It had been about two months of Jake and I hanging out consistently. It was assumed that we had weekend plans together, and we were in almost constant contact texting all the time.
It was rare that we were apart on the weekends, but usually it was because I had to babysit my brother and Jake would spend those nights out with his friends.
With the amount of time we spent together we shared almost everything. He knew about my parents divorce and how I didn’t talk to my dad. He knew about the fights with my mom and how mad she could get with no warning. He knew about my depression, although we didn’t call it that because I thought it was just normal teenage angst. I knew about his dad dying and how he remembered the call from his mom while he was at his friend’s house. I knew the pain he felt because of that and how he hadn’t processed it. I knew how much he loved his step father and how great his mom, step father, and his relationship was. I knew how much he looked up to his older brother and sister and how much he loved his little sister. I know that he loved the outdoors, fishing, four wheeling, camping, anything that involved him being outside and using his hands. He knew that I dreamed of leaving Colorado and traveling. We had gotten to know each other and everyday we still learned more and more about each other.
One of the random Friday nights that we weren’t spending together. He was actually home spending time with his family and my mom was out with friends. I was spending the night babysitting my brother, which I enjoyed because the house was peaceful and I had an excuse to watch Disney Channel.
I cooked Macaroni and Cheese (his favorite) and we sat on the couch watching the newest Disney Channel original movie. My brother and I got along well, so we enjoyed our time together.
Before he was born, I had wanted a younger sibling so I took being an older sister very seriously. I loved my little brother, he was my built in friend, so I actually enjoyed the nights when it was just us and I could cook him his favorite meal and we could watch and laugh at the same movie. I treasured those moments.
Since my mom wasn’t home, it meant that I could text Jake all night without having to sneak my phone into my workout. We had spent the entire night texting each other, talking about family, friends, and how much we missed each other making plans to see each other the next day.
It was around 9 o’clock and time for my brother to go to bed, I was sitting on his bed while he was brushing his teeth when I texted Jake and said. “Tell me something about you that no one knows.”
I slid my phone into my pocket as my brother walked out of the bathroom and towards his bed. I pulled his blue sheets and patched quilt back for him to crawl into, covered him in the blankets tucking the sides of the sheets and quilt underneath his sides making him a burrito. I told him goodnight and that I loved him, kissed his forehead and walked towards the door when I felt my phone vibrate. My heart fluttered and I didn’t know why. We had been talking all night and together for two months, I was used to talking to him. I put my hand on the light switch, turned off his light, cracked the door behind me as I walked out of his room and leaned against the wall in the hallway between his room and the powder room and pulled out my phone.
I love you.
My heart skipped a beat and I read the message again and again. It was still there, in little black letters. I love you. I smiled from ear to ear and floated my way to the kitchen to do the dishes.
It took me pressing the buttons on my phone 28 times (remember texting on old phones), but that took me maybe 15 seconds.
I love you too.
My smile didn’t fade as I started doing the dishes. He loved me. In a non forced, non controlling, love me for me way, Jake loved me. And I loved him. My entire being loved him, there was no question.
I sat down on the couch and looked at the message on my phone over and over again.
I love you.
I knew then, more than I had known before, this was something special.