14 - One Last Chance
The tassel on her cap falls in front of her face catching in her eyelashes. She moves it to the side and adjusts her gown as she prepares to go try to talk to Tucker again. She had tried so many times over the past few weeks to talk to him, but he kept being so mean to her. “Tucker?” He turns facing her in response to her saying his name. “Congrats.”
To her surprise he is not being mean this time. “Thanks. You too.” But he sounds distant and hurt.
“Will you be at Marcus’s party tonight?”
“I plan to make an appearance. Yeah.”
“You want to ride with me?”
“Aren’t you going with Trevor?”
“No. His family is throwing him a party so he can’t go.”
“So, what am I? Your back up date?” His response sounds empty.
“I miss you and just want to spend some time with you before you leave.”
She thinks he is about to say no but surprises her. “You can ride with me.”
She smiles successfully. “Good.”
“Get together you two and let’s get a picture.” Chasity’s mom is pushing them to stand together. She points her phone camera toward them. “Smile.”
“Oh, wait for me!” Tucker’s mom runs toward them with her camera. “I need one too.”
The music starts to play as their cue to go line up. “Mom that is enough. We have to go.” Tucker grabs Chasity’s hand surprising her. She loves the electricity he spurs through her. He pulls her slightly with him away from the camera.
“One more honey. I want to make sure I get a good one.”
Chasity does not want to let go of his hand so she tugs him back toward his mom. “We have time for one more.”
She kisses Tucker on the cheek waiting to make sure his mom gets the picture. She feels his hand on her back and it makes her miss him more. “That is perfect!” His mom sounds so excited.
“Alright. We will see you after the ceremony mom.” He grabs Chasity’s hand again pulling her with him toward the line of graduates. She squeezes his hand and it causes him to look at her. She sees his sadness as he releases her hand. “See you after.”
“It’s a date.”
“Is it?” He looks confused and hopeful.
“I hope so.” She sees a faint smile grow on his lips from her response. She wants to kiss him; she missed his kiss. She decides to go for it and quickly kisses his lips catching him off guard. Tucker pulls her back to his lips for another kiss that she accepts. She does not care who sees.
“Finally.” Hannah’s voice breaks their kiss. Tucker smiles at Chasity making her smile in return. “You will have to do more of that later. We need to be in line. They are about to walk out without us.” Hannah pulls Chasity away from Tucker toward the line of chattering graduates. “If looks could kill, I think you would be dead.” She cuts her eyes over to a crowd of students.
Chasity laughs as she sees Stormy turn her head the other direction angrily. She is glad she saw her and Tucker kissing. She realizes Trevor may have seen them kissing too and if he did not, someone will tell him. She suddenly feels terrible. Trevor is such a good guy and she did not want to hurt him. But she cares more for Tucker than she does Trevor.
After the ceremony, Chasity is talking to her parents when she feels a hand slide into hers. She smiles and turns expecting to see Tucker but realizes it is Trevor. “Oh. Hi.” She tries to not sound disappointed as she looks around the room for Tucker as she removes her gown.
“Congratulations Trevor.” Her dad is shaking Trevor’s hand when she turns her attention back toward them.
“Thank you, sir.”
“We are so proud of all of you.” Chasity’s mom smiles at her. “Where is Tucker? We need to congratulate him.”
“I am not sure where he went.” Chasity looks around the room again.
“Well, I have to go. My family is waiting on me.” Trevor hugs Chasity. She is afraid he is about to kiss her in front of her parents. “Congrats Chas. See you later.” She feels relief he does not try.
“Bye. Have fun.”
“Congratulations son.” She hears her dad speaking behind her as she skims the room for Tucker again.
“Yes. We are so proud of you.” Her mom’s voice sounds so excited.
“Thank you both.” Tucker’s voice causes her heart to leap and makes her turn towards them.
“We think you made a great choice joining the navy too. We couldn’t be prouder.” Her dad is shaking Tucker’s hand.
“I wish everyone agreed with you.” He looks at Chasity as he speaks.
“You two go have fun and celebrate.” Her mom hugs them both before leaving.
“Ready to go?” Tucker removes his cap and gown as he asks.
She is ready to be alone with him and kiss him more. “So ready!” His cute smile at her response makes her gasp slightly for air.
He grabs her hand and guides her gently out of the auditorium to his jeep. He opens the door for her and she waits impatiently for him to get in the driver’s seat. As soon as he is inside, she climbs over on top of him so that she is straddling him. The steering wheel is in her back but she does not care. He smiles at her as he lays his head back on the headrest. “What has gotten into you?”
