Meet Maddie Meet Jared
Maddie lies in bed as her cellphone alarm rings in her ear, willing her to wake.
She groans and reaches for it, knocking it off her end table as it falls, sliding further away.
“Ughhh,” she says as she grabs her pillow putting it over her head, trying to hide from the cruel reality of the morning world.
Her dorm room door burst open a few seconds later.
“HAPPY HALL-O-WEEN!!!!” her roommate Kim screams in a sing song way, her curly blonde hair bouncing as she jumps onto Maddie’s bed, causing a disruption in her comfort zone of white soft blankets and pillows.
“NO!” Maddie answers turning over and away as she hides under the covers.
“Oh come on! I thought you said this was one of your favorite holidays. Only 12 hours until all the parties start happening!”
“Correction- Halloween used to be one of my favorite holidays, (she says sitting up in a huff.) But have you forgotten how my boyfriend just broke up with me last week, – he was the other half of my costume, how can I be Raggedy Ann without an Andy?”
“Ok yes, Vinny sucks for breaking up with you. But there is an easy fix to your costume problem, honey. Buy a new one.”
“What am I made of money…?”
“Return the other, duh? Come on… get your ass in the shower, I’m coming back in a half hour and I expect you to look alive!” Kim says as she glides out of the room in an exaggerated way, her arms afloat in a fairy stance.
Thankful for the dim lighting, Maddie drags her feet and walks into her dorm suite living area/kitchen where Kim sits eating a bowl of cereal.
“Hallelujah!” Kim sings out, throwing her hands up in the air, as her brown eyes sparkle with sarcasm.
Maddie groans as she shuffles over to the seat next to Kim, Kim smiles and slides a mug of already poured coffee over to her. The hazelnut scent dancing in the air, creating happy thoughts in her mind.
Maddie grabs it and takes a sip.
“I made a damn good pot today, right?”
“Thank you. I need this.”
“So…I figured we’d just go to the mall, it has the Halloween store in it and then if we need any extra odds and ends we’ll just shop around.”
“Do we have to? Can’t I just stay home? I won’t be any fun tonight anyway.”
“No, you are not allowed to sulk.”
“I am not sulking, I’m just-“
“Sulking,” Kim says nodding with wide eyes.
Just then their suite door flies open with little warning, as a sandy brown haired, blue eyed boy saunters his way in, like he owns the place.
“Who’s sulking?” Jared says as he makes a straight line to Maddie and grabs her cup of coffee to take a sip.
“Do not. even. I will cut you.”
Jared looks at her and puts the cup back down slowly as he holds his hands up in surrender.
“Damn girl, okay.” he says his eyes sparkling, as a smirk plays on his lips.
“Excuse her, she’s a bit testy,” Kim says chiming in on the quarrel.
“Can we just…drop it, ok?”
Maddie and Jared exchange looks of sympathy.
“Look I get this whole thing with Vinny has been hard on you, but he’s been out living his life all week, he’s not hauled up in bed, ignoring his friends and favorite holidays,” Maddie says.
“That’s because he’s a dick face who doesn’t care about the fact that he literally ripped my heart out of my chest only a week ago.”
“He is a dick face. Such a dick face. Anger. Phase 2. Yes. FINALLY!” Jared says as Maddie laughs and Kim high fives him.
Jared and Kim look over at Maddie in shock.
“I’m sorry was that a laugh?” Jared says walking behind Maddie.
Kim looks of smiling.
“No. You’re hearing things.”
“I think that was a laugh. You heard it right?” he says looking at Kim.
“Oh, loud and clear.”
Jared starts tickling Maddie’s waist and she starts laughing uncontrollably.
He stops and looks at her.
“There she goes.”
“What are you talking about?” Maddie says turning to look at him.
“My girl’s back.”
Maddie smiles simply.
“You love Halloween, don’t let one asshole guy ruin that. Let’s head to the mall, get killer costumes and have fun!” Kim says draping an arm over her best friend’s shoulders.
“Ok. Fine. But don’t you dare try and get me to wear anything short and slutty,” Maddie says her eyes rolling over to glare at Kim.
“I would not mind that,” Jared says off in a daze of day dreams and fantasies.
Maddie slaps him in the chest.
“What!” he says with a smirk.
“Deal,” Kim laughs as she throws Maddie a jacket.
Kim and Maddie start to leave their suite and turn back to Jared.
