Disclaimer: I own nothing you recognise and maybe something's you don't.
Copyright is not cool. I've worked hard on this story, and if I find it on another site with the names changed, I'll get mad.
Jason clutched the phone to his ear, mouth set in a grimace as he paced the living room floor repeatedly. It was happening again. Sherry didn't get Jason's humour like I did. Whatever he said was an offence to her. Right now, Jason had made a joke about their relationship and now she was having a rant, like usual. I sat, chin propped in my hands, as I looked at his feet moving over the carpet. He was wearing the black trainers I bought for him after his were left in tatters at a party. Don't ask. I still don't know how it happened. The fact that he was still fond of the shoes bought a smile to my lips and I couldn't help but glance up at him. It was Friday, our usual day to get together for a movie. It was my turn to choose a film but, seeing as I couldn't find one, we had decided to go to the Cinema instead. Alone.
He met my gaze and rolled his eyes, amused. I could hear snatches of Sherry's speech. She was being self centred and stupid. As usual. To Sherry, no one mattered. Only herself. She was only happy with Jason if, by chance, he said or did something she approved of. Usually, this happened only when he bought her great amounts of expensive gifts.
Jason sighed, long and hard. "I know, baby, I know. I'm sorry, okay? I won't say anything like that again." He amended, running a hand brusquely through his thick, dark hair. I stood up and tapped my watch, telling him we were going to be late.
Jason nodded. "Look, honey, I have to go now, okay? I'll call you tonight." Before she had a chance to object, Jason hung up and smiled at me.
"Sorry you had to witness that, Nikki." He said, eyes filled with worry.
I brushed the comment away with a wave of my hand. "It's not like it was a first time." I joked, zipping up my jacket.
"I guess you're right." He said, grabbing his keys from the coffee table and stuffing a wad of notes in his jeans pocket. I don't know why he was with her. She only made him unhappy, bringing him down every time he tried to do something different. He used to have such a nice smile, something I saw less and less as the days passed. To be honest, Jason looked like he was asleep most of the time. Sherry did that to people - drained their energy. If he put up with her, it was only for old times' sake. Whatever Sherry meant to him, he would never dare confess his dreams to her. I was the only one who knew his secret obsessions and, for now, I liked to keep it that way.
Jason had bought his apartment when he was eighteen, with the hereditary money his grandfather had left in his possession. It hadn't been a huge amount, but it had been enough to buy a small one bedroom flat and furniture for it. To him, that was all he needed.
I slipped my arm through his and tilted my head up to look at him. He was staring at the ground beneath our feet, chewing on his lip nervously. I resisted the urge to tug it away from his gnawing teeth, but stopped myself.
Jason had signs to show his mood. He might not even realise he was doing it. Hand through his hair meant he was getting annoyed, or was annoyed already. Staring at something over your head meant he was bored and not really paying attention. Drumming his fingers on his thigh meant he was impatient. And chewing on his lip meant he was nervous and worried. It didn't take a genius to figure that he was worried about Sherry and hanging up on her like that. Later on tonight, when he called her just before they went to bed, he would curl up on the bed and wait for her to finish picking on whatever flaw he had.
Jason wasn't perfect, that was for sure. He had many flaws. Like leaving his room in a mess and not bothering to clean it up until I forced him to. Or leaving his dirty clothes all over the floor. Or leaving the toothpaste tube uncapped. Or not bothering with dishes until it was absolutely necessary. Or falling asleep and leaving all the lights on. But it was what made Jason whole. Nothing of this could be changed. That's why, in my opinion, he needed a strong person beside him who would handle said flaws and not pick on him for it.
I sighed, knowing that it would never happen. Friendship bound our feelings together, but that was all it was. Friendship. And sometimes, I wondered if it was enough.
Jason nudged me in the hip and grinned. "Penny for your thoughts?"
I blushed, realizing he had been looking at me. I didn't bother lying about what was on my mind. What was the point? He would have known I was lying. "I was just thinking about the argument you were having with Sherry."
I didn't look at him as I said this, fearing his expression. And his answer.
He was silent but when his answer came, it was nonchalant, as if he didn't really know what I was talking about. "She's sensitive, that's all. Maybe I should keep my crap jokes to myself once in a while, huh?"
