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Romance Contemporary Teens & Young Adult

I’m in love.

Jonas Sistheim is his name. 

I had better explain.

Jonas was-- is-- my first boyfriend. And I had a little problem when I decided I liked him. 

He was my best friend’s brother. Isabella, my best friend, has known me since kindergarten. We argue a bunch and do everything together. I never really noticed her brother. He was just always there. Until this year. He was suddenly cute and I wanted him to notice me. Except I didn’t, because what about Izzy? What would she think? 

Also, would Jonas even glance at me? I had no idea what he thought of me. 

Jonas not only noticed, he asked me to the Winter Ball. Me, Leanne Vessey. Actually, Izzy was cool about it. I had a shock when my parents didn’t seem fazed at all! They just imposed some rules and told me to be safe. There are some things neither Izzy nor my parents need to know, though. 

Like that shared kiss in a dark corner of the school gym.

Except … now Jonas and I have to stay six feet apart. I can’t even begin to describe this, except by saying that it is very, very hard to do. 

Fortunately, we’re neighbors. Izzy, Jonas and I have been sitting on our lawn chairs and talking and doing homework each Friday. I look forward to this because I can visit Jonas and Izzy. But it also breaks my heart. I can be so close to Izzy and never hug her. I can be so close to Jonas but not hold his hand. 

When will everything be normal again? 

I drag my lawn chair, a tacky purple Adirondack, out into the yard along with my homework. The chair is super heavy and it makes an ugly scraping sound on the grass. By the time this pandemic is over, I’ll probably be like, super fit. 

“Hey, guys!” I shout. “How are you?” 

“Fine,” they say. I don’t feel like talking, so I just pull out my math work. Every few minutes, I sneak a peek at Jonas. A few times he makes eye contact with me. 

Oh, social distancing. It’s lousy. I mean, I know it’s for safety, but it’s sure hard with Jonas in mind. 

I snap shut my math book, startling Izzy. I apologize and open a reading workbook. 

After another half hour, my homework is done, and I realize that my class meeting is in a few minutes. 

“Better go,” I say. “My class meeting is soon.” Anna waves to me, and I wave back.

Then I look at Jonas. I think of all the things that would be happening if it were allowed. We would kiss, or at least hug, or… anything but this.

I hate this.

The class meeting is the same as yesterday and the day before. Mrs. Wilson goes over math and reading, then touches on science and social studies. Soon we’re done, and I don’t have too much homework.

On another weekend, I would have looked forward to this so much more. I could spend more time with my friends! Now, it’s not like I am doing anything this weekend anyway. 

I daydream about Jonas. Our last date…

We only went out to dinner, but I loved it. I wish I hadn’t taken that for granted.

I’m awoken by a buzz. My phone. A call. My heart leaps when I see the caller ID. Jonas! 

I swipe the answer button and say hello, trying to act awake. Thank God this isn’t a video call. 

“Hi, Lea,” Jonas said. “I just wanted to see how you are doing.”

“Oh, well, I’m fine. How are you?”

“Good,” he says. “I miss you.”

“Me too,” I whisper. I know what he means, seeing each other just isn’t the same. 

I will have to stay strong. 

The day is the same as yesterday and the day before. Although I feel like I have been home forever, the days fly by. Every day feels the same: finding something to do, trying to stay spirited. I just wonder, for the umpteenth time, when this will end. 

Friday is here again. I have survived the week, but how much more of this can I endure? 

I tug my chair out to the lawn again. I already did my homework the night before, causing my mother a shock, so I pull out a book and read. I shove it away after a bit, striking up a conversation with Izzy and Jonas. 

As we are talking, I realize that I need to be patient and stop mourning what I cannot do. I need to enjoy these times with my friends. 

I just can’t figure out how. 

I sit on the back deck, staring out at the houses before me. The sun is setting and birds are twittering, making the suburban view seem scenic. 

“Hey, Lea!” I glance to my left and see Jonas on his deck. He’s waving and grinning at me. 

“Oh, Jonas! What’s up?” 

“Oh, just coming out to see the gorgeous view. Makes me feel like I’m in Hawaii or something.” 

“Just subtract the palm trees and add some houses,” I giggle. 

“Yeah. I prefer houses anyway. I mean, compared to palm trees …” Jonas raises his eyebrows in a silly way. 

“So, are you okay? For real?” he asks, turning serious. 

“I don’t know,” I say. It is the truth. “I mean, I’m trying to stay positive, but I miss you and Izzy and my normal life and everything else.”

“I know what you mean.”

We fall silent. 

“Well, I guess I better go inside,” Jonas says. We say goodbye and he walks into his house. I stare after him. 

I know what I said earlier about enjoying the times with my friends and staying strong seemed impossible, but I have been doing it all along. 

Without realizing it, I have been taking it just one step at a time, turning this into the new normal. I can keep doing this. 

While I think, I notice the sun has set. 

The sun has set, but I am still hopeful. The sun has set, but I am still persevering. I know someday it will rise. 

April 24, 2020 18:30

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1 comment

Victoria Bogatz
01:21 Jun 14, 2020

When I say, "Anna waves to me" I mean Izzy. I couldn't figure out a way to fix the error.


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