You are viewing babygirl49392


I received this email on FanFiction.net last night:

The following author: DimitrilovesRoselovesdimitri has copied a story from this author: jaspersluv1863.

The story in question is called: Shadow Sins (http://www.fanfiction.net/s/6324809/1/bShadow_b_bSins_b), in a thinly veiled attempt to hid the fact that DimitrilovesRoselovesdimitri has copied a story. Though there are some changes made to this story, it is not enough to hid the fact that the story is copied. If you look at the publication dates on both stories you will see that Immortal Sins (http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5551821/1/bImmortal_b_bSins_b), the original story, was published on December 2, 2009 and Shadow Sins, the story in question, was published on September 14, 2010. The dates between the two, give the accused more than enough time to have copied the story and published it as their own.

If you want more proof then read the stories, and when you get to chapter nine of Shadow Sins you will see the author's true writing skill. It is bad enough I thought that a 7 year old had written it. Though I would not be shocked if it was a seven year old.

If you could please help me to report this story, and hopefully get it and the author in question OFF of fanfiction that would be very helpful.

Thank you for your time, and think about what I said. And think about this: what if this was your story? What would you do then? Would you just let that author get away with it? If you do think about this too, you are helping them commit a crime. Not just any crime, but the big P in writing. One of the worst crimes another writer could commit, Plagiarism. Do you want to be a part of that?

Sincerely,

Moonlight Isabella Silverstein


I read both stories in question, starting with Immortal Sins by jaspersluv1863, then skimmed through the first 8 chapters of Shadow Sins. And those 8 chapters are practically IDENTICAL to Immortal Sins... and then once I got to chapter 9, I couldn't read more than 2 lines because it was so horrible and in desperate need of a beta. But the writing in and of itself was so much more immature that you can totally tell that it's not the same author that wrote the first 8 chapters.

Moonlight sent me this too, once I replied letting her know I report the story, first 8 chapters, under 'Doesn't belong to the uploading author'. (For those who still aren't sure, if there are any.):

ME: Thank you for letting me know and spreading the word. I report chapters 1-8 of Shadow Sins for abuse as 'not the property of the uploading writer', since those are the only chapters that are available for her to have copied.

I did read Immortal Sins, and then just skimmed over the first 8 of Shadow Sins, but once I got to chapter 9, I couldn't even read more than 2 lines of it. It was so poorly written and desperately needs beta'd, further proving that it's not the original author's work.

Hope this gets remedied quickly.

Thanks again for the heads up.

Moonlight: Your welcome. And thank you so much for supporting the cause. It's authors like that, that we need to join together and get rid of them. Show them that we will NOT stand for this!

Yeah I know what you mean. I got so confused! Then I read the reviews, did some research and found out that the story was stolen. I still have to check the authors other stories, and if any of them are stolen too you'll get another message.

Me too. To help me out with that, could you send the message I sent you to as many people as you can? Just copy the message, and paste it, you'll have to change the subject each time, but the more people who know then the more people who can stop this from happening again.

Your welcome.


Please help to remedy this wrong. Thank you.

You Don't Have to Be Alone


This is my first one-shot ever! (As well as my first Kellan story ever. ;)) I'm pretty happy with it. Like most of my other stories, I woke up with this idea from a dream one morning this last week, and it just wouldn't leave me alone till I wrote it down. So, here's what came from it. I hope you enjoy! And please feel free to let me know what you think. Constructive criticism is always welcome. =)

You Don’t Have to Be Alone


“Outside the winter seems so cold
Your heart is frozen like the snow
And there's no one home to keep you safe and warm
Your eyes are red because you've cried
You fell asleep by the fireside
But there's one thing you should know
On this Christmas baby
You don't have to be alone”
~“You Don’t Have to Be Alone” by *NSYNC


~*~Thursday, December 24, 2009~Christmas Eve~*~

~*~Alex’s POV~*~
 
    Christmas. The day that most love and can’t wait for. Me, however, not so much, well anymore. It’s not that I hate the holiday. I like it, used to love it actually, and appreciate it and the meaning behind it just fine. It’s just when you don’t have any family there with you, the holidays are a constant reminder of that. Now, there is no reason to feel sorry for me. I’m never left alone on the holidays. I have great friends, one in particular but you’ll meet and learn more about him later, that always make sure to include me in their plans. But Christmas is the one holiday that I never get to celebrate on the day of, but rather on Christmas Eve. That has become my tradition, not necessarily by choice mind you. Well, not by my choice, but definitely by his.
 
    Ah, him. HE is my best friend; the one constant in my life. He has always been there for everything and anything of any importance in my life. My junior and senior proms. My high school graduation. The day I received my acceptance letter to Yale. My graduation from Yale. And that’s just to name the biggest moments thus far. He is my life. He is my love, although he doesn’t know that and probably never will. He is truly the only person I can count on. He is Kellan Lutz.

    And who am I? I’m Alexia Mitchell, better known as Alex. I’m 24, well as of a couple week ago, average height and weight, brown hair and hazel eyes. You’re normal, average looking girl next door type. But as for non-physical attributes: I received my degree in pediatrics from Yale University School of Medicine in June of 2008. I now live in Arizona, but was born in North Dakota, and work at a hospital in the pediatrics department. I love reading and writing in my spare time, and enjoy all types of music.

    As for my family, they still live in North Dakota. Well, my dad does. My mom passed away when I was little, and then a year later I met Kellan, I was 8 and he was 9. When my mom ‘left’, my dad had to work twice as hard to raise us; me and my brother, who I never see and hardly ever talk to. And soon, Dad became all about work and nothing else.

    Kellan came into my life at just the right time though, right at the start of my dad never being there, and he helped to make me not feel so lonely, at least until he moved away with his family. But even then, he managed to always be there and support me when it mattered and was needed most.

    And since I was old enough to travel alone, I have spent every Christmas Eve with Kellan and his family, always having fly back early Christmas morning. And that is where I am now, watching Miracle on 34th Street, like every year. Unlike previous years, but like the last couple, I haven’t really paid too much attention to the movies or conversation. Though I have enjoyed getting to see and hang out with Kellan again, especially since this time of year is one of the few times that I‘ve gotten to these last few years. In fact, this used to be the highlight of my year, every year; the one time that I looked forward to the most.

    But as of two years ago, Christmas Eve 2007, when he first brought her along with him. Which was all fine and everything, I get, well maybe got is better usage, along with her fine. But with each passing year and Christmas Eve, this one being the worst so far, she has seemingly gotten more mad at me or jealous of me or something. I’m not too sure. But she has become steadily more rude and mean to me whenever we stay in the same place together for too long, too long being longer than five minutes. This seems all fine and dandy right? I mean, girlfriends will usually get mad or jealous of a close girl friend, right? Well, anyway, it would be fine and everything if she hadn’t been coming to his family’s Christmas Eve dinner for these last 2 years with attitude making my holiday worse and worse with each passing year.

    Her name is Sarah and she’s your ideal ‘model/ head cheerleader’ type. Tall, thin but not ‘sickly’ thin, toned, blonde- all natural too, bright green eyes, gorgeous and perfectly white smile, and the best personality. Everything that most women LOVE to hate and can‘t help but hate. However, you honestly can’t truly hate her. She is the nicest and most sincere person ever, well to everyone except me. And, not to mention, absolutely perfect for Kellan.

    But she used to be that way to me as well. However, once her and Kellan made it to the one year mark, and she spent her first Christmas with his family, that all changed. My only, and best, guess is that on that Christmas Eve, she saw just how close we are and decided, like most women would I guess, that she could change that and get us to not be so close. And it is slowly but surely working, whether he realizes it or not, I don’t know. But with each passing year, something else changes and I no longer feel comfortable here in this house.

    I’m brought out of my thoughts when I feel someone sit down next to me on the couch. I look around the room at everyone and see that they are all watching the movie intently. I glance beside me, seeing that Kellan is the one that sat down. We share a brief smile before turning back to the movie. As I’m turning back though, I see Sarah out of the corner of my eye. Meeting her eyes, I can see the jealousy in them, with just an undertone of hate, making me think back to my previous thoughts. Maybe it is just better if I move on and try to start a new tradition, instead of ‘clinging’ and ‘following’ Kellan around.

    I release a sigh, that’s evidently louder than I thought, cause I feel Kellan shift and can see his head turn to look at me in my periphery. I try to ignore him as I see him study me. After a few minutes, I finally turn and meet his eyes and within them I can see the confusion, worry, and pain. I try to smile at him, but he looks so lost in that moment, that I just can’t muster up that fake smile I’ve been using the last couple years.

    Suddenly, he gets up, grabs my hand pulling me up with him. He walks us into the kitchen, where his mom and sister are finishing up dinner. He goes over to the coat hooks by the door, and grabs both our coats before turning back to me and holding mine up to me. I stay where I am, giving him a confused look. After about one whole minute, I sigh again and walk over to him, turning so he can help me into my coat.

    As he’s putting his coat on, he speaks for the first time, but not to me. “Hey, Ma, we’re going for a walk, we’ll be back in about 10 minutes, don’t wait for us if dinner is done before we get back though.” I look at him with confusion again, before turning to catch his mom looking between the two of us with the same look.

    After looking between us a handful of times and exchanging a look with her daughter, she nods but doesn’t say anything. And that seems to be enough for him because he grabs my hand and opens the back door with the other.

    Not letting go of my hand, or saying anything, he leads the way out into the night. I look around us, trying to get my bearings and figure out where he could be taking me. Finally, once we’re about three blocks away, he walks into a play ground and to an old swing set. Releasing my hand, he sits on one of the swings and sways back and forth slowly before looking up to me, studying me for a couple seconds before saying anything.

    “I used to come here to think all the time back in high school. It was one of the few places I felt like I could truly get away from everything.” He looks around the playground and I follow suit, looking around as well, and suddenly remember him bringing me here one other time, my very first Christmas Eve with him, that was 8 years ago.

     Looking back at him to find him watching and studying me again, I nod and walk to sit in the swing next to him. “I remember. You brought me here that first year that I got to come see you.” He nods and looks down, watching his feet swing back and forth but never leaving the ground. Now I study him and can tell that he’s lost in thought, but seems that he has a lot he wants to say, he just doesn’t know how to say it or where to start. I look away and instead stare up at the clear sky and admire the stars, giving him the time that I know he needs to get his thoughts together.

    “I know that something has changed with you these last few years. You have everyone else fooled into believing that you enjoy yourself and that your smiles are genuine, but I know that they aren’t. I just can’t figure out why.” I look at him but he’s still just staring down at his feet, but now I can tell that he’s not really looking or seeing them. “I mean, I’d like to think that it doesn’t have anything to do with me or that you don’t only come now because you feel like you have to be with me and my family every year. But I don’t know. I can tell that this year is worse than last and last was worse than the year before. So, it leaves me not so sure about what it is that makes you get so lost in your thoughts so often throughout the night or why you are no longer enjoying and looking forward to Christmas with me.” I watch him, waiting to see if he’s going to look up or continue talking. When he does neither. I start swinging too, in the same fashion as he is and look back to the stars trying to blink away my tears.

    “Kell, it has absolutely nothing to do with you. And I’m sorry that I’ve been this way. I just… I just don’t…” I drift off, trying to find the right words to explain it without having to lie but also without telling the whole truth and therefore hurting his feelings and possibly his ‘perfect’ relationship. I couldn’t forgive myself if I caused anything bad to happen in his life.

    “Why are you lying to me?” I look at him and am met with his watery blues.

    “I’m not” but before I can finish he cuts me off.

    “Well, you certainly aren’t telling me the truth Ali. I’ve known you too long to know how you are and work. You may not be lying because you know that I would know, but you are definitely trying to find the best medium so that you don’t tell me the truth too. And I can’t for the life of me figure out why or when we started only sharing half truths with each other.” I look into his eyes for only a couple more seconds before looking back to the sky.

