Coffee and Pumpkin Pie
"I'm sorry, do I know you?"
My jaw dropped. His friends immediately started to cheer at his boldness at insulting me. Hurt filled my veins, my chest swelled with emotion. The love and care I felt for him was slowly replaced by disgust and loathing.
So I left.
I turned on my heel and started walking away with all the dignity I had left. I could still hear the snickers and snorts from his friends. And I could feel his gaze drilling into my back, leaving a burn in its place.
That, my dear friends, is Jake Brooke. He's the hottest guy in school. He was MVP of the school soccer team, had a 4.0 GPA, head of the student committee and homecoming king, four years in a row. I was never attracted to him, my reasons being he was too arrogant and he was a total player. He treated girls like his plaything. But my feelings for him changed last summer.
Last summer, I fell in love with Jake Brooke.
He had walked into the diner I was working at. I figured that he came to the diner every day, but it was my first day working there, so I never knew. I was used to his confident swagger, so his presence didn't affect me. I couldn't say the same for the girl that was working with me though.
"Hi, Jake," she had said, as flirtatiously as possible.
"Hello there…Gina," he said in his famous husky voice that demanded the oestrogen in her to react. What she didn't notice was that he paused to stare at her nametag to get her name because he couldn't remember it. I shook my head, ashamed for her.
"What can I get you?"
"Just the usual, please."
"Sara! The usual," Gina shouted over at me.
I went over to the counter, fuming, "I have no idea what the usual is."
"A cup of coffee and a slice of pumpkin pie," Jake said, giving his most charming smile. His eyes were locked to mine, but I didn't hold his gaze. I just headed back to the kitchen to get his order ready.
"Sorry, Jake. She just started working here this morning," she apologized.
When I got his order, I walked over to his counter table, placed his food on the table, wrote up a slip and placed it in front of him. He didn't look at the slip, instead choosing to stare at me again. He had a small smile on his face. When I turned to walk away, he grabbed my hand.
"What's the rush, sweetheart?" he smiled.
"I have to get back to work," I said, almost bored.
"It's a pretty slow morning, why don't you sit with me. I'm a regular, you won't get into trouble."
I shook my head slightly, walking back to my station. And that was only one of the many mornings he came to the diner for breakfast. He always ordered the same thing. A cup of coffee and a slice of pumpkin pie. I only started to notice that his slice was unusually bigger than what we give to other customers, proving just how influential he really is.
And every single day, he would ask me out.
Now, a normal girl would be flattered. A normal girl would accept his request with a giggle and walk out with him, hand in hand. Unfortunately for him, I'm definitely not a normal girl. Every time he asked, I would scoff, put his order in front of him and return to my station.
One day, my aunt was finally about to give birth. So I asked for a week off from work and headed down to Texas with my family.
When I returned a week later for work, Gina didn't even greet me. She merely glanced at me, rolled her eyes and started popping the gum she was chewing. When Jake entered a while later, he saw me. His eyes lit up with pure joy.
"You're back. Where have you been?" he smirked.
"Uh, I was in Texas. Visiting my aunt. She gave birth," I said, a little surprised that he seemed so interested in what I had to say.
"Oh, well that's nice. Was it a boy or a girl?" he asked.
"A boy. She named him William," I said.
"That's a good name," he beamed at me. This was a different side of him. I have never seen him this way before. Normally he was an arrogant prick. Now, he was acting like an actual human being.
And I found myself smiling and responding to him.
Since it was another slow morning, I sat down beside him and talked to him about the most random things. When Gina told me she was taking off, I didn't even notice her leave. I was too absorbed in Jake's re-enactment of Lady Gaga's dialogues in the Telephone music video.
The most surprising thing that happened was that he stayed with me until the workers for the next shift came in to replace me. I was glad I worked during the dry hours, because I wasn't that good a waitress.
"Are you hungry?" he asked me, holding the door for me.
"Not really. But I could use an ice-cream cone. I'm sweating like a horse, so attractive," I joked. What I didn't notice was the look on his face when I said that.
"You are attractive," he muttured, looking at his shoes.
"What?" I asked.
He tried to talk but his voice cracked slightly. Was he nervous?
"You're beautiful. And I really like you. A lot. When you weren't here for a week, I waited at the diner until it closed, hoping you would come in for work. I just had to see you. I know that you think I'm an arrogant little prick and that I'm the worst kind of scum to ever grace the planet, but I've never felt this way before, and it's kinda scaring me," he said, all the while staring at his shoes.
"Yes, you are kind of a bastard. And I did think that you have so much arrogance that it fills your head like a hot air balloon but after today…I kind of like you back."
