Page 12


“I didn’t know you were on a crew team,” I say before taking a bite of the best turkey sandwich on earth.
He frowns, and I consider that he might have shared that with me already. Instead, he replies, “I need to keep you away from the photos.”
“It’s cute,” I mumble through bread and turkey, admiring a photo of Luke and his teammates. He looks oddly out of place among the Ivy-bound prepsters, but strangely at ease just the same.
“Ha-ha,” he replies sarcastically, and then smiles. “I’m not really into team sports, but crew was pretty fun. You have no idea what cold is until you’ve been dunked in the Charles River at six in the morning.”
We share a laugh and then finish our lunches before Luke gives me a guided tour of the rest of the house. It’s gorgeous, and with every new room, I search for traces of him.
Luke does his homework here. Luke watches TV there. Luke plays video games here. Luke eats dinner there.
Upstairs, there are four bedrooms bordering a U-shaped balcony that overlooks the main entryway. In one corner is the master bedroom; closest to it is the twins’ bedroom. Next is the guest bedroom.
And then, we approach Luke’s room.
My heart races a bit as I take in the dark wood and deep blue walls, which stand in stark contrast to the lightness of the rest of the house. I can see a well-worn guitar leaning against a low chair in the corner. A massive oil painting of a girl’s ear rests against the wall. It’s strange and beautiful at the same time, and I can’t help but wonder who the ear belongs to. Does Luke want to paint my ear?
The covers are thrown in a modest attempt at making the bed, and I find myself wanting to run over and smell the pillows.
Somehow, I manage not to act like a total stalker.
We’re tight on time, so I don’t get much farther than the doorway, and too soon, Luke is gently guiding me away from the only place I care to be at this second.
“We should go,” he says softly, placing his hand on my back. “I don’t want to get you into trouble.”
I reluctantly agree, but as we make our way back down the grand staircase and out to the minivan, I feel an unmistakable pull from his bedroom.
There is just so much Luke in that room. I want more of it.
We drive back to school in comfortable silence and walk inside hand in hand. Just before parting ways in the middle of the commons, Luke turns to face me.
“Want to go out on Saturday night?”
“Yes,” I say, maybe before he’s even finished his question. I grin at him and he laughs at me.
And then he moves closer.
I hold my breath, considering that Luke might kiss me right here in the middle of the commons. Just as I’m deciding whether or not I can kiss with an audience, Luke, staring intently into my eyes, raises a hand toward my face. Slowly, softly, he rubs his thumb along my jawbone. I’m hypnotized by the most perfect kind of touch. Oddly, it feels even more intimate than a kiss.
“Talk to you later,” Luke whispers, before breaking the trance and heading off in the direction of his next class.
“Bye,” I breathe after him.
I stand still, relishing the moment. Then, just before I turn to float to History, a familiar outfit catches my eye. At the other end of the vast common area, Jamie stands in front of the soda machine, staring at me.
I wave and she waves back, but there is something missing in her simple gesture. I consider going over and talking to her. But before my feet can move, Jamie turns and leaves.
“Hi! Why are you answering like that?”
“I’m just surprised that you’re calling, I guess,” I admit.
“Why?” Jamie plays dumb.
“You seemed upset today,” I say softly.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I imagine the guilty look on her face on the other end of the phone. I can hear it in her voice, and that’s enough for me. I’m moving on.
“So what’s up?”
“Not much,” she says. “Had dinner, watched some TV.”
“Me, too.”
“Did you say anything to your mom about the stuff you found?”
“What? No!” I practically shout into the phone. “I can’t talk to her about that,” I add at a lower volume.
“I hear you,” Jamie says in a way that annoys me. Jamie’s mom will never be sneaky like mine. She’ll support Jamie through everything.
“Anyway, I did it,” she says.
“Did what?” I ask.
“Ugh, your messed-up memory is so annoying sometimes,” she says with a heavy sigh. “I met Ted after school.”
And then, I remember.
I remember the relationship that will destroy a marriage, ruin a career, and break my best friend’s heart. I recall notes about trying to talk her out of it, and more notes about trying to ignore it.
I remember the future when it all plays out, and suddenly I feel sick to my stomach. Jamie is stubborn, but I should have tried harder.
“Oh, Jamie. Are you okay?”
“Okay? Are you serious? I’m better than okay. He’s amazing.”
I can’t help but wonder if this is in response to Jamie seeing me with Luke.
“Jamie, I just think you need to really consider what you’re doing. This is a big deal.” I’m trying to sound like a concerned friend and not a parent, but it’s coming out the other way around.
“I thought you’d be happy for me.”
“J, I want you to be happy. I just don’t think this is right. I’m really worried about you.”
“Well, don’t be,” Jamie snaps.
I know she’s pissed, and yet, I have to keep trying. I ignore the notes that told me never to tell Jamie about her future.
“He’s not going to leave his wife, and you’ll just end up hurt. You’ll even try to…”
“SHUT UP, LONDON!” Jamie shouts into the phone. “I told you not to tell me anything, and you wrote it down, so I know you know. Don’t even try to pretend you don’t.”
“Fine,” I say forcefully. “I won’t tell you. But you don’t have to remember the future to know that a grown man only wants one thing from a high school girl.”
“Don’t be a bitch, London.”
“I won’t, if you stop acting like a slut.”
We’re both silent, and I immediately want to suck the biting words back into my mouth. But it’s too late. My memory is right: Jamie and I won’t talk again for a while after this. Still, I try to fix the situation.
“J, I just worry about you.”
“Well, you don’t have to worry anymore. We’re done.”
10/27 (Wed.)
—Black cardigan with yellow tank underneath
—Faded Levi’s
—Math test (read chapters 5 and 6 before school)
—Downloaded a couple cool logo samples for graphic design project (in backpack)
—Finish English essay & print before Friday
Check out Dark Memory file on computer. I think it might be Dad’s funeral. Can’t deal with how unfair that is! Almost asked Mom about him today, but decided it was a bad idea (see envelope of stuff she’s hidden from me). WHY?? I want to meet him before anything happens.