“Jasper! Open the door!” Amber said, banging on Jasper’s bedroom door.
“No!” Jasper shouted. “I change my mind! I’m not going!”
“You big baby! I don’t know what she sees in you! Open the door, or I’ll break it! I’m serious, Jazzy!”
“You break it; you bought it!” Jasper shouted.
“Sure, I’ll give you two credits,” Amber laughed. “Alright, fine. I’ll just go tell Ronda you’re a big coward. See ya!”
Jasper put his ear to the door and waited to hear her walking away. Once he was sure she was gone, he opened the door.
“Got ya!” Amber said, putting him in a headlock.
“Let me go!” Jasper said, trying to get away from her. “Why are you so strong?!”
“Why are you so weak?” She laughed. “Get downstairs. She’s waiting outside.”
Jasper’s eyes widened. “Already?!”
“Yes! She came all this way to walk with you. I’ll kick you down those stairs if I have to. You’ve been locked in here for days. It’s time for you to act like a person again,” Amber said, fighting her grip.
“I’m not ready!” Jasper said. “A week. Give me a week.”
“I gave you a year! Now, there’s no excuse. At least say hi.”
Jasper remembers the pictures she sent him. Ronda was her name. She was more beautiful than he’d ever imagined, and that was just a picture. He couldn’t imagine seeing her in person. Tall, intelligent, beautiful, and kind.
A soft knock came from the front door. “Hey, Amber. Is he in there? Maybe I should go?”
“YES, HE’LL BE DOWN IN A MOMENT!” Amber yelled. “See? She wants to meet you. Do you want to make her sad?”
“No,” Jasper said.
Amber let him out of the headlock and blocked his bedroom. “Go on. Say hi. Go have a good time.”
Jasper stood up and walked downstairs. He tried to put a little effort into fixing himself before he opened the door. There she was. She wore a dark blue blouse with black pants. Her hair went down to her shoulders, and her smile left him speechless.
“Hi,” Ronda said, moving a strand of her hair out of her face. “Are you okay? What happened to your neck?”
“Amber,” Jasper said…barely.
Ronda giggled. “Yeah, that sounds like her. Jasper, right?”
“Y-Yeah, that’s me,” Jasper said. His heart was going a million miles a second. “Wanna hear a joke? When is a door not actually a door? When it’s ajar.”
Ronda blinked at him and then started snickering. “That’s terrible!” She laughed.
“I got more. What do you call a belt made of watches? A waist of time!” Jasper said, chuckling
“Oh my god, stop,” Ronda said, laughing harder.
Her laughter was like music. He wanted to hear more. “What grades did the pirate get on his report card? Seven Cs,” Jasper said in tears.
“Stop, I can’t breathe!” Ronda said, trying to collect herself. “Okay…okay…I give. That’s a little funny. I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time.”
“Glad to help,” Jasper said, wiping his tears away. “So, hungry?” He held out his hand to her. “I owe you one for listening to my jokes.”
She put her hand in his. “They…weren’t that bad.”
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