Her backyard was very simple, just a square, and it didn’t even have a fence around it. They didn’t really need a fence. They didn’t have a dog, or little kids to corral in, so when her mom had bought the house she'd never bothered to have one built. There was a single tree growing smack dab in the middle of the backyard, so depending on the time of day Jacque either had to lie on the left or right side of the backyard.
The right side it is.
Jacque took her towel and laid it on the grass. She'd already put her ear phones in and set her iPod to shuffle – Pearl Jam was the band playing at the moment. She slid her sunglasses on and turned to sit down on her towel. It was then that she realized in choosing the right side of the backyard, she was directly in front of the Henrys' house. Wait folks, it gets even better. It’s the side of the house where Fane’s bedroom window is.
Bad, Jacque thought. This is very, very bad. I can get up and go lay on the left side of the back yard…in the shade…which makes no sense. Or I can lay here and look like I totally planned to put a bikini on and plaster myself in front of Fane’s window like a centerfold. For the love of pigtails, could someone throw me a bone? Jacque’s mind screamed.
She sat there debating for a minute or two, then threw her hands up and said, “To hell with it, I’m already down here. He can get an eyeful if he wants, and if he wants to know if I did it for his benefit he can just ask me.” With a decided humph, Jacque laid back on the towel, arms by her side, feet flat on the ground, and knees slightly bent.
As she closed her eyes, she began to feel the warmth of the sun seep into her skin and calm her. She took some deep breaths and focused on the lyrics to the song now playing in her ears. It was “Untouchable” by Taylor Swift. She'd heard it a couple times before but had never really listened to it. Now as she heard the words, something inside her awoke.
Untouchable like a distant diamond sky
I'm reaching out and I just can't tell you why
I'm caught up in you, I'm caught up in you
Untouchable, burning brighter than the sun
And when you're close, I feel like coming undone
In the middle of the night when I'm in this dream
It's like a million little stars spelling out your name
You gotta come on, come on, say that we'll be together
Come on, come on, little taste of heaven
It's half full and I won't wait here all day
I know you're saying that you'd be here anyway
But you're untouchable, burning brighter than the sun
Now that you're close, I feel like coming undone
Jacque didn’t really understand how she knew it, but she believed without a doubt that her future was with Fane. She wasn’t sure how or why, or when, and at that moment he seemed very untouchable – she sure as hell was coming undone.
The song stopped and her phone started vibrating. For a moment she was a little disoriented, then she realized she was getting a phone call. She looked at the screen on her phone and it was Jen.
“Got good news, got bad news. Won’t charge you for either so which do you want first?” Jen answered.
“Slap me first, pat me on the back last,” Jacque told her.
“Bad news it is. I won’t be back over to your house until nine at the earliest. My mom and dad are in one of their ‘we’re a family, we need to eat at the table together, blah blah blah’ moods. So naturally, being the sweet little thing that I am, I didn’t argue with them for twenty minutes or slam my door and tell them how 1950s they were being. Nope, not me. I smiled sweetly.”
“Jen, you don’t do anything sweetly. How did you manage a smile?” Jacque retorted.
“Oh, shut up. That was the slap. The pat is I get to come over, even after the little fit that I didn’t throw,” she said with smug satisfaction.
“Try to keep your mouth shut between now and then so that you don’t have to call me later with something worse than a slap, okay?” Jacque told her.
“Okay, okay. Geez, who spit in your pizza?”
“I’ll give you the full details tonight, but suffice to say at least one piece has made its way into the puzzle.” Jacque thought about her words for a moment, then remembered a question Fane had asked her when he was “talking” to her. He had asked where she got her odd way of speaking. Did she speak oddly?
“Jen, do you think I speak oddly?” Jacque asked.
There was silence for a moment at the other end of the line. Jacque assumed either Jen was thinking or she had found something more interesting to pay attention to. Jacque was just about to ask again when Jen answered, “You do realize who you're asking, right? ‘Cause I just asked you who spit in your pizza and you knew exactly what I meant. So, I’m just saying I might not be the best judge of any oddities you may possess.”
“True dat,” Jacque responded.
“I’ll see you tonight. Try not to do anything too crazy without me. You know how I like to watch,” Jen said, cackling as she hung up.
Jacque shook her head, laughing to herself about her friend’s sick, twisted sense of humor. She didn’t bother to turn her music back on, she just listened to the sounds around her. For the most part the only noises were the occasional bird or dog bark. Other than that it was a quiet summer day. As beads of sweat ran down her collar bones she thought, Let’s qualify that. It’s a quiet, hot, summer day.
Jacque rolled over onto her stomach and closed her eyes, letting the heat and the sounds run over her. Before she realized it she had fallen asleep.
Fane looked at his watch. It was half past noon. Sara had been gone an hour and he still hadn’t heard Brian at all. There was an eight hour time difference between Coldspring and Romania, so it was eight thirty in the evening where his family was. He decided to call his dad while Brian and Sara were out. He had some questions that he thought should be answered before he had to start explaining things to Jacquelyn.
He dialed his father’s cell phone number and listened to it ring.
“Da?” his father answered. This was the way he always answered, with a simple “yes.” No “hello” or “this is”, just yes. Something so small, but it made him homesick.
“Tată,” Fane answered.
“Fane? Cum te simţi?” his father asked him.