Josh: May 24th, 2008
My mom darted to the pool when she saw that Rachael was in it. I was finally ready to be out in public, but still really didn’t feel like talking to anyone. I figured I’d stop by, eat a burger and then retreat to my dungeon in the basement.
My eyes scanned around the party and I smiled at the few people I recognized. Then I glanced over to where my mom was standing and it was as if the 5 seconds it took Rachael to climb out of the pool took an eternity. I swallowed hard, not letting my mouth gape open at the sight before me.
This was the first time I actually noticed how beautiful she was. I always had a little crush on her because she was this older girl who was always around me while we were growing up, but I never saw her in that light before. Here I was, a heartbroken and vulnerable 15 year old who was starting to fall hard and fast with a girl he wouldn’t stand an ice cube’s chance in hell with.
I just about lost it when she started walking over to my brother, dad and I. Even with my sunglasses on, she’d know what I was thinking if I looked at her at all so I kept my eyes on the ground.
“What’s up, Josh?” she asked as she was slipping a tank top over her amazing looking chest.
“Nothing.” Look down, Josh. Look down.
She grabbed my forearm and started pulling me away from the crowd of people at her party, “Ok, come with me.” She said something to her dad then led me to the street.
“Rachael, where are you taking me?” I scoffed.
“You obviously need to talk, Josh. You know where we’re going.” She let go of my arm when we got down the road. Anytime she ever wanted to get anything out of me, she’d drag me down to where a small wooden bridge ran over a creek next to our neighborhood. It was kind of our special place, where we could talk about anything and not be bothered by other people.
“There’s nothing to talk about,” I spat, crossing my arms. I wasn’t going to spill any details to her. She had a way of breaking me down and I hated that about her. She could get me to tell her anything. I wasn’t about to crumble.
Rachael: May 24th, 2008
I sat down on the hot wood and patted the empty space next to me. “Sit,” I instructed. Josh looked around and rolled his eyes before joining me. “If you don’t want to talk about it, you don’t have to, but I’ll listen if you want to say something, ok?” I looked at him as he stared at the water beneath our feet.
We were both silent for a little while. I was just starting to think about my new apartment and the things I had to buy for it when he broke down. His head hit his hands and he began to sob. “I just don’t understand, what did I do wrong?” I rubbed his back as he continued. “Am I such a horrible person? I mean, I did nothing wrong to her! She didn’t even apologize for what she did!” He picked up a stone that was sitting on the bridge and chucked it into the water before lowering his head again.
“I know you’re hurting right now, Josh. It’s nothing you did. These things just happen, we can’t prevent it.” I put my head on his shoulder and kept rubbing his back, “In time, what she did won’t affect your future. Because someday, you’re going to find some lucky girl, and everyone you were with before her won’t matter at all.”
Rachael: March 13, 2014
I jumped up and down like I was about to pee my pants while waiting for Josh to answer his door. I don’t even remember the last time I saw him, honestly. Maybe it was around Christmas, but it was just a brief visit.
“Calm down, you’re a mess! Look at you!” Andre laughed at me.
“Sorry! It’s been so long since I’ve been here! And I’ve missed Driver so much!”
Josh came to the door a minute later with a smile as wide as Kim Kardashian’s ass plastered on his face. “Hey, sorry, had to put the beast in the kitchen,” he greeted.
“It’s ok, I’m gonna go put this stuff down.” Andre pushed past Josh who was standing in the doorway.
“Get over here, you!” Josh stretched his arms out, which I willingly entered. It had been forever since I felt those arms hugging me and after everything I’d been through the last week, it was comforting. With my face buried into his neck, I could tell that he had just showered.
I stepped back to observe his appearance, “You look good, Josh. Last time I saw you, you were a blonde. I like this look.” I ruffled up the hair on his head and patted his chest. “Ugh, but what are we, in Canada? Are you planning on chopping down some trees your backyard, lumberjack Josh?” I tugged at his flannel shirt.
“I knew you’d say something, you’re always judging me.” He shook his head and like in a scene from Magic Mike, he stripped off the shirt, revealing a muscle hugging white v-neck underneath. It felt so wrong to stare at him the way I was staring, but who was I kidding? He had a solid body, any girl would be stupid for not looking. I shook the thoughts out of my head and followed the smell of the sweet and sour chicken calling my name into the kitchen.