Friday, December 15th, 2006. It was finally here, and I was nervous as hell.
Anxiously, I waited for English to be over and fidgeted in my seat to be able to shoot through the door and to the car.
Finally, my savior known as the bell rang. I jumped up from my seat and was about to run out of the room when I dropped my top folder. Annoyed, I quickly bent down to pick it up, only to find the papers in it scattered all over the floor.
"Jamie, relax," I found Kyle bending down next to me to help me pick up my stuff.
I smiled at him; over the past two weeks, he had slowly started to get over his grudge with me, though he wasn't completely happy with the whole situation. On the other hand, he had promised Jordan that he would come with me to U-Penn on the following day to see Corey, so it was nice to know that he'd be there looking out for me. Sure, I trusted Corey, but I had never been to a college party before and I couldn't help but want a friend with me.
Finally, the two of us got all of my papers together, and I securely held my stuff to my chest.
"Well, I'm going to run; need to get home to find out!" I exclaimed.
Kyle laughed. "Well, call me Jamie, and let me know…and good luck!"
I gave him my thanks and hurried to my locker before I sprinted to the car and started the drive home. Jordan, who had practice, would catch a ride with one of his friends later on.
The second that I pulled into my driveway, I let a little scream out inside of the car, before I rushed down the driveway to the mailbox.
And lo and behold, inside was an envelope stamped by the University of Pennsylvania.
Dropping my book bag to the ground, I haphazardly tore open the letter and started to read the inside contents.
Dear Ms. Arlington,
Thank you for applying to the University of Pennsylvania as an Early Decision candidate. After a review of your academic credentials submitted to date, the Admissions committee is not able to make a decision of your file at this time. As a result, your application has been deferred to our Regular Decision application pool…
I hadn't been accepted. I had not been accepted to U-Penn. I let the letter flutter from my fingertips as my eyes started to well up with tears. Although I hadn't cried in the longest time, I deemed this situation as a reasonable exception and at the same time was happy that no one was around me.
I finally let the silent stream of tears cover my face as I stood there on my driveway with no one else around. My parents were at work, Jordan was at practice, and my sister was doing who knows what with her boyfriend, so I was completely alone.
Moments passed before my cell phone rang, and I shakily answered it.
"Hello?" I asked through my sobs.
"Jamie, you okay?" Kyle responded.
"I-I didn't get in…" I replied, trying to hide the quiver in my voice as I suddenly became embarrassed.
"Aw, Jamie…" Kyle trailed off. "I'd offer to come over, but my mom's home and told me I couldn't go out."
"Thanks Kyle," I whispered. "I'm going to go take a nap."
"Take care, Jamie," he replied. "I'll see you tomorrow morning."
Oh right. I had to go to U-Penn tomorrow...the school that hadn't accepted me.
After getting fourteen hours of sleep, I woke up to get ready for my long drive. Feeling slightly better, realizing there was still a chance to get in, I decided to be cheerful. Why ruin visiting Corey just because the school I had longed to go to didn't necessarily think I was a good candidate?
I bade a farewell to my mom (everyone else was still asleep), and grabbed my bag filled with clothes for the weekend and homework, before I went to the kitchen to wait for Kyle. He would be picking me up and spending the weekend with me at Corey's dorm room. I wasn't sure how we would fit, but Corey said that worst come to worst, his older sister Gretchen lived in an apartment nearby, so there'd be room there if needed.
Finally, I heard Kyle's car honking from my driveway, and I left the house, locking the door behind me. I smiled when I saw him, and he smiled back—any tension that had previously been between us had been broken when Kyle showed concern for me yesterday, and as far as I was concerned, that only added to my day.
"How are you holding up?" Kyle asked once I entered the car.
"Pretty well, actually," I replied, my smile not leaving my face. "I mean, I thought about it, and at least I wasn't rejected, right?"
"What!" Kyle exclaimed. "You were deferred?"
"Why didn't you tell me? That's great! Well, obviously it's not as great as getting accepted but at least you weren't rejected, right?" Kyle urged.
I nodded again. "Yeah, I realized that it wasn't that bad…" We both knew, however, that despite the fact that there was still opportunity for acceptance, I probably would never get over the initial rejection.
The rest of the moderately long ride was spent with us talking about various things, just goofing off, or arguing over the radio.
"BECAUSE OF YOU I NEVER STRAYEDDD TOO FAR FROM THE SIDEWALKKK-----"
"I'M ON THE HIGHWAY TO HELL…"
"BABY, LOOK AT US!"
"Stop changing the radio!" I yelled at him while smiling.
"It's my car!" he retorted.
