Thursday, January 7, 2010

18.) Resurrecting Questions

Soundtrack Song - Switchfoot, This Is Your Life

I don't know what I was expecting. I didn't know how Kris was going to react when I met him, and it was weird and tense. Like he was pretending nothing had ever happened, or maybe he was just being shy. I don't know, because I don't know him that well. I knew that if he thought he was right about something, he'd never drop the subject, so he could be very tenacious. Maybe he didn't like me very much. Or maybe he didn't want to look foolish in front of his teammates—despite being different from them, he's still an athlete and athletes have precious egos. Their performance is constantly under scrutiny, so I can understand the insecurity but... didn't he want to kiss me? Wasn't he interested?

But even if I could have anticipated Kris's reaction—which I should have been able to do—I definitely should have known better when it came to having to be around those girls. Even in high school, there were always two breeds of girlfriends. First, there's the dedicated, long-time girlfriend who was pretty yet plain, who he'd known for forever and who would always be his support system. She's sweet, and she knows her role. Then there's the flavor of the week who is pretty but tries way too hard to be sexy. Girls of the second kind always need to look their best and stay on top of their game to ward off getting cast aside. But they always do.

So while Kelsey and Heather seemed nice enough because they were the hometown girls, I knew that I was going to clash with Martina and Jessica, the fake bitches. I watched Kris walk away from us, taking the time to admire his body in his tight Under Armour. I hoped that he was just painfully shy, because I wanted him so bad; it would be worth it to put up with his preaching and interference if I could use his chest as a scratching post.

“So, Jo,” one of them said, dragging my attention away from Kris's ass. “How do you know Kristopher?”

What a loaded question. I could feel them sizing me up, waiting for my answer so they could judge me. “We met about a week ago, I guess. We’ve hung out a few times.”

They looked at each other, trying to figure out how I fit in. I wasn’t a one-night stand, but I wasn’t a girlfriend. They weren’t sure how to treat me, and I didn’t have any information to clarify it for them either.

And I could tell by the looks in their eyes that they didn’t deem me as “girlfriend material” either. I expected as much from them, and it didn’t bother me. I didn’t want to be like them. Living their lives, trying to please their boyfriends before themselves. You’ve gotta put numero uno first; everyone else comes second. It may be selfish, but you’ve only got one life to get it right.

Jessica had a brilliant idea—which must have been rare for her, because she’s a total ditz—and she insisted that we head up to Pens Station. She wanted me to purchase a Letang shirt to wear, and she wanted it in a size smaller than I felt comfortable wearing. I refused; no way in hell was I going to spend my money that way. Jessica pouted and forked her own cash (or should I say, forked out Chris’s money) and bought it. To spite her, I changed into the shirt but wore my leather jacket over top, hiding in the comfort it provided me.

I didn’t really talk to any of the girls during the game. Maybe that could have been seen as being rude and inconsiderate to them, because it’s not like they didn’t try to talk to me... but I couldn’t do it. So many times, I had sat in the stands and watched my brother play, surrounded by girls that watched the “dreamy” players and didn’t give a shit about the game. Honestly, I felt like I was in high school again.

They didn’t really care either. The girls were fine talking amongst themselves, and I ended up befriending who I assumed was someone’s father. I didn’t ask, and he didn’t tell; we watched in silence and pointed out some of the good plays, and he even bought me a beer. He would have reminded me of my own dad, if my dad had cared enough to talk to me.

Kris played a good game, and my eyes found him naturally as he skated on the ice. He’s one of those guys that has a distinct skating style, so I didn’t even need to worry about reading the number on his back or on his sleeves to know it was him.

He was a good defenseman; the position seemed to fit his personality well. He was patient, biding his time until the puck came into his zone but pitching in on the blue line when he could. Quick to pass and headman the puck to the forwards. His eyes, which always struck me as taking in more of his surroundings than he ever let on and seeing more than what was on the surface, followed the puck and read the plays as they developed. Defense was his priority, but he chipped in on the offense, too, and that just seemed like Kris.

After the game, I tried to slip out of the stands so I could start work—picking up after the very people I was sitting beside—but the girls dragged me back to the lounge with them. I protested and put up a fight, but no one listened. I didn’t really want to go back and see Kris in front of his meddling friends, because I didn’t know what to do about him. He waited for the play to come to him as much off the ice as on, and he wouldn’t make a move in front of the guys.

