He’d finally told her. He almost couldn’t believe it.
The shock must have been too much because the next thing he knew, he had collapsed on the ground.
“Tom, Tom,” he could hear Jennie saying, but his body didn’t seem to want to cooperate with his mind. He tried to open his eyes, but it was like they were stuck together. His entire body felt heavy and he could feel himself smiling as though he was in the warm embrace of a mother.
Jennie! His eyes suddenly snapped open. She was definitely not his mother. She was the woman he’d just confessed to being in love with.
“Tom, Jesus, don’t do that to me! Are you okay?” Jennie’s big, brown eyes stared down at him. She had his head in her lap and was holding onto his shoulder with one hand.
He struggled to sit up.
“Yes, I’m okay, it was all just a bit of a shock telling you that,” he admitted.
“God you can say that again!” she agreed. “Tom, Tom, Tom.” Jennie shook her head.
What was she supposed to say in reply? She didn’t have anything to say; or at least, nothing that would make Tom happy. She wasn’t in love with him at all. Yes, he was a good friend, but nothing more. Last year had been a mistake, they’d both been drunk and she was a little surprised that he felt this way about her.
“So…” Tom began. “What do you think?”
Jennie decided to play dumb. She’d never been good at rejection and in fact, she’d always been the one on the receiving end.
Guess I’ll find out how it feels to be the one dishing it out, she thought to herself.
“What do I think of what?” she asked.
Tom’s brow furrowed. Was she serious?
“Um… about what I just told you,” he replied.
“Oh,” she said, looking down at her hands.
Tom suddenly saw the look on her face. She didn’t need to say anything.
He had just been rejected by the one person he’d ever really fallen in love with.