    Releasing a heavy breath, I let it all out. Everything that has been bothering me these last few years. Everything that Sarah has ever said to me when his back was turned. Everything that I’ve been feeling. Well, almost everything. I can’t tell him all of it. He’s in a relationship after all, and even if he wasn’t, I can’t see it ever happening or him ever truly caring in that way. Once I’m finished, I continue to look at the sky but stop moving my swing. I only look to him, when he grabs the chain closest to him and pulls me slightly closer to him.

    And for once, I honestly can’t read him. Whatever emotion he is feeling right now, I can’t make it out and can honestly say that I’ve never seen him express it before. He slowly brings his own swing closer to me, still pulling mine to him, until he can’t get us any closer. My eyes dart between both of his and then his lips when he starts speaking for the first time since I let the wall fall, opened the dam and let the whole truth flow.

    “Do you remember the first time I brought you here and we were pointing out all the different constellations to each other?” I nod to answer him and encourage him on, not sure where this is going. “Do you remember, right when we were bickering over Orion’s Belt and if what I pointed out was really it, what I told you that night?” I thought back, searching my brain for something, anything. But before I could find the info he wanted, he answered himself. “I told you that you are never alone. And that you never have to be alone again. That I am always here with you, for you, and am only a phone call and short plane ride away whenever you need me.” I look into his eyes and nod once, slowly, as he moves closer still. “And that all still stands Alex. It will never change, and no one, and I mean NO ONE, will ever change that.” I nod again, but this time, it causes our noses to brush together softly. “Just never forget that, ok?” He whispers and I look into his eyes again, and I can see that he relaxed a little bit, and I know that he knows that I won’t forget again. “Ok, good.” He says softly, the movement causing his lips to brush against mine.

    Glancing down to his lips and back to his eyes, I can tell that he wants my approval. “Kellan” I whisper softly, but I’m sure he hears it. My brow furrows in confusion, thinking about Sarah, and how this really can’t happen. But it smooths out when I think that I’ve been waiting and wanting this for so long, too long, and that he was mine first. No, maybe not in the boyfriend sense, but definitely in the friend and ‘knowing of’ sense.

    “Alexia” and that’s all he gets out before his lips meet mine softly. And for the first few seconds, neither of us move. We just stay put, with our lips resting softly together, and for me, relishing in the feel of my lips on his. And as everything else fades away, and it’s just us in the entire universe, he starts to gently massage his lips with my own. Slowly taking my bottom lip between his, his lips caress it before his tongue slips out and gently runs along it before he switches to my top lip and giving it the same treatment.

    As he continues in the same soft, gentle, and loving manner, I’m aching to experience the feel of our tongues brushing together. And at the exact moment that thought runs though my mind, he runs his tongue along both of my lips, silently and politely asking for entrance. And having never been one to deny him anything, I allow it. And in that one single moment of our tongues massaging each others for the first time, the world stops and I’m complete and whole for the first time in my entire life. Then, as all good must come to an end, and in my normal fashion, I completely destroy it.

    The moment he breaks away for us to both get some much needed air, his lips softly and slowly making their way to my neck, I breathe the one word and name that can totally rip my heart out and stop him at the same time. “Sarah.” And as I thought, he stops instantly. His lips freezing against my jaw. I slowly bring my hands from his hair, not even remembering how or when they got there, and rest them on his chest and push him away softly.

    And if I thought that just saying her name broke my heart, the look that he has and the emotion he is expressing in his eyes, is enough to throw my heart in a blender and then run it through a shredder. I look down, hoping that he didn’t catch the emotion in my eyes as well, but I don’t have that much luck.

    “Alexia.” When I don’t look up, he softly grabs my chin between his thumb and forefinger, bringing my face up to be level with his again. “Ali, please?” And in that one moment, the tears fall. I shake my head softly and pull completely away from him, standing up and walking back towards the street. “Ali!” I don’t even pause, just keep walking in the opposite direction of his mom’s house but towards my apartment complex. “ALEX!” I stop, not to listen to him, but to look both ways before crossing the four way stop. Unfortunately, for me at least, he reaches me and grabs my arm gently, spinning me around to look at him. I try not to meet his eyes, but mine missed the memo and that’s the first place they go, and once locked, I can’t look away no matter how much I want to. “Please? Just don’t walk away from me.” I don’t say anything, I can’t say anything. “What just happened, no matter how much I should, I can’t say that it was a mistake. I mean, it was the single most”

    Finally looking away, I brush his hand from my arm and try to ignore that I now feel so much colder, and force myself to say the words that I know will just kill me but need to be said. “I know. It was the single most… most… regretful thing that we could ever do.” I turn around and start to cross the street but he rushes to block me and places both hands on my shoulders, holding me in place.

    “You don’t mean that. And I could never regret that kiss. It seriously just stopped me from making the stupidest and biggest mistake of my life.” I look anywhere but at him, and try to brush his hands off me, but no such luck. “You can’t mean that Ali.” And at that point, the hurt in his voice gets to me, and I meet his filled to the brim eyes. At seeing his hopeless and pain filled face, I loose the last strand of control I have and two fat tears run down my face, over my jaw, and down my neck before being absorbed in the collar of my coat. His grip loosens on me and I step back from him.

    “I…” I look around us and the streets are completely deserted. Looking back to him, I finish my thought while walking around him again and continuing to my cold, empty apartment. “I need to go. Tell everyone Merry Christmas for me.” With that, I race across the street, not looking back until I’m safely tucked away in darkness, and he’s still in the same position, back to me, under the street light. I force myself to turn back around and continue on my way, instead of running back to him like my heart is wanting so badly to do.

~*~Kellan’s POV~*~

    I stand here, staring at the space that she just occupied. And for all the life within me, I can’t make the tears that fill my eyes, blurring my vision, fall. I have no reference of time or anything anymore. It’s all out the window. It all broke through the glass and wall, leaving me, the moment that her lips touched mine. And in that one tiniest moment, all my priorities changed, my whole life’s purpose was shifted. And right now, that number one priority and purpose is alone, cold, and crying. And I’m helpless to do anything about it and I couldn’t stop her when I had the chance.

    Still willing the tears that I so desperately need to shed to fall, I find myself back home, staring at the door, and unable to open it. But now, I find myself wondering how long I’ve been gone and just how, exactly, I got back.

    I continue to ponder this thought, before finally opening the door when I notice that my eyes are dry again. I walk straight into the living room, trying not to think too hard about the only two plates left on the dining room table. However, once I enter the room, all eyes are on me, looking expectantly. I shrug my shoulders and sit in the chair furthest away from everyone that I can manage without too many questions.

    “Where’s Alex?” I look to my brother, studying him for a minute.

    “Um, she had to go home. But wanted me to wish everyone a Merry Christmas for her.” I look at my hands briefly before my mom speaks next.

    “Oh, ok. I’m sure we’ll see her soon. We do have to get her presents to her after all.” I look to her and can tell that was said for my benefit. I give her a small smile for the effort. “I made a plate up for you, it’s in the microwave.” I nod softly in acknowledgment though honestly just the thought of food right now makes me nauseous.

    “Well, anyway. Since he’s back, can we open presents now?” I roll my eyes at my sister, though I still smile at her too. Mom nods and everyone heads into the kitchen to get the hot chocolate, as is tradition. I stay in my chair and look at the presents under the tree. And what I got for both Alex and Sarah flashes through my mind before I get an idea and smile a huge smile as I get up and walk over to the presents, quickly finding the two I’m looking for. I switch the name tags swiftly and am back in my chair looking like I never moved when they file back in taking their previous seats, though this time, Sarah comes and sits on the arm of my chair.

    As my sister plays Santa and hands one present to everyone in the room, I study Sarah’s profile and interaction with my family. And the more I think about it the more I can see that she doesn’t genuinely like them or enjoy being here with them, and vice versa. But I can see that she does look slightly more comfortable now then when Alex was here. Shaking my head of my thoughts as I’m handed a present, I look down at the tag and hand it back.

    “What? You always open Alex’s gift first. Even back when you guys had to mail gifts to each other.”

    “I know, but this year, I just feel like I should open it last.” She shrugs and puts it back under the tree and hands me another one. I nod in appreciation. And with that, everyone starts opening their presents. I let mine sit on my lap and instead choose to watch Sarah open ‘hers’ from me. And as I hoped and expected, her reaction is one of disbelief and distaste.

    “What the hell is this!” She raises her voice, successfully gaining the attention of everyone in the room.

    “What do you mean babe? It’s you’re present.”

    “You can’t be serious?” She says turning to look at me before standing from the chair. I nod to her and turn my attention to my unopened present, like it’s the most interesting thing ever.

    “But this… this… is so… tacky. There is absolutely no emotion behind this kind of a gift. A two year old could have done something better than this.” And I hate to say it, but that hit me in the gut. There was plenty of ‘emotion’ in that gift. Alex would have loved it and laughed at the so called tacky gift. In my semi-blind ‘rage’ I stand up and meet her confrontation.

    “There is plenty of emotion in that gift. I painted it myself. If it is so ‘tacky’ than give it back and I’ll give it to someone who will and can appreciate me taking the time and effort to do that for them.” I grab the plate from her hand as she continues to stare at me shocked that I actually raised my voice to her in that way.

    “What? Like who? You’re precious little Alex?” Ah, there it is. Exactly the opening I was waiting for. I smirk at her and she takes a step back, clearly understanding that I was just hoping for her to bring her up.

    “Yes! Exactly like Alex. She is most definitely twice the person than you will ever be! No matter how hard to try, you can’t fool me. I know that you have done nothing but be rude and down right mean to her. I actually knew it before she told me everything that you’ve said to her tonight, though I did have to force it out of her because she’s just the type of person to actually not want to ruin relationships. But I had no idea just how bad it actually was. And if you think that you can get away with treating my best friend that way and I wouldn’t care to do anything about it, you have a whole other thing coming. She is a part of this family before you ever will be! And if you can’t be secure enough with yourself to deal with that, then I have no idea what the hell I’m doing with someone like you and you can just leave right now and never look back.”

    She stands there gaping at me for a minute before slowly looking around the room at my family. She looks back at me and shakes her head before storming off to get her coat and purse. We hear the door slam, and no sooner than it does, I’m enveloped by my brothers and tackled to the floor with them hooting and hollering that ‘It was about damn time.’

    They all finally climb off me and go back to there seats and my sister and mom walk up to me. They both give me a hug before turning back to the presents and going about our whole night as if nothing ever happened.

    As everyone is laughing and enjoying themselves, I can’t help but feel something, more like someone, is missing. And as much as I am to be relieved to have that load of weight off my shoulders with Sarah finally gone, it definitely felt a ton better than this huge whole that is in my heart with Alex not being here to enjoy this experience with me and my family.

~*~Friday, December 25, 2009~Christmas Day~*~
 
    I woke up this morning, after having not been able to fall asleep till only a couple hours ago, very determined to get my point across. That kiss was the single most meaningful and absolute best thing to have ever happened in my 24 years of life on this earth. I can’t let her believe that I regret it for one more moment.

    I walk into the living room, to see all the presents that are from Mom to us kids still under the tree and the mess from the night before completely cleaned up as if it was never there to begin with. Walking over to the box that we put all of Alex’s gifts in the night before, I add a newly wrapped one to the pile, with one simple request on the tag, and pick up the box before heading into the kitchen.

    Reaching the door, I sit it on a small table and quickly put my shoes and coat on before leaving the house. Minutes later, I’m pulling up outside her apartment building. I look at the window that I know to be hers and see that there is a light on. Putting the car in park on the side of the road, I get out, grab the box, and make my way to the desk in the lobby.