“Hey, you coming?” Maddie says.
“Yes. As long as you don’t keep hitting me.”
The three walk out, as Maddie laughs and turns to Jared.
“Oh poor baby did I hurt you?”
Jared smirks and points to his cheek.
Maddie rolls her eyes and kisses it swiftly.
Kim notices and smiles as she starts to walk ahead.
“Come on out!” Kim shouts from outside the dressing room as she and Jared wait to see Maddie’s new costume choice.
“No. I told you I didn’t want this type of costume.”
“You said nothing slutty, it’s not slutty at all!”
“I can’t pull this off,” Maddie mumbles.
“Oh come on out, and stop being such a brat!” Jared says jokingly.
Maddie groans and opens the door as she stands there in a pair of tight leather pants, a cropped black top, a leather jacket and combat boots.
Jared’s eyes go wide and his jaw drops.
“Hell yes! You look hot!” Kim says.
“Yes.” Jared says not meaning to speak out loud.
Maddie and Kim look at him surprised by his outburst.
“I mean (he coughs) it looks good- on you- you look great.”
Kim watches in pure happiness.
Maddie turns to look at herself in the mirror.
Jared leans over to Kim.
“Thanks for the help on that one.”
“Hey buddy that was all you and way too much fun to watch.”
Maddie turns back around.
“You guys I cannot wear this,” she says trying to pull her crop down and her pants up, to cover her stomach.
Jared’s eyes are glued.
“Maddie. You look amazing. The biker chick look works for you. Some red lips and black nails and you are gold,” Kim says.
“I don’t know,” she says looking at herself again, cloaked in insecurities.
“Go for it.” Kim says whispering and hip bumping her friend.
“Ugh. Fine. What the hell, they say looking good is the best revenge right?”
“Are you sure it looks good though…Jared? Be honest.”
Jared snaps out of it when he hears his name.
“Yes. Yea. I honestly I have no words for how good you look.”
“Really?” Maddie smiles looking down.
“See it’s perfect, go change out of it, we’ll be on line.” Kim says walking off with Jared.
Jared looks back at Maddie as his eyes look her over.
Maddie looks at herself in the mirror once more before walking into the dressing room.
Kim looks at Jared and laughs.
“How transparent can you be?” she says.
“Really? Am I that obvious? Do you think she knows?”
“No. Lucky for you, she’s just as oblivious to receiving flirtation signals as you are to providing them. Hell you’d be a match made in heaven.”
“Ya think?” Jared says his smile dopey.
“I actually do think you’d be good together. You’re a good guy, and you care about her. She deserves that.”
“I don’t think she sees me that way though.”
“Won’t know until you try. And what a better place to do so than at a party!” Kim says her says widening and her mouth dropping like she just won the lottery of obvious ideas.
“Tonight? What? No. It’s too soon. She’s still got Vinny brain and I don’t want to be a rebound.”
“Vinny wasn’t that serious of a thing, let’s be real it’s not like she was in love with the guy.”
“I don’t know. I can’t.”
“Okay. Fine. I hope you have fun watching guy after guy after guy after guy hit on her, because looking like she does in that outfit, there’s no way you’ll be able to avoid that.”
Jared looks away pondering.
Kim walks into Maddie’s room dressed in her costume, just as she is putting her red lipstick on.
Maddie sees her in the mirror and turns, “I love it!” she says looking at Kim who twirls around showing off her leather kitten costume.
“Thank you very much! Are you almost ready?”
“Yea, pretty much. I just thought we were waiting on Jared.”
“Ugh, nope. He had to do a beer run. He said he’d meet us there.”
“Oh ok. Cool.” Maddie looks in the mirror once more, fluffs her curly hair and smacks her lips together and out she goes following Kim into the hall.
Kim knocks on the off campus apartment door and a fellow college friend opens the door greeting them with a smirk.
“Ladies! Hey, you look great, come on in, grab a drink!”
Kim and Maddie smile and walk in as another guy hands them each a drink.
Maddie looks over at the clock. 9:50 PM. It hasn’t even been an hour. She stands leaning against a wall with a drink in her hand. She looks around as a sea of costumes and red cups fill the scene. Off to the side she watches as Kim chats up with some hot guy dressed as a Werewolf. Kim laughs as she flips her hair.
Jared walks into the party he fist bump the host and hands him a few cases of beer.
