Love Soon: Circa 1994-1995

Song Lyrics by John Mayer

Story by Jessica Carroll

Edited by Elizabeth Samson

 

(I know you've been sworn / I've read your complaint / You're needing someone older / And though I've been warned / To live day by day / There's something taking over)

 

“Baby, I love you,” John confessed.

            “John, don’t go there, please,” Jaclyn sighed.

            “Why not? I’m in love with you.” John pulled her close and kissed her.

            “John, please. People can see.”

            “Are you embarrassed by me?”

            “No, it’s just that you’re not what my friends would consider my type.”

            “Well, why does it matter what your friends think.”

            “It just does.”

            “Your friends are cheerleaders. They’re idiots. They’re opinions don’t matter!”

            “John, I’m a cheerleader.”

            “I know, but you’re different.”

            “You’re too young for this. I should have just dated a college guy instead of someone my own age.”

            “I just don’t like having to sneak around.”

            “We won’t have to when we get to college.”

            “I don’t understand your reasoning.”

            “John, at my level of popularity, it's very crucial that I always appear available, but never be available.”

“Why does this always have to be about you?”

“Because I'm the one with the image to maintain.”

“If I didn't love you so much, I'd hate you for that.”

“John... I have to go,” and with that, she was gone.

John knew that he didn't always know why he was still with her, but there was just something about her that just kept him interested and kept him coming back. He couldn’t quite place exactly what it was, but it was there. She intrigued him in ways he felt but couldn’t understand, so there was no way he’s let her go that easily.

 

 

(Did you expect to kiss me one time? / While looking at me with the same eyes ever again? / So come on and face it / So come on and face it / It’s time that we say it)

 

*Three Months Prior: Something Sacred in the Month of June*

 

            I can’t believe that bastard cheated on me, Jaclyn huffed as she stalked down the street. Walking always helped to take her mind off of things, but today it just wasn’t working. She couldn’t get her mind off of how Rodney had cheated on her. She was just about to start to cry when she noticed someone. It was the nerdy guy she had picked on at school since she moved to the neighborhood. Seeing him sitting there playing his guitar, she couldn’t help but notice how cute he was. He could be the perfect revenge on Rodney, she thought as she all but ran over to him.

“I know who you are,” Jaclyn said, matter-of-factly. “You’re that nerdy guy that always carries his guitar around with him.”

            “Uh… Yeah… That’s me. My name is John.”

            “I’m Jaclyn.”

            “I know who you are, Miss Head Cheerleader.”

            She sat down next to him, “OK… So are you going to play something for me, or did I just walk up your driveway and sit down here for nothing?”

            “I’ll play. I’ll play.” John started to play a song that he’d been working on, elated that someone was actually interested in his music.. He had written chords for the song, but hadn’t come up with any lyrics yet. He was really getting into the song when Jaclyn leaned in and kissed him. He let go of his guitar, cupped her face in his hands, and returned the kiss.

            Oh my God! I’m kissing a cheerleader! Wait! Head cheerleader! Wait a minute… I hate cheerleaders. She’s hot! Mm, fuck it.

            John was enjoying this kiss. He never wanted it to end. His heart sank when Jaclyn finally pulled away, but his stomach did back flips when she cuddled closer to him.

            John started to play again:

“When sky blue gets dark enough

To see the colors of the city lights

A trail of ruby red and diamond white

Hits her like a sunrise

She’s always buzzing just like

Neon, neon”

“Oh, John. You’re so deep. I think you should be my boyfriend.”

 

 

(You can cross the line whenever you want to / I'm calling it love soon / Close your mind and waste some time if you have to / I'm calling it love soon / It's not about you now / It's what we are)

 

            “Come on, just wear my shirt to school.” John plead.

            “I can’t believe we fell asleep!” Jaclyn groaned. She was rushing to get dressed,

            “Well, I woke up at three, but you looked so cute sleeping in my bed. I didn’t have the heart to disturb you.”

            Jaclyn just glared at him, so he held up the shirt again.

            “John, people will laugh at me.”

            “No, they won’t. The worst that will happen is that they’ll ignore you and treat you like you don’t exist. Come on, baby. It’s just a shirt.”

            “John, if you family is so rich, then why do you wear ratty-old shirts that should be tossed in the garbage?”

            “Because I can. Now, come on. The shirt is your friend.”

            “John, this shirt is from J Crew. I didn’t know you wore J Crew.”

