Strum: Chapter Seven

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We were sitting on the bed, Chasity fiddling with the Rubix Cube she found on my desk. I was really curious about this whole “Jack” thing, and was hoping she would be able to help.

“Okay, now we’re in private, no need to hold anything back.” I said. She sighed, and the began.

“Alright, you already know this, but his name is Jack Evans. He is a captain on the soccer team, but you already knew that too. Every day, we get a ride to school together, since we live in the same apartment building.” She paused and swallowed. Then continued.

“He’s kind of quiet, even though all his friends … well, you saw them. Except last year, well, you know how Valerie was asked by Ben to the dance, well, Jack asked - Jack asked …”

“Spit it out!” I said, eager to hear who “Jack asked”.

“Jack asked … Tricia.” And then, I felt all her pain, all her sorrow, and all her uncertainty. She hung her head, and I could tell how disappointed she was.

“Well, I mean, could their relationship really last that long? A year, I mean?” I asked.

“Yeah, and they’ve been doing good too.”

“How good?” I was afraid of the answer, for Chasity’s sake, of course.

“Well, let’s just say, they both leave classes at the same time, and are gone for fifteen minutes before they come back. And lets just say, at recess, no one can ever find them, but no one ever ventures into the corner by the basketball courts.” As she said this, her voice gradually climbed an octave higher.

“Chasity, I’m so sorry.” I said.

“I don’t really care, okay, Natalie?” She turned away, and tossed the completed Rubix Cube onto the bed behind her.

I was just about going to loose my mind, considering that this was the closest thing to a fight we had had in the first two months of school.

“Look, Chas, there are other guys out there.” She didn’t say anything. “I mean, Spencer seems to like you.”

She choked back a sob. “No, he doesn’t.” She wiped her nose on her shirt sleeve. “He can’t. W-We’re just friends.”

“Okay, you’re right.” I said, even though I know she wasn’t. It was way to obvious, that he liked her, but she just didn’t seem to notice.

“You know, I was thinking.” I said, but Chasity didn’t even turn around, she just kept silently crying. “If Ben asks me out, I think I’m going to say yes.”

She sniffled. “He’s going to, too. Ask you out.”

I looked at her, surprised. “When?”

“I don’t know, all he told me was that he was going to.”

I smiled to myself.

“Hey, Chasity.” I grabbed her shoulder, but she shook me off. However, I latched back on. “I’ll see what I can do.”

She turned to me, her green eyes huge. “What do you mean?”

“About Jack.” I said, nonchalantly, as if she should have known, as if it was a no brainer.


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Ben and I sat at a picnic table on the playground. Actually, I shouldn’t call it that. It was more like a concrete square, with a basketball court around the corner, Jack and Tricia’s corner. But there was a swing set or two, some picnic tables, and a hopscotch and foursquare game painted on the tar with white paint.

So it was just Ben and I; Chasity had a recess detention, and Spencer had a guitar lesson. We were talking about the school’s talent show coming up, when Jack and Tricia walked by, towards the basketball court.

“Oh god.” I said, turning my head away and covered my mouth with my hand.

Ben laughed. He moved his hand, just as I moved my other one. Our hands brushed. I looked up, removing my hand from my mouth, and so did he. He smiled, and I blushed, and looked away again.

“Ah, come on, Natalie.” He said.

“What?” I asked, my heart hammering.

“You aren’t up for some romance?”

“Well, Ben - I mean, I am but …”

“But what?” He whispered, and leaned in closer, across the table. I can’t help but say I moved some too. “Natalie, will you go out with me?” He whispered.

And then it happened. I closed my eyes, and he closed his, and our lips met. His touch was soft, and gentle, and I reveled in how good it felt. His hand found mine on the picnic table. It seemed like the kiss lasted forever, and I would have loved it if it did.

But it couldn’t. The kiss just couldn’t. The bell rang, and I jumped, separating our lips. I stared into his eyes with worry, but he smiled, and leaned in to plant another kiss on my lips. I closed my eyes again, and when he finally pulled away (it was much shorter this time), I grabbed his face in my hands and looked into his eyes.

“Yes.”





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