Thursday, September 23, 2010

seven: i won't tell you how to live your life, so please stay far away from mine.

song: always running out of time by motion city soundtrack

Jade’s POV

Jacob was really getting on my nerves. I completely erased the idea of hooking up with him, or even talking to him, for that matter. We walked across the street to the road house, my stomach growling angrily. Chewing on the same stick of gum for several hours just wasn’t cutting it.

Anton frowned at the menu, whispering something to Jacob, both exchanging confused glances. They kept saying the same thing in Swedish; it sounded something like, “Nay, do.” Whatever the hell that means.

Eventually, Anton looked at Lena, his voice a bit shaky, “Umm, Lena?”

She nodded, “Yes?”

“Uh,” he smiled, his cheeks flushing pink, Jacob nudging him, “We can’t understand the menu.”

“Oh,” Lena stood up, “We’ll help you.” Before I could object, she said, “Jade, you help Anton, I’ll help Jacob.”

I rolled my eyes as they switched places, Anton settling next to me, “Fine.”

Anton was very timid, which didn’t surprise me. I’d been yelling at his best friend for the past few hours. I spoke with him calmly, trying to make him feel comfortable. He glanced across the table wistfully at Lena, obviously preferring to read it with her than me. That was fine, I was used to being the more scary of the two.

After we placed our orders, they went back to their original seats. Lena’s phone started going off like crazy. We all looked at her questionably.

“Must be getting service here,” she said, going to her inbox, “Oh....”

I knew who was sending her messages. Anton looked a bit concerned, Jacob didn’t care. I downed half of my Coke the minute it was brought to me, I was so hungry. Lena barely touched her drink, scrolling through her phone and looking more upset with every text that rang in.

“Is he having a hissy fit because you’re not there?” I asked, sounding bored.

Lena pursed her lips, “He’s mad about more than just that.”

“Thought you were going to try for that internship,” I said quietly.

“He doesn’t want me to do that,” Lena replied, “Depending on where he goes after the draft...”

I snorted, “You’d follow that asshole to Siberia.”

The waitress brought us our hamburger platters and we attacked our plates like lions to a carcass; we honestly could not wait to eat. It was greasy but delicious food. I leaned back, satisfied, seeing the boys had eaten everything long before me and were chattering in Swedish to one another.

Lena’s phone suddenly went off again. The message on the screen must have been worse than the others before. I saw her face turn very pale, her eyes starting to water.

“I’m not hungry anymore,” she said, hastily grabbing her coat and purse, hurrying out of the restaurant. I noticed she’d barely touched her burger.

“Someone should go after her,” Jacob said, gesturing to me.

Anton took off like a rocket. We watched him run after her, almost desperately. Jacob and I exchanged glances before he settled his gaze on Lena’s half-eaten plate of food.

“If she’s not going to eat that...”

“Clearly not,” I said, crossing my arms.

Jacob reached across the table and brought it over to his own plate, beginning to devour it. Truly, the burgers we’d just eaten were huge. Where the heck was he putting it all?

“Do you eat a lot because you’re so big?” I asked him.

He smirked, chewing his food, “Athletes have to eat a lot, Jade. We have to eat big meals, snacks in between, and take lots of naps.”

“Oh,” I shrugged, playing with a wisp of my hair, “I should know that. Lena talked about dickhead so much, about how he couldn’t hang out because he needed his ‘pre game nap.’ Freaking child.”

“We need pre-game naps so we have energy!”

“And craploads of food won’t do that?” I scoffed, “Seriously, this is why I would never date a hockey player. You’re so anal about everything, and all you care about is the stupid game and who’s there to see you perform-”

“You’re still mad about the bird.”

“His name was Gary, and he was a duck.” I corrected him.

Jacob sighed, “You don’t have to deal with me when we get to Saskatoon. Least you can do is be nice during the time we have to spend together.”

“I don’t want to be nice,” I snapped.

“You’re not like the girls back home,” he muttered, “You’re a crazy person.”

“And you don’t even know me,” I told him, “Really.”

“Good,” he said, finishing the burger and pushing the plate away, “Don’t want to.”



“Are you finished with your meal?”

Thankfully, our waitress appeared at the perfect time. I told her yes, we were finished and ready to pay. Jacob went to reach into his wallet, but I presented her with a shiny Platinum MasterCard. His eyes grew wide as she took it to swipe, then returned with the receipt. I started to put my coat on while he stared at me with that same dumbfounded look.


“Where did you get that?” Jacob asked.

I replied cooly, “None of your business.”

“No seriously, I’m curious.”

“Thought you didn’t want to know me,” I said with a smirk, seeing he was still looking at me strangely as we headed to the door, “It’s my brother’s.”

“Is your brother rich?”

“Well,” I sighed, “He’s a hockey player, like you.”

It was pouring rain out. We stood underneath the awning, looking out at the wet, muddy gravel ahead of us. The road was slick and lit with a blinking streetlamp, clearly not belonging in the country where we were. Neither of us wanted to make the run to the hotel.

“Who does he play for?” Jacob asked, raising his voice over the rain.

“Washington Capitals,” I replied, “But he’s still on his junior team until the end of the year, and he’ll be playing for Team USA.”

“So you’re American, then,” Jacob concluded, “How do you feel about Team Canada?”

I narrowed my eyes, “Aside from a few....I hate them.”

To my surprise, he murmured, “Me too.”


Anton's POV

"Lena!" I shouted, running after her in the rain, "Wait!"

I followed her into the hotel lobby, which was just a shack with a desk. I wiped the rain from my face, blinking as Lena obtained a key from the dirty-looking man at the desk. I nodded, indicating I was with her, and he grunted approvingly.

