Just a name right? Wrong.
Jacob Marx is my best friend, has been ever since he moved to Lyson Hills when I was eleven and he was twelve; he was in my grade though, having been held back in second. The only thing wrong with him, well actually, nothing is really wrong with him... It's just that he feels the need to beat me at every single game we play. He does beat me at the games too. He claims he has to win because he's a man and if he loses to a girl, it hurts his ego. Now, I sort of understand that, but would it be so bad if I won every once and a while?
The first game we ever played together was a game of basketball at the park down the street from our houses. I was twelve at the time. I had actually been doing pretty well until Jacob complained that he couldn't block my shots because he was shorter than me. Which, at the time, he was a couple of inches shorter. Unlike now, where he towers over me. He's 6'3" and I'm a measly 5'4". I blame my mother for my shortness.
Anyway, we had been standing on the concrete court and I was fixing to shoot when Jacob just yelled, "Wait!"
I had froze and turned to look at him. "What's the deal?" I remember asking.
"You're taller than me, Lila," he had whined in response.
"So I can't block your shots. We should play a different game."
We ended up going back to his house and playing a game of Monopoly. It took about two hours to get through the whole game, but when we were done, Jacob was grinning, happy that he had beat me. I thought it was stupid, so I proposed a game of the Mickey Mouse racing game for Nintendo 64 I had. He agreed and I ran to get my video game. When I came back, he was setting up his Nintendo 64.
Despite never playing my game before and not knowing how the tracks were, Jacob still beat me. I'd made him race me on every single track; he won every single time. I'd gone home that night feeling defeated.
When I was fifteen, Jacob was sixteen and on the Junior High's football team. Here in Lyson Hills, we have the elementary schools, the middle school(5-7 grade), the junior high(8 & 9 grade), and the high school. I think the junior high is pointless and that the freshmen should actually be in the high school. Anyway, it had been a Saturday afternoon in August and Jacob wanted me to help him practice football. We were going to play a little game of flag football; he didn't want to tackle me.
I was standing in his front yard, making sure my belt was tight enough. I was pulling on it when Jacob swiped the flag on my left hip. He laughed, grinning. I narrowed my dark green eyes at him, trying to look threatening. His own light green eyes held a twinkle in them. "Oh, give me the flag," I recall demanding.
He had handed it over and I placed it back on my hip. "Ready, Lila?" he asked.
"I don't understand how we're supposed to do this..." I really didn't at the time.
He took a lot of steps back, smiling. "Okay, just throw me the ball. When I catch it, I'll run toward the mailbox. If I make it to the mailbox, I score. You have to get my flags before I reach it, okay?" he said.
"Uh...sure." I still didn't get it really.
I threw him the ball when he told me to. He took off running toward me, toward the mailbox. I managed to get the blue flag hanging on his left hip as he passed me, so I started running after him. I barely managed to get the other flag before he got to the mailbox. I started jumping up and down, smiling. "I got 'em, I got 'em!" I cheered.
He rolled his eyes, moving over to me. "Yeah, yeah. Now, go where I was before."
I did as he told. After giving back his flags, of course. "You're going to do what I did, okay?"
I nodded. He threw the football and I almost dropped it. I managed to keep it in my hands as I ran. I was not expecting Jacob to tackle me. But he did and we went rolling around on the ground. His arms were wrapped around my middle, holding me to his chest as we rolled. When we stopped, I was laying under him. "Ouch," I groaned.
I looked up into Jacob's eyes. His curly brown locks were spilling over his forehead and into them. He stared straight back at me. I hadn't had my first kiss at that time, but I knew Jacob had. I watched his eyes flicker down to my lips and his face moved closer to mine. My eyelids had fluttered close and his lips had brushed against mine when I heard Jillian, his mother, call out, "Kids, where are you?"
Jacob moved away quickly, but offered me a hand to pull me up. I remember pacing around my room that night, fingers touching my lips as I fretted about whether or not that counted as kiss. In the end, I decided it didn't. However, Jacob and I never talked about it and he didn't try to kiss me again.
At seventeen and eighteen, both of us had already had our share of relationships. Jacob was single at the time of prom and so was I. He had asked to talk to alone after lunch about three weeks before prom. He whisked me a few feet away from our friends and was fixing to ask me something when a senior, Todd Hanley, appeared at our side. Todd had been the object of my affections at the time being.
So when he asked me to prom right there, I had answered yes without hesitation. He'd given me a kiss on the cheek and left, leaving me to turn back to my best friend who looked lost. "What were you fixing to say?" I asked him.
He had shook his head and given me a smile. But it hadn't reached his eyes. "Nevermind, it doesn't matter."
I think he had been about to ask me to prom.
I didn't bring it up that afternoon as we sat in his living room. He was finishing up his English homework while I decided what game to play. Once he put his book and papers away, he turned to me. "So, I was thinking we should play a card game. We've never done those before," he said.
I nodded slowly, agreeing with his choice of game. He stood, moving to a closet that I knew to hold all of his games. He returned moments later with a box of cards. "So, how 'bout War?" he suggested.
