack felt guilty the moment he saw Emi’s lip quiver before she left the table. He didn’t want to feel bad, he wanted to hurt her the way he hurts when she’s with his brother.


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.

She was nervous about seeing the boys again. Her body had changed over the summer. She finally had breasts and hips; she was hoping this would be the year Jack noticed her.

She experienced her first date and kiss with the boy who lived next door to her grandmother. She didn’t want to be clueless if Jack was to ask her out this school year.

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. They were both popular because of their sports team and they both had girls all over them always cheering them on in hopes they would notice them.

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 and he found himself peeking at her from time to time, like today.

He sat up and looked across the little alley between their houses 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. Tyson was grinning and was hoping to get a reaction out of Jack. He didn’t like Emi that way, but he was hoping by showing her attention his brother would grow up and go after her.

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

“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. Once the blinds were closed, she let out a small squeal because she was pretty sure Jack was checking her out.


Emi got more attention from the boys at school, and she hated it, because she didn’t want those guys to notice her, she only wanted Jack.

“Your name is Emi, right?”

“I’m not interested.”

Emi knew that whenever a boy approached her it was to ask her out, it was the only time other guys beside Tyson talked to her.

“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.

“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.

“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 bring attention to yourself.”

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

Jack winced when she used his full name, and he knew he said the wrong thing. He felt like he was always doing the wrong thing when it came to Emi.

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

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.


“Are you going to the party tonight?” 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.”

Sam was Tyson’s first attempt at commitment, and it wasn’t going well.

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

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


The party was already in full swing by the time Emi arrived with Tyson. She scanned the room, looking for Alyssa, but instead, she found Jack talking to Lauren. She sighed and went to find drinks, she didn’t want to drink, but she would start if she had to look at them all night.

“What will you be having?” A guy asked her.

“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?”

Jake was cute, but she didn’t feel the butterflies she gets when she looks at Jack.

“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.”

“You’re a little forward, but, um, what do you want to know?”

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

“Well, I’m sixteen and a junior and that’s all you’re going to get out of me for now.”

Jake let out a laugh and the two fell into an easy night of conversation.

“I need 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 and mentally face palmed herself.

She hadn’t seen Jack since the encounter in the hallway and her heart hurt seeing him with Lauren again.

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

Emi hated Lauren, she was always nice to her face, but once Jack left, she didn’t hold anything back.

“Let’s go upstairs,” Jack said, guiding Lauren away from Emi. He didn’t want Lauren around her. He knew that Lauren could be mean to her, and he was trying to save Emi from the bullying.

When Emi reached the bathroom, she took a moment to gather her thoughts, trying to understand where she and Jack had gone wrong.

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 had been kissed. She had a made out with the boy who lived next door to her grandmother. She used that boy to move on from Jack, even though she knew it wouldn’t work.

When she left the bathroom Jake was waiting for her and surprised her with a kiss.

He walked her back against the door and deepened the kiss. The kiss didn’t give sparks, but she was enjoying it, it made her feel wanted.

“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 she knew after tonight she would never see him again and it was better that way for her.

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 as a way to tell him she wanted to continue.

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

“You can still say no.”

“Just put the condom on, Jake.”

Jake 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. It was over in a few minutes and felt awkward.

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

She was still fixing her hair when Jake left, and she left the room a few minutes after he did, but when she left, 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 and he knew he had no right to be angry. He lost his virginity to Lauren, their freshman year of high school, but it pissed him to know that his brother might have claimed what was supposed to be his. If Tyson wasn’t around Emi would be his and they would be happy with each other.


9 years ago

It was Graduation day and 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 earn enough money throughout the year. She gave both of them personalized watches. I hope that each guy won’t forget her, and they 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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