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Fire Inside

Summary:
Sometimes, the normalest lives are touched by magic. Sometimes, happy endings are possible. Sometimes, we get our fairytales after all. Sometimes, the one person we want more than anyone else sees the fire inside us. Kim's life is a disaster- the bleak and average kind of disaster. She fixates through the mess on one perfect, unattainable goal. And then she gets it. In a way she never would have expected, in her wildest dreams.


Notes:
In case you couldn't tell from the summary, this is a Jared/Kim chaptered piece. I'm projecting at about seven chapters, but it may end up closer to ten.


5. Chapter 5

Rating 0/5   Word Count 707   Review this Chapter

Jared pops up outside my English class at the end of the day. He’s there before the bell rings, smiling hopefully.

“Hey, Jared,” I say, trying not to sound too enthusiastic.

He obviously doesn’t have the same problem. “Hi Kim!”

“What are you doing here?”

“Well…” he stops, tries to figure out how to phrase it. “I was wondering if you wanted a ride home. I just got this car a while ago and I thought, since it’s kind of raining, you probably didn’t want to walk. I figured… I’d be happy to drive you there. And then maybe I could talk to your mom, you know, about Friday?”

“That would be great!”

“But you thinks she’ll agree?” he asks anxiously.

I nod. “I’m all but sure. Like I said… you know, just the other night she was yelling at me because I didn’t have a boyfriend.”

“What?” His eyes widen, his arms start to tremble. “That’s ridiculous!”

“Yeah, I get in trouble a lot. Mom’s kind of a perfectionist.”

“She can’t take things like that out on you!” he hisses, fury in his eyes.

I put a hand on his arm- he’s burning hot. “Calm down, Jared. It’s all right.”

“No, it…” he breaks off suddenly, and looks down at his own trembling arm. “Oh, God. I’m really sorry, Kim. I didn’t mean to freak out like that, I…”

“It’s fine.”

“No, it isn’t. Listen, you… you have to understand this. I have… I’m going to explain this in more detail later, like when I have the guts, but I have a temper, a bad one. I… my friend Sam has the same problem, and he really hurt someone very important to him once. If you see me shaking like that, Kim, you have to tell me I’m freaking out. I don’t want to hurt you.

“You won’t. Not unless…” I wince and change the thought. I don’t want to reveal just how desperate I am to keep him near me, not when he apparently noticed I exist for the first time this afternoon.

“Unless what?”

I shake my head, praying he’ll drop it. He doesn’t.

“Kim, you can tell me.”

There’s something in the way he says my name, infusing it with this incredible kind of tenderness, and the way he sounds so sure that I can trust him… I find the truth spilling out.

“Not unless you leave. I know that sounds psychotic and possessive since we’ve only been going out since this morning- are we going out? I’m sorry, I guess it was actually just that one date. But anyway, yeah, I’m totally in love with you and have been for about three years, and now I’m making a total fool of myself but I just thought you should know…” I trail off, blushing furiously. Diarrhea of the brain. I honestly did not mean to say that, but sometimes… well, I didn’t mean to say any of that. And now I really wish there was a convenient hole for me to crawl into and die but since there isn’t I am just going to stand here, blush furiously, and dig my fingernails into my palm to keep myself from running away.

Well, he’s going to be sprinting in the other direction now, that’s for sure. I just scared the crap out of him, hell, I scared myself with my creepy stalkerishness.

“Ah… sorry about that.”

He seems to be having trouble talking. I don’t blame him, since I can’t think very well either. Shame is kind of clouding my brain.

Three years?” His voice sounds strangled.

I bite my lip. “Yeah.”

“And I never noticed?”

“No.” Now I’m mildly confused, since he isn’t running off. He looks almost guilty.

“Come on, please, Kim. Come with me. Let me give you that ride. Let me talk to you.”

“Umm… sure.”

He grins. My heart misses a beat and then my brain starts to hurt. I’m way too confused to consider why he’s doing all this, so I’m not going to bother trying to think.