Read Night Sky Online

Authors: Jolene Perry

Tags: #dating, #rape, #sex, #young adult, #las vegas, #teen pregnancy, #adolescence, #contemporary romance, #virginity, #night sky, #jolene perry

Night Sky (10 page)

BOOK: Night Sky
6.39Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

“It’s the truth.”

“So, you really don’t want
to go first?” I ask.
It seems like she
should—ladies first and all that.

“I can’t.” I’m trying to imagine what the
expression on her face is like. Maybe she’s frowning just slightly,
the outsides of her mouth turning down just enough for me to

“How do you get to where
you grew up?”
That seems harmless

“Are you kidding?”

“No, that’s something you can share, right?”
I want to feel like I’m being the nice guy, doing the right

“You get on a plane in Las Vegas.” Her voice
is teasing in the tone I’m starting to love from her.

“I know that part.” I laugh.

“So you take a flight from Seattle to
Ketchikan. From Ketchikan—where my dad lives and where I am now—you
take the South Tongass Highway all the way to the end.”

“Highway…got it.” I’m picturing her, while
at the same time picturing what she’s describing. Mostly, it feels
good to just talk.

She laughs. “Erase whatever picture you have
in your head of a highway. It’s two lanes, windy, and barely

“Okay.” I don’t know if I can come up with a
good enough picture.

“Huge trees on one side, and the ocean on
the other.”

“Got it…huge trees and ocean.” My picture is
solidifying. I know I’ve seen pictures of this part of the world.
The trees are tall and foreboding. The water is cold and grey.

She laughs again. “So there’s a cannery and
a lodge at the end.”

“And that’s where you live?” Ketchikan
doesn’t sound much like civilization, not what I’m used to anyway,
and she’s talking way beyond that. I’ve never lived anywhere but

“No, you’re not there
yet.” Her voice already sounds lighter.
did the right thing getting her to talk first.
“You take a boat across the inlet to a spot called Gem Cove
and my village is there.”

“Wow. So, coming to Las Vegas was like a
trip and a half for you, huh?” She’s describing something I can’t
even imagine.

“I visited once…before I moved to Vegas…I

“You’re so far away.” When I exhale, it
feels like my lungs won’t be able to pull in another breath.

“Nope, I’m in Ketchikan right now. Much,
much closer.” She chuckles, but she’s trying to be quiet, so it
comes out as a half whisper.

“Okay.” She got me to smile. I feel better
than I ever thought I could without touching her.

“I shared. Now, it’s your turn.”

“I’ll ruin it.” My chest feels heavy

“Ruin what?”

“We both feel good now, I don’t want that
feeling to go away.”

“You need to talk, Jay. I want to hear, and
I want to return the favor.” Her voice is like silk—still, soft and

“My dad had an affair and
walked out.”
It’s out. It’s real. Sarah
knows. Sky knows. Mom knows. I know. Of course, his girlfriend
knows. My dad left me. He left my mom and he left me.

“Oh Jay, I’m so sorry.”

“It feels like I’m old
enough that something like this shouldn’t bother me, you
Am I a wimp for letting it affect
me so much?

“I don’t think it matters how old you are,
and you still live at home. It’s a lot. I’m sorry I’m not there to

“I put my fist through the wall, and I feel
pretty stupid about it. Sarah was surprised.” I think back to
holding my hand under the water and wrapping it in the towel.

“Sarah was there?”

“She stopped by for a few
Is that weird? Sky knows the
deal with Sarah. Does that make it better or worse?

“How are things between the two of you?”

“When I’m around her, I miss your honesty. I
guess I never realized how much Sarah and I don’t say to each
other.” I wonder if I’m making any sense, and if my explanation
will help Sky feel okay about my friendship with Sarah.

“I’m coming home early.” Her tone is
impossible for me to read. I can’t decide if that’s a good thing or
a bad thing.

I’m thrilled, but I’m not
sure how to respond. I wish I could see her face.
“Where are you right now?”

“I’m sitting on my favorite rock at the edge
of the woods overlooking the ocean.” She breathes out a sigh.
“Dad’s house is on the outskirts. It’s quiet here.”

