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The playground isn’t the only thing that annoys Jade; mostly, it’s the kids on it. She glares at them as they mindlessly frolic on the swing sets and play on the metal bars that belong to the school. A fair amount of the kids bully her. Jade is the opposite of average: black clothing, long black hair that hung in a loose ponytail, and an inexplicable love of sarcasm.
Jade shifts her weight while she sits on one of the tables. The table might be old and worn out, but Jade still loves it. Her eyes scan over some of her classmates, glaring at any who are staring at her.
Her gaze suddenly snares on one of the girls near the swing sets. The girl leans up against the fence, looking at the students with curiosity. Jade could tell she was new from the way she acted. New kids were always so nervous and scared about what to do.
The girl ran a hand through her wavy brown hair that stretched down to her shoulders. Her blue shirt hung off one shoulder, exposing rather tan skin that made Jade stare in envy and awe.
Jade debated whether or not she should go over there and try and talk to the girl. She doesn’t really know why she even wants to talk to her. Jade is not one to like people, but something about this girl makes her want to try to befriend her. Pushing herself up from the table, Jade strolls over to the girl, stopping right in front of her. The girl’s head shot up and she turned towards her, and her brown eyes met Jade’s green while filled with fear and a hint of curiosity.
“Hey,” Jade said, taking a seat beside her.
“H-hi…” The girl greets back nervously. Jade merely rolls her eyes at this.
“No need to be scared, I won’t bite.” She teases with a smile forming.
The other girl lets out a shaky laugh, “Yeah sorry, just not having a great first day. I’m actually really glad it’s over.”
“Hey all first days are rough, don’t worry about it.” Jade then holds out her hand, “I’m Jade.”
The girl smiles and takes Jade’s hand in her own, “Sam Collins,” Sam lets her hand go, “Wait, I’ve heard rumors about you…”
Jade rolls her eyes again, “Let me guess, vampire, eats bugs, hates everything and everyone?”
“Yeah, exactly.” Sam eyes her over, “You don’t seem so bad.”
Jade raises an eyebrow, “Really? Well you’re not that bad yourself, Collins.” She chuckles, bumping her shoulder with Sam’s.
“Oh, well thanks and yeah you seem nice. Do people misjudge you a lot?”
“All the time, but I don’t care.” Jade shrugs.
“That’s kind of admirable, I care too much.” Sam says.
“I just remember that in a few years I won’t have to ever see them again.”
“I guess that’s true…” Sam says, looking down. A loud honking sounds through the playground and a red SUV pulled up.
“That’s my mom,” Sam says, getting up from the grass, “It was nice meeting you, Jade. Maybe we could hang out sometime?”
“Yeah,” Jade nods, “That sounds good.”
Sam waves goodbye as Jade watches the girl leave. And soon Jade realizes that she has just accepted her first play date ever. And she’s surprisingly okay with that.
Jade can lay in the snow for hours on end. She doesn’t mind the cold; it soothes her. She loves it when it snows. Most people hate it because of always having to shovel the driveway, traffic jams, icy roads, but none of that matters to Jade. To her, snow makes even the most ugly things beautiful. Dead trees covered in snow are the most beautiful things Jade has ever seen.
“You know, if you lay there too long snow is going to get up your pants?” Jade cracks an eye open to see her best friend, Sam, standing above her with her arms crossed and a smirk playing at her lips.
Jade shrugs, “Don’t care,” Jade feels Sam lay down next to her. She looks over to her best friend with a raised eyebrow. “What are you doing?”
“Laying here with my best friend. Is that a crime, Jadey?”
“You know I hate that nickname.”
“That’s why I still call you it.” Sam smiles and looks up to the sky. She remembers the first day she ever really hung out with Jade. They had gone to the park; Jade showed Sam her favorite tree and they spent the rest of the time in it, talking and watching the clouds go by.
“I can’t wait until we can go off on real adventures together.” Sam says. “Just you and me in London and Paris.” She turns her head to face Jade who has already been staring at her.
“That would be nice, wouldn’t it?” Jade says. Her heart is beating at an unhealthy pace. Sam nods and looks back up at the sky.
