22 - Talking
“Thanks for dropping me off dad.” Chasity hugs her dad goodbye at the entrance of the airport.
“I wish you could stay longer. When do you get vacation time again?”
“I don’t think until July.”
“Well, maybe your mom and I will come visit you then.”
“I would love that dad.” She smiles thinking how nice it would be to not have to be alone all the time.
“Well, you better get going before you miss your flight.” He hands her bag to her.
“Bye daddy.” She hugs him one last time.
As she finds her gate, she notices Tucker setting nearby. She rolls her eyes realizing he must be on the same flight. “Great.” She talks quietly to herself before trying to sneak past him unnoticed.
“Chas?” She hears him call her and it makes her cringe. She does not want to deal with this today. “You’re going home today too?”
“Oh, is that what you call your friend’s house? Home.” She feels mean as she says it but she does not care as she walks past him avoiding eye contact in search of a seat. She realizes there are only two seats available and both are by Tucker. One is right next to him and the other is directly across from him. She reluctantly sits across from him.
“What are the odds we are on the same flight?” Tucker sounds excited and she hopes their seats are nowhere close to each other.
“Lucky us.” She says it sarcastically still avoiding eye contact. As soon as she settles in her seat, she pulls out her phone hoping to avoid having to talk to him further.
“Have a good Christmas?”
She looks up meeting his eyes realizing she cannot avoid this. “It was amazing. Did your parents enjoy having you home?”
He smiles sadly toward her and she can tell he is trying to fix their friendship. “Yeah, they were excited they got to see you that one night.”
She finds relief when they call her section and Tucker does not get up. “Later.” She smiles quickly at him as she walks toward the terminal.
She finds her seat in the airplane between an older gentleman and a girl. She puts in her earbuds hoping to avoid Tucker in a few moments when he passes. She notices the gentleman next to her stand up as she listens to music and scrolls through her phone. As he sits down again, she briefly looks over toward him only to meet eyes with Tucker instead and it startles her. “What are you doing?” She rips one of her earbuds out quickly.
“That nice gentleman offered me his seat because he saw us talking and thought we would like to set together.”
“What?” She feels annoyed. “Why didn’t you say no?”
“Because I wanted to sit by you.”
“Well, maybe I don’t want to sit by you.” She looks around for the gentleman but he is already sitting down in the back of the plane.
“What do I have to do to get you unmad at me?”
“Unmad?” She looks at her phone again as she puts in her earbuds.
He pulls the earbud closest to him out of her ear. “I am serious. What can I do?”
She tries to speak quietly as she looks around at all the people surrounding them. “You left me. Twice. And both times in the middle of the night without warning.” She takes her earbud back from him. “Mad is not what I am.”
“Then, what are you?”
“Hurt.” She puts her earbud back in and lays her head back on the headrest trying to avoid him.
She feels him pull her earbud out again. “I apologized the other night and I told you I would answer all your questions.”
“I was there.” She yanks her earbud back from him again.
“Were you? Because we were talking one minute then the next you were closing the door in my face.”
“Because you said you didn’t want anything from me.” She puts the earbud in her ear again and turns her attention back to her phone. He yanks the earbud out of her ear again and it makes her angry. “Would you stop it!”
“What, did I answer your question wrong and not pass some sort of test you were giving me?”
“You came to me at my parents’ house that night. I didn’t come to you asking for an explanation or begging you to come back.”
“No. You’re right. I came to you offering an explanation. I was opening up to you and then you didn’t even finish the conversation with me.”
She sees people start to look at them and realizes they are getting loud. She talks quieter. “Because I don’t want to get involved emotionally for nothing.” She takes her earbud back from him again. “Now please leave me alone.”
“Oh, it was a test?” She sees his aggravation grow. “You wanted me to say I wanted something from you.”
She notices people continuing to look at them. “Can we just talk about this later?”
“I would love to talk about it now.” She notices he talks quieter and it makes her less uneasy.
“What do you expect from me by opening up to me?”
“My answer is still nothing.” She can tell he is mad. “I don’t expect you to give me anything you do not want to.”