“It sounds awesome.” I picture her sitting
on a large boulder, the thick forest behind her. The ocean is in
front of her and her long, black hair is flowing in the wind. “You
look beautiful.”

“You can’t even see me.” She laughs.

“I can when I close my
Am I a total dork for saying that
out loud?

“Go back to sleep, Jay.” I made her smile. I
can hear it in her voice.

“Night, Sky.”
I wish you were here, with my arms around

“Night, Jay.” I can still hear the hint of a
smile in her voice. I’m thrilled I was able to make her feel
better, even if it was just for a little while. It makes me feel
like I have some control…over something.







I pull my backpack out of the car and walk
across the school parking lot.

Why can’t my spring break coincide with
Sky’s? We’ve only had one date. But she’s amazing. Maybe it’s just
the kissing that I’m missing…and not her. No, it’s more than just
wanting someone. It has to be, right?

I can see Sky in my head pointing at me,
saying, “Truth, Jay.” But if I don’t know what the truth is—how can
I answer her?

“Jamesy, you look terrible.” Sarah frowns as
I walk into our Monday morning student government meeting. “How are


“I’m sorry.” She puts her arms around me for
a Sarah hug.

“Thanks.” I pull her into me before letting
her go. I don’t want to think about how she makes me feel when I
hold her that close. She isn’t mine to hold. Now I’m back to the
dilemma of maybe feeling too much for two girls…I’m about to my
breaking point.

“It’s your meeting today, Jay,” Matt reminds

“Oh, right.” I stand up
and sit on a desk at the front of the room. I look up and see Eric
standing at the door, staring at me with a look that can only be
described as hatred.
Great, now I’m not
allowed to hug my best friend…perfect.

Sarah waves at Eric
smiling and he jerks his head for her to follow him. She jumps out
of her chair and runs out of the classroom. I consider following,
but I don’t think it would help the situation. He does
look happy. I’ll
have to talk to Sarah later.

“Okay, I call this meeting to order. Let’s
get our old business out of the way so we can move forward with our
agenda. All in favor?”


“What happened to you this morning?” I ask,
as I sit next to Sarah in third period English.

“I think Eric’s just uncomfortable with our
friendship, that’s all.” Her eyes don’t meet mine. She gives me
only a passing glance, before fixing her eyes on the desk.

“He knows me, he knows
you. He
were friends. This shouldn’t even be an issue.” But I can tell—just
as we’re starting to get something back of our old friendship—it’s
going to disappear again in the wake of our new

“Sorry, Jameson.” She shrugs.

And with that simple gesture, she once again
dismisses me for Eric.

“Call me if you want to talk,” she whispers,
without looking at me.

Sure, whatever.

I wander home more
miserable than ever. I skip swimming practice, but when I get home,
it’s all I can think about. I change into my shorts and walk out to
the pool. I dive in, sink to the bottom, and wish I had a snorkel
long enough that I could just sit here for a while. I float up,
take a breath and force myself back down. I’m starting to relax
into my groove of sitting on the floor of the pool. My eyes aren’t
burning from the chlorine anymore. It feels like I could do this
Just sit here in the calm

“Jameson!” Mom’s voice is panicked.

I rocket to the surface. “What’s the
matter?” The words sputter out.

She lets out a long sigh. “You scare the
crap out of me when you do that.”

“Well, you scare the crap out of me when you
scream my name.” I slide onto the edge of the pool, and rub my
eyes. They’re used to the chlorine, but now the outside air is
killing me.

She’s in her work clothes, but sits next to
me, not afraid of getting wet. “Are you okay?”

“Yes…no…I don’t know, Mom.” I can’t look at
her. Mom sees too deep.

“You have a lot going on right now,” she

“No shit.” I rub my hand over my head.

“Watch your mouth.” Her voice is stern.


“No, Jameson. I’m sorry. I feel like I
should have done more or that…” Her voice is so apologetic. It just
makes me angrier.

