Chapter 6: A flame ignites and the fire BURNS.
The days began to whirl and time was lost as Jake and I spent hours texting and talking on the phone. Two days after our kiss, it was a Sunday, and I vividly remember I was at church sneaking texts during a lesson. I looked down at the preview screen and it read " I think I'm falling in......" my heart stopped. I opened the text.... "love with you. Actually I know I'm IN LOVE with you. I've been falling since the day I met you. Now, getting to know you, kissing you. My heart is yours. Do you think you would be willing to do me the honor of being my girlfriend?"
SOOOOO much restraint not to squeal with glee and giddy... my heart was flutterings and my stomach was butterflies. But then my brain took over. I really didn't know him, we just barely started being friends... It was like the first week of September. Barely anytime had passed and I had been burned and hurt so many times before. I was dealing with the realization I was raped. I wasn't ready for this.... was I? I responded with something like "wow, that's every girl's dream to hear. I really enjoy spending time with you and like you a ton, but I'm not sure I'm ready to say I love you. As far as being your girlfriend... I think you should ask me in person at school on Monday... I promise it will be worth it." I waited anxiously for his response, worried he would be upset... " I will ABSOLUTELY ask you on Monday. Meet me first thing? I don't think I can wait til 2nd period to see you. I've been patient this far, I can be wait for you to fall for me too."
Okay.... He was perfect. Sure he was broody and dark, but my gosh, he said everything perfectly and it spoke to me on such a deep level! He is what I needed. He is what was missing from all my experiences. I'm almost embarrassed to say that by the end of the day I had fallen harder and faster than ever. I told him that night that I definitely had fallen for him and loved him too. You may be thinking- child you have no idea what love is. You are 17 years old! I can tell you with a surety, it was love. As I look back, I loved this kid. undeniably. I loved him, and he was smitten with me. I wasn't a lustful conquest. His heart was true and pure and no one had every looked at me the way he did.
Monday morning rolled around and I was anxious to see him. He met me at my English class and pulled me close. As I stared up at his eyes, they danced with excitement...
He cracked a half smile, put his forehead against mine, and said softly " Alli, will you be my girlfriend?" and he presented me with a handmade ring with a gorgeous tiger's eye stone in it. Seriously, he made me a ring over the weekend. MADE IT. By hand. I bit my bottom lip (which as you read you will realize I do often when I like a romantic situation), slipped it on my finger and said " Absolutely!" With a huge smile on both our faces we hugged tightly and a light peck at the sound of the bell. Our fingers interlocked we lingered just looking at each other as long as we could until administration called him by name and said "Hey Jake, get to class... romance can wait." Biting my bottom lip again with a huge grin, we stayed connected as long as we could just beaming at each other.
All during English I couldn't think... I just stared at the ring on my finger and doodled his name everywhere in my notebook and binder. I knew I got to see him next period in Ballroom and I couldn't wait. It was the perfect relationship... That weekend we lied to our parents saying we were going camping with our friends (not co-ed we promised), we met up and camped alone. Passion was high and we were head over heels... He was a virgin, and as we have read, I was long since. My virginity had been aggressively coerced at 14. We LOVED each other, and he wanted to share that with me. He knew I was not a newbie. Which I think made him feel he had something to prove. If you've ever had sex, you know its hard to stop having sex. Sex was meant to feel good and be exciting or we would never have populated the planet. God knew what He was doing in regards to how our bodies react to the opposite sex, which is why it's insanely important for teens NOT to have sex.
We spent the sweetest, most intimate night together. He had come prepared to be safe. As I became his first, things shifted... I never would have known I was his first if he had not told me. Our bodies blended well and effortlessly. Our bond changed to a deeper more unified one. He made me feel safe, and seen and being with him gave me a status I had never had... It wasn't one of popularity and cliques. But I was known. I would walk the halls on my way to classes and groups of guys would stop, get the groups attention and say "Hey look! That's Jake's girl. She is his girl. Damn, he's lucky...." Like, what?
Wow- I was seen. I wasn't messed with or hit on. But people knew Jake and I were together and they respected that. At least for a time. Eventually, all my "friends" started going behind my back
doing little things. A group of my gal pals hung out one night and stripped to their bra's and panties to take a selfie in a bathroom mirror together and sent it to him. When he told me and showed me, I deleted it from his phone and was obviously hurt, but I had him, and he made me feel safe and secure. Come to find out anytime they asked if he still had it and he said no, they would resend it. Teenage boy that he was- he kept it until I saw it again. Many times, particularly after I graduated and he was still in school, girls I considered my friends would invite him to hang out and try to get him to cheat. We did break up on and off when he wanted to try something new... He was always my one. He was my white knight. When I lost interest in all my favorite activities (a normal side effect of trauma), he was my constant.
