5 - Feelings
Chasity feels pain streaming through her body as she sees the extreme pain in Tucker’s eyes before she leaves him in the hall. She moves quickly through the crowd trying to hide her tears. She is not sure what she is feeling. She does have a strong dislike for Stormy but she is also mad about him signing up for the navy.
She enters the empty bathroom feeling a sense of relief knowing she is alone. She does not want anyone to know she is crying and upset because it is not like her. As she wipes her eyes looking in the mirror, Hannah enters the bathroom. Hannah had been one of Tucker’s month-long flavors last year and always seemed to hate Chasity for being his best friend. Chasity knew she was just jealous of their friendship, but it had still always made Hannah dislike her.
“You okay?” Hannah pauses at the entrance and seems generally concerned. Chasity cannot help but feel embarrassed and worried Hannah would tell everyone she was in the bathroom crying.
“Yup. Good.” Chasity tries to act normal as she proceeds to wash her hands as if she had just used the toilet. “How are you doing?”
“Yeah, I am good.” Hannah moves over closer to Chasity and still has a concern on her face that is surprising to Chasity. They had never been friends and she was never nice to her. The second bell rings and Chasity realizes she is late so she begins to dry her hands so that she can leave.
“I know how you feel.”
“What are you talking about?”
“I know how it feels to love someone and not be loved back.” Chasity cannot help but feel confused as she looks at Hannah’s reflection in the mirror. “You’re in love with Tucker.”
“What?” Chasity laughs at the idea. “No, I am not. Why do you say that?”
“I saw your face, in first period yesterday when he was talking to that new girl. And then again, a while ago when you were talking to him in the hall.” Chasity feels awkward as she turns to face Hannah. “I feel the same way about someone else. And I just thought you could use a friend when I saw you come in here looking upset.” Chasity did not have any girl friends to talk to about things. She had never needed to talk about things like this though. She feels reluctant to talk and speechless of what to say for a moment.
She begins to feel slight panic as she wonders if Hannah is right. “He and I are just friends. I don’t like him in that way.”
“I don’t think he has even been smart enough to consider you a dating option either.”
She begins to wonder who Hannah is in love with. Was it Tucker? “Are you in love with Tucker?”
Hannah laughs at her question and shakes her head. “No. You probably know what happened between me and Tucker better than I do. And between every other girl he has dated. He tells you everything. He doesn’t date seriously; he just dates for fun.”
Chasity realizes that she does not really know anything about Hannah or any of the other girls Tucker has dated. Yes, he talked about them and his dates but he never really seemed that interested in them and the conversations were brief about them. “I didn’t know you could be so nice.” Chasity’s statement almost sounds like a question. She immediately feels bad for thinking poorly of Hannah all this time.
“Let’s be completely honest here. I was just jealous of you before, during, and after I dated Tucker. Until I realized, I didn’t really care about Tucker.”
Her confession surprises Chasity. “Jealous of me?”
Hannah nods her head. Chasity is further confused. “Tucker talked about you constantly and he always ditched me for you. I figured out really quickly that I was just to pass the time.”
“He sleeps with a new girl every month. But that has nothing to do with me.”
“We never slept together.”
Chasity feels surprised by her confession. “Really?”
Hannah seems surprised and angry. “Did he say we slept together?”
“No. I just assumed. Sorry.” Chasity tries to think about all the girls Tucker has dated and wonders which one he lost his virginity to first since it obviously was not Hannah like she thought.
“I have a thing for Marcus.” Her confession makes Chasity swallow hard. She knew Hannah had seen her making out with Marcus the other night.
“I had no idea. We are not really together. I was just bored the other night and we only made out that one time.”
“You don’t have to apologize. I mean I was with Tucker and you had to watch that so, it is okay.”
“Yeah, but I don’t like Tucker that way. I don’t care if he screws around with girls and dates everyone in the school.”
“Are you sure? I mean you have been best friends for as long as I can remember. He would do anything for you and you anything for him.”
“We are just friends.”
Hannah smiles at her. “Come on I will walk with you to class, we are really late.”
Chasity feels very confused and begins to internally question her feelings about Tucker.
Tucker cannot get a grasp on why Chasity is saying she doesn’t want to be friends. It makes no sense in his head. As soon as the last bell rings to go home for the day, he races to the parking lot looking for Chasity’s car. He spots her little red Kia and notices she is not around. He decides to wait for her, leaning up against the hood. He feels surprised to see her walking towards him looking pissed off at him for waiting for her.
“What did I do, Chas?” Tucker feels anguish seeing her pain-stricken eyes.
She walks past him never looking at him and opens the door to her car.