“Don’t Mom, please. I’m pissed at him, not
at you.” It seems pretty clear that it’s Dad’s fault.

“I saw the hole in the wall.”

“Yeah, don’t worry—I’ll fix it.” We’re
sitting close, staring at our laps.

“Destruction? Aggression? It’s not who you
are, Jameson.” Now her voice is full of concern.

“I know. I’ll fix it. Can we please drop the
subject?” With Mom here, I feel pretty stupid about putting my fist
through the wall, but there was also something pretty satisfying
about the destruction I caused.

“I love you, son.” Her hand reaches out to
touch the back of my head.

“Love you, too.” I lean into her, even
though I’m wet. I know she doesn’t mind.

“Jameson, you’re not…really depressed or
anything are you?” I can tell it pains her to even ask.

I chuckle. “I’m not going to off myself,
Mom. Don’t worry.”

She kisses my wet temple. “You’re on your
own for dinner. I’m here on my lunch break.”

“Mom, it’s three in the
afternoon.” I look at her as she stands up.
This is her lunch break? How many hours a day is she

“I wanted to see you after school. I’ll be
home by seven or eight o’clock.”

“Okay.” But I’m worried. She has to be

As soon as she disappears
into the house, I slide back down into the water and sit on the
bottom. There’s too much to think about.
At least the world is quiet down here.


I know I’m the only one home, which means
I’m the only one who can answer the door. Which means I have to
pull my sorry ass out of bed, and get the door.

I open the door and my heart stops.

Sky. Home days early.

She’s in snug yoga pants that stop near her
knees and a long sleeve t-shirt. She looks so soft—like something I
need to have in my arms.

Before I have a chance to
form a coherent sentence, she asks, “So, do you remember when we
went out on that really awesome date?” Her hips slide to the side,
and her eyes are playful.
I love her like

Also, does she not notice how I’m staring or
is she simply ignoring the fact?

“The one we went on like six days ago?” I

“That’s the one.” A corner of her mouth
pulls up.

“Oh yes, I remember.” I’m
still in shock that she’s back in town early…and
she’s right here in front of me.

“That was you, taking care of me.”

Kind of, only I really did just want to be closer
to her, so it was kind of for me, too.

“Tonight, I’m taking care of you.”

I step toward her raising an eyebrow. I
could think of a few ways I’d like to be taken care of.

“Puh-lease.” She pushes
past me into the house, a large bag in her hand. “You’re an
emotional wreck. And I know to guys, it doesn’t matter, but
matter to
girls. So tonight I’m going to be your friend,” she says as she
turns to face me.

“Sounds depressing,” I tease.

“Don’t tease.” She narrows her eyes.

“But I’ll want to kiss you
all night, and if we’re friends, I won’t be able to.”
I wonder if protesting will get me

“Jameson, just take what I’m offering,” she
says, trying to sound like she’s exasperated when she’s really

“Okay.” But I haven’t seen
her in days. I want

She stands looking at me. Her eyes widen.
“You’re serious, aren’t you?”

“Of course I’m serious!” I’ve been thinking
about our kiss since she left.

“Fine, come here. Let’s get the kiss over
with.” She rests against the counter and motions with her hand for
me to step closer. Her face is flat. She looks almost bored.

“I’m sorry that kissing me is so torturous
for you.” I step closer. She’s so beautiful I feel it in my

“It’s not.” She shakes her
head. Her voice is soft. “Kissing you is like…it’s like nothing
I’ve ever felt.” I watch her swallow.
this mean she’s nervous? Does Sky get nervous?

This makes me pause. I
pause long enough to get my head on straight, so I don’t devour her
in my need to feel our lips together. I take the bag of out her
hands and set it on the kitchen counter. I can hear her breathing
change—it’s more shallow and loud. I’m thrilled to have this effect
on her. I brush my lips against hers and open my mouth slightly
before kissing her again. Her arms slide around my neck, bringing
us together. Now she’s pressing herself against me, and it’s
mouth that’s moving
more urgently against mine.
This is
My body is both tense and relaxed
at the same time.

BOOK: Night Sky
6.39Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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