Right on time, I walked out to our sidewalk. Sure enough, Chad was there. He looked disturbed, as well he should, consider what he put me through last night.
He shook his head ruefully. “You?” he asked. I shook my head back.
“I probably shouldn’t have called,” I started, sitting down next to him. “Actually, that just made me more upset.”
He nodded. “I know. I was sort of tired and a little confused, and I wasn’t feeling nice enough to handle that conversation.”
I frowned. “That didn’t make sense, Chad.”
“I know. I meant to say that I was too busy thinking about what already happened to be polite during your call. I really couldn’t handle talking just then, and I was rather rough about telling you so.”
Now, of course, I felt bad. “You really weren’t that bad. I wasn’t listening, and I was too tired to hear your answer without debating it. I’m sorry. I really am.”
He seemed to think it over before replying, “I’m sorry too, but if we have this conversation now, are you sure we can avoid being in the same situation? I don’t think we’re any less tired now.”
“No, but we’ve had time to think things over. I’m still not sure I see your side, but I’m more willing to listen to it.”
“Same here. So who goes first?” he asked.
“I guess I’ll try again,” I offered. He agreed, so I took a deep breath. “Actually, cut in any time you want. I won’t bite your head off.” He smiled, and I thought for a minute. “Okay, so I’m really enjoying being your friend, and I’m glad that you don’t think I’m too girly to skateboard with you, but I am still a girl, and sometimes it seems like you only see me as one of the guys you’d hang out with. While we’re out here, that’s fine with me, but when we aren’t skateboarding, it seems like you still see me as just one of the guys. That’s almost degrading to me, and then you turn around and treat Abby like a queen. I know you’re just being polite, and it’s not that you’re not polite to me, it’s that it’s a different kind of polite. When you’re around her, it feels like you don’t know another girl’s around. When you’re around me, it feels like I’m just one of your buddies.”
“But we are buddies,” he cut in, obviously confused.
“Okay, tell me how you see it,” I suggested, since he didn’t seem to understand my viewpoint.
“I don’t treat you any differently than you seem to want me to treat you,” he stated flatly.
“I don’t get it. How do you think I want you to treat me?” I asked, realizing that we had no communication skills whatsoever.
“Well, you play around out here like one of my buddies, and I treat you like my buddies. I’m getting that you have a problem with the difference in the ways I treat you and Abby, but Abby wouldn’t understand if I treated her the same, and it doesn’t feel the same to treat you like I treat her.”
“Why not?” I asked, thinking how harsh that had come across. I’m sure he didn’t realize how deep that went, and he probably didn’t mean to hurt me at all.
“Because you’re different people. The same way you treat Nathan and me differently.”
“That’s an entirely different scenario. Each scenario is different. We can’t start to compare things like that. Unless you’re trying to say that I’m just your sister and Abby’s really your friend, the situations don’t compare.”
“You are like a sister,” he protested.
I sighed. I’d come to realize, via Abby, that I didn’t want to be a sister to him. “That’s what I mean,” I tried to explain. “You treat Abby differently, and I want to be treated like that sometimes in different scenarios. I acted like her, and you told me to never do that again, so what do I have to do to get you to act the same way around me as you do around Abby?”
It was awkward, but with this guy, you had to just come out and say it, so I did. He just frowned. “Jess, you’re different people. Now what are you really trying to say?”
I took a deep breath. “Actually, Chad, I’m not sure I want to be your sister. It’s too undefined for me.” I glanced at his face, trying to gauge his reaction. Did he get it or not?
“So,” he answered slowly, “you’re trying to tell me that you get jealous when I pay attention to your sister because you want to be my girlfriend?”
*NOTE: All characters and events portrayed in this story are purely fictitious. Any resemblance to actual people or events is entirely coincidental.*
Next part next Thursday! Suggestions, names for various characters, or other questions, comments, or concerns can be left below, or you can e-mail me at the address on my contact page.
If you really love my work, vote for one of my poems on TeenInk! Every little bit helps!