I told them that I had to get ready for work and that I’d come back after I knew their interviews would be done, and it seemed to satisfy them. Martina said, “You’d better. Tanger totally has to see you in that shirt.”

Nodding, I agreed on that plan, but I rolled my eyes as soon as my back was turned to them. Martina and Jessica had gotten on my nerves, most of all because they tried to treat me like I was one of them, just a temporary bedmate. Did I like Kris? Yes. Did I want to have sex with him? Hell yes. But I wasn’t sure that that was all I wanted. I had no idea, but that’s part of the fun of life.

I worked for a bit before heading back into the bowels of the arena. In the time I had cleaned, I had come up with a game plan: I was going to meet up with Kris briefly, compliment him on the game, and then tell him I’d see him on Saturday. Not sure where he’d be I headed for the lounge. I wandered in that direction, but I stopped when I heard my name echo through the hallway. I paused and listened.

“What do you mean Jo’s coming out this weekend? I don’t like her. None of the girls do.”

“Well, Tanger likes her. You don’t have to hang out with her if you don’t want to.”

“She just tries so hard to be different. Did you see her hair, and the way she dresses? Then she acts like she’s better than us. She’s a fucking janitor.”

I felt so angry, upset, and a little stunned, too. It didn’t bother me that they didn’t like me; I didn’t give a shit about that. But what did bother me was how they judged me. No, I wasn’t trying to be different—I was only trying to be me. And I was probably smarter than all of them combined! I wasn’t stuck in this position because I couldn’t do better. I could do so much better if I really wanted to. I was here because it’s what I had chosen for myself. What a stupid bitch. She didn’t know me, and she certainly didn’t know a damn thing about my life. She had no right to say those things.

Forgetting the reason I had come down in the first place, I turned around and headed back toward the lockers. I had to get out of there. I bumped into my boss along the way, and he had no problem pointing out how flushed I was. “Are you okay, Jo? You like hell.”

“I’m not feeling well,” I mumbled, rubbing my eyes.

“Why don’t you go home?” I looked up at him, feeling confused. He harped on me all the time about being late and not showing any dedication. “Just be sure to make up the time somehow,” he added, resembling the manager again that I was used to.

Muttering a thank you, I slipped out of my coveralls. I was interrupted, however. Kris knocked and stepped into the room as I was sitting on the bench and pulling my feet out of the legs. “Hey. I was wondering where you were. The girls said you were going to come down to the lounge, but you never showed.”

I snorted. “I wouldn’t believe a thing any of them say.”

Kris sat beside me. “Jo, what’s wrong?”

“Those stupid girls think they know me. Well, they don’t know shit about me. Don’t know jack shit.” I stood up and pulled that too-tight tee-shirt over my head, not carrying that he was going to see me in just my bra. I just wanted that damn thing off me. “Give this back to Jessica, will ya?”

“What?” he asked, not quite understanding. Kris looked up at me before blushing and looking away, specifically at the shirt I had thrown at him. He saw his name and number on the back of it. “You were wearing this tonight?”

I didn’t mean to take it out on him, but I got smart with him anyway. “Duh. You just saw me take it off.” I grabbed the shirt I had worn to the arena originally and slipped back into it. I threw my jacket on and then grabbed my helmet and keys.

“Uh, Jo, you’re upset. Why don’t you let me take you home?”

“That’s a stupid idea. And leave my bike here? Why would I do that?”

He paused before he said, “You’re not really in a condition to drive. If something should happen—”

“Jesus Christ, Kris,” I finally snapped. “I know you feel bad about Luc. I get that. But that wasn't your fault, and there's nothing you could have possibly done about it. This is different.”

“But we knew that it was dangerous. I'm not letting you put yourself in danger, too.”

“I'm not your chance at a do over,” I spat. “I'm not an opportunity to clear your conscience. And if that's what this whole fucking thing between you and me has been about it, then fuck you.”

“This isn't about Luc or what happened to him, Jo,” he said quietly, making me pay heed. “This is about you. I don't want anything to happen to you.”

My heart skipped a beat, although I wasn't sure if it was from how worked up I was or or if it was because of his words. I tried to calm down a little. “Listen, Kris, you can't predict when or where or what will happen. You aren't psychic.”

