Alarm Bells Ringing / Jeff Atkins
The moment Jeff saw you making your way down the hall towards him, he knew something was wrong. He noticed straight away that the smile you offered him just before you reached him was not genuine. Though he became more concerned with you when you greeted him with a kiss.
You had been dating for almost six months and never had you once initiated a kiss so publicly-you much preferred to keep your relationship private. You were shy and hated attention, you even tended to shift away from your boyfriend when he tried to hold your hand around others so this abrupt change in behaviour definitely took him off guard.
He froze as your lips met his.
It only lasted a few seconds and when you pulled away you couldn’t stop the small giggle that left you as you took in his expression.
“You okay there?” you asked, amusement filling your features.
Jeff snapped out of his daze and quickly shut his locker before addressing you so you could have his full attention, “Should I be asking you that?” he countered.
He noticed the slight hesitation that passed over your face, the subtle change in posture. You only shook your head as you leant against the locker beside his, “I’m good,” you insisted, not realising Jeff had caught your lie. “We should head to class,” you suggested, “the bell will be going soon.”
Jeff sighed, not wanting to push you on the matter and deciding to wait until you wanted to open up to him, he agreed.
He almost jumped in surprise as you slid your hand in his and held him close to your side. As worried as he had become, Jeff had to smile.
Granted he was concerned, but it was hard for him to not take advantage of the rare occurrence.
Jeff pressed a kiss against the top of your head as they walked down the corridor, a warm feeling igniting within him as you smiled up at him rather than shield yourself away.
After school, Jeff met up with Clay as usual but his mind was somewhere else. Something Clay noticed rather quickly. “What’s up?” he questioned, placing his pen on the table.
Jeff ran a hand through his hair, “I don’t even know,” he groaned. “Something’s up with (Y/N) today and she hasn’t spoken to me about it…she’s acting different and I don’t want to bring it up just in case it makes her push me away.”
Clay leant back in his chair, “Look,” he said. “Usually you give me the relationship advice,” he laughed, “and I know I’m kind of useless when it comes to this, but it’s (Y/N),” he stated, as if it was the most obvious answer in the world.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Jeff demanded on the defensive.
Clay smiled to reassure his friend that he meant no offence, “I’m just saying, she’ll come to you when she’s ready. You know better than anyone that sometimes she just needs some time to herself to process things before she can talk about them.”
Jeff slowly nodded, “I guess. But did you see the way she was today?” he asked, in which Clay shook his head in reply. “I just want to help her…” he whispers. “I’m just really worried.”
“Speak of the devil,” Clay said quietly, his focus on something, someone behind Jeff.
He turned around and found you heading their way. Jeff smiled as his girlfriend sat herself in the seat beside him. “Hey Clay,” you greet.
He raised his hand to wave his hello before picking up the discarded piece of work he was reading over to give you and Jeff a moment.
You take hold of Jeff’s left hand and move his arm closer to you, hugging it against your chest as you rest your head on your spare arm against the table. Letting out a small yawn, your eyes slowly closed.
See, Jeff mouthed to Clay who had looked over at them in curiosity. He merely shrugged and went back to reading.
Jeff shifted in his seat and moved his right arm towards you and began moving the hair out of your face that had fallen down when you had laid down. Your smile made Jeff’s heart quicken.
He stopped himself from asking what was wrong as his hand stopped moving on the top of her head, resting amongst your hair.
Movement from across from him caused Jeff to look up at Clay who had stood from his seat, “Where are you going?” he asked, their session no where near done.
“Your somewhere else at the moment and I don’t think you will be able to focus until you know what you want to,” he told him sympathetically. “I’ll see you around, you know where I am if you need something.”
Jeff thanked his friend and watched as he walked away, finally turning back to you as you mumbled a quiet apology.
“It’s not your fault,” he assured her.
You lazily opened your eyes, peering up at him-you took in his expression. “Your a horrible liar,” you informed him. He let out a small laugh at her words but didn’t speak. “You shouldn’t worry about me,” she told him.
“I can’t help it.”
Your smile only grew and Jeff ran his fingers down your cheek. “I know what’s been going through your head all day,” you continued, closing your eyes again as his soft touch relaxed you. “But you really shouldn’t have worried. I’m sorry for not talking to you earlier about it.”
“Don’t apologise,” he insisted.
“You’re too sweet,” you sighed happily, wondering how you were so lucky to have him. “But really, I was just feeling a little down today. Nothing happened, I’m just…not entirely feeling like myself. But I’ll be better when I’ve had a good rest, I think.”
Jeff hesitated before responding, “That doesn’t really explain why you’ve been so…” he trailed off, not sure how to word what he wanted to say.
She chuckled, gripping his hand tighter, “You make me happy,” she said easily. “Being around you just makes everything better.”
That warm feeling inside of him returned and Jeff was beaming, “I do, huh?” he grinned. If Jeff could have seen your eyes, he was certain you would have rolled them.
“I noticed something today,” she frowned, continuing their conversation. “Something else I should probably apologise for.”
Now Jeff was frowning, “What is it?”
“I realised how little I show you that I love you.”
Jeff scoffed, moving his arm out of your hold and forcing you to sit up. Your eyes lock on his and there was disbelief in them, “Are you kidding me?” he asked. “You think that just because you don’t hold my hand in school or want to kiss me around these people that I can’t tell that you love me?”
You were confused, not understanding his point.
“(Y/N),” he groaned, gripping your chin between his fingers gently so you were still looking at him. “You show me how much you love me each time you look me in the eyes and each time you smile across the room, the love you express through the little things…that’s what matters. That’s what makes my heart race and my head go cloudy. I don’t need you to kiss me every time you see me or tell me in words you love me every other hour of the day. Okay?”
You nodded slowly, taking in his words.
“I love that our moments-are our moments. And that only I get to see that side of you. Don’t get me wrong, I loved how you were today just like how I love you are every other day. I love you. Every part of you and you shouldn’t be thinking that it’s not enough. Because you’re more than enough.”
Your hands grip his shoulders and you tug him towards you, kissing him like you had never done before in public, suddenly grateful that the library was relatively empty. Jeff’s hands found their way around your waist as yours trailed along his chest and down his sides-the kiss never once breaking.
Finally pulling apart, you smiled shyly, leaving one hand on his hip as the other made its way to the side of his face. “I love you, too,” you whispered. “And thank you.”