Jade is not jealous of Malcolm. At least that’s what she told herself. It’s difficult to see your best friend slipping away from you into the arms of someone else. Sam hasn’t spent countless nights at Jade’s house like she used to ever since she started seeing him. When Jade sits at the lunch table with them, she might as well have been sitting alone because neither of them even acknowledge that she was present. It seems “best friends forever” took a halt when boyfriends come into the picture. Jade does her best not to blame her, Malcolm is Sam’s first boyfriend after all. Sam just wants to enjoy herself. But she can’t deny that she misses her. She misses her like someone cut a hole in her.
“I miss you.” Sam says one day. They are sitting outside on the bleachers watching Malcolm practice football.
“I’m right here.” Jade says calmly.
“Yeah, but I feel like I haven’t seen you in forever.” Sam takes a deep breath. “I realized I’ve been really wrapped up in my time with Malcolm these past few weeks and I’ve been completely ignoring you. I’m sorry. I feel like such a bad friend.”
Jade puts an arm over her shoulder, “You’re the greatest friend I could have ever asked for. And I forgive you.”
Sam beams and pulls Jade into a hug. “You know I love you.”
Jade holds onto her like her life depends on it. “I love you too.”
“I feel like such an idiot.” Sam’s face is buried in Jade’s jacket. She can feel salty tears against her neck. She holds her best friend as she sobs silently against her. Sam has never been one for full on sobbing, she sounds more like something was caught in her throat. “I just walked in and he was there f***ing another girl.” Sam grips tighter onto Jade’s leather jacket. Jade is fuming. She knew something was wrong with him the first minute they met. “It’s like he tossed me away the second I said I didn’t want to have sex with him. And he didn’t even try to apologize. Am I really that undesirable?”
Jade takes Sam’s face in her hands, “You are the most beautiful, strong, and perfect person I have ever met in my life. He clearly can’t see that. I know you’re going to meet someone one day who loves you for everything you are.”
Sam smiles and wraps Jade in a tight hug. “I already have.”
It is senior prom night and Sam has managed to convince Jade to go with her. Jade hates dances. Jade hates a lot of things actually, but she just really cannot stand high school dances. But when Sam put on a pouty face and practically begged her, Jade couldn’t say no. Who could say no to Sam’s pouty face?
She now stands in her room dressed in a floor-length black lacy dress, her black hair long and curled, and thick black eyeliner framed her green eyes. She stares at herself in the mirror and asks herself over and over why the hell she was doing this.
A knock at the door disrupts her thoughts. Her mother’s head pokes through the doorway. “Sam is here, honey.” Jade nods a thank you to her mother and does one final look over before leaving the room.
Sam is at the bottom of the stairs, wearing a beautiful dark blue dress that hung off her shoulders. Her brown hair had grown over the years and now reached a little bit above her breasts. She looks beautiful. So beautiful in fact that Jade cannot stop staring for a good minute and a half.
“You look…beautiful.” Jade finally manages to say. Sam flashes a soft smile and laces their fingers together.
“I should get you in a dress more often.” Sam says, looking her over.
“God, please no. This is a one-time thing.” Jade groans. Sam shakes her head. Jade knows this would not be a one-time thing.
“Come on, I don’t want to be late.” Sam says.
“Oh, wait girls!” Jade’s mom, a lovely woman in her mid-50s whom Jade is the spitting image of, holds up her phone. “Can I take a picture?”
Sam smiles warmly and puts her arm around Jade’s waist. Her mom snaps a few pictures.
“Oh, I’m so excited! My daughter is finally going to a dance! I’ve been trying to get her to go to one for years.”
“I had to literally beg her to go with me.” Sam says, poking Jade in the side. She squeals and jumps back.
“She was always a tough one.” Jade’s mom chuckles.
Jade sighs loudly and takes Sam’s hand in her own. “Okay well thanks mom, but we really got to go. Love you!”
Jade pulls Sam’s out the door and on their way to prom.
The night is surprisingly pleasant. Sam stays at Jade’s side the entire time. She makes her feel welcome and included even when some of Sam’s other friends’ come over. They dance and talk and eat all night long.
There are only 10 minutes and one song left before the night ends. Jade is standing by the food table, stuffing Doritos into her mouth and chugging a can of Diet Coke. Sam suddenly appears to her right holding over her hand.