“But—”

“No,” I interrupted. I was at an impasse again. I was angry at him; but then he'd look at me with those brown, puppy-dog eyes, and I didn't want to be mad at him anymore. “No 'buts.' I don't get how you can know exactly where I've been, because you've been there too, but you have no idea where I'm coming from.”

I waited for some kind of response, but I didn't seem to be getting one, so I lifted my helmet over my head. “Will you at least tell me what's bothering you?”

Sitting down beside him, I tried to be calm and rational. Kris always seemed like he wanted to help, even when I didn't want to accept it, and this was just another one of those instances. I answered, but I wasn't being open. “I told you. Those dumb bitches.”

“Did they say something to you? I know them, Jo, and they're not bad people.”

“She didn't even have the guts to say anything to my face. She had to say it behind my back to her boyfriend.”

“Who? What did she say? Jo, tell me what's got you so upset.”

I shook my head, still not wanting to adequately respond to his question. All I said was, “I'm not sure who. They all sound the same to me.” Because it wasn't just about what she said. It was about how she made me think that I could be proving them all wrong. I had never second-guessed the decisions I had made for myself, but I hadn't been confronted by my choices like this before either. She really made me feel like I wasn't good enough. Which was complete and utter bullshit, because my life was fine the way it was. Wasn't it?

“I'll go talk to them.”

“No, don't do that,” I moaned while rolling my eyes. “I don't fit in with them, and that's fine. I don't expect to hang out with them again, so no worries.”

He titled his head to the side. “Aren't you coming out with us this Saturday?”

I groaned. “I don't know. I don't know what I want to do now.” I stood back up and put my helmet on. There was just too much going on in my brain, and I needed to clear my head. Sticking my finger in the key ring, I twirled my keys around my fingers. “I guess I'll talk to you later.”

“Are you sure you won't let me drive you—”

“Positive,” I replied.

“Just... please be careful,” he said, before I nodded and left.

8 comments:

  1. erkjghkjdgkjdfx.
    Jo can be so hard headed at times!
    i hope she goes out on saturday with them.

    and also, i heard this song and thought it would so perfectly with this story!
    it's called "if it kills me" by jason mraz and it's pretty much amazing.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBBMNJPk5qo
    =]

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  2. Ugh those dumb bitches piss me off so much! I hate people who say stuff behind you're back because they're too scared to say it to your face.

    I really hope that Jo doesn't let it get to her too much, after all, at the end of the day she has Kris. ;)

    "This is about you. I don't want anything to happen to you"
    ^^I love him<3 Jo better go out with all of them Saturday!!!

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  3. WHAT A STUPID BITCH!

    Ok sorry... had to be said. I don't know who it was, but I hope she gets slapped. Hard.

    And poor Kris! I mean, it's not his fault at all but he still doesn't get to hang out with Jo because of those idiots. UGH I HATE PEOPLE LIKE THAT!

    I hope that Kris still sees her on her birthday though... I mean think of all the possibilities... cake, presents, birthday sex, partying... did I mention birthday sex? I have the image of Tanger in underarmour in my head now... yep lol.

    I can't WAIT to find out who said it, and I can't wait to see what Kris does/says about it... YAY!!

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  4. ugh, poor Jo! I don't blame her for wanting to leave though and I don't blame her for not wanting to spend her birthday with them. If I were her, I would have bailed a lot sooner!

    Great chapter, I totally agree with Zigh- birthday sex with Mr. Letang? That has been a theme lately on here with other stories....

    loved your update!

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  5. Kris stop her before she leaves and kiss her!

    I was afraid those girlfriends would be mean to Jo. Whoever it was she's a stupid cow.
    As usual great update thanks!

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  6. Don't dig on mean girls, but I am so glad that Jo vented to Kris about it...let's see what he does about it when figures out that they are mean girls.

    Fabulous, as always!

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  7. dangggg she's frustratting...i kinda wanna slap her and tell her to wake up xD
    but i liked the chapter :)

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  8. Jo’s really starting to annoy me. I can’t handle when she talks about being number one and putting herself first and living her one life blah blah blah. And she needs to stop making Kris feel bad for caring about her. She should appreciate him!

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