Sweet Valley High Senior Year #18: As If I Care
Jessica is annoyed about Jeremy and Jade and all the flirting going on at House of Java. Before cheerleading practice one day, Lila overhears Jessica muttering about Jade in the locker room and asks her what’s going on. It’s pretty much the first time Lila has spoken to her in months, so Jessica confides in her. Lila says it sounds like Jeremy is just trying to make her jealous by flirting with Jade. Jessica laughs off the idea at first, but the more she thinks about, the more convinced she becomes that this is actually what Jeremy is doing.
Jessica starts flirting with everyone who comes into House of Java, figuring this is the best way to get Jeremy to notice her again. This plan backfires, of course, because Jeremy assumes all her flirting means she’s over him and it gives him the extra little push he needs to ask out Jade. She says she’ll go out with him Friday night, but then he sees her name on the schedule. Jade tells him she’ll take care of it.
Conner is trying as hard as he can to avoid Tia. He knows making out with her was a big mistake and he doesn’t want to talk about it. He does want to talk to Liz and set things right with her and it seems like she wants to talk to him, too. Unfortunately, they can’t seem to find any alone time. On top of all that, Conner’s mom is driving him crazy by asking him to complete such daunting tasks as checking the chemicals in the pool, and Conner is dealing with it all by drinking the liquor his mom hid around the house back when she was drinking. He finally does get together with Liz and can’t believe it when she tells him she loves him. He says it back and thinks this is it, he doesn’t have to drink anymore. But of course he gets drunk the next time Liz has to work, and then he yells really hurtful things at Tia when she comes over and tries to talk. I can’t figure out why all the girls love this guy.
Jeremy’s date with Jade is kind of stressful because somewhere along the line, Jade has turned into this blunt, sarcastic, adventurous “cool” chick. Jeremy thinks it’s just so neat that she’s using an old camera case as a purse and he almost throws up at the tattoo parlor when Jade gets her bellybutton pierced. After that, Jade suggests going to House of Java. Jeremy guesses she must have found someone to work for her, but realizes that’s not the case when they get there and see Jessica at the counter by herself, totally panicked. Jessica can’t believe Jade would show up after calling in sick, but Jade just laughs at her and takes her coffee out to the patio. Damn, Jade is a little bitch. Jeremy is pissed off. He’s a responsible guy who would never do what Jade just did. He tells her he wants to take her home and then come back and help Jessica close. Jade doesn’t like that one bit and she gets up and storms off to the car. Jeremy drives her home in silence and he’s just starting to gain my respect again, but then Jade kisses him goodnight and he decides he can’t wait to see her again. He goes back and helps Jessica close up shop, and Jessica gives him a hug and tries to kiss him. He pushes her away and tells her they’re just friends. Jessica is embarrassed and hurt.
The next morning, Jessica sees Andy at House of Java and sits next to him on her break. She immediately starts talking about what happened with Jade and Jessica last night. Then Maria comes in and says she’s worried about Ken because his dad is cheating on his girlfriend and Ken got into a fight with him about it. Andy has been trying for a week to get someone to talk to him about his problems, and he’s getting frustrated that nobody will listen to him. He gets fed up when Liz sits down and starts complaining about Tia, and he finally blurts out that he thinks he might be gay. Then he smiles because he’s happy to have finally gotten everyone’s attention.
The Cover: Don’t you smirk at me, Jade. Bitch.