    After a minute or so, someone comes to greet me. Once the small talk and pleasantries are out of the way, she tells me I can head on up but I stop them short.

    “Actually, I was just wondering if I can leave this here for someone to take it up after I’ve left.” What can I say, I’m a coward. But I know Alex. And as soon as they called to let her know I was here and headed up to see her, she either wouldn’t answer the door or she would but she wouldn’t truly listen to what I have to say. This way, she has to listen because I know her. As soon as she opens that present, and sees what’s inside, her curiosity will get the best of her and she will have to know what the note that is with it says.

    “Um, sir.” Turning my full attention back to the young woman behind the desk, I give her an encouraging look to continue. “I said that I can make sure that she receives this as soon as you’re gone, but that it might be better for you to just take it up yourself.”

    Giving her my sweetest smile, I explain myself in the best possible way without letting all my business out there for the world to see, well hear. “Well, I understand that, but we kind of had a… disagreement, a misunderstanding more like, last night, and I’m not sure that she’ll want to see me right now. But in light of the holiday, I wanted to make sure she got her presents from my family today. So, if you really don’t mind, I’d prefer not to be the one to take them to her.” She looks at the box briefly and then back to me and nods softly in understanding before taking the box from me. “Thank you so much. You’re a sweetheart.” I smile at her again before leaving and shouting “Merry Christmas” over my shoulder at her. She smiles and returns the sentiment.

    Getting in my car, I look at Alex’s window again before driving off around the block before deciding to just head home and wait for her to call.

~*~Alex’s POV~*~

    I wake up to the buzzer going off signaling someone at my door. Slowly, I get up and take in my surroundings. My living room floor. Perfect. I grab another tissue as the buzzer goes off again and wipe my eyes before blowing my nose and head to the door, praying I don’t look like total crap for whoever is on the other side. After I swing the door open, I notice Leah, one of the girls that work at the lobby desk. She’s carrying a box, of what I’m not sure because I can’t see what’s in it from this angle, but it looks slightly heavy.

    “Um, hi Leah, Merry Christmas.” She smiles at me briefly before moving to hand me the box.

    “This was just dropped off for you. But they insisted on me bringing it up to you, so here I am. It feels like you got some pretty great stuff.” She smiles again before starting to turn away when I have a good grip on the box. “I have to get back to the desk, but Merry Christmas Alex.” With another small smile, she turns and is already halfway down the hall before I fully take in what she said and realize what this box is full of. And sure enough, when I look down, I see Christmas presents. Sighing, I turn to head back to the living room and close the door softly behind me.

    Sitting the box on the coffee table, I head into the kitchen to get a pot of coffee started and then to my room to change from yesterday’s clothes and clean up a little. Going back into the kitchen for my cup of coffee, I head back into the living room. Turning the TV on to nothing in particular, mostly just for the noise, I take a sip of my coffee before finally turning back to the box.

    I move to it and start taking the gifts out of it and placing them on the table, reading each tag as I remove it. Once the last one is on the table, I pick up the one, that as instructed, I am supposed to open first. It’s a small box, wrapped in plain silver paper. I carefully unwrap it, dropping the paper into the box and stare at the small white box, that can only be the home of a velvet jewelry box. Releasing a breath I didn’t realize I was holding, I pull the lid off and turn the bottom up for the slightly smaller box to fall out. Staring at the black velvet box, I barely notice the paper that falls to the carpet once the box lands in my hand. But I do and bend to pick it up, placing the paper on the table, I turn my attention back to the box in my hand. Releasing a heavy sigh, I slowly open the lid, somewhat afraid of what it might be.

    Upon seeing what’s in the box, I can’t help but to stare at it completely confused. A ring. But not just any ring. An engagement ring. So, he got me an engagement ring? That doesn’t any sense. Remembering the note that was with it, I place the box on the coffee table, still opened and reach for the note, not hesitating to open it, and immediately recognize his messy script.

    Ali,
        I know that this is not what you were expecting, but I also know that this is the only way that I could truly get you to listen to and hear everything that I need to say.

        Ok, so first off. The ring isn’t yours or even meant for you. It was meant for Sarah. And I so seriously stress the was in that statement. This is what I meant when I said that the kiss we shared last night stopped me from making the biggest and stupidest mistake of my life. I was going to propose right after presents last night, but after that kiss, I knew that she isn’t who I’m meant to spend my life with, so I just couldn’t do it.

        Now, with that said. I have to make sure that you know that no matter what I could never regret that kiss. For the reason mentioned above, but also because I felt something that I never thought possible and never believed would be returned to me from you. And that is love. Now with that part said, I owe you an explanation. So, just bare with me on this. I have to get this right. Man, you’d think that after 8 some odd years, I’d know exactly what I’d want to say in this situation. But anyway, ok, so here it goes.

        I love you. And I have for the longest time. And the sad part is, that I’ve tried numerous times to pin point the exact time that my feelings changed towards you, but have always come up empty. I can say though, that I have fallen deeper in love with you with each passing day. And I just never imagine it to be possible that you would or could ever share those feelings for me. And because of that… denial, maybe, and blindness, I was willing to just settle for the next best thing. But then I got swept in the moment and just in you in general, and gave in to my temptation and desire for you and kissed you. And at that moment that our lips met for the first time, I couldn’t have ever, and honestly never have and won’t again unless it’s with you, felt more whole and complete. And that made me see that I don’t deserve to just settle and that I do deserve to get what I need and truly want. Which is you. And to be with you, for as long as you’ll have me.

        Now, since that is said, I have to say this too. If you don’t want me in that way, I can learn to deal with it and go back to just friends. It’ll be hard, yes, but I’d have to do it because in the moment that you turned and walked away from me last night, I died inside. And I saw that I can truly never live a day without you in my life in some way. And then when you ran away and never even came back or turned around, I began to think that maybe you could stand to live without me. I hope that’s not the case and that this is all one huge misunderstanding. But if not… well, I’m honestly not too sure what I’d do or what would happen.

        So, I’m saying all this in the hope that you will at least just talk to me. Let me know that you are still there. But Ali, still no matter what, just remember that you will never be alone. I’ll always be here for you and love you.
                                Loving you deeply,
                                    Kellan


    After reading the letter about 10 more times, with tears flowing and adding to his stains on the paper, I quickly run to my purse, to retrieve my phone.

~*~Kellan’s POV~*~

    Everyone was up and having breakfast when I returned to the house. I sat at the table with them, but didn’t really feel like eating too much. Once everything was cleared and cleaned, we all head into the living room to open the presents from Mom.

    I sit here, in the same chair as the night before, not really paying attention to anything that’s happening or that I’ve received. I look around to my whole family and have to smile that they are so happy and content. I remember a time when that was all I needed too, just to be with my family and nothing else, to feel that way. Now, though, knowing that Alex isn’t here and is alone, I can’t help but feel somewhat alone myself. I love my family dearly and they mean everything to me but I can’t remember a Christmas that I haven’t spent with Alex. She was always here for the whole night of Christmas Eve and then breakfast Christmas morning. And even though, she always had to leave before the rest of presents, seeing her first thing in the morning had become comforting, expected, and kind of like a tradition. And though, everyone was going on like they didn’t notice her absence too, I could tell that they did. And that just further proved that I couldn’t live without her in my life. If all we’d ever be was friends, that would be fine because she’d be here every year, with me and my family, and we’d get to be complete and whole again, for that one time throughout the entire year, we’d have the feeling that our entire family was together, like it was meant and supposed to be.

    I look down at my lap, to the present that my sister had just handed me, the one from Alex. Feeling their eyes on me, I look around to them all before giving a small smile and standing up to head to my room to open it in private. No one said anything or tried to stop me either.

    Sitting on my bed, I turn the present around in my hands a couple times before finally dropping it softly on my lap and reading the tag once more; To: Kellz, Much love: Ali, and then opening it slowly and carefully. Once the paper is free of the box, I let it fall to the floor softly and start to open the box.

    With all the paper and bubble wrap joining the paper on the floor, I’m left staring at a small snow globe of all things representing North Dakota, my ipod- which I’ve been looking for, with a small note attached telling me to listen to the Ali playlist, and an envelope. Turning the snow globe over in my hands a few times, I can’t help but smile. Then I get up and place my ipod into my ihome and start the correct playlist without even looking at the songs in it. Turning back to my bed and to the only part left, I get comfortable and slowly open the letter.

    Just as I’m finishing reading it for the third, or maybe forth, time, my phone starts going off as the playlist ends. Reaching for my phone and hitting the ‘talk’ button without taking my eyes off the letter, I say hello.

    “Um, hey.” My smile widens at hearing her voice and I suddenly feel a huge weight off my shoulders and relief like I’ve never known. ‘I’m home.’ is all that I can think. “Um, well, could you come over? I believe that we need to talk.”

    Nodding, though she can’t see me, I respond “Yea, we do. I’ll be over in ten minutes.” With a small ‘bye’ she hangs up and I’ve never felt lighter.

    Not even ten minutes later, I’m in her hallway and pressing the buzzer for her door. You can’t truly call it a door bell because it sounds nothing like a bell and really does just buzz, it pretty weird actually. Shortly after the sound stops, and all is quiet, she opens the door with a hesitant smile. Moving over slightly to give me room to move by and opening the door wider, I accept the invite and step around her and into the small living room area of her modest apartment.

    I really just love the homey feel of it. I helped her to find it and pick it out because I wanted her to be safe and close to my mom if she were to ever need anything but not to mention I really wanted to make sure that she didn’t get taken advantage of or end up in a bad neighborhood. Just my natural protectiveness for her taking over, and she let me do it all without question and complaint. I smile at her as she sits down on the couch and motions for me to do that same.

    Even with everything that happened last night, it’s not awkward, like you would come to expect, though neither of us are truly relaxed either, it’s not uncomfortable. I look her over and can tell that she’s been crying recently and my heart quenches at the thought that I caused it. I’d never hurt her or want to have her experience any kind of pain if at all possible, but I know that it isn’t possible and is just a way of life. But even just the thought that I’m the cause of her pain, well, it seriously feels like my heart is dying right now.

    Releasing a heavy and deep breath, she looks at me and tries to smile. I wait patiently for her to start whenever she is ready. I see the box with the ring in it sitting, opened, on the coffee table, so I know that she read the note that was with it. And I smile even bigger at the thought of the letter that she left me. This could and will all work out and be fine.

    Turning back to her, I give her my best encouraging look and smile and with another breath, she starts to speak slowly. “Thank you for the gifts, and please thank your family for me.” I nod to acknowledge her request, but know better than to say anything just yet. “Um, well, the letter was so sweet and unexpected and I know how you feel. And believe me, I’ve always known that you’d be there if and when I really needed  you. And I have needed you so much these past few years, but I didn’t want to cause any problems in your relationship. And even still, I’d hate to think I was the cause of you guys breaking up or of a fight. I just couldn’t bare to have that guilt on my shoulders that I caused you that sadness or pain.” She pauses for a minute and I can tell that she’s sorting through her thoughts. She looks up and meets my gaze and I smile at her, which she returns before continuing. “I love you too Kell. I have for so long. And I just…” as she pauses this time, I move closer to her and don’t give her a chance to continue. I bring my lips to hers softly in a slow, sweet kiss. Just seconds later, I pull back and smile at her again and take my turn to speak.

    “I know. I read your letter too. And I’m so very sorry for how she treated you and that I didn’t pay more attention or stop it. But that’s all over now. She’s out of the picture forever. And all we have to worry about now, is us.” She smiles brightly at me before crushing her lips to mine, causing us to fall back on the couch with her laying on top of me. I could really get used to this. I smile into the kiss and return her actions, with ones of my own, till we part for some much needed air. She looks down on me with her sparkling hazel eyes and slightly swollen lips, and she’s never been more beautiful. “I love you.” I whisper up to her, my hands cupping her face gently.

