Hi everyone! Here's the last chapter of this story. I hope you all like the way it ends, I know I do. It is sad to see it go, but there will be more stories to come.

Some of the story may be a little confusing until you get to the end, so please bear with it. It isn't too bad though.

Disclaimer: Same as always, I don't own much of anything. Soar is by Christina Aguilera.

12. I Think I Am In Love With You

Jude walked into her house and sighed. Turning, she locked the door before plopping down on the couch. She covered her face with her hands and tried to think of ways she could spin what had just happened. She sat that way for quite some time before realizing she wasn't going to get anywhere without calming down first. She put on some music before walking into the kitchen and filling the teapot with water. As it started to heat up, Jude walked into her bedroom and grabbed her laptop. She took it back into the kitchen with her and sat down at the table.

"I won't be needing this anymore." Jude muttered, then dragged the file containing the article to the trash bin. "Time to start over."

She got up and poured the boiling water over the tea bag and slowly pulled it up and down as she walked back to her laptop. Taking a sip, she set her cup down and clicked open a new page.

"Okay. I can do this." Jude said and started typing. She worked for a few hours straight and wrote a completely new article. After reading over it and doing a proofread, she slid the papers into an envelope and sealed it.

Jude walked into her office building with a purpose. She slipped the envelope onto Portia's desk and walked into her office. Looking around, Jude realized there wasn't much of her in it. Nothing to show it belonged to her. A picture or two, but that's it. She picked them up and placed them in her bag. Then she sat in her chair and started going through the drawers.

"Are you sure you want to do this?" Portia asked as she quietly walked in, shutting the door behind her.

Jude looked up from the papers on the desk, "Yes, I'm sure."

Portia smiled at her, "Good luck girl."

"Thanks." Jude answered, hugging her.

Portia slipped out and Jude continued her work. She made sure all the little loose ends were tied before walking out the door.

The next morning there was a knock on Jude's door. Jude detoured from her path to the bathroom from her bedroom and answered the door. Sadie, Karma, and Spied were standing there.

"Hey guys," Jude said surprised, "what are you doing here?"

"Is this true?" Sadie asked holding up the magazine.

Jude nodded and Karma said, "You have to do the show."

"What?" Jude asked, "You guy are crazy."

"Why not?" Spied answered.

"I can't, I'm not enrolled as a student anymore."

"That has already been taken care of." Sadie smiled.

"How did you…"

"Don't worry about it." Karma told her, "Just be ready."

Jude smiled and hugged the three of them.

"Now, go get ready." Karma told her before they left.

Jude smiled, shutting the door and heading to the bathroom.

Tom walked up to his house, taking the mail out of the mailbox on his way in. He tossed the small stack of bills and papers on the table. The envelopes slid off the stack and across the table. Tom walked passed the table and turned on the stereo to his favorite CD. Glancing at the clock and since there was only two more hours until the show started, he decided to jump in the shower. The entire time, the look on Jude's face and her words rang in his head. So, that's what this is about? You feeling guilty. Tom shook his head, trying to lose the thoughts, but deep down knew she was right. He got out, quickly got dressed and ran out the door.

Tom walked into the school and started to help set things up for the show. By the time he was done with everything he could do people were starting to file in. He turned and saw the people he'd invited walk in, a man and a woman.

"Good to see you, Darius." He walked up to the other man and shook his hand.

"Been a long time, T."

Tom nodded, "Glad you could make it, you won't be disappointed."

Darius nodded and Tom turned to the woman, "E.J., it's always a pleasure to see you."

E.J. smiled at him and said, "Thank you, same to you."

"The show is starting in about fifteen minutes," Tom told them, "I have to go check on a few things. I will talk to you later."

They nodded and E.J. turned to Darius, "Kinda sucks that you lost him, doesn't it?"

"Tom's good at what he does and this is what he wanted to do." Darius answered and they took their seats.

"Okay guys," Tom looked into the excited faces of Sadie, Karma, Spied, and all the other performers, "Everyone ready because this is it. Good luck and have fun. You are all gonna be great."

The lights dimmed and Tom walked out on stage.

"Hello everybody and thank you for coming out." The crowd cheered and clapped. "We have so many amazing performances for you tonight, I can't wait for you to hear them so we are going to get started."

The spotlight was turned off and Tom slipped off stage as the curtain rose and the first person started. He looked around the room, feeling Jude's presence. She was nowhere in sight. I must be going insane.

