A/N: I wanted it to read out like the show where Hannah is the narrator but the flashbacks/events are from the reader’s perspective – kinda like when Clay was reliving them if that makes sense.
Let me know how you like it!
Y/N, I can count all of the times I ran into you on my fingers but yet you left a lasting impression. You and Jeff were the envy of the school. The cheerleader and the all-star jock. There was nothing cuter than when the two of you were together. Your locker was 4 away from mine and there wasn’t a day I didn’t see him meet you there before each class. I envied you so much. Both of you. You had it all. Love. Popularity. Friendship. You were good at everything you tried to do, and you were still some of the sweetest, kind-hearted people, I’d ever met –
“Dang, you’re looking extra fine today, baby.” Jeff said, coming up behind you to press a kiss on the back of your head before leaning against the locker next to yours.
“Not as fine as Angie’s lips though, right?” You returned hotly, continuing to look through the mess of papers to see if you could find your chemistry study guide.
It took him a moment to process what you’d just said and he immediately straightened up. “What?”
“That’s what you said to Angie in the library right?” You slammed your locker shut, throwing your bag over your shoulder. “If she’s what you want then be my guest.”
Jeff rolled his eyes and wrapped his arms around your waist. “You know you’re all I want. You’re all I’ve wanted since 8th grade. I was just congratulating her, that’s all baby. Besides you got best face and best legs. I’m sure you’ve gotten a few compliments today.”
His lips pressed playful kisses along the side your neck, nuzzling his face in your hair to make you laugh. As much as you wanted to stay mad, it was hard when he was just so damn cute.
“Besides – since when do you get jealous?” He asked, with an innocent smile on his face. Then in a moment of recognition, his eyes widened. “Uh-oh. Are you on your period? Is that why you’re so emotional?”
You’d known Jeff since the sixth grade and had been dating since the 8th, by sophomore year of high school, he was practically an expert at reading you and making things better. Lowering your head, you nodded it slowly.
“Awh baby.” He pouted his lips, lowering them to kiss yours. “It’s your lunch period right? Let’s go get you some chocolate from the vending machine. My treat.”
I chuckled, wrapping my arm around his torso to hug him tightly. “Well aren’t you my knight in shining armor.”
“You’re damn right I am.” He laughed, kissing the top of your head.
With his arm thrown over over your shoulder, you walked down the hallway together. Clay and Hannah were talking by the his locker and you both smiled at them.
“Jensen!” Jeff nodded his head at Clay, the smaller man awkwardly smiling and giving a wave.
“Hey Hannah.” You smiled. “I love those boots.”
She looked down at her shoes then up at you with a genuine, touched smile, saying thank you before you and Jeff disappeared around the corner.
“That kid has the biggest crush on her.” Jeff said, looking down at you.
“If only he had the balls to do something about it.”
You had no idea how much something so small had meant to me. You didn’t know about the shitty day I’d had. You didn’t know about how hard I’d had things lately. You didn’t say it to get something out of it. You were genuine and nice and it helped a lot that day.
At the dance you and Jeff showed up fashionably late. Your hair was down straight, not a strand out of place. Your makeup was no less than perfect like it usually was. You wore an all black dress that matched Jeff’s suit. Sleeveless, with a puffed skirt. The whole thing molding to your perfect body. I had watched as you two entered the gym – everyone did – your both grabbed attention the attention of everyone and it never seemed to phase you as you were in your own little world.
“Ayyyy!” Monty came by, throwing an arm around Jeff and I. “You finally made it!”
Jeff laughed, nodding his head towards me. “Would’ve been here 40 minutes ago if Y/N didn’t take forever getting ready.”
“Hey!” You defended, hitting him playfully. “It takes time to create a masterpiece like this.”
“That you are.” Monty looked your up and down, “and those legs definitely deserved to make the list.”
You rolled your eyes and laughed along with Jeff as you were approached by Zach, Justin, and Bryce. Each gave you both a hug and you watched as Jeff tensed when Bryce hugged you. After he let go, Jeff threw his arm around you as if to stake his claim while they made small talk.
“Alright alright. If you fellas don’t mind, I’ma have a dance with my lady.” Jeff said after a while.
“Ooohh” They teased playfully, blowing mock kisses at you.
You laughed as Jeff took you out to the dance floor, his arms wrapping around your waist as you slow danced to the song playing. With your arms wrapped around his neck, holding him close like you had at every dance since you’d been together. He’d gotten better at dancing, certainly improved from the first time when he wouldn’t stop stepping on your feet. He looked down into your eyes, a soft smile on his face.