Kyle rolled his eyes, and not moments later I changed the station to the Fray's How to Save a Life.
We finally arrived in Philadelphia around time for lunch, and soon we were driving onto the beautiful campus of the University of Pennsylvania.
"You know," I told Kyle after we finally found a place to park and started wandering in the direction of what we thought were the dorms. "It used to be called the College of Philadelphia, and was the first non-sectarian school in the colonies by Ben Franklin. It also was the first medical college, and after 1765, it really was what promoted the respect of the profession of doctors. Before that, really only the clergy was respected, but at the turn of the century, professions in law and medicine started to become looked at in a whole new light. While it may not have always had the most, er, effective methods for treating patients, the medical field couldn't have prospered without the College of Philadelphia."
"What are you, a textbook?" Kyle joked. "You better get accepted come regular decision, Jamie, this school deserves you."
I brightened at his compliment, but continued to explain to him the history of the prestigious school.
After we finally found Corey's dorm room, I knocked on the door and almost immediately it was opened. However, it wasn't Corey that opened it, but a gorgeous tanned guy with black hair and deep brown eyes. I assumed it was Corey's roommate, Lorenzo.
"So you're Jamie?" he asked, his eyes quickly glancing over my body.
"Yeah, she is," Kyle answered coldly.
Lorenzo smirked at him and led us inside.
"Why don't you just drop your stuff on Corey's bed for now," he said, gesturing to the bed on the right side of the room. "And when he comes back, we can all go to get lunch. You guys didn't eat, right?"
I shook my head and he smiled at me. I returned the favor.
"Where is Corey?" Kyle asked.
"Oh, he's just picking up his laptop from a guy down the hall," he explained. "It crashed the other day and wouldn't start up so somebody offered to fix it."
At that moment, the door opened, and in came Corey.
"Hey," I said.
"Hey yourself," he said, placing his laptop on his desk before coming over and giving me a short kiss. Then he turned to Kyle, who was pointedly not looking at us. "Hey man, how's it going?"
They engaged in some small talk, and I turned to Lorenzo.
"So, psyched for the party tonight?" he asked me.
"Yeah, it sounds like it'll be fun," I lied. The truth was that I wasn't too keen on going to a frat party—all there would be would be a lot of drinking, and that was something that I didn't do.
"You guys ready for some lunch?" Corey asked.
I nodded and soon enough we were all going to a place on campus to eat.
Hours later I was at the frat house for the party, donned in a snug-fitting sweater and some tight jeans. While many of the other girls were dressed in skirts and the like, I opted to go a more conservative route because it would be cold.
However, my choice didn't stop Nicole, who had helped pick out my outfit when I was packing, from choosing a shirt that revealed a bit of cleavage.
My hair was brushed down and straight, so no complaints there. Apparently, Corey had none either; when I had finished getting ready, he looked me over and says I was hot even without a slut's outfit.
As I wandered around the house through a sea of bodies, I felt Corey (who had left to go greet some of his friends) come over to me from behind and cover my eyes. I laughed at his childhood gesture, before he smiled and led me to the kitchen.
Once there, he grabbed two cans of beer and offered me one.
Instantly, I was reminded of that painful day of my huge fight with Dan.
The ninth grade Dan grabbed two cans of beer and offered me one.
"Dan, I don't know…" I started unsurely, looking at my boyfriend of two weeks. After we had been friends for a while, we both admitted that there were some more than platonic feelings that had existed between the two of us, and he finally asked me out. "I don't drink."
"I know you don't, Jamie," he said, his voice revealing his annoyance. He looked over my shoulder and I followed his gaze towards a pretty blonde who I knew was a junior. She smiled from her position against the wall and met Dan's gaze, almost seductively if that were possible. "I was just offering you one since I'm taking one."
"But Dan, you don't drink either," I protested.
"Jamie, we're in high school now. Of course I drink," he snapped.
Surprised at his snapping remarks at me, I looked at his eyes which were slightly glossed over, and I realized he already had had something to drink. Now I knew where he was when he had left me with Chelsea.
I frowned at this. I hadn't even wanted to come to this party in the first place—why would any freshman want to come to a party hosted by a senior? But apparently that logic didn't stand, because other than Dan, Chelsea, and I, Valerie and Josh were there, too, as were my brother and his friends, Lance, Tristan, and Vaughn.
"Well sorry," I replied sarcastically, before I turned away from him and started towards the crowded kitchen.
Behind me, I heard Dan groan. "Come on Jamie, don't be like that."
"Whatever, Dan…come get me when Phil gets here," I told him, referring to our designated driver, who was Dan's friends from some sports team that was going to drive us home, promising not to get drunk tonight.