"Lena, please," I begged her, "What's wrong?"

She walked down the hall and shook her head, "None of your business. Go back to the restaurant."

Even as she unlocked her room and went to close the door in my face, I persisted, holding out my arm to stop it from closing, "Are you sure you're ok?"

"I'm fine, can you please leave me alone?"

At this point she was almost starting to cry. It was killing me. I hated it when girls cried.

"I know we're total strangers," I said slowly, "But...I'm a good listener. Maybe you need to vent?"

Lena scoffed, walking away from the door and dropping to the floor with her phone, "I can vent on my own."

"It's none of my business, like you said," I continued, "But you look like you could use a friend."

She stood up and came at me angrily, "I have a friend, and that's Jade. I don't need you or your pity, so please just leave!" I withstood her as she tried to push me out.

"Look, I'm not trying to give you pity, I just want to help-"

I stumbled back into the hallway, the door closing. She really was serious.

"Fine then," I told her, "Sit in your room and cry on your own. I was just trying to be nice. Where I'm from, guys are like that."

"I just don't want to talk to anyone right now!" Lena yelled from the other side, "Can't you respect that?"

"I can, I'm just worried about you!" Thank god for the door, because I was starting to blush.

"I'll be fine," Lena insisted, "Just go."

I sighed, "Ok, well...I'll be down the hall, if you need me." Defeated, I turned on my heel and decided to try and find the room I was going to be sharing with Jacob. There was a door open at the end of the hall and I figured he and Jade had heard the screaming match and decided to wait it out. Trying to think of a way to apologize for instuding on Lena, I walked into the room and saw something I wished I could've forgotten the second it happened.

Jade and Jacob, both on the stingy hotel bed, hands all over each other and making out like teenagers. I gasped in shock, didn't they hate each other? Jacob heard me and looked up, pulling Jade off the bed and onto the floor, him landing on top of her.

This really wasn't what I wanted to be dealing with right now.

"I'll give you two some private time," I said awkwardly, shutting the door as I ran out. It gave me the creeps to think of what they could have been doing had I walked in later.

I grabbed the doorknob of Lena's room and it broke clear off, so I stormed in, "On second thought, I think I'll stay here."

She was sitting on her coat on the bed, "Why?" Her eyes narrowed.

"Jacob and Jade are in our room," I explained, "Making out." I crossed my arms, "I'm just gonna stay here and wait until they're done with"

"Fine," Lena shrugged, "Just be quiet." I watched her scroll through her phone, pursing her lips in frustration.

"Is your boyfriend mean to you?" I blurted out.

"Shut up," Lena snapped, "You don't know anything about me."

"So he is, then."

"I said shut up," Lena said angrily.

"I had a girlfriend like that once," I said, trying to level with her, "Well, she was a cheater, and she slept with most of my friends when we were in ninth grade. She was nasty, but I really liked her so I stuck it out...she dumped me for one of the exchange students from Germany. Fritz something."

"And?" Lena asked, "What's your point?"

"I'm trying to relate...and failing."

"Badly," she said with a nod, "I said I didn't want to talk about it."

I accepted she had won, "Sorry. Is it ok if I sit down?"

She pointed to the other bed, "Over there."

"Lena, I don't have a disease-"

"Over there."

"Alright, alright..."

A few minutes passed by in silence.

"Is Jade always like this?" I asked, "I thought they hated each other."

Lena sighed, uninterested, "She probably just wants him in bed, like every other guy."

I laid back on the bed, spreading my coat out, "I'm gonna sleep outside."

She laughed a little, "Good idea. Well, I suppose if she ends up staying there all night, you could sleep here." She looked at me. "In the other bed."

"Thanks," I replied, "I think I'll sleep in my clothes. It's really not clean in here." I quickly added, "In this hotel, I mean."


"I'm not judging here, but you seem to very opposite to Jade. How are you two best friends?"

"We grew up together, our parents were friends," Lena explained, "She moved to Windsor when we were little. Her brother, playing hockey, wasn't getting what he needed in the US so they came to Canada."

"I see," I said, "I didn't know Jacob until we were both on the same team, when we were fifteen. I was really shy but he helped me out with a lot. Had some major problems I was going through." My mind glazed over when I thought about it; the day I found the papers.

"He seems like a nice guy."

"He is. Very classy. I'm surprised he's tonguing your friend in their, to be honest." I paused. "Jacob is a star back home. He saved our team from being knocked down to the lower league. He's probably, next to two other guys, the most wanted player on our team."

"That's cool."

"Yeah, he's so lucky. I'd love to play more than ten minutes a game."

"Well, you'll get your time, I'm sure."

"If I was half Jacob's size, maybe."

"I'm sure you're really good."

Now I was blushing badly. I looked around for something to change the subject. Thankfully, I noticed something in the corner.

"Hey...your room has a mini bar."

Lena sighed, "So?"

"So, ours doesn't," I hopped off the bed and wandered over to it, beginning to rummage through, "Gin, whisky....ABSOLUT VODKA! I love this stuff!"

I went to set the bottle on the counter and Lena's hand swiped it away, cracked it open and took a swig.

"Well ok then. There aren't any glasses anyway."

Lena smacked her lips, handing the bottle back to me, "I'm good to share anyway."

I smiled and took a swig. Most people think straight vodka is disgusting, but I never had a problem with it. Getting up and going back to the other bed with the bottle in hand, I watch Lena turn off her phone and then, search me, she came and sat next to me.

"What?" I asked.

"You have booze," she quipped, "Share."