“Thanks brother, you’re lifesaver.”
He looks around his eyes surveying the scene, looking for one specific brunette, on specific set of green eyes… there she is, he thinks, his path promised as he walks toward Maddie.
“Well hey there little lady, I reckon, those two would have quite some hairy children.”
Maddie looks over and laughs.
“A cowboy. It suits you. I like it.”
“Thank you ma’am.” he says tipping his hat.
“Are you going to talk like that all night?”
“Maybe,” he says keeping the southern twang intact.
“Maddie you look-freaking amazing.”
“Yes. Like Y-e-s with a capital Y and an exclamation point at the end for emphasis.”
Maddie blushes and laughs, pushing him away.
Jared places his hand over hers as it lays on his chest, close to his heart.
They both lock eyes- Blue and Green dancing for a beat.
“So… (looking away) what- Kim left you high and dry?” Jared says letting her go and leaning against the wall next to her.
“Not really, I told her to go mingle. I’m just-I was-“
“Waiting for me to come and save you?”
“Exactly,” she laughs smiling.
Jared looks over at her, his eyes wandering.
Jared fumbles noticing he’s been caught.
“Nothing. You want another drink?”
“Sure,” she says handing him her cup as he walks off, Maddie smiles nervously to herself.
As Maddie watches Jared walk over to a keg and get roped into a conversations with some friends, she rushes over to Kim.
“I’m sorry can I borrow her for just one quick second?” Maddie says to Kim’s latest conquest.
The guy nods with a smile, “I’ll be just a minute,” Kim says smiling and walking off to the side with Maddie.
“I’m sorry but I really need to talk to you.”
“Oh my god, are you kidding, of course, what’s up? Are you ok?”
“I think Jared might be flirting with me.”
“Oh sweetie, my flirtatiously challenged friend. He is flirting with you.”
“Yes. Welcome to the party.”
“Oh my god, so he likes me?”
“Yes. It’s really not news anymore at this point, everybody knows.”
“I didn’t know.”
“That’s because you’re oblivious.”
“I think I might like him too.”
Kim’s eyes widen.
“Now that’s new! Really?”
“I don’t know. I think. I mean I’ve never really thought of him like that before.”
“Well think about it now. Are you attracted to him? Does he do it for you?”
“Ah. Oh my god. I can’t do this.”
“Ok look. I’m not going to tell you what I think about this, because I don’t want to put anything in your head. Ride out the rest of the night. Spend some alone time with him, feel it out. If the spark is there, it’s there, you’ll feel it. If not, he’ll always be your friend.”
“Do butterflies count as sparks? Because I gotta say there are some serious butterflies going on right now.”
“You bet your ass they count.” Kim says smiling, “Now go!”
Maddie smiles and walks toward where Jared is with the guys.
Jared sees her and smiles, excusing himself he walks over to her.
“Hey sorry, I kind of got caught up in a bit of a who’s the scariest villain debate?” he says handing her a drink.
“Thanks….that’s easy Freddy Krueger, hands down,” Maddie says.
Jared looks at her and smiles.
“That’s what I said.”
“Hey Maddie, there’s something I’d really like to talk to you about…do you wanna maybe take a walk?”
“Yea-I-Oh no Vinny…”
“What?” Jared says confused.
“Vinny just walked in,” she says her focus shifting.
Jared looks over.
“Of course,” he mumbles to himself.
“Ignore him Maddie,” he says trying to get their moment back.
Kim rushes over.
“Holy ass face, did you see who just walked din?” she says.
“Yes Kim, thank you, we’ve all noticed,” Jared says annoyed.
Kim notices his frustration.
“You know what, just don’t even pay any mind to him. Don’t even acknowledge he’s here,” Kim says trying to repair the damage.
Maddie shakes it off.
“I can do that. So Jared, how about that walk?”
“Yea. Let’s do it, Ladies first,” he says leaving a path for her to walk first.
Jared holds his hand out behind him as Kim slaps it, he smirks following Maddie toward the front door.
As Maddie passes Vinny, Jared places his hand on the small of her back and she sighs in relief knowing he’s there, but at the same time there go those butterflies fluttering up her spine.
Vinny’s eyes follow Maddie and Jared, he jumps over blocking the exit.
“Maddie, Jesus you look hot how come I never got any of this while we were together!”
Jared’s hold on Maddie tightens as he bulks up ready to say something.
