Wednesday, July 19 – Eldora Raceway
Sarina lets out a sigh as she looks around at the ground below her.
There was no way she could ever get used to having a personal flight attendant set to fly them to each race on the schedule on their own timing. It felt like a blur after all the times that she had fought hard to just get to races on time.
She also couldn’t shake the nerves from the previous incident that they had incurred, even though that was over a year ago now. Each time they got ready to fly, and each time they began to lift into the air, she felt her breath hitch in her throat. Though a quick glance from her special pilot in command, along with reaching over to hold her hand mid-flight when he felt confident enough, was enough to relax her and get through those times.
There was no time to think about those nerves as her mind switched to the happenings of that week already. They had spent Monday both busy at their respective race shops, doing their usual jobs. She had gone through the final meetings ahead of the dirt adventure she was set to endure, while Chase had gone through his meetings as they tried to get better.
Though Tuesday was the topic on her mind, as she remembered their quick trip up to Georgia. Chase had suggested that she come with him, set for a family dinner. She remembered her protests with how Cindy seemed to have treated her, but yet the comment “mom insisted you come” had caused her to go, against that judgment. It had gone smoother than expected, though. Cindy and Bill never brought up her brother in the conversation. Instead, they focused on both of their racing adventures, as well as some off-track discussion. She even had a private discussion with Cindy, just the pair of them, and felt like decent girl talk with topics covered.
“Chase, can I ask you a question?” Sarina finally speaks through her thoughts and Chase nods his head. “Did you say something to your mom prior to yesterday?” He looks over with a small smile. “Of course…” She could now only wonder if the dinner was truly genuine.
“I asked her on Sunday to give you a chance,” he explains. “She was questioning things a little, but I promised her that we were committed, trusted each other, and there were no issues. I also instilled things were dealt with, in relation to Bethany and Chris. She told me that she’d try and open up for my sake as maybe I was right. She insisted that she couldn’t ever probably let it go totally with what happened, but was willing to try a little for me.” A small smile forms on Sarina’s face, knowing that’s a reaction she’d get from her father in relation to something that meant a lot to her if he agreed.
“She’d do anything, wouldn’t she?” Chase nods his head.
“Why did you ask, anyway?” Sarina lets out a sigh.
“It just caught me off-guard that they’d invite us both to dinner, and that she’d be willing to talk as much as she did after the reaction that I got from her just two weeks ago. That’s all.” Chase nods his head once again. “It’s okay, though. I appreciate the fact that she’s giving me a chance even with everything that happened. To be truthful, I wouldn’t blame her if she didn’t let it go and forget. I mean, I did bring you into my worl-”
“And I wouldn’t change what happened for anything, Sarina. I love you, I love what we have together, and I’d go through all that again if it gave me the chance to have this. In no way is everything that happened your fault – it’s their actions, not yours. You don’t need to blame yourself, and nobody should hold on that your head.” She looks over with a sly smile. It always melted her heart when he expressed his love for her so dearly.
“I get that. But I wouldn’t blame her if she did for the same reasons as we’ve discussed previously. And by the way, I love you just as much – and I am thankful that we found this common trusting ground.”
Bethany sits in the small room, facing her cousin, glancing over her shoulder as she sees the guard standing there watching closely.
“Has Sarina come to visit you at all?” Bethany questions and Chris shakes his head. “That shouldn’t surprise me…”
“I can’t blame her, considering,” Chris answers. “I mean, would you talk to someone who tried to poison your boyfriend?” Bethany lets out a sigh as she keeps her eyes locked on Chris.
“Do you regret what happened at all?” Chris laughs and shakes his head.
“My reasons still stand as they did then, Bethany. I’m sick of her playing ‘house’ and acting as if nothing happened. I’m sick of her pretending as if her family doesn’t exist, and she doesn’t have the same torn past that we do. I mean, our past is what made me who I am. Our past is what drove me to this. But yet, here she goes, pretending as if nothing happened. It’s like a slap in the face. Why should she get the dream life with Mr. Perfect NASCAR driver driving for someone like Busch when we get shit?” Bethany nods her head in agreement.
“You know, he’s such a goodie-two-shoes it’s not even funny. I heard he went to some Christian school. Still, you know some people that go to those are forced by their parents and are dirty as they come on the inside. But yet, come to find out, he is equal to all those perfect things.” Chris rolls his eyes.
“He has to have something hidden in his closet…” Bethany shakes her head, having done her research.
“Other than his cousin Casey dying of cancer when he was really little, there’s nothing that seems to shakes his core. Even planting a sexy girl in his hotel room dressed skanky didn’t work.” Chris looks on surprised. “Yeah, I convinced one of the pageant girls to do some dirty work for me. Let’s just say that he didn’t fall for any of her tricks.”
“You thought he’d cheat on Sarina and you’d have dirt to ruin their relationship, right?” Bethany nods her head. “Damn….”
“Oh well, that plan was a bust but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to stop trying. I have another idea up my sleeve. Those two aren’t getting their happily ever after if I have anything to say about it – and you will get out of here.” Chris was now really surprised.
“Do I want to know?” Bethany laughs and shakes her head. “Okay then….”
Chase leans back against her truck, giving it a look over, before turning his eyes back to her.
“I thought you said you had no dirt experience,” he comments as she shrugs her shoulders.
“I have never raced dirt ever before tonight,” she repeats as he crosses his arms.
“Well you didn’t show that on the track. You were right up there contending for the win very nicely…” She smiles, proud of that moment as it was fun to be running up front.
“I guess you could say the tips from Christopher were good then.” Chase nods his head in approval. “I just wish I would’ve finished up there…” He then wraps his arm around her and pulls her close.
“Seventh-place in your dirt debut is nothing to be ashamed of. Just keep rattling off these top-10’s and you’ll be fine. You’ll qualify for the Chase, and you’ll get that win you’re craving. Believe me. You’re talented enough to do it.” He then leans in, kissing her lips lightly.
“Thank you for always believing in me.” He then looks into her eyes, as he brushes her hair out of her eyes.
“It doesn’t take much for me to do that, honestly. I mean, you’re pretty amazing and make my job easy.” She then glances away, before looking back at him. “You don’t take the compliments easy….”
“I’m not used to them, Chase. I was always focused on making it, doing something with my life, that I never slowed down to accept the smaller things. I always focused on the disappointing side, knowing it was stopping me from reaching my goal. That was the disappointment that I always saw when I looked back to before…” He nods his head as he rubs her shoulder.
“Well, I want you to try and change that. It’ll drive you crazy if you keep doing what you’re doing. Sure, look back and see the mistakes that you’ve made. Look at those, see how you can be better, and make a note to be different next time. But then also reflect and see what you did right, and give yourself some praise. Then stop, think, and be thankful to be where you are. Only few get a chance to race at this level and especially for someone like Kyle. Don’t take it for granted, or get too wrapped up in the moment that you lose that.” She nods her head, accepting the advice with ease.
“Do you know that from experience?” The pair hear and look to see Kyle standing there. Chase simply nods his head.
“I may have been a little too focused, too perfectionist, too stubborn at times when I was starting,” he admits as Kyle shakes his head.
“I was the same way so we both know where you’re coming from,” Kyle says. “Regardless, you did an amazing job tonight, Sarina. I just wanted to stop by and tell you that. So great job, keep up the good work, and don’t change a thing.”
“Thanks Kyle,” she replies as he walks away to go find Christopher Bell.