I handed her the bottle, feeling a bit nervous. I never thought her to be the one to drink. It seemed to change her a little; she crossed her legs and groaned.

"Taylor's looking for me and because I won't answer his texts, he's pissed off."

I looked at her. She looked at me.

"You haven't been able to get service, none of us have."

"You think I don't know that? Well, I'd love to tell him, except all these texts keep flying in and I can't get a word in." Lena sighed, reaching for the bottle again, "Please, I need it..."

I wondered if Lena drinking was such a good idea. She seemed to loosen up and started to talk to me, which I liked, but I wondered if she'd end up revealing too much. I wasn't sure if trying to take the vodka away from her was a better plan, though. Lena could bite when she wanted to.

"You're drinking a lot, save some for me." I said quickly.

Lena grunted, turning her phone back on and handing it to me, "Here. Take a look."

I scrolled through the messages, reading only a few:

Taylor: 10:43 pm : u better answer me u little bitch
Taylor: 10:44 pm : otherwise i will tell ur friend nazem u fucked his brother
Taylor: 10:44 pm : i know u like him
Taylor: 10:44 pm : look i waited all night for u 2 text me
Taylor: 10:45 pm : what is ur fucking problem lena
Taylor: 10:46 pm : if ur with some1 else i will kill u

"This is disgusting, Lena," I replied, stating my distaste, "No man should talk to his girl like that."

Lena closed her eyes, "When he's good, he's really good, but when he's bad...he's terrible."

"Stand up to him," I told her, "Tell him he's hurting your feelings."

"You don't get it, do you?" she snapped, her eyes starting to fill with tears, "I...I love Taylor. He's everything to me, we've been together for years..."

"He shouldn't treat you like this."

She started to sob quietly, bringing her hands to her face. I wanted to put an arm around her, comfort her, but I was afraid to. She chugged the rest of the vodka, throwing the bottle at the wall, letting it shatter into angry glass shards on the floor.

And then she leaned up against me, slurring her words through her tears, "Anntonn...I know you don't me and I don't know you...but I need....I need..."

I gently touched her hair, "You need what?"

"I need a friend...someone to just...just hold me...until it all goes way...far away..."

Her body was shaking uncontrollably. I knew she was drunk as hell, but she was still upset never the less. I put both arms around her and we both fell back on the bed; she snuggled up to me in her drunken state while I did my best to soothe her.

I rearranged the stained pillows and put both of our coats down. Somehow we were able to get comfortable. My hand ran through her dark brown hair, calming her down. Lena put her head on my chest, her tears beginning to flood and soak my t-shirt.

"Sorry about your shirt," she slurred, "I'll...I'll buy a new one..."

Sometime after that, she passed out.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

six : i haven't got it all figured out just yet

Song: Hand In My Pocket, Alanis Morissette

Jade decided to drive this portion of the drive. I sat in the passenger seat as the two boys sat in the back. It was fairly silent, except for the two of them mumbling back and forth in Swedish.

“Why can’t you just talk English?” I asked.

“We don’t want to” Jacob replied.

“You know, it sounds like you’re hiding something” Jade spoke up.

“We’re not” Anton said quickly.

“Now it really sounds like you’re hiding something” she replied.

“So what if we are” Jacob replied, “What’s it to you?”

“I was just trying to prove a point” she shrugged, “And everyone’s too quiet, I needed a conversation”

I just saw him roll his eyes and sit back in his seat.

As the drive went on it seemed to be getting longer and longer. I just sighed and decided to plug in Jade’s iPod.

“What do you want to listen to?” I asked Jade scrolling through her artists.

“OH” she replied grabbing the iPod from my hand, “There”

I looked at the iPod, Rabbit Heart (raise it up) by Florence and the Machine.

“What is this?” Jacob spoke up with a disgusted look on his face.

“Music” Jade simply replied.

“Garbage” he mumbled.

“Excuse me!?” she snapped.

“Guys, relax” I replied, “It’s not a big deal”

“He called my taste in music garbage”

“I was talking about the song” he replied, “stop being so dramatic”

Jade got really worked up and they started bickering back and forth as Gary started quacking wildly.

“GUYS, Gary’s getting all worked up”

They stopped for a minute but continued bickering when I stopped talking. I just sighed and grabbed Gary from Jacob’s hands.

“Sorry little guy” I said.

I looked up and saw smoke coming out of the hood of the car. I slapped Jade and she finally took notice.

“Now you broke the car” Jacob said.

“I’m going to kill him” Jade replied ready to pounce.

“Jade, just see if you can fix it. If not, we’ll find a place that can”

We all stepped out of the car for a bit of fresh air. There was a sign that indicated we were close to a town. Hopefully one that could help us out, at least a little bit anyways. I handed Gary back to Jacob and went to talk to Jade.

“Are you okay?” I asked her, “Calmed down a bit?”

“I guess” she sighed, “He’s being a dick”

“He’s a guy, they’re supposed to be” I smirked.

She just half laughed and looked back over at him, “GARY!”

I looked over and Gary had taken off towards another group of ducks. Jacob standing there happily as he met up with them.

“What did you do!?” Jade exclaimed.

“It’s his mother” he replied, “And his little siblings”

She just smacked him on the arm, “Why did you do that? I was getting attached”

“Sorry” he shrugged, “But it was time for him to go home, you wouldn’t dare keep a baby from his mother would you?”

She just sighed, “Fine…I suppose you have a point. I’m going to take a walk, see how far away this town is”

I sat on the hood of the car and talked with the guys. It was almost an hour and I was starting to get worried about Jade, until I saw a tow truck come by, with her in the passenger seat. It stopped as she jumped out with a large smile on her face.

