Ryan simply sits back on the couch with a smile, as he glances over at Chase.
The pair had met up mid-week, as per usual doings, to spend some time chatting and playing video games. It seemed with them everything under the sun came up during discussions, ranging from Chase’s feelings on a range of issues, to Ryan’s thoughts on the past weekend.
For them both, this was a mid-week meeting that had an easy topic to discuss following the victory lane visit.
“I thought I’d go congratulate her – just a friend, you know?” Ryan starts, after Chase had asked for details surrounding his reasons for visiting Karsyn in victory lane. “I’ve done it before so why would this be different?” Ryan then smirks as he remembered the words slipping out of his mouth. “I don’t know what happened to me when I reached victory lane, man. Everything that I’d be afraid of normally went away and I came out with the most classic line ever. ‘Maybe I’m your good luck charm’.” Chase then looks over, surprised, as he pauses the game.
“Seriously?” He questions and Ryan shakes his head yes. Chase then holds up his hand for a high-five, in which Ryan returns. “Damn boy, you finally got game. Darrell never thought this day would happen. I’m so proud of you for finally growing up some.” Ryan rolls his eyes as he unpauses the game.
“Hey now, that game can work sometimes. There are girls who like the shy, quiet boy.” Chase then realizes the game is unpaused just as his car goes crashing into a wall. Chase then looks over at Ryan, surprised.
“That was uncalled for, no matter who you are.” Ryan shrugs his shoulders as his victorious accomplishment comes up on the screen.
“You didn’t state any rules against it. All is fai-”
“I could care less about the game. Tell me what happened!” Ryan then chuckles as the desperation in Chase’s voice.
“Sounds like you’re pretty mad based on that tone, and you sound like a high school girl. Alyssa’s friends rubbing off on you?” Chase rolls his eyes as he’d rather not think about her friends. All he could picture was the nightmare of the previous and forms of betrayal.
“I’m just curious to see what’s got you in an extra good mood this week. You’re never this happy when you finish a lap down.” Ryan knew that Chase was right in that sentiment, but he couldn’t explain it. It seemed that Karsyn already that special effect on him without even trying.”
“She replied that maybe I am, and that she may have to return the favor next weekend.” Chase’s jaw drops in shock once again.
“She told you that she wanted to keep it slow till she talked with Cole about things, but yet gives you that type of line? That’s got to be the worst tease, or the easiest admission that she had fallen straight down for you with the Cole thing being a deterrent due to not wanting to admit it.” Ryan shakes his head in agreement, recalling his feelings of confusion when she mentioned the line. He thought that she was giving him best wishes to win the following weekend, or a vote of confidence after his day. He never thought it meant what it turned into.
“I asked her what she meant, because like you, I was confused. She then suggested that we could possibly hang out this weekend.” Chase immediately starts smiling, knowing what that meant without any regard. Perhaps he could have a second career as Cupid after he was done racing, after all. Maybe he could even team up with Hayley. “I then asked her about what she said on Friday, and she told me, ‘Can I honestly deny someone when they make me smile as much as you are?’.”
“Dude, that’s perfect flirting 101 – line, hook and sinker. Perhaps your sweetness is the perfect play in the book, despite Bubba’s comments on your lack of game. Regardless, I’m glad that you guys have found this common ground. It’s actually adorable and sweet. You deserve someone that makes you happy.” Ryan couldn’t deny those comments, as they summed up his conversation with Karsyn perfectly, and Chase was right – she made him happy.
“So we’re going to work out the details this week and figure something for either Friday night. Maybe we’re going to sit and watch your girlfriend kick ass.” Chase chuckles as he was hoping to see the same thing. He watched her do well at Texas before, so he hoped transitioning to XFINITY would be no different. Besides, he won there in his rookie year, and that was the sight of her dad’s first XFINITY and first Sprint Cup wins. It’d be the family perfect story to make it happen.
“I hope that she can do exactly that because it’d be a pretty neat stat to have.” Ryan froze at the comment. “Her dad’s first win, my first win, her….well, second win but a win as a rookie there. Besides, it’d also be a great start to a birthday weekend.”
