After Cade had told me how he felt; that he was falling in love with me. I started to feel more guilty than I have so far- if that were even possible. I freaked out and overreacted, I was anxious that Cade knew I was hiding something big from him.
But being the amazing person he is, he was totally understanding and didn’t push me. He even agreed to hear me out if he ever heard something about me. Which I hoped would give me time to explain the whole spying situation if he found out.
After we talked for a bit, I started to feel a lot better. I focused on the good- Cade, our time together and how I felt about him- rather than the bad. I had a great sleep and was able to feel well rested for once. When we came downstairs together the next morning Cade’s mom was a bit shocked but tried to cover it up.
“Oh, I didn’t know Lola stayed over. You didn’t say anything,” Tammy says to Cade as we sit down at the breakfast bar.
“I didn’t know I had to, sorry I thought because I was 18 and you didn’t really care before it would be okay.” Cade replies.
I jump in since I feel bad. Sleeping over at a boy’s house when you were in high school wasn’t a normal thing and although Cade and I had done it lots it was due to a lack of parental care. “I’m sorry I should have thought about asking you if it was okay.”
“Oh, it’s not your fault Lola, I’ve just been way too relaxed on rules lately. So, to be clear if you are 18 you can have someone of the opposite sex sleep over, I just want to know about it first. Is that clear?” Tammy asks Cade directly.
“Yeah, got it. I’ll tell you next time.” Cade says while loading up his plate with food.
“I’ll have to tell Kyle and Noah. God knows Noah will be upset and try to argue that it’s unfair since he’s 16,” Tammy rants as she pours us glasses of orange juice.
“Why would he be upset about it. He wouldn’t want to have-” I start to say until I realized that they didn’t know. This wasn’t my place. “Never mind, forget I said anything.”
“No sweetie what do you mean?” Tammy asks. I can’t tell her I’m pretty sure her son is gay when she has no idea. He never officially told me either so I could be wrong.
“Well, he doesn’t have a girlfriend, so he doesn’t have anyone to have over,” I say trying to make myself look naive instead of outing Noah.
“Well, that’s not the way the older boys were at that age. But maybe you’re right about Noah. He’s such a sweet boy I don’t think he’s the type to lead girls on or use them.” Tammy says. I’m glad I was able to fix that.
After breakfast, I change and repack the bag I brought. I come out of Cade’s ensuite to see him sitting on his bed.
“I better go get my siblings, I bet Tomás is driving Maria crazy asking when I’ll be there with the leftover candy,” I say.
“Yeah, um before you go what did you mean with that comment about Noah?” Cade asks. Well, I guess my quick thinking wasn’t as good as I initially thought.
“It’s not my place to say,” I tell Cade hoping he’ll drop it. He gives me a confused look.
“Do you think he’s gay? Because he’s not, he likes acting and stuff, but he has told me he isn’t,” Cade says.
“Oh, I thought he was, but I just assumed. Sorry, I really shouldn’t have said anything. It’s not my place.” I say.
“Do you think he could be? Because he made this weird comment a while back. And I’ve never seen him interested in a girl.” Cade asks.
“I don’t know Cade, it’s not our place to speculate. If he, is he’ll tell you when he’s ready. My older brother Lucas was gay. It was pretty obvious to most people which made my dad try to force him to change. I know first-hand that it’s better to let someone tell you when they are ready and not force them to be anything they aren’t.” I tell Cade.
At the mention of my deceased brother and the drop in my, mood Cade drops the topic that I never should have brought up.
“You’re right this isn’t our place,” Cade says and then moves closer to me.
“I should get going I’m still catching up from my week off of school and I work tomorrow,” I explain. I wish I could stay with Cade all day, but I had way too much to do.
“Yeah, of course, I’ll see you on Monday then,” Cade says looking a bit disappointed that I have to leave.
“Believe me I’d much rather be with you all day but then I’ll be too distracted to get anything done,” I say and then walk over him. I give him a short kiss and then pull away with a small grin.
Cade returns my smile and walks me out. The rest of the weekend is full of work, homework, and chores. The whole time Cade is in my thoughts. I keep running the events of Friday night over and over in my head. I keep comparing what we did too when I was with guys in the past. It was very different, we didn’t have sex, yet it was so much better. I felt connected to him and safe. He listened to me and respected everything I told him.
I should have been feeling guilty because I was deceiving him, yet I felt excited to see him on Monday. I knew I was falling in love and part of me didn’t care about the eventual downfall due to all my secrets. I liked Cade too much to push him away fearing that we would both get hurt.