“What the hell is this?” I whispered.

“This is Jose” she explained, “He’s going to get our car back to his garage, and he’s letting us stay in his hotel for the night”

“Your friend let me in on the story, you seem like you’re having bad luck” he said.

“Thank you, very much” I said.

We all squeezed into the tow truck, as Jose hitched the car to the back of it. I ended up on Anton’s lap so everyone could fit. Just my luck.

“Sorry about this” I said.

“It’s okay” he said. But you could tell he was uncomfortable, his face was as red as a tomato, if I can use that comparison, “Are you okay?” he asked.

“I’m fine” I replied quickly, “Are we almost there?”

“Two more minutes” Jose replied.

“Why am I the one that ended up on someone’s lap?” I said.

“You were the last one in” Jade replied.

“I probably could have squeezed--”

“Stop complaining, it’s not like you’re cheating on Taylor or anything”

“Shut up Jade” I snapped.

Finally Jose stopped the vehicle and I was only seconds jumping out. I don’t know why, it was just really awkward, and I wanted to get out as soon as I could.

“I’ll leave you guys here, and take this to the garage, should be ready by morning”

“Thank you” Jade replied as he drove off.

“We’re staying here?” Jacob asked looking up at the hotel.

“I feel the same way” I replied.

“What else are we supposed to do?” Jade asked, “We should just make the most of it”

“There’s a roadhouse across the street” I replied turning around, “You guys hungry?”

“The less we have to be in that hotel, the better” Jacob replied.

Monday, August 16, 2010

five : your soul is searching ecstacy, but I don't want your body.

song: we don't want your body by stars

*Jade’s POV*

“Stop pointing that stupid stick at me,” I said, rolling my eyes, “I am staying over here. I already said I won't rape you. You don't need to use a piece of a tree as a weapon.”

Jacob was on one side of the car, holding this 12-inch piece of a branch like a weapon.

“How do I know that if I drop this you won't jump me?” he asked, narrowing his eyes.

“Because I'm not interested in jumping the moment.” I replied, holding up my phone. “I hate Rogers!”

I heard a rustling and saw him grab a second wimpy stick, “At the moment? What does that mean?”

I thought for a moment, then replied, “If you must know, I'm on my period.”

Clearly disgusted but relieved, Jacob dropped both sticks.

“...but only until tomorrow.” I added, giving him a mischievous grin. I loved toying with him; everything seemed to freak him out, like a pre-pubescent girl.

“Oh, great.” He wandered to the front and jumped on the hood of the car, lying down and gazing at the sky.

“What is with you, anyway?” I asked, walking over to stand by him, slowly of course, “Most guys would love to just do a girl and not need anything more. Let me guess: you're gay.”

Jacob shrugged, “Not all guys are like that.”

I crossed my arms and leaned against the car, “Then what are you like?”

“I respect girls.”

I snorted, “Pfft, yeah ok. You’re probably a virgin, too.”

My last comment was oozing with sarcasm, but Jacob didn’t seem to catch it, “So what if I am?”

I raised my eyebrows, “You're 19! You're young! You're really well-built- I mean, live your life, man!”

Jacob folded his arms around his chest, “I still haven’t found the right girl.”

Oh god, we had a Cupid’s arrow believer, “The right girl to lose it to? Please. Don't tell me you believe in that lovey-dovey soulmate crap.”

Jacob sat up and glared at me, “I don't need to sleep with every single girl that gives me the time of day.”

“Look, I'm not saying that at all. I'm saying that if it's love you're looking for, you're crazy.”

“Just because whatever is going on between your friend and that Taylor guy isn’t working, doesn't mean love doesn't exist.”

“Don’t even go there,” I snapped, getting up in his face, “That, is not love. Maybe Lena has it, but he certainly doesn’t, not even an ounce of respect, either.”

“Why don’t you believe in love?” Jacob asked, “Just curious. I get that you’re about random sex because it’s some kind of protest...”

I sighed, “I had a guy that I was engaged to, way back when. We were young and stupid. I was stupid. Long story short he left and knocked up some girl and married her.”

Jacob was quiet for a moment. He sat up and looked at me; really for the first time our eyes met. His were such a bright blue, especially in the sun, I was taken with them for a few seconds.

“Jade, I’m sorry, I didn’t know.”

“It’s fine, I’m over it.”

We were quiet for a moment.

“Have you ever been in love?”

Jacob bit his lip, “No. Not yet. But my brother, he's been with his girlfriend for a few years now, and the way they talk about each other, the way they look at each other, I've seen it in my parents...”

I nodded, “They're lucky that way, I guess. Maybe some of us just aren't meant to fall in love and stay in it.”

“It happens, but it seems your friend really likes that Taylor guy, maybe even loves him.”

I could feel my face grow red with anger, “What he gives to her is anything but love. Doesn't return her calls, sleezes around and then apologizes later...I cannot tell you how angry I was when he put the mark on her arm.”

Jacob looked shocked, “I saw that...what is it?”

I rubbed my kneecaps, “Well, first of all- I'd like to sit in the car, next to you, because I'm tired of standing.” I paused. “Can you trust me?”

Jacob slid off the roof, “I guess so.”

We walked to either door and got in the backseat. I crossed my legs over his so I could lean against the seat comfortably. Jacob gave me a look that said, ‘Go right ahead and make yourself comfortable, then,’ and I smirked at him; my dirty purple Converse laces hanging in mid-air.

“Taylor has a nasty temper, and he usually resorts to verbally hurting Lena when he's mad,” I explained, “But one night, a month ago, he got so angry he picked her up and threw her right into his trophy case. The glass broke and she wound up in the hospital.”

