Chaper 29: This Was A Bad Idea
Really, really quiet.
It’s not even the comfortable type of quiet, but instead the type that feels suffocating and awkward.
Not only is it awkward but something about this situation gives such ominous vibes which has me feeling a bit nervous.
In my head I count just about how long it’ll take Levi to come here. If he drives immediately home from the school, grabs a spare tire, and then heads out this way it would probably take approximately fifty minutes give or take. There’s sixty seconds in a minute. Times fifty by sixty and you have three thousand. That’s three thousand seconds of awkward silence. No heck no.
As much as I hate math, at least it is useful when I need it to be.
Trying to end the quiet tension between us now I stupidly ask, “So whatcha doing?”
Prior to my question Silas was staring off into what seems like the distance but now he’s looking at me with an expression that practically screams,‘are you serious?’.
He doesn’t reply though and after a few minutes of him just staring at me goes by I realize he doesn’t plan on asking my dumb question.
Not wanting to give up I excitedly announce, “Let’s play a game!”
Silas raises an eyebrow. This time he replies rather quickly asking, “What kind of game?”
I pause for a second. Okay, so I know I’m the one who said to play a game but I really hadn’t thought past those words.
“Uh... truth or dare?”
Silas sighs shaking his head, making it clear he doesn’t want to play truth or dare.
I take a moment to try to think of something else. “How about never-have-I-ever?” I finally say.
“Never-have-I-ever? What’s that?” Silas replied back, seeming interested now.
Truthfully I’ve never played but I’ve seen people play it online and it looks fun. Without mentioning to Silas that I’ve actually never played it, I explain the rules the way I remember them.
You start with ten fingers and go back and forth making statements of things you’ve never done. If the person says something you’ve done before then you fold your finger. The game ends once someone has all their fingers folded.
Usually in the videos I’ve seen the groups playing have more than two people but I figure it can still be played with just us.
As we hold are hands up I start to lead by example. “Never have I ever... stripped in the school cafeteria.”
Silas curses. “I didn’t strip in the school cafeteria. I just simply removed my shirt after a girl poured water on my head for saying I didn’t want to date her.”
“Same difference. Fold that finger, stripper boy.”
He rolls his eyes as he holds down his left pinky finger. “Fine. If you’re going to be like that then how about this... never have I ever ran over my neighbors mailbox with a car.”
“That’s mean.” I frown as I immediately fold a finger. “Yeah, okay well never ever have I ever picked the lock of a door.”
Silas narrows his eyes at me but doesn’t say anything as he folds a finger.
We’re both very competitive so it’s no surprise that we’re taking the game too seriously wanting to immediately beat the other.
“Never have I ever broke my ankle.” Silas says, but it’s a misfire since I sprained my ankle not broke it so I stick my tongue out at him since I don’t have to fold my finger
I counter with, “Never have I ever cried while watching the movie Holes.”
Silas folds a finger.
He then fires back, “Never have I ever had food poisoning.”
I fold a finger.
“Never have I ever bought concert tickets off Craigslist.” I say. I look confused at first but then I remember Silas bought the tickets off eBay.
Silas smiles smugly before making another never-have-I-ever statement.
It continues on for several minutes until we’re both down to one finger.
It’s Silas’ turn and he’s taking a while to come up with something.
Maybe he ran out of things to say? I know exactly what to say to make him lose his last finger so I already can anticipate my win.
Then as Silas finally replies I watch my win slip away with one mere statement from him, “Never have I ever kissed two different people in the same week.”
I’m stunned for a moment. His words manage to destroy the previous mood.
I don't look at him as I fold a finger. Then it dawns on me. “Wait a second didn’t you kiss two different girls at homecoming?” I complain. I then notice his fingers are all folded now as well.
He doesn’t respond to my complaint instead his eyes stare sharply at me as he says, “So you really did kiss Levi that day when you guys came back late from your appointment?”
“...” I look at anything other than him while I refuse to answer that question.
That seems like enough of a confirmation for Silas as he follows up with, “Do you like him?”
“Of course I like him. He’s my best friend.” I reply immediately
Silas’ tone becomes more on edge as he corrects me, “No, I mean do you like him romantically?”
Do I like him romantically? I feel like the answer to this should have been easy but for some reason the words “no” won’t come out. Saying I like him wouldn’t be entirely truthful but saying I don’t like him also would be wrong.
Feeling confused by my own hesitance to find a clear answer I mumbled out, “...I don’t know”
Silas quickly follows up with, “Do you like me?”
The confusion doesn’t fade away as a serious of different responses come to my mind all at once:
Not at all
I’m not sure
All I can manage to offer up is the same answer from before,“...I don’t know.”
He doesn’t like it. His eyes darken as he leans close to me. I try to look away from him again but he place his hand under my chin, tilting my face up to look at him.
“Be honest,” His voice is deep, perhaps even deeper than usual. “are you really this oblivious and naive or are you just purposely playing stupid?”
His voice is something I’ve always liked about him. It just has this comfortable and pleasant quantity to it that turns even the worse words into a spoken form of art.
He continues on, “If you’re just that air headed than I can forgive that, but right now I’m starting to think you’re leading me on.”
Huh? Leading him on? Is that what I'm doing?
Trying to divert from his claim I reply back, “but isn’t that what you do all the time? Lead people on?”
In the first place, isn’t he the one who jumps from girl to girl as if it’s nothing, never being serious or making any promises? So, why am I being accused despite never having that king of intention?
"We're not talking about me. We're talking about you. I knew something had happened that day but I didn't think you actually kissed him."
I bit the corner of my bottom lip feeling both frustrated and beyond annoyed. "I didn't kiss him. He kissed me with my permission and I ended up reciprocating. It's not really your business anyhow. At least he asked for permission unlike someone else who thinks he can just kiss me as he pleases!" I feel all the anger I have over the years rise up in me at once.
The only consensual kiss we ever had was the one I initiated but besides that Levi has kissed me a total of three times without my permission.
"You're the reason I was bullied so badly in middle school and what did you do? You kissed me and then that was it. You left me to deal with the aftermath on my own even though you caused it in the first place. If it wasn't for Levi I don't know if I could have gotten through that time." My voice shakes slightly as I speak. I paused for a moment to suck in a breath of air before continuing, "Yet here you are saying I'm leading you on? You and Levi keep pushing feelings on me that I never wanted in the first place, so I think I have every right to be confused about how I feel right now."
Silas drops his hand from my chin. "I know you find this hard to believe, but you're misunderstanding what happened in middle school. I'm not the reason why you got bullied."
I don't understand.
"If you're not the reason then what is?" I question, the disbelief clear in my tone.
Headlights appear in the distance, heading towards us.
Silas looks me straight in the eyes as he says, "Ask Levi."