"Do you think he read it?" Sadie whispered to Spied as they stood backstage.

"I don't know."

"I hope he does."

"Me too."

Just then Jude walked up to them, the heels of her boots clicking across the floor. "Hey, I just wanted to come and say good luck."

"Thank you." Sadie answered, "Same to you."

"Well, I am gonna go find a spot. I'll see you later." They nodded and watched her walk off.

Jude sneaked into the auditorium and looked for a seat. She saw Portia and Mason wave at her.

"Oh my God," Jude said, "thank you so much for coming."

Portia smiled, "You know I wouldn't miss this. You've got guts girl."

Jude sat down between them and Mason took her hand and gave it a reassuring squeeze. They watched number after number of wonderful talent. Jude cheered as Sadie, then Karma stepped out on stage.

"Wow, they are good." Mason whispered to Jude. Jude nodded in response. When Spied went out, Jude quickly went backstage.

Tom walked into his office near the end of the show to grab some papers. He looked through his file cabinet and found them and was about to turn and walk back out when something caught his eye. A magazine with a bright green Post-It on the front that read "Read Me."

Tom looked around his office and picked up the magazine. He started to flipped through and he saw another green Post-It reading "Page 124."

Opening to that page, he saw a picture of Jude and the headline "Never Been Kissed." Tom sat down and started to read the words that followed.

A wise person once told me, during the bad times you should write, the best ones have meaning behind them. That being said, here it goes. In order to make everything make sense, I have to tell you something embarrassing. I am twenty-three years old, and I never really had a boyfriend and never really kissed a guy. For my entire grade school and college careers I have been a music nerd to the core. When I was eighteen, I thought my luck was about to change. I entered a singing contest, only to be bashed by the judges in front of many of my peers, which lead to ridicule for years.

Jude took a deep breath before walking out to the stage. She smiled as she heard most of the auditorium cheer and clap.

"Hey guys," Jude said, "thank you for coming out, you are amazing. So, what did you think about all the talent that came out before me?"

The crowd cheered again. Jude smiled and continued, "Well, I am going to try to live up to those standards, so here it goes."

Jude nodded to the person in the sound booth and the music started to play.

When they push, when they pull

Tell me can you hold on

When they say you should change

Can you lift your head high and stay strong

Will you give or give in

When your heart's crying out "that is wrong"

Will you love you for you at the end of it all

I know all of this is embarrassing to share, I haven't told anyone any of this before, but it hard to share what I know and have learned without starting at the beginning. I got my first assignment as a reporter a few months ago. I was to go back to high school and find out what people of the younger demographic are into and come up with a wonderful story, one that couldn't be scooped.

Now in life there's gonna be times

When you're feeling low

And in your mind insecurities seem to take control

We start to look outside ourselves

For acceptance and approval

We keep forgetting that the one thing we should know is

Don't be scared

To fly alone

Find a path that is your own

Love will open every door

It's in your hands the world is yours

Don't hold back and always know

All the answers you will unfold

What are you waiting for

Spread your wings and soar

The boy who wonders, is he good enough for them

Keeps trying to please them all

But he just never seems to fit in

Then there's the girl who thinks she'll never ever be

Good enough for him

He's trying to change her

That's a game she'll never win

In life there will be times when you're feeling low

And in your mind insecurities seem to take control

We start to look outside ourselves

For acceptance and approval

We keep forgetting that one thing we should know is

Don't be scared

To fly alone

Find a path that is your own

Love will open every door

It's in your hands the world is yours

Don't hold back and always know

All the answers they will unfold

What are you waiting for

Spread your wings and soar

What I did find was myself and that high school is still the same now as it was seven years ago. There are still those girls, you know, the insanely beautiful ones; the smart kids, the jocks, and there's the musicians, the ones who welcomed me with open arms. I wouldn't have been the same without you.

In the mirror is where she comes

Face to face with her fears

Her own reflection looked foreign to her

After all these years

All of her life she's tried to be

Something besides herself

Now time has passed and she's ended up

Someone else with regret

What is it in us that makes us feel the need

To keep pretending

Gotta let ourselves be Oh

Don't be scared

To fly alone

Find a path that is your own

Love will open every door

Jude scanned the crowd and saw Georgia sitting next to Portia, looking impressed.

