Monday, July 3
Chase sits up, set for the day’s activities. While it had been nice to chill out for the past day and let himself relax, it was going to be nice to move around. He knew of the day’s activities – walking around some, followed by a series to tests to see if there were any lingering effects. He knew there was no reason to be nervous, since they’d caught it early, but he couldn’t help but wonder if something would be fine.
Taking a deep breath, he also had another request on the day, as well.
“Ryan, do you know if Sarina is still in the area?” He questions, catching his mom’s attention as Ryan nods his head. “Give her a shout and ask her to come over this afternoon. I want to see her, please.” Ryan nods his head, as he pulls out his phone. He knew Sarina would be glad to hear that news.
“I hope the reason is because you’re through with everything,” his mom comments as Chase just rolls his eyes. He knew there was going to be comments, but it still didn’t mean he agreed.
“I’m old enough to make my own decisions, so please let me do that. Besides, it wasn’t her fault that her brother did this. She didn’t do anything wrong so you can’t hold this against her.”
“She trusted her broth-”
“He’s family. It’s just part of you to trust family.”
“What about when you raised suspicions?”
“She had her own opinion, and was stuck to it. I would be too if the roles were reversed. I get not wanting to believe it.”
“I still don’t agree with it, Chase. She’s just brought trouble to your life.” Chase hated to be having this discussion, but knew it was worth it after having a lot of thoughts the past night.
“I know, but it’s not been her fault. For that reason, I can’t hold it against her and we deserve a chance to talk about things. Whether you agree or not, that’s not the point. I hope, though, that eventually you come to liking her and agreeing with this because I think you two could get along well.” Cindy just rolls her eyes as Bill watches the pair from his spot in corner.
“We’ve raised him right, Cindy,” he starts. “Chase knows how to handle situations, and I have to agree with him here. It wasn’t her fault.” Cindy looks over at Bill, surprised. “She didn’t poison him. It also appeared that Chris was going to be fine from his actions and discussions. Just bare with it….”
“Besides, we can all go get something to eat and such while they discuss things,” Ryan offers, knowing that Chase probably wanted to have this discussion privately.
“Do I get anything?” Chase wonders as Ryan looks over, unsure.
“I don’t know if you’re cleared for anything, yet. If they allow you, I can be your best friend.” Chase smiles, knowing that Ryan knew what he wanted without words needed.
Sarina takes a deep breath, glancing into the room.
She had just watched the group leave – including a stare from Cindy and a hug from Ryan, and was now set to finally see Chase. She was in total disbelief when she got the text earlier, despite her hopes expressed to Kyle, and she could only hope that it went smoothly.
Taking another deep breath, she forces her feet to move, walking through to the door, smiling as she reaches the bed where he was sitting up. He gives her a quick smile, motioning to the chair beside the bed. So much for bed cuddles….
“It’s nice to see you up,” she comments as she takes the requested seat. “Ryan has been giving me updates, but how are you?” He smiles, not complaining based on the progress seen.
“All the tests that they ran came back clean and I was able to walk all the way around here without an issue,” he says. “Still feel a little shitty, still a little tired, but it’s coming along. It’s like the (y)ucky flu right now.” She makes a face, knowing how much that sucked when she was sick herself. She couldn’t help as a driver herself to ponder the upcoming weekend, even though that should be farthest thing from her mind.
“Well, I’m glad that you’re doing better, honestly. When I heard what happened…..” She then glances down, remembering all of her thoughts from before, despite the constant reassurances from Alan, Ryan and Kyle. “Chase, I feel absolutely terrible. I wish we could switch places in a heartbeat as I hate this. I hate seeing you like this. I hate hearing about Ryan going through this. I hate hearing about the others going through this. It’s all my fault, too. I should never have trusted him. I should’ve known better. I should’ve don-”
“I’m not mad at you, nor do I blame you a single bit. Sarina, even though I am included in the list for him now, I still haven’t changed my perspective. It’s all his fault. He did it, not you.” She wanted to accept those words with ease, but the feeling was hard to shake.
“I trusted hi-”
“He’s your brother; I would do the same if the roles were reversed. If for some reason Star did something like this, I would trust her till the last single moment and somebody was able to show me proof otherwise. That’s what you needed, and I know I would need the same if we switched places.” Sarina knew he was just saying that because he was the easily forgiving type. Everybody else was probably trying to cut her head off.