She kisses him and feels his hands touch her skin under her shirt. She is not sure how to answer his question but she knows she wants more of him. “Take me home?” He nods his head slowly in response.
It is dark when they arrive at Tucker’s house. She notices lights on inside and sees movement through the living room window. “What are we doing?” Chasity feels awkward walking towards his house.
“We are going inside.”
“But your parents are here.” She stops on the sidewalk midway to his house.
“They have seen you and I go upstairs and hang out before. Hundreds of times. It isn’t that big of deal.”
“Yeah, but this time is different.” She feels nervous and annoyed by his laughing slightly at her.
“Then, sneak in the back and I will distract them, because I just pulled in the driveway, so they know I am home.” He wraps his arms around her waist pulling her up next to him.
“Okay?” She sounds unsure as the word escapes her mouth like a question.
He kisses her quickly before pushing her a little towards the yard. “Go.”
Chasity feels a bit of excitement in sneaking into his house. She has never done it before. His parents stayed up later than hers and they were much less strict than her own parents. So, they never had to sneak around like this.
She looks back at Tucker as he reaches the door and she can tell he is laughing at her while he shakes his head. She laughs a little too before turning back and moving around the side of his house.
She tries to be careful of how she is stepping as she thinks about how she could step on a snake or other animal. She starts to run feeling nervous when she hears a sound in the trees. As she arrives to the back porch, she looks in through the kitchen window but does not see anyone around so she reaches for the door knob. For a split second, she wonders what she will do if it is locked. But the knob turns and she feels relieved.
She moves as quietly as possible through the door and tip toes through the kitchen hearing Tucker and his parents in the living room talking. As she reaches the bottom of the staircase, Tucker’s eyes catch hers. He is standing next to the entrance of the living room about ten foot away from her and he quickly looks away as she smiles at him.
She hears his dad’s voice. “You have a lot of responsibilities to attend to before you get shipped off. When are you going to take care of them?”
“I am working on it, dad.” Tucker sounds unsure and Chasity realizes they sound as if they are scolding him. She had not realized he was getting some opposition from them on him joining.
“You have to figure those things out son.” Chasity stops at the top of the stairs and looks down toward Tucker at the bottom. She feels bad for him.
His eyes look up to meet hers. “Yeah. I know. I have a lot to figure out before I go.” He looks back away from her and into the living room. “I will see you guys in the morning.” He starts to move towards the stairs and Chasity sees his mom come into view. Shit! She knows she can be seen if only his mom was to look up so, she moves around the corner quickly. She leans up against the wall breathing nervously.
“Good night.” She hears his mom’s voice sounding sympathetic.
“Night mom.” Chasity can hear the sadness in his voice as well as him moving up the stairs. His room is to the left of the stairs but she is stuck on the right side afraid to move, wondering if his mom is still in view. As he reaches the top of the stairs and comes into her view, he reaches his hand over grabbing hers and pulls her with him toward his room. She looks down the stairs but feels relieved that she does not see anyone.
He closes his door behind them as they enter his room. She feels bad that his parents are giving him a hard time. “I didn’t know your parents were mad at you for joining.”
“It isn’t a big deal.” He shrugs it off as he falls to his bed looking frustrated.
She moves over and lays down next to him slowly. “They are really proud of you.” She looks up at the white ceiling she has seen so many times. He has glow in the dark stars all over the room that they had put up as kids. “I am proud of you too!” She turns her head to look at him.
He turns his head from the ceiling toward her. “It doesn’t feel that way.” She does not know what to say so she just stays silent.
His heart starts to beat quicker as they gaze into each other’s eyes. His feelings for her are deep and he has missed her so much the past few weeks.
He rolls to his side and slowly moves her shirt up so that he can see her pale stomach and it makes him swallow hard. He wants to be slow and gentle with her. This could be the last chance he gets to prove his love this way to her. A lot could happen in the next few years and she might find someone else. The thought makes him begin to kiss her after removing her shirt completely.
The sun wakes Tucker and he feels Chasity moving around next to him. He reaches his hand over touching her naked body and he feels the love he has for her much more intensely now. Opening his eyes, he notices how beautiful she looks and different somehow. Her eyes flicker open and it makes him smile when she looks over to him. “Hey.”
She rubs her eyes with her fingertips. “Morning.” As her fingers leave her eyes, he moves up kissing her soft light pink lips. They lay there in silence holding each other for what seems like hours. Tucker tries to focus on the feel of her next to him and all the things they have shared over the years. This was by far their best moment ever. He wanted to hold on to this moment for eternity.
