Single (2)

Updated: Jun 1, 2019



It's late, and Jarrett’s texting me. I’m watching reruns of The Bachelor so I don’t have to focus while I’m texting him back.

Jarrett: What u doing?

Me: Not much. You?

Jarrett: So bored

Finished GOT and seriously considering rewatching. So good.

Me: Never saw it. Too big of a commitment.

Jarrett: What??

So worth it. You have to start

Me: I guess I just haven’t found anyone to watch it with.

I hold my breath, staring at my phone so hard, willing it to light up with a text from Jarrett. I don’t have to wait long.

Jarrett: Sounds like an invitation

Me: What? I’m just saying. Don’t like to watch things like that alone.

Jarrett: Want to come over? We can start with the first episode

Me: Sure, give me a minute 😊

A minute later, I’m scrambling around in my room, looking for something to wear. It’s almost 11, but I don’t care. This opportunity may never come again. I settle on the jeans crumpled on my floor, pulling them on while I try to run a comb through my matted hair. I find my favorite shirt, the blue one that brings out my eyes and has a lower neckline than my mom would prefer.

The air has a crispness to it, and I shiver as I tiptoe outside, wishing I would’ve brought a jacket with me. Jarrett’s house seems a lot farther than I remembered, passing by it every day on the way home, wistfully wondering if he’s there and what he’s doing.

I text him when I get there, and he opens the door with an amused smile.

“I didn’t think you’d actually come.”

I feel my cheeks going red. “Oh, I mean, I don’t have to. I was just bored and thought—”

“You good, girl,” he says, throwing open the door. “My parents are asleep though, so keep it down.”

He’s wearing a muscle tee and pajama pants, quite the attractive combination, I decide. I follow him through the dark living room, down the stairs to the basement, where it looks like he lives. There’s an unmade bed in one corner of the room, clothes strewn in a pile not far from it. On the other side of the long room, there’s a big TV with a couch in front of it. Quite the setup.

Jarrett flings himself onto the couch, and I move over slowly to sit next to him. He doesn’t say much while he scrolls through the show options, and I feel like the dumbest person in the world for coming over. He hadn’t even meant it, and now he’s stuck entertaining me instead of doing whatever it is he normally does on a weekend night. I don’t even dare look at him.

“You ready for this?” He pushes play and settles back in the seat, brushing my arm.

“Now I’ll know what all my friends are always talking about.” I try to sound nonchalant.

We watch in silence, and from about the 5th minute, I’m uncomfortable. I don’t like blood and guts, and I especially don’t know how to handle nudity, and no matter how good the plot is, all I can think about is what a mistake this whole thing was.

I try to think of anything positive to say when the first episode is over and Jarrett turns to me with a grin.

I smile back. “That was intense.”

“Yeah, but this is just the beginning. There are so many plotlines and twists and betrayals and deaths…”

“That’s crazy,” I say, and he doesn’t seem to notice that I’m not as enthusiastic as he is.

“You wouldn’t believe—”

And he goes into a long monologue about the characters, and all I can do is smile and nod. I just slip into daydreaming of his crinkly eyes and smooth hair when I realize he stopped talking and is waiting for me to say something.

“I’m sorry, what?” My cheeks start heating up.

“Never mind, I’m probably boring you with all my trivia. You tired?” He leans closer and tucks a stray strand of hair behind my ear.

“N-No.” I try to keep his gaze, but my cheeks are flaring, and I don’t know how much longer I can look at him without moving in.

“What’s wrong?” He doesn’t move from his close position to me. “Is it something I said?”

My heart’s pounding, and I can’t tear my eyes away from his shiny dark ones. “No, it’s nothing. I’m good,” I pant.

He smiles a lazy smile and leans a little closer.

His lips touch mine, and the tension explodes inside of me.

I’m in love. I love everything about Jarrett. He’s so perfect. I never thought a guy like him would ever be with someone like me.

“What do you like about him?” Montana asks after I gush to her about him at our favorite froyo place.

I have a spoonful of strawberry in my mouth, but my annoyance with the question doesn’t let me swallow first. “What do you mean? I literally just told you how great he is.”

“So you like how hot he is. Anything else?”

“He’s cute, funny, and… just gorgeous.”

“Umm, okay.”

I lean toward her, waving my spoon. “I get butterflies every time I see him. I mean, don’t you get that with Trent? No, wait, you guys are too boring to be romantic.”

Montana rolls her eyes and tugs on her scarf. “Getting butterflies isn’t romantic. It means it’s a new and exciting thing. Feelings like that don’t last.”

“Oh, stop being so negative.” I check my phone to see if Jarrett’s texted me. I sigh and put it away when I see I have no notifications.

“You’ve hung out with him like twice. You don’t really know him.”

Even the way she’s scraping her bowl makes me want to slap her.

“We text like all the time. Why can’t you just be happy for me that I’ve found someone like you?”

She purses her lips, looking at the ceiling. I already know I’m not going to like what she says next. “Okay. So you guys made out a couple of times. You’ve texted a little before that. What does he like? What does he want to do? What do you guys have in common? Has he asked you out on a date yet? It sounds like he just has you come over to make out and then go on about your day. That’s not how a relationship should look.”

“Well—” I sputter. “We’ll do stuff together. It just so happens that he hasn’t had time during the day. I’m sure we’ll go on dates and stuff.”

“Do your parents even know about him—?”

“Shut up!” I stand up, almost knocking my table over. “I’m so tired of you judging me.”

“I’m sorry.” Montana’s eyes are pleading. “Sit down. Let’s not talk about this anymore.”

© 2020 by Nancy E Wood