The first time I met Jude was back in the ninth grade.
I remember shifting uncomfortably, tugging at the bottom of my shirt, because I knew he was watching me. He was actually a new student, and when people heard a new student was joining school, everyone thought he would never get along with anyone; he would just be another misfit.
And then he lazily sauntered into class. With his tall figure, dark, messy hair, and lean physique, I was pretty sure that he had ruined everyone's initial thoughts. I didn't really pay much attention to him then. I figured he would be one of those guys. You know; the playboys every school had? Those infuriatingly charming guys who were awesome at football, and stuff? Yeah, those guys. I thought he would go straight to the 'popular' gang, and go out with those really pretty girls of ninth grade.
But, in just a week, he had astounded just about everyone.
He wasn't into sports, he was only into music. Everyone knew that because during lunch, he would sit by himself, and strum a guitar or something like that. Nobody knew if he was charming or not, because he would just keep to himself. He didn't even go out with any of the girls at school; it looked like he wasn't really into girls either. Of course, that just made everyone think he was all the more intriguing.
Then, it was that one day, when he first spoke to me. We didn't really have one of those 'hey, what's up?' kind of conversations. We had the weirdest conversation (if you would call it that) ever.
I had caught him looking at me intensely, in almost a stalker-ish way, and I had gotten all nervous when I caught him looking at me like that. Then my inner conscience had told me to stop acting stupid, and just ask the guy what the hell his problem was. For once in my life, I actually listened to it.
I walked up to Jude and flatly asked, 'What?'
He looked amused for a brief second, but quickly straightened his features. 'What?' he replied, in an almost innocent way.
I raised my eyebrow and looked at him expectantly. 'Are you some kind of stalker?'
'I'm not a stalker,' he replied, smiling, 'I'm your soul mate.'
Yes. That was exactly what he had said. I clearly remember he had said in those words. Before I had been able to reply, even though it would have been a stream of stutters, he had walked away.
Ever since then, he spoke to me every day, every single day. Whether it was next to my locker, or just when I entered class, he would somehow find a way into my morning school routine.
We clicked instantly.
It was probably because we were both as weird (yeah, I was pretty weird) as each other, or maybe because we both shared a love for music.
Whatever it was, I pretty much knew that the both of us were going to be great friends. I could just tell.
'Just give me the goddamn remote, Kate!' said Jude angrily.
I rolled my eyes at him. 'Dream on! I'm watching SpongeBob now. You can go if you want!' I said haughtily.
I knew he wouldn't go though. I've known him three years; we always had these kinds of arguments.
'AAH! I've already missed five minutes of Family Guy!' he said, in a panicky voice.
'And I would care because…?' I raised my eyebrow.
'Because I'm never going to make you dinner again,' he deadpanned.
I gasped. 'You wouldn't! What kind of friend are you?'
'The best,' he replied with a cheeky smile.
'Okay, okay,' I said giving up, 'you can watch your show; happy? But first you have to admit I rock. And I'm the best person ever. As in, ever.' I stressed on the last part.
He scoffed. 'Yeah, that's going to happen,' he responded sarcastically.
I scowled, went over to the television and switched it off manually.
'And that's what happens when you annoy me,' I declared proudly.
It was strange how we had managed to be so comfortable around each other. Sure, maybe it was because we had known each other for three years (that was probably the reason), but it a little part of me (which was mostly ignored) liked to think there was some other reason. My mind immediately went back to our first conversation.
Why had he said that? Better yet, why had he said that to me? I mean, he could have any girl eating right out of his palm, yet he chose not to spend any time with them. I mean, I've seen gazillion girls trying to flirt with him, and I knew it made me insanely jealous (though I hated admitting it), but he never responded with equal zeal. In fact, he just looked exceedingly bored.
We never really spoke about the whole soul mate thing he said though, I mean, I never brought because it would just be super awkward, and I'm not really sure why he never brought it up.
'Hello?' said Jude, snapping his fingers in front of my face, 'anybody home?'
I narrowed my eyes. 'No. Everyone's out. Come back later.'
