The Hardest Thing: Gillian (Gilly) has made a lot of mistakes in her life. She has learned to accept the consequences of the mistakes and tells herself not to go wrong again. But when her biggest mistake leads to the biggest decision of her life, she's not sure which path to choose. She knows what she should do but it's so hard to let go. How can you love someone that you just met so much? And how are you supposed to give them up?

Chapter One

"There's a new girl in school," Scott Gaston informed nonchalantly, reaching into his bag to pull out his large bag of popcorn, popping a handful into his mouth.

"Watch it, don't choke." Jesse Davison slapped the back of Scott's back as in fact he did appear as if he were choking, hitting his chest to get the gases of popcorn out from his throat.

"OK, OK I'm fine." Scott waved his friend's hand away, continuing with his original statement. "I haven't seen her yet but people say she's really weird."

"What? The new girl?" Jesse asked, clarifying, sticking his own hand in the bag of popcorn and stuffing them in his mouth, one at a time.

"What is the whole thing with the new girl? I think it's incredibly rude to call someone a 'new' girl or the 'new' guy. They are people, you know." Megan Pierson, the third in the trio of best friends, who sometimes got tired of hanging out with two boys all the time but couldn't find anyone at Roosevelt High more interesting, interrupted ruefully, feeling instant sympathy for the 'new' girl.

"You would think that, wouldn't you?" Jesse stared at her, asking blandly. He knew how she tended to disagree what whatever they said, being the only girl and by insinuations, smarter and more mature.

"Shut up," Megan growled, punching him in the arm.

"Says the girl," Jesse joked, receiving another punch.

"I'm just saying that I think it's impolite to refer to the poor girl as the new girl. It's like saying she's a brand new piece of merchandise. No one even knows her yet. I bet you haven't even spoken to her yet." She accused Scott sticking a finger in his face.

Scott grabbed her hand putting it back down to her side. "You're reading too much into this, Meg. But FYI, I haven't."

"Exactly." Megan smiled, seeming content to get her point across.

"Well what do you prefer I call her-the old girl?" Scott laughed at his own joke.

"You are so immature." Megan rolled her eyes.

Scott slung his arm around her shoulders. "And you love me for it don't you honey?"

Megan lifted his arm from her and placed it back to his side. "First of all, don't touch me. There should be a steady amount of distance that should be maintained at all times between us. Secondly, don't call me honey, honey."

"Come on you don't mind." Scott grinned.

"Jesse!" Megan shouted backing away from Scott's open arms. Jesse had to laugh at his friends' flirting. It was obvious that Scott liked Megan ever since he first saw her step out of her parents' car on the first day of junior year. He made it evident, too but Megan, being a little bit on the denser side when it came to romances, didn't notice. Deep inside, something told Jesse that she liked him too. "You two act so much like a couple, it's hilarious."

"Never say that again." Megan warned, seriousness creeping into her face.

Jesse shrugged, not threatened by her warning. He figured it was time to switch subjects and immediately transferred to the topic of the next Holiday coming up, in which they got a four day weekend, a pure vacation from school. "What are you guys doing for Thanksgiving?"

"Big dinner, as usual. My folks are thinking of going to visit my grandparents in Ohio." Scott grimaced, thinking about the big dinner that was going to happen there. "You will not believe the food my grandmother makes. She tries these totally bizarre recipes. My dad stuffed half of his turkey into the plant last year. Of course, that doesn't account for the things that happened afterwards."

"OK thank you too much info." Megan raised her hand as a signal to stop. "My sister's coming back from college but we'll probably go to Pennsylvania for our annual Thanksgiving dinner with the crazy side of my dad's family. What about you?" she directed her question at Jesse who was the only one who hadn't spoken his traditions yet.

"Nothing much. We usually stay here but my mom invites our next door neighbor, Mrs. Reynolds over. She's a psychiatrist in downtown New York and is so far unmarried and lives alone." Jesse was all right with the fact that his family didn't take Thanksgiving over the top, as other families did. A simple dinner was fine with him. Besides his mother could make any meal taste good with her spectacular skill at cooking. "So you want to hit the mall or something? Cause for some reason we'll all still hanging out on school grounds even though we've been dismissed an hour ago."

"Can't. I got a job at the animal shelter." Megan loved animals, she said it often. She wasn't allowed to have any pets of her own so she resolved to a job that was in that area. Veterinary was her main goal and dream.

"Oh yeah we better get going. I got to stop by the Laundromat and pick up something for my mother." Scott sat up, gathering his stuff with one hand.

"He's driving me," Megan explained.

"Can't let the poor lady walk alone." Scott kidded, nodding to get his curly brown hair that swept down onto his forehead out of his face.

"Third, don't call me lady." Megan ordered her head in her backpack, searching for a misplaced item. "Oh great. I forgot my ID in my locker. I'll be back in five." She started up the concrete stairs hastily.

"Doesn't mean I'm going to wait for you." Scott called to her retreating back. When she stopped, not turning around, Scott added, "Hurry up." He shifted his gaze to Jesse. "What about you? No plans with the Ms. Portman?"

Jesse winced at the mention of his on and off girlfriend, Hallie Portman, head cheerleader and upcoming Homecoming Queen. He spent more of his time fighting with her than anything else but they were still known as the school's golden couple. "Things aren't going that well for us right now."