Maddie squeezes his hand to stop him.
“Oh let’s be honest here Vinny, you don’t deserve any of this, your just not man enough to handle it. So do me a favor, walk away, now. Before we have a problem.”
Vinny looks at her baffled as he slinks away.
Maddie grabs Jared’s hand, heading out the front door.
They get about a block away, before Maggie finally speaks.
“I’m sorry about that. He’s such an ass.”
“You don’t have anything to be sorry for. Like you said he’s an ass.”
“I knew I shouldn’t have worn this, I should have just stayed home like a wanted to.”
“Hey. Stop it, (he stops, turning to her he puts his hands on her shoulders) you look amazing. Don’t let him make you feel bad about anything, ever. He’s a piece of crap that wasn’t worth your time.”
“I know. You’re right. It’s just he gets in my head sometimes and I start to question myself.”
“Don’t. Your body is yours. It doesn’t belong to any guy, ever. And just because you wear something slightly different or sexier than usual on the one night of the whole year that the world is allowed to spice it up, doesn’t give him the right to comment on it and make you feel bad or make you question how amazing you look and how amazing you should feel. Cuz you’re perfect. You always have been Maddie. That guy, he’s completely insane for ever letting you go.”
“Thank you, you didn’t have to say that,” she says her eyes nervously looking away.
“I wanted to,” he smiles as they continue to walk a bit more.
A million thoughts are running through Jared’s minds. That was one hell of a speech. Kiss her. Kiss her now, you fool. No. It’s too soon.
“Can I ask you a question?” Maddie says stopping under a weeping willow tree as the fall breeze kisses her cheek, her hair gently blowing.
“Of course,” he says turning toward her, the mere sight causing is heart rate to quicken and his palms to start sweating.
“Will you kiss me?” she says her eyes meeting his as his widen in surprise. “I feel like there’s something here, and I know that we’re friends but we may be more and I won’t know unless you kiss me. I would never want to hurt you by leading you on, so will you just-”
Jared reaches for his cowboy hat, removing it he tosses it to the side quickly as he cups her face and kisses her.
Maddie’s lips are in shock at first, but her response is quick as the spark ignites her lips kissing back softly at first but then finding a more aggressive/urgent groove with Jared’s. As Jared feels her doing so, his hands find her waist, pulling her into him. Her hands gliding up his arms and wrapping around his neck.
The kissing continues for quite a while, as Jared walks Maddie backward until she’s up against the tree bark. Fall leaves dancing in the wind, whirling around them.
Maddie finally breaks the kiss, needing some air.
They both exhale loudly as they lock eyes, they laugh.
“Did that really just happen?” Jared says his eyes twinkling.
“If, not, it was one hell of a dream,” she says smiling as she wipes the corner of her lips.
“I’ve gotten red lipstick all over you,” she laughs reaching up and rubbing her thumb across his lips, trying to get it off.
“That’s ok, I don’t mind.”
Jared looks at her, he takes her hand and places it on his heart.
“Your heart is pounding so fast,” Maddie says with a small chuckle. “You know I kinda felt that happening before too.”
“Yea, that happens a lot when I’m around you.”
Maddie smiles as she pulls him back over to her into a kiss.
Each kiss longer and deeper than the next.
Jared cups her face, he pulls away and looks her in the eyes.
“I can’t believe this is happening,” he says continuing to kiss her.
Maddie smiles against his lips as her hands find their place over his on her face.
They continue to lose their breath as Maddie pulls him closer wrapping her arms around him, Jared’s hands fall down her body to her waist as find a place in the back pockets of her fitted black leather pants.
She laughs mid kiss and buries her face in his chest.
“What?” he says confused and pulling away to look at her.
“We’re kissing, you and me. And your hands – well I just never thought they would be- (she laughs) I guess I’m just not used it. I can’t believe we’re doing this. I mean you’ve been my best friend for years. I guess I just feel kind of strange.”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to push- Are we moving too fast? I’m sorry.”
“No, no. I don’t mind. (she says pulling him by the shirt toward her) Come here.”
Jared smiles and continues to kiss her again as they close the space between them.
“So Whattaya say you think you wanna be my girl?” he says looking back at her and whispering to her.
“I thought I already was.”
Jared smiles pulling her to him as he continues to kiss her.
