9.45 Shame

After a few days, Jonathan could no longer fight the urge to see Skyla again. If he could have things his way, he would have seen her every day. However, he was trying to obey the so-called rules of societal norms and give her some space. He asked her to meet at the park in Oasis Springs this time. He wished the school bus could have dropped him off there, but he had to go all the way home first after school. They hung out and talked for a little while before they realized they were hungry. It was around their normal dinner time, so they ran to the back of the park to see what they could find.

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“GOSH it’s beautiful out here,” he gushed. “Man, if I didn’t have to live in my house for the rest of my life, I would definitely move to Oasis Springs!”

“Why are you stuck in your house?”

“I’m the heir to the proverbial throne. When my father dies, the house and the money get passed down to me. And when I die, it’ll go to my son.”

Skyla was intrigued by this new information, but at the same time it saddened her. With everything she learned about him, he became more and more wonderful to her, and the voice in the back of her mind told her she was getting less and less his type. “That’s really cool,” she finally said.

“I suppose. I mean, yeah, it’s nice to be part of such a rich family history—I’ll tell you about it one day. Sometimes I just don’t understand what the point of it all is.”

He looked over at Skyla who was eating her hotdog and listening to him. Gosh…she’s even beautiful when she eats!

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He changed gears in light of a growing sensation which accompanied his affinity for her. “Hey, ummmmm…so like, I have to get married in order to be a proper heir. If you know anyone who would be interested in landing a very handsome goldmine, just send them my way.”

“You are such a goofball!”

“Only the best people are.”

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She laughed, and her mind was freed of that annoying voice. For just a moment, she was happy and enjoying spending the evening with her friend—her best friend.

“There it is! There’s that smile I’ve been looking for,” he said.

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Jonathan felt validated by making her happy. He didn’t know why she was sad sometimes, but making her happy had become the highlight of his days. They took a break from their playful banter to finish eating their dinner. He had a thought he couldn’t shake. As a matter of fact, he had this thought for a few days. He didn’t know how she was going to take it, but he had to share it with her to find out.

“Skyla?”

“Jonathan…”

“Forgive me if this is wrong, but I just have to.”

“Have to wha—“

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He kissed her on the lips mid-sentence. “Are you going to punch me,” he asked.

She was elated. “I should.”

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“But you won’t…right?”

“No.”

“Because you like me?”

“Uh huh.”

“Oh yeah…score!”

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“Hey,” he shouted. “The stars will be coming out soon. Do you want to look at them with me?”

“Sure.”

They talked for a little while as the sun quickly dipped underneath the horizon. When night fell, they got down on the ground and cast their eyes on the twinkling heavenly bodies.

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“Sky…”

“Yes, Jonathan…”

“I like you…a lot. I want you to be my girlfriend.”

“Are you telling me this, or are you asking me?” She was pulling his chain like he often pulled hers.

“HA! Ok…Skyla, will you be my girlfriend…please.”

“I’m sorry, but was there a question mark at the end of that sentence?”

“Who are you? The grammar police?”

“If you want a girlfriend, you have to ask her properly.” She was enjoying giving him a hard time.

“Fine. Skyla, sweet Skyla, will you please be my girlfriend?”

“I’ll think about it.”

“SKYLA!”

“I’m kidding!”

“Yeah, who’s the goofball now?”

They were both happy and satisfied about their new status in each other’s lives. After an hour, Jonathan suggested they got up and head home. “Will you allow me to walk you home now?”

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“Why do you always tense up when I ask you that,” he asked.

She had to admit defeat. Now that she was his girlfriend, she knew she couldn’t keep hiding her life from him. She looked at him sheepishly and said (almost inaudibly), “I don’t want you to see where I live.”

“Why? I don’t care where you live, Sky.”

“But…I don’t live like you live!”

He laughed a little. “I’m a Pruett. NOBODY lives how we live!”

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“I know, but…I just don’t want you to see!”

“But why?”

“Because you might not like me anymore!”

“Really? That’s your reason? What kind of shallow scumbag do you think I am?”

“I don’t! I promise I don’t. I’m just ashamed…”

His confusion turned into pity, and he wondered what could have gone on in her life to make her so ashamed of where she came from. “Ok. That’s fine,” he said. “If I promise not to laugh or act weird or take away your girlfriend card, will you take me to your house?”

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She thought about it. She wanted to say no, but it was silly. How could she expect to remain his girlfriend if he knew there was a part of her life she wasn’t willing to share with him? She choked back her fear and agreed to allow him to visit her home.

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