    “I love you too Kell.” She whispers back before meeting my lips again.

My Baby (A JMac Story) Chapter Twenty-Five


Hello everyone! Here's the latest chapter! I just wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! =)

Chapter Twenty-Five - "Winter Wonderland":

~~Christmas Day, 9:00 PM~~

~~Jesse’s POV~~

    As the day wore on, I still couldn’t believe the present that Shawn got me. The excitement was just as strong, but at the same time, the more I thought about it, the more I began to wonder just how she was able to buy it and make it happen.

    But all in all, it was a great day. Everyone came over for dinner, and we all got everything that we wanted from ‘Santa’. None of us could seriously ask for anything more for Christmas.

~~The Next Day~~

    I woke up today, feeling refreshed, but even more confused than before about the trip that Shawn got us. After cleaning up and getting dressed for the day, just in some ‘lounge’ clothes, I went down for breakfast. And apparently, I’m the first one up, that doesn’t happen often, well ever actually.

    “Good morning Jess.” I about jump out of my skin before turning around to see Mom carrying bags upon bags in from the garage.

    “Good morning Mom. Do you need some help?”

    “Oh, yes, that’d be great sweetie. The sales this morning were just too good to pass up.” She laughs a little as I walk to her and grab half of what she is carrying into the living room and then head back out to the car to get the rest while she looks over everything that she bought.
    “Well, that’s all of it, from what I can see anyway.” I give her a small smile before I head back to the kitchen.

    “Ok, thank you Jess.” And then I stop and turn to her, getting an idea.

    “You’re welcome.” I fidget for a second, running what would be the best thing to say through my mind before I settle with the straight forward approach, also known as being very blunt. “How did Shawn pay for the trip?” She immediately stops her rummaging and looks at me startled for a minute.

    “Oh, well, I think that you just need to ask her that.”

    “But you do know how she did, right?”

    “Well, yes, I wondered the same thing when Debbie called wanting to discuss it and everything. I was just at a loss for how a 16 year old, in her position and from her background, was able to buy such a nice trip. And it is a very nice and well thought out trip. Now just to make sure that you are able to go with how busy your schedule usually is with any breaks that you have from school, that will be the hard part. But I will try my hardest to make sure that you can go with her. But anyway, you do need to ask her how she paid for it, if you want to know.” She turned back to what she had been doing and I walked into the kitchen to finally get me something to eat.

~~Thursday, January 24, 2002~~

    As the last month has passed, I still haven’t been able to ask Shawn about the trip and where she got the money for it. Cowardly, yes. But I’m kind of scared of the answer. Though, I know that it can’t be anything bad because she’s just not that way, but I just can’t shake those kind of thought completely from my mind, as much as I want to.

    But the guys have decided to help me out. When she calls Frankie, he’s going to put her on speaker phone, and then they are going to talk for a little bit and then bring up the trip. Joking around about why they don’t get to come and other stuff like that. Then, Greg is going to ask about how she was able to afford it because it looks like quite the trip. And if she says, I’ll finally know and drop it. If she doesn’t, well, I won’t know and I’ll still drop it. It’s a win/win/lose situation, and I’m going to let the ‘lose’ drop if need be.

    Frank’s phone rang about five minutes ago. And since he has yet to mention that we’re all here or that we want to talk to her too, we’re starting to think that it isn’t Shawn he talking to. That is, until, about 10 minutes later, he sits down on the couch and places the phone on the coffee table.

    “Hey guys!” I smile when I hear her voice and look around to guys’ expressions as well.

    “Hey girly. How’ve you been?” I watch to gage Greg’s reaction, as she answers him. From what he had said earlier, he hadn’t gotten to talk to her in a couple weeks.

    “I’ve been good. How ‘bout you guys?” Everyone answered her and caught up on each others’ lives. And so, the ‘plan’ went into motion. It was about 20 minutes later when Greg brought the trip up.

    “So, Shawn, we’ve heard all about this trip that you got Jess. Now, why don’t we all get to go too?” She chuckled as she answered him.

    “Well, I did think about it. But that would have been too expensive not to mention too hard to organize and arrange, what with having to talk with all your parents and mine as well.” She responded with a giggle.

    “Oh, well, what we weren’t worth all trouble?” Frankie joked with her as we all laughed.

    “Of course you all are. It was just too expensive. But you never know what the future holds.”

    “Yea, that is true. We will all be able to take a trip together one day, I’m sure it will happen eventually.”

    “Yea, that’s true. So, just curious, how were you able to afford it anyway?” I looked hard at Matt, he wasn’t the one we had planned to ask that, but oh well, we can’t do anything about that now and at least it still got asked.

    “Oh, well, I have some money in the bank.” And I could just imagine her shrugging her shoulders nonchalantly, like it’s no big deal at all.

    “You just have a couple thousand dollars lying around in the bank?” Greg asks, looking truly confused.

    “Well, no. It’s quite a bit more than that actually. But I don’t get full access to it till I’m 18, but Mom let me use some just for this because she thought it was a good idea too. Though she wouldn’t let me use enough to take everyone on the trip too.”

    “And just how did you come across this money then?” Chris asked, just as curious as the rest of us.

    “Oh, well, my grandpa left it to me when he passed away. So, how’s the whole Dream Street thing going? Any shows recently or coming up?” And just like that, the subject was changed and dropped all at once. We all exchanged a look before Frankie started to answer her questions.

My Baby (A JMac Story) Chapter Twenty-Four


I'm so very sorry for the long wait for this chapter, and in turn so sorry for the fact that it's a short chapter too. I'll be busy this weekend, but am hoping to be able to have the next chapter ready for you all on Monday. =) Let me know what you think and if there is any mistakes. (I'm very busy today and don't have the time to read and re-read more than once like I normally do.) So, ENJOY! And much love! =)

Chapter Twenty-Four - "White Christmas":

~~Christmas Day~~

~~Shawn’s POV~~


I have been waiting for this day as patiently as I possibly could. And now that it’s here, I’m not sure that I do in fact want to get up to let it pass by as quickly as I know that it’s going to once I finally crawl out of bed. So, therefore, I’ve been laying here, staring at the unopened gift on my dresser, in the semi-dark room for the last hour.

This gift has sat there, in the same place I left it 15 days ago, reminding me of the great friend that I have but can’t be with. And for that reason, and that reason alone, I have made it to where this gift will be the first one I open today. I was supposed to spend Christmas Eve with my dad and his family for dinner and open their presents last night, but I was instructed not to open this gift till today, so instead, he’s going to pick me up at my Grandma’s later to take me to dinner at my other Grandma’s house tonight. Meaning that for the first time since the divorce, I’m actually celebrating Christmas the way it used to be done when my parents were together. And all because of the gift that I’m staring at and want to open but don’t want to get out of bed so that the day won’t go by as fast as I know that it will once I do.
It’s another 30 minutes before Austin knocks on my door to wake me up, as is tradition. When I don’t answer, he opens the door, turns on the light, and pulls the covers completely off my bed. I don’t move an inch.

“Well, you can open it now. I mean, you did rearrange our whole holiday just so that it would be the first one you opened, so hop to it.” He stands there for a few minutes and when I still don’t move, he takes it upon himself to get the present for me. Walking to my dresser, picking it up, and turning towards me, I move for the first time since I woke up, when I rolled over to look at it. He comes to the side of my bed and drops it into my lap, since I’m now sitting up in bed. “There, now breakfast is in 15 minutes, be done and downstairs by then.” With that he turns and leaves my room, actually closing my door for once.

I stare at the gift in my lap for a few minutes before my phone goes off. Without looking away, I grab it and hit the talk button but don’t say anything.

“MERRY CHRISTMAS BABYGIRL!!” I smile big and laugh softly as Jesse screams in my ear.

“Merry Christmas Jess.” I sigh, content, as he chuckles too.

“Ok, so, I have your gift in my lap right now, and I’m sitting it bed waiting for you. So, you ready for this?”

“Yes.” I say softly and I hear him start into the paper of his, and I slowly and carefully start to unwrap my gift too. I’m only about halfway done, when I hear his big intake of breath.

“No way! NO FREAKING WAY!” I laugh heartily at his reaction. “Shawn, how did you pull this off? And…and….what about school…and our families…and…well everything!” I continue to laugh, my gift temporarily forgotten.

“Well, first off, it’s during YOUR Spring break. And mine starts a few days after yours, so you’re flying down here for those couple days before we leave from here. And then our parents talked it over and everything with Austin, and he’s going to be our ‘chaperone’ and ‘guardian’ for the trip since they couldn’t take off of work for that long as easily. And we all have rules that we have to agree to before we are allowed to go, such as grades and everything. Which I have also included in your little packet of info. And, well, honestly, I felt that this was the least I could do for my best friend, who I was so horrible to and totally didn’t need to be given another chance.”

“Ok, but seriously? A week long trip to the BAHAMAS! With no adults! This is way too much Shawn! And makes my gift look like cheap crap!”

I laugh long and hard at his outburst before calming down enough to finally respond. “Oh, well, this is like your birthday and Christmas gifts for the next 5 years, so you had best enjoy it thoroughly.”

“Ha, ha, Shawn. You’re so funny.”

“Oh, I’m not kidding.”

“Yeah, ok, well, thank you so much! This is definitely the best gift EVER! And totally not getting beat for a long ass time.”

“Yeah, well, you’re welcome, and you totally deserve it.”

“Ok, ok, have you opened yours yet?”

“Um, no.”

“Well, get on it. Timmy is starting to get beyond impatient.” We laugh together softly as I finish unwrapping my gift.

“A…box? Why thank you so much Jess, I LOVE it!”

“Ha, ha. Open the box Shawn, jeez.” I laugh and do as he says.

“Awe, Jesse, seriously? How did you even find them?” I can hear the smile in his voice as he starts to talk, but I’m not paying complete attention as I’m too busy staring at the group of CDs in the box and taking them out carefully.

“So, you like it? Really?” I can hear the unnecessary worry in his tone as he finishes his explanation.

“Yes, Jess. I seriously LOVE it! Thank you. I just can’t believe that you remembered, let alone was able to find each one on CD somewhere.” I sit there, as we are both quite for a few minutes, and look over each and every New Kids on the Block CD that they ever had, every album that they ever made, even the Christmas one that I used to own on tape but got lost somewhere in one of the moves we made within that first year after the divorce. “Wow, Jess. Seriously! I just can’t believe you did this for me.”

“If was nothing really. But you’re welcome. I can’t believe that you booked us a trip! I so can’t wait and March totally can’t come fast enough now.” I laugh again before I hear Austin yelling up the stairs at me.

I sigh heavily before I finally get out of bed and stretch. “Well, Jess, I’ve got to go. Breakfast is ready and then it’s time for presents. But thanks so much again and I’ll call you tomorrow ok?”

“Yeah, ok. I’ve got to go too before Timmy has a complete break down or something.” We laugh briefly before we say Merry Christmas again and get off the phone.

My Baby (A JMac Story) Chapter Twenty-Three


Chapter Twenty-Three - "Just Go":

~~Monday, December 10, 2009~~

~~Shawn’s POV~~

My heart has been beating erratically since the moment my mom brought that box into my room on Saturday and said it was from New York. I let it sit on my desk taunting me for the last two days. From the moment I saw the handwriting I knew that it was from him, even with him not putting a name above the return address.

I wanted to open it right away. Just rip the box open and see what he got me. But I just couldn’t bring myself to do so. A part of me felt like I didn’t deserve anything that he gave me. And then another part felt that if I had to accept whatever it was he bought, then I, at least, deserved to have it sit there and taunt me and remind me of how much I didn’t deserve it or him or his friendship. So, that’s the side I went with.

