“Have you seen Betty?”
Kevin looked up from his cellphone to see the dark haired James dean lookalike staring at him expectantly.
“Are you kidding me? That’s the third time you’ve tracked me down to ask me that question , I’m flattered Jughead, really, but if you put half as much time into looking for Betty as you do asking me where she is, I’m sure you would actually find her.” He smirked cockily from his seat in the student lounge.
Jughead rolled his eyes and quirked an eyebrow as Kevin placed his phone down.
“It’s the third of the month, she’s were she is on every third day of every month.” He explained plainly. Clearly Jughead was missing something.
“And where would that be?” The beanie wearing boy asked patiently. Kevin finally looked up at him and frowned confused
“You mean you don’t know? You guys have been dating for three months, haven’t you ever wondered where she goes every third day of the month?” He asked.
“I never noticed, things have been pretty hectic, now that you mention it… so where is she? Where does she go?”
Kevin scratched his neck suddenly nervous and uncomfortable, it wasn’t a secret that Betty hid from anyone but it was a personal story, one Kevin was nervous to share. Jughead sensed Kevin’s tension and nodded encouragingly
“She’s my girlfriend dude.” He said slowly.
Shaking his head Kevin began the story
“On the third day of every month Betty heads out to the poppy fields over in Pembrooke, she spends pretty much the whole night there. She umm… it was her and her brothers special place. Do you remember Chick Cooper?” He asked
Jughead nodded, Chick Cooper was Betty’s older brother, he left Riverdale one day and never came back, everyone assumed he was in college and didn’t have time to make visits.
“Chick well… Chick was killed a few years back, he was killed in combat. That’s why Betty took that huge break from school. Well anyway, Chicks ashes are spread in the poppy field and Betty goes every month to talk to him, when they were kids they would get dressed up and spend hours out there. Betty continued the tradition on the third of every month, she left school early today to head down there.” Kevin trailed off as his phone began to ring “oh that’s Joaquin! I have to take this” with that the excited boy ran off leaving Jughead alone with his thoughts.
What kind of a boyfriend was he that he didn’t know that about his girlfriend? Her brother, her best friend, he was dead? She never brought it up, never mentioned it. Was she holding all that pain in this whole time. God Jason blossoms murder, that must have hit home with her, that’s why she was always trying to help Cheryl, giving her the benefit of the doubt, he could still remember the soft way she had reminded Veronica
“Remember, She just lost her brother.”
He should have noticed how sad her eyes were, how she seemed to go to a distant place in her mind. She was always there supporting him, confiding in him, and he didn’t even care to know her family story?
Suddenly an idea rang through his mind, hopping over the couch, he ran through the halls before finding Archie in a towel in the boys locker room
“Hey jug! What’s u…”
“I need to borrow your white button down, you keep an extra in here for emergencies right?” Jughead asked digging through Archie’s gym locker.
“Umm yeah sure, why the desperate need for a button down” Archie asked confused.
“I’ve got a date with Betty and her brother.” He stated simply, smiling and holding up the white shirt in victory.
Archie looked confused
“Jug, Betty’s brother, chick.. he’s..”
Jughead ripped his shirt off and pulled Archie’s over his shoulders
“A little big, but it’ll do. Thanks pal, see you tonight.” He slapped a hand to Archie’s shoulder and headed outside towards Fred Andrews old truck, Archie’s dad let him drive it almost all the time, it was crazy having someone who cared about you, it still made Jughead stop and slow down a little, maybe one day he’d get used to it, but for now he was just grateful.
He arrived at the Pembrooke poppy fields in record time, casting a quick look in the mirror, he decided to leave his hat. He didn’t want Chick thinking he was a weirdo, ghost or not.
It was easy to find Betty, she was sitting crouched in the flowers, her long blonde hair left loose just like Jughead liked, the gorgeous black, flowing dress was a dark contrast to the brightly colored Flowers and Jughead was almost certain he would never see anything as beautiful as this scene for the rest of his life. He made his way to her slowly as he heard her talking into the air
“…but Polly is certain it’s a boy, even though the doctor says it’s twins she doesn’t believe him, I’d love a niece but then again having another guy In the house might be nice, ya know with dad not living at home anymore.”
Jughead took that moment to step in
“Hey, what am I chopped liver?” He asked with a small smile, laughing as Betty jumped up, her eyes going wide when she first saw him.
“Juggie?! What are you doing here?” She moved to touch his arm, a gesture she had adopted to let him know she was happy he was here.
“I told you that it’s important for me to meet your family, I meant your whole family.” He finished softly, cupping her cheek with his palm as her eyes filled with tears
“Juggie.” She choked out.
“Plus I get to see you looking like the blackbird of my dreams” he smiled goofily as Betty gave a watery laugh, tugging him by the hand to sit beside her in the poppys.
“Chick loved flowers and he loved photography, I think you two would’ve really gotten along.” She smiled sadly, leaning her head on his shoulder.
“Well Chick, I’m sorry I never got to meet you, I’m sure you were an amazing guy. And patient too, living in a house with all those cooper girls.” He smiled as Betty snorted beside him
“I love your sister, I’m going to take care of her okay. You don’t have to worry about me hurting her, I won’t.” He looked down to see Betty staring up at him, her dark green eyes shining with love
“Also.. I know you would be giving me a really painful pat on the back, so take comfort in the fact that I appreciate the sentiment.” Jughead said up to the sky.
Betty and Jughead sat in that yellow and orange field for hours, talking to each other, talking to her brother and occasionally losing themselves to fits of giggles. This world was filled with sadness and the darkness tended to overwhelm the light these days, but in a poppy field on the third day of the third month, two damaged small town kids found love in each other and that was something to hold onto.