Jacob was quiet. My could feel the frustration building up as I thought of the countless nights I’d had to drop in and save her from him.

“I wanted to charge him with assault, and we were going to- until he showed up, apologized in the most fake way possible, and she told me not to.”

Jacob touched my arm gently, “It’s not his apologies, she still loves him, despite everything.”

“I guess so,” I groaned, “He hurts her all the time, he treats her like shit. He's her first boyfriend....I am getting sick of it. How many more beatings will it take before it’s too late...?”

In spite of myself, I was crying. Really crying. I’d held it back for so long that now I was letting it all go, in front of this complete stranger I had just met. I felt sick and sad and sorry for it, for Lena and for myself. I withdrew my legs and leaned against the window in a pathetic little ball.

“She'll be fine, she's lucky to have you...” I felt Jacob’s arms awkwardly hug me. His touch was warm and soft, and safe. I don’t know why, but unwound myself and turned to look at him. The sun was pained through the window and hitting his eyes perfectly; making the blue mix with the bit of green.

“ have really pretty eyes...” I managed to stutter.

He frowned, “Umm...thank you...”

In a sudden fit of passion, I jumped on him, pushing him down against the seat and pressing my mouth against his. I grasped onto his large shoulders, kissing him hard. After several seconds he parted his lips and gently pushed me off.

“ this really appropriate?”

I suddenly felt very embarrassed, “ I...I'm sorry, I don't know what came over me...”

Jacob blushed beneath me, “It's was just a little...unexpected...”

I sunk down in the seat, “Sorry, I don’t usually kiss must have been horrible.”

Jacob suppressed a laugh, “It definitely wasn’t horrible.”


He blushed, “It wasn’t.” Jacob looked very uncomfortable pinned beneath me.

“Nevermind. I’m sorry.” I paused. “Actually, I’m not.”

“Jade!” Jacob cried out, holding me back, “Why?”

I blinked at him, “You should know I haven’t kissed a guy in ages.”

Catching him at a second of weakness, I took advantage and took to his mouth again. When he didn’t fight back, I withdrew. He gave me a small guilt-ridden grin.

Jacob’s face flushed, “You sure you don’t do this more often?”

“What? No,” I replied, trailing kisses down his jawline, “Why do you ask?”

Jacob fought the urge to moan, “Mmmph...what about all those guys you talked about?”

To my pleasure, I could feel him springing to life below me.

“I never kissed them,” I explained, inhaling the scent of his neck, “You smell good.”

Jacob’s hands gently rested on my hips. I planted small kisses along his neck before I decided to get a little bit dirtier and sucked on his neck. He immediately reacted and pulled away instantly.

“Vad gör jag?!” Jacob groaned, rubbing his neck and getting out of the car.

“Geez, you can hardly see it,” I shrugged, “You’re being a child.”

Jacob knelt by the side mirror, frowning at the mark, “Bajs!”


“Stay away from me,” Jacob said sternly, “I’m not like you. I’m not interested.”

Before I could spit my witty reply, we both heard a weird noise. I glanced over my shoulder, seeing in the surrounding forestry, some sort of dog. Naturally curious, I walked towards it, Jacob following close behind. The dog growled and ran across the road, leaving some animal behind.

A tiny ball of fluff, walking like he was drunk (more like rolling), quacking at us through ruffled feathers.

“It’s a baby duck!” I exclaimed.

Jacob frowned, “Don’t touch it!”

Ignoring him, I scooped the duckling up in my hands, “Hello little guy!”

The duck quacked at me contently, nibbling on my jacket. Jacob sighed.

“You’ve got to be kidding me.”

“He’s adorable,” I said, squealing with delight, “I’m naming him Gary.”

“Don’t name it, you’ll get attached.”

“I already am,” I sighed, “Little ball of joy.”

“Little what?”

Lena, back from her trek to the gas station, raised her eyebrows, “Jade...put it could have a disease.”

“He’s harmless,” I assured her, “I’m keeping him.”

“No, you’re not,” Lena insisted, “Anton and I were able to get some gas, thank God for credit cards.”

“Whatever,” I waved it off, “He can sit on my lap until we get to a nice little duck pond.”

“Um, we’re not getting to a nice little duck pond!” Lena replied, “We’re getting back to Saskatoon, remember?” She glanced at Jacob. “Oh, my god...really, Jade?”

Jacob nervously covered his neck with his hand, “Hmm?”

She shook her head at me, “Do you have to have sex with every male you meet?”

“We didn’t have sex, ok?” I put Gary down, “We just made out in the back-”

“The duck bit me,” Jacob cut in, “Seriously.”

“The duck’s staying behind,” Lena told me, “For sure now.”


“You’re so dramatic,” Lena rolled her eyes just as Anton left the car and walked over to us, “Got it filled up?”

“Yes, we’re all set,” Anton replied, “Nice hickey.”

“Not a hickey.” Jacob snapped.

“It’s a definitely a hickey.”

“No, it’s not.” Jacob said, glaring down at his best friend.

Anton shrugged, “Ok, it’s not.”

Monday, July 26, 2010

four : no fighting wars, no ringing chimes, we're just feeling fine

Song: Quiet, Lights

The car was quiet, I was getting tired and the GPS was making funny noises.

“Stupid thing” I mumbled giving it a whack. Just a few seconds later, the screen went black.

“Is that dead?” Jade asked from the backseat.

“No, it’s fried” I sighed, “does your iPhone have a map?”

She pulled it from her purse and moved it around trying to get service, “nothing”

“Well, we can’t go much further without a map, who knows where we’ll end up” I replied.