I moved the box from my bed to sit on my desk and finished getting ready for my party that night. And I refused to do more than just look at it every time I entered and left my room till the very moment that I couldn’t stand it any longer, which just happened to be as soon as I came in to my room from school today.

As soon as it was opened and I saw the letter folded and lying neatly on top of two very differently wrapped presents, I knew that nothing could have prepared me for the amount or strength of emotions that I felt. Happiness, excitement, giddiness, sadness, guilt, anger. I felt it all within a few seconds and was never sure which was the strongest or the most deserving.

Until I read the letter that is.


‘Dear Shawn,

I hope that you are well. It’s killing me not knowing what or how you are doing. But I’m so happy that you have Lea and the guys to talk to and help you with anything that you might need. Even if it is just someone to talk to.

I know that we both have made mistakes. And that I didn’t put the work into our relationship that I promised that I would when we fought the day we got together. As well as that I didn’t fight for you like I said I would for us to get over everything that happened together. I ultimately gave up on ‘us’ way before I ever realized it and for that I am very truly sorry.

I understand that you have a boyfriend now and that is really great. I’m so happy for you. Honestly. When Lea accidentally let it slip that you’re with someone else, I kept waiting for the pain to come. That wretched, terrible pain in my heart that would prove that I care and that would make me want to be on the next flight to Missouri to beat his ass. But it never came. And with the non-presence of the pain, came the realization that I’m happy that you found someone there to be with. Completely happy that you have been able to move on from the mess that I just made worse.

With all of that said. I hope that we can now work on getting our friendship back. If anything, other than spending time with you of course, our friendship is what I miss the most. I know and understand that it won’t instantly be right back to being ‘inseparable’ and strong as it was and that’s fine. I’m more that willing to put as much work into getting it back there, or as close to there, as is possible and needed. I have found that no matter what I do, I can’t help but feel like something is missing in my life right now. And I believe that something is you, Shawn. I’m missing you and our friendship. My friend that seriously knows my next move or thought before I do. My friend that somehow always knows just what to say in any situation to make it better and perfect. My friend that completes me in practically every way possible.

I really hope that we can work this out and that you give me that chance to get that friendship back. But if not, I understand completely why you didn’t.

Love,
Jesse

P.S. Oh! One more thing. If you could, please not open the Christmas present till Christmas morning, that would be appreciated. But if not, well then, I hope you enjoy it early.



I was crying silently by the time I finished it. Then I went on to read it three more times before it sank in just why the gifts were wrapped so different. One is for Christmas and the other for your birthday. Duh Shawn! I softly put the letter down next to the box and carefully lift both presents out of it. Placing the Christmas one on my dresser to be opened in 15 days, and taking the other one, with the letter, to my bed, where I sit down and stare at the gift in my hand trying my hardest to think about what it could possibly be.

I’m not sure how long I was sitting there just staring at it before I finally started opening it, without really paying attention to what I was actually doing. As I get all the wrapping paper off, I realize that I’m holding a box. A relatively small, white, rectangular box. I turn it up so that one end is resting on my legs and slowly pull the tab out of the other end and open the flap. Tipping the box over, I watch as the bubble wrap covered gift falls leisurely into my waiting hand. Quickly and carefully taking the bubble wrap off and pushing it back into the box, I see the back of a picture frame. I bite my bottom lip in nervousness as I flip it over.

I look over the frame while running my fingers gingerly across where my eyes already traced. A sun, sand, lounge chair and towel, beach ball, starfish, sand dollar, sea shells, crabs. Everything that you’d ever see on the beach is adorning this frame. And then my eyes land on the picture in the frame and instantly tear up.

The picture has been printed in black and white, though I’m fairly sure that the original is in color. It’s a picture taken in the very early days of our friendship, when I was still ‘grounded’ for leaving the mall with him. It’s a picture of Jesse and myself sitting under that same tree in Central Park that we sat under that day. But this day was different. This was the day that we spent the entire day going all through the park with my family. And at the point of this particular picture, we had just finished eating lunch and were talking in our own little world, like we so often did, and were still getting to know each other in the most basic friend sense.

But there was just something about seeing this picture in black and white, that made the moment seem even more ‘intimate’ than I remember. Looking at it now, it seems more loving, caring, and personal. And the longer I look at it, the more I miss him and those simpler times. Not that I didn’t already, but now I can really imagine what Jesse means about ‘missing’ something in life. I can picture how he must be feeling.

And it’s in this moment that I know I will do anything to get back to that time, or one similar to, in this photo. I will work and fight to get our friendship just as hard as he claims he will. It’s in this moment that I decide that to just let go isn’t an option and is completely impossible. In this nanosecond of a moment, I make the best and biggest decision of my life: I’m getting my best friend back. And for good this time.

My Baby (A JMac Story) Chapter Twenty-Two


Chapter Twenty-Two - "Can‘t Let You Go":

~~Saturday, December 8, 2001~~

~~Jesse’s POV~~

Shawn’s birthday is today. I hope that she received the gift in time. I know, I know. Yes, I got her something. For both her birthday and Christmas. I went ahead and sent them both to her last week. It was insured to arrive today. So, we’ll see I guess. And before you get to thinking too much into it, I didn’t go out and buy her something recently. Actually both gifts were items that I bought before the tour was over but after she had went home. Just some little seemingly meaningless items that I saw while we were out seeing the sites in whatever city that instantly reminded me of her. Yes, this was when I wasn’t talking to her too often. Yes, this was after the kiss incident. Yes, this was before the now dreaded phone call. This was all back at the time that I still had full hope, maybe faith is a better word to use here hmm… maybe not but anyway, that we could eventually make it through anything and everything, especially that kiss. But here we are. Not really speaking to each other and seemingly avoiding each other at most costs. Granted that is speaking strictly for me since I don’t know about her because of said not speaking. But as gifts go, I believe that I did very good. And I’m fairly sure that what I got won’t hurt her or anything more than just remind her of our friendship and how that is how all of this started. That’s what I’m hoping for at least. Since all else has failed, I’m hoping to at least get that relationship back with her.

I know that she has a new boyfriend and surprisingly, I’m cool with it. When Lea slipped the news the other night at dinner, I expected to feel crushed, an excruciating, totally unbearable pain in my chest. But it never came. I’m seriously okay with her having moved on and seeing what or who else is out there. And I understand that because of the distance that it is better for everyone involved that friendship is all that can be.

And as much as I understand that and don’t have a problem with her moving on, I can’t help but still feel like it should be me that she is with. That pain still isn’t there but I do feel completely… guilty, I guess, for not fighting harder for her, to make it work. I understand that yes, she made a mistake. But so did I. I didn’t give her the fight that I promised that day in the elevator. The fight that was promised as soon as I said that we could get past it together. I didn’t give her that and with her being so honest about everything, she more than deserved it. So, it’s nothing if not my fault that we are so distant now.

Also, I can’t bring myself to feel anything bad about all of it either. I’m not sad, bitter, mad, angry, depressed. I’m just over it all. I’m sick of being so detached all the time. Detached from everything and everyone. But they are all still here, still so supportive and patient with me. I don’t deserve it, I know that. But I’m so grateful for them all. But I can’t help but have the feeling that they all have the piece that I’m missing the most. And I would do anything to get the piece back. And that is ultimately why I went ahead and mailed the presents to her. It’s my final and last play to try to get our friendship back. If it doesn’t work, then it’s seriously over and she’s out of my life and I accept that. Completely her choice. The ball is in her court now and I can’t do anything else.

~~Monday, December 10, 2001~~

So, I’m going with that the box didn’t arrive by Saturday as to why I haven’t received the slightest of thanks or acknowledgment on her end yet. And I’m not about to text her asking about it. So, I wait, not entirely patient anymore, but I wait none the less for something either directly from her or through a friend or Lea, just anything. Anything to at least know that she did receive it.

I’m just laying on my bed, holed up in my room, mulling over everything yet again as I’ve done the whole weekend. I really don’t want to see or speak to anyone at the moment. Haven’t all weekend, but I do have responsibilities that I have to keep and those responsibilities have successfully kept my mind off everything else for the most part. But now, I just want to think it all through yet again for the millionth time.

As I’m laying here, my mom yells up that dinner will be ready shortly and to start washing up and heading down. I wait till the last possible minute, yet again. But even before all of this, this wasn’t anything new. It’s not till she yells to us three more times till I move for the first time since I got home from school. I sit up and then grab my head from the spinning that moving so fast and suddenly has caused. Walking to my door, I hear my phone going off. I rush to my backpack and pull it out of the front pocket. Flipping it open, I see that I have a new text from Shawn. I stand, staring at the screen, thinking that I’m hallucinating, for several minutes before I finally open it to read what she said. Clenching my eyes shuts tight, I take in three deep breaths, releasing each one slower than the one previous before finally getting the nerve to read it. “Hey Jesse. Thank you for the presents. That was very sweet of you. And as you asked I’m not opening the other one till Christmas. I really hope that you are ok. I’ll talk to you soon. =-) Shawn”

Releasing a breath that I didn’t realize I was holding, I can’t help but to feel relieved. I toss my phone onto my bed, hearing my mom starting to ascend the stairs, and turn to meet her half way then head to the table for dinner. It’s all looking up now. And that’s all that I can truly ask for.

My Baby (A JMac Story) Chapter Twenty-One



Chapter Twenty-One - "Anybody":

~~Thanksgiving, November 29, 2001~~

~~Jesse’s POV~~

Thanksgiving. This is usually a one day that I love no matter what every year. And this year really should be one of the best ones so far in my short life. I mean we are performing in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. This is HUGE! But I just can’t bring myself to stop thinking about Shawn and our short conversation yesterday. I finally just did it. I texted her. She replied almost right away, so I had hope in what I was gonna do. I wished her a good holiday and weekend, she returned the sentiment. And then I asked her about us. Not something that I really wanted to do over text. But she said that she was too busy to actually talk, so I let it go. And of course, she drew it out, making me ask her exactly what I meant in a very specific question. “Well, you know. Us. Can we just go back to how it was and be us again? Jesse and Shawn, Shawn and Jesse.” Man, it still sounds so stupid. I should have just worded it better. After that though, there was a long pause. And I mean long. Like about an hour before I got an answer. But then, just a simple “No” was the last that I’ve heard from her.

“Hey man. You nervous? Only five minutes till we go on air.” I shake my head clear of my thoughts, bringing myself back to my surroundings, and look up at Greg. I just shrug and turn to walk away. “Hey man. What’s going on with you?” I completely intend to just keep going but he grasps my shoulder making me face him again.

“It’s nothing that can’t wait till a much later date. Like never. Just don’t worry about it. We have a life-altering occasion about to happen that needs all of our focus.” I quickly turn around and walk to my position as the float draws ever closer to it’s destination. But I didn’t miss that look that he gave me saying that we would definitely continue this later. As if he doesn’t already know. I mean I know that they all still talk to her practically daily. Well, unless… unless she never talks about me anymore. Not that I know for sure that she ever has since we broke up, but I thought that she at least asked about me. Hmm…

We do our part and then go on to the end of the parade. Once we all hop off the float, we are swamped by our families. It’s so chaotic, that we are all swept off in different directions within a few minutes, barely having more time than to wave and shout a hurried 'bye' at everyone before going to our respective family dinners. And I can’t help but be silently thankful, and here I thought that I’d have nothing to be thankful for today, for that too. I’m just not ready to hear that she doesn’t ask about me anymore.

~~Shawn’s POV~~

Today is Thanksgiving! YAY! My dad just picked us up and we are on our way to Grankdma’s house. Where we will stay for a hefty amount of the day and then we’ll stay the weekend with him. Does kinda suck though for the fact that I can’t really talk to Kensie till Saturday. But these things happen.

