Rose Farrwell was a junior in high school, but somehow, she was asked to go to the senior prom by one of her best friends. He had asked her with the rest of the baseball team leading her on a scavenger hunt throughout the school until she got to the baseball field. There, her best friend, Jeremy Rollands was standing on the field with a big sign that said: “I know we’re just friends, but could I steal a date to Prom?” with a bunch of baseball bats and balls on the sign. It was obvious he had help with the sign, Rose knew because she’d known Jeremy since they were 10 and 11, and there was no way that was his handwriting. Obviously, she said yes.
She was getting ready for the prom when her best friend, Estela De la Cruz called her.
“Hey Stel, what’s up?”
“Are you almost ready?”
“Yeah, Jeremy just texted, he’s on his way.”
“Ok, awesome. Tyler and I are almost there so I’ll save you a spot at our table.”
“I’m sure you look gorgeous, Jeremy is a lucky man.”
“We’re going as friends Stel, shut up.”
“Mmhmm sure Rosie, I’ll see you there. Bye babe.”
“Byeeee,” Rose hung up and rolled her eyes at Estela’s earlier remark. Sure, Jeremy was definitely an attractive guy, he’s got a jawline that could cut, piercing blue eyes, dark brown hair that somehow always sat perfectly on his head, he was 6’3” and ripped, not to mention his smile- shit. What was she doing? In all of her friendship with Jeremy (since 4th grade, when they met on the bus they took every morning and afternoon) she had never looked at him that way. Well, there was that thing a couple of months ago when she watched him at baseball practice, but she shut that down quickly. Did she like him? I mean, she loved him, they’d been telling each other that’s since she was in 8th grade and he was a freshman. But that was always in a friendship kind of way. She was really confused, but then her phone buzzed again. It was Jeremy’s best guy friend, Luke Holliday, Rose met him two years ago while hanging out at Jeremy’s house.
“Sup Ro, you and J on your way yet?”
“No, not yet. He should be here any minute now.”
“Ok cool. Listen, when you get here and you vote for the whole prom king and queen thing, vote for Standall and Saint George, ok?”
“OH MY GOD! Char is gonna be so excited!” Charlie was also one of her friends, she’s actually one of the first people he told about his confusion about his sexuality. He was also obviously one of Jeremy’s friends. Jeremy had been there for Charlie when his mom died 4 years ago, Rose right alongside him. It was one of the hardest things she’d ever seen anyone go through before. So when Luke said they were voting for him and his newfound boyfriend Alex, she was so excited for him. He was one of the nicest guys she’d known, and he deserved to be happy.
“Yeah, I came up with the idea!” Luke said happily.
“That’s so nice, Luke.”
“Thanks, dude. Anyways, when J gets there, tell him to hurry his ass up, we saved y’all a spot at our table”
“Ok, but-” Rose was met with a beep telling her that Luke had hung up before she could tell him Estela had already saved them a spot at their table.
Just then, the doorbell rang. Jeremy.
“I’LL GET IT,” Rose shouted to her mom. Her dad had left them when she was first born, it had been just them two her whole life, and she was ok with that.
“Ok, take lots of pictures!”
Rose opened the door and immediately walked out and closed the door behind her. She then quickly turned around to face Jeremy, who she just now noticed was inches away from her face. They stood their awkwardly for a good 5 seconds (it felt like 5 minutes).
“Uhhh…” Rose said, looking into Jeremy’s eyes.
“Hi,” he said.
Rose laughed and looked down at her shoes “Hi”
He took a step back and looked Rose up and down, in a way that almost seemed flirty. “Wow. Just wow Rosemary (his nickname for her), you look so beautiful.”
“You don’t look too bad yourself Jer,” she said walking past him, bro-shoving him on the shoulder.
Jeremy just stood there In shock, with the rose he brought her still in his inside jacket pocket. It was her favorite flower, but she never told anyone because it seemed too cheesy with her name, but Jeremy knew.
He walked to the car but before he could get her door for her, Rose got in the car. Damn.
“Ok, so Holli said to hurry your ass up and get to the dance”
“You know if Luke ever heard you call him that, he’d kill me.”
“I know.” She said with a laugh.
The whole car ride there, Jeremy wanted to just grab her hand, but he couldn’t work up the nerve to.
They arrived at the dance and walked in.
“Oh yeah, Holli said to vote for Alex and Charlie for prom king and...uh king I guess.”
