Dealing with Awkward Situations
Chapter Six: Apologies After Apologies
After circling the block three times, I ended up telling Trevor everything that has happened from the moment I caught Greg and Aimee lip locking until now-excluding the details of the conversation I had with Greg a few days ago. I wasn't sure what convinced me to rant on about what happened between, especially since I have been dedicating a large amount of effort into avoiding this specific topic at all cost, but I did. It must have been the silence.
Silence turns me into an irrational person.
Trevor was an incredible listener. He didn't speak the entire time I was ranting. He would just occasionally nod to show that he was listening to me. However, his lack of surprise did make me believe for a moment that he already knew some of the things that I was telling him—after all, Greg, the nice guy, cheated on me-but I easily erased that doubt since it was impossible for him to know.
Unless he overheard the conversation between Greg and me.
But that would also mean he heard that I admired him from afar.
And since he hasn't teased me about it yet, it was highly improbable he was an eavesdropper.
The silence was dragging on. So, I continued talking, despite being finished with my rant. "Ever since that incident, I repeatedly wished that they were worthless, malicious people because it's easier to be angry at people who you know are horrible than genuinely good-hearted people who, despite disappointing you, are truly apologetic for their actions."
Trevor still wasn't saying anything. I was beginning to believe that he wasn't paying attention to me.
I decided to test that theory. "I kick bunnies on a daily basis."
"No. That's not nice! That's mean!" I stopped walking and he followed suit.
He was holding back his laughter. I could tell.
I sighed and ran a hand through my hair. "How did I end up liking you?"
That obtained a smirk and a response. "You have feelings for me?"
"Incorrect," I quickly said. "Had. I had feelings for you."
"I swore, you said-"
"How did I end up liking you in the past," I insisted.
He was smiling at me. The smile wasn't his usually playful, teasing smile, but a soft one. I recalled him giving me that same expression the day he was planning on quitting the tutoring sessions. He showed up at the library that day, angry, because his dad had called him a failure, saying that his achievements could never compare to his brilliant older brother and that he lacked discipline and seriousness. He didn't want to prove his dad wrong, he wanted to spite him. I told him, 'You shouldn't be serious. It doesn't suit you'' before forcing him to sit down, muttering that he would be putting me in pain every time he receives his test scores in math. And then he gave me that expression. He thanked me (which, left me confused, since my words were simple and hardly meaningful) and for some reason, the appreciation and the expression made me extremely nervous. I dealt with the nervousness by packing up my things, mumbling something about how my feet needed to be watered before they shrivel up, and then running out of the library.
And just like before, that same expression of his was making me uncomfortable.
I frowned. "What?"
"I was just surprised that you haven't attempted to run away yet."
Then, the silence resumed with his brown eyes locked onto me.
I cleared my throat. "It would be lovely if you stopped staring at me."
He covered his eyes and that soft smile of his turned into a grin. "Better?"
I walked away.
There was a knocking on my window.
It was almost midnight but I could see a faint shadow behind my sheer white curtains. When I heard the first knock, I easily brushed it off as nothing. I was preoccupied with fantasizing about holding hands and cuddling with Trevor-a secret that he will never know of. At the sound of the second knock, I sat upright, curious as to where the noise was coming from. By the arrival of the third knock, I had buried myself beneath my blanket. For a while, I did feel safe...until the knocks started occurring more frequently.
I have always been content with giving Kelly the bedroom on the second floor even though that one was more spacious than the room on the first floor (to compensate, my parents bought me a plasma screen television and expanded the closet) but as of right now, I resented Kelly. I recalled her desperately begging me to trade rooms with her because she was afraid someone would break into the house and kill her first. Apparently, she didn't mind if I died first.
Once I located my phone on the night stand, I brought it back to my safety zone underneath the blanket and called my dad. My parent's room was situated on the second floor, at the back of the house, meaning, it would take them about thirty seconds (if they ran) to come to my rescue.
Dad answered by the third ring.
"What is it, sweetie?" He had obviously been sleeping.
"S-s-someone's knocking on my window," I whispered.
"It's probably just a tree."
"Trees don't have the ability to knock. They rustle."
"Are you sure?"
"Okay, okay, I'm coming." And then he hung up.
A minute later, he still hadn't arrived.
