How to Get Over Your Ex in Ninety Days

By: Jennifer Peel

Jackson Montgomery is replacing Steve Jones as Vice Principal of Riverton High School. There it was in black in white. I was so proud of my guy. Although he could have given me a heads up. A girlfriend shouldn’t have to read about her boyfriend’s promotion in the Riverton Record, but I understood why he had to keep it confidential. I had already forgiven him by phone and I was looking forward to him making it up to me when he came over for dinner later.

He said he needed to talk to me about something important. I made a mental note to pick out my wedding dress. I mean, we had already named the four children we were going to have. Bear, Nick, Bryant, and Liliana. Jackson was a huge Alabama fan and had played football in high school, so I gave in and let him pick out the boys’ names. I was also pretty accommodating with the girl name too. Liliana was his grandma’s name and we both adored her as much as she adored me.

I smiled when I thought of how happy Miss Liliana was going to be when she found out that Jackson had finally proposed. She had been after him to do it for months. I don’t think I had been dating Jackson two months when she told him I was the one for him. He never denied it. He would always look at me with those soft brown eyes of his, with the long-curled lashes that always seemed to have a hint of mischief in them and say, “When the time is right.”

I wasn’t pushing him for a proposal. We had only known each other for a year and had only been dating since October. Best nine months of my life. But I wanted nothing more than to be Mrs. Jackson Montgomery. If ever two people were meant to be together, it was us.

We’d met at a teacher in-service workshop where we role played how to deal with different disturbances in the classroom. We’d had an instant attraction. As a drama teacher, I loved role playing, and as a ham and former golden boy who had attended the high school where we taught, Jackson was all for giving it his best. He was cast as the lovesick teen boy that had a crush on his young teacher—that would be me. He wrote “hot for teacher” on his pad of paper and flashed it at me. I then had to break his heart with gentle firmness. Sometimes, for fun during the course of last year, he would walk by my classroom and flash me that note.

I couldn’t wait to get back to my job.

I wondered how different work would be now since he wasn’t teaching World and American History and coaching. I knew giving up his assistant football coaching position was going to be hard for him, but being in administration had always been his goal, or at least his father’s. At thirty-one he was on the younger side for the position, but no one was more qualified than him. Not only was he brilliant, but he loved the kids and they loved him, too.

His new position probably meant we couldn’t make-out in the prop room anymore. That was going to be a bummer.

I jumped up off the couch and checked the lemon rosemary garlic chicken and potatoes I had baking in the oven. It sure smelled good. I also peeked in the fridge at the chocolate covered strawberries I was going to let him feed me later.

I held my stomach and hoped I would always feel that anticipation deep in the pit of my soul when I was about to see him.

I dashed to the bathroom in my small studio apartment and did a quick check in the mirror. My light brown hair was braided romantically to the side and I had primed my lips with moisturizer. My green eyes were bright and told the story of how much I loved Jackson. I added a quick layer of mascara to my long dark lashes and a tint of color on my cheeks. One of the things I loved about Jackson was that he loved casual. I looked down at my white t-shirt and cut-off jeans. It was the perfect outfit for him. Besides, when school started the next week, I would be missing my comfortable clothes and lazy summer days.

I was adding an extra layer of lip gloss when there was a knock on my door. I smiled. He was early. I didn’t waste any time. I rushed to the door and opened it with fervor. I didn’t squander a breath before jumping in his arms and wrapping my legs around him and kissing him like I hadn’t seen him in days. In reality, it had been less than twenty-four hours.

I heard him laugh right before our lips met for their usual long, slow dance. He held me to him nicely and walked us in and shut the door behind us with his foot. He was talented like that—or at least well practiced. He could even unlock a door while holding me and kissing me like . . . well . . . like he meant it.

I ran my fingers up through his perfectly styled chestnut hair as he kissed me deeper. I could taste the cinnamon gum he had just chewed.

I loved when he pulled me tighter against him, like he wanted to evaporate any space that came between us.

We had about made it to the couch when he released my lips abruptly. He groaned and squeezed me tighter. “You’re making this hard on me.”

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