They walked up to the ballot box and voted for the two boys, then walked to Luke and the rest of the guy’s table, Rose decided not to mention the fact that Estela saved them a spot because this was his night, he was a senior, she still had her chance to go her senior year.
“Hey Ro!” Luke said, giving her a big hug. Luke was like a big brother to her. Even more, than Jeremy was, just cause they had more of a love-hate relationship, they messed with each other a lot. Whereas she and Jeremy messed with each other, but it was different somehow, they were closer.
“Hey Lulu (her nickname for luke, the one he knew about at least),” she said hugging him back.
“You look nice, J’s a lucky dude,” he said putting a hand on Jeremy’s shoulder.
Jeremy blushed and didn’t laugh, but Rose did. That hurt.
“Ok, did y’all vote for Saint George?”
“Yep,” Jeremy said
They sat down at the table, ate their meal, danced a bit (as a group) then walked over to a spot where they talked for a bit, mostly about sports. Rose LOVED sports. Then they started talking about girls.
“I’m gonna go talk to Stel, I’ll be right back,” Rose said, then she rubbed Jeremy on the back as she walked away.
“Ok,” Jeremy said, getting lost just staring at her as she walked away. She was perfect...in every way.
“Wow Rollands, you’re not subtle.”
“Shut the hell up Luke.”
“Hey, I know it can be hard, it’s ok J,” Charlie interjected.
“Saint George, you look hot man!” Jeremy said, hugging him.
Charlie leaned against a post and everyone gathered around him, just talking about sports and school, and girls of course.
“Jeremy, what’s wrong, man?” charlie asked.
“Nothing, it’s just-”
“Its Rosie” Estela walked up directly behind Jeremy.
“What? No. That’s not it. Where is she by the way?” he said looking around the room, “she said she was going to talk to you.”
“Calm down, we can talk about her. She’s talking to Tyler, you know how she wants to be a photographer?” Jeremy nodded, “she’s talking to him about that shit I guess. I dont know, I stopped listening halfway through cause as much as I love the pictures Tyler takes, he goes off on tangents about all of the technical stuff that I just dont understand.”
“Ok, well Charlie,” Jeremy said trying to change the topic, “hows it goin’ with Standall, yall two do it yet?”
The rest of the group laughed. Charlie shook his head no and blushed. Then he looked over to Alex and waved a little, smiling at the boy he loved. Jeremy saw this and couldn’t help but feel jealous of Alex. What he wouldn’t do to have Rose look at him that way.
“Hey, Rollands, don’t think you're getting off that easily,” Estela said. “Were talking about how you’re in love with your best friend.”
“Hey, I’m not in love with Rose.”
“Yeah, totally (sarcasm). So you’re telling me, you’ve never said ‘I love you’ to her in a way that was more than a friend? And when that happened, you definitely didn’t feel like shit afterward because she took it as just her best friend saying he loved her as a friend?” Estela said.
Jeremy couldn’t answer because Estela was right. That exact situation had happened 5 times, just that month. Once he could find the words, he said “ok, so what if you’re right? Does it even matter? She doesn’t like me that way, and there’s no way I would ever ruin what I have with her by being an idiot.” everyone was silent. Nobody made eye contact with him cause they could see the hurt in his eyes.
“Ok. I’m going to tell you something, but you cant tell Rose I told you this, ok?” Charlie said, Jeremy nodded. “Two months ago at the beginning of baseball season, while rose was waiting for you to get done so you could take her home, she was watching you practice from the bleachers. Like she always does. But while she was there, she was just staring at you, and she looked almost like mesmerized, so I went up to talk to her. When I did, she said she’d started seeing you differently and that she liked you. But then she said basically exactly what you said just now.”
Jeremy took a while to answer because he was in shock, “I dont care. I’m not going to make an idiot out of myself. Especially not at prom of all places.”
“Ok, well I tried,” Charlie said. Shrugging his shoulders looking at Estela.
Charlie walked over to Alex and hugged him from behind. Then he kissed him on the cheek and Alex almost melted in his arms. Rose saw this, she longed for this. She was only a junior in high school, she had just turned 17, she wasn’t ready for love yet, at least that’s what her mom always told her. However, something deep within her heart made her feel like somehow she already had that. She didn’t know how, or why she felt like that, but she subconsciously knew she had that.
She walked back over and sat at the table, which the jocks had moved to, and sat down next to Jeremy. Then she moved her chair closer to him and leaned on his chest, and Jeremy, by habit, placed his arm on her back and rubbed it, then held her close. “Uuughhh, my stomach hurts,” she said.
