Chapter 2 Dinner Torture
Kate laughs at me. “I don’t understand why you are still single? We are 14 years old and you haven’t even kissed a boy yet, Tara.”
“Well, excuse me, Kate for not having kissed so many boys like you, I’m just picky and waiting for the right guy!” I respond.
I don’t know if I’m being a prude or she’s right? I just don’t feel like kissing someone for fun; even in primary school all the kids would kiss when we were in our last year. We were playing tag, except there was no tagging involved. The boys would kiss the girls instead. Before we began all the boys would always say, “We will play but won’t kiss Tara, just tag her because kissing her is filthy!”
I always thought that this didn’t affect me. But when I think back to that moment, I can still feel the pain and discomfort that it made me feel. I’m an Indian girl who looks different than the girls at my school. They are all white and I’m not.
My parents were born and raised in Surinam, a colony of the Netherlands. They didn’t choose each other but got married in an arranged marriage.
Well, the story goes that my father always drove by on his motorcycle and saw my mother and fell in love with her. He asked for her hand in marriage and her father my grandpa agreed. After two years of marriage, my mother got ill and they had to come to the Netherlands for better treatments.
They came with literally nothing and built their life here. They have worked very hard to make something of themselves, and now my father is an engineer and my mother is a doctor.
My parents are very strict and while I wouldn’t call them old fashioned they have their traditions.
“Jay called me he is coming over with his Dad,” Kate says. Jay’s father and Kate’s father are best friends. So, they come around often and Kate has a little crush on Jay.
“I thought he wasn’t your type?” I respond. “Yeah well, I’ll make an exception for him!” Kate responds. We look at each other and both laugh.
We know each other from hockey. We play both on the same team and became friends. Kate’s dad is also from Surinam but her mother is Dutch.
She has been there for me when I got bullied a lot in school. Always stood up for me and even came to my school to defend me. We have been friends for three years and see each other almost every day after school.
Kate is a very attractive girl who has everything going for her. She always gets what’s she wants and the boys are always attracted to her. She’s always in for challenging me and getting me out of my comfort zone. Kate is a fire you can’t extinguish.
We are in Kate’s room when the doorbell rings and Kate runs to the door.
“Hey, Mister Singh, can I borrow Jay from you? she asks.
“Of course, Kate”, Jay’s father responds.
“Hey Jay, come on upstairs,” Kate says. And she drags him by his arm upstairs to her room. He smiles and lets himself get carried away. I see Jay and smile at him and he looks at me with a wide grin.
“I should get going Kate,” I say hoping to get out before this turns awkward again.
“Nonsense, you were staying over for dinner and my mom is already counting on you to make your famous salad,” she responds.
So much for escaping! When we are together there is a kind of tension I can’t describe. Well, maybe I should confess something. I have feelings for Jay. So, escaping everything is the only option I have.
“Your famous salad, hmmm…I’m curious!” Jay responds.
“You should be, she is a good cook you know!” Kate responds while nodding her head up and down.
“Well, don’t exaggerate, I can cook a few dishes and a salad isn’t cooking!” I respond.
“Well, I’d like to be the judge of that, when are you cooking for me?” Jay asks with his beautiful green eyes looking at me. I stare in his eyes for a while.
Snap out if it!
“Uhhh...never! Maybe you should ask Kate! She can make a delicious grilled cheese sandwich!” I say enthusiastic so all their eyes look another direction. Especially Jay’s.
Kate blushes and looks at Jay and there is an awkward silence. “I’m going to help your mother in the kitchen, see you guys later!” I say and run downstairs.
Finally escaped that awkwardness.
I walk to the kitchen and see Victoria, Kate’s mom, standing in the kitchen cutting zucchini.
“Hi auntie, can I help you?” I ask. “Hey Tara, how did your math test go?”
“I aced it!”
“Proud of you!” Victoria says.
Kate’s mother and I have gotten very close. She feels like the mother that I was missing. Don’t get me wrong, I have a wonderful mother. It’s just with Victoria I can talk about topics I could never bring up with my parents. Like sex, boyfriends, and also my view of life.
I help Victoria with making a salad. I love cooking, always have but at home, my parents don’t let me cook often. They prefer it if I just do my homework instead.
I finish my salad and insert my secret ingredient. “Could you ask Kate and Jay to come downstairs for dinner?” she asks.
I walk upstairs and see through a crack in the door that Jay and Kate are kissing. I see Jay opening his eyes but Kate is still kissing him. He sees me watching and I quickly look away. Shit, I didn’t want to ruin their moment. I walk to the bathroom first and decide to come back later.
When I walk back, I see Jay storming out of the room and Kate saying sorry. “What just happened?” I ask Kate.
“Nothing we just kissed and he liked it,” she says.
“So, why is he storming out of your room?”
“Oh, he needed to pee!” she says.
I have a feeling that Kate is lying but I will confront her later. I can see that she is stressed out and I don’t want to make it harder for her. “Your mom asked me to tell you dinner is ready,” I say.
“Ok, I’m coming, I’ll see you there” she responds and points in the direction of the door. She wants to be alone and I know by now that I should do that or else she will pick a fight with me.
I walk away and see Jay standing outside. I walk over to him. “Hey, dinner is ready, are you coming?” I ask him.
“I don’t know how you do it,” he says while he throws his hands in the air.
“Do what?” I ask and look him in the eye.
“Like you don’t notice me and pretend you don’t have feelings for me!” he says with tears in his eyes.
“Wow, and you think I’m pretending not to have feelings for you? That’s a really big allegation!” I respond but I know he’s telling the truth.
“You know that Kate likes you right? And that she is a really beautiful girl! I saw you just kissing her!” I respond.
“I know that you saw that! It wasn’t supposed to happen. But Kate is a very persuasive girl!” Jay hisses.
“So, you didn’t like the kiss?” I ask.
“I did, he says but—” Jay responds but I interrupt him.
“BUT NOTHING! If you liked it you should give her a chance, I know she likes you! And now go upstairs and apologize that you walked out on her!” I say in a demanding way.
“Okay, I will do that if you tell me that you don’t have feelings for me!” he says and walks over to me. He looks into my eyes.
I can see his beautiful green eyes looking right through me but I can’t give in. I know that I feel something when I see him but I will never give in to this. I try to calm myself down and look back with a frown on my face. “I don’t have feelings for you!” I say and try not to look weak. He looks at me and I see pain of rejection in his eyes.
Did I just cause that?
I had just told him a lie, the first lie I had told in my life, but I had a feeling that this wouldn’t be the last. Because I’m in love with Jay Singh. And in this moment, I realized I’m fucked. He’s the first guy I ever had feelings for but I can’t do this to Kate. He can be happy with her and she has so much more to offer than me.
I see Kate walking towards us and Jay grabs her by her waist, pulls her into her arms and kisses her hard on her lips.
I can feel the pain pulling through me. I hope these feelings will go away. Because feeling this every time they kiss will break me.
“Dinner!” Victoria screams. I walk away escaping this feeling, knowing this will occur more often because Jay and Kate are a couple now.