Chapter 13: Things Fall Apart
I know he's not trying to stand me up…I thought as I crossed the street to Chad's house at about one thirty that afternoon.
I figured that he was being a girl and taking forever to get dressed.
As I approached his front door, I noticed that his Yukon was not parked in it's usual spot in the driveway. Still, I rang the doorbell once. After about a minute, his mother came to answer the door.
"Oh, hi Charlene," she said.
Her face was pale and she didn't look very happy.
"Hey Mrs. Flemming. Um… is Chad here? He and I were supposed to meet up for lunch but I haven't heard from him and he's not answering his cell phone."
"He left here earlier this morning to visit some friends. He didn't say anything about meeting up with you but I can try to call him. Come on in, Sweetie… don't mind the mess. Vivian hasn't started yet."
I came in and followed her to their family room, noticing no mess in the spotless house. She picked up a cordless phone and effortlessly dialed his number.
I looked hopefully at her but her face remained blank as she hung the phone up.
"No answer for me either… I'm sure it just slipped his mind but if he calls or comes home I'll be sure to tell him that you called."
"Okay, thanks so much Mrs. Flemming."
I said as I got up to leave.
As I felt the light, mid-October wind hitting my back, I began to wish that I would have worn a jacket. But refusing to go back to Windsor or sit in my car, I remained sitting, Indian style, on the tennis court. It was only three o'clock. I knew she would be looking for me. I even had to turn my phone off because she kept calling.
My mind kept re-playing Timmy and Charlene's kiss. They looked so comfortable. She was kissing him. They had no shame either, right in the middle of Cafe Paulino. There was no justification for it. I couldn't think of any excuse as to why they would be kissing, unless, of course, she fell and the only way he could catch her was to use his lips. Considering that it was highly unlikely, I knew there could be no excuse for it.
Once again, feeling of embarrassment encompassed me. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't escape those feelings. Why would she let me tell her all of the things that I told her last night if she wanted Timmy? Why did she lead me on? Why did she let me think I had a chance? I was getting angrier and angrier by the minute. I was angry at her. I was angry at Timmy. But most of all, I was angry at me for allowing myself to care this much.
Trying to get my mind off of things, I laid on my back, allowing the sun's rays to hit my face. After a while, I fell asleep with visions of Carly and Timmy.
I couldn't stop pacing my living room. Where the hell is he?
I kept calling his cell phone to no answer.
I couldn't stop the worry from overcoming me. What if there was an accident that nobody knew about yet? What if he was beating himself up about his little brother again? Tennis practice with Dan would be starting in thirty minutes but I couldn't go and be focused without knowing where Chad was. I'd called Timmy, Matt, Kelly and some more of our other friends to see if anyone had seen him, but of course, no one knew where he was.
Obviously, if he was physically alright, he was running away from something, but I couldn't think of what it would be.
Between trying to rationalize the kiss with Timmy and worrying about Chad, I knew already that it was not going to be a good day for me.
Suddenly, it occurred to me where he might be. My tennis court that I had taken him to the night before.
With all the certainty in the world, I grabbed my car keys and head out to find him.
Thirty minutes later, I found that I was right. Sitting parked in the grass was Chad's GMC Yukon. However looking onto the court, I couldn't see him.
I got out of my car and quietly closed the door and approached the fenced in court only to see him laying, in fetal position, as if sleeping.
He was so cute laying there, like a little boy, that I couldn't help laying down and spooning him.
At contact, I could feel the muscles in his arms tense but he did not awaken.
"Shh… it's just me," I whispered to soothe him, kissing the nape of his neck, which woke him up.
For a moment we both lay there until he turned around and looked into my eyes.
As I met his gray eyes, my breath caught in my throat. He looked childlike, like he had just lost his best friend.
"What's wrong?" I asked him, unable to take my voice above a whisper.
Without answering, he began to kiss me. First, it was soft and innocent, just like the look on his face. His tongue caressed mine softly, like he was trying to lull me to sleep with his sweet kiss. After a moment though, he began kissing me with more intensity. His tongue was going deeper and deeper into my mouth, rubbing more and more against mine. After the initial shock, I began to like it and pulled his body closer to mine which he easily obliged.
No knowing what I did to deserve such a loving reception, I was in heaven.
I don't know what made me pounce on her like that. Considering the fact that she was the cause of all my problems in the moment, I should have let her have it the moment she got there. But there was something about her in that moment that I couldn't resist. And because of that, I forgot about every reason that I was mad at her. Maybe deep inside I wanted her to feel the way that I felt in the moment… betrayed, angry, and embarrassed. Either way, I knew that loving on her was the only thing that would make me feel better right then.
Turning my body so my face was directly above her, I looked into her eyes one more time. There was a look of confusion, bliss, and guilt mixed into one. Once again, I began kissing her with everything I had in me.
I wanted to kiss away visions of her with Timmy. I needed to kiss away my everlasting guilt about Peter. I had to kiss away the new-found worries about my mother.
And so I kissed her.
Slowly I caressed her flat stomach over her thin, long-sleeved shirt. Moving slowly upwards, I stroked her soft breasts and moved up to finger her delicate neck. She moaned softly, arching her back so that our bodies met.
Separating her lips from mine, she moved her lips to my ears.
"I think I love you."
Her words brought me crashing back to reality.
Suddenly all the problems, all the issues came back to the forefront of my mind.
"What's wrong? I'm sorry… I shouldn't have said that…" she said, looking into my gray eyes with her blue.
"No… I shouldn't have done this," I said, getting off of her.
"No. Don't 'Chad' me right now, Charlene."
The look of shock on her face was priceless.
I couldn't contain my brimming anger anymore.
"It's over. I don't want to be with you, I don't want to be near you, I don't want anything to do with you. Ever," I said, standing up.
"Nothing. Just forget about everything I told you last night and everything that just happened. Forget it!" I said.
I couldn't look into her face anymore. Her look of innocence in the situation disgusted me. How is it that she could be kissing another guy only a few hours ago and then have the nerve to come here and look so innocently at me? Like I was the one who'd done something wrong.
"What the hell are you talking about, Chad? What the fuck is this about? How the hell can you be fucking kissing me like you were just now and then turn around and say that you don't want anything to do with me?"
"Don't act so innocent. I never took you for a liar, you know. Or a slut."
"Slut? Even though you just did your best to treat me like one, I'll never be a slut. And I can't believe that you'd have the nerve to call me that." she said, rising to her feet.
"If the shoe fits, wear it," I said in a voice full of contempt.
"You know what? I thought so much more of you, Chad. Just because you're scared of being with someone of quality, it doesn't mean that you have to revert to the playground and demean me. You're no different than all the assholes in this town. Fuck you, Chad," she said as she turned on her heel and left.
Obviously, she had no idea that I knew about her and Timmy and she was going to remain on her high horse.
Turning my back, I waited until I heard her car drive off before I got in my own to drive back to Windsor and my life without Charlene.
I couldn't believe his nerve. How could he make me feel the way that I was beginning to feel as we laid on that tennis court only to get up and tell me that he can't do this anymore and that he didn't want to be with me?
Infuriated, I drove back to Windsor in silent shock.
I had to find out what his problem was, but I wasn't sure if he would ever talk to me again.
Could he have seen the kiss with Timmy?
…but what if? How did he know? Was it because while we were laying there kissing the only thing that I could feel was guilt about kissing Timmy?
Could he read my mind?
No, that's ridiculous…
It would make sense that he knew.
I knew I couldn't go without figuring out, I had to turn around and ask him.
By the time I got back, however, he was gone and as before, his cell phone was off and he wasn't accepting calls.