“Do you have everything worked out for Sunday?” Chase shakes his head yes, remembering the conversations with his accomplice and working out gift ideas. “Wait – you finally decided on a gift?”
“I have narrowed it down to about three ideas. I’m picking it up for sure before we head out to Texas.”
“So, what are your plans for your birthday on Sunday?” Keira wonders as Alyssa shrugs her shoulders. With everything else going on, she hadn’t put any focus into making any plans at all. “You forget about your own birthday?”
“I’ve been busy with racing and school and Chase and other things…” Alyssa lets her voice trail off as Keira could only sympathize with her friend. She knew it was a busy schedule.
“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have jum-”
“No no, it’s okay.” Alyssa then leans back against her locker.
“Really, I thought of asking my parents to throw a party. But, the issues with Kassie, I don’t know who I could honestly trust in attending from school, and I don’t just want it to be race track friends.” Keira shakes her head, understanding. She wouldn’t have a problem with that, being someone who loved being at the track, but knew others may.
“When are you coming back from Texas?” Alyssa gives her a friend a surprised glance as Keira rolls her eyes. “Okay, that was a dumb question. Obviously you’re staying for the race on Saturday. Maybe Prince Charming will win so you can have some birthday fu-”
“Keira!” Keira then puts her hands up defensively.
“Just suggesting.” Alyssa shakes her head no, though, remembering the discussion of first times. “Don’t worry, no pressure. I’m not saying that you have to or should or anything. It just slipped. But, it could work in your favor. Knowing that Georgia boy, I bet he is planning something for your birthday. So I will be sure to see you next Monday with present in hand and hear all the details.” Alyssa shrugs her shoulders as they hear the bell ring.
They then head in their separate directions for class, as Alyssa thinks over Keira’s comments. She wondered if perhaps Chase was actually planning something, or whether she’d be having a boring birthday. Given that Chase was just as busy as her, it didn’t seem feasible that he could plan something.
“Hey,” she hears as she watches Leo catch up with her. She glances over with a smile. “I came looking for you post-race but you weren’t there.”
“Sorry – I was taking a quick shower,” she offers. “Chase told me that you stopped by. I meant to call you when we got home, but I got busy. Let’s just say that I forgot about the assignment that Ms. Holden assigned us for the break.” Leo chuckles as he could picture that easily happening, knowing that he probably would’ve as well if it wasn’t for his mother’s constant reminders.
“If it wasn’t for my mother, I probably would’ve done the same. Did you get it done?” Alyssa shakes her head yes, holding up the book report with a smile. They were supposed to write a report based on the book that they had been reading that semester to that point. “Well done.”
“So what did you want to talk about?” Leo takes a deep breath, suddenly growing nervous. Why wasn’t this as easy to talk as they used to be able to?
“I got your message about trying to remain friends and the agreement that we had when we broke up, and I wanted to address it with you.” Leo then stops midway through the hall, catching Alyssa’s attention as she look back at him. “Look, I think you’re an amazing girl. I also think that we have a great friendship regardless, always have. But right now, it stings a little too much with the break-up and seeing you with Chase. I’m still working my way through this. I just feel some space at this time would be warranted. But, maybe one day we can get back to that friendship.”
“That’s fine and perfectly understandable. I appreciate you explaining how you felt to me. Oh, and by the way, I’m sorry…” Leo shakes his head no as they continue down the hallway together, Alyssa lagging a little behind him.
“Don’t ever be sorry. At least you were honest with me, rather than dragging me along n the relationship with feeling that we should be apart. Don’t ever be sorry for falling in love with the guy that is truly meant to be yours. I’ll find my girl one day and have that balance that you have. There’s no need to apologize as while I said it’s hard and stings, I’m happy for you, and I’m happy we didn’t make a disaster of our break-up.” The pair then enter the classroom, placing their reports on the teacher’s desk before taking their seats, which happened to be just a couple apart.
Alyssa found herself glancing over at Leo a couple times during the class, a bit of sadness forming. Despite his pleads with her to not be sorry, she couldn’t help it as it always hurt to see a friend in pain. She knew she had done the right thing. Things just weren’t working there, and things with Chase were truly unbelievable at this point. However, she couldn’t help but ponder the current situation that they found themselves in as a result.