Under a Million Stars
The next day, Jacob told me he would have dinner with Noah. I was so mad that I stormed out of the house, too, and headed to the lake house.
The door hinges creaked when I pushed it open, and it echoed through the empty house.
I sat on one of the mattresses and pulled an old, dirty blanket over my legs. The house was a mess, and I realized I should have started planning what I was going to do with it. Maybe I would hire someone to fix the walls, ceiling, roof, electricity, and who knew what else. Maybe the easiest option would be to demolish it completely and rebuild from scratch. I couldn’t do that, though—I couldn’t destroy this house with the memories I had concealed between these walls.
I hugged my legs with my chin resting on my knees, closed my eyes, and let my mind drift to a time when I didn’t have to fear Jacob and his coldness.
“My mom asked me yesterday if we had been here again.” I had said, sitting on the floor and hugging my legs.
“What did you tell her?” Jacob had sat next to me, and I’d let my head fall on his shoulder.
“No, of course not. I didn’t want to get in trouble again. Last week with our run away was enough.” I’d giggled, remembering our backpacks full of snacks so we could spend the night camping in the woods. We had been found a little after midnight, and had been forbidden to play outside for a week.
“I’m sorry—it was my idea. I can’t wait for the time we’re old enough to live on our own.” He’d grabbed my hand and set it on his leg.
“Yeah, only seven more years. The day I turn eighteen, right?” I’d asked, holding my breath.
“Sure. I’m going to find a job and start saving money to buy this house.”
“I’ll have to work, too, if we want to buy this place. My parents already told me it was expensive.” I had looked up to see Jacob’s eyes, which were set on the wall in front of us.
“Don’t worry, I’ll take care of you, Charms.” He’d kissed my forehead, while I closed my eyes. I then remembered something that Kylie had told me. It had kind of been a secret, but Jacob was… well, Jacob. I hadn’t needed a diary—I’d had him.
“Do you want to know something?” My smile and gleaming eyes had told him it was something good, so his face had lit up, while he nodded. “You can’t tell anyone, not even Kylie—especially not Kylie, since she asked me to keep it a secret.” He’d nodded again; it was an assurance I hadn’t need to ask for. “She and John kissed today, during recess.” Jacob’s eyes had widened and he’d stepped in front of me, opening his mouth like a fish.
“Really? I thought they didn’t get along? Well, I so wish I could tease John.” He’d sat next to me again, and we had fallen silent for a while. I’d then felt him tensing beside me, and I turned to him, arching my eyebrows.“I-I was thinking.” He’d swallowed and avoided my gaze. “We never kissed anyone, right?” I’d tilted my head to ask if he was being serious. If I had kissed anyone, he would have known. “What if we kissed? Just-just to know what the fuss is all about.” He asked.
Hi! I'm Rita Branches. I was born and raised in in Portugal and I'm going to independently publish my debut novel in the Spring of 2016, Painting Sky.
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