"Come with me."
It initially was a question but sounded like a ready made statement which I didn't have the willpower to say no. I would relentlessly go anywhere with him; from the depths of the earth, to space, till he realized I would never stop loving him.
He helped me up on my feet, out of the room and down the stairs.
"Isn't it late? What time is it?" I voiced out. Everywhere seemed too quiet and I bet everyone had gone home.
"Shh! It's midnight. Let's stay quiet. I don't want to wake up my parents and Theresa."
He excused himself to get our sweaters. He came back and helped me wear mine, a sweat shirt. Wherever his fingers touched, my skin ignited with raw emotions.
When he unlocked the door and we both stepped outside, I felt a chill and buried my hands into the pockets of my sweat shirt. We hopped into his car—he once mentioned it was his biological father's classic car which was handed over to him by his step-father also. He began to drive it seven years after Arthur died— he turned on the heater which immediately warmed me up.
The ride was short and I wondered why we didn't walk instead but thought about the nighttime and how quiet and dangerous it could be. The atmosphere had an air of silence accompanied by crickets chirping, frogs croaking, the whirling of trees while we passed. I clung to Jason as the eerie sounds became creepier. I felt so safe in his touch.
"I brought a blanket which we could lay on by the shore." He whispered a few minutes after the walk.
"The shore? Where are we?" I couldn't hide my perplexity anymore. I knew we weren't at the beach, if we were, I'd hear the merriment of the waves, the wonted airy nature and vast depth of sand.
"A lake." he replied tersely. We halted and he proceeded to lay the blankets after that he pulled me carefully to sit with him. Minutes elapsed in quietness, we both were immersed in the pure pleasure of the atmosphere.
The lake to my understanding was one of the most serene atmospheres. The apparent mood felt in the environment was enough to produce love and I began to wonder if everything in general hasn't made me feel love these past few days. It seemed like each wind that blew whispered love in different ways.
Then I knew romance was nothing if you there weren't feelings involved. A guy could buy you flowers, jeweleries, cars, houses and they would all be pointless and meaningless.
But if you began catching feelings, little things like the scent of his cologne, his voice, when you hold hands and even a peck on the cheek or forehead could arouse and stimulate romance and then, love.
"This is the initial place I used to come to think about you. When I was sixteen going on seventeen, I found this place while helping dad on an errand one late evening. When I saw the leaves and trees, I knew they hid something amazing. Curiosity got the better part of me and then I brushed past them and kept walking even when it was unfamiliar. I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the lake and when I looked up, there were so many stars. Your name sprang up in my mind and I found myself sitting on the sand, unbothered by the dirt and anything else. I remember mum and dad calling me because I stayed late that night but I explained to them and they let me come here ever since. I stopped coming when I went to New York and found the beach instead. Being here without you made me feel a connection with you but now that you're here, it's surreal but gladdening." Jason explained and I realized I was too emotional and would cry any moment.
"I'm glad to be here too. England has been fun." I said, in between sniffs to stop the tears from falling. I placed my hand in his and rested my head on his shoulder and we stayed that way.
"You know, I was in the room." Jason stated.
"What room?" I asked in confusion. My head which was initially on his shoulder, rose up that instant and I found myself anticipating his reply
"I was in the room while you spoke with mum." He expressed in details.
I gaped in disbelief. Does that mean he heard all of our conversation?
"How much did you hear of our conversation?" I asked.
God please let it not be when I talked about being in love with him...
"When I couldn't find you at dinner, I grew worried and searched for you. I couldn't find you anywhere so I decided to check the rooms upstairs and then at that moment I heard you and mum talking, the door was ajar. I only wanted to see you just to be sure you were feeling well. You seemed quite all right as you laid on the bed and I turned to leave. But as soon as I was about to quietly shut the door without interrupting you both, I heard you say you love me."
I was caught off guard! Never in a million years would I have guessed Jason was present when I poured my heart out. I was sure my mouth was still wide open.
I never believed I'd be the first to say ‘I love you’. Well, technically, I didn't directly tell him but he was present then and that sounds like I said it first, right?
"I love you."
"What?" I asked, astonished beyond reasoning.
Did I hear him crystal? Did he just tell me he was in love with me or was it a fragment of my imagination?
"I love you and I'm such a moron for not telling you a long time ago. When we were kids, I knew you were special to me and I always told mum I'd marry you when I was all grown up, successful and charming. Even when we left America, you were never far from my heart. I used to question my feelings; why do I fantasize about you? Why do I feel so void when I'm with other girls? Why won't the memory of your smile as a child leave my mind?" He laughed with a great effort to conceal his anxiety but I knew this moment wasn't a mere explanation. He was giving me, in profound details, how he truly felt and I listened with keen interest.
"It felt awfully weird that I still thought of you, your young and innocent five year old face when I was twenty years old," There was a titter... Of wonder in his voice.