"Sure," I had replied and he began dealing the cards.
About thirty minutes later, I was complaining, "Why do you always beat me!?"
"I have to beat you, Lila. It'll bruise my ego if I don't."
I had rolled my eyes then. It annoyed me really, the fact that I never won.
It was senior year and Jacob ruled the school now. Nothing had changed between us really. Except for my feelings. I had always had a semi-crush on Jacob, but I never thought anything of it. Now though, it was different. Every time he came around, my stomach did this funny flipping thing. Or that's what it felt like anyway. I didn't understand how I could like the boy that annoyed me whenever we played a game. But I did.
We didn't hang out very much that year. He was off with a lot of girls. I was jealous when he started dating Helena Dash. He looked at her like he was in love and it hurt me to think that he didn't return my feelings. Whenever he wanted to hang out with me, while he was seeing her, I made up excuses. There was one time when Jacob had been walking down the hall toward me and I grabbed his best friend and kissed him. Yeah, that hadn't been too great.
I think I had been hoping that it would make him jealous, but it seemed that it hadn't. He had simply given us a nod and continued on his way. I then had to tell Daniel, his friend, that I really didn't like him. Daniel didn't like Helena, claiming that she was a bitch. So, he decided to help me out. But really, if I had known it would get me here...Ehh.
"Lila?" Jacob asked.
I wet my lips nervously. "Hey, Jake," I mumbled, wiping at my cheeks. I had been crying.
"What are you...why are you in here?"
This probably looked bad. We were currently at our last high school party, me being dragged here by Daniel. I was sitting on a bed in nothing but my underwear. My shirt and jeans were on the floor. I also had a red hand print on my right cheek. Jacob had just walked in and when he saw me, he shut the door. So, here we were now. Me, desperately trying to wrap the sheet around me and him, wanting to know why I was in a bedroom half-naked.
He moved closer to the bed and froze as his eyes landed on my cheek. "Oh my god, Lila! What happened? Who the hell slapped you? I'll kill the bastard. Oh my god... he raped you, didn't he? Who was it, Lila?" he asked, climbing onto the bed to pull me into his embrace.
"N-no, Jake. He didn't rape me. He wanted to f-fuck, but I said no. He slapped me and pulled off my clothes. But I-I punched him and he left."
"Who was it?" he asked again.
"I d-don't know." I did know, but I wouldn't tell him who it was. Lyle Harris was a good guy when he wasn't drunk.
"Are you sure?" he asked.
He sighed. "Let's play a game, Lila. Truth. I'll ask you questions and you have to tell the truth. If you lie, I win. Okay?" he asked.
"Okay," I breathed as he let go of me. I pulled the sheet tighter around me.
"Have you been drinking?" he asked.
"N-yeah. I had one beer."
"Do you know the guy's name?"
I frowned, looking down at the bed. "Yes," I mumbled.
"Who is it?"
I looked up. "It doesn't matter, Jake."
"Tell me, Lila."
Jake's face fell. Lyle was a good friend, I knew. That was another reason I didn't want to tell him. "I can't...I can't kill him, Lila."
I actually laughed at that. "I don't want you to kill anyone, Jacob."
"Next question." He cleared his throat. "He didn't hurt you did he? Other than your cheek?"
I shook my head. "I'm fine."
"New topic. Do you like Helena?"
I clenched my jaw, looking down again. "No."
"I just don't, okay?"
I looked back up, but this time, his face was closer. My breath hitched in my throat. "Do you dislike her because of me?" he asked.
"Yes," I groaned.
"Do you feel like she's taking your place, Lila?"
"My place as your best friend?"
"As my girlfriend?" he asked next.
"What?" I questioned, scooting back on the bed.
"Do you like me, Lila?"
"Of course I like you, you goof. You're my best friend."
"Okay... Do you love me, Lila?" His green eyes smoldered into my own. He reached up, pushing my blond bangs to the side.
"I-I don't understand."
"Yes, you do. C'mon, Lila. This is a game. Answer."
"Of course I don't love you."
We sat there in silence for a few seconds. Then he smiled and said, "I win."
"What?" I asked.
"I win. Dan told me you loved me. Said you told him yourself. I win the game."
I looked away, biting my bottom lips. Stupid Dan! "You always win games..." I mumbled.
"You won a game."
"I've never beat you, Jake."
"I made a game involving you. It was me against you; you didn't know of course. Don't Fall For Lila. That's my game. I lost because I did fall for you."
I looked back up. "You love me too?"
"Yeah. And I broke up with Helena."
"Yes. Now, Lila, do you want to be my girlfriend?"
He laughed and pulled me to him. "Great. Now, get dressed. I'm just going to go talk to Lyle."
I didn't care. I just nodded. I was happy because of two things. One; Jacob loved me. Two; I beat him at something.
Lah-dee-daaah. Hello, everyone. This one isn't quite as great as Samuel and Annie, but I like it. It just didn't really come out how I wanted it to.