So, yesterday was interesting to say the least. Jesse contacted me for that first time in over a month. Yea, more like in six weeks. At first I wasn’t entirely sure what to do, but I still texted him back with hardly a hesitation and everything was going great till he asked about us. And then, I just didn’t know. But for the first time, I realized that while I enjoyed talking to him, the excitement that I used to feel every time he texted or called was gone. Completely MIA. And that startled me for a good while after meeting that realization. As soon as I got my bearings back, I replied with a short, possibly slightly rude, “No” and left it at that.

Not that I would have been about to have said yes anyway. But apart from that very startling factor, I was surprised that he was even asking after so long, that it really felt surreal, but it didn’t give me the great bubbly swarm of butterflies, or wasps whichever, in my stomach like I always thought that it would. And in the minute that both of those feelings faded away, Clark was there. Well, not literally, but I saw him. And that’s not in the literal sense either. You know, like I could just picture him perfectly. I wasn’t able to see anything other than his face, even though it was all just my imagination. And that was when I knew that I had made the right choice.

~~Flashback~~

Well damn. I look Clark directly in the eye, never wavering. And I can just see the sincerity there. He means every word that he has said. And then all of a sudden, everything else just fades away and is so insignificant. School, Jesse, that fact that we could ruin our friendship, the fact that we are still in school. It all just melts away and means absolutely nothing anymore. Any and all reasons that I said we couldn’t be together just a couple months ago, seem so pointless. And without a clear head and yet even a real thought in my mind, I instantly close the distance and cover his mouth with mine. This kiss is so different that any I have had before. So, Jesse’s. It’s hard and has a purpose, but yet it’s still so sweet, gentle, caring, soft, and… dare I say… loving.

Once we break apart, we can’t contain the smiles that spread on our faces. He rests his forehead against mine, eyes still closed, and allows us to catch our breath for a few minutes before he says anything.

“I’ve been wanting to do that for so long.” I release a small chuckle, causing him to open his eyes and pull away from me slightly. He only moves about a foot back, his arms are still wrapped around my waist, though I don’t remember him putting them there nor do I remember wrapping my arms around his neck, but I instantly feel the loss of warmth that I didn’t really know that I wanted to always be near me. “So, is that a yes then? Will you be my girlfriend?”

I look at him, thoughtful. And I can tell that he’s trying not to squirm and to patiently wait for my answer. I slowly nod my head and manage to mumble a soft “yes” before he, once again, crashes our lips together, both of us smiling into the kiss.


I’m pulled out of my reverie as we pull up in front of my grandma’s house and see that we are practically the last ones to arrive. We enter the house, and my favorite time of year is officially started. And I can’t help but think that I have more than enough to be thankful for. Like an amazing boyfriend, for starters.

My Baby (A JMac Story) Chapter Twenty


Chapter Twenty - "Without U":

~~Friday, November 23, 2001~~

~~Shawn’s POV~~

Over the course of these past couple months, Jesse and I have lost touch. After September 11th, we talked mostly through texts, with just a handful of phone calls in the weeks that directly followed, and they became a rare occurrence as the weeks wore on until even the texts stopped all together. And I was starting to see that I could be without him and be fine. I was finding myself again. Though I will admit that I was also throwing myself into school and all the extra activities that I put onto my shoulders this year mostly as a way to force my mind to just forget and not think about him at the beginning. Now however, I thoroughly enjoyed be so busy and not really having a spare minute to let my mind wonder.

Also, I had started to notice that as the weeks went on, I was thinking of Jesse less and less that Clark and I were getting closer and closer. At first I wasn’t entirely sure how I felt about this fact exactly, but then I started to find that I could tell him things that I just couldn’t tell anyone else. Things about me, Jesse, and just everything in general. Things that you usually don’t find or think to be significant enough to really think about let alone actually confide to someone else about. And it was nice. I really got to where I thoroughly enjoyed talking to Clark. And we quickly became very close friends. Because that’s all that I said we could be. Though now I’m not so sure that was a good idea. But that was only the week after September 11th, what was I supposed to do? I wasn’t ready to accept that Jesse and I might not actually be meant to be yet. But anyway, I digress. Now that I’m sure that Jesse happened at the wrong time in my life, that we might not be meant to be or just not meant to be at this time in our lives, and that I can in fact be me without him, I’m not sure how to make that clear to Clark cause I do feel something there that I haven’t felt with anyone before.

But outside of my ‘boy drama’, as my mom calls it, everything has been great. I’ve managed to branch outside of my normal group of friends, though all my new friends are the kind of friends that you are really only close to at school and don’t see or talk to outside of those hollowed halls. And for this fact I’m still very close with my other friends as well. We have continued on with our lives and they have all finally stopped asking me about Jesse daily.

And now with the holidays looming, I’m beginning to fall into the groove that I always do when they are near. Not only does it mean that my birthday is near, but I just love getting to see my whole family at two huge occasions so close together. And my family is just stock full of great old fashioned cooks. There is never a shortage of fantastic foods when the whole family gets together. Which could be where my love for cooking comes from. I know that it is the reason that I want to go to culinary school for college. The only thing that I have learned to hate about my parents’ divorce is that the holidays are divided now. Like this year I’m with Dad for Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve and Mom for Christmas day and New Years. Then next year, it will be switched. I just miss getting to see both sides of my family for both holidays. Christmas isn’t so bad because either family will just have their gift exchange and dinner on whichever day it is that we will be with our parents. But Thanksgiving, when the food is honestly the best, is when we only get to see one side no matter what. And even after almost eight years, it still just feels so weird to not be eating myself to the brim at both lunch and dinner, therefore practically all day long.

I’m pulled out of my thoughts as the bell rings for lunch. I quickly gather my things and leave the classroom to head to my locker at the opposite end of the hall. Once it is in my line of site I notice that Clark is waiting there for me and I can’t help the smile that spreads across my face. I watch him while I can, without the possibility of being caught that is, and notice that he looks to be in deep thought. I take in what he’s wearing and see that it’s his favorite pair of Tommy jeans, that quickly became mine too once I noticed just how nice they complimented his, um, ‘body’, with his nice blue and white plaid button up shirt, and his Docs. My smile widens even more as I notice that he looks very good in blue and that it brings out his soft hazel eyes just that much more.

Once I get within three feet of him, he looks up suddenly and his eyes instantly find mine. I see him smile at me too and I get the familiar feeling of knots and butterflies in my stomach by the simple common gesture. “Hey you.” I gently tap his arm with my elbow as I pass him and open my locker that is just on the other side of him.

“Hey yourself. So, you sitting with me today?” I look at him softly for a second before nodding at him.

“Um, yea sure. I think that drama is having a late lunch today for some reason or another.” Drama is the class that both Kaylea and Alaina have this block and they usually have first lunch with me but I think they were having last lunch today. And for whatever reason that I have yet to really find out, Clark wouldn’t ever have lunch with me if they were around. But it would never fail, he’d always wait at my locker for me, ask if I’d be having lunch with him, and then when I’d say that he could join us he’d say that was fine and that he should probably sit with his other friends. His friends that were almost all seniors and consisted of all the ROTC student officers.

“Cool, so do you just want to grab something quick from the snack line and then find a bench somewhere in a hall to eat?”

“Yea, sure. I’m not entirely too hungry so that will be perfect.” I smile at him and we head into the cafeteria. I do have to admit that we are very lucky at my school, especially for a public school, at least from what I’ve heard. We have five different lunch lines. There’s the standard school lunch line, the pizza/pasta line, the hotdogs, hamburgers, and fries line, the ice cream line, and then the snack line, which consists of cookies, nachos, soft pretzels, and other various snacks. Then to top this off we also have five different snack and drink vending machines in the cafeteria alone. Then there was also eight more of them positioned all throughout the school. So, needless to say it was very easy to find something that you wanted for lunch any day of the week as well as to never get sick on any one thing either.

We make the usual small talk as we walk to the line and wait till it’s our turn. And as has happened on the few other times that I have gotten to have lunch with Clark, he insists on paying for my lunch, and we have our usual tiff about it that ends with him promising to let me get it the next time, and yet I haven’t ever been allowed to make do on that promise of his either.

Once we have our food, we make our way out into the hall and find a semi deserted hall with a bench to sit, eat, and talk in private. Well, as private as you can expect in a school of this size I guess. When we are done with our food, he takes our trash to the nearby trashcan and silence takes over us as he sits back down. We sit in the silence, that gets steadily more tense the longer that we leave it. But just as I’m about to break it with one of my signature sarcastic remarks, he says something that completely knocks me speechless.

“I can’t be your friend anymore Shawn.” I look him over and notice that he’s refusing to meet my eyes and is staring at his hands as he wrings them together, clenching and unclenching them in his lap.

“Um… ohkay…” I turn away from him and try my hardest not to cry, at least not in front of him. I glance at my watch and see that we still have about fifteen minutes left but I start to stand up and start to walk away anyway. Anything to not let him see you cry.

“No, wait.” he reaches out quickly grabbing my elbow and turning me to face him, tilting my face up to look at him before he continues. “I didn’t mean it like that. I mean, that I can’t just be your friend anymore. I want so much more than this. I feel so much more than just this with you. And I know that you feel it too. Why do you keep insisting on denying it? Why continue to deny it for someone that isn’t here? And can’t even be here? What’s so wrong with wanting to be happy and be with someone that is here with you and makes you happy? Let me make you happy Shawn. Please.” He releases an exasperated breath slowly as I look at his eyes and take in his expression. He is more serious than I have ever seen him. And I can’t think of anything to say and I’m not one that easily knocked speechless. He softly mumbles “please” again and everything just melts away in that instant.

Well, damn.

~~Jesse’s POV~~

As the minutes turned into hours, the hours into days, the days into weeks, and the weeks into months, two months to be exact, I realized that I was missing Shawn less and less. I’ve even been thinking about her less often too. Yea, now it’s down to only being a couple times a day. When it came down to us not talking anymore, I was truly surprised. I know that it was nowhere near intentional on my part. I have to admit that after 9/11, I had hope that we would just slip right back into how we always were. But it was quickly proved that wouldn’t be the case. And I’ll even admit that it was partly, possibly mostly even, because of me. I just couldn’t find a way to let my guard down and be as free as I used to be with her anymore. And still to this moment in time, I have no idea as to why either. But the irony of it all doesn’t escape my mind. You got exactly what you asked for. You didn’t want to talk to her or have contact with her, and not you don’t.

I sigh heavily and look around me. All my friends are going about things as always. Talking, joking, and being the absolute loudest table and group in the whole cafeteria. And as I’m surrounded by all these people, and my friends that I’ve known most of my life, I can’t help but feel more alone than I've ever felt. I pull my phone out of my pocket and start a text, however I quickly exit out of it and place the phone back, as I’ve done numerous times over the last month. I glance down to my tray and see that I haven’t even touched the food there. I look at my friends again and realize that they really won’t notice if I leave early. So, without a moments hesitation, I get up, dump my tray, and leave the cafeteria.

I walk aimlessly through the halls, no particular destination in mind, just let my feet guide me. So, when I come to a closed door, I don’t hesitate to open it and enter the room. I look around and see that I’ve entered the music room, the one that’s only used for the serious practices before any performances or concerts that any of the music classes have. I make my way to the piano in the corner, sit on the bench not really thinking of anything as I place my fingers on the keys, just trying to remember anything from the lessons that I quit long ago.

As I start to play an unknown melody, the words just jump into my mind. And I instantly, in this one solitary moment in time, feel at ease and totally relaxed without a worry in the world for the first time since I made that phone call to Shawn all those months ago.

Briiinng

The bell rings signaling the end of lunch and successfully breaking my concentration. I pause for just a fraction of a second before I rush to my locker to get my notebook and write the lyrics down before I completely forget them.