I stopped the car and sighed taking off my seatbelt and opened the door.

“Where are you going?” Jacob asked.

“Well, if we drive too much further we’ll run out of gas, and even if there is a gas station near here, we don’t have the gas to get there so maybe we can get a map while we get some gas”

“You’re not going alone” Jade said, “I’ll come with you”

“No” Anton said climbing out of the car, “I’ll go, who knows if you two will come back when you leave”

I just sighed, “Fine, can we just go please, Jade and Jacob, you guys guard the car”

“You can’t leave me with her” Jacob whined, “What if…”

“She’s harmless Jacob, I promise, plus, we won’t be long…at least I hope not”

Anton mumbled something to Jacob in Swedish and Jacob looked relieved. I just smirked as I started walking. He quickly caught up and walked beside me.


I just turned to look at him, “Um…well, what position do you play…for your team?”

He thought for a minute, “Is it…left wing? I think that’s how you say it. I shoot left”

“Oh…that’s cool” I smiled, “I have to be honest, I was never really into hockey until I met Taylor”

“Does Taylor like hockey?”

“He plays, against you…”

“Oh. What team?”


“Taylor Hall?” his eyes grew wide.

I just nodded my head, “That’s the one”

“I heard about him from a teammate, Magnus Paarjvi-Svensson, he said Hall was good”

“He’s incredible…on the ice”

I looked up at him and his face fell, “Your friend…she doesn’t like him”

“Yah, there were a few incidents…that involved him”

“Oh…I see” he replied, “Well…can I ask what?”

I didn’t know this guy, I really didn’t think I could really trust him, especially something this personal in my life.

“It’s complicated”

“If you don’t want to talk about it, it’s fine” he shrugged, “I don’t blame you. I have a little sister, she just turned five”

I just smiled, “Really? Does she look like you?”

I saw his face turn red a little and I just smirked, “I wouldn’t say that. She’s a lot braver than me. She wants to try everything. We saw a bunch of people skydiving before I left and she told me that’s what she wanted to do when she grew up”

I just laughed, “I have to meet this girl”

“Her name is Hanna” he smirked, “She’s a charmer”

“Sounds like my kind of girl. I love kids”

“Really?” he replied, “So do I. I watch Hanna when I’m not playing a game or at practice”

“That’s too cute”

I saw him smirk a little bit and I was quick to respond, “You know, the fact that you watch her and everything…”

“I love her” he said, “I know it may sound crazy, but she was there when no one else was”

I have to admit, I was a bit surprised he was sharing this with me.

“When my girlfriend broke up with me for someone else, she told me to forget about her, she said ‘she wasn’t that nice to you anyways’…oh wow, you didn’t need to hear that”

“I’m a little surprised actually”

“What? Why? Not all of us hockey players have girlfriends. Even Jacob is single, he gets girls chasing after him constantly”

“This is true, but I was talking about the fact that you told me that”

“Oh, I don’t want to be rude, if telling you makes you uncomfortable”

“No” I laughed, “It’s really okay Anton, I just wasn’t sure you wanted to”

“Well…I don’t normally talk to people about these things”

There was an awkward silence between us as we kept walking. Finally he spoke, “Do you think they’re okay?”

“I’m sure they’re perfectly fine, why?”

“Last thing we need is our star goalie going missing” he smirked.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

three : if I lost faith, was no choice I made.

song: halloween by meg & dia.

Jade’s POV

Lena was more the happy when she discovered that the GPS was in the glovebox of the car. As she hooked it up and set it for Saskatoon, Jacob and Anton started arguing with each other in that gibberish language of theirs. Lena called us over when it was done, and they raced to the car.

Of course, I got stuck sitting in the backseat next to the giant with the massive morning wood. I guess it wasn’t that bad; he was pretty decent looking. That, and he answered generally any stupid thing I asked him. I liked that.

“So, it’s because it’s keeping you your arm or something?”

Jacob sighed, “Ja. Its normal.”

I smirked. He looked so uncomfortable. I liked making people uncomfortable.

Lena’s eyes met mine in the rear view mirror. She gave me a warning glance. I put out my innocent face and she looked away.

“ the front desk lady said we were pretty loaded when we showed up at 2 am,” Anton was saying slowly, still unable to look at Lena, “I wonder how long we drove to end up this far from Saskatoon.”

“And in the country,” Lena added, “I mean, I found our passports in my purse, but come on- don’t we look suspicious together?”

I noticed Jacob had a small bit of goatee growing on his chin. I reached out to touch and he swatted my hand away. Twice.

“How old are you guys?” I asked.

“I’m 19,” Jacob said, moving closer to the window.

“Same,” Anton replied.

“Well we’re all the same age,” Lena said, “That part isn’t too suspicious.”

“I wonder what we told the border cops,” I snorted, “Oh, just going to have a crack party at some hotel in Nowhereland, California.”

“No crack, Jade,” Lena warned, “I swear to God, if you get baked at the game again-”

“Oh come on, that was one time!” I whined, ignoring the wide stare from Jacob, “And Nazem said he’d kill me if he caught me again. That, and Phil totally went apeshit.”

“As he should. Drugs are illegal.”

Anton looked a little scared by all of this talk.

“Look, I’m not a druggie, or an alcoholic, ok?” I said, leaning forward, “Both of you. I’m just a girl who thinks the whole feminist movement is a big joke.”

“Jade, stop being such a hippie,” Lena said with an eyeroll, gripping the steering wheel tightly.

