Friday, May 27 – Coke 600 Weekend
Sarina goes through the halls of Kyle Busch Motorsports, smiling as she sees the crowd of people through the next set of doors. It was going to be a busy day.
“All those people here to see you?” Chris asks as he follows his sister through the halls. She looks back and shakes her head yes.
“Well, not entirely as Christopher, Harrison, Todd and Samantha are also signing autographs too,” she answers. “But I’d think that I’ve gained some fans of my own.”
“I don’t get why people wouldn’t be your fan as you’re awesome,” her cousin Bethany comments as she goes through the final set of doors. She then takes her seat at the table between Todd and Christopher, looking at the hero cards. “Is it insane the feeling of seeing your face on those cards?” Sarina laughs and shakes her head no.
“It’s surreal sometimes when I’m signing them…” She then sits back, set for the doors to open shortly as she glances over at Todd. “I’m surprised your little video star isn’t here.”
“We thought about it, but it’d probably be too long of a day as he gets anxious and excited easily,” Todd comments, referring to the dog that they used for their announcement. “I’m surprised how late you were getting here.”
“Let’s just say it’s been a bit of a long morning getting ready,” she replies, causing a curious glance from Christopher Bell.
“Trouble in paradise, again?” He questions and she rolls her eyes immediately. She wished she could smack him sometimes.
“Chase and I are perfectly fine for your information, Bell. It’s just my hair wouldn’t co-operate and then one of his crew guys was poisoned yesterday. Thankfully he’ll be alright.”
“I heard about that actually,” Harrison comments as he glances over at the group. “Crazy though as first Bristol, now Charlotte. You’d think NASCAR and security would be watching things more closely.”
“That’s what I said to Chase,” Sarina comments. “But as Alan pointed out to him, they can’t very well sometimes tell as it may look like one thing and be something else, right? We just got to be careful.”
“No drinks from strangers, no weird foods – all those things that my mother goes on about anyway.” He then glances over to where his mom was standing off on the side with some others. “I just hope she didn’t hear me.”
“It’s okay to be mommy’s little boy still, Harrison,” Todd teases as Harrison just rolls his eyes.
“Chase is and everybody thinks that’s adorable,” Christopher adds, earning a glance from Sarina. “What?”
“I’ll bite my tongue for now, again,” she replies as the line starts moving, marking the official start of the autograph session.
Off to the side, Bethany and Chris watch Sarina sign autograph after each other, taking a few photos with some of the fans.
“Where’d you go yesterday, by the way?” Bethany questions, causing Chris to look at her curiously.
“What do you mean?” He asks as she rolls her eyes.
“We got separated. Where’d you go?” He thinks back to yesterday in the pits and smiles.
“I went and checked out the fan fair. You should head over there when we’re at the track tomorrow. There’s a lot of fun activities to do.” She looks at him surprised as he keeps the same glance back at her. “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you that I was heading over that way. I figured you were concentrated on watching Chase practice.”
“I actually had my eyes on someone else….” She then smiles, thinking back to the young man that she had noticed talking with Chase the week prior.
“You got a crush on someone….” The smile immediately escapes her lips as she looks over. “Yeah, I know that look.”
“Don’t say anything to them though, okay? I mean, that’s Chase’s best friend.” Chris shakes his head, agreeing.
Chase gets done his set of autographs for the day, followed by a quick Q&A and thanking the fans for their support. He then heads off through the door into the halls of Hendrick Motorsports, loosening the collar on his shirt.
“You’re like your father in so many ways…” He hears, spinning around surprised by the voice. He hadn’t expected his parents to be there.
“What are you doing here?” He questions his mother as he gives her a hug.
“Can’t I come check on my boy, or are you too much of a superstar now?” He then laughs as he continues walking through the shop to the back door. “So, how are you?”
“I’m doing alright. How are you?”
“I’m good.” He then opens the back door, heading out behind the shop to where he had parked. “How’s Jared?” Chase stops, knowing that was the next spot to visit before heading home. He promised Jared that he’d come and say hi.
“From what I’ve been told by Alan and Greg, he’s going to be fine. They just have him take it easy for now due to how sick he was feeling. I think they even mentioned releasing him on Saturday, but no work this weekend.” Cindy smiles as it was nice to hear that he would be okay.
“Promise me that you’ll be careful? This whole deal has me worried.” Chase stops and turns back to face his mom.
“I’m always careful, mom. You don’t have to worry, okay?” She then lets out a sigh, knowing that was impossible.
“Between this incident and Sarina’s brother – which I still don’t get how you handle that, it’s hard to just let go.” He shook his head, understanding.
“If it makes you feel better, I haven’t let my guard down with regards to Chris. I tolerate enough to keep Sarina happy, but it’s not like I totally trust him nor probably will ever. I know what happened, and can’t say that I’m fully comfortable.” Cindy shakes her head, accepting that. It gave her comfort knowing he had the same worries that she had.
“And what about Sarina?” Chase lets out a sigh, knowing the topic would come up.
“I love her. We’re great together. I can’t see myself with anyone else sometimes. Trusting her – we’re working on building that back up. We’re as honest as we can with each other, and that helps with each passing day.” Cindy could only wonder whether there was complete honesty in reality.
“You need to stop growing up so quickly. But I trust your judgment and as long as you’re careful, I’ll believe you.”
“Always careful. I’ll see you later…” He then gives her another hug, followed by a quick kiss, before heading out to make the short trip to the hospital to check on Jared.
As he drove over, he listened the tunes and found himself thinking everything over. He couldn’t get his worries expressed to Alan or their conversation out of his mind. He couldn’t get the recent events with two poisonings out of the blue and ignore that. Everything felt like it was falling in place for him and Sarina, and truly back to where they wanted to be together, but around them was a like a storm brewing. He just hoped that they could survive this round together.