My Baby (A JMac Story) Chapter Nineteen


Disclaimer:

This chapter will be covering September 11, 2001 and the tragic events of that day. If you don't feel comfortable reading this chapter for personal reasons about those events, feel free to PM me and I'll give you a summery of this chapter so that you can pick up with chapter 20. All the information in this chapter is coming straight from what I personally remember about what I was doing at the time I that I heard of the attacks. So, this chapter is definitely only part fiction, especially the first part (Shawn's POV). As for the part in Jesse's POV, it is all strictly made up since I have no way of truly knowing what happened in his life that day. The announcement that gets read is made up by me but facts taken from the actual announcement from CNN. I do not claim any rights to any of the facts that take place, are used, in this chapter.

Chapter Nineteen - "Waitin’ on the World to Change":

~~Tuesday, September 11, 2001~~

~~Shawn’s POV~~

I woke up today with a weird feeling in my stomach, one that I wasn’t sure how to describe or place, so I pushed the feeling and thoughts of it aside. Continuing on with my morning routine as I got ready for school.

Upon arriving at school and getting off the bus, I meet all my friends at our usual spot. Once we were all here, we head down to the other end of the school, stopping at our lockers along the way. Once we get the hallway known as ROTC hall, we go in the classroom to talk to Chief Gilbert, but everyone just calls him Chief. He’s one of the ROTC instructors and a retired Air Force fighter pilot. He’s also one of my favorite teachers and even shorter than me. But still very cool.

Anyway, every morning, especially the ones like today when most in our ‘group’ have Geography first block, we come to ROTC hall to buy sustenance. Almost all the teachers won’t allow food and drinks in class, but our Geography teacher, Mrs. Mosley, allows you to bring ‘breakfast’ if you are in her first block classes. Since the ROTC cadets have a snack bar/concessions stand that they run for all the sports activities to raise money for the program, Chief also allows them, us technically since I’m one of them, to sell the candy and drinks before and after school, as well as during lunch.

So, as we all walk in to get our snacks for our sugar rush that will help to get us through the day, for some reason we are all, well most of us actually, put in the same Geography class and have all of our harder classes on the same day as said class, Chief comes up and starts talking to me about this weekends drill competition.

“Shawn, do you have the team ready? Or do I need to schedule more practices for after school this week?” I look slightly down at Chief before glancing at Alaina, she’s my co-commander of the Drill Team with Exhibitions, meaning with weapons. And this weekend is the first drill competition of the year.

After we share a brief look, I turn back to Chief and answer him, “Um, yea Chief. That will be good. You can never get too much practice, right?” I look back to the cadet, a junior guy that is pretty cute named Clark Olsen. He gives me a flirty half smile, as he hands me my change, causing me to blush. I look into his soft hazel eyes for what feels like a minute or so before being drawn out of our… hold, I don’t want to say stare because that just sounds creepy, but it was definitely more than just a gaze too, by Chief continuing to talk to me.

“Ok, well, we can’t have one tonight because of the short notice and kids needing to ask their parents. So, do you want me to set them up of the rest of the week? And then you can come see about it during lunch?” I turn my whole body away from Clark and immediately feel a loss of warmth. Talk about weird. I look at Chief again and nod my head just as the warning bell rings. “Ok, I’ll see you at lunch then.” I nod again as my friends drag me from the room to get to class.

We enter the room and go to our seats, they're assigned in alphabetical order, we start munching on our snacks and wait for the morning announcements to start after the last bell rings. I quickly tap my friend, Jessica who sits in front of me, on the shoulder. She turns her head slightly waiting for me to talk.

“Hey, can you put my hair in that bun that you do? I tried this morning and just couldn’t get it to look right.” She nods and gets up grabbing her drink and we switch seats so that she can do my hair during announcements.

As we, the whole class that is, sit there waiting for the announcements to start, I can’t help but notice that the feeling in my stomach is back, but this time too strong to ignore. I feel a very strong urge to call Jesse and possibly Greg too. This can’t be good. Not good at all. And why haven’t they started the announcements yet? I look at the clock, and see that the bell rang over five minutes ago.

Just as I’m about to ask Jess to hand me my purse, she starts to stand up, signaling that she’s done with my hair. I get up and we switch back. “Hey, thanks.” I say softly not to get in trouble.

“No problem.” I grab my phone as we start chatting softly. As for school rules, my phone is supposed to be off, but like most kids, I just always keep it on silent. As I sneak my phone under my desk to see if I have any messages or anything, there is a knock on the classroom door, drawing all our attention to it as Mrs. Mosley answers it and takes the paper from the office aid that’s there. We all watch her closely as she reads the note. I glance and look at all my friends throughout the room to see if they were noticing her expression change as she got further down the paper. Right as I got to Jessica, she turned to me too and I could tell that she had noticed as well. I was about to say something to her when Mrs. Mosley started reading the paper out loud.

“This morning around 8:45 am Eastern Standard Time, a passenger jet that is believed to have been hijacked, crashed into the North tower of the World Trade Center.” She continued to read through all the gasps from my classmates. I look back at Jessica and then across the room and meet Alaina’s eyes. And at that moment my mind just went on autopilot. Oh my… Jesse… he has to fine. He just has to be. His school is too far away from all that right? Jessica grasping my hand tightly pulled me from the thoughts, but only briefly. I could vaguely her Jess asking if I was alright and Mrs. Mosley continuing to read the announcement before turning on CNN on the classroom tv.

At that very moment I remembered that I was still clutching my phone in my free hand. Without another thought I immediately sent a text out to Greg, Lea, Frankie, Matt, and Chris. “Are you all alright?” As it showed that the text was sent successfully, I was already dialing Jesse’s number. Knowing that just a reply in a text wouldn’t be enough to calm my nerves and worries about him. As it rings through, I can feel all my friends watching me and I know that they know exactly what’s going through my mind. Come on Jesse. Answer the d**n phone! As it goes through to voicemail, I hang up and immediately hit the redial button. One ring… I take a deep breath… Two rings… Another deep breath, this one a little shaky… Three rings… And yet another deep breath, still shakier than the last… Four rings… and voicemail… again… I take one last deep breath as I hand up and can feel the tears spill over and down my cheeks.

I go to try calling again, when my phone is bombarded by like ten messages. I quickly look through them to see who they’re from and when I don’t see Jesse’s name, I open a new message as quickly as I can with my hands shaking so badly. “Ok, so I know that you said when you are ready that you’d get a hold of me. But in light of the events that have happened this morning, I NEED to know that you are ok. Please, please, PLEASE, get back to me as soon as you get this!” I send the text and try one last time to call him. When it just goes to his voicemail, I look up and am surprised that I’m surrounded by all my friends. But Alaina and Kaylea are the only two that I see clearly and immediately on locking eyes with them, they have me engulfed in a huge hug.

~~Jesse’s POV~~

As I sit in class off in my own world of thoughts, an announcement is made for everyone to go to the gym immediately. I shake my head clear of my thoughts as I hear chairs scraping against the linoleum floor. I follow suit and join the mass of kids heading to the gym. I glance at everyone’s faces trying to find someone who looks like they know what is going on but everyone looks to be as confused as me.

As we walk through the gym doors, there is a loud rumble above head. Everyone starts looking around and finally someone confirms what I’ve been thinking, screaming above all the noise, “It was a just plane that was flying too low.” At that everyone rushes back outside, the teachers and other faculty having a hard time stopping them. But once everyone gets out there, it’s too late and we are told to head back inside and take a seat with our classes.

Once everyone is seated, the principal steps out with a microphone and calls us all to his attention. As he starts to read off an announcement from the paper, my phone vibrates and I go to pull it out of my pocket as discretely as possible. But what he says, causes me to stop all movement.

“This morning around 8:45, what is believed to be a hijacked passenger jet flew into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. All stations and rescue personnel have been placed on call to try and get all the people trapped inside out safely. As of right now there is no official word of whom or what is the cause of these attacks. We will continue to,” at this point he is interrupted by the vice principal walking out to him to hand him another announcement. I look around me and can hear some kids saying that the plane we heard crashed into the other tower. I look back to the principal who is alone on the gym floor again and see him looking at the paper in shock before he calls us all to attention again and read the new paper. “We just received word that another plane has crashed into the second tower.” He continues reading but I stop listening. What does this mean for everyone exactly? It was at this time that I remembered the new message on my phone. I finish pulling my phone out, forgetting and caring less about being discrete.

I read the message from Greg and quickly reply. I go to call my mom but receive another text, this one from Matt. I reply back and right as it’s sent I get one from Frankie. After I reply to him I call Mom. Right as she answers we are dismissed back to our classes. I quickly follow everyone out to the halls and walk towards my class while talking to her, noticing that I’m not the only student on their phone.

“Jess? Are you there?” I shake my head of my rambling thoughts again and answer her. “Are you ok? Do you want to come home?”

“Yea Mom, I’m fine. Would you seriously let me come home?”

“Yes, I would. They aren’t sure what’s going on or anything yet. And that is very frightening sweetie.” I look around at everyone again, and notice that the entire faculty looks pretty worried and scared and so do some of my classmates.

“No Mom. I’m fine. I can stay here.”

“Ok, but if you change your mind, don’t hesitate to call and I’ll come get you.”

“Ok Mom. But I don’t think that I will.” I finish the call and take my seat. For the rest of the class, the lesson is forgotten and we watch CNN, which is exactly what all my classes have done so far.

At lunch, my mom calls me again. Letting me know that she has picked Lea up from school and could swing by to get me, I turned her down again. I’m texting the guys back and forth when I get an incoming call. Shawn? I finished my text to Matt and see that she didn’t leave a message. So, I text Greg real quick, “Dude, Shawn just tried calling,” and I’m interrupted from another incoming call. I wait to see about a message again and when I don’t receive one, I finish my text, “me. Should I call back?” Within a few minutes, I receive a text; I don’t look at who it’s from, just assuming that it’s Greg’s response. “Ok, so I know that you said when you are ready that you’d get a hold of me. But in light of the events that have happened this morning, I NEED to know that you are ok. Please, please, PLEASE, get back to me as soon as you get this!” I read it over a few times in complete shock. Shawn. She knows? Well, duh, of course she knows. The whole nation knows. How could you even think that they wouldn’t? As I’m still just staring at my phone in shock, it vibrates again. I blink a couple times, clearing the haze that not blinking had caused to coat my eyes and read the new text. “Yes, man. You need to. She’s very worried about you and all of us. They just told her about the WTC in her class.” I nod to myself and take a deep breath. I look back at my phone and see that I have three missed calls. When did I receive a third call? I look at the log and see that they are all from Shawn. I shake my head again and take another deep breath and dial the number that I’ll forever have memorized.

I continue to take deep, steadying breaths as it rings through. She answers after the third ring.

“Jesse? Please tell me that you’re ok.” I take one last deep breath. Man, it feels so good to hear her voice.

“Yes, Shawn. I’m fine.”

“Oh, thank God.” We sent in silence for a few minutes before either of us even feels like we should say something more. “Why didn’t you answer when I called?”

I release a heavy sigh and close my eyes. “Because I wasn’t sure if I should answer. Though I didn’t realize that you knew about the attacks, otherwise I wouldn’t have hesitated to answer.”

“Oh. Well, I’m glad that you’re ok. And that you did call me back to let me know.”

“Yea, well, I did ask Greg if I should. But that was before I got you text too. He replied after that saying that I needed to.” I couldn’t help how I was acting. It has been too long since we talked that I’m just not sure what to say or how to say it. I start biting the inside of my cheek and she’s just silent. I hear a bell ring on her end but no movement from her. “Don’t you need to go to class?”

“Um, yea, I guess. All we’re doing is watching the news though.”

“Yea, same here. Mom offered to come pick me up but I’d rather watch the news here than at home.”