“I told you not to have that cheesecake, you’re lactose-intolerant.”
“I know, but it just tasted so gooooooood.”
“Here, have some water, and ill get you some crackers or something to help.”
“Thank youuuu, I love you Jer,” she said sitting up and letting him get up.
“Love you too rosemary,” damn, 6. He rubbed her on the head and walked over to the food table.
The rest of the jocks knowingly looked at each other. He really loved her. And damn if the didn’t look cute together.
By the time rose felt better, the DJ called the music to a halt and gave the mic over to jess, to have her announce the prom king and queen. Well, hopefully, king and king.
Once Alex and charlie’s names got called, Rose, Jeremy, Luke, and all of the other jocks were screaming and jumping up and down for them.
When they walked out on to the floor and started dancing, Jeremy looked at charlie’s face and how happy and in love he was. Then he just noticed how perfectly it seemed like they fit together. Hmmm, that’s how he and Rose felt: natural, comfortable, easy. Just then, Rose grabbed his arm and leaned on it.
“They’re so cute, dont you think?” she asked.
“Uh... yeah… Definitely,” he replied.
Suddenly, the DJ started a dancing song and told them to join Charlie and Alex on the dancefloor, so they did.
All of the guys congratulated the couple and admitted they were the reason why they won. Then charlie pulled Jeremy aside.
“You have to do something about her.”
“Yes, you can. You know how Alex rejected me 3 times before I actually got through to him?”
“Yeah,” Jeremy replied.
“Well, that’s cause I dont give up, and this is one of the things I won’t give up on. Mark my words: if you dont do this, I will bug you about it until you do.”
Jeremy laughed a bit. “But what if I ruin everything?”
“You won’t, what you have is too strong for that.”
“I dont know”
“I do,” Charlie said.
Just then, the music changed to a slow song. Right then, everything in him changed, he knew Charlie was right, he had to try. So he confidently and quickly walked up to Rose, grabber her arm, and turned her around. He pulled her in and kissed her passionately.
Rose couldn’t believe what was happening, she couldn’t really process it. All she knew was this felt right. So she kissed him back, she put her arms around his neck and they continued to kiss. Once it ended, the stared in each other’s eyes for a good 30 seconds before Rose said, “Hi”
Jeremy laughed and replied, “hi.”
“That was...uh” rose laughed. “That was…”
Jeremy’s mind raced, that was what, was it horrible, amazing, awkward, awful, gross, the worst kiss you’ve ever had?.
Jeremy just smiled and said, “do you want to dance?”
“Hell yeah jer”
They danced and danced for what felt like forever. This is what they’d both wanted for longer than they’d known.
After Justin collapsed, they were both still in shock and didn’t know how to feel. It was both a horrible and amazing night.
Jeremy took rose home. When they got to her house, he opened her car door to let her out, then walked her to her front door.
They hugged and Jeremy asked “do you want me to stay?” they’d been sleeping over at each other’s houses for a long time, it was a normal occurrence.
“Please. I just, I’m so scared. What if Justin isn’t ok?”
“Let’s just go to bed, we can find out more in the morning, I promise. He kissed her on the forehead before they walked inside.
“Hey guys, how was the dance?” her mom asked.
“It was great Lucy,” Jeremy said. Again, he had been calling her lucy for a long time, it was a normal occurrence.
“Are you staying over Jeremy?”
“Yes ma’am. Were both really tired, but we promise to tell you every detail in the morning.”
“Ok, you two go to bed, ill see you in the morning.”
“Goodnight mom, I love you”
“Goodnight, love you, Lucy”
“Love you too kids, goodnight.”
They got to her bedroom and got ready for bed, Jeremy had a bunch of clothes at her house since he stayed over a lot, so he wouldn’t have to pack anything. He also had a toothbrush, a blanket, a pillow, a sweatshirt, some shoes, and more. Lucy had the same things at his house.
Before they got into bed, Jeremy grabbed the now slightly damaged rose from his jacket on the floor and walked over to her.
"I never got a chance to give you this."
She grabbed the rose and smiled, then she just hugged him and said, "thank you so much Jer, this is perfect." then she found the perfect place for it in her room.
tonight was different than any other time they had a sleepover. Rose put on one of Jeremy's t-shirts and Jeremy slept in Rose's bed when he usually slept on the couch in the living room, or on the floor in her room.
They laid in Rose’s bed and cuddled until they fell asleep. As they did, they both just felt safe and comfortable. This should have happened a long time ago.