Finn, his name sat on my tongue, like the slow burn of salt. He looked at me now, waiting for me to tell him about Jax. My eyes locked out window, watching as the snow landed and melted instantly on the ground, eight floors below me. It took awhile for the words to escape my mouth and when they did, they came from a far away place.
“There are five of us: Cory, Waylon, Jaxon, Juliet, and me.” I began…
For years it was me and Juliet against the word, best friends for life, inseparable. Halfway through our freshman year of high school Juliet met Jaxon. He asked her out, said that his mom could drive them to the movies and that he would buy her a large popcorn. Juliet was infatuated with Jax from the very beginning.
First loves and all of that.
Jax and Cory were best friends for almost as long as Juliet and I had been so when they started dating it became apparent that the duo’s would become a quartet. Waylon moved to town at the start of sophomore year. He was Juliet’s neighbor actually, and because of that she invited him to hang out with us. One thing led to another and the four become five. We were neither popular or outliers, somehow we landed in that rare in-between spot. We had each other and that was more then enough.
The summer before my junior year Waylon started acting more friendly toward me. I had to admit that the feeling was mutual. He was good looking and on the track team with Juliet and I. He was my friend, he made me laugh, and he made my heart do that sputtering thing when our fingers would accidentally touch.
Waylon had mahogany eyes, kept his brown hair buzzed in the summer and a couple inches longer in the winter, he loved football more then anything, and was half hispanic so his skin was the perfect tan all the time.
Waylon and I dated all of our junior year, but he was ready for a sexual relationship and I wasn’t. Juliet told me all the time that she and Jax had sex too soon because that was all their relationship seemed to be about. Sex, sex, and more sex. I wasn’t ready for that kind of seriousness or the stress of sneaking around. Waylon understood but we decided to break it off anyway, so that way he could go off and have all the sex he wanted without me. We were better at being friends anyways.
The summer after junior year Juliet got accepted into a marine biology program in Costa Rica. She was excited to spend the summer doing what she loved, what she never had the chance to do in Montana. The only downside to her going was that she would be gone for two months. It was the first time Jax and her were going to be separated since they started dating.
So the five became the four again, at least for a little while. We did all the things we would normally do in the summer time, hiking, float the river, folfing, and hanging out by a bon fire. The weird thing was that Jax seemed happier when Juliet was gone. As if he needed a break from her. Cory and Waylon spent a lot of time at parties, hooking up with random girls. Parties that Jax and I didn’t want to go too — which meant that we ended up spending a lot of time with each other, alone.
We got along better then I thought we would. What turned out to be hanging out alone because Waylon and Cory ditched us morphed into actually planning to see each other. The night before Juliet arrived home, the four of us where at Jax’s house eating pizza and playing games in the basement, which also doubled as Jax’s bedroom. After awhile Waylon and Cory left us to go meet up with some girls they met the night before while we all ate triple cones at the Big Dipper.
I was all set to leave too because it was late and it felt wrong to be in Jax’s bedroom alone so late at night. I was buttoning up my cardigan when Jax slipped his arms under mine, so that my back was too his chest.
“Stay,” He whispered in my ear as he started unbuttoning the cardigan for me. It was intimate and he never acted that way around me before.
I turned around as he was tugging the sweater off my shoulders. When I was face to face with him, he slipped his arms around me, my breasts pressed against his chest. I remember feeling so shocked that I didn’t object or move away.
His hands lowered to the hem of my shirt and he slipped his thumbs under and began to make small circles on my hips. He leaned in close to my face and said, “I want you.” The next thing I knew he was kissing me. The saddest part was that I kissed him back, more passionately then I expected.
Jax had hazel eyes, more green then blue, hair the color of oatmeal. Perfect hair that was messy and curled just right. I’ve always thought Jax was attractive but never acted on it because he was Juliet’s boyfriend and not mine. Never mine.
He was lifting my shirt off and lowering me to his bed when I finally found my voice, “What are you doing?” I had asked.
“Nothing you aren’t doing back.” He stated between kisses.
“What about Juliet?” I remembering asking just as his lips found the top part of my breasts were the cotton of my bra met my flesh.
Jax jumped off me and rubbed his hands over his face. He quickly threw his shirt back on, funny how I didn’t even remember taking it off. I pulled my shirt back on too.
We looked at each other in embarrassment and confusion. What did we just do? Or almost do?
“I am so sorry…I don’t know what came over me…damn…Jules…how could I forget about my Jules?” I remember as he paced around the room angry with himself.
I was angry with myself too because kissing your best friends boyfriend was an obvious no-no.
With shaking legs I stood up and gathered my things, “It’s ok, she doesn’t have to know. Mistakes happen.” It felt backstabbing uttering those words but if it meant nothing, and it wouldn’t happen again, there was no need for her to know, right?
I left Jax’s house in a hurry that night and we didn’t speak of it again for almost a month. There was obvious tension between us though. He would look at me and I caught myself looking at him too. That night changed his relationship with Juliet and I could sense it.
It changed us too.
I would catch him watching me with such longing that I felt heat rise in my cheeks. When we didn’t talk for a month Juliet feared we had a fight and made us go get ice cream together. It was a month after our stolen kiss. Jax and I both felt highly uncomfortable until I finally told him that I felt guilty all the time for what we did and that we needed to come clean with Juliet. He disagreed and said that somethings were best left unsaid. He focused on his relationship with her for the next couple months and ignored me for the most part. We played pretend and I was doing my best to be ok with that.