His eyes snapped up to meet mine. It was the most vulnerable I've ever seen him. I felt good that I caused him to feel this way. The only girl to ever make him nervous.
"You like me too?"
I nodded, unable to elaborate. I never thought that I would have any romantic feelings for the biggest player in my high school, but here I was, falling for him.
The next thing I knew, he leaned in closer to me, putting his hand on my cheek, gently caressing it. His lips grazed against mine, giving me time to pull away if I wanted to. I was flattered that he would actually care enough to give me a way out. When his lips finally touched mine in a gentle kiss, I internally exploded with emotion. It was tentative at first, exploring the feel of our lips fused together. Soon, it got heated. He ran his tongue over my lower lip. I opened my mouth slightly, welcoming his seeking mouth.
When we pulled apart, both of us were panting heavily. Our first kiss.
After that day, we were inseperable. He came into the diner, ordering a cup of coffee and a slice of pumpkin pie, he would stay until my shift was over and then we'd spend the day together. He would always find a new place we could hang out at, a new place we could call our own for five hours. Best of all, he always treated me with respect. And they said chivalry was dead.
"Why do you like me?" I asked one day while we were snuggling up at the park. We found a really shady tree to shelter us from the blazing summer heat.
"What do you mean?"
"I mean, you've never taken notice of me. You've never said hi to me, I doubt you even know that I go to the same high school as you. Why did you take notice of me all of a sudden? I mean, I read stories about a girl changing the notorious player, the hottest guy in school. But I never thought it would be me. I figured it would be some new girl from Maine or something that would just waltz into school and immediately command your attention. You'd date for a while, people would finally accept you guys as a couple and you'd change for the better," I said.
"You read too many clichés."
"I'm a girl. Granted, I'm an unusual girl. But I'm a girl nonetheless," I smiled at him, stroking his hair. He usually had short brown hair but he let it grow out during the summer. Now, it was shaggy. I loved it this way, he was that much more handsome to me.
"Well, I don't know. At first you were just another target to me. You were hostile towards me, an obvious challenge. And I like a challenge. After a while, it wasn't just lust anymore. It was a genuine desire to be your friend. To get to know you. There's something about you, something about your personality. Something about the fact that you're so beautiful but you don't wear any makeup. The fact that you have no idea how lovable you are," he said, drawing patterns on my palm.
It was silent after that. A comfortable silence. We were just enjoying each other's company. We were enjoying that fact that we found each other.
"Sara?" he called softly.
"Yeah?" I looked up at him.
"I love you," he whispered, his eyes filled with so much emotion that I wanted to cry.
"Really?" I asked.
"Truly," he smiled.
"I love you too."
"Say that again," he said hoarsely.
"I love you, Jake Brooke."
He gave me his most brilliant smile that I ever seen from him. And then he kissed me gently. It wasn't anything intense, but it was so sweet. A tear actually rolled down my cheek. He rubbed it away with his thumb and smiled at me. He pulled me into his arms, and I felt content. Our first 'I Love You'.
A month had passed and there was a couple of weeks left for summer. After work, he took me to a pier. I never knew it was there, but we sat on the pier, dipping our feet in the cool water. It was a great relief from the heat. I decided it was a great time to talk to him about something that had been on my mind for a while.
"What'll happen to us when school starts?" I asked him.
He put his arm around my waist, pulling me close, "What do you mean?"
"You'll go back to school, back to your popular clique. And your friends will never accept me," I said.
"So what? Are we just going to break up? Am I just a summer fling? Your challenge? Did I satisfy you this summer?" I said, my voice rising.
"Wait a minute, I didn't say that," he said.
"Oh but you did! You told me that the first thing you thought when you saw me was that you thought I was a challenge. Who's to say that didn't change? Was your goal to get me to sleep with you?"
"NO! Sara, I just said that you were right. My friends will never accept you."
That hurt. I thought he would at least tell me that he would make his friends accept me. I wasn't shallow, I didn't want the popularity. I just wanted to be with him. Even when school started for the spring, I wanted to be by his side. I didn't want our daily dates to stop. I was very attached to him.
I love him. It was that simple. I love him and I didn't want him to leave me for something as petty as popularity. But then I realised how impossible it was. I realised how the social divide will never let us move forward.
"Maybe you're right. I'll never fit in with your friends. Let's not kid ourselves," I said, walking away. Somehow, I made it home. Somehow, I found a cab to get me back to my house. The saddest thing was, he didn't come after me. He didn't ask me to forgive him. Our first fight.
That night, I was lying on my bed listening to the radio, too upset to do anything. The door opened and a part of my bed sunk with the weight of my brother sitting on my bed.
"Look, Sean. Just leave me alone, okay?"