“Tucker?” His dad’s voice and a knock on his bedroom door startles them. They both instinctively jump out of bed trying to find their clothes.
His door begins to open causing Tucker to yell as he sees Chasity’s clothes on the floor in front of him. “Yeah dad! Wait, I am naked. About to get in the shower.” He quickly makes up a lie he does not feel too confident about as he launches Chasity’s clothes to her.
The door stops and appears only cracked as his dad’s voice comes into the room louder. “Oh. Sorry. I just wanted to apologize for last night son. I didn’t mean to interrogate you about responsibilities.”
Tucker cannot stop smiling as he watches Chasity putting on her clothes quickly. She picks up his pants and throws them at him giving him a scolding look for watching her. He finds it more attractive. “I am proud of what you are doing son, and I realize I may have never told you that.” His dad’s words cause him to lose his smile and turn away from Chasity’s gaze. He moves over to the door staying behind it because he is still naked.
“Thank you, dad.” He has never heard his dad say he was proud of him. “And I know I have a lot to take care of before I leave. I will get it done. I promise.”
“I know you will. And Tucker.” His dad’s pause piques his interest as he puts his hand on the door. “I know it will be the right choices that you make, whatever they may be.” He hears his dad start to walk away from the door and the door begin to shut.
Turning back toward Chasity, he finally knows that him leaving and her staying will be hard but is what must happen. He puts on his jeans realizing he is still naked. “Florida State isn’t going to know what hit them.” He looks up to Chasity and sees her smile and it warms his heart.
“And the navy is one lucky son of a bitch.”
He laughs at her response but his smile does not last long as he finishes fastening his pants and he sees her moving over toward him. “Four years will fly by right?” He hurts again thinking about all she will do or who she will meet without him near her in college.
“Good thing we have phones.” She wraps her arms around his waist pulling him in for a hug.
“That isn’t the same.” He pulls her face up from his chest so that he can look her in the eyes. “I haven’t even had enough time loving you yet.”
“We have like five more days.” He releases her and finds his shirt. He knows he needs to explain he is leaving for the next few days for a vacation with his family but he does not want to ruin the moment. He feels her eyes on him as he slides into a clean shirt. “Is everything okay?”
“I need a shower.” Knowing it is Saturday and his parents are both off work, he starts to wonder how he is going to get Chasity out of his house unnoticed. It feels wrong to make her sneak out. And he is not sure they can pull it off with the kitchen being in plain view of the staircase. His parents will be in the kitchen eating breakfast and drinking coffee.
“Want to stay for breakfast?” He sees no point in hiding that she is here.
“No! Your dad just came up here and you would not let him in because you were naked. So, if I show up down there looking all messy like this they will know.”
Tucker teases her with a laugh. “What are they going to do ground us?”
“Can’t you just sneak me out?”
“No. They are in the kitchen in plain view of the staircase.” He sees her walk over to the window looking out at the ground. “Don’t even think about jumping out of the window!” He thinks about her getting hurt and he could not bear it. “Just come wait them out. I have to take a shower anyway.” He grabs some clean clothes and hands her the remote to his TV before kissing her cheek.
“I need to get home though.”
“Why? It is Saturday?”
“Trevor and I have plans.”
“Are you kidding?” He feels anger bubbling in him.
“You still are pretending to date Trevor? Or am pretend?”
“Wait a minute.” Tucker begins to pace the floor in sudden fear. “Are you screwing him too?”
Chasity stands up without answering confirming in his mind she had slept with Trevor.
“You slept with him!” His heart breaks thinking about it. “When did you become such a player?”
“I never slept with him! But thanks so much for thinking so highly of me.” He watches her leave the room angry but all he can feel is relief knowing she had not given herself to Trevor.
He runs down the stairs trying to catch her. “Chasity?”
He notices the surprised expressions of his parents, who are sitting in the kitchen, as he follows Chasity out of the door.
“Wait Chas! I am sorry.” He finally catches her in the middle of the yard. The cold wet grass feels weird between his toes. “He just makes me jealous.”
“I like him Tucker but I love you.”
“I know. But he makes me jealous because he will be with you the next four years and I won’t.” He moves closer to her. “I need to tell you something.”
He hears a car stopping behind him and turns to see Trevor rolling his window down. “Good morning.”
“I will see ya later Tucker.”
“No. Chas.” She runs over and climbs into Trevor’s truck before he can finish talking.