“You really are a masterpiece.” He whispered.
You blushed, leaning up to kiss his neck. “All for you baby. Always.”
“Man am I lucky.” He smiled.
Looking over his shoulder, you could see Bryce creeping on some girl and returned your eyes to Jeff. “What was that about earlier? With Bryce?”
His face turned serious again and he looked over his shoulder to where I had been looking. “He’s not a good guy. I don’t know. Guy gives me a bad vibe.”
You nodded, running your fingers through the back of his hair. “He does seem like a douche bag.”
“Yeah, I try not to hang out with him one on one.” He nodded, before changing the subject. “Will you look at this? Clay sitting on one side, Hannah on the other. This would be like the perfect opportunity for him to ask her to dance.”
You laughed, looking at them smiling at each other from across the gym. “Go. Tell him to make a move. I have to use the restroom anyway.”
He smiled, kissing your lips again, before letting go of you to walk up to the bleachers. You smiled to yourself watching him go into big brother mode as he spoke with Clay before you walked out of the gym to use the restroom.
“You and Jeff look so good tonight.” Sheri boosted, applying another coat of lipstick in the mirror. “You know, I wouldn’t be surprised if you guys won prom king and queen for our senior prom. Everyone’s totally jealous of you guys.”
You laughed, brushing a hair behind your ear as you washed your hands. “We are dreamy aren’t we.” You half joked, drying your hands.
“You have no idea. You’ll have the cutest story to tell your kids some day.” She laughed.
“You ready to go back out?” You asked, finally taking notice of her dress. “Damn Sheri, you’re the one looking amazing. I love that dress.”
She laughed, hooking your arm with hers. “Well, I can’t let you have all the glory.”
The two of you walked out of the bathroom and Hannah practically knocked you over as she walked down the hallway, her eyes filled with tears.
“Hannah, hey.” You stopped her, placing a hand on her shoulder to turn her around.
“I’ll meet you inside.” Sheri said, giving us some privacy.
“What’s going on?” You asked her, lifting her chin up to face you. “What happened?”
It’s nothing.” She shook her head, “I just want to go home. It was stupid of me to even think I’d have a good time here.”
“No! Come on – don’t think that way. Come hang out with Jeff and I – Jessica’s in there – we’ll have a great time.”
She looked down then back up at me nodding her head.
“Good.” You smiled, taking your hand in hers.
The two of you walked back inside the gym, each grabbing a cup of punch. You knew Jeff had a game early in the morning so you he wouldn’t be drinking, that gave you a free pass to fill from the spiked bowl. You danced with Hannah before she spotted Jessica getting sloppy with Justin.
“Oh god,” She shook her head, looking over at you. “I’m getting her out of here before she does something she’ll regret.”
You tried to convince her to stay but she didn’t opting to pull Jessica away from Justin. Your eyes met Jeff across the room and your lips lifted into a smile, crossing to jump back into his arms.
“There you are.” He smiled back, kissing you again, “Let’s dance cause this song’s definitely going to play at our wedding.”
You didn’t have to look out for me that night but you did. I should’ve listened to you, Y/N. I should’ve stayed with you and Jeff and Clay, and ignored everyone else but I didn’t.
It was no surprise that by the time Dollar Valentine came around, you and Jeff had been matched together. While I got guys like Bryce and Marcus, you got your soulmate. Some things just always went right for some people.
“Well obviously I did dollar valentine – It’s for my squad.” You rolled your eyes, at Monty’s question.
“So?” He asked, “who’d you get?”
Jeff laughed, putting both of our result sheets on the table.
“No – no fucking way!” He laughed in disbelief. “How in the fuck did you two get each other?”
“What can I say man, it’s literally in the cards.” Jeff laughed, pulling you into him before kissing the top of your head. “What do you say? Movies tonight?”
“30 Ways to Die just came out.” You replied. “I’m so down.”
“30 Ways to Die? Seriously?” Zach cocked a brow. “It’s a valentine’s day date – shouldn’t you see some mushy shit?”
You laughed, shaking your head. “Not when you’ve been together as long as we have. Besides, the romance can happen later” You shot him a wink.
“Awww shit!” Monty laughed finally catching on.
“Let me guess.” Clay said as you approached the counter. “You two are seeing Never Say goodbye for Valentine’s day.”