It's in your hands the world is yours

Don't hold back and always know

All the answers, you will unfold

Don't wait no more

Spread your wings and soar

Find your road

Love will open every door

It's in your hands the world is yours

Don't hold back and always know, you'll find your way

Always know all the answers will unfold

Oh don't wait

Spread your wings and soar

Don't wait no more

You've got to soar

Spread your wings and soar

Don't wait no more

No don't you wait no more

Spread your wings and soar

You can soar

So what you waiting for

Don't wait, Don't wait

Soar

Everyone in the room applauded.

"Thank you." Jude smiled before walking off stage.

"For those of you counting, five minutes starts now." She set the microphone down on the stool and walked into the auditorium.

Georgia approached Jude and said, "Jude."

"Georgia."

"I didn't know you could sing like that, good job."

"Thank you."

"Are you sure about this?"

Jude nodded, "I'm sure."

Georgia nodded, "So, what are the bigger and better things? Did you get a record deal?"

"No," Jude laughed, "I am thinking about opening a music school. It felt right, sharing what I know."

Georgia smiled and hugged her, "Good luck."

"Thank you." Georgia nodded and walked away. Jude glanced at the clock, three minutes left.

As time started to tick down, Jude, along with everyone in the room, began to feel the tension.

There were quite a few things I wish I could change about my first high school experience, but after my second, there's only one. A certain person was hurt during my journey and this article no way makes up for everything that happened, but I would like to let him know I am very sorry. Also, I would like to tell you that I think I am in love with you. With that being said, I am hoping to start a new chapter in my life. If you can forgive me, please meet me after the variety show, where my friends will be performing. I will be waiting for five minutes after the final performance.

As an even more dramatic end to this article, to my boss Georgia, please respectfully consider this my resignation. I have made the decision to try bigger and better things. Thank you for giving me this wonderful opportunity; I will always appreciate it and you.

-Jude Harrison

Tom sat back and thought about the words he had just read. He stood up as it sunk in and quickly walked out of his office.

Jude glanced at the clock as the crowd went silent, ten-seconds left. Inside, the sinking feeling appeared. Oh my God, I feel so stupid. Outside, she put on a small smile as the countdown ended.

"That is so wrong." Sadie said.

Jude shrugged, "Thanks for coming out guys."

Jude walked out of the auditorium. She walked down the steps outside of the school and paused when she heard her name being called. She turned and saw her five friends along with the rest of the auditorium behind her. Her friends caught up with her and Spied asked, "Are you okay?"

"I…" She sighed, "I will be, I am going to go home."

"You sure?" Jude nodded and they took turns hugging her.

"Thanks guys." She turned towards her car.

Tom walked into the auditorium and saw that it was completely empty. He cursed under his breath and quickly returned to the hall, where he ran into Georgia.

"What a day to be late hunh?" Georgia said, "You better run fast. She's outside."

"Thank you." Tom said gratefully and ran out the door. The group of people still standing there turned and looked at him.

"Where is Jude?" Tom asked.

"She's gone. She left." A voice from the crowd called out.

"Damn it." Tom said running a hand through his hair.

"It isn't too late." Karma told him. Tom looked at her.

"Go after her." Sadie said in a tone stating that he should've thought of it earlier.

Tom ran out to his car and the entire crowd did as well, following him to Jude's house. No one wanted to miss what was coming next.

"I'll be okay Mason. Don't worry." Jude said into her phone as she walked into the house.

"Thank you. Love you too." She hung up the phone and tossed it on the couch. She sighed and the shock began to wear off. Tears began to fall from her eyes as she walked into her bedroom and sat down on her bed.

Jude was there for only a few minutes before she heard a knock on the door. She stood up and went to the door, wiping her face before answering. Sadness turned to confusion, which turned to anger when she saw who was on the other side.

"Hey." Tom said.

"Hi." Jude replied, "What are you doing here?"

"Jude, I am so sorry. I went after you, but you were already gone."

Jude nodded in understanding and looked around at the mass of people that started to pull up in cars and filter out.

"Jude," Tom said, locking eyes with her, "I think I am in love with you."

Jude smiled and Tom pulled her close to him and kissed her. The group of people now standing in Jude's yard applauded. They smiled at each other and they kissed again.

I would like to say thank you to everyone that has been there since the beginning and to everyone that has reviewed, favorited and/or subscribed. I love and appreciate you all. 3 Also, I would like to thank the newer readers, you guys rock too. I love your reviews and knowing that my stories are still getting new readers and that it is good enough that people want to read it.

xoxoseleana 3