“I’m not a damned hippie,” I protested, looking at Jacob, “Listen, I grew up in a real uppity family, not that they were bad to me, just boring. So it’s natural that I wanna try things, y’know? Like drink straight vodka, smoke weed outside of the school, fuck without a condom-”


Lena slammed on the breaks as Jacob screamed, undid his seatbelt and jumped out. Anton looked extremely dazed. Lena turned around and gave me the nastiest look before pulling into the nearby gas station where Jacob was currently running for shelter. She put the car in park, turned it off and stomped after him.

I grinned at Anton, “I’m gonna go get some water. You want some water?”

Anton visibly swallowed, “No.”

My black studded boots hit the pavement with a satisfying thud and I swaggered my way into the convenience store. Yeah, I was still a little drunk, but who cared? Definitely not me. I was used to this.

The bell made a clang against the door as I wandered over to the freezer section. I could hear Jacob and Lena talking in the next eye. Pretending to look at the Fritos selection, I started to listen in.

“...I mean I don’t feel safe!”

“I’m sorry, but I have to drive. If you get caught driving here with a Swedish license, there may be big problems ahead.”

Jacob groaned, “Please let me sit in the front. I cannot sit with her. She...she scares me.”

Lena sighed, “Look, I know she acts like she’s going to rape you, and she tries to be this big, tough girl, but Jade is harmless.” She paused. “Perfectly harmless.”

I chucked a bag of chips over the isle, “Liar! I fucked up Tavares!”

Lena growled and I knew I was in trouble. I ran around the other isle to avoid her, but to no avail- she always was faster than me. Grabbing me by the earlobe, which I hated, she scolded me.

“You almost faced criminal charges for that, don’t talk about it, ever,” she whispered harshly, “And secondly, you’re scaring Jacob.”

I giggled, “Haha. Jay-cub. Yah-cub.”

He frowned at me from behind Lena, “Don’t make fun of my name.”

Lena tightened the grip on my ear and I whimpered, “Ok! Ok! I’ll shut up!”

“Go get your water,” she told me firmly before turning to Jacob, “And you can sit up front until we stop for gas again.”

Jacob breathed a sigh of relief, “Tak.”

We all gathered into the car again and Lena instructed Jacob to withdraw the USA map from the glove box. Anton sat nervously next to me. I felt kind of bad scaring Jacob, so I decided not to bother this kid. After all, we would be stuck with them for a few hours, and maybe days.


april 2008

It was pouring rain in the middle of the night. Jade was fast asleep in her small apartment when she heard a knock on the door. For a moment she ignored it, but when the knocking grew frantic, she knew something wasn’t right. Jade brought herself out of bed and wandered to the door.

Lena walked in, soaking wet and shaking. Her face was flushed, and a fresh bruise was on her cheek- carefully connected to a brand new black eye. Jade swallowed, shaking her head.

“I’ll kill him.”

“No,” Lena said, shivering, “He didn’t mean it. By tomorrow, everything will be back to normal.”

They both knew that wasn’t true.

Sending Lena to the bathroom to have a shower, Jade closed her eyes as she dialed her brother’s cell phone, only to be answered by his roommate, Nazem.


“Naz,” Jade said, her voice shaking, “He did it to her again.”

She heard a heavy sigh, “No.”

“Yes,” Jade said bitterly, “I don’t know what to do anymore. You know she won’t listen to me, or to any of the guys.”

Naz was quiet for a moment. It felt like years for Jade.

“John’s up,” he told her, “We’ll be there in five minutes.” Before Jade could protest, he added, “We’re off for two days.”

Lena emerged from the bathroom just as Nazem Kadri and Jade’s brother, John Carlson, walked in. Wearing just a towel around herself, Lena felt very naked in front of the sudden visitors, despite the fact that she knew them. Her eyes grew wide, and then, ashamed, she looked down at the floor.

“Jade, you didn’t.”

“I don’t know what else to do, Lee,” Jade said slowly, “I’m scared.”

“How did it happen this time, Lena?” John asked her calmly.

Lena shrugged, “I got in his way.” She glanced at the window. “I guess I deserve it.”

Nazem bit his lip, his gaze meeting Jade’s frustrated one, “No, Lee, you don’t. He has a temper, and he needs to learn to control it. Just because he is angry does not give him permission to hurt you.”

Lena let her eyes fall shut, hiding the tears that tried to escape, “I should never have broke up with him.”

“You were together for just a day before he did this,” John said, “Lena, that’s not right.”

“You don’t understand!” Lena snapped, “I love him!”

John, never taken aback, replied simply, “Love does not harm.”

Lena’s tears started to roll down her cheeks, “You know what? You guys don’t understand. You all come from loving families, and Taylor is the only thing I have right now. He is the only one who loves me.”

“You’re wrong,” Nazem insisted, “WE love you.”

Lena snorted, turning on her heel and going to Jade’s bedroom, slamming the door behind her.

Jade turned to her brother, who exchanged glances with Nazem. It was a hopeless case, as it always was. They could’ve pressed charges or tried to get him kicked off the team, but nothing could be done without Lena’s consent. And she clearly wouldn’t give any.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

two : gotta feeling that i don't belong, gotta feeling that i shouldn't be here

Song: Shangri-la, Miss Li

My head was throbbing as I opened my eyes. I slowly sat up and looked around, there was some strange man on the floor of an unfamiliar room. He didn’t look a lot older than me, and he looked terrible.


I heard something fall in the hotel bathroom and swear, “Lena?” she mumbled.

“Oh thank God!” I exclaimed, “Where the hell are we?”

“Who the hell are you!?” I heard her exclaim from inside the bathroom.

“Who are you?” exclaimed another voice.