“But you warned me, and so did Christopher. I should’ve done more….”
“You approached him, right?” Sarina nods her head. “That’s doing something. Really, with no proof, there was nothing else that you could’ve done yourself. You did the right thing through this and I don’t fault you at all. The only reason I didn’t get a hold of you sooner is because I didn’t have the energy to argue with my mom.” Sarina glances down, shaking her head.
“You have the best relationship with your parents, and I’ve screwed that up…”
“No, you have not. Me and my mom are sill close as ever – we just disagree. When we disagree, we argue about it and share our points. However, truly deep down, we trust the other with their decision. We also make sure to take care of each other and be there, leaving that aside. My mom and I will be fine, okay?” Sarina nods her head.
“I walked out on you, though. I yelled at you and left.” She then looks up into his eyes. “How do you ignore that?” Chase admitted to himself that hurt more than anything, but he wasn’t ready to let that show right now.
“I know you are. I know you’ve been through a lot over the years. Your motto is to turn your back and run, hoping to escape it because you don’t want to feel that pain ever again that you felt then. You don’t want to repeat mistakes. Hence why you tried to put everything in the rearview and not a thought. It’s understandable because of everything, and the fact nobody can understand what you’ve been through. I know when you left, it was more for that reason rather than directed at me direc-”
“I yelled at you and told you that I couldn’t trust your wor-”
“Because of your brother’s love and the fact that you love him and didn’t want to believe that. Like I said, I understood that. So I accepted it, knowing that when everything came out, you would understand where I was coming from and I would understand your side and we could talk it out. Sarina, the best part of our relationship – communication. We can talk to each other about anything.” She then rolls her eyes, knowing that’s a lie.
“We couldn’t talk about my brother to begin with. We couldn’t talk about your life being in danger. We’ve had issues with trust. We couldn’t rationally discuss this situation. But we have communication, Elliott?” Chase nods his head.
“We’ve had trust issues – no doubt, and I’ve absolutely called you out on those. However, since February, we’ve taken steps to improve those and be more open with each other. That’s why when you left, I trusted that you’d come back when you were either ready to discuss or come to terms with it, just like you are here today. You didn’t leave Florida because you knew I’d reach out to you. That says something by itself.” She remembered the discussion with Kyle as a small smile forms.
“Kyle didn’t believe me….” Chase then looks on surprised.
“Really? Because I told him that I would always love you no matter what, had your back, and to keep an eye on you for me.” She then looks on, intrigued. “You should ask him. I told him that before the race.”
“I really am sorry…” Chase nods his head.
“You don’t need to apologize.” She then reaches out for his hand, which he easily lets her as the pair lock eyes. “We’re going to be okay. We both know that we have each other’s back no matter what. We both know that we can do what we need to do. I know you have some things to work through, and trust me – I’m here. I’m ready to listen to whatever you want to vent about. I’m ready for the tears, frustration, long nights, whatever comments may be about Chris. I’ve got your back.”
“Thank you, and I’ve got your back. I’ll do whatever you need to help you feel better.” A small smile then forms on his face. “Uh oh….”
“Whatever I need? Seriously?” She nods her head, nervously. “What about a kiss?”
“Do you think we’re really back to that point?” He then tugs at her hand, pulling it up to his mouth, and kissing it. “That’s a tease….” He then chuckles as she stands up, leaning in for a proper kiss. “I missed this. I missed you.”
“I missed you, too. I know you came by. You were the reason I woke up. I wanted to convince you to stay, and stop fighting with my mom.” She then looks on surprised. “I heard everything. I just couldn’t find the strength to do it.”
“You had bigger things to worry about, and I damn well want that to be your focus. You focus on getting better and I can worry about the rest, okay?” It was his turn to be surprised.
“So no more running?” She shakes her head. “That’s good, because I can’t take this again.” He then pulls her back close for another kiss.
“Thank you. Thank you for continuing to surprise me. Thank you for continuing to have my back. Thank you for continuing to be someone that I can trust on. Thank you for always showing me that it’s going to be okay.” He gives her a hand a squeeze with a smile.
“I meant what I said – it will be. We will fight through whatever is going through that mind of yours about everything. I know I fell in love with that simple, determined racer who seemed to know how to have fun, but I’ve fallen more for the woman underneath and the fact that you keep fighting no matter what. I’m here to make that easier.”