He grinned, and removed his hand. 'You really shouldn't try acting mean, you know. You're not very good at it.'
My eyes lit up. 'Speaking of acting,' I said, 'what about that play you were telling me about?'
He turned slightly pale (for some reason), and then frowned. 'I don't know what you're talking about.'
'Sure you do,' I said, 'remember? You told me that you had written the script and stuff.'
'I didn't tell you that,' he said slowly.
'Oh,' I said, finally remembering, 'no, you didn't tell me about it. Jared did. You know; the guy from the Drama club? Yeah, he said it was a really good script.'
'Stupid Jared,' he muttered.
It was my turn to frown. 'Why? What's wrong?'
His voice immediately turned falsely light. 'No, nothing's wrong.'
'Oookay…' I paused, 'Ooh, let's do what we did last time with that other script you wrote! You know, with the grandmother and the boy? I was the grandmother and you were the boy. Come on, let's do it with this one too!' I said excitedly.
I couldn't exactly read his expression. He almost looked…nervous.
'Okay,' he said, exhaling, 'fine. We'll read the script.' He brought the script and a copy out from his bag.
I snatched the copy from his hand and said, 'Okay, we'll do Page… 3. I dunno; random number. Umm…' I looked through the characters on the first page, and then back up at him. 'Who are the characters on the third page?'
'Just the girl and the boy,' he replied, almost inaudibly.
'Okay then, I guess we know who's who,' I said, grinning. He smiled lightly and nodded.
I flipped over to the third page. It was a conversation between the girl Joanne and the boy Justin. I cleared my throat and read my part (even though it wasn't exactly mine).
Joanne: So why did you call me your soul mate? You remember, right? Three years ago?
I frowned. Huh? What the hell? He said his part before I could think any further.
Justin: Have you not figured it out yet?
Wait a second…wasn't this…? Okay, something was extremely wrong here.
Joanne: Figured what out? We're friends, you know that. But the word 'soul mate' has a very different meaning.
It was almost like our unspoken conversation – which was being spoken right now.
Justin: Maybe I didn't want to be your friend…maybe I wanted to be something more.
Okay. I think my heart just stopped beating. I looked up at Jude, and said my lines very quietly.
Joanne: What do you mean?
He responded just as quietly.
Justin: I…I love you. Sorry it took so long.
I think my mind stopped working as well. I said my lines in a hushed voice.
Joanne: You do?
I didn't even bother to look up right now.
Justin: How could you not have figured it out? Just because I didn't tell you, it doesn't mean I never showed you.
Joanne: But you never did. You never did show me. It's not like you ever tried to make a move or something.
Justin: No, I didn't make a move. But I tried to stay with you…constantly. If there was a party you were dying to go to, I would go for it, even though I didn't want to.
Okay…this was too much. I put the paper down, and looked straight at him. 'Jude...?'
His expression unfathomable, he asked, 'What?'
'Is this…?' I trailed off, unsure of how to phrase it. Jude, however, seemed to have read my mind.
'Yeah,' he said quietly. 'That's how I feel.'
My mouth dropped open. 'Are you serious?' I asked incredulously.
He scowled. 'You can just say you don't feel the same way, you know.'
'But why would I lie to you?' I asked, squealing on the inside. Very deep down. Because, really, I was trying very hard to keep a straight face and that wide smile was really fighting for its way out.
Jude's eyes widened. 'You mean…?'
And it won its way out. 'Yeah…I feel the same way.'
Jude looked very, very stunned. 'Whoa…wow. That's…wow.'
I rolled my eyes. 'Yeah, yeah, soak it all up. You supposed to kiss me now. That's the way it goes.'
He laughed. 'Impatient idiot,' he muttered before gently cupping my face in his hands and kissing me.
Now my whole body stopped functioning.
He pulled away and said, 'You know, if I knew this was what was going to happen, I would have showed the script to you a long time back.'
'Why?' I asked uncertainly. 'Why me?'
'Because,' he replied, smiling, 'you're my soul mate.'