The first time I fell in love, I was in my early teens. His name was Finn Campbell. I was twelve and Finn was sixteen at the time. He was my older brother’s best friend. I know, cliché, right?
My heart shattered into a thousand pieces the first time I saw him kiss a girl. I could still remember that day like it was yesterday.
One day, having finished doing my homework after school, I decided to grab a little snack before dinner. That was when I saw them.
Finn was sitting on the couch with a girl—who was kissing him. I ran back upstairs as fast as I could, my hunger completely forgotten.
Flinging myself across the foot of my bed, I cried my heart out. My brother must have seen me come upstairs because it didn’t take him long to come into my room.
“Jamie, I know it will be hard for you to hear this, but you should forget about him,” he said. “He’ll never see you that way.”
“I know this already, Will, but I can’t help the way I feel about him,” I replied.
Will sat down on the bed next to me, and I moved to hug him, crying even harder. Even though we were four years apart, he had always been there for me, and I was grateful to have a wonderful brother like him.
“Hey, Will, you in here?” Finn suddenly knocked on my door.
He didn’t wait for my brother to answer and decided to come in. I stiffened in Will’s arms. It was the first time Finn had been in my room.
What would he think of me now?
My room had pink walls, and I had soft toys on my bed.
He’ll only see me as a child now, I thought. ~No! No! No! I’ll tell Mom I need to make some changes in here.~
“What the fuck, man? You don‘t barge into my sister’s room like that!” Will exclaimed.
“Sorry, man, I didn’t do it on purpose,” Finn replied. “I wanted you to know Kristen’s here. Jem, are you okay?” He turned his gaze on me, apparently realizing that I was crying in my brother’s arms.
He had always called me Jem instead of Jamie, and I still didn’t know why.
I quickly wiped away my tears, while Will got to his feet and made his way to the door. I followed him and, mustering all my courage, came to a halt in front of Finn.
“Don’t worry about me. Nothing I can’t handle,” I answered his question.
He placed his hands on my shoulders. “That’s my Jem. Nothing can stop her.” He then leaned over and pressed a kiss on the top of my head.
Did he say his Jem? Oh my god. Oh my god! My heart stopped beating at his gesture. I couldn’t even move. I was just too amazed.
“Finn, leave her alone already,” said Will. “Come on, man. Our girls are waiting for us.”
What had just happened? Was this real, or was it all a dream?
I crossed my room to the window and looked out. Finn was holding the hand of the girl I had seen him with earlier, helping her get in his truck.
For a moment, I dreamed that I was in her shoes and that it was my hand he was holding.
“Jamie, I know it will be hard for you to hear this, but you should forget about him. He’ll never see you that way.” My brother’s voice kept echoing in my mind as I watched them.
Then all my thoughts disappeared as I saw the girl in question turn and look directly at me. I quickly closed the curtains and stepped away from the window, praying that she wouldn’t tell on me.
I stepped out of my room and ran down the stairs, looking for my parents.
“Mom, Dad, where are you guys?”
“In the living room, honey,” I heard my father answer me.
“Um, guys, I’ve made a decision,” I said as soon as I walked in. “It’s time for me to grow up. I want to rearrange my room. It’s time to take me more seriously.
“I’m even ready to work around the house to pay for everything. Please, please, please. I need it so badly.”
“Hold on, honey, not so fast. Why the change of mind all of a sudden?” Dad asked.
“I’m growing up, and I want an older room for me.”
“Tell you what, your father and I will talk about it and let you know our answer,” Mom said. “Now go set the table. We’re going to eat soon.”
I was about to say more, but Dad stopped me. “It’s not a no, but your mother and I will make this decision together. Now go and do what she asked you to.”
Was I crazy to love someone who I knew would never feel the same for me? Wouldn’t life be easier if we could find someone to share it with?
Stop thinking about this, Jamie. It will give you a headache.
“Hey, Mrs. Harrison, do you mind if I eat here tonight?” I heard Finn address my mom.
Wait, is this a dream?
“Of course, you are always welcome here. But didn’t you guys just go out? And where is Will? Is he with you?” Mom asked.
Nope, not a dream.
Okay, breathe nice and easy. You can handle this.
“Something came up for me and Nathalie. Will is still on his date with Kristen,” Finn answered my mother’s question, taking a seat next to me.
Wait, is he sitting next to me? Okay, okay, don’t panic. Now is not the time to make a fool of yourself. Try to be as normal as possible.
Yeah, easier said than done!
After dinner, I helped Mom wash the dishes before settling down in the living room to watch a movie.
“So, what are we watching tonight?” Finn asked, sitting down next to me again.
“Um, I was catching up on the last season of Supergirl,” I managed to tell him.
“So no romantic movie for you?”
“Nope, not tonight.”
Was he really going to sit beside me until my brother got back? Did wishes really come true?
Then I heard his cell phone ring. “Hey, baby,” he answered.
“No, nothing important,” he said after a pause. “Why?”
There was another pause as he listened to the reply from the other end. “Your parents are gone for the night. Yeah, I’ll be there. See you in a bit, baby.” He ended the call.
I may be only twelve years old, but I knew what he meant by that. My heart broke once again.
“Shit. Sorry, Jem, I didn‘t mean for you to hear this. Rain check for the movie?”
“Um, okay, see ya later then.” I was proud of myself for having replied in a complete sentence despite the situation.
I was surprised when he kissed me on my cheek before leaving.
Now I had mixed feelings, and I didn’t know how to handle them.
First of all, he was going to spend the night with her, and I knew exactly what they were thinking of doing, and second, he had just left a kiss on my cheek, making my heart skip a beat.
I knew I needed to forget about him, but my heart didn’t seem to get the memo.
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