The loud voices woke up the one on the floor. He jumped up and my reflexes cause me to punch him in the face. His head jerked back and he just put his hand over his jaw. He said something angrily to his friend who stumbled out after Jade.

“Nice right hook” Jade said putting her hand up for a high five.

“Shit!” I replied, “You okay?”

He just nodded and looked over at his friend and then back to me, “Who are you?”

“I should be asking you that” I replied.

“Man I’m fucked up, what did we do last night?” Jade asked.

“Damned if I know” I replied falling back on the bed.

“Well…I don’t know about you but--” she put her hand over her mouth and tried to run to the bathroom but didn’t quite make it, avoiding one of the guys in the process.

“Jade, you okay?!”

“Yes…what happened last night?” she said sitting against the wall on the floor.

“You going to clean that up?” one of them asked.

“Do I look like a maid?” she replied.

“Shut up Jade” I sighed, “Names?”

“Jacob Markstrom” one replied.

“And you are quite happy to see me” Jade replied eyeing Jacob’s pants.

“We wake up with them!” he exclaimed, “Did you not learn in school?”

I just sighed, “Okay what about you?” I replied looking at the other one.

“Anton Rodin”

“Okay, sleeping beauty, you mind telling me where we are?” Jade asked.

He just shrugged and I just fell back on the bed, “What do we do now?”

“Well, where are you kids from?” Jade asked, “Germany?”

“Sweden” Jacob replied.

I jumped up and looked out the window, “We better not be in fucking Sweden!”

“I doubt that” Jade replied.

“This is all your fault Jade!”

“My fault, how the hell is this my fault?”

“You always get us into these shit messes” I exclaimed, “When is it never your fault?”

“Hey you, Jacob whatever, did we have sex last night?”

“Ugh, I hope not” he replied.

“There you go, not my fault”

I just sighed, “He doesn’t even know, how do we figure this out?”

My mind was beyond fried. I don’t even remember one thing from last night, did we seriously get that drunk and rent a room with two Swedish strangers? We must have literally been out of our minds.

“Well…” Jade said scrolling through her iPhone, “According to this, we’re in California”

“CALIFORNIA!?” I exclaimed almost tripping over a bottle.

The two of them started babbling in Swedish and I literally wanted to punch them both.

“You know we can’t understand you” I snapped.

“Sorry…we don’t speak English very often”

“I noticed” Jade replied rolling her eyes.

“Can we just figure this out please?”

“I want to die” Jade said as she banged her head on the wall.

“Same here” replied Jacob.

“Guys, please don’t go suicidal on me, I do want to get back home”

“Ugh…my head” Jade said.

“I know the feeling, I think we all do. Plus the banging your head on the wall thing probably isn’t helping either”

“Okay, well, what do you last remember?” Jade asked turning her attention to the guys.

“Well, we were headed to a club, in Saskatoon, before we get serious for our tournament”

“Oh they’re playing a tournament in Saskatoon too, like Taylor” I smiled.

“Don’t mention that dirt bag’s name” Jade replied.

“Don’t start Jade” I sighed.

“What do you guys play?” Jade asked.

“Hockey, we’re in the World Juniors”

Both our mouths hung open for a minute as we looked at each other and then back at them, “you guys play for Team Sweden?”

“I’m the goalie” Jacob replied.

“Jade, well maybe we can all go back to Saskatoon together, since we’re going in the same direction” I shrugged, “It makes sense”

“A road trip…with them?”

“Well we did take them here, from what I see…” I said looking out the window, “It’s your car”

She just sighed, “Fine, but this is going to be a long fucking trip isn’t it?”

A road trip with two Swedish strangers, who play for Team Sweden, in Saskatoon in the World Juniors. We knew nothing about them, or even what happened last night, for all we know…well, I don’t even want to think about it.

Monday, July 5, 2010

one: a bed at the bottom of the darkest hole.

song: when it rains by paramore.

april 1998

The phone rang in Jade Carlson’s room. She was quick to grab it, knowing exactly who it was and why they were calling. That, and if her parents woke up, Jade would be grounded for having friends call late.

“Come over, I’ll make the spare bed for you,” Jade said in a whisper, “I promise.”

Hanging up, the seven-year-old, dark-haired girl leaped out of bed and began to pull out the couch. She busied herself making a comfortable space for her visitor, and before long there was a tap on her window. Jade rushed to it, drew the curtains and saw the tear-streaked face of her best friend- eight-year-old Lena Brown.

Opening the window, Jade held out her arms and welcomed Lena into a hug. The two little girls were quiet for a moment as Lena started to sob into Jade’s shoulder. Jade knew about what was going on at Lena’s house, and this wasn’t the first time she had had to do this for her.

“He’s not going to come back this time,” Lena sobbed, “He’s gone for good.”

Jade let go of Lena, “How do you know?”

Lena looked down at the floor, “Because he took everything this time.” She turned to look at the bed Jade had made, “I wish they’d both go so I can live here.”

A rustling noise in the next room caused the girls to jump. After a moment the noise died down. Jade breathed a sigh of relief, knowing that they were safe. She closed the window and the curtains.

“We have to be really quiet,’ Jade whispered, climbing into her four-poster canopy bed, “John has a tournament tomorrow.”

“I wish I had a big brother like John,” Lena whispered back, snuggling into the soft sheets of the makeshift bed, “I don’t want to be alone anymore.”

“You’re not alone. You have me.”

“You’re my best friend, Jade.”

“You’re my best friend, Lena.”

“Are we gonna be bestest best friends forever? Even when we grow up?”

“Yes, bestest best friends forever.”