“Yea, me too.” And just like that we’re silent again.

A couple minutes later and the warning bell rings for my lunch to be over. I get up from the bench I’ve been sitting on outside and begin to head inside. “Um, well, I’d better go. I have to get back to class.”

“Oh, yea, ok. Well, then, um, bye I guess.” I release another sigh and change my route to head to the bathroom.

“Um, yea, bye.” We hang up just as I walk into the bathroom. I look at my reflection and can see the tears that I felt welling up and release an unsteady breath as I head into the stall.

My Baby (A JMac Story) Chapter Eighteen



Chapter Eighteen - "How Do You Sleep?":

~~September 4, 2001~~

~~Shawn’s POV~~

48. 48 days. It has been 48 days since that dreadful phone call. 48 days since I’ve heard his voice. School started again a few weeks ago. And a few weeks before that my family and all my friends staged an intervention of sorts and forced me out of my room. And I do mean ALL of my friends. All my plans of what I was going to wear to the first day of school flew right out the window the moment that he said those words. ‘I’m sorry…It’s over Shawn.’ Originally I was going to wear the same outfit I wore to the New York concert but now I just couldn’t look at anything that I had bought there or while I was with him without wanting to burrow myself into the ground and stay there till I die a painful and sufferable death. I mean, that is what I deserve anyway. And I did bring this onto myself. And in knowing that, I welcome any pain that I get. I just really wish that it didn’t mean that he was going through pain too. Or any of the guys. Well, except for the one that needs to be feeling almost as bad as I am.

The guys. They’ve really been great to me. Especially since they totally don’t have to be and I completely never expected them too be either. But they all make sure to call me regularly and keep me updated on everything that’s going on. Yes, even him and his life. The one person they make sure to never mention, is the one person that I’m glad they don’t mention.

And Greg. Greg is really my best friend and brother throughout all this. I’m so thankful and glad that I do have him. He’s been nothing but nice, sweet, and caring to me. Not to mention he’s the only person that I can really talk to about Jes… um, him. With absolutely no judgments or walls up or anything. It’s always a breath of fresh air to have that conversation with Greg too. Once a week. That’s what we’ve been doing since he made me see that I can’t just keep it all bottled up, that doing that won’t make it go away or anything better. So, we go into detail about everything and what I’m feeling or felt this week about it all. And again I say, if this music thing doesn’t work out for him, he really needs to consider becoming a psychologist. Anyway, they’ve all been great and very supportive and understanding. All in their own ways too.

After the tour ended and they had there little break before school, they came down to see me too. Greg, Frankie, Matt, Lea, David, Maryanne, Ginger, Timmy, Amanda, Nicole, Danielle, and Lisa. Without telling me. This is the ’intervention’ I was talking about. Ginger apparently has been keeping in touch with Mom, and then Mom called all my friends here and they bombarded me with shock, surprise, and people they knew I’d leave my room for, one day. But it was nice to get to be back in that world. Though it was just not the same. And it was nice to get to mesh my two worlds together finally. But it was so hard to be with Timmy. He just looks so much like him that I could hardly look at him without tearing up. Which I know upset Timmy and made him think that he did something wrong. He even asked me what he did and was close to tears himself. But I think that we got that worked out. At least for now. And Lea and I have gotten really close too. Especially since that visit. She of course asked about what happened and I had no problem telling her. Every little thing. And she didn’t judge either. She was there for me and completely supportive. More so than someone at her young age should be.

And with all of this, I can’t bring myself to regret or hate the trip to New York for any reason. I have so many new friends and ‘family’ now that are here for me no matter what and so supportive even though I’ve made some of the biggest mistakes possible. That I just can’t help to continue to be grateful and thankful for the trip. And I did meet someone that made the trip better and more fun and I know became a life long friend. Though it didn’t end up being the person I originally thought it was going to be, but still. If it hadn’t of been for running into him, I wouldn’t have had my wish come true.

~~Jesse’s POV~~

Not a day has gone by that I haven’t thought of her. 48 days to be exact. I can’t get her out of my head. And since that phone call, I haven’t thought about the kiss hardly at all. I mean, I’m still not talking to Chris. And the more I think about it, the more I see that breaking up with her was what I needed to do at that time. But now that it’s been more than a month, and if I’m being honest with my self this started the next day, that kiss really seems pretty irrelevant. Ok, maybe irrelevant isn’t the right word but you get what I’m saying. It’s just now I see it as more of a test of our love and relationship. One that I failed and she passed. Especially since she told me right away. I mean she was leaving. She could have easily waited till she was back home and just told me over the phone or in an email or something. Or not at all. And that would have been her failing the test. But she didn’t do any of that. She did the right and brave thing and told me to my face. Knowing that I might get mad and break up with her right there in front of everyone. But she did it anyway. And I’m the one that failed because I couldn’t trust her when she said it meant nothing and I’m the one that couldn’t just forget it and move on. Instead I did nothing but push her away.

School started again a week or so ago. And I’ve dreaded it and hated it more than usual. My hours at school are the hours where she’s stuck in my head the most. And everything that we did together, every single memory of her that I have, replays like a movie stuck on repeat in my head, starting every time that I walk though those doors into the school. And because of this, I’m glad more than ever that she became such great friends with the guys. Though Greg is the only one that I’m completely comfortable talking in detail about her with. But knowing how she is and what she’s been up to, has helped. Especially since I can’t bring myself to email or call her.

But the absolute hardest thing had to be when they all packed up and flew out to surprise her. Mom asked if I wanted to go. Hell they all asked if I wanted to go. But I just couldn’t bring myself to feel right about surprising her and facing her in that way. Especially not knowing if she really wanted to see me or not. So, instead I stayed here with Dad, while all my friends were where my heart was already.
~~Four Days Later~Saturday, September, 8, 2001~~

As the days progressed, I’ve found myself thinking about Shawn more and more often. And I have this feeling that something is wrong or that something is going to be wrong. I don’t really know. It’s hard to explain.
But anyway, it’s Saturday, which means a long day of rehearsal and then hopefully a quiet night to myself. But that has yet to happen since the tour finished. Well, besides the week everyone was in Missouri. I’m snapped out of my thoughts when my sister knocks on my door.

“Jess, Mom says you need to hurry up or you’ll be late.” I glance at my reflection in the mirror across from me and then turn to open my door.

“I’m ready, I’m ready.” I say as I open the door and brush past her, heading for the stairs. I hear her say something but can’t really make it out so I turn around to ask but I notice that she’s on her phone. I roll my eyes and continue downstairs. “Ok, Mom, I’m here. Let’s go.” I grab my bag from the floor and head out to the car. Five minutes later and she finally comes out of the house followed by Lea. I roll my eyes as they open their doors and get in. “Well, so much for being in a hurry Mom.” I turn and look out the window to tune out Lea’s rambling to her friend in the back. That is until I find out who she’s talking to.

“Eew, Shawn! Come on! There is no way that he’s hotter than Ben Affleck. It’s just not possible.” I turn my head slowly to look at Lea through the small space between the seat and door. She’s chatting away, without a care in the world. I wish I could say that I was surprised that Lea was talking to Shawn, but I really can’t. I’ve known that the two of them have been talking almost daily since we broke up. And I’m glad. Lea needs another girl to talk to about certain things. And I’m sure those things will only increase as she gets older. But at the moment, now that I know who she’s talking to, all I want to do is ask for the phone to talk to her for a minute. But I just can’t bring myself to do it. So, I just sit here and watch my sister talk to her and occasionally hear what she‘s saying too and before I even realize it, we’re pulling into the studio parking lot.

We all get out of the car and head inside. Immediately, I see Greg and go over to him, pulling him to the side, out of earshot of everyone else. I’ve done this at all our rehearsals the last four days. So, I know that he knows what I’m going to ask before I even open my mouth, but he still waits for me to say it. “Everything still ok?” He releases a deep sigh and nods then starts to walk away, but I stop him. “Please Greg?” He looks at me and turns back to face me fully.

“Everything is fine Jesse. I just got off the phone with her. She’s doing good. And keeping herself very busy with school stuff. If you are going to continue to worry about her so much and make this a permanent habit of yours, then I suggest that you just man up and call her yourself.” He turns and walks into the studio before I can even say anything.

I hear Lea’s laughter again but this time followed by Amanda’s too. I sigh and follow Greg in, ready to get this over with.
~~Shawn’s POV~~

I was getting ready to get off the phone with Greg when I got the incoming call from Lea. So, I say a quick 'bye' to Greg and click over to her call. “Hello?”

“Hey Shawn. What’s up?” I chuckle at her, shaking my head softly. These calls have become a daily event, and always seemingly during the guys’ rehearsals. But today, she called earlier than usual, having normally waited till their rehearsal was already started.

“Not much Lea. I was just talking to Greg. What’s up? You’re early.” I hear her laugh and then Ginger say something in the background.

“Hey, can you hold on a sec. I have to go get Jess.” I mumble a compliance and listen to her run up the stairs and knock on his door. All the while trying to ignore the fact that my breathing hitched and my throat closed up slightly at hearing his name. Trying not to pay too much attention to their exchange, I busy myself with cleaning and straightening up my room. Though I had just cleaned it a day or so ago. But I stop solid in my tracks as soon as I hear his voice. Oh man, oh man, oh man. It sounds so much better than I remember. I’m still trying to control my breathing as Lea comes back on the phone. “Ok, I’m back.” I can’t say anything. Hell I can’t even move yet. But thankfully she gets what’s going on without me having to say anything. “Oh God, Shawn. I’m so sorry. I wasn’t even thinking. Are you ok?”

I nod my head forgetting that she can’t see me and slowly walk to sit on my bed. I clear my throat and answer her. “Yea, Lea. I’ll be fine. It’s ok. I understand.” I hear her running around. And after a minute or so without her saying anything, I have to ask. “Lea, what are you doing?”

“Huh? Oh, I wasn’t expecting him to actually be ready on time so none of my stuff is together.” I can still hear her moving around and have to chuckle at her.

“Ok, then. Well you can just call me back once you get there.”

“No, no, that’s fine. I’m almost done and then we just have the drive.”

“Ok, if you’re sure.”

“Yea, I’m sure. Now where did we leave off last night?” I can hear her running back down the stairs and then yell for Ginger before I answer her.

“Um, I believe we were talking about Lord of the Rings and the hotties in it.” I laugh as I remember the debate we had started of Frodo vs. Legolas a.k.a. Elijah Wood vs. Orlando Bloom. However you want to look at it.

“Oh, right! Anyway, I thought of someone that has them both beat.”

“Oh, really? Who is that?”

“The one, the only Ben Affleck.” I roll my eyes at her, well not her since she’s not actually here, but yeah.

“You have to be kidding me. There is absolutely no way that Ben Affleck is hotter than Orlando Bloom. Elijah Wood, sure. But not Orlando.”

“Oh, come on Shawn! How can you not think that Ben is hot?”

“ Hey! I didn’t say he isn’t. I just said that Orlando is hotter. Hell, Josh Hartnett is even hotter than Ben.”

“Eew, Shawn! Come on! There is no way that he’s hotter than Ben Affleck. It’s just not possible.”

“What? It’s true.”

“Eew, no way. Josh Hartnett is so not hotter than Ben Affleck.” I can hear the seriousness in her voice and have to laugh.

“Ok, Lea. Looks like we're just going to have to agree to disagree on this one.” I shake my head and let out another soft chuckle. “So, what have you been up to today?” And just like that our conversation has a lighter air about it and she is every bit the fun little ten year old she’s supposed to be.

We continued with our girl talk and everything as normal with my mind drifting to Jesse occasionally like usual. Though I have noticed that I haven’t been thinking about him nonstop recently like I was. And I’m not completely sure if that’s a good or bad thing just yet.