He shuts her car door moving in between her and the car. He feels angered by her distance toward him. They had always been close and she had always told him everything but now, she is not the best friend he knows.
She looks him dead in the eyes and he expects to see anger in her face from his actions but instead she just looks blankly at him. “Did I do something wrong? Are you acting like this because of Marcus?”
“No.” He sees her face change and sees a glimmer of his old friend coming back to life. “We are going different directions and maybe we should go ahead and follow our own paths.”
Tucker feels surprised as he stares at her. “Is this you saying you don’t want us being friends?” Tucker nods his head to himself in understanding. He knew that one day she would find someone to be with but he never thought about her dumping their friendship for a guy. He looks around the parking lot trying to figure out what to say but he knows it would not be right to get between her and another guy. Her silence makes his stomach ache. He has so many questions but he knows her stubborn mind is already made up from the look on her face. He cannot fight her on this. He moves out of the way so that she can get in her car. She looks up at him sadly and it causes him to feel a loss. “It was bound to happen sooner or later.” He says aloud trying to reassure himself that this could not be helped.
He watches her pull away, leaving the parking lot as he thinks. All the girls he had dated were annoyed by Chasity and they all complained about his friendship with her but he never gave up their friendship. He just could not understand why she pushed him aside so easily.
“Hey!” His mom sounds surprised to see him as he enters his house. “We didn’t expect you in for a few hours? It is Tuesday night. Where is Chasity?”
“I don’t know.” He grumbles and quickly moves up the stairs trying to avoid his parents. He and Chasity spent every Tuesday night together at the local diner because it was trivia night.
He falls on his bed letting out an aggravated sigh. He wanted to vent but Chasity was always who he went to when he needed to get rid of frustrations and talk. Now she was the frustration and he had no idea to go to. Stormy comes to his mind. She seemed really into him and he needed the distraction so, he texts her.
Tucker: Make it home safely?
Stormy: I did. What are you doing this evening?
Tucker: Nada. Want to hang out?
He hovers over the send button as he contemplates if he really wants to go on a first date right now. The thought of Chasity dumping him for another guy enters his mind. It agitates him. He knows Stormy could take his mind off his frustration with Chasity so, he presses send.
Stormy: Sure. What should we do?
He feels surprised by her question. He hadn’t thought about something to do yet. He sits up in his bed when he hears a knock on the door. “Come in.” He sees his mom enter the room and knows questions are about to hit him.
“Everything okay with you and Chasity?”
He does not usually confide in his mom but, he is too aggravated to hold back his feelings. “She suddenly has a boyfriend and just pushed me to the side. Like I am not important to her.”
His mom moves over and sits next to him on the bed. “Oh honey, I’m sorry. I didn’t know she was dating someone.” He wants to scream out in anger but contains himself.
“I just thought we would have a few more weeks together before I left for the navy. And I never thought about us not being friends, even if I wind up on the other side of the world.” He hurts inside as he talks. “I guess I am not as important to her as she is to me.”
His mom wraps her arm around him. “I don’t know what is going on with her right now but trust me, you are important to her too. I have watched you two for years. She would do anything and everything for you. You’re her best friend.”
He begins to feel odd talking to his mom like this. It was a first. “Thanks for the pep talk mom.”
She pulls him over and kisses his forehead. “Anytime baby.” She rises leaving him alone in his room once again.
Tucker: Can you go out on a school night?
Stormy: If I am back by 9. :)
Tucker: I will come pick you up. Be there in 5?
Stormy: All right!
He heads toward Stormy’s house. As he pulls up to the house, he sees Stormy waiting for him at the end of the driveway. He looks up at Chasity’s window and sees her for a moment looking at him. He cannot bear the thought of not being able talk to her right now when he is so close. Stormy entering his car breaks his eye contact with Chasity. “Hi!” She sounds so excited as she closes the door.
“Hey.” He knows he sounds sad but he cannot help it. He has never felt like this before. Like he lost his whole world. He does not want to go out with her, but she is already in his car so, no going back now. “We usually go hangout at Marley’s Diner after school. Is that okay?”
“Yeah, that sounds fun. Who is we?” She still sounds excited and does not seem to have noticed Tucker’s sadness.
Tucker realizes we was him and Chasity. He looks back up to her window but she is gone. Then, he hears Stormy respond to her own question. “Oh. You meant you and Chasity.”
“Well, and a couple of the other guys from school. Charlie and Keith.” He begins to drive toward the diner.
“Are you two fighting? Is that my fault?” Stormy sounds whiny and he finds it annoying.
“I don’t really know. It isn’t a big deal.” He lies and tries to forget about Chasity by making small talk. “So, where did you move from?”