“Well, I do not want to give you this conversation right now.” She puts her earbuds back in as the flight attendants start their demonstration.
He taps his fingers on the arm rest trying to be patient about talking to Chasity. He knows he will not make it the whole two-hour flight. As the plane starts to ascend, he looks over toward her briefly and notices the girl on the other side of Chasity. She looks at him and smiles politely. “Hi.” He nods to her politely.
Chasity cuts her eyes over toward him and he is not sure what she is about to do as she pulls her earbud closest to him out again. She talks quietly glancing around them. “So, you don’t want to come home or take me out or even just kiss me one last time? You want nothing? Absolutely nothing.”
He feels his anger melt away from her sad tone. “Of course, I want all those things. I want more than all those things with you. But I do not expect them from you.” He reaches over to hold her hand and is glad she does not resist. “Chas, I love you. If you think I do not want to be with you, you’re crazy because it is all I have ever wanted.”
“Then be with me.” He sees the sadness in her eyes and it tugs at his heart.
“I just need you to know everything before we dive back in.”
“Alright. Then tell me everything.”
“I have somewhere to be tonight but tomorrow night are you free?”
She nods her head yes in response to his question.
“We can have dinner and talk.”
“Why can’t you just come over after whatever you are doing tonight?”
“Because we both know what would happen. And I just want to talk. We need to go out somewhere.” He lets go of her hand. He wants to hold it forever but he knows he needs to get his mind straight.
“So, why not tell me now?”
He looks around at all the people that would be able to hear him. “These people don’t need to hear the things I am going to say.”
“But random people at a restaurant do?”
He realizes she has a good point. “Alright fine. How about I come over before my thing tonight?”
“Sure.” She shrugs her shoulder at him as she puts her ear bud back in her ear and it makes him smile. He missed her cute gestures and facial expressions.
He feels more relaxed knowing she is so close and willing to let him in again. He pulls out his phone to pass the time. After a bit, he feels Chasity looking over his shoulder and it causes him to look over toward her. She smiles at him. “What ya doing?”
“Playing a game.” He turns his phone toward her so she can see his screen.
“So, what are you busy with tonight?”
“I am going out with some of the others from police training to celebrate.”
“Are one of them who you have been staying with?”
He knows he should be honest and tell her it is a girl he has been staying with but he knows she will flip out and not hear him out later. “Um. Yes.” He looks back at his phone to continue his game and avoid the subject.
“You still having dreams?” He hears the concern in her voice.
“Mostly about you.” He looks up into her eyes and sees her lips curl with a small smile.
He sees her smile fade to concern. “Bad ones?”
“No. It has been over three weeks since I had a bad one.” Her eyes seem to be searching for something in his eyes. He is not sure what she is thinking about but all he can think about is how beautiful she looks.
“Then why did you not come back sooner?
He remembers choking her and it makes him break eye contact with her. “I could have a nightmare anytime. I am not taking that chance.”
“So, we can’t ever live together?” He hears sadness in her words as he looks back toward her.
He had not really thought past talking to her. He is not sure she will want to be with him after she knows everything. “I don’t know.” Her eyes stay with his and he wishes he could live with her and see her every day. Hold her and kiss her. He misses her. “We will figure it all out.”
She looks back toward her phone and places her ear buds in her ears. Tucker continues to play games on his phone until the plane is landing. “Want to share a taxi with me?” Chasity’s words make him smile gently as he pulls her carry-on bag down from the overhead compartment.
“I have to go change before tonight but I can ride and drop you off first.”
“No that is okay. It seems silly for you to come twice to our apartment.” He sees her sadness come back and it stabs at his heart. “Oh, I guess I mean my apartment.”
He lets her out in front of him in the isle. “Come on. I will carry your bags.”
“Thank you.” He notices how sad she sounds. He wants her to be happy.
They quietly exit the plane and walk together through the airport. It is not until they are almost at the luggage pickup zone that Tucker finally speaks. “I will ride with you if that is what you want. Tell me what will make you happy and I will do that.”
She grabs hold of his jacket hem as she talks. “Come home with me now.”
He nods with a small smile. “Alright but we are only talking.”