Endless hours of sunlight and millions of stars by night filled their summer. Every morning they would wake up in Jack’s bed and pile their way out over the hard-wood flooring to catch a glimpse of the beach at sunrise. His entire self was accommodating, most evidently in the extensive time he would spend with Joelle on a daily basis, taking care of her when she felt stupid and speaking in whispers to each other when the days would come to a close. It was the most memorable summer of their lives because neither of them had ever felt so close to another person before.
In July, Jack had been accepted to the school of Fashion Design and Marketing in San Francisco. He had done everything from spending his Saturday nights studying for his AP classes to writing endless college application essays to get into school. He didn’t have money, he depended on his GPA to get himself into the best of the best. In the meanwhile, Joelle was accepted to the University of Washington to progress her studies in journalism. Her dream was to eventually have her own magazine. There was this fear in the back of Joelle’s mind that her relationship, a perfect relationship, would crumble away and disintegrate without reason while Jack was away for the four years it would take him to get his degree. Jack was afraid that Joelle would find someone else while he was away, because she was the most special girl anyone could think of.
On an afternoon in the last few weeks of August, Joelle returned to her penthouse apartment to gather her things in uncountable boxes to be moved into Jack’s vacant loft. After all, Jack couldn’t take Igor with him and somebody had to be there to feed, bath, and study on the floor with. Although she knew that she would see Jack in 2 1/2 months, one day without him felt like a year. Jack had already left for California a few days earlier, of course only after giving Joelle cuddles for hours and kisses for days. While he was settling into his new dorm, Jack felt empty even though he knew that this was a step in the right direction. He was following his dreams but at the same time he wanted Joelle. He needed her as much as she needed him.
Golden sunlight crashed in through the white linen sheers as daylight arose over the city. “Where am I?”, was her first conscious thought, blonde waves strewn across the pillow. All that she could see was white. Out of the abyss of covers she felt something wriggle her way up through her legs and onto her abdomen. Gently peeking up the blanket she saw a speckled, Serval kitten napping beneath her bust-line. “His name’s ‘Igor'”, Jack’s voice enchanting Joelle as she laid in bed relaxed yet awake. It was the day of their senior graduation, but right now all that Joelle wanted to do was play ‘hide-and-seek’ with Igor throughout the loft.
Several hours later, Joelle was slipping her small frame into an emerald-green silk dress to later be paired with her white, Chandler Academy, graduation cap & gown. Meanwhile, Jack was doing up his torso into a mint-green button up and slacks for his lower half. He loved her more than the rainy days of Seattle, more than the amount of droplets of water in the Pacific ocean. She breathed him, as though she couldn’t live without him if her survival depended on it. He saved her life the instant she came into his.
Immediately after the fire grew into the parking lot, the oxygen line beneath the street exploded. Jack was leading her away to the safety of his loft when the fireball burst and Joelle was only multiple feet away from the flaming inferno. The next thing she could remember were masked faces asking her to wiggle her toes and look into a bright light. Her dress had been cut off of her and a gown placed on while she was unconscious. Out of the haze of gloved hands and syringes she saw Jack’s face: scared, apologetic, and overwhelmed. He had never meant to hurt her, in fact he was trying to save her from the scare of the fire by leading her away to the safety of his home. They wanted to be in each other’s company and nothing less.
In the afternoon they ate lunch at the Space Needle’s restaurant and subsequently went on to Chandler Academy to graduate on to college. Jack’s only supporter was Joelle while Joelle had her father, mother, and brother clapping for her in the stands. Her memory was still a bit fuzzy but a growing feeling crawled over her with discern. She thought: “Will Jack and I go separate ways?”. She knew in her heart that there was something gripping her to Jack’s wrist but there was no way to know for sure.