Seb was always liked at school. He was known for being a nerd and he liked it that way. He was amusing because of it. And, it was correct. He was a nerd. Although he wasn't the best at every subject, he was consistent and he had a particular talent when it came to History lessons. School came and went, and so did college. Soon enough his parents were saying goodbye to him as they dropped him off with his posters and figurines at university.
With glasses perched on his nose and his fluffy hair all over the place he pushed open the kitchen door with butterflies swarming in his stomach. Soon enough he found himself nosedived into this new world, where he was still nerdy Seb and people adored him for it. He lived with five new best friends and he had the best time every day.
One of his new best friends was Jessie. Her room was next to his and yet they would hang out a couple of nights a week, watching films and playing video games. Three years flew by, and they lived together with their other friends in the two years that followed the first. And Jessie remained one of his best friends. Probably his actual best friend.
Seb would go home for Christmas, Easter and summer and feel completely refreshed and delighted to be at home with his closest friends. He would love seeing his family and waking up in his bed. But his heart was a little lost without Jessie. He noticed that pretty quickly into the first Christmas break since university began. By Easter he realised he really loved her.
And now it was the summer after his last year at university and he was back at home, working at a newspaper company in the hope to become a journalist. It was the middle of August and finally the day he and his university friends were meeting up for dinner and drinks. Seb arrived in London at about two o'clock in the afternoon. He checked into a B&B he had organised, showered and changed into skinny jeans, a long-sleeved shirt and pulled on his Converse.
He had missed his friends so much, he could feel his heart bursting at the thought of seeing them. The six of them had been arranging this for months and they were as excited as he was. He met Alan at the bar they all agreed on and they were chatting over a beer when he grinned, "Jessie's here!" Seb turned to see Jessie in the yellow dress he always adored, grinning at them both.
His heart was thrown back to the previous three years and all of their memories. He remembered when Jessie was homesick and so he bought all of the movies she would watch at home with her mum, bought her favourite ice cream and fizzy drink, and they watched them all until three in the morning. He remembered when he received a result he was unhappy with and Jessie fired jokes at him until he was almost on the floor laughing. He remembered their first attempt at running together, and the times that followed afterwards. He grinned at the memory of them crossing the finish line together at a local 10k running even. He laughed at the drinks they drunk after to celebrate.
"Seb! Alan!" she squealed and they both got up, Jessie throwing her arms around Seb. "I've missed you, dude!"
"I've missed you so much, J!"
Their other friends soon arrived and the night danced on in the best way ever and Seb's heart ached at the thought of them parting the next day after a day of sightseeing. But as the night was coming to a close and Mazie was too drunk and Phil and Sandy were tired, Seb remembered he must live in the moment. Phil and Sandy, who hooked up in their first year, got in a nearby taxi and Alan and Mazie jumped in too. It was only a four-seater and Jessie waved her hand, "We'll walk!"
"Are you sure?" Sandy asked.
Jessie looked at Seb and he grinned, "We're sure!"
They walked along the Thames and Seb breathed in how sociable London is. He took a glance at Jessie and he didn't regret it one bit. "We had a good time at uni, didn't we?"
"The best," Jessie agreed. "I miss it, you know."
"Oh, me too."
"Life moves on, though, of course."
"Of course." Seb smiled sadly and took a breath before he said the words he didn't know he could say, "But I haven't, J. Not from you."
Almost in harmony, the two of them stopped and Seb didn't know how to handle this. He waited for Jessie to let him know, like he always would "back in the day." She touched her yellow dress and Seb felt his heart shout that he loved her. He didn't, though. "Seb?"
The vulnerability of her voice made his heart ache all the more. "You know, J. Surely, you know."
They looked at each other then, and he realised that she really didn't know. "You're my best friend!"
"Well I know that, silly." She smiled but he could see that she was still unsure.
"But you're my best, best friend."
"Oh," Jessie's smile faded but there was something in her eyes. "Tell me more about it," she whispered.
Seb felt empowered all of a sudden. He felt his hand reach for hers and he knew if he didn't say it now, he never would. "I love you, Jessie Rose. I know you know that, but not like that. Like this. Like people fall in love with London. Like the stars love the sky and all of that kind of thing." Seb dared to look at Jessie and there were tears in her eyes and he was suddenly more confused than he had ever been. "I'm not good at this. 'This' probably shouldn't be a thing but I had to try."
Seb turned around but he wasn't sure why. "You are," he heard her say. He didn't understand so he didn't know what to do. "You are good at this."
Seb felt like hi-fiving himself but he still wasn't sure what was going on. "I love you too, silly." Seb used one foot to pivot around and one eyebrow to ask if she was sure. "You're my best, best friend, too." She giggled and he took a step forward and waited for her to move in and jump. And she did.
And they did.
For the rest of their lives.
A simple story, but I like it!
Films & Video Games,
The Girl in the Moonlight.