15 - In the End
She stares at her phone as it rings and she sees Tucker’s picture flashing on the screen. She cannot deal with talking to him right now so she rejects his call. She literally just got in the truck with Trevor. Her phone chimes.
Tucker:Please call me! I need to talk to you.
She does not respond as she lays her phone down. After a minute, her phone chimes again so she turns her phone off.
“Everything okay?” Trevor glances over at her.
“Was the party fun?”
She knows she cannot lie and say she went because someone would tell him she didn’t. “I did not want to go without you.”
“What about Tucker?”
She feels nervous remembering she kissed Tucker openly yesterday. “What about him?”
“Did you two hang out all night?”
“I. Well. He is leaving in a few days.”
“I know. Would you like to change?” He stops in front of her house. “You are still wearing the same clothes from yesterday.”
She had forgotten she needed to shower and change. She realizes she might smell like Tucker. “Yes. Give me like 10 minutes.” She quickly jumps out of his truck to run inside.
It is late when Trevor drops her off at home from their hiking trip. She sneaks in her darkened house.
After slipping into her pajamas, she picks up her phone realizing it is still turned off. She sees two new messages from Tucker.
Tucker: Seriously! It is important.
Tucker: Please! I don’t have much time left.
She feels bad she ditched him all day.
Chasity: Come over?
Tucker: I’m in Colorado.
She jumps up from her bed. Wondering if he decided to leave early. Why was he in Colorado?
Chasity: WHAT? WHY?
Tucker: I tried to tell you. I am with my parents for a ski trip. We will be home Wednesday night.
Chasity: What time?
Tucker: I think our plane lands at 11pm.
Chasity: When do you leave?
Tucker: 3pm Thursday.
She did not realize she would miss spending time with him the next few days. It makes her sad. She counts the hours. If he gets home at midnight and will have to leave around two hours early for his flight, that gives them 8 hours together. “Only eight hours?” She begins to cry at how short of a time that is.
Her phone begins to ring and Tuckers picture is flashing. She swipes the bar to answer it without hesitation.
“Hi.” She wipes her tears knowing they are showing in the tone of her voice.
“Hi.” The tone of his voice calms her broken insides. “I’m sorry I should have told you about this trip last night.”
“I did not realize I was out of time with you.”
“I know. Sorry.”
“I have tried so many times not to be mad at you. But I am mad at you.”
“It is okay to be mad at me. Just please don’t hate me and not support me.” Support him? She had not even thought about her anger towards him being hurtful and not supporting him at all. “I need you.”
“Maybe I needed you. We had plans Tuck. We were both supposed to go to college together. You changed those plans on me without any warning at all. One day you just came running up to me at school saying you joined the navy and I felt...I felt...I do not know. Abandoned. Forgotten.”
“I could never forget or abandon you Chasity!”
“You will be in a different world than me soon. We will never be able to talk or see each other.”
“We could see each other when I get some breaks.”
“I will be in school.”
“You get off for holidays and could come see me maybe.”
She wonders if this is about to become her life. Stolen moments on the phone at late crazy hours. She wonders if it would be enough. “My parents would freak if I went somewhere else on my breaks instead of coming home. Especially on holidays.”
“Yeah.” She hears Tucker’s disappointment in her response.
“A lot can happen in four years.”
“A lot can happen in four weeks.” She knows he is referring to the past four weeks they have been distant.
“Or in the twenty minutes you spend talking with the navy recruiter at the career fair.” She waits for a response but never hears one. “I do love you and I am proud of you. Really! It isn’t that I don’t support you, I just can’t give you a long-distance relationship.”
“Not even as a friend?”
“I will always be your friend Tucker. No matter where life takes us. I am not saying I do not want to not see you and talk to you ever again. I just know that we will grow apart in the next four years and I am just going to miss the hell out of you.”
She can hear him laugh through the phone. “I will miss the hell out of you too and I love you. But we are just eighteen.” She is not sure what that has to do with anything as she analyzes his response. He continues before she can ask any questions. “We still have a lot of growing up to do and hopefully a lot more time to figure life out. Figure us out. I will be home Wednesday, if you want to talk some more.”
“I do. I want to hang out with my best friend one more time before he leaves.”
“And maybe steal a kiss or two.” She can hear his smile through the phone.
“Maybe.” She laughs at his cute remark as she responds.
“Good night Chas.”
“I’m sorry how our last few weeks went. And overall being mad at you. It wasn’t very fair of me.” She knew she had to get it off her chest now because even if she did not mean every word, at least she made peace with him.
“It is okay. I am sorry too.”
“All is forgiven. Good night.”
Tucker feels a mixture of emotions growing inside him as his parents pull into their driveway. He sees Chasity sitting on their front steps in the dark. “Is that Chasity?” His mom asks sounding excited.
Tucker jumps out of the car before it completely stops and walks nervously over to her. It is dark but he can feel her watching him as she stands up. “Hi.” Her voice sounds amazing, like a song in his ears.
“I’m glad you’re here!” He hears his parents approaching behind him so he resists touching her.
“Me too.” He can see her smile and he wants to kiss her but not in front of his parents.
“Hi Chasity!” His mom wraps her arms around Chasity.
“Hi Mrs. Lancaster.” She hugs his mom in return.
