I can’t believe this is my last night with him. I can’t believe this is over. I have to get out, though. I have to. The dean isn’t just going to let me come back to school after Finn tells him everything. I’ll be lucky if no one calls the authorities. How do I get myself into these messes? Complete lack of judgment. I wish I’d just gone to Rawley Girls’. Things would be a lot less complicated right now. I can’t take the weird position we’re in on the bench. Why’s he acting all awkward? I shift a little and try to get more comfortable. This isn’t working. I give up. It doesn’t matter anyway. I deserve to be uncomfortable. I made him uncomfortable all summer. Hamilton Fleming. He’s got to be the most understanding person I’ve ever met. Not that he’s been the perfect boyfriend or anything, but I guess he has tried really hard. When he stops trying, that’s when I really love him. Maybe that’s why it seemed like a good idea to get in the shower with him. Another Jacqueline Pratt lapse in judgment. On the other hand, it was a pretty inviting scenario. Not that I would have known what I was doing. I glance over at him and he’s smiling. The shower. I feel my cheeks get hot. He saw me almost completely naked. He does one of those silly lop-sided grins like he wants me to know exactly what he was thinking about, but then he blushes too. He’s so cute. I definitely would have enjoyed that shower. I lean against him and feel a little more comfortable. I can’t believe we’re stranded in the middle of nowhere. My cell phone is dead. Who would I call anyway? “Hey, Mom…it’s Jake…no, that’s what I go by now…I’m stuck in the woods with Hamilton…NO, we’re not having sex, but we almost took a shower together.” She’d probably ask for the details. God…I shift my position again in an effort to change my train of thought. I turn around and lean back against him and put my head on his shoulder. Why’s he just sitting there? I pull his arms around me. Perfect. I wish we could just stay like this forever. He kisses me through my hair which probably looks like crap. I close my eyes. I love him so much. In his arms like this, I feel like I’ve surrendered everything to him. Every emotion…all my security…it’s his. Normally, I don’t like to feel vulnerable, but right now, all the walls are down…and I don’t mind. I guess I’ve let him in like I’ve never let anyone in before. I’ve never wanted anyone else to see me, but with him, it’s different. I want him to see…and he does…and he understands. He kisses my neck. Wow. I say “Thank you.” For getting me…for making me feel. He doesn’t ask why I’m thanking him. Instead he kisses me again. I reach back and run my hand through his hair. I love how he acts so turned on by the littlest things. Even if he really isn’t, it’s still adorable. It’s probably a very good thing we’re not alone right now. He must be thinking just the opposite because he’s looking over at Will and Bella. He looks back at me like I caught him thinking something bad. I glance over at Will and Bella. She’s kind of got her head in his lap. They’re talking quietly. I wonder if something’s going on with them. I turn back to Hamilton and he’s giving me one of those intense looks. What? “I love you,” he says. Can I melt now? He said it so seriously…like it’s true and it’s obvious. He loves me. I have no idea why, but he does. I lied to him and he forgave me. I freaked out at him and he ignored it. I ran away from him…and he came with me. “I love you too, Hamilton.” As if there was ever any doubt. But he looks surprised by it…like he didn’t know or something. I kiss him like I want to prove it to him. What message was I trying to send again? I put my lips on his and suddenly I lose track of everything. That’s how it’s always been…since that first time on the roof. Nothing else seems as important as the kiss, but something’s wrong. I pull back from him and he looks really distracted. “What’s wrong?” I ask him. He looks at me and tries to smile. I keep looking at him, waiting for his answer. “Nothing,” he lies. Nothing. Right. That’s why you’re freaking out on me all the sudden. Just tell me. Are you worried about Finn telling your dad? Are you worried about us? “I’m just going to miss you, that’s all.” Of course, it’s my fault he looks miserable. “…but this is a really nice way to spend our last night together.” Is he joking? I laugh. Right…cabin in the woods. No food. No cell phones. He looks at me like I shouldn’t be amused. Duh. He meant like this. Cuddled up on a bench together. He was trying to be sweet. All of a sudden, I notice how sad he looks. I turn slightly toward him and it forces him to drop his arms from my waist. “Hamilton, I’m sorry.” I pull him into a tight hug. I don’t let him go right away. I want him to know that everything will be okay. It’s not like we’ll never see each other again. It’s NOT over. I lean back a little and ask him if he’s okay. He nods. He looks so helpless. I get really close to him, my forehead touching his and I say, “Everything will be okay…okay?” That sounded totally stupid, but I hope he understands. It really will be okay. I look into his eyes and ask him again, “Okay?” He grins. I’m glad you see my point. He doesn’t say anything, though. He just nods…and kisses me. Good answer. When he ends the kiss, I sit up and pull an old blanket over us. He starts to lie down and it seems like a good idea so I do the same. He lies on his side so that I can lie on my back. He puts his arm around me. Once again, he’s holding me. Once again, I’m his. He’s right…this is a nice way to spend our last night together. I forget how uncomfortable the bench is as he pulls me closer to him. This is the closest I’ve ever been to anyone. I don’t necessarily mean physically. I hope he gets it. “I love you,” I whisper to him. He closes his eyes and moves his head even closer to mine. I feel his breath on my neck. There will be a lot more moments like this. I plan to make sure of it. This isn’t something I’ll give up on. Running away is such an easy way out for me, but I don’t want to run from Hamilton. I told him it would be okay and somehow it will be. I’m still going back to New York tomorrow, but that is, in no way, the end. Our relationship is messy and complicated, but at the core, it’s the simplest thing I’ve ever done. I think he was right. This is a good way to spend tonight. He’s wrong about it being the last, though. That isn’t coming any time soon.