"Jamie! God, I don't understand the problem," he argued.
"Dan, what happened to you?" I asked, whirling around. I let my anger get the best of me, and I knew I'd regret it later.
"What happened to me? I think the real question is what happened to you! You're being such a frigid bitch and all because I offered you a drink!" he said.
While I knew that this was really the alcohol talking for Dan, it still hurt for my boyfriend, who before that was my best friend, say those things about me. "Fine, if that's what you want, I'll drink the fucking beer."
Angrily, I grabbed a beer and drank it, letting the taste of the alcohol burn my throat for the first time ever.
Then, I stormed out of the kitchen, leaving Dan behind, and after a little while found Chelsea grinding with some guy.
"Chelsea, who's the cutie you're with?" I asked, the effects of the alcohol kicking in after just one drink because of my low tolerance level.
But Chelsea, who also had been drinking, didn't notice that anything was amiss. "His name's Ryan," she whispered loudly. "I like him."
Ryan, who was able to hear her, threw his head back and laughed. "Let's get back to dancing, babe."
Upset that I had no one to talk to, and suddenly feeling fatigued, I went upstairs in search of an open room to lie down in. Thoughts of the argument with Dan were still fresh in my mind and I wondered where he was at that moment.
However, when I opened the door to the closest bedroom, the sight that I was met with made me want to puke. In fact, I could feel some of the contents of my stomach literally coming up.
"Are you kidding me?" I asked in a low voice, just audible for the occupants of the room to hear me.
Before me, Dan and the blonde from the kitchen were passionately making out on the bed, and both of their shirts were discarded. I could see where this was going…
And if I wasn't mistaken, I heard Dan groan. That's right; it seemed as though he was upset that his girlfriend was there.
"You want me to shut the door?" I heard the blonde ask him.
"No, I'll take care of it," he said, as he rolled off the bed and walked towards me. I noticed that he wasn't walking in a straight line; he was really trashed…
"Jamie, what are you doing here?" he asked me.
By now, tears had started to fall on my face. "Dan, I'm your girlfriend. I can't believe you would do this to me."
"You're not my girlfriend, Jamie," he said looking firmly at me.
"W-what?" I stuttered out.
"I said, we were never official or anything," he said matter-of-factly. "You understand, right?"
My vision clouded with all my tears, I quickly turned and left the room.
I didn't really remember what else happened that night, possibly because of the alcohol, but all I remember was the following days when Jordan and Chelsea asked me what had happened, I simply told them that Dan had said we weren't together. I left out the part where he was cheating on me—he nearly slept with the girl, while he had refused to kiss me in the two weeks that we had gone out.
"Why don't you try talking to him?" Chelsea urged, after seeing my broken state last me to the end of the week.
I shook my head. "No way."
"Just try talking to him!" Chelsea ordered. "You guys used to be best friends before you started 'dating'. You can't just end it because he was being an asshole that night."
Reluctantly I had taken Chelsea's advice, and tried talking to him. But the worst part? Dan ignored me. I tried for weeks to talk to him, to find out what the hell was going through his mind, yet he refused to tell me.
For those few weeks, I practically lived on the school bleachers, where I could often find myself crying.
That was definitely the worst experience of the beginning of freshman year, and perhaps all of high school—probably because I never again gave guys the chance to walk all over my heart again.
In retrospect, it was probably the fight with Dan that turned me into a man-hater, and into a bitch towards those who I wasn't friends with.
"Jamie?" Corey repeated, waving the beer in front of my face to get my attention.
"Sorry, I spaced out," I said, blushing. "Um, no thanks."
"No?" Corey asked, looking at me, dumbfounded. "…suit yourself, then."
A/N: A shorter chapter this time, but you got the gist of the fight. Again, I didn't proofread because I ran out of time. Thanks to all who reviewed!
mia5081: Thanks! Here's the update.
Singers To The Back: Haha, I know right? Her friends should all just stop ragging on Corey.
madeyes61: You'll find out soon enough, haha. Thanks!
SummerBaby94: Haha, well Kyle is kind of overprotective of Jamie, just like her brother. But there may be some underlying reasons.
yonderwindow: I don't think so, lol. I don't do incest.
Shishou: Lol yeah that was pretty much the theme of that chapter…:-)
crazystar0: Thank you!
Again, thanks to everyone! Please continue to review! (Do I sound like a broken record or what?)
BY THE WAY, I always forget to add this disclaimer: I don't own the Fray, or any other songs in this chapter, or any other things throughout the story that are already copyrighted and what not. Yeah, I think that should cover it! Haha.