“Might I have this dance, m’lady?”
Jade, with at least four Doritos still in her mouth sets down the can of soda and does her best to swallow the remaining chips. She wipes her hands on a napkin before taking Sam’s hand and she leads them to the dance floor. When It’s Time by Green Day is playing over the speakers and Sam pulls Jade to the center of the dance floor. She pulls their bodies together until there is no space left between them and she places her arms around Jade’s neck. The other girl places her shaking hands on Sam’s waist. She was dreading a slow song, she actually thought since one hadn’t played all night that she would get out of having to slow dance with Sam. It’s not like she doesn’t want to. She wants to more than anything. Her heart just does this really insane thing where it picks up its pace and her hands get all sweaty and a million thoughts are just running through her head whenever she gets close to Sam. So she doesn’t really feel like stuttering like an idiot every time Sam tries to talk to her because she can’t get her thoughts organized.
“I was actually a little worried they wouldn’t play a slow song tonight. I kind of like it that they saved it for last.” Sam says. Jade only smiles in return. Sam is breathtakingly beautiful and truly that is all Jade can focus on at this moment.
“I love you.” Sam breathes, her forehead coming to rest against Jade’s. Okay, scratch that. This was all she could focus on.
Jade leans back a little. “I love you too.”
“I mean it.”
“So do I?” Sam has told Jade she loved her before. Why was this any different?
“No, you idiot. I mean I’m f***ing in love with you.” Jade’s eyes feels like they are about to jump out of her skull. Her heartbeat starts going at a very unhealthy pace, and she feels like her foot is stuck in her throat.
“I-I…” But she doesn’t get to finish because Sam’s lips are over hers and preventing any form of sound to escape. Jade is shocked to say the least and for a solid five seconds she’s just standing there. Finally overcoming the initial shock, Jade tangles her fingers in Sam’s hair and kisses her back.
“I love you too.” Jade finally manages to say.
It didn’t surprise Jade that Sam is making the speech as valedictorian of the class of 2015 at the University of Oregon. She is a genius. She graduated at the top of her class with a major in business. Jade on the other hand pursued a major in art and graphic design.
Jade sits there gazing up at her girlfriend in wonder. Her speech consists of moving up and how “this is only the beginning” and “this is the time to leave our mark on the world.” It is a little cheesy but surprisingly fitting and it still makes the crowd cheer like crazy when she finishes. Jade can see how flushed she looks when she goes back to take her seat next to her.
“How did I do?” Her voice is full of hope and curiosity.
“Better than I could have ever imagined.” Jade smiles at Sam and takes her hand in her own. Sam lets out a sigh of relief and relaxes against Jade.
It’s been four years. Four incredible years of stolen kisses, spontaneous dates, loud arguments, make-up sex, sex in general, anniversaries, holidays, and just two people so desperately in love with each other planning the rest of their lives together. Jade never imagined it. She also never imagined falling in love with her best friend but that happened.
“Samantha Collins,” Sam squeezes Jade’s hand before releasing it and walking towards the stage to receive her diploma. A few more names are called before they get to her.
“Jadelyn McCroy,” Her name sounds through the auditorium. She rose from her seat and approaches the stage. The principal is standing there, a warm smile on his face and a rolled piece of paper in his hand.
“Congratulations.” He says as Jade takes the diploma from him.
“Thank you, sir.” She smiles out into the crowd; she knows her mother is taking numerous pictures right now.
After all the names are called the entire class throws their caps in the air to celebrate. Jade pulls Sam close to her and kisses her while hundreds of caps fall around them.
“Ready to begin that adventure?” Jade says. Sam’s eyebrows scrunch together in confusion. “We’re going to London and Paris in a week.”
Sam’s eyes widen. “Wha...How?”
“I’ve been saving up over the years. We have four days in London and four days in Paris.”
“You...you remembered?” Sam is shocked. Like really, really shocked.
“Of course I did.”
Sam breaks out in a huge grin. She lunges toward her girlfriend and brings her into a bone-crushing hug followed by several kisses. “I love you, Jadey.”
“I still hate that nickname.” She was smiling though because she secretly loved it.
Sam kisses her again. “I know.”