“No we’re seeing 30 Ways to Die.” He replied.
“You’re a classy date” Hannah joked, counting money at the register.
“I am.” He returned, hanging his head with a chuckle. “This was her idea.”
“Nothing gets me in the mood like a good horror.” I joked, causing her to laugh out loud by my unexpected comment.
“Oh wow. That’s a first.” She laughed, wiping her eyes.
“What’s up with that Dollar Valentine thing?” Jeff asked Clay. “You told me -”
He was cut off by Clay giving him a look. Hannah looked over at us then at him.
“We’re goin’ to see our movie.” Jeff backtracked, grabbing the bowl of popcorn. “I’ll catch you later.”
“Later guys.” I waved back at them, pinching Jeff’s arm.
“How was I supposed to know?” He asked with a shrug.
While you were in the theater watching a horror movie, curled against into your boyfriends chest, I spent the next couple of hours wondering why I wasn’t good enough to be doing the same.
I think back to the night of Jessica’s party and wonder if things would’ve gone differently if I hadn’t been there. I convinced myself that I could start over. That I could be a person that fit in.. And for a little while I did and it was the most fun I’d had in a long time. Of course you and Jeff were there, surrounded by your usual crowd. Yet you both still found the time to push Clay and I towards each other and I never got the chance to thank you.
“Justin, Jess is looking for you in the kitchen.” You yelled before you caught sight of Hannah.
“Hannah, hey!” You smiled crossing the room with a red cup in your hand. “I like the new hair.”
You were always extra touchy when you drank and without even asking, you ran your fingers through her hair to fully appreciate the new length.
She smiled at you returning your overly affectionate hug. “Thank you!” She laughed. “Someone’s been drinking.”
“Hell yeah. It’s my turn. I was DD last week, this week is Jeff’s turn.” You laughed, motioning to your hubby in the corner talking to Zach and Monty.
“Well – that’s responsible.” She returned.
“Hey – Clay’s here, being his usually secluded self. You should go say hi and bring him out of his shell.”
She froze but a blush swept her cheeks. “Oh – no, I wouldn’t want to bother him.”
“Y/N!” Jeff called from across the room. “Zach thinks he can finally take you at beer pong!”
“That so Dempsey?” You yelled, then turned back to Hannah. “That’s my cue but next time I see you, you better be with Clay!”
She laughed, nodding her head while you ran over to Jeff and the guys.
“You think Junior year is going to be the year you beat me? History says you’ll lose!”
“Nah – “ He shook his head. “This is my year. I can feel it.”
As the night went on, you ended up making out with Jeff, grinding along to the music while Zach and the guys continued playing. His hand ran up your thigh grabbing your ass through the fabric of your denim shorts. Biting his lower lip, you swept your tongue across it with a smirk, locking your eyes on him.
“You’re totally spending the night at my house.” He whispered. “Tell your mom you’re spending the night at Sheri’s or something.”
“I’ll call her when we leave.” I smirked, kissing him again.
As much as your mom loved Jeff, she would much quicker approve of you spending the night at your best friends house then at your boyfriends.
“Look -” You motioned your head towards Hannah and Clay walking out to sit by the pool.
Jeff smiled proudly at his friend as they laughed and giggled. “See, I give good advice.”
The two of them looked over at you and Jeff, and the two of you looked away quickly, with you nuzzling your face into his neck with a laugh.
“Uh – oh” You sighed, watching Troy bother them. “Go get him before he ruins it.”
Jeff did as he was told, grabbing Troy and bringing him back towards the ping pong table. You shot Hannah and Clay a wink before Jeff’s lips were back on yours again.
“Seriously. I don’t know what it is, but you’re lookin’ extra good tonight. One more hour tops and I’m getting my hands on you.” He promised with a whisper against your lips.
“Your hands are always on me!” You laughed, brushing your hands up through his hair.
“You’re damn right!”
“You’re so bad. This is like the third week in a row. It’s only a matter of time before your mom starts to think you’re a closet lesbian.” Sheri laughed, looking up at you as you sat up on the kitchen counter.
Courtney said trying to join in with your laughter. “Who would want that right?”
Both of you stopped laughing, your faces turning serious. Neither of you were a fan of Courtney. She was one of the most two faced people you met.
“Fuck off Courtney.” You replied, no humor in your tone.
Her jaw dropped at your straight-forwardness but she turned around walked away, almost bumping into Hannah who was walking into the kitchen.
She looked distraught so you waved her over. “Hey? What happened? You and Clay were hitting it off.”
“I screwed it up.” She sighed. “Just like I screw everything up.”
“Look, you two have been playing this game for too long. Give it a couple of minutes and go talk to him. You gotta go after what you want honey. Make things happen for yourself.”
“Sheri – You’re blocking me in.” Jeff called from the doorway. His eyes landed on your and his lips curled into a bright smile. “There you are.”
“Here I am.” You threw your arms up, pulling him in for a hug. “Where are you going?”
“Let me just grab my stuff, I’m taking off anyway. Hannah if you want to head out I can give you a ride.” Sheri offered, heading out of the room with her.
“Thank you ma’am.” Jeff yelled after them. “Going on a beer run for the guys.” He answered, holding you against him with his hands on your waist.
“You want me to come with?” You asked, pressing kisses along his neck.
“Nah, I’m going to try and take Jensen with me to see what went wrong. But as soon as I come back, we’re going home.” He smirked, leaning down to kiss your lips. “Then they’ll be nothing to stop me from doing what I want to you.”
“You promise?” You purred against his lips.
“Oh I definitely promise.”
I wondered what would’ve happened if I’d listened to you that night. If I stayed with you a little longer. As I looked back at these events, I realized my mistakes in them, and this is one I could’ve never forgiven myself for.
So we come to the reason you’re listening to this tape.
That night, I had caused Sherri to get distracted and knock over the stop sign. She panicked and took off. I ran to the nearest store to call 911 and report it but I was too late by then.
The police said he was drunk driving. Nobody would listen when you told them he’d been sober but he had been and I hope this gives you the tiniest bit of comfort in knowing you weren’t wrong.
I wasn’t there to see your face when you got the news. I’ll never forget the broken-hearted gaze in your eyes at the wake.
You were dressed in all black, again matching Jeff like you always did.Your hair pulled back in a low pony tail. Your makeup done perfectly as always aside from some mascara that had run down from the never-ending flow of tears.
You didn’t speak to anyone that night. You took a cushion from one of the chairs and sat next to the coffin the whole time. The guys tried to offer their condolences. Family tried to comfort you. None of it helped.
I watched as Sherri sat down with you for most of the time. She would whisper comforting words and stroke your back to soothe you when the tears began to constrict your breathing. I could see the guilt inside of her yet she never admitted what she’d done.
The light had gone out inside of you the day Jeff died. The vibrant, cheerful, happy-go-lucky girl was no longer there. Not a smile. Not a glimmer. Not a sound.
You slept at the funeral home that night. Under the special circumstances, the owners allowed it. You stayed on an air mattress inflated next to the casket by the guys and there you had the last night you’d ever spend next to him.
Jeff hadn’t been drinking that night. He was planning to come back to you and the two of you would go on with your perfect lives.
Knowing I ripped that away from you was a guilt I couldn’t bare to live with. I hope you know how truly sorry I am. I hope you can one day find it in your heart to forgive me, though I know I don’t deserve it. Just like I didn’t deserve your friendship or his.
Your fingers brushed over the cassette player. Tears now streaming freely down your face. You’re tired eyes landed on the tattoo of Jeff’s initials on the inside of your wrist and your heartbeat had slowed to a dangerous pace while you relieved the memory.
Your eyes met Sherri’s as she approached your table in the courtyard of the school. She glanced down at the player in your hands and her smile instantly fell to one of fear. She’d listened to the tapes – must have – because she instantly opened her mouth to explain.
You stood, as calmly as you could and your hand struck her across the face. You had no words for her. No explanation for anyone. You grabbed your stuff and walked away.
She was your best friend. She should’ve told you. You should’ve heard it from her. Not one some tape.
You would never get Jeff back. You would never see his smile again. Smell his cologne. Run your fingers through his hair. All because of some fucked up chain of events.
Jeff deserved to live. He wanted to live. He wanted to play baseball and get married and have kids. All of that was ripped away from him.
How was that fair?
Life had gone on for everyone after Jeff had died, but you wished so badly yours would’ve ended. You had thought about doing it yourself numerous times but you knew that wasn’t was he would’ve wanted.
A/N: I know everyone on tumblr voted for Jeff to live, and I will do a rewrite of this ending with a happy finish, but I had to get this off my chest for now. Don’t hate me. 🙁
** NONE of the gifs/images are mine.