No, I wanted to say, don't. I like your crappy jokes. Thankfully, I managed to keep my mouth shut. Now wasn't the time for an argument.
Sometimes, I wish I wasn't such a coward and I could just tell him exactly how I felt. But then again, why would I want to ruin such a great friendship? It was great. And fun. And what I always wanted.
But it wasn't enough. I always yearned for his hug to mean something more than, "I love you as a friend". I always yearned for his touches to mean something more to him than they meant to me.
We were in Year Ten when he met Sherry. We were both fifteen, and naïve. I had been Jason's friend for 12 years or so. We were out on a Saturday night, looking for a place that wasn't too crowded for us to eat pizza and drink coke. The place we stopped at was not too crowded but not empty, either. We stepped in and Jason headed for the counter, knowing what he should order for me.
I sat at a table and waited for him to return. We had been coming back from a school football match where Jason's cousin, Fred, played. The plan had been that Fred would have come to dine with us after the match, but a lovers' tiff with his girlfriend had set him off scuttling after her and our plans were drained. So it was only me and Jason.
When he did return, he wasn't alone.
To say I had liked Sherry in the past would have been an utter and total lie. She was everything I hated - superficial, fake and loud. She was the type who wore her school uniform too tight just to show the guys what she had. The type of girl who could get away with murder if she ever had the chance. The type who made me grit my teeth together and wait patiently for her loud, pathetic voice to quieten down.
To be honest, I had known for a while that Sherry had a 'thing' for Jason. She would look at him and lick her lips, waiting for him to make the first move. So when I first realised he didn't return her 'affections', I was over the moon.
Of course, it didn't last. Hormones kicked in.
So when he returned to the table that Saturday evening with not two but three scalding pizza's on the tray, I knew that whatever 'thing' that could have bloomed between us now could not. Sherry flirted outrageously with Jason ignoring me as if I was just a lone shadow occupying a seat. Even when Jason introduced me to her, she kept her distance, eyes wary, as if I was a dog with rabies that bit.
I ate my pizza in silence, and it felt like rubber. By the time it was nine o'clock, Sherry and Jason were sitting too close together to be comfortable, his arm draped over her shoulders and her hand resting on his chest.
Their food was left untouched.
When they decided to move from talking to kissing, I upped and left.
Jason didn't even realise I had left. I didn't talk to him for a month after that
The cinema was overflowing with people when we reached it. The movies playing weren't particularly good ones, and I wasn't too fond on any battling action so Jason bought two tickets for a low playing, soft romance - which I knew he didn't like - and I offered to buy the popcorn and drinks.
As we settled down to watch the film, Jason's fingers brushed light across my hand, warmth caressed my skin. Blushing, I chewed on a piece of popcorn. I only thanked the lord that the lights were off, so he wouldn't see the shy redness that tinged my cheeks.
The movie had barely started when I heard Jason sigh. Looking down, I noticed he had his phone out, the screen flashing, indicating he had a message. I bit my lip. Knowing who it was, I turned away.
"I have to go," He said quietly, lips close to my ear. Involuntarily, I shifted away.
"Go, then." Was my terse reply. I didn't want him to go into in-depth detail about the what's and why's of his leaving. He'd done this before. Whenever Sherry figured Jason was hanging out with me, then she would make up an excuse for him to leave. And usually, I never fought with him about it.
"Fine, okay. Just go." My voice sounded harsher than I meant it to but before I could apologise, Jason was out of the Cinema doors.
Chewing on my popcorn, I blinked back tears of frustration. What do you do when you realize you're in love with your best friend?
a/n: I know, I know. Another cliché. But it's my first, so I can be excused :D This is my first shot at a cliché, so what do you think? Chapter One will come up soon, as soon as I finish editing. Taylor Swift's "You Belong With Me" was my sole inspiration for this story, and that is why the beginning is similar as one of the verses. The idea popped into my head completely out of the blue but (Unlike my other stories) I know exactly where I'm taking this. So, like it? Hate it? Your feedback will be much appreciated.
Oh. Yeah. I changed my name again. I'm finished. Trust me. No more changes. :)