Literary Bears

For the Love of Books

Jake and Leslie, Sitting in a Tree

Jake’s heart had never felt so empty. He sat across from his best friend, Leslie, and just stared blankly past her. Leslie sympathized with Jake’s heartbreak, and offered countless hours of therapy and a shoulder to cry on, but she was secretly happy the relationship with Christine had ended.

Christine was the type of girl who felt threatened by her friendship with Jake. Leslie was used to that type, and they never lasted. She would never understand why Jake thought otherwise. When they were younger, she would often pretend to be a lesbian just to help his friend get a girlfriend, but they quickly grew out of that phase. Christine was just the latest in a long string of girls that could not handle their friendship.

Jake and Leslie met in 5th grade, at an age where girls and boys hate each other. Their unlikely friendship started during a game of Tag, when Jake made a comment about how he was “uncatchable” and “no stinky girls” would ever be able to tag him. Leslie took that as a challenge. He allowed Jake to believe the lies he spoke, but knew that he would regret those words. When Leslie tagged Jake, he seemed genuinely shocked to see that he was outrun by a girl. Instead of being a sore sport, he smiled at Leslie and they have been friends ever since. Making fun of a boy/girl friendship got old pretty fast, and they quickly became a staple at school. When thinking of Jake, your mind would always go to Leslie. They became inseparable and that friendship only grew stronger as the years went by. They went to every dance together, and it was a shock to no one when they went to Prom together.

But here they were… Leslie consoling Jake once again over a girl that she had immediately known was not worth his time. She had gone through this enough times to know that there was nothing she could do to speed up the process. She just had to be there for him, confidently knowing he would snap back soon enough regardless of what she did. She stopped trying to cheer him up, and she definitely learned not to set him up with her friends; that always resulted in one less friend once the relationship inevitably went sour. It was always the same reason too: they felt insecure with how highly he talked about Leslie.

Jake suddenly snapped into life and looked at Leslie with a huge smile on his face. Leslie smiled back relieved that he had snapped out of his sorrow so suddenly.

“What’s up?” Leslie asked.

“You know who I was just thinking of?” Jake asked.

Leslie braced herself for hearing Christine’s name. She would have to humor him while reminding him that Christine had made it clear that she did not want to see him again. So she casually asked, “who?”

“The girl that rung up our coffee this morning. She was really pretty. Let’s go by tomorrow so I can ask her out.” he answered.

Leslie smiled and said “If you loved the first, you wouldn’t have fallen for the second.”

He smiled back and said “you and that stupid Johnny Depp quote”

“But was he lying?! Welcome back sir. I was beginning to worry about you.”

“I was drowning in my misery when I remembered if it ain’t the kind of love you and Adam have, I don’t want it.”

Adam and Leslie met in college, and both Leslie and Jake knew he was the one almost immediately. Adam and Jake became instant best friends, and that made Jake believe that he would keep trying until he met the female equivalent of Jake; someone who did not try to separate them, but instead became a part of the group. So far, all the girls focused on Leslie, but he would not lose hope. Maybe the girl at the coffee shop will be the one. In the meantime, there was only one thing he knew for sure, if he loved the first, he wouldn’t have fallen for the second. Goodbye Christine.