When Gary stalked me, Jake rushed to my side. When Gary showed up at my Senior prom with some girl he knew before he graduated, Jake kept me grounded and safe. When I would fall asleep watching a movie with him, then start to have nightmares he would wake me and comfort me. He would stay on the phone with me until I fell asleep on hard nights. He was my person. It was always a huge GUT WRENCH when he would walk away... But he always came back. I remember two occasions I really worried we were done for good. Once while he was a Senior and once his first year of college.
The girl in high school was someone I knew, which made it hurt more. He and I were still friends and hanging out, and often because it was natural for us after being together a year and a half, we would make out or sleep together. He started having an interest in this girl "Cheryl". They weren't dating and she was more of a goody good, so he wasn't getting any action... He kept coming to me for that, and because I was madly in love with him i allowed it. In hindsight, I obviously should have made him work for it and commit to me, but I was desperate to keep him and let him have his caked and eat it too. One day we were hanging out and as we were on our way out his mom gave him a strict 9p curfew. I promised I would bring him back on time. We went to a movie and as we left the movie it was just after 8p. He had gotten some texts inviting him to hang out with Cheryl and her friends... He asked me to drop him off at her house... I could NOT believe he asked that of me. He knew I loved him and wanted to be with him... It hurt badly. But I dropped him off anyway. I called his mom to let her know if he was late for curfew it was not on me. He had made me drop him off at Cheryl's. She said to me "Hmm, that was rude. Hey we are having strawberry shortcake and I know it's your favorite... Do you wanna come over and have some?"
This was the first time his mom seemed to want me around, and I LOVED his family. He had 8 siblings and all his sisters seemed to really like me. His BABY sister was born 4 months after we started dating, so she had known me her whole life. I said "Are you sure? Without Jake? I mean he is at Cheryl's and I'm not with him anymore." She insisted and I took her up on the opportunity. I was sitting at his kitchen table eating my favorite dessert with homemade everything! It was heavenly. His kitchen table at the end can be seen straight from the front door. As I'm sitting at the table joking with his sisters, the door opens and in walks Jake with a confused look and right behind him, too close for my liking, is Cheryl . wow... this just got way awkward... "I should go...." I said standing to thank his mom... she cut me off and said "No, don't go. I invited you for dessert and Jake barely made curfew... Cheryl, you are welcome to have some too if you like but then you need to head home."
Okay- this was awesome but awkward. In her way, she was standing up for me. She was showing her son what a jerk move he had done without saying it. Jake sat her in the living room and quietly got himself and Cheryl some dessert and went to sit with her in the living room. From my seat I could see them talking and she felt so awkward... None of his sisters were excited to see her and even said to me " I don't really like Cheryl.... she tries too hard to be nice" While she as in the other room. She quickly ate her dessert and took her leave. Jake walked her out and from the Kitchen I could see him hugging her and lingering in the embrace.. I felt sick to my stomach and ready to cry. "She wont last...." his mom said quietly to me sensing my sadness. I half smiled and when Jake came back in he sat down quietly at the table, his eyes looking at me for an explanation.. I blurted out " I'm sorry that was so awkward I had no idea she would come home with you...." his mom cut me off and said "Alli called to tell me you asked her to drop you at Cheryl's house, so she was not responsible if you were late since she assured me you would make curfew. I invited her over for dessert and she accepted. " I sat quietly and finished my dessert. He joked with his family and was kind to me but I could tell he wasn't too happy. He walked me to my car when I was done and was quiet. I apologized again for how weird it was, but that it was also really uncomfortable for me to have to drop him at Cheryl's when he knew how I felt about him still. That is hurt and was cruel. I asked him not to make me do that again. If he was going to hang out with her to let me drop him at home first, then she could pick him up. He agreed to my request and apologized for his behavior. I went home and a week or two later he said she was clingy and acted like they were boyfriend and girlfriend even though they weren't. Shortly after he started pulling away from Cheryl, her friends called me often and said nasty things to me about how "he really loved Cheryl and [I] was just his whore." Real classy gals. But in the end they parted ways and he came back to me.
Until College... This opened up a whole new bag of worms... he got almost serious about one girl. Met her family and everything. They drank together one night and ended up having sex... She was now the second person he had ever slept with and things almost got serious... He held her the way he used to hold me. She was taking him from me and I had no idea how quickly... but then he changed his mind for unknown reasons and came back to me... Our lives were entwined and were about to be forever. But now I'm jumping ahead to next week's chapter.
I guess what we can take from this is, persistence pays off? I really wanted him and I hung in there. Through a lot of hardship. He was my white knight and I didn't know how to be without him. I definitely pushed a lot of friends away with my persistence... It wasn't the healthiest way to do it, and I don't recommend someone follow in my footsteps, but if you want something- be persistent! Keep going for it, don't give up! Why? Because, mama, YOU are worth it! Together we can rise and achieve our dreams! Until Next week!