That soon becomes the least of his
problems, as old enemies of his mental health, family, and way of thinking
begin to overtake his life. Jaden tells a story of friendship, learning, and
love as he uncovers truths about himself and life. A journey of endurance and
self-growth awaits him as he skates through the roller-coaster that is life
with many movie nights and plenty of good food to help him get by.
He isn't trying to have a love story, but
he's getting one anyway. With himself.
We reached the parking
garage, and I led him through a labyrinth of Prii (the plural of Prius),
until we reached my Corvette. Now, I know what you’re thinking. I seem
to be complaining a lot about life, but I drive a freaking Corvette. But
what you don’t know is that we got the money from life-insurance when
my dad died. Now how do you feel? Be ashamed, ye judgmental heathen.
“Woah,” Cole said. “This is yours?”
I nodded, throwing my
backpack in the back seat and unlocking the doors. Cole sat down
carefully, so as not to ruin the already stained leather and cracked
passenger side rearview mirror.
I never said I was a good driver, or a good holder of drinks.
“Where do you wanna go for lunch?” I asked.
Cole wrinkled his brow and rubbed at a non-existent beard. “McDonald’s?”
“Are you kidding me?”
He looked taken aback. “What do you mean? McDonald’s is never a bad choice.”
I opened my mouth to say
something then shook my head and just started the car. Inside, I was
shaking. You mean to tell me that underneath that rippling muscle and
clear skin was a McChicken? I think not.
God, you gave all the good things to one person. Please stop.
We arrived a McDonald’s six
minutes later, our backs drenched in sweat, and sunglasses plastered to
our faces. We walked into the heavenly coolness of irresistible French
fry smells, and I sat down as Cole ordered some food. He joined me in a
booth just a couple minutes later.
“So,” he started, fanning his shirt. “Tell me some more about yourself. What kind of stuff do you like to do?”
I wasn’t sure if I should hate that he wanted to get to know me or be genuinely pleased that someone cared.
“I watch movies a lot. I sometimes play basketball. And I listen to tons of music.”
Cole sat up straight at the mention of music. “You make music?”
“What? No, that’s not what I said. Dear God, I’d be arrested for attempted murder if I sang in public.”
“Oh. Well, I make music sometimes. I play guitar and sing.” Of course.
“Really. I’ll show you some of my stuff in the car.”
A number was called from the counter, and Cole went to get his food. I kicked at his seat when he left.
How? How on my first day, in
my first class, had I met a guy so perfect that he would overshadow me
in every way everywhere we went? I just wanted a girlfriend, man. God.
Cole came back with a tray full of food, multiple fries and chicken nugget boxes clustered together.
“Jesus, man. What are you eating, Ronald McDonald himself?” I asked.
“Well, no. Half is for you,” he stated matter-of-factly. He proceeded to rip open a box of nuggets and indulge.
“You got me food?”
He didn’t even look up at me. “Of course.”
I almost didn’t want to take
any. I felt bad, taking food from a guy I’d just met. But then again,
it’s not like he was suffering at the moment. I indulged in the mounds
of nuggets with him.
At some point, I checked my
phone. You know, millennial stuff. I scrolled through social media and
lightly chuckled at something that wasn’t really that funny. I switched
apps, and immediately, a picture of Maddie with her best friend popped
up. I almost dropped my phone, which I guess wouldn’t have been so bad. I
wouldn’t have had to look at her face for another half a second before I
was able to close out of the app.
I choked on my food and had
to force myself to swallow, then I put my head in my hand and held my
breath. It stung. A lot. Seeing her face was hard for me. I shouldn’t
have opened the stupid app.
Cole, true to his perfect persona, saw my moment of heartbreak and looked up at me concernedly.
“Hey man, you good?”
I closed my eyes, picturing her face again. “Yeah. I’m fine. Food just got stuck in my throat.”
If I was close with him then,
I would have told him the truth. The truth about how my gut had just
fallen out of my stomach, and how an aching need to be with her filled
my body. I just missed her was all. It was like when I lost my dad.
“You sure?” He asked. I nodded, then opened my eyes and realized we had already decimated all the food he’d bought.
“Yeah. We should get going. I have another class in thirty minutes.”
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Thank you, Jonah, for letting us know all about your YA fiction book! It looks like a great read! :)
Jonah Evarts is only 18 years old, and
began writing his debut novel when he was just 15. He lives in Manhattan,
Kansas with two old people who gave birth to him, a twenty-something dude that
lives in the basement, and two adorable canines. Growing up as a military
child, Jonah lived in Alabama, Georgia, Texas, and Korea (yes, really) before coming
to Kansas. He says that Kansas is boring. He may be correct. Jonah loves
movies, music, and the occasional writing of a book. He hopes to combine these
three activities in the future, and make a career out of it. Support this poor
man-child in his attempt to do something with his life.