Reagan Torres and Miles Jameson were not expecting their summer to go this way, that is for sure. When the two of them are forced to act like a couple at Miles' sisters wedding they both wish that they had different summer agendas. But when a tragedy once more strikes through the Jameson family and Miles begins to show signs of illness again can Reagan be the answer the Jameson's need to fix their family once and for all? Or will she be the reason they fall apart for good?
Reagan Torres did her best not to keep making eye contact with her professor. She knew that if Professor Jameson caught her looking he was going to make her tell the class what she was here to become and Reagan couldn’t stand the mere idea of speaking in front of the class. Never had speaking in front of, well, anyone, had she been confident enough to keep her voice level and not either stutter or mumble her answer. She always found herself running away from her problems and never turning back. She had been trying to work on it, truly she had, she just simply wasn’t ready for that kind of thing and honestly, she wasn’t sure she ever would be. And to her that was just fine. But to other people, maybe not so much. “So, that is why I wish you all a great summer and I hope to see you all back here in the fall.” Professor Jameson was finishing. Reagan sighed in relief. She had made it through the day without an incident. The bell rang throughout the hallways of Jainelli Community College and the entire class jumped to their feet and rushed out the door. Summer couldn’t get there any quicker even though school was out. “Reagan,” Professor Jameson said setting down his folder on the desk in front of hers as she packed up my belongings. Reagan looked up and then looked away quickly, going back to packing. “I know, I need to work on-”
“Yes?” She asked, stopping and looking up. Professor Jameson sounded very serious.
“I need to ask you a question and I don’t want you to be weirded out. Promise?” He asked. Reagan nodded, slow and uncertain. After a deep breath Professor Jameson said, “Will you be my son’s pretend girlfriend for the summer??” He blurted. Reagan gaped at her teacher. Maybe she hadn’t heard him right.
“I'm sorry?” She asked taken aback, setting her armful of books on the desk and turning towards her teacher. He was looking down at the floor. “I wouldn't ask if it wasn't an emergency Reagan.” He said.
“But why? And why me of all people??”
“Well, my daughter is getting married next Friday and everyone else in our family thinks that Miles has a girlfriend. If he shows up without a girl they'd be upset because they’d think he’s still depressed after Jessica.”
Reagan sucked in a breath. Wow. That was quite a jump. But he still didn't answer the second question, why her? “That's kind of harsh, sir.” She said. Professor Jameson looked up and nodded his head.
“Yes, it is. And my son really needs a friend this summer. I was hoping you could be that friend but I understand if that's too much to ask.” Professor Jameson said. Reagan sighed and looked down at her books as she thought about it. Going with Professor Jameson would be better than spending the entire summer alone, having to look for a job or having to be all alone.
“You know what, just forge-”
“I’ll do it.” Reagan blurted out, cutting off her teacher. He immediately stopped talking and tried to hide his grin. The next thing Reagan knew, Mr. Jameson had wrapped her in the quickest heartfelt hug she had ever encountered. When he pulled away there was no hiding the grin on his face. “Thank you, so much Reagan, truly, thank you!” He exclaimed handing her a piece of notebook paper from the breast pocket of his button-down dress shirt. Reagan took it without question. She knew it must have Mr. Jameson’s address on it.
“I’ll make sure the garage stays unlocked for you, Someone will be home to let you in the house. We’ll see you bright and early tomorrow morning! Thank you again! Have a good rest of your day, Ms. Torres.” Mr. Jameson said turning and walking back to his desk. Reagan shook her head in disbelief. Well, at least her summer wouldn’t be as boring as the previous two had been. Without another word to her professor, Reagan scooped up her books and shoved Mr. Jameson’s address in her purse and quickly found her way to her car.
Reagan sat in her car staring out at the New Mexico mountains in the horizon. She couldn’t believe any of what had just happened had actually happened. The more she played it over in her head the more insane it seemed to sound but Reagan had given her word and once Reagan Torres makes a promise she never goes back on her word. What if Mr. Jameson’s son didn’t even like her? What if she actually broke her promise? Reagan shook that thought away. Nothing in the world could make her break a promise. Too many times she had had people break promises that they made to her, people she thought she could love that did and told her things that made it impossible to ever trust them again. No, Reagan would go through with this. One way or another it was going to happen, and if Mr. Jameson’s son couldn’t handle that then that was his problem, not Reagan’s.
After a moment more of thinking to herself Reagan decided that she best get home and pack. Taking a deep breath she put the car into gear and drove to her apartment, still thinking of the many possibilities of what could happen this summer. When she stopped at a red light she realized that Mr. Jameson had mentioned his daughter was getting married on Friday, did that mean she had to dress nice? There wasn’t a single thing that Reagan owned that wasn’t stained in someway, she couldn’t help that she was poor and more than half of her clothes had come from thrift stores.
