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"Jackson, wait!!" you call out.

He turns to face you, an agitated look on his face. "What is it?"

"I...." You look down to your old, dirty converse. “Just say it,” you remind yourself. You know you'll regret it if you don't.

“That's what I thought,” Jackson says. “You're just wasting my time.” He turns and walks away, leaving you there alone. You look up, just as he rounds the corner.

Why can't I just say it? It's only three simple words.”




You sit in your bedroom, gazing out the window. You are lost in thought. You pay no attention to the cars passing by, or even the dog barking on the near sidewalk.

Should I try to text him?” 

You pick up your phone and unlock it. You shudder. Your home screen is a picture of you and Jackson together. You had only known him for 5 months, but that had been the best time of your life. You open your messenger and compose a text:


Hey, Jackson. I'm sorry about today. We really do need to talk. I need to explain myself.


You press send only for an automatic message to pop up.


System error


Message cannot be sent


Did he block me?" you think to yourself. 

You hear the doorknob turn, and your sister walks in. She immediately notices that something is wrong. 

“What's wrong, sis?” she says.

You look up at her with envy. She has perfectly tanned skin, beautiful, wavy blonde hair, ocean blue eyes, perfectly straight teeth, and a boyfriend. Sometimes when you compared your blotchy skin, kinky, brown hair, braces, and barely passing grades, you wondered how you two were related.

“You wouldn't understand,” you say.

“I think I may be able to help.” She takes a seat beside you on your bed. “Is it about Jackson?”

You nod.

“What happened?”

“Remember when I first went to the school and became friends with Allison, Nikki, and Jackson?”

She nods.

“Allison, Nikki, and I were talking, and they asked me if I thought any boys from the school were cute. I told them I thought Jackson was cute.”

“Is he?”

“Insanely. Anyway, they twisted it into me liking him. I barely knew him then. Before I knew it, the whole school was talking about how I liked him.”

“Did you correct them?”

“No.”

She looks shocked. “Why not?”

“It was like everyone wanted to talk to me suddenly. It felt like I was accepted. I played along with it, but eventually Jackson grew tired of it. Now he won't even talk to me, and all my new “friends" are gone.”

“So, you're trying to fix everything?”

“Yeah. The only problem is I actually like him now.”

“Does he know that?”

“Yeah.”

She stood. “I think you're wasting your time. If he won't listen or let you explain yourself, let him go. He's not good enough for you.”

“But….”

She shakes her head. “No buts. You don't need him. Sis, don't change yourself for other people. Who cares what everyone else thinks? Just be yourself.”

You give an exasperated sigh. “I guess.”

“I know what will cheer you up. Let's get some fro-yo.”

“Can I get an extra-large cup?”

“Just this once.”

You jump off the bed and follow your sister out the door.



A few days later, you decide to try again.

Just tell him,” you think to yourself. You take a deep breath and walk over to a big oak tree. Jackson is sitting beneath it. 

“Jackson, we need to talk for real this time.” Your words come out shaky but firm.

He looks up at you. “Look, I really don't have time for any more of your games.” He turns to leave.

“Wait, Jackson!!” 

He begins to walk away. “Stop trying to waste my time,” he yells over his shoulder. 

“But I….”

“If you actually had something to say you would have said it by now.”

He was getting further and further away from you every second. “Don't let him get away again.” You muster up all the courage inside you. “I love you!!”

Jackson stops walking and turns to face you. “You what?”

You look at the ground. “I love you,” you whisper. You look up to see Jackson walking towards you.

“You love me? How? You tried to play me.”

“I wasn't trying to play you! It was a rumor. I know I should have stopped it, but I felt accepted. I realize how dumb I sound. I never would've done it if I actually had a chance with you.”

You look up to see a shocked look on his face.

“That's where you're wrong. I did begin to fall for you.”

You're taken aback. “What?”

“I saw right through your act. I knew it wasn't real; just a façade to fit in. Do you realize how much you hurt me?” His voice cracked on the last few words.

You look back down as a tear slips down your cheek. “I'm sorry. I didn't realize.”

“The thing is, I didn't fall for the fake you. The ‘popular` you. I fell for the real you. The you that always told the funniest jokes. The you who tried to eat five fries at once and bit her finger instead. The you who shamelessly went to sleep in History class. The you who didn't care what everyone else thought. I haven't seen her in a long time.” He shakes his head.

You look at him. “ I`m still here.”

He shakes his head. “After all that has happened, I think it's better if we both move on.”

Through tear-blurred vision, you watch as he walks away.



It's been five years since that day. You never saw Jackson again after that. Everyone was told he transferred schools. You look down at your hand; at your engagement ring. You look up at the man beside you and smile. You had long since moved on from Jackson, and you are deeply in love with the man whom you will soon marry. 

Though you have moved on, your heart and head will always know that Jackson was your first love.


June 26, 2020 18:09

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7 comments

J. Ernst
03:36 Jul 06, 2020

I thought the way you wrote this through the reader's perspective was fresh and very interesting. Nicely done. If you have time please check out my very first submission to this site. It's also in this week's contest posts. It called 'The Gift'.

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Sierra Butler
13:16 Jul 06, 2020

Thanks!! I will definitely check yours out. :D

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Syeda Fatima
11:32 Jul 01, 2020

I dunno... but its kinda touchy, heartbreaking... twisty all over, just love it❤

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Sierra Butler
18:24 Jul 01, 2020

Thank you!! This is the first story I submitted, so I was very nervous to share it. I also really enjoyed your story!! :D

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Syeda Fatima
15:51 Jul 02, 2020

Relax!! ur story is epic! I am personally amazed by its mesmerizing power that shook me hard and kept me all occupied till the end...write more and I will too!

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Jack Bodkin
09:22 Jul 03, 2020

Great story so many can relate to! Your pace made me read faster to get to the outcome.

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Sierra Butler
13:15 Jul 03, 2020

Thank you!!

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