            “I know. It’s about three years old as well.” John pulled the shirt over her head, forcing her to push her arms through the sleeves. “There, now you look like you spent the night with your boyfriend, having hot, sordid sex. Well, almost.”

            “Why almost?”

            “We didn’t have hot, sordid sex,” John kissed her. “Can I drive you to school too?”

            “As long as we can park in the back of the parking lot and enter the building at separate times.”

            “I can’t say I like that idea, but I’ll agree as long as I can drive you.”

 

            When Jaclyn walked into the school, all eyes were on her clothing – John’s t-shirt pulled over the clothes she was wearing yesterday, her hair pulled into a messy ponytail – as opposed to the perfection it usually is, and worst of all – no makeup.

            Sydney, her best friend, rushed up to her immediately. “Jackie, what are you wearing?” She frantically whispered.

            “I’ll tell you a secret if you let me use you make-up, hair spray, and brush.”

            Sydney dragged Jaclyn into the closest girls bathroom and locked the door. “What is going on? Why are you wearing that dirty old shirt.

            “It’s John’s. And it’s not dirty, it’s just very old.”

            “John? John who?” Sydney questioned as Jaclyn brushed and sprayed her hair to perfection.”

            “The John that’s lived right around the corner from me since middle school.”

            “Oh no, John Mayer?”

            “Yes,” Jaclyn answered, putting on eye shadow and blush.

            “The nerd? The-The nerd with the guitar?”

            “Yes, the nerd with the guitar,” Jaclyn replied, applying a layer of lipstick and blotting it on a tissue.

            “What are you doing wearing his clothes?”

            “I spent the night at his house.”

            “What?”

            Sh! He’s my boyfriend.”

            “WHAT?”

            “Look, you can’t tell anyone. Promise me that.”

            “Jackie, I think you’re crazy.”

            “Just promise!”

            “OK, I promise. I won’t tell.”

            “You can’t tell anyone,” Jaclyn ordered, unlocking the door.

            “Wait!”

            “What?”

            “Aren’t you going to get rid of that shirt?”

            “No, I think I like it.”

 

 

(Your mother complains / That you need a man / You haven't mentioned me yet / And all of your friends / Don't know who I am / I've been your best kept secret)

 

            “Jaclyn, honey?”

            “Yeah mom?”

            “Do you have a boyfriend?”

            “No mom,” Jaclyn lied.

            “I think you should meet new people.”

            “What?”

            “You’ve spent all your time in the past four years with the same five people. You should get out there and associate with people that aren’t cheerleaders. Date someone that isn’t a football player.”

            “Mom, I can’t believe you’re saying this to me. Since when are you concerned with my social life?”

            “I’m only concerned that college is going to be difficult for you if you’re not cultured about other people.”

            Jaclyn was confused. Her mother had always supported her decisions about cheerleading and her choice of friends. Why was this issue now a concern?

            “All I’m saying, sweetie, is that maybe you should join a club. You like art. I’m sure there’s an art club or a music club or something you could join. One my way home from work I noticed a boy sitting on his porch playing guitar. He looked about your age. Maybe you should go talk to him. See if he goes to your school. I’m sure he has a whole group of friends he can introduce you to.”

            John, Jaclyn thought. Now my mom knows where he lives. “Thanks mom, maybe I will.”

 

            “Excuse me?” John stepped into the gymnasium. All of Jaclyn’s fellow cheerleaders turned to look at him. He could feel their thoughts attacking him as well as his appearance. There was one girl, however, who looked at him like she knew his life story. She quickly jumped on from where she was sitting on the floor and ran into the locker room.

            “Um… Can I help you?”

            “Yes, I’m looking for Jaclyn.”

            “She’s not here right now. What do you want?”

            “Can you just tell her that John is looking for her?”

            “And why are you looking for her, John?”

            “Because I have to talk to her.”

“And why do you have to talk to her?”

“Because I’m her boyfriend and I have a question to ask her.”

Ew, you creep! Jaclyn doesn’t have a boyfriend.”

John turned and looked at the girl in disbelief. “What are you talking about?”

“Look, weirdo, I don’t know who you are. Actually, I don’t want to know who you are. But Jaclyn doesn’t have a boyfriend. She’s been moping over Rodney since he cheated on her in June and the broke up with her in July.”

John shook his head, then realized something. Jaclyn first sat on his doorstep in June. Rodney wasn’t the only one cheating.

“Uh… Yeah… Whatever, I have to go.”

