Regan pulls up to the gate, punching in the passcode immediately, watching the gates open before him. He immediately goes through, driving up through the winding roads that led to the pool house.
He had yet to get an answer despite calling Chase’s number over and over, and felt panic rising with each second. Why wasn’t he answering? What was going on?
He pulls up the pool house, shutting the truck off and hopping out immediately. He was relieved beyond anything that they put a plan like this together for situations like this, grabbing the spare key as he held the keys in his hands.
He immediately puts the key in the lock, not even taking the time to knock and wait as he didn’t want to waste anymore precious time, turning the knob and entering the house. He didn’t even bother to care about slipping off his shoes or anything, eyes and ears on high alert for anything.
He then heard what sounded like a small shuffle of movement in the living room, immediately heading that direction. As he enters and sees Chase sitting on the couch, curled up, blanket tightly wrapped around him, he lets out a thankful sigh. If he was before him with eyes focused his way, that was better than what could’ve been….
“Hey,” Regan says as he walks over slowly and quietly. He didn’t want to startle Chase as he wasn’t sure where thing stood quite yet. “I came over as soon as I got the text. I tried calling you but no answer…” He then noticed the cell phone lying on the table, seeing the numerous missed calls noted on the screen. Clearly, Chase had chosen to not answer for some reason.
“I was going to answer, but I just couldn’t bring myself to move,” Chase replies quietly as Regan sits on the edge of the chair beside the couch. Although the lack of response created an initial sign of panic, he was fine with that. Not moving off of the couch meant that he hadn’t gotten into anything else or done much since sending the initial text message.
“Don’t worry about it. All that matters is that you realized you needed me, and you texted me, and I’m here.” Chase keeps his eyes focused forward, trying to keep the tears at bay as he tries to find the words to speak.
“I texted you as soon as I felt what I did. I couldn’t pass up a single moment, knowing that if I did, it may turn out worse…” Regan’s heart cringed at the confession, but he knew he couldn’t let that show. He had to be strong for his friend.
“Like I said, you did the right thing. Do you want to talk about what’s on your mind?” Chase’s eyes finally find their way off of the blanket, and up to meet Regan’s.
“Am I losing my mind? Am I going crazy?” Regan knew the question was valid based on the past couple of weeks. However, he never once lost faith in him.
“I think you’re just having a hard time dealing with everything that happened – and that’s understandable. Chase, you’ve been through a lot over the years, enough trauma that would make anybody think they’re going crazy. These incidents that you’re having, the explanations, it makes sense. However, that doesn’t mean that you’re completely gone nuts or a lost cause. I mean, I believe, Alyssa believes, others believe, and I know you sometimes believe that you can get through this.” Chase wanted to take stand in Regan’s words, but it didn’t escape the feelings he had when he woke up earlier.
“I said that I texted you for a reason. I came home after seeing Eric, grabbed a shower, and laid on the couch set for a nap before I fly out to Kentucky tonight. Whether a dream or not, I don’t know, but I completely woke up scared out of my wits mind – well, maybe not even woke up. I don’t even know how to describe it now that I’ve laid here for a while since texting you trying to rationalize it.” Regan felt confusion, and desperation in the words, but took a deep breath, ready to divulge into whatever he had to offer.
“Just tell me what happened, plain and simple. Like I said before, I’ll be here always to help you sort through your feelings.” Chase takes a deep breath, not sure if he could speak the words as he felt them earlier.
“The moment that I texted you, that was desperation. I can’t describe it; I can’t even begin to say it. But in that moment, it felt as though I had just gotten through hell at the hands of Demi. I don’t know where the thought came from, or how it came to my mind, but I had this feeling that she had…” Tears enter his eyes, which he immediately wipes away with his hand, as his eyes find their way back down to the blanket. “I felt so dirty, so used, like I needed that help immedia-”
“Chase, are you saying that you had the thought that she had raped you?” Regan felt so much confusion as he tried to piece everything together, though the eyes that looked back at him in the mention of those words, he could see it written there immediately. “Chase…”
“I could feel the pain and in my mind, I could see the images. I could see her touching me, feeling me, doing it – it just felt so real and like it had just happened. With that swirling, I knew I needed someone before I completely lost it…” Regan could understand that, not even wanting to begin to imagine the feelings. However, Chase’s recollection and words caught him off-guard. Something wasn’t adding up.
“Now, you mentioned earlier dream, waking up scared out of your wits…..” Chase nods his head as his eyes keep focused where they were. He couldn’t bring himself to look anywhere else.
“I sent the text right away. But then waiting, letting the time pass by, I began to think. If that was the case, why would I be still in my clothes? Why would I be in the same exact position that I fell asleep in? Then it came to me that it was just a dream – a vivid felt too real to be true dream, but just a dream.” Regan runs his fingers through his hair, taking a couple deep breathes. He knew there were a couple different approaches that he could take now. Did it really happen? Or was it a dream? What was he supposed to do? Should they do something more than just sit there? Could he handle this situation himself?
“Dream or not – what does your heart truly believe when you really think about it, Chase?” Regan didn’t mean to be so direct, but he needed answers if he was going to move forward.
“I almost brought myself to believe it was a dream – wait, no. I know it was a dream. I’m 99% sure that it was a dream the more that I think about it and talk about it. But, I had this ripping pain sensation through my stomach when I woke up that it helped add to the story.” Regan felt his heart crack in concern. Forget the feelings – physical pain on top of it all wasn’t a nice addition.
“Is that pain still there?” Chase looks over, nodding his head. “How bad?”
“Bearable, but it’s there…” Regan rubs circles on either side of his own forehead, still trying to fully process everything thrown at him. What was he supposed to do now?
“Well if you’re in pain, buddy, you should get that checked out – regardless what happened to cause it. So my suggestion would be that I take you downtown to the hospital and get it looked at. Then once we know what’s going on there, maybe we can sort out the rest…” Chase nods his head, knowing that was probably the best suggestion – even if he didn’t want to move from that spot.
“What about everything I said? Do you still think I’m not crazy?” Regan stands up, placing a hand on Chase’s shoulder.
“No, I don’t think you’re crazy – whether that was a dream or not.” Regan takes a deep breath, trying to bring himself to face the possibility of what happened. “Either you had a vivid dream to shift your reality and your nightmares are picking up – which again, that’s understandable given what you’ve gone through, or it…did…happen. Regardless, going to the hospital, we can find out the truth. They’ll be able to tell what happened, and why you’re in pain. Now, are you willing to take that step?” Chase nods his head as he glances up at Regan.
“You’re not leaving me no matter what, right?” Regan shakes his head.
“I would never do that to you.” Chase then slowly kicks off the blanket, shifting his feet off of the couch onto the floor, and slowly standing up. His left hand immediately finds its way to his stomach as he holds it, eyes clenched closed.
“Just easy, one step at a time…” Regan allows Chase to lean his weight against him as they begin to make their way to the door slowly. “I’ve got you. You’re going to be okay…” Regan leads him outside, helping him up into the truck, before going around to the driver’s side. Glancing over at Chase, he knew he couldn’t do this alone anymore. There was no way he could process everything going on. “If it’s okay with you, can I text Dale? I think he, along with your pare-”
“Just Dale. I don’t want my parents knowing until we know for sure what’s going on, please…” Chase knew his parents would be overbearing and panic beyond anything – something he really didn’t want to throw on top of everything.
“Alright, that’s fine.” Regan sends Dale a quick text message as brief as he can about what’s going on, before throwing the phone in the center console and pulling out.