I don’t stay around for him to answer. I walk back to my car with my head down. I put the key in and then reverse out of my parking space, trying to get out of here, but they walk right in front of my car. Gabe and the blonde as she still holds his arm with both his hands in his pocket. He sees me, and his face goes white, his mouth opens and closes as the blonde pulls him along with her. I turn, driving out of the parking lot, and make my way to the house. I close the front door and turn off all the lights, walking up to my room. Ten minutes go by when I hear a knocking at the door. “Crystal, open the door!” he shouts, and I brace myself, get up, and walk to the door, swinging it open.
“What is it?” I tell him, my hand holding the doorknob so hard I think it might snap off.
“Why did you just take off?” he says with his hands on his hips.
“Well, I went out for food, then I got sick to my stomach, so I came back home.” I look around him. “Where did you leave your date?”
He glares at me. “I wasn’t on a date.”
“Whatever, doesn’t really matter to me.” I shrug. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a bath that is calling my name,” I say and slam the door in his face. I hear him curse and then storm down the steps. I walk upstairs to my room and sit here in the dark with my back against my bedroom door. I look down at my phone, see that he is calling, and send him straight to voicemail. I crawl into bed, his name popping up on my phone.
Would you please let me explain?
I shut off my phone and place it on my bedside table. It’s for the best; it couldn’t go anywhere anyway, I tell myself. Except for the first time in my life, I’m sad that it’s over. For the first time in my life, I let my walls down, and for the first time in my life, I cry for a boy.
My feet drag against the sidewalk as I walk into D’Amore. I spent the whole fucking day fixing my truck and the four slashed tires. Cut straight through.
I rub my neck while I look around to see if someone can take my order for takeout. I look down at my phone to see if Crystal has texted me.
It’s been all day, and nothing. No word. I’m giving her until nine, and then I’m going to her house. I don’t give a fuck. I place my order with Luigi who comes over as I’m scrolling through my emails.
“Gabe.” I hear from beside me and look over to see Felicia. “I thought that was you.” She smiles, coming over and kissing my cheek.
“Are you here alone?” she asks me.
“Um, yeah, I’m picking up some pie for home,” I tell her.
“So am I,” she tells me, standing there. “Look at us with our crazy Saturday night plans.” I chuckle. “Are you in a rush?”
“Not really,” I say the truth; I’m biding my time till I can go to Crystal’s.
“Great,” she says. “Let’s sit and eat. I’m tired of eating by myself.”
“Sure,” I say, pointing at a table. “Luigi, I’m going to eat here,” I tell him as he nods at me. Our pizzas arrive a couple of minutes later. We talk about her moving back, what she’s missed since she’s been gone, and we laugh about stories from when we graduated.
I get up to walk out, and she wraps her hand around my arm. I look down at her fingers, wanting to shake her hand away from me.
“This was fun,” she says when we get to the sidewalk, and she faces me. “We need to do this again soon.”
“Um. Felicia. I’m not ready to date anyone,” I tell her, and she nods her head. “Just so we are clear.”
She nods her head. “Crystal.” The word makes my stomach flip. “I’m parked over there.” She points behind her.
“So am I,” I say. When we turn to walk to our vehicles, she grabs my arm again. I’m looking down, not paying attention, when a car pulls up while we are walking. Looking at the car, I feel my stomach that was flipping two seconds ago fall. As I take in Crystal’s eyes watching us. I don’t say anything because Felicia pulls me along. I turn to say something to Crystal, but she just rushes off.
“Sorry.” I shake her hand from my arm. “I have to go.” I jog to my truck, pulling out and making my way to her house. “Fuck, fuck, fuck,” I chant, pulling up to her house and seeing it pitch black. I rush up the steps and bang on the door. “Crystal, open the door!” I shout. I’m not sure she is going to answer the door, but she surprises me when she swings it open and I see her in her black yoga pants and a thick sweater. She’s so beautiful.