“It is good to see you sweetie. We have missed you the past few weeks. I was starting to worry you two would never make up.” Tucker is sure she is aware they had sex the other day. He did not think she would be so cool about it.
He can tell Chasity feels a little uncomfortable by her movements.
“Hi Chasity.” His dad moves past them to unlock the front door.
Tucker reaches for her hand as his parent’s backs are turned and Chasity looks over at him surprised. He smiles at her completely able to see her amazing eyes now that the motion sensor turned the porch light on. His mouth moves but no sound comes out, “I love you.” He sees her cheeks turn pink and she pulls her hand away from his as he notices his dad turn around holding the door open for them.
“How was the trip to Colorado?” Chasity sounds completely normal and Tucker cannot help but find it attractive.
“It was beautiful!” His mom beams as she reaches over rubbing Tucker’s cheek. “We had the best time spending some of Tucker’s last few days with us together skiing.”
He sees Chasity smiling at him being annoyed that his mom is almost petting his cheek. “Yeah, it was a lot of fun mom. Thanks for taking me.” He leans over and kisses her on the cheek with a small hug.
“Alright, honey let’s go get in bed and let him get his last Chasity time in.” He feels thankful to his dad for guiding his mom out of the way for him and Chasity to be alone. “Good night.” His dad nods to them.
“Good night Mr. and Mrs. Lancaster.”
“Alright. Well, you two kids have a good night.” His mom smiles at them one last time before starting up the stairs with his dad.
As his parents disappear after reaching the top of the stairs, he looks at Chasity moving closer to her. “Hey you.”
She looks up into his eyes. “What up?”
He smiles at her before kissing that beautiful mouth. He does not want to stop kissing her. Ever. He slides his hand up the front of her shirt as their kiss intensifies. He can feel her hands holding his neck and he knows they need to get out of the entrance to his parents’ house quickly but quietly. He pulls his lips from her and is breathing heavily. “Let’s go upstairs.”
She only nods her head and he takes her hand leading the way as they start to tip toe quietly up the stair case. As soon as they are safely inside his bedroom, he just cannot contain himself any longer to keep from touching her. All of her.
He finally sees the sunlight growing in the room. He had not slept all night. He laid awake holding Chasity and watching her sleep. With more light in the room he looks down at her on his chest. The waves of her dark hair look tangled and he can see a freckle on her nose he had never noticed before. She looked like heaven to him. Her arm draped over him seemed to fit perfectly. Her skin up against his entire left side feels so warm and smooth. He closed his eyes trying to take a mental picture of this moment in time. He knew it would get him through the next four years or maybe even longer if he could not ever be with her the way he wanted. In a relationship. He never wanted one before.
He feels extremely tired with his eyes closed and before he even realizes it, Chasity moving wakes him up. The sun is extremely bright now and he panics as he looks over at his clock that reads 12:15 p.m. He only has a little under an hour left to get packed and to the airport to make his flight on time. He looks over at Chasity and sees a deep sadness covering her entire face. He smiles at her knowing this is the last time he will be snuggled in bed with her for some time. But he hopes that one day, she will be back in bed with him. He kisses her forehead pulling her tighter up against him. “I have to pack and leave in forty-five minutes.”
“I know.” Her words sound sad and make him not want to release his hold on her.
“Everything will be okay.” He feels completely confident in his statement.
“I know it will!” He hears the truthfulness in her reply and he finally feels ready to let her go. He releases her from his arms and leaves her in bed with a kiss so that he can take a quick shower.
As he exits his restroom, he does not see Chasity in his room any longer. “Chasity?” He moves out of his room downstairs looking around for her. He finds his parents in the living room.
“She left.” His mom has a consoling look on her face. “She said she couldn’t tell you bye. She asked we tell you to be safe.” Tucker feels his heart ache that she did not want to tell him bye. He nods his head to his parents before running back up the stairs to his room to pack. He is sitting on his bed watching the digital clock on his bedside table. Just ten minutes and he will be leaving. He is hurt and confused that Chasity does not want to tell him bye. He did not even get to tell her one last time that he loved her. Maybe it was for the best. Maybe last night was the perfect goodbye.
“Tucker?” His dad’s voice sounds so close. “Are you ready son?”
“Yeah, dad.” He picks up his duffel bag and throws it over his shoulder. His dad appears in his doorway and Tucker can see how proud he is of him by the smile on his face.
“You look so grown up.” His dad moves over to hug him. His dad had never hugged him before. Or at least not since he was a young kid. It surprises him. “I am so proud of the man you have become.”
“Thanks dad. I couldn’t have done it without you.” He smiles at his dad and can see tears welling up in his eyes as their hug ends. This surprises him further because he had never seen his dad get emotional. Ever.
“Well, let’s get you off then.”
As he loads his bag into his parent’s car, he cannot help but look down towards Chasity’s house. He wants to see her but notices her car is already gone.
His mom is crying hysterically as they arrive to the airport. “I love you mom! I will be back before you know it.”
“I love you so much. You better be careful and responsible.” She sounds scolding before sounding loving again. “We are so proud of you!”
“I know.” He hugs her one last time.
His dad reaches out hugging him again and Tucker wishes more than anything he could tell Chasity bye. “I love you, dad.”
“I love you too son. Call your mother sometimes.”
“I will.” Tucker throws them a reassuring smile and starts to move away from them. “Bye.”