Updated: May 31, 2019
I drop my phone on the bed with a huff.
Even she could find somebody. Why not me?
It’s like every friend I ever have has a boyfriend. Even Jasmine, notorious for falling in love in two days and then breaking up with the guy two weeks later, somehow manages to find guys who still want to date her. I don’t think she’s ever been single for longer than a few weeks.
Montana has been dating Trent for months, and they’re always doing cute stuff together and trying to set me up with Trent’s friends, who are all idiots. And then there’s Donna (pock-face Donna, most people call her), who just posted a picture with some guy she went on a date with. He’s not the cutest guy, but they look really happy.
Even she can find someone….
And here I am, not bad looking (my ears could be a little smaller, but my shiny curls normally cover them), with some good qualities (yeah, I have an unhealthy obsession with reality TV, but I can also cook a mean lasagna, or almost anything Italian, and I’m pretty smart too, despite my dumb meme T-shirts). Why am I the one guys just aren’t interested in?
I’m at church, sitting with Montana and Trent, and they spend most of the sermon passing notes to each other, and I’m doing everything I can not to look obvious while reading them. Pastor talks about looking to God with all your needs, giving Him your problems, but I kind of zone out and miss most of it.
At the end, I stand to fight my way out of the crowd, and then I see him. Tall. Dark skinned. Clothes as if he had a personal designer dress him. And a Christian (???!!!) He must be new. I would’ve noticed him before.
Jasmine shows up beside me. “You see that guy?” Her whisper is still loud enough for everyone within a ten-foot radius to hear.
I nod, trying to look like I don’t really care. He looks over at us, smiles and waves. Jasmine and I exchange surprised glances and go to wave back, but then Trent is pushing his way out of our row and giving him a hand shake.
“He’s coming over here.” Jasmine’s voice is high pitched, grating on my eardrums.
“You have a boyfriend, Jaz,” I try not to roll my eyes. “don’t you?”
She gives me a look. “What do you mean, ‘don’t you’?”
Montana laughs from behind us and nudges her. “We never know with you.”
“Y’all, this is Jarett,” Trent says, coming over with the guy. “I invited him to church, but didn’t realize you were here.” Halfway through, he turns back to his friend.
“Yeah, I was a little late.” Jarret shrugs with the cutest apologetic smile.
Trent asks us if we want to go to Steak and Shake, and of course, I do. Trent’s most annoying friend, Marcus comes too, and he slides into the booth beside me. Jasmine’s on the other side, and Jarret sits down in the seat facing me. I try to stay cool.
“So where’re you from?” Jaz asks Jarett, scooting closer to the table. Where’s her boyfriend when we need him?
“Here. I live right off of Elk street, like five minutes from the church. I used to go to my gran’s church, but there’re no people my age there.”
I nod, trying to thing of something to add. Marcus speaks up for me.
“Kelsey lives right off Elk street too. Don’t you, Kels?” he smiles at me like a puppy waiting to be rewarded for a good job.
I hate it when he calls me Kels. We’re not friends.
“Why do you even know where I live?” I mutter, but Jarret looks at me with interest.
“Really? Which house?”
I hesitate to tell him, because then I’ll have given Marcus my address, but I figure it’s worth the risk.
“I live like three houses down!” he says. “Maybe you could come hang out sometime.”
I smile, and my face feels warm, and there’s a weird summersaulting bunny in my stomach. Jasmine’s quick to tell everyone where she lives after that.
As we’re leaving, Jarret stops beside me. “Hey, what’s your number? I can hit you up sometime and we can hang.”
My hand’s trembly when I get in Montana’s car with Jarret’s newly saved number in my phone.
Montana looks at my dreamy face. “You don’t know anything about him. Don’t be like Jasmine.”
“What do you mean?” I’m still staring at the phone.
“I mean not all of Trent’s friends are great people.”
“You try to set me up with them all the time!”
“Not all of them.” Montana’s face is serious, and it’s starting to get on my nerves. “I don’t know Jarret, but I’ve heard stories about him.”
My phone lights up, and it is a text from him. A funny meme that makes me giggle.
“Whatever.” Montana shakes her head.
Jarret likes to text, and we start texting almost every day. It’s mostly just little stuff about what we did that day or funny pictures, but I know it can be more. Every day, I think he’ll ask me if I want to come over and hang out, but he hasn’t brought it up since he asked me for my number. The only time I see him in person is at church, which has now become my favorite time of the week.
I try to subtly get Trent to invite him places, but Montana’s warned him, and he takes her side about Jarrett not being trustworthy and not making a good boyfriend, blah blah blah.
“You are the worst!” I yelled at them once on the way home from the mall. “It’s easy for you. You both have each other. I finally found a guy that likes me—”
“You sure about that?”
Trent’s words hit hard, and I want to hit back. How is this any of his business? Who is he to decide whether Jarret likes me or not?
I can tell he feels bad when he sees how much his words hurt me. “Just saying, Kels, he has a track record with the girls. He’s a cool guy, but I wouldn’t let him near my sister.”
“You don’t even have a sister,” I say, pouting.
“It’s a figure of speech.”
So I try with Jasmine, and I’m not disappointed.
“Go for it, girl. He’s cute. What else is there to worry about?”
Even though Jaz isn’t someone I’d normally take dating advice from, I decide to trust her on this one. She gives me some tips on how to flirt without being obvious and keep the guy guessing. She might not be able to keep a guy for long, but she knows how to get them. I, on the other hand, will be able to do both.