 

 

(I understand I wasn't part of the plan / A dollar short a minute early / But I am your man / So come on and face it / So come on and face it /It’s time that we say it)

 

            “Are you insane?” Jaclyn yelled at John as he drove back to his house from school. “I can’t believe the nerve you have to just bust up in there and ask for me!”

            “First of all, I didn’t “bust up” anywhere. I was looking for you. I figured that you would be there. And second of all, I’m your boyfriend. I have every damn right to go ask your friends if they know where you are.”

            “No you don’t! They don’t know you’re my boyfriend. They just know that you’re the nerdy guy with the guitar that dresses funny.”

            “I don’t dress funny. Jeans and a t-shirt is not dressing funny. It’s dressing like a normal person who isn’t obsessed with their image!”

            “Look John. They know about that day we kissed. I told them, but that’s all they know and that’s all they need to know. Anything beyond that is between you and me.”

            “So exactly where were you when I was looking for you?”

            “I was talking to Rodney.”

            “Oh, the jock that cheated on you. So exactly how long were you and Rodney still together for after you and I started seeing each other?”

            “About a month and a half.”

            “What?”

            “John, this is all weird to me. You weren’t part of my plan. I was upset over Rodney cheating on me, and then I saw you. It just seemed right that I go talk to you. The day was already traumatic. It wasn’t going to be any worse if I talked to the guy that had lived right around the corner from me for the past eight years, right?”

            “So I was just a mistake you made?”

            “No, you were an unplanned event that I’m very glad happened. Just because-”

            “Look, I think I know where this is going. I’m understand that I wasn’t part of you plan, but I am your boyfriend now. Even if we break up tomorrow, you still can’t deny that this happened. Someday, however, you’re going to have to admit to other people that you and I are “us”. Whether you want to or not, whether I’m forcing you to or not, it’s going to happen.”

            “I know John, just not yet.” Jaclyn sighed, resting her head on his shoulder as he drove.

 

 

(You can cross the line whenever you want to / I'm calling it love soon / Close your mind and waste some time if you have to / I'm calling it love soon / It's not about you now / It's what we are)

 

            “John,” Jaclyn pestered, sitting on his legs while he was laying on his bed.

            Hm?”

            “Can you watch me practice my routine?”

            “Only if you do it in that short skirt you’re wearing or do it naked.”

            “John, come on!”

            “Short skirt or naked; those are your only options.”

            “John, grow up.”

            “I’m just joking, baby. You know I love you.” John set his guitar down on the floor. “Go on, practice your routine.”

            Hm, maybe later,” Jaclyn leaned over and kissed John on the lips. He returned the kiss, grabbing her hips and pulling her closer to his body.

            “Mm,” he groaned into their kiss, reaching up under her skirt and squeezing her butt.

            “John!” Jaclyn laughed.

            “So baby, I’ve been meaning to ask you. Are we going to go to prom together?”

            “John, I’m going to prom with the captain of the football team.”

            “Wait, isn’t Rodney the captain of the football team?”

            “Yes.”

            “Well, then I’m going to have to keep a close eye on the two of you.”

“Actually, I have to ask you a favor about that.”

            “What’s that?”

            “Can you not go to prom?”

            “What?”

            “I’d feel very awkward if you were there.”

            “Are you kidding me?”

            “John, please understand.”

            “How am I supposed to understand that? What is going on with you and Rodney that I can’t see?”

            “He wants to get back together, but we’re not, OK?”

            “I really don’t understand anything you do. Maybe you better go. I’ll see you tomorrow or something.”

 

 

(Let's bypass the bullshit / And move on because the minute hand moves faster / Than you think it does)

 

            “Jaclyn, this is bullshit.”

            “John, don’t be mad.”

            “Oh, why would I be mad? You’re just embarrassed to be seen with the nerd. Why would that make me mad? Oh yeah, I’m the nerd!”

            “John, you’re not a nerd. You’re a very sweet guy.”

            “Then tell people!”

            “John, I don’t think I can change their opinion.”

            “Jackie, we only have two months left together. Do you really want to live them in secret?”

            “As long as we’re both happy.”

            “And if I’m not?”

            “Why wouldn’t you be happy? You’re with me.”

            “Actually, technically I’m not. Exactly how valid do you think out relationship really is if you just walk around denying it?”

            “Baby, you know I’m with you and I know you’re with me. That’s all that matters.”