I called him again. "Where are you?"
Dad yawned. "Oh, sorry, sweetie; I fell back asleep."
There were footsteps coming down the stairs within seconds. Instead of coming to my room, I heard him open the front door and step outside. I poked my head out from underneath my blanket and saw that there were two shadows near my window. They were talking and soon, one shadow was following the other until they disappeared from my view.
My bedroom light flashed on and I saw my dad standing at my door.
"Did you kill the monster?" I asked, hopeful.
"I'm going back to sleep," Dad said before stepping aside to reveal a shivering girl.
"I'm freezing!" Aimee glanced at my closet, knowing that I stored an extra blanket there. She was clothed in polka-dot shorts, a fuzzy light blue robe, and sneakers. I nodded, giving her permission to retrieve the blanket and wrap herself around it.
I sat up straight. "You could have called instead of knocking on my window."
"You would have ignored my call," Aimee said as she seated herself at the edge of my bed.
"Why are you here?"
"You punched me."
"I do not feel apologetic for that. You didn't answer my questions."
"You punched me—that really hurt, just so you know-and I'm not furious with you. Well, I was, but I got over it pretty quickly because I know I deserved it," Aimee stood up and began pacing around my room. "I'm horrible at apologies. Greg pushed me to come here. My family did too. Even Trevor did. When he came back, do you know what he said to me? 'Get rid of your pride and go apologize to her'."
I tried to hide my smile when she attempted to mimic Trevor's voice.
"Their nagging voices were stuck inside my head. I couldn't sleep unless I came here," she breathed a sigh and finally, stopped and turned to face me. "When I received that text message from you, I knew that it wasn't from you. I saw it as an excuse to talk to you. You didn't accept my apology so easily and it surprised me. I wanted to beg for your forgiveness but I couldn't bring myself to do it and ended up saying all those...unkind things."
I closed my eyes for a moment. "Before any of this had happened, why didn't you tell me you had feelings for him?"
She smiled sadly. "How could I? You were my best friend and he was your boyfriend. I was selfish to want him and even more selfish to actually make him mine. Ever since Greg and I started dating, I wanted to tell you the truth. I wanted you to find out. And when you did, it was so bittersweet. I was so happy that I didn't have to lug around this secret from you but at the same time, I knew I lost your trust."
I stared at her for a long moment.
Aimee's eyes were misty. "I'm sorry, Tory."
"I know," I leaped off of my bed and hugged her lightly. "I still don't trust you but I do forgive you."
She sniffled. That was a sign that she was about to release the waterworks. My eyes widened in fear, knowing that if the tears started spilling, she would start wailing and that would wake up the entire neighborhood. I took a step back and placed my hands on her shoulders.
"Stop! Halt! Freeze!" I pleaded. "Don't cry."
"B-b-but the tears are already coming out!" Aimee hiccuped. "What should I do? Vacuum them up?"
We stared at each other for a moment before laughing.
Greg was waiting for me when I left the classroom.
His expression was a mixture of guilt and gratitude.
"I forgive you for anything you are sorry for," I said before he could speak. I didn't want to hear any more apologies.
He spoke, paused, and repeated the process three times. Eventually, he smiled at me. "Thank you for forgiving Aimee."
I nodded in response and briskly walked towards my next class. The textbooks in my arms were overbearing and I wanted to quickly alleviate my arms of the weight. Unfortunately, people were determine on preventing my arms to feel a sense of relief. Once Greg disappeared from my sight, Trevor appeared.
For a brief second, he seemed determined. I became fearful, believing that he wanted to speak to me about a serious matter, one that would result in a long conversation. As of right now, a conversation was the last thing I wanted; Hurrying to my desk was my priority. However, his expression changed into a more casual one as he began walking beside me.
"I saw you talking to Greg. He looked...very appreciative," Trevor commented as he quirked an eyebrow at the amount of textbooks I was carrying.
I tilted my head slightly. "He thanked me but he initially wanted to apologize for something."
"For calling you boring?"
"I'm unsure-" I was beginning to hyperventilate. "How did you even know-"
"Personally, I think you're entertaining to be with. Not only that, you're amazing—you're incredibly brilliant, you don't give up on people, and even in the worst situations, you can hold yourself together." He spoke nonchalantly but there was a trace of nervousness in his eyes. That trace disappeared when he flashed me a smile, "How's your foot doing by the way?"
