Keep It Simple

Kimberly sits on the familiar park bench, nervously looking around until her eyes stop on the approaching Jameson. “Hey Jameson!”

“Jameson? What’s wrong?”

“Why would something be wrong?”

“You’ve always called me Jam.”

“Oh, right. Hey Jam.”

Jameson lounges himself next to her on the bench. “Sup Kimberry?”

“Why does something have to be ‘sup’? A friend can’t ask a fellow friend to meet in the park to talk anymore?”

“Talk?”

“Yeah. You know talk, sharing words about our thoughts, hopes and dreams.”

“Are you dying?!”

“No! Damn it Jam I just want to talk.”

“Um, okay.”

“You’re my best friend.”

“You sure you’re not dying?”

“Yes I am, I just need a guy’s perspective on how to talk to a guy.”

“We usually don’t like to be talked to.”

“But what if there is something very important to talk about?”

“No big speeches. Just give the bullet points.”

“The bullet points don’t convey what I want them to.”

“Trust me, the bullet points are all that a guy is going to listen to.”

“I want it to be poetry that will spellbound him.”

“You should stick to the bare minimum.”

“I’m just so nervous that he won’t see me as a romantic option.”

“Less words equals more attractive.”

“Be serious Jam!”

“I am being serious. I don’t want this to be another Adam Gibson.”

“This isn’t a crush.”

“I just remember you drooling over his year book picture.”

“This is for real.”

“I had to sit on this bench and listen to you go on and on.”

“He has the most amazing eyes, and smile.”

“About how he’s so cute and has such a great face.”

“He is so funny. I think I could listen to him all day.”

“You would whine about how you need a boyfriend.”

“I want him to be my boyfriend so bad!”

“I would sit here saying that you don’t need a boyfriend to be a fully functioning human being.”

“I am so afraid to ask him. That’s why I need your help.”

“But do you ever listen to my advice?”

“Because if he says no, then I’m gonna lose a friend.”

“No.” Jameson straightens his back and tries to look into Kimberly’s face as he registers her last words. “Wait, you’d lose a friend? Who is this guy?”

Kimberly’s mouth is open, but the proper words have abandoned her. She finally squeaks out, “A dude in our grade.”

“A dude in our grade?”

“Yup.”

“You said friend.”

“I did?”

“Yeah. Ya did.”

“Huh.”

“Who is it?”

“Who’s what?”

“Don’t gimme that crap!”

“What crap?”

“Which one of our friends do you want?”

“I can’t tell you.”

“You can’t tell me?”

“No.”

“Well that makes sense.”

“Jam…”

“You wake me up at 10 on a Saturday morning…”

“It’s just…”

“Calling saying you need me, meet in the park…”

“Last night Mandy was painting my nails…”

“So I get up and get dressed…”

“And I was telling her about this guy…”

“You know I like to sleep late on Saturdays!”

“And she told me there was on thing that I have to say to make it clear what I want.”

“But no, I walk here like every other time.”

“And I wanted to know what you thought.”

“Because I’m Jameson, the amazing-best-friend-vent-wall! And now that I actually want to know who the next sleaze-ball you’re gonna obsess over is, you won’t tell me!”

“Hold me like you’re never going to see me again, and kiss me like you want to leave the impression of your lips on mine forever.”

“It’s Austin isn’t it?”

“Did you hear what I said?”

“He plays baseball, you know what that means right?”

“Mandy told me to tell the guy I like to kiss me and see what he does.”

“That means he likes to wear tight pants while playing with balls.”

“I said that was too aggressive, that it would scare him away.”

“He’s my buddy and all, but I’m pretty sure I’ve caught him staring at my butt.”

“How bout you Jam?”

“I’m not passing judgment on him. I’m just saying, I think he likes boys.”

“Are you scared?”

“And while liking a potential gay guy is better than Adam Gibson, it’s not good either.”

“Jam?”

“You need to look for a man Kimberry.”

“Jam.”

“One that knows how to appreciate what a cool person you are.”

“Jam.”

“One that really knows you…”

“Jameson!”

“What?”

“Do you think I’m girlfriend material?”

“Uh, depends.”

“Depends?”

“Yeah. On who the boyfriend would be.”

“Does that matter?”

“It matters to me!”

“It does?”

“Does what?”

“Matter.”

“Yes?”

“Jameson!”

“Stop calling me that!”

“It’s your name.”

“Not to you it isn’t. You’re Kimberry, I’m Jam, Kimberry Jam.”

“Well that’s childish.”

“No it isn’t.”

“Yes it is.”

“No it isn’t!”

“Yes it is!”

“Well I’m sorry it’s childish to have your favorite person in the world have a special name for you!”

“I’m your favorite person in the world?”

Silence settled in between the two best friends. Jameson’s face was flushed with embarrassment, Kimberly’s flushed due to a pleasant epiphany. Neither of them could look the other in the eye for a while.

“Hey Jam?”

“What?”

“I’ve never kissed anyone before.”

“I know.”

“Do you think that’s why I’m undate-able?”

“Don’t be silly.”

“I mean it scares me to think that my sister’s advice was to tell this guy to kiss me, and I don’t know how to kiss!”

“You don’t date someone because they can kiss.”

“Especially not a kiss where his lips would leave an impression.”

“You date them because you can’t stand the thought of being apart from them, and you need an excuse to spend as much time with them as possible.”

“That actually sounds like it would hurt.”

“Kissing is just a benefit.”

“Maybe I should ignore Mandy.”

“You need someone that will stop playing video games to come and hang out with you.”

“I don’t think he’ll see me as anything but a friend.”

“You need to have confidence that he sees the amazing person that you are.”

“Thanks, but I think I’m doomed to start sophomore year single, and stay single at least through college.”

“I doubt it. Some sketchy senior will swoop down and steal you away from me the first week of school.”

“Oh okay, sure…I guess I should get going. I told my dad I would go paddle boarding with him this afternoon.”

“Oh, well have fun.”

“Thanks for getting up Jam.”

“Anytime Kimberry.”

Both of them stand up and turn their separate ways. Jameson turns after a few steps and calls to Kimberly. “Hey, you don’t need to worry, any guy with a quarter of a brain would fall in love with you, poetic speech or not.”

“Thanks.”

“You’re welcome. Have fun with your dad.” Jameson pivots on his heel and walks back home, staring at the ground as he goes.

Kimberly looks on after her best friend. “Hold me like you’re never going to see me again, and kiss me like you want to leave the impression of your lips on mine forever.”

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