"What about this time?" Scott knew about the fights and rows with Hallie that seemed to be Jesse's main concern all the time.

"Some dinner with her parents. She thinks that 'it's crucial for the future of our relationship'," Jesse mimicked in Hallie's perky and high tempo voice.

"Wow meeting the parents. Now that's a huge jump to the next level." Scott hopped to emphasize his words.

"I'm not sure I want to go to the next level. I mean the levels we're on are harder enough as it is. I don't think we agree on anything."

"Dump her," Scott said simply.

"Easy for you to say. You don't know her like I do." One of the reasons that Jesse stayed with Hallie, which he had not told anyone else, was the secret, he had learned about her when they first started dating. She wasn't as carefree and happy, as she appeared to be. Underneath her totally pretty and snobby image, there was a pretty insecure girl who dealt with more than just the average ups and downs of a teenage girl's life. Hallie's mother had died the past summer, leaving her father to raise her and her four brothers and sisters alone. Times were hard for her family as Hallie tried to act as a sister and mother while her father worked full-time at a power plant. Money was tight and Jesse knew the only reason Hallie acted the way she did at school and to others was because her status at school was the only constant thing in her life, the only time she got to be a kid. Not many people knew the truth at Hallie, only saw her for the snob she pretended to be on the outside.

"And that's a good thing, trust me." Scott was clueless to the whole Hallie situation and didn't see one reason Jesse should stay with her, other than she was one of the prettiest girls in school and most popular. "But I guess if you really love her, then."

Jesse didn't want to admit that he had never told Hallie that he loved her. Sometimes he wasn't even sure if he did. They had only been going out three and a half months.

"Hey, there's our little animal helper," Scott teased, seeing Megan race out of the school and down the stairs.

"Funny. Come on, I don't want to be late." Megan took hold of his elbow and pointed him in the direction of the parking lot. "Bye Jesse. Happy Thanksgiving."

"You too. See you later man." Jesse told Scott who looked after Megan. "Go get her."

"Never happening." Scott turned back to him, slapping his hand. "Have a nice Thanksgiving." His voice lowered as he stepped closer. "That's her."

"Who?" Jesse asked, louder than Scott had.

"I'll see you later!" Scott shouted, running after Megan.

"Yeah, bye." Jesse said faintly, unsure of whom Scott had been talking about. He guessed he should be getting home but without any homework or assignments to do, he really didn't see the point in it. Sighing, he glanced around. Most of the students had long ago fled the school. He had been pretty sure that the three of them were the last ones but his vision proved him wrong.

On the front steps of Roosevelt High sat a girl, alone and forlorn. She was wearing extremely baggy clothing which seemed way too big for her small, petite body and had straight reddish-brown hair that hung over the tips of her shoulders. Her head was down, her gaze right on the ground she was sitting on. The wind blew her hair, letting it fly softly with the breeze. Autumn leaves lay in piles on the ground next to her; she caught a vivid, vibrant one hanging aloof from the others in the wind.

Jesse watched her; sure that she could feel his stare. If she did, she didn't let on as she stayed the way she was, waiting for what was most likely a ride home. Fighting off battles in his head, he decided to go over to her. He had no one else to converse with although she didn't seem like the talkative type.

He walked right up to her, stopping in front of her. It took her a full minute to notice his appearance and presence; he could tell when she did because she took the opportunity to look the other way, to the side of the building before he could say a word. "Um, hi."

She didn't answer, pretending she hadn't heard. Jesse felt she wanted to be left alone but he gave it one more try.

"So, I'm um, Jesse." Jesse was amazed that he was actually stammering as if somehow she made him nervous and ill at ease just by not saying anything.

She finally looked up, her intense gray eyes penetrating through him, startling him in a way that hadn't been done before. Glancing away first, she let the light yet cool wind blow her hair from its place on her shoulders before speaking. Her voice was hardly audible as she said, "Gillian."

Jesse couldn't hear her well as an ambulance sped past them, its light spinning in circles and its shriek scaring and interrupting his thoughts. The echo of its scream continued as it drove down the street, finally disappearing when it turned off the corner. "Hi. Nice to meet you."

Gillian gave a curt nod, the kind that you usually gave to someone you weren't happy about meeting and rather not say aloud, nodding to say you understood what they were saying but didn't feel the same way.

"Do you need a ride?" Jesse didn't know what in his head made him offer and was surprised when the words came out. "Cause you look like you're waiting for someone."

"No, it's okay." Gillian's eyes averted to him once more, meeting his at the same level. "But thanks for asking."

"Oh sure" Jesse knew she didn't' look familiar and knew now that she was the "new" girl he had been discussing with Scott only moments before. She was the 'her' Scott had been talking about before making his departure. "Are-are you waiting for someone?"

"My aunt." Gillian looked away from him, her eyes searching for something behind him.

Jesse saw a dark black Civic drive up to the curb, stopping before them.

Gillian stood and Jesse was almost shocked to see that she was just about the same height as him, give or take a few inches. Her clothing didn't depict anything about her; dim colors of clothing that hung over her body was loose and big. "I'll see you later?" she left before he could reply.

Jesse didn't watch her leave. He stayed exactly the way he was a few seconds after he was sure the car had left and turned the corner before daring to move. He could smell the sweet floral fragrance left behind by her, confusing him as to why he noticed.

~So what do you think so far? This is one my favorite stories that I've ever wrote so hope you like it too.