Maddie smiles against his lips as she cups his face, she pulls away looking up at him, “You know as weird as this is, it feels really natural…really right. I could kiss you all night long.”
“Don’t expect me to object to that,” he says cupping her face and kissing her “I’ve waited a long time for you.”
Maddie looks up at him through heavy eyes and sighs sweetly, her lips already reaching for his yet again.
As the two friends become more on a night that had potential to be one of the worst Halloweens ever. Costumes galore walk by and drinks flow as the party just a few blocks away keeps going the private party under the willow tree had just begun. Jared finally handing his heart to the girl he’s wanted all along breath after breath, kiss after kiss, touch after touch.
After what feels like forever, the two finally come up for air. Maddie’s shoulders shrug as the breeze chills her skin.
“Are you cold, maybe we should get you inside?”
Maddie smiles and shrugs, walking off toward the party.
Jared smiles watching her, as he grabs his cowboy hat off the floor, his eyes scaling her curvy figure up and down, she spins around and catches him.
“What are you doing?”
“Oh excuse me, I was just admiring my girlfriend.”
“Really. Do you like what you see?”
“Is that even a question?”
Maddie rolls her eyes and smiles as she takes Jared’s hand in hers heading back into the party.
Kim takes notice of the scene in front of her- hand holding, goofy grins, and smudged red lipstick everywhere. She squeals and runs over to them as they talk to each other with lovey dovey eyes.
“You guys finally kissed…didn’t you?”
“Yes.” Maddie says smiling.
“A whole hell of a lot of yes.” he says, his grin as big as hers.
“Oh my god…finally!!!”
“I’m gonna go find a rest room, I’ll find you in a few?”
Maddie nods as Jared smirks, he leans in and kisses her, before walking off.
Maddie looks after him for a beat and then leans against the nearby wall clutching her chest.
“Oh. my. god.” Kim says in shock.
“You don’t even understand. I’m just so happy.” Maddie says looking over at Kim.
“You look happy.”
“I’m still trying to catch my breath.”
“So it wasn’t weird kissing your best and oldest guy friend?”
“No. I mean yea there’s that, but it just felt right and like the most natural progression ever. It’s almost like why haven’t we been kissing each other our whole lives. It’s nice, and it’s nice to feel safe with someone.”
“Good for you, you deserve it.”
“Thank you.” Maddie smiles.
“So there’s a spark, it’s not just convenient. It’s not just a Vinny rebound.”
“Trust me the spark nearly blew my face off ok? Vinny was the last thing on my mind while Jared was kissing me. He’s just so sexy, he has the best lips and his hands…are perfect.”
“I cannot even. This is amazing and he’s such a good guy if you only knew how long he’s had this crush on you…”
“I wish I would have known. I’m actually- I’m gonna go find him, do you mind…”
“No- go find your boyfriend.”
“Thank you,” she smiles rushing off.
Maddie finds Jared just coming out of the bathroom, she smiles and stops him, pushing him back in.
“Hey…oh…ok, what’s happening?” he laughs as she locks the door behind them.
“Maddie…what are you doing?” he says laughing.
She pulls him into another kiss, as he deepens it lifting her in his arms slightly as his hands tighten around her waist, her hands cupping his face.
“I’m so lucky, (he says cupping her face as he glances down at her, he sighs looking up at the ceiling in a slight frustration.) But it doesn’t have to be different with us. I mean just because we know each other, I don’t want you to think that I suddenly just expect us to jump into a physical relationship. Because, I mean this is whole new territory for us. I’m ready to court you, and take you on dates, and re-meet your parents and your family as your actual boyfriend. I don’t wanna rush this with you.”
Maddie sighs and kisses him.
Jared kisses her.
“Go ahead, you go first, I’m gonna need a minute to- cool down,” he says embarrassed.
“Oh. OH! ok,” she says realizing with a laugh.
Just before she turns to unlock the door, Maddie turns back to Jared, she pulls him to her and kisses him softly and slowly as he responds matching the same pace. She looks up at him, “When it does happen, it’s going to be amazing!” she gives him a quick tease like peck as he leans in for more, she smirks up at him and unlocking the door she leaves the room.
Jared stands there laughing to himself.
“Yup, as expected I’m a goner,” he says looking in the mirror.
Maddie stands on the other side of the door her heart pounding in her chest as she clutches it, giving herself a minute to gather her composure, she smiles walking off to find Kim.