"It's not Sean," said the familiar voice of Jake.
I sat up, surprised. In his hands was a cup of coffee and a slice of pumpkin pie. He stood up to put in on my study table. He then leaned on the table. His weight on his hands.
"You know, for the two months we've been together, I've never been in your room," he said, looking around.
"Why are you here?" I asked him.
"Please forgive me. We'll make this work, Sara. I'll get my friends to see what I see in you. I'll get the school to accept the fact that you're my girlfriend. We'll make it last," he said.
"Jake, are you sure?"
"Positive. You're the best thing that ever happened to me. I need you."
"I'll forgive you. But on one condition."
"Well, you have to promise that when school starts, you will not decide that you're too good for me. You will not leave me in humiliation. And you will not leave me for popularity," I joked. My tone was teasing, but in reality, I was as serious as hell.
"I promise. Your brother already gave me that speech anyway. He told me that if I broke your heart – "
"He'd break your face," I laughed. As a joke, Sean and I sat down to discuss what he's say to my future boyfriends. I was surprised to say that he actually used it.
"I love you, Sara. I love you so much," he said.
"I love you too, Jake. Don't leave me, okay?" I said.
And there it was, our first make up.
Like every couple, we went through everything ever couple went through. I was sure we'd last by now. I was sure that we would be the couple that will grow old together. We would be the couple that would look at each other and fall in love all over again.
But then, school started.
And here it was, the moment he broke my heart. The moment he told me subtly that he wanted nothing to do with me. The moment he chose his popularity over me. The moment he broke his promise.
Those simple words.
"I'm sorry, I know you?"
After school, I went back home and lied in my bed. I wish I could tell you that my best friend came over to comfort me, we'd throw darts at Jake's picture and I'd move on and found somebody that loves me for me.
Unfortunately, I only have Sean.
He sacrificed his day to comfort me. He bought me a tube of ice-cream and played a few action movies, because he knows that romance movies would just make me more upset. Sean waved off his friends for the day because he knew I needed him. I never loved that fact that he was my brother this much until now.
Seasons passed. Jake never made a move to get me back. He never greeted me in the hallways, he never looked at me. He even cut his hair to his normal short length. It was as though the summer never happened between us. Then, winter came. I always loved winter, especially the snow. It was far too long to be moaning over Jake. So I decided winter would be the perfect time to move on. I could date again. Maybe I could date that cute guy in my Calculus class.
On a snowy afternoon, there was a knock on the door. I was in the kitchen making a snack for Sean so I asked him to get the door. It wasn't long until I heard Sean's loud voice fill the house.
"What the hell are you doing here?"
I immediately headed over to the door. My eyes widened. It was Jake Brooke himself, standing on my porch. He had a coat on, though he didn't have a scarf. By the look of his pink cheeks and his condensed breath, he must've been freezing.
"I want to talk to you, Sara," he said.
"You know what, punk? You should probably just go away. I trusted you with my sister, and you broke her. I wanted to cave your nose in so bad, but I couldn't because Sara was too good a person," said Sean, obviously furious.
"Sara?" Jake pleaded.
"I'm sorry, do I know you?"
The look on Jake's face was of extreme hurt and pain. Good, now he knows how I felt. Jake looked defeated, he let out a ragged breath. I walked back to the kitchen, leaving Sean to shut the door in his face. It was cruel, but I can't lie. It felt damn good.
That night, after dinner, my parents called from their vacation in Bali. They wanted a second honeymoon. While I was on the phone with them, Sean walked into the living room (he was in his room) looking pissed.
"That asshole's still out there. He's still sitting on our porch. He's probably going to die very soon so why don't you tell him to go home? I would, but I'm afraid I'll punch him," said Sean.
"I'm on it. Mom, I gotta go. Have fun!" I said, hanging up.
Sighing, I opened the door. I had an elaborate speech made up about how he should leave me alone. But once I saw him leaning against the wall, shivering like a leaf. From the porch light, I could see his lips were blue. Why the hell was he torturing himself like this? He could've died!
"Get in," I ordered. His head snapped to look at me. He looked fragile, more fragile than I've ever seen.
He struggled to get up and walk inside the house. I took off his coat. It was surprising that he made no comment about me undressing him. I forced him to sit in front of the brilliant fire Sean set up a few hours ago. Almost immediately, his lips turned back to their original colour and his face was slowly getting red again.
I went into the kitchen and returned with a cup of coffee. He looked at it almost sadly and took it from me. I noticed his hands linger on mine for a moment too long. He sipped on it and relished at the warmth that filled him.
In silence, I waited for him to finish the drink. When he did, I took the cup and went into the kitchen to wash it. I took my own sweet time. When I returned, I saw him curled up on the couch, asleep. Sighing, I went to get a blanket and covered him with it.