I stopped walking.
He eavesdropped. He eavesdropped. He eavesdropped.
Worse, he complimented me. I could never respond to compliments properly because hearing compliments, though it made me feel joyful, it also made me feel as if I had expectations to meet-as if I couldn't do anything that would oppose what those compliments claimed me to be.
It was almost as if he could sense my worries because not a moment later, he said, "Even if you were stupid, always gave up on people, and emotionally collapsed all the time, I think I would still like you. I just wouldn't know why."
"Did you just admit that-" I was quickly interrupted.
My infatuation winked at me. "By the way, I'm very flattered to know that you enjoy staring at me."
I no longer cared about what he previously said.
I turned away from him. "Goodbye," I said and started heading towards my next class.
It didn't take long for him to appear to my right.
I focused my attention forward as Trevor walked beside me. My gaze fell onto Aimee's blue eyes. Ever since she was young, Aimee had admired blue eyes so on random days and random occasions she would cover her natural honey brown eyes with contacts. Those unfamiliar blue eyes lightened up as she gave me a small wave. I smiled in return and watched as she focused her attention onto Greg. Greg said something that had the effect of making Aimee throw her head back let out a laugh for everyone in the hallway to hear.
I shifted my heavy books to the other side as I said to Trevor, "I am aware that your next class is close to mine but why are you here? I said 'goodbye' for a reason."
He held my eyes for a second. "I'm walking you to class."
I felt something flutter in my stomach. "Why?"
"I use to think of crazy excuses I could use in order to able to walk with you, to be with you, but the underline reason behind it all was just because I want to," he said as he transferred the books in my arms to his hands. "And I'm going to carry your books for you."
I only focused on his last comment since my cheeks have been through enough blushing for a life time. I didn't care about how relieved my arms felt when those weights disappeared from my arms; I attempted to gain take advantage of possession of my books again. He held the books against his right side, making it so that I had to stretch my body to reach the other side in an attempt to retrieve my books.
"I am fully capable of traveling to my next class by myself and carrying my own books by myself," I declared.
"Even if you say all that, you're secretly happy that I'm here," he beamed.
I didn't bat an eyelash. "Your confidence is borderline arrogance."
He jokingly glared at me. "Just say 'thank you'. You're arms are overjoyed, aren't they?"
I averted my attention elsewhere. "Thank you."
"You're welcome." From the corner of my eye, I saw the smug smile turn into a cheeky one.
The hallway wasn't as crowded as it was during the other passing periods, making it so that the two of us didn't have to fight our way through mobs of people. Despite being in a spacious hallway, as we walked, the distance between us gradually shrank. I stared at the ground, pretending to be interested in the plain, dull white tiles while I felt my breathing quicken. I became acutely aware of how our shoulders were only a centimeter a part and how our fingers were brushing against each other. The silence was only making things worse.
I couldn't stand it anymore. "Hey, Trevor?"
After he was a step ahead of me, he stopped, and turned around to face me. "Yeah?"
With my heart pulsing, I skipped forward, stood on my tippy-toes, and almost pecked his lips. Right before our lips met, I realized what I was about to do. I couldn't bring myself to move any closer. I felt childish and giddy but at the same time, extremely shy and embarrassed. With my cheeks turning a deep shade of pink, I turned away and stood flat on my feet. While I cleared my throat, he just stared at me, unsure of how to react. Without saying another word, I started speed walking to class.
"Tory," he called out. I didn't look back. Instead, I increased my speed.
I was on the verge of sprinting when I felt my fingers being interlocked with his.
His voice indicated that he was smiling as he said, "You were going to kiss me."
"No," was my automatic response.
I inwardly groaned, wondering why he couldn't just remain silent and pretended that nothing happened.
"You really wanted to kiss me."
"You still want to kiss me."
For the rest of the passing period, the accusations and the denials continued while our fingers remained intertwined.
Author's Note: Dealing with Awkward Situations is complete. Thank you for taking the time to read my story :) Just a random thing I noticed while writing this story: Strangely, a lot of my characters have names that begin with the letter T (ex: Tory, Trevor, Travis, Tyler).