After she finally pulled herself together and left, Milo questioned me about Jack. It took a little while, but I managed to convince him that everything was okay. Reluctantly, he dropped the subject and allowed me to take a shower.

The hot water felt good on my skin, and I let my thoughts wander to where I had left off last night. Something Jane said, about how in love she was with Jack even though she couldn’t think of a single reason why, stuck in my head.

That’s when it hit me. Jack, the way I saw Jack – attractive with a boyish charm – that’s who he really was. What everyone else saw, like Jane and the waitress at the diner, they were just responding to something that wasn’t real. The pheromones or whatever created some kind of illusion.

But maybe I wasn’t immune. Maybe there was nothing spectacular about Jack at all, but I was just responding to it on a smaller scale. Maybe I was falling for the same trap Jane was.

- 4 -

The television channel TNT, in its infinite wisdom, had a John Hughes marathon running on all day. Milo, who had never understood the appeal of Molly Ringwald, watched them with me. He tried to convince me to watch something else, but I was stronger than him and manhandled the remote.

We started onto our second viewing of Pretty in Pink when my cell phone started to jingle. It was going on midnight and I assumed it was Jane calling for some kind of sober cab service (even though I did not possess a car), but I picked up my phone off the coffee table anyway.

Instead, I found a text message from Jack.

So. You haven’t texted me.

You’re very observant. I responded.

My plan was to try to be indifferent. I didn’t appreciate the idea that I had probably fallen victim to some kind of spell or hormonal manipulation.

Does that mean you don’t want to be friends?

He actually typed that, like a note I’d get in the first grade. Something about that completely endeared him to me, and since I couldn’t smell or see him, I decided that must mean that I actually liked him.

No. I do. Definitely.

“Who is that?” Milo asked with an edge to his voice. He was sitting at the other end of the couch from me, and he leaned over so he could look at my phone, but I turned it away from him. “It’s that Jack guy, right?”

“You do realize it’s perfectly legal for me to text members of the opposite sex.” I gave Milo a hard look and he just shook his head.

“Whatever,” Milo said and turned his attention back to the movie. My phone rang again, and Milo made a humph sound.

Excellent. Wanna do something? Jack messaged.

What did you have in mind?

Anything. Everything. The city is our oyster! Jack texted back.

That sounds pretty ambitious. I replied, but it did sound exciting.

It is. So can you be ready in like fifteen minutes? Jack asked.

Sure. Meet you outside.

In a flash, I touched up my makeup and slid on shoes. Before rushing out the door, I promised Milo that I wouldn’t be home too late and that I had my phone if he needed me. He grunted at me, and then I dashed out to meet Jack.

He was already waiting outside, this time in a bright red sports car that looked like it cost more than a house. He grinned wildly when I opened the car door and jumped inside.

“So, this is nice,” I said, referring to his overly flashy car.

“It’s more than nice. It’s a Lamborghini Gallardo,” Jack explained with that foolish grin plastered on his face. “There are only six thousand of these in existence.”

“Is it new?”

“Nah, it’s my brother’s,” Jack said.

Before I could say anything more, he put the car in gear and it thrust itself into the street. I had thought we had gone fast in the Jetta, but it had nothing on this.

“Your brother must be loaded.” The car gracefully slid around a corner and weaved in between cars. Quickly, he turned it onto I-35, presumably so we could get the full effect of it going top speed on the open road.

“He kind of is,” Jack shrugged. “I don’t really worry about money, I guess.” It was the casual way someone talked when they never had to struggle for anything, and I wondered if Jack was wealthy and where he came from.

“It must be nice,” I muttered.

We were pretty poor, but not quite so poor that I felt like I had to get a job and bring in my own money. Just enough where I felt it.

“There are plenty of other things to worry about,” Jack replied seriously. “Believe me.”

“Like what?” I looked over at him, instead of the blur of the scenery flying past us. He smirked at me and shook his head. So that was another thing he wouldn’t talk to me about. “So you have a brother?”

“Two, actually,” Jack said. “And a sister. Well, she’s actually my sister-in-law, but she feels like a sister.”

“So is she married to your brother, or are you married?” I asked tentatively.

“No, I’m not married,” Jack laughed. “She’s my brother’s wife.”

“What are their names?” With the endless amount of things I wanted to know about him, I was stuck asking safe questions.

“Peter, and then Ezra is married to Mae. Ezra is the oldest.”

“What about your parents?” I turned towards him and rested my head against the seat. The rush of the world around us had made me a little dizzy.

“Dead.” His voice was emotionless, but his eyes got hard, which didn’t look right at all.