I sat in front of the fire. I was frankly frustrated that he was here. But at the same time, I felt happy. He still looked as gorgeous as ever. And he talked to me for the first time in months. It was only my name, but that was enough.
After what seemed like hours, the tears started to pour. When Jake broke his promise, I didn't let a single tear pour, I didn't want to cry. But now, with him sleeping soundly behind me, I let it all out. From silent tears, I sobbed. I covered my head in my hands and cried.
I heard the soft sound of sheets. Suddenly, a pair of strong arms wrapped around me. I removed my hands from my face to see Jake hugging me. I tried to wriggle away but the way he was hugging me made me feel safe. So I put my head on his chest and cried. He pulled me even closer to him.
"I'm sorry, Sara. I'm so sorry," he whispered, rocking me.
When I calmed down, we sat on the couch. He shifted, uncomfortably. He played with the hem of his turtleneck and he ran his hands through his hair. It wasn't that short anymore. In a few weeks, I was pretty sure it would be back to its shaggy style I loved.
"Can we talk?" asked Jake. His voice was hoarse, but not like it normally was. It was hoarse with emotion. My stomach tightened.
"What do you want to talk about?"
"I want to apologise. I want to apologise for what a dick I've been to you. You gave me your heart and I destroyed it."
"It's kind of late for apologies, don't you think?"
He stiffened, "I'm sorry I took so long. Do you know how many times I walked over to your house but chickened out at the last minute? Do you know how many timed I dialled your number only to hang up before the call could get connected? Do you know how many times I went to the diner, hoping you'd come? Do you know how many times I almost grabbed you in the hallways because I missed you so freaking much?"
"I don't believe you," I whispered."
"I miss you. I miss your laugh. I miss your amazing eyes that're so dark that I get lost in them. I miss your scent, that smells a little like lavender but yet it doesn't. I miss your hair, that black hair that shines brown in the sunlight. I miss kissing you, I miss hugging you, I miss talking to you. I miss telling you how much I love you."
I froze. This whole time, I've been staring at the fire, at the flames licking the walls of the fireplace. Now, I was looking at him. His eyes were blazing into mine, sending electricity through my veins.
"Sara, I love you so much. I never knew how much until I lost you. I know you probably want to kill me but I had to tell you that."
"You broke your promise," I said.
"I know, and I didn't mean to. I don't care what it takes. I want you back, I need you back. I need you to slap me across the face and tell me I'm an idiot," he said, turning so he was now facing me upright.
"I'm not going to slap you."
"Please do. Hell, I'm begging you to."
I raised my hand to slap him and he cringed. But I couldn't do it. Instead, I slowly put my hand on his cheek. His eyes opened, staring at me. It was filled with hope. And no matter how badly he hurt me, he owned my heart.
"Please don't hurt me again," I whispered, swiping my thumb back and forth across his cheekbone.
"I will never do that. I will buy you a cup of coffee and a pumpkin pie and I want you to sit with me at lunch tomorrow, I want to introduce you to my friends. They'll love you, I know it. I just didn't give you guys a chance to hit it off," he said, a slow smile appearing on his face.
"It's going to take a while for me to trust you again."
"I completely understand. You can even get your brother to hit me! If that'll make you feel any better," he said.
"I could never let him hit you. You're my boyfriend," I smiled. I knew it was too soon, but I'd been without him for much too long. And the old feelings were settling in again.
He beamed and leaned in to give me a kiss. When he deepened it, I heard a shout, "What? You guys are back together?"
We broke apart to look at my brother. Sean stormed over to Jake and landed a punch on his jaw. Jake groaned in agony, sinking into the couch, rubbing his jaw.
"Sean!" I shouted.
"Sorry, I had to get that out. I've been meaning to hit him for a while now. Okay, now that's out of the way, I approve the fact that you guys are an item again. But if you ever hurt my sister ever again, I swear to the holy grail of Pop Tarts, I will break every bone in your body," Sean growled. Like a woman having PMS, he switched emotions like a switch. He then gave Jake a smile and a pat on the back before heading back to his room.
"Are you okay?" I asked Jake.
"I'm fine. I deserved that. It hurt like a bitch though," he smiled. The smile must've hurt because he clutched his jaw again.
"I love you, Jake," I whispered.
"I love you more."
A/N: Wow, I've been meaning to write this for a while now. So taking a break from studying, I decided to spit it all out. I have no time to edit it, so if you find any mistakes, please let me know. Did you love it? Did you hate it? Let me know! Leave me a review, please. And if you do, I'll give you a virtual piece of pie. Mm, pie. (: