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The Start of Forever

fiction army love love triangle

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#1 JessMastriani


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Posted 23 October 2014 - 11:38 AM

Hello all!


I used to post on here all of the time, but life got in the way.  Anyways!  Inspiration FINALLY hit after nearly four years and I wanted to share :)  PLEASE give me any and all comments, feedback, corrections you may have.  I am sure it needs more detail in some places or it needs less dialogue in others.


Love to all!






Everyone always assumed Jason and I would get married out of college.  After all, we had been dating ever since freshman year of college when he drunkenly stumbled into my car by mistake after a frat party.  Normally, I would be terrified if a strange man hopped into my car.  But, there was something about him that relaxed me instead of spurring me to blow the rape whistle given to all freshman that year.    Playful banter was exchanged—slurred banter on his part—and he ended up inviting me to a local diner to grab a cup of coffee while he sobered up. 


We stayed at that diner for four hours.  And honestly, I hadn’t ever felt so at ease with another human being before.  Even with my family.  Jason has a way of making you feel like you are the only person in the room and the only thing on his mind.  I always joke with him that he would make an excellent therapist.  But, he claims he wouldn’t take it well when he doled out excellent advice that would end up being ignored most of the time.


“So,” Jason said as he led me to a booth.  “Do you normally allow drunk strangers to take you to coffee or am I just a lucky man?”


He grinned at me, a slightly lopsided grin, as he slid into his side.  I found myself frozen in time for the briefest of moments, mesmerized by his dark green eyes as they crinkled at the corners with his smile. 


Realizing he was waiting on a response, I mentally shook my head—because how strange would I look if I randomly shook my head for no reason at all? 


“Well, normally I would have pulled out my handy dandy rape whistle, but honestly in your state, you wouldn’t have been able to chase after a turtle.”  I grinned at him as I shook out my napkin and laid it across my lap. 


He laughed, a deep throaty, head tilted back laugh.  “Oh is that what you think of me?  I will have you know, I happen to be an extremely coordinated drunk man.”  He winked at me as he perused the menu.


“Ah, so do you find yourself in this state quite often?”  I had a feeling the answer would be ‘no’ but I found myself curious as to the answer.


He blushed a little, something which made my insides twist and flutter, and looked down at his lap in what seemed like embarrassment. 


“Honestly?”  He rubbed the back of his neck with a hand as he looked up at me.  A nervous gesture  “No.  I don’t like the feeling of being drunk.  I don’t even know how I got so drunk.  I guess I just got caught up in the vibe of the party and forgot that I was drinking punch with beer in it.”


I smiled in reassurance and shrugged.  “I get it.  I mean I am sure its like some prerequisite of being a college student.  You have to get drunk off your butt in order to truly get the college experience, right?” 


He visibly relaxed, as if he truly cared what I thought of him.  And, for the next few hours, we opened up to one another about everything.  I told him about my family, my parents’ divorce, my sister who cant seem to stand my existence, and even my goofball of a dog.  He told me about his dad, the loss of his mother to cancer three years ago, and his brother who recently joined the Army. 


By the time our conversation began to wind down and exhaustion set in, I had decided that Jason was someone I would like to spend more time with.  But, there was absolutely no way I would admit that.  I was old-fashioned—and shy—and preferred guys to take the lead.


Jason cleared his throat as he swung his jacket around his shoulders and shrugged it on. 


“Look, I know this may be a bit forward or whatever but, if you don’t mind, I would like to see you again sometime soon.”  He looked down at me as I wrapped my scarf around my neck.  I paused and looked up at him, studying his face…the way his eyes seemed to be filled with tiny flecks of gold amongst the deep green, the light dusting of freckles across his nose, and the strong, angularness of his jawline.


“I would like that,” I said in a soft voice.  “I would like that a lot.”  I felt a blush creep over my cheeks, coloring them the color of my red pea coat. 


He seemed to visibly relax at my response, and a goofy, boyish grin broke out across his face.  “Great!  How about tomorrow then?  Or I guess technically that would be today.  We could go to dinner somewhere?”


And we ended up hanging out every night after for the next four years.  While most couples would have grown sick of each other or needed a little time away from each other after a while, Jason and I couldn’t get enough of each other.  It wasn’t because we wanted each other physically—although that did play a part.  It was because we genuinely enjoyed one another.  We could talk for hours, joke around, study and learn together, and just rest in each other’s presence. 


 I was an elementary education major and loved to learn new methods and ways of doing things.  He was a pre-law major who loved to talk and debate.  We bounced ideas off of each other and debated any and everything we could.  We helped each other grow in our chosen majors and it made us better as people.  We both ended up graduating with high honors and in the top of our chosen majors.  Our parents, needless to say, loved the idea of us as a couple.  They never had to worry about our relationship getting in the way of our futures.  We wouldn’t let each other slack off even a little bit.  We had a future planned out and we wouldn’t let anything get in the way of it.

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#2 SecretSpyNinja x3

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Posted 23 October 2014 - 08:46 PM

This may seem strange but I remember your posting from four years ago. I too used to post from 2008-2010 and stopped, but I recently logged back in and became interested in writing again. Hopefully we continue with our writing this time  :icon_biggrin:



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#3 JessMastriani


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Posted 27 October 2014 - 10:10 AM

SecretSpyNinja x3 Wow!  Too cool!  hopefully we can both keep it up, indeed!




            I ran across the vast parking lot, careful to avoid speeding cars driven by anxious parents.  Graduation was starting in five minutes and apparently I was not the only one running a bit late.  I am sure I was quite a sight.  My black graduation robe flowing behind me like a cape, sleeves blowing in the wind making me look like a bat with wings.  My carefully curled hair was probably a tangled bird’s nest by now, turned into a reddish brown blob of frizz instead of gently cascading curls that I had spent an hour on earlier. 


            I stumbled over an empty coke bottle, blowing in the breeze, nearly falling face first onto the pavement.  Now, wouldn’t that make for a great graduation picture?  Unruly hair, sweat marring my makeup, and a big old shiner and perhaps some knocked out teeth would make for a snapshot to remember. 


I could hear the orchestra beginning its warm-up.  That most likely meant my peers were already lining up on the sidewalk leading to the great lawn where graduation was being held.  I ran-hopped as I took off my high heels one at a time.  I definitely wouldn’t make it in time running in those.  I tried to ignore the pain of the hot asphalt scorching my bare feet as I hightailed it across the last ten yards of the parking lot. 


Probably not more than twenty yards ahead, I saw my section of the line slowly making its way to the ceremony.  Annie, my closest friend ever since that fateful day we nearly set the Chemistry lab on fire, urgently waved at me in a ‘hurry’ motion.  Then again, by the look on her face, it was more of an ‘I will kick your ass if you don’t get your butt in line pronto’ face.


            Annie has always been the more aggressive one in our friendship.  I joke with her and tell her she is a bully.  She sees it more as someone who pushes others to realize the error of their ways.   I call it pushy.  But, we both know she is probably one of the most loyal friends you could ever have.  Annie’s mom left her when she was nine, so she doesn’t take relationships lightly.  She only lets you in if she can trust you to be a lifelong friend. 


            “Please tell me your hair is some failed attempt at a graduation prank?” She grinned at me as I skidded to a halt behind her in line.  She reached inside of the sleeve of her graduation gown and magically produced a hairband and bobby pins. 


            “I lost track of time,” I whined as she spun me around to face away from her.  I could feel her yanking, twisting, and pinning my hair as we walked towards our seats.  What a sight we must have been.


            “You?” Annie gasped in fake astonishment.  “Little Miss Plan Life to the Very Last Second never loses track of time.”  I could practically hear the smirk in her voice.   “There.  Done.”  She smiled in satisfaction as I touched my hair lightly, attempting to feel and figure out the end result.  “You look gorgeous.  Now walk.  You’re holding up the processional.”


            I looked up in astonishment and saw I indeed was holding up the line.  In fact, the person in front of me was several yards away.  I yanked on my heels and ran to catch up to the person in front of me.  As I ran, I passed Jason’s row.  He winked at me and shook his head.  I could almost guess what he would say.  ‘Cutting it close now are we, Olivia?’


            I stuck my tongue out and crossed my eyes as we walked by.  At the exact same moment the photographer decided to snap a candid of my section of the processional.  Lovely. 


            As soon as we grabbed our seats, Annie leaned over to whisper, “So, do you think today is the day?”  She wiggled her eyebrows and winked at me.


            I sighed.  She and everyone else had been asking me the same question these last few months.  It’s like everyone assumes that, since Jason and I have been together for four years, we have to get engaged any day now.  And, most people assume a proposal is more romantic when it coincides with a big event, like say, our college graduation.  They all assumed he would propose last month on my birthday.  When he didn’t, they swore up and down it would happen on graduation day.


            “You guys have got to let up with that,” I whispered.  “It will happen when it happens.”  Secretly, I hoped it would happen sooner rather than later.  But, I would be fine if it didn’t.  We both knew we wanted a future together.  It was a matter of when, not if.


            “Oh, come on Olivia.  He wants to take you somewhere special after all of the graduation hoopla.  What else could that mean?”  She turned to face the keynote speaker with a self-satisfied look on her face. 


            I honestly hadn’t thought about what his plans may be.  For all I knew, he just wanted to go out to a nice dinner to celebrate, just the two of us.  He planned special, secret dates all of the time.  This wasn’t a new thing. 


            “Shh, I want to hear what the speaker is saying,” I whispered as I playfully shoved her face away with a hand.  I really couldn’t care less what the speaker had to say.  I just didn’t want to sit and think about the possibility of a proposal.  I didn’t want to get my hopes up and end up disappointed when it didn’t happen.


            “And now, we will begin the presentation of the candidates for graduation,” the university president’s voice boomed across the lawn.  I could practically feel the energy of my peers amp up at the announcement.  I couldn’t speak for them, but I felt a combination of excitement at this momentous step into adulthood, and nervousness at the prospect of being out in the real world on my own.


            Annie elbowed me in the ribs when she saw Jason ascending the steps, getting closer and closer to his turn to take that walk across the stage.  I could see him scanning the crowd, searching for me.  After a brief moment, his eyes found mine and he winked.  I crossed my eyes and stuck my tongue out; something I was feeling was becoming my trademark face as of late.


            “Jason Marcus Carter,” President Seiber grinned as Jason strode up the remaining steps and across the stage.  They clasped hands and shook.  Jason grabbed his diploma and raised it in the air like Lady Liberty.


            “Woo!” He whooped and fist pumped like the goofball he is.  As he walked back to his seat he blew me a kiss.  Even now, four years later, he still gave me butterflies.  I felt a blush creep over my face.


            “Come on, Liv,” Annie shoved at me.  “It’s our row’s turn to line up.”  She shook her head, a grin on her face.  I stood up, booty bumped her, and began the awkward walk to the front.  Whoever thought of holding graduation on the front lawn clearly did not consider the fact that high heels stick into grassy lawns like little spears.  For people like me, who struggle to walk on regular surfaces, walking towards the stage was a challenge.


            “Elizabeth Jane Carter,” President Seiber’s voice echoed around the great lawn.  Two more people to go until my name was to be called.  I swallowed nervously.  Annie seemed to notice my nerves because she grabbed my hand and squeezed it reassuringly. 


            “Breathe,” she whispered.  I nodded and tried to steady my knocking knees. 


            “Olivia Ann James.” 


            I walked across the stage, legs feeling like jello.  Left.  Right.  Left.  Right.  Extend right hand.  Shake.  Grab diploma with left hand.  Smile for the cameras.  Turn the tassel.  Walk across the stage and down the stairs.  Home free. 


            Except not.  My ankles decided to wobble and twist and down I went.  I was waiting for the gasps, laughter, and camera flashes but nothing happened.  Instead, I heard Jason screaming at the top of his lungs, “I LOVE OLIVIA JAMES!”  All eyes were on him.  Which ended up giving me time to jump back up, straighten my cap and gown, and resume walking…like nothing had happened.


            “How can you not get excited about the idea of him proposing to you?”  Olivia laughed as we sat back down in our assigned seats.  I could almost detect a wistfulness to her voice as she spoke.


            “When it happens, it happens,” I shrugged and pulled my cellphone out of my gown.  I held it up in front of the two of us and nudged her.  “Post-graduation selfie?” 


            I normally hate selfies and the vanity they insinuate.  But, this would be the last time in our lives where we could hang out when we wanted, as often as we wanted.  Real life was starting and I wanted to preserve the feeling of freedom I still had.  We both put on our cheesiest grins and then burst out laughing at the resulting pictures.


            “We look like we have escaped from the loony bin!”  Annie snorted, she was laughing so hard.  The row of people in front of us all turned around at once and shot us the evil eye.  “Well excuuuuuuuuuse me.”  Annie staged whispered.  I tried to suppress a laugh.


We sat quietly, like responsible, newly graduated adults, for the remainder of the convocation.  There was singing, clapping, awards presenting, and finally, the closing remarks.  The president called for the graduates to file out, one at a time, and finally, it was over.


“Oh, honey, we are so proud of you!”  My mom rushed up to me as I managed to push through the crowd to the sidewalk.  She stood out from the muted grays, blacks, and creams the other moms were wearing.  My mom was an art curator at the local museum and loved to wear bright, vibrant prints.  Currently. She was dressed in purple and baby pink paisley pants, a cream ruffled shirt, and a hot pink blazer.  Her bleach blonde dyed hair stuck out all over her head in unruly curls.  For an added pop of flair, she had also clipped a neon green flower into her hair.  Her style didn’t embarrass me anymore.  In fact, I liked having a mom who taught me not to care what others thought of me or my appearance.  Why else would I have worn sweat pants and t-shirts ever day to class this last year?


My dad had meandered up behind her and stood stoically by, waiting for my mom to finish her dramatic gushing.  He had never enjoyed how vivacious my mom was.  I think it embarrassed him to be honest.  After my parents had been divorced for a suitable period of time, my dad had dated and eventually married a woman I jokingly called ‘Plain Jane’—behind her back of course…never to her face.  They worked as a couple though.  She was plain, bland, just like him.  His standard outfit always consisted of khaki pants, some neutral colored collared shirt, and brown loafers.  My dad wasn’t one to dress to stand out in a crowed.  He preferred to blend in and not be seen.  He kept his auburn hair nearly combed and parted, same hair cut, never a change. 


“Ron, aren’t we proud of her?”  My mom shot a pointed look at my dad, as if to say ‘you had better act proud of your child’.  My dad wasn’t one for emotions, really.  He usually provided an awkward pat on the back or shoulder, not a hug.


“Yes.  Honey, I am very proud of your accomplishment.”  He reached a hand out and placed it on my shoulder.  “Jane sends her best wishes.” 


“Oh, what a shame she couldn’t attend,” my mother said in a tone that suggested she felt the opposite.  My mother was still bitter about the divorce.  She was a spitfire, a fighter, and did not give up easily.  She had wanted to stay married and work on things.  My dad just didn’t seem to have the emotional energy to expend in order to stay.  When she had found out he was seeing someone, she about lost it.  She went through a phase where she cooked nothing but macaroni and cheese for dinner.  Blue box style mac n’ cheese.  That was a low point in our lives I refer to as ‘the cheesy days’.


“Where’s Grace?”  I asked as I looked around for my sister.  I didn’t honestly think she would come, but I still hoped she would have come.  We were complete opposites.  I was the poster child for the overachieving, straight A’s, always behaving, and every parent’s dream child.  She was rebellious, a college dropout, and had moved out the moment she turned eighteen.


My mom shuffled her feet awkwardly.  I knew what she was about to say.  I knew she didn’t want to have to tell me that my sister couldn’t even get over her issues with me long enough to come to my graduation. 


“Actually, never mind.  I don’t see her so I know she couldn’t make it.  No biggie.”  I shrugged as if it didn’t hurt me, but it honestly did.  I had never done anything to make Grace be so distant and resentful.  I mean, sure, my parents made a big deal about my accomplishments and achievements.  But, Grace chose not to do anything with her life.  I didn’t force her to underachieve.


“Shall we head to Antonio’s,” my dad, to my surprise, tried to change the subject.  “We have reservations in half an hour and I am sure traffic is going to be heavy.”  I smiled at him in appreciation.


“Yes!  Please.  I am starving.  Who knew walking across a stage and nearly breaking my neck in these heels was going to be so exhausting?”  I looped my arm through my moms and we headed to the parking lot.

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