Chapter 57 - Tabby
“Are you okay?” Aiden asked me. It was Friday after school. My mum was working later today, and I didn't want to return to an empty house. So Aiden and I had walked to the shopping centre near our school. It was only a five-minute walk. We were in the food court now. The majority of the people there also went to our school. Aiden took the public bus home. He had agreed to take a later bus home that what he normally did.
I shook my head. “No, but I'm better than I been in weeks.” I pulled at the sleeves of my oversized school jumper. Six months ago my clothes had fitted me perfectly. Now after my extreme weight loss, everything I owned was too big and bagging.
Aiden nodded in response. He seemed nervous about something. “Did Katarina tell you that she is now dating Jonah?” he asked.
“Yeah, she did,” I answered. “She wouldn’t shut up about it actually.”
Aiden smiled. “How are things at home?” He asked me.
“Fine. My mother is doing all she can now to try and win this court case. She is working overtime with the lawyers to find the right angle.”
“And your dad?” He asked.
“My dad is dead, Aiden,” I told him.
Aiden lowered his head. “I'm sorry, I didn’t know,” he told me awkwardly.
“It's okay,” I told him.
“Do you miss him?” He asked me.
I shook my head. “No. It's hard to miss someone that you never meet.” I told him. “I do wish he could have been around for my childhood, though.”
“I know the feeling,” Aiden told me.
I looked at him surprise not understanding what he meant.
“My mother died in childbirth,” he told me. “My birth.”
“I'm sorry,” I told him.
“It's okay,” he told me. “My older sister, Jasmine, misses her a lot.”
“What is Jasmine doing now?” I asked.
I vaguely remembered Jasmine. She had been in year eleven when I started year seven she had been my peer support leader. I don’t remember the name of the other girl she had been partnered with. Jasmine had looked almost identical to Aiden.
“She's working as a computer programmer now," Aiden told me.
“What do you want to do after you finish high school?” I asked Aiden.
“I’m not really sure yet, you?”
“I'm thinking of becoming a psychologist,” I told him.
“Elizabeth?” He asked.
I nodded. “She has helped me a lot in these last few weeks. I want to help other people too.”
Aiden smiled. “That's really sweet of you,” he tells me. I smiled back. Aiden looked extremely nervous again all of a sudden. He looked down, not meeting my eyes. “Can I ask you something, Tabitha?” Aiden asked nervously.
“Sure,” I asked.
“Will you be my girlfriend?” He asked nervously.
I smiled sadly. “I like you a lot Aiden, and I have for a long time,” I told him. “But I can’t be your girlfriend.”
“Why not?” He asked, slightly upset.
“I’m sick,” I told him. “And it going to take a long time for me to get better. I need to focus on myself and my recovery before I can't even think about being in a relationship.”
Aiden smiled sadly. “I understand,” he told me.
“Don’t you feel you’re rushing into this?” I asked him.
“What do you mean?” Aiden asked me.
“Your ex-girlfriend broke up with you by killing herself,” I reminded. “Are you sure you are fine moving on?"
“The sad part is, I never really liked Maya that way, I always liked you,” Aiden told me. “But I knew she liked me that way. So many bad things had happened to her. I didn’t want to make her more upset.”
“Is that why you dated her? You didn’t want to break her heart?” I asked.
Aiden nodded. “Yet somehow she knew,” he continued. “She always knew I didn’t.” I didn’t say anything in response. I just listened. “That's why I tried to avoid you all the time; after she died,” Aiden told me, “But I can’t spend the rest of my life trying to do things to make her happy. It won’t bring her back. Nothing will ever bring her back.” Aiden looked down sadly.
“It will be alright, Aiden,” I told him. “Everything will turn out alright in the end.”
Aiden nodded. “I’ll wait for you,” he told me. “I’ll wait until you are ready.”
“You don’t have to do that,” I told him. “It may be years before I’m ready to be in a relationship.”
“Some people are worth the wait.”