            “Oh yeah, that’s right! You stand nothing to gain from this relationship. You’re just worried about what your shallow friends will think if they find out you’re dating the quiet, nerdy guy as opposed to the ruthless jock. You’re popularity is more important to you than saying ‘I love you.’ Don’t worry, Jaclyn! I won’t tell everyone what you’re too scared to say!”

            “Shut up, John! You asshole, you don’t get it. If they find out, they’ll find a way to get me off of the cheerleading squad. Then I can just kiss any scholarships ‘good-bye.’”

            “Oh, fuck you. They can’t get you removed from the cheerleading squad. That’s just all the bullshit you fill your head with. It can’t happen! But if you’re scared, then whatever. I can handle that. I just don’t like being lied to. So don’t tell me it’s about cheerleading when it’s really about what your friends will think of you.”

            “John, you don’t know my friends.”

            “From looking at the way they treat you, I’m glad I don’t know them. Jackie, they’re not really your friends if you have to act a certain way or date certain people just so they don’t treat you like shit. You should really trust me on that. Before you know it, you’re going to be in New York, whether we’re still in this relationship or not. Our time together is limited. It’s very, very, very limited.”

            “John, I understand that, but the middle of senior year isn’t exactly the best time to be making new friends.”

            “I have friends. They think you’re great and, don’t lie, you think they’re great.”

            “John… Everyone would give me hell.”

 

 

(And by no fault of yours / And by no fault of mine / The bottom line is laying in / The bed that we've been playing in tonight / We've been playing in tonight)

 

            “Are you sure you want to do this?” John asked as he locked his bedroom door. It was the night of him and Jaclyn’s six-month anniversary, and she had stated before that she wanted to lose her virginity on this particular night. Now, as she undressed, he could sense her reluctance.

            “Yes, I’m sure.”

            “You look like you don’t want to do this. We don’t have to, baby. It’s all on you.”

            “I want to, John.”

            “Baby, we haven’t even gotten to the point where you say, ‘I love you.’ Are you sure about this?

            “I don’t have to totally love you to want to be with you physically.”

            “OK…” John agreed hesitantly, “but just know that I love you. I wouldn’t want to be doing this with you if I wasn’t.”

            “I know,” Jaclyn kissed him. He smiled, reaching up to turn off the light and pull the blankets over them.

 

            “John…” Jaclyn breathed, cuddling against his body and resting her head on his chest.

            “Yes baby?”

            “Thank you.”

            “Don’t thank me, baby. I love you.” John pushed a strand of hair out of her face. Please tell me you love me too.

            “Were you a virgin too?”

            “Yes…”

            “You were very good. You did well, for your first time.”

            “Same with you, baby. But the bottom line is that I might regret this if you don’t love me like I love you.”

            “John, don’t be silly. Boys don’t regret sex. That line is so girls-only.”

 

 

(You can cross the line whenever you want to / I'm calling it love soon / Close your mind and waste some time if you have to / I’m calling it love soon / It's not about you now / It's what we are)

 

            “I’m coming over.”

            “No you’re not.”

            “Baby, we graduate in two weeks and I’ve never seen your bedroom.”

            “I’m sorry, John. You can’t come over.

            “Why can’t I’m come to your house, Jackie? We’ve been dating for eight months. Aren’t your parents curious to meet me?”

            “Well…”

            “They don’t know I exist, do they?”

            There was silence at the other end of the line. John could feel the blood in his veins getting hot.

            “Do you mean to tell me that we’ve dated for eleven months, and you never talked about me to your family?”

            “John…”

            “Doesn’t it bother you that my parents treat you like you’re their daughter and your parents don’t know anything about me?”

            “John, I don’t know if I’m totally into you yet. I don’t want to tell them that we’re dating and then have us break up. Can’t you imagine how weird that would be?”

            “You’re not sure if you’re into me? Jackie, we’ve been together eleven months. We’ve been sleeping together for the past five months. How can you say that?”

            “That’s just how I feel, John.”

            “Jackie,” John sighed, catching his breath before saying what he had to say, “I don’t think I can do this anymore. I love you more than anything, but I can’t be the man you hide from the world. I’m sorry that everyone thinks I’m a nerd. I’m sorry that you have a warped opinion about your image. I’m sorry that my being nerdy would ruin your image. Most of all, I’m sorry that I’m breaking up with you right now.”

            John hung up his phone and tossed it to the floor. He picked up his guitar and hugged it while he cried. He lightly strummed, playing the song with no words. Then, like an epiphany, the words came to him. He was inspired, so he picked up a pad and pen and began writing: “Love Soon…”