Mostly living in Indiana meant that Tuesday and/or Wednesday for Tony Stewart’s days to travel to North Carolina and check in on business.
But it seemed lately a bigger concern occupied his mind during these trips, as he once again found himself on a familiar doorstep, knocking on the door.
Chase had been taking some time to relax, just about passed out on the couch when he heard the knocking. After spending the morning at Eric’s office, confessing a tirade of things, he knew body and mind needed a recharge period. So as soon as he walked in the door, the shoes were kicked off and the butt was planted.
Getting up admittedly caught off-guard by the knocking, he could only begin to wonder who was standing there as a mixture of names flooded through his mind. Dale made sense given he knew about the appointment and what happened last week. Regan made sense based on their recent conversation. Though other than that, no other names came to mind.
He walks to the door, opening it, smiling right away. It wasn’t anybody he thought of, but it made sense. He knew Tony had an extra bit of worry brewing at times and liked to check in on him out of surprise.
“Hey,” was all that slipped out of his mouth as he moved back, allowing Tony to easily enter the house before closing the door behind me.
“Hey,” Tony comments in return as he follows him to the kitchen.
“Do you want a drink?” Tony shakes his head as he sits down on the stool.
“You don’t mind me coming over, do you?” Chase shakes his head no as he pours himself some juice from the fridge.
“I’m actually getting used to your surprise Tuesday check-ins.” Tony chuckles, knowing it was coming more than regular.
“They won’t be a surprise if I keep doing this….” Chase couldn’t help but chuckle back in response.
“Seriously, though, it’s okay. I get it.” Tony’s demeanor instantly turned serious, knowing the question that was set to come next. It wasn’t like their meetings came with surprises.
“So, how are you?” Chase takes a deep breath as he leans over the corner. That wasn’t the type of question to be asking today, honestly.
“Emotionally drained. I had a two and a half hour appointment this morning.” Tony could sympathize from his own experience, almost feeling bad that he had barged in. But, it was a nice turn of events to hear that Chase was taking his required steps.
“I can leave if you want….” Chase shakes his head no, actually not minding the company.
“You’re fine. Actually, Eric made mention to me that socializing, talking, and just doing normal things would help with my panicing and anxiety.” Chase glances down, taking a deep breath, before his eyes return back to Tony. “I’ve repeated what happened at Bristol. That’s why I had the appointment.”
“Well, at least you’re doing the right things in talking to people….” Chase nods his head, knowing that he had to stick that, among other things.
“So Eric said that’s heightened anxiety and panic, and my mind tricking itself due to not wanting to face its own feelings and emotions. Sort of like go to a daze so I don’t become affected. The only cure is to work at improving how I handle those situations so I can get through them and then my brain won’t want to trick itself.” He also knew there was another piece of information that Eric mentioned, too, about what was going on.
“I can totally get that. I remember the key for me was beginning to face everyday life, people, and not carry the weight of the world on my shoulders in the process. If I could learn to face normal sequence of events, then maybe I could move forward without being stuck on that moment.” Chase nods his head, easily seeing the reasoning for that with what Tony endured.
“You mentioned that it takes time before….” Tony nods his head, knowing the ups and downs he experienced.
“That’s why I was off for a good couple of weeks – and even when I returned, I wasn’t fully there for awhile. It took another month, Chase. I get your questioning and worrying because it’s been three months now for you. But recall, you really didn’t start handling it at first due to other battles, and this isn’t just one simple situation, either.” Chase nods, accepting the explanation.
“Time isn’t something that worries me, to be honest. I have my whole life ahead of me – I just need to figure this out first. I mean, I see myself and Alyssa growing old together, maybe growing a family, and witnessing her success behind the wheel just continue to grow. Reminding myself of the future, I know no matter how long this takes it is worth it for us both.” Tony smiles, glad that Chase had a good sense of perspective. These conversations were always warming to the heart for him as the worries he experienced before were lessening with each word spoken.
“That’s good, and I wish you both the best. Just make sure I’m invited to the wedding.” Chase chuckles.
“There is no way that I could leave you off the invitation list. I mean, that’d be – there’d be no excuse for doing that.” Tony nodded his head, agreeing.
“You probably gonna need a whole town for everybody that’ll want to come, though.”
“Yeah, I’m thinking that, too. But I mean…..I don’t know.” Tony watches him curiously. “It just feels odd to be talking about wedding business. I mean, we haven’t even been together a year yet.”
“Woah woah, I’m not trying to pressur-”
“Oh, I know you’re not. I’m just referring to the topic in general. I just want to take it one step at a time, enjoy the moment. I mean, we’ve got enough on our hands right now.” Tony nods his head, sympathizing immediately.
“And she’s doing as great as she seems, right?” Chase nods his head, smiling. He was proud of her in many ways.
“Other than worrying about me more than she should sometimes, yeah she’s doing great.” Tony could only smile back in return.
“You know she only worries beca-”
“She loves and cares about me, Tony. You don’t need to remind me as everybody has told me over and over. I get it, too. That’s why I don’t fight it, but try to comfort her.”
“You got it made, kid….” Chase laughs.
“I don’t know about that, Tony.” Tony pauses, seeing where he was coming from.
“How about the future looks bright and you will have it made soon?” Chase smiles, nodding his head.
“That’s the goal, right?”