A/N: Been gone for a while. Reviews appreciated and returned!


She lost her virginity her senior year of high school, to a boy one year her junior whom she was now embarrassed to admit that she had been involved with. She had staked him out at a post-prom party, having had five and a half shots of nasty cheap vodka. He'd had shy green-blue eyes and a smile with only one dimple, on his left cheek. The sex and what led up to it had been so hopelessly awkward that she hadn't even been able to bring herself to cry over it. He had fumbled with the condom for over five minutes, which was longer than he had lasted, though with how dry she had been she'd been glad it had ended quickly. It had been then, naked on top of his bed in the midst of a suffocating dearth of conversation, that she had come to the conclusion that niceness as a quality in a person was not enough for her. She had avoided him for the rest of the school year and nothing was said between them afterward.


Her father drove down to pick her up and they agreed to take turns taking the wheel. The ride home was spent listening to either his favorite radio show or his rambling, neither of which she was particularly fond of when she was trying to sleep or drive. As soon as she stepped through the door her mother asked her to drive to the grocery store to pick up some cranberry juice and gravy mix. She had obeyed with a weary sigh; it wouldn't do to refuse when she didn't even have the energy to argue.

The first thing she did when she entered the store was approach one of the employees stocking a shelf.

"Excuse me, sir – could you tell me where the cranberry juice and gravy…mix…are…?" Her heart dropped and sank into her stomach.

"Adelaide? Adelaide Engelhardt?"

The same green-blue eyes and lopsided smile on a face that was only vaguely less babyish than the last time she had seen him.

"Uh…"

She stalled for time as she tried to decide whether to acknowledge that she knew him or act like she had no idea who he was. The way she was behaving pointed to the former, but she couldn't remember his name for the life of her.

"It's me, Jamie Breckenridge!" His smile spread into a grin. "God, I haven't seen you since, uh…junior year!"

She had to hand it to him – he knew how to haul through tremendous awkwardness a lot better than she did. It took all she had not to bolt out of the sheer discomfiture of the situation.

"Yeah," she said with cheer that was all too obviously fake. His smile diminished.

"Uh, so…how've you been?" he asked, overcompensating for her reluctance with too much brightness in his voice. The incongruity of his tone and hers made everything all the more uncomfortable.

"I've been fine. I'm uh, studying down in Morley at Anverloch College."

"That's great, that's great," he nodded at her. "So, um, what are you doing up here in Weston?"

"Thanksgiving."

"Oh right, right. Right. Thanksgiving. Turkey time." He accentuated the last two words with jazz hands. "So, uh….how's Morley?"

"So, um, I really need to get back home soon; I drove for almost seven hours today."

A white lie: she had only driven half that, having traded off with her father.

"Oh shit, I'm sorry!" He shuffled to straighten his posture. "What do you need?"

"Cranberry juice and gravy mix."

"Right this way."

After leading her to the locations of both items, he followed her to the checkout counter – like a lost puppy, she thought.

"So uh, do you think you might have time to catch up before you have to go back to school?" he asked her, his eyes darting from her face to the floor. "You know…coffee or something?"

"I have a boyfriend," she lied immediately. Both of them blushed at the same time. "I mean…like, I'm only in town today and tomorrow, and I have to get up really early the day after, so…it's not like…"

"No, no, it's fine," he said, everything about him too eager to prove that he was okay with the situation and that he had meant it just as friends. "It's cool. So I'll uh, see you later then?"

"Yeah," she gave him a weak, false smile before leaving. She ran back ten seconds later, face red with embarrassment, having realized that she had left the juice and gravy inside. The drive back home was done at a speed more than ten notches above the limit. Fortunately no one caught her, although in a town this small she could probably have gotten away with telling the officer why she had been speeding and have them understand.


A/N: yay for bad life choices