The week went by fairly uneventful. I couldn’t tutor Cade in Spanish for the past two weeks, when we sat down on Tuesday, I found out that he failed a test Spanish last week. He had a meeting on Friday with his Spanish teacher after school about it. I felt horrible, I had made a commitment to help him and didn’t follow through. I decided to talk to the Spanish teacher to hopefully get him a redo for next week.
“Hi, could I talk to you for a moment?” I ask the school’s Spanish teacher on Friday morning before school starts.
“Of course, how can I help you, Lola?” He replies.
I walk into the classroom and sit down at a chair close to his desk. “Well, I had some family things come up and I wasn’t able to keep up with tutoring Cade. I know he failed his test. It’s my fault, sir, I made a commitment and was unable to follow through.”
“Well, that’s good to know but Cade should have reached out to me to get an alternate tutor until you were able to help him again.”
“Yes, but it’s Cade, he hates asking for help especially if it involves meeting with someone he doesn’t know,” I explain.
“I appreciate you telling me this, but we can’t change the test results,” He points out.
“I’m not asking for you to change the results, I am here to ask you to let him redo the test after I am able to meet with him this weekend. He’s not dumb he just needs to be taught Spanish in a different way that works for him. You and I both know that after I tutored him, he was able to be successful in your class. Please just give him another chance. He and I both had a very hectic past couple of weeks, and it would be amazing if you could let Cade prove he actually knows Spanish, not that he is good at tests during a chaotic time.” I rant. I truly think that making Cade write a test after he had been hospitalized 2 days earlier was not fair.
“I see your point; I’ll give him a redo but I do want both of you to reach out if this happens again. It is much easier for me to get Cade a deferral to write the test at a later date than it is for me to have him write a second test.” He says.
“For sure, I didn’t know that was an option. I will definitely keep you informed if we ever miss tutoring in the future.” I say.
At lunch, on Friday I meet Cade in the cafeteria. We haven’t eaten in the area behind the school since the incident with Wyatt. I haven’t brought up going back to that spot and neither has Cade. The weather is also getting colder since its November so our new normal is eating lunch inside with Clarissa and whichever of her friends sit with us that day. Elizabeth hasn’t tried to sit with us since the incident with Wyatt either. Clarissa made it pretty clear that she wanted nothing to do with her. I was a bit surprised that Clarissa completely cut her out of her life. I know what Elizabeth did was wrong, but I didn’t take Clarissa to be so unforgiving. Maybe I should take pointers from her, I am too forgiving when it comes to my mom.
“So good news I get to rewrite that Spanish test. Something about a student tutor explaining the situation,” Cade says with a smirk.
I look down and distract myself with my salad. “We can go over some stuff on Saturday so you’re ready for the test if you want.”
“Sure, and thanks for doing that. Teachers tend to not listen to me when I have a reason for failing since I failed so much last year. I really appreciate it,” Cade says sincerely.
“No problem,” I say making eye contact with him. We stare at each other for a moment, I start to get lost in his gaze, that is until someone bumps into me. I look and see that Ben has just sat down beside me.
“Have you seen Clarissa?” He asks us.
“Not yet she’s probably in line to get food,” I say.
“Nah, I looked there already. I’m going to try to find her,” Ben says and then gets up and leaves.
At the last 5 minutes of lunch, Clarissa comes up to me at my locker. Turns out she was talking to Elizabeth all lunch.
“I just spent my entire lunch explaining why I didn’t want to be friends with Elizabeth anymore. Have you ever cut someone out of your life before?” Clarissa tells me.
“Umm, not really,” I say. Anyone who was cut out of my life is dead, so I have no advice to give in this situation.
“Well, I don’t know what to do. She seems like she’s trying to prove she’s changing and sorry. But I don’t really care. She drugged you so that Wyatt could rape you. There is nothing she can do to change my opinion of her. I think she’s only trying because she is lonely and has no friends left. I was the only one still putting up with her. Now she’s all alone.” Clarissa rants. “Sorry if I’m talking too much about this, I just have no one who understands. Well, I guess Ben kind of does, you know he stopped talking to Wyatt. But Wyatt’s left him alone so it’s not really the same.”
“It’s no problem, I get it sometimes we just need to vent,” I tell her.
“Thanks, anyway I was wondering if you want to hang out soon. Are you busy this weekend?” Clarissa aks.
“Yeah, I have to work and I’m hanging out with Cade but I’m free next Saturday,” I let her know.
“That works for me! Want to come over for supper?” She asks.
“Sure,” I say and then the bell rings. We say goodbye and head to our classes. I’m looking forward to spending time with her. I haven’t had time for friends and getting to know Clarissa was a nice change.