Jessica listened to her three friends’ heated debate over how cute Jeremy Lin is.
They sat in her apartment and had just witnessed the L.A. Lakers lose to the New York Knicks. Jeremy had dropped 38 points – outscoring Kobe – the Kobe Bryant. Jessica never liked the Lakers. She had always been a Warriors fan – even more when Jeremy joined the team – but watching him play like that tonight overwhelmed her.
“Hey, Jess, you’re from the Bay Area, right?” Christine asked. “Have you ever known Jeremy Lin?”
Jessica answered with a “Yes.”
“Did you go to the same school?” Karin asked this time.
“Not high school and college,” Jessica replied, trying not to look at her friends.
“Wait,” Pansy said, “aren’t you texting with a guy named Jeremy?”
When Jessica blushed, they all became quiet and looked shocked.
“He’s your Jeremy!” Pansy nearly screamed. Jess started to say, “Well, he’s not exactly my Jeremy…” but Pansy continued, “Girl, have you been holding out on us?”
Jess, took a deep breath before explaining, “I am so sorry I never told you Jeremy played for the NBA.”
Christine, Karin and Pansy exchanged looks. Jess had been pretty mum about Jeremy – and he was practically the only guy she regularly communicated with, not counting her family. She had refused dates from guys – even when they practically fell at her feet – and they had wondered if Jeremy was the reason why.
All they knew was that Jess had known him practically all her life and they had something over the summer. That something remained undefined – the three of them were waiting for Jess to open up about it.
Now was apparently the time and place she would finally do so.
Karin decided, what the hell, I might as well ask, “So what happened between the two of you?”
“Well, we saw each other for the first time since we both left for college. We just spent a lot of time together. One thing led to another and we sort of crossed the line beyond being best friends,” said Jess in a rush.
She looked at them. Their expressions at this moment showed that they thought this was a HUGE thing that Jess had kept from them.
You’d never think they’ve only known each other since September. Karin, Pansy and Christine had waved her over to their table during lunch break on her first day at Volvo and they had been inseparable since.
“What do you feel about him?” Karin asked.
“I don’t know,” Jess said. “He’s my best friend. Last summer changed so many things between us, that I can’t wrap my head around it.”
“Either you like him or not, Jess.” Pansy commented. “I’d jump him if I were you – well, did you? Jump him?”
Jessica blushed and shook her head. “I saw him in Hong Kong in August – told him that I was not sure of what we had. I didn’t want to lose him, you see.”
“What did he say to that?” asked Christine.
“He said, he’d wait for as long as I needed to figure out what I wanted,” Jessica sighed.
At their expectant looks, she said, “I still don’t know.”
“Jess, that’s a load of crap,” Karin said. “You do not date – except us. I don’t think you’re gay. There’s a bouquet of flowers on your desk almost each week, from different guys. If Jeremy isn’t what you want, then I don’t get it.”
Jess was silent, taking in Karin’s words.
“Have you tried to see him since he came to New York?” Everybody knew by now the amazing story of how Jeremy got waived twice before he was picked up by the Knicks – and the hard road to Linsanity.
“Uhm… he still thinks I’m in Hong Kong.”
Pansy swore, Karin shook her head and Christine just looked shocked.
“You ran away,” was all Christine said. Jess merely nodded – she could feel the tears coming.
Her friends enveloped her in a hug, soothing. They now know; Jess is crazy with this guy.
“I think it’s too late,” Jess whispered. “There is more than physical distance between us right now – it feels like we’re worlds apart.”
“He said no to Kim Kardashian, so that ought to say something. And he’s not dating anyone,” Karin said. “What? “she said, at the look she had gotten from the others. “I did not know he was her Jeremy – you can’t blame me for crushing and Twitter-stalking. You have excellent taste, by the way,” she pointed out to Jess, making her laugh.
Karin did have a point.
It’s been a long evening, Jeremy thought, as he started to pack his stuff. We won over the Lakers, he smiled at himself.
“Come on, superstar,” Jared Jeffries said. The team was going out for a night-cap to celebrate.
“I just need to do something first,” Jeremy said as he pulled out his phone.
“Come on, man,” Landry grinned, “who is this girl?” He tried to snatch Jeremy’s phone, but Jeremy just laughed and swiped at Landry’s hand.
“Mine,” he said as he found Jessica’s number and smiled when she answered without hesitation, “Hi, Jer.” There was some noise at the background which Jeremy could not identify, but it quickly disappeared. He could hear Jess’ voice as clearly as if he stood beside her.
“I just wanted to call and tell you the good news,” Jeremy said.
“I know,” Jess interrupted, “I saw the game – everything.” Karin, Pansy and Christine listened intently and quietly – they had just badgered her into turning her phone’s speaker on so they could hear Jeremy talk.
“You did?” Jeremy couldn’t be happier.
“I would never have missed it for the world,” she answered truthfully.
“I didn’t want to disturb you,” he said.
“Uh, it’s Saturday remember?” Jess lied.
“It’s midnight here,” Jeremy sighed at how far apart they apart they are. “The guys are going out for drinks.”
Jess could hear the tiredness in Jeremy’s voice. If she was beside him, she would have immediately tried to comfort him.
“I don’t really want to go. I just wanted to talk with you, Jess. I wish you were here with me.” Jeremy remembered all the messages of encouragement he got from Jess since he left Hong Kong – their conversations, their shared prayer over the phone and her telling him to keep up the faith. They had been physically apart, but he always felt she was close. “I could not have done this without you,” he ended.
His words warmed Jess’ heart, more than Jeremy would ever know. She felt bad about lying to him – not telling him that they were in the same city.
“You should celebrate,” Jess said. “It’s not every day you beat Kobe.”
Jeremy laughed at that. “You’re right.”
“We’ll talk another time.” she added.
“Don’t forget, Jess. Say when and where – I’ll be there in a heartbeat.” Jeremy added.
“I remember. Goodnight,” Jess said.
When Jessica put her mobile phone down, there was silence. The girls started talking at once – Christine commented on Jeremy’s deep voice, Karin was saying “Oh, gosh” repeatedly and Pansy said, “Tell me he’s a good kisser.”
“ Those lips were made for it, Jess” prodded Christine.
At Jess’ sly smile, they all started squealing all at once. Jessica shook her head. Here they were – a group of educated career women squealing over Jeremy.