Oh well, perhaps she could stop at a store sometime before Friday and find something nice enough. The light changed and Reagan continued on the road to home. When she finally got home she wasted no time in packing her clothes and crashing on her bed as soon as her head hit the pillow.
Reagan had a very hard time forcing herself to roll out of bed the next morning. She hadn’t set an alarm but she hadn’t needed to. Once the sun came up, Reagan was up. She would never understand how there were people out there who could sleep during the day. Why be inside when you could be outdoors, enjoying the fresh air?? After she had finally got up she had re-packed her bags and took a deep breath. She was really going to do this. Once she was satisfied that she wasn’t going to forget anything, Reagan found herself sitting in her car, the back seat holding her bag for her. She pulled Professor Jameson’s address out of her purse and put it into her cell phone’s GPS.
It looked as if the Jameson’s lived out on the country side of town, which Reagan had no problem with. As she drove towards her destination Reagan couldn’t help but think again, what if Mr. Jameson’s son didn’t even like her?
“Turn right onto Scarecrow’s Terrain. In 7.2 miles destination is on the left, 8973 Scarecrow’s Terrain.” Her phone chirped about an hour later. Reagan made the right turn and scanned the driveways looking for 8973. About 7 miles down the road Reagan watched a young man come storming out of a house.
“Destination is on the left” Her phone said. Great, Reagan thought, This will just be perfect. She pulled into the gravel driveway and stared up at the huge three-story house. The window shutters had fallen off years ago, but the paint was lighter where they had once been. The entire house was a dark seaweed green and the paint had been peeling badly in many places. The weathervane was bent and swaying violently in light early summer breeze.
Reagan decided it was best if she just got the introductions done and over with so she climbed out of her car and noticed for the first time that the young man that had stormed outside was incredibly attractive. He had jet black hair that was swept across his brow, he had bright electric blue eyes and he was tall and muscular. The only thing that ruined the image was the expression of extreme pain on his face when he looked at her.
“You did what?!?” Miles Jameson exclaimed after he had come down for breakfast on Saturday morning. Evan, aka Professor Jameson, calmly sipped his coffee while his son yelled at him. “You know it’s only for your own good, Miles! I promise you Rea-”
“I don’t care if she’s pretty or nice or whatever the hell you were about to say. Dad, you can’t keep making my decisions for me!! I’m a grown man for damn sakes!” Miles exclaimed, slamming down his fork, pushing back his chair and standing up hitting the tabletop with the fists of his hands.
“Miles!” Laurie, Miles’ mother and Evan’s wife, exclaimed at her son’s behavior. Miles huffed and turned around to stalk out of the room before anyone else could say or force him to do anything. He stormed outside yelling curse words at the ground as he practically ran through the yard. He heard a car pull into the driveway, and although he was mad he looked up, curious to see who it could possibly be.
A young woman about his age, perhaps a year or so younger, got out of the car. She had red ginger colored hair and emerald green eyes that stood out against the red hair. Miles had to admit she was beautiful but she was no Jessica. Miles clenched his fists and squeezed his eyes shut. There was nobody, no one in the whole entire world who could replace Jessi. Nobody.
He tensed when he noticed she had walked up to him.
“Um, hi. I don’t mean to interrupt you but I was wondering...is the Jameson residence?” She asked. Miles opened his eyes and looked at the girl. He hadn’t realized he was staring so intensely at her until she had reached up and begun nervously stroking a piece of hair that fell on her shoulder, repeatedly.
“Reagan!” Evan’s voice boomed from behind Miles, causing him to jump. “I see you’ve met Miles, good. He was a bit nervous about meeting you, but I’m glad he was the one to greet you!” Evan continued. Reagan dropped her hair and opened her mouth to speak, as did Miles, when Evan cut both of them off. “Come! Meet the rest of the gang! You will be spending a decent amount of time here with us!” He exclaimed, gesturing for Reagan to follow him.
Miles glared at his father. Evan chose to ignore him. He knew this whole plan had been risky. Especially not telling Reagan the complete truth about Miles. But he still had hope that this could work. He had after all seen both of these young adults grow up before his eyes. He knew they both had gone through some rough times and he had high hopes that the two of them could get past their pasts together.
Once Evan had taken Reagan inside, Miles had gone to his favorite place around his yard. The hidden treehouse. True to its name it was hidden, he was the only one who even knew about it. Not even Jessi knew about it. It was the one place Miles felt like he could go to truly be alone. Never once had he been disturbed when he went there. Of course, no one knew where he was but still. He could be him. Miles.
When he reached the tree house he found himself inside and for the first time in three years Miles found himself wishing that he wasn’t alone. Wishing that there was someone else he could share all of his secrets and thoughts with. Someone who understood him, without having to communicate. But that was only wishful thinking, wasn’t it?