You Found Me - Jeff Atkins
Title: You Found Me
Person: Jeff Atkins
Warnings: mention of his accident, angst, like 2 cuss words
GIF IS MINE but i guess it’s not working
When you started dating someone your freshman high school, you never thought you’d call him the love of your life. However, Jeff was different than the guys you’ve gone out with. He was a jock, specifically involved with baseball, but he wasn’t cocky or an ass. He was genuinely concerned about others before himself, a quality that you fell for.
It all ended that summer night. You knew Jeff, he was smart enough to know how much he can handle. You had seen him just before he left, a cup of soda in hand. He kissed you goodbye, went to get beer but never came back. The cops said his death was because he was drunk, but you knew otherwise.
Everyone was walking on eggshells around you at school, being careful not to say the wrong thing, except for Clay and Hannah. It was your first day back after taking a few days off. You open your locker, taking a deep breath. Swinging the door open, you’re greeted with a photo of you and Jeff, the one you both loved. Running your fingers over the photo, you remember the night you took it. You’re too focused on the photo to see Hannah and Clay walking towards you. They stop, looking at you. Hannah had mouthed something to Clay, telling him to stay put. She places a hand on your arm, causing you to turn towards her, now sobbing into her shoulder. She pulls you into a reassuring embrace, now waving Clay over.
“He really loved you, you know.” Clay told you.
You nod, a tear running down your face.
“I know, but he wasn’t drunk. I know Jeff. He was responsible and smart. Not an idiot.” You sighed, wiping under your eyes.
“(Y/N),” Hannah began to say, “I know what happened.”
“(Y/N), you shouldn’t-”
“Tell me, please.” You begged, your voice breaking.
“Before Jeff left for the beer run, he had asked Sherri to move her car. I needed a ride home so I went with her. My phone had died, so I was going to use hers to tell my parents I’d be spending the night at her place. She was driving as she was digging through her purse trying to find it. She looked down for a minute and when she looked back up, she slammed on the brakes and hit right into the stop sign. It had fallen over, so we both got out of the car to see if there was any damage. I told her we need to call the police to report that a stop sign had fallen over. She got flustered with me and drove away. I walked to the nearest gas station and used a phone to report where it happened and they told me that police had already been dispatched. I thought Sherri had call them…”
“It was me,” Clay interjected. “I called them. I had, um, I found Jeff.”
“Son of a bitch.” You chuckled in disbelief, shaking your head before walking away.
“(Y/N), wait a second,” Clay said, catching up to you. “They found this on Jeff the night of the accident. He told me about it, he wanted to give it to you that night. The paramedics dropped it when they, uh, when they moved him.” Clay’s hand dug into his backpack, pulling out a box with your name on it. You opened it, revealing a promise ring. Jeff had told you that he’d get you one, but you never thought he was serious. You breath hitched in your throat, tears rushing to your eyes faster than before.
“Thank you, Clay. I needed this.” All Clay did was smile slightly back to you, letting you go and do what you needed to: confront Sherri.
The bell rang, dismissing you from your economics class that you had with the girl who killed your boyfriend. You couldn’t look at her, it physically made you sick. You were forced to work with her but instead you worked by yourself. Why work with the person who killed the person you loved the most?
You walked out of the classroom, heading towards the parking lot when a familiar voice stops you.
“(Y/N), wait.” You continue walking, even picking up the pace a little bit. Sherri was desperate you guess, she ran up in front of you, causing you to stop dead in your tracks.
“What could you possibly want, Sherri?”
“Are you mad at me for some reason?”
You rolled your eyes and kept walking. Don’t make a scene, she’s not worth it. Sherri repeated her moves once again, however you walked around her.
“You want to know why I’m mad at you? Is that what you really want?”
“Why don’t want we talk about this on the ride home, I’ll drive you.” She told you as she started walking.
“So you can knock down a stop sign and cause someone else’s boyfriend to get into a car accident? No thanks.” You yelled to her, your arms folded across your chest.
She turns around with a shocked look painted on her face. Everyone began crowding around you guys, almost as if a fight were about to go down. So much for not making a scene.
“You hit into a stop sign, knocking it over and you didn’t even bother to call the police. You needed to get away or go home because when you’re with your dad, you have a curfew right? Because of your reputation, you didn’t want to be held responsible or be known as ‘the girl who hit a stop sign.’ My boyfriend went on a beer run that night, sober. He was drinking soda before he left. So on his way back when he went through that intersection, he collided with someone because you didn’t have the decency to report the stop sign.”
Everyone around you started whispering, their eyes never leaving you or Sherri.
“You wanna know what was found in his pocket that night?” You asked, pulling the promise ring out of your coat pocket. “He got me a promise ring. He told Clay that he was going to give it to me later that night. He planned on leaving early with me. We were supposed to go to one of the cliffs overlooking the water. Right then, he was going to give it to me. But because of your ignorance, I’ll never get to have another memory with the one person in this school who made me feel like the only person on the planet.” You paused, wiping a stray tear from your eye. “Screw you, Sherri.”