Palms and Pockets
by Paul Diaz
by Paul Diaz
Chapter 18: Confusion
Colleen entered her daughter’s room and immediately tied the curtains to let the sunshine in. The sun rays hit Anne’s face and she pulled her blanket. “Mom, let me sleep” she softly moaned. “My God! You slept with your dress on?! I told you to get changed before you go to bed” her mother said.
The young woman got up and sat on her bed smiling. “See I told you. All you had to do was sleep it off and you would feel better. It was just a bad dream” Colleen said as she sat beside her daughter and hugger her. “No it wasn’t” Anne said and her mother looked at her.
“It was so real mom. And if it was a dream, it was a good one and I am still asleep” the young woman said and Colleen was confused. “Well I am happy seeing you smiling and cheerful so I guess you have gotten over what happened last night then” the elder woman said. “Nope and I never will” Anne replied as she giggled and hugged her mom tightly.
“Oh I don’t understand you. Anyway you better go bath and get changed as we are going to have lunch at John’s place” Colleen said and her daughter quickly got out of bed. “Why didn’t you tell me? You should have woken me up earlier. Its already ten and now I have to hurry. I don’t know what to wear yet” Anne said as she madly selected clothes from her closet.
Colleen was speechless and she didn’t know what was happening to her daughter. Clothes flew up in the air and she feared that Anne was already going mad. “Dear, are you okay?” she asked and her daughter looked at her. “Of course. Mom how about this? Will I look pretty with these?” Anne replied as she held an orange dress close to her body.
“Since when did you start worrying about the clothes you wear?” Colleen asked. “Mom! We are going to have lunch at John’s place, I should look pretty” Anne replied. “Exactly, we have been having lunch and dinner at their place before but its only now that you are worrying about looking pretty” her mother explained. Anne just smiled at her mother and giggled, she took turquoise dress and held it close to her body. “How about this one mom?” she asked and her mother just shook her head and pointed at the her first choice.
A few houses away, Bob and Linda had just arrived from the grocery. Their house door opened and John ran out to meet them. “I want to cook the steak” he told them. “Since when did you like to cook? All you know is to eat” Linda replied and the young man laughed. “Dad you have to show me, now!” the young man insisted and the couple looked at each other.
“Leave the steak to me, you can help your mom instead” Bob told his son. “No! You tell me what to do and then you help mom” John said as he took the groceries inside. “Oh boy so that’s what a kiss can do to him” Bob whispered and his wife chuckled. “Makes me wonder what would happen if…” the man was to say but his wife elbowed him.
An hour later the doorbell rang, Linda ran to the door and opened it. “Oh hello! Come inside” she greeted the Rivera family. “We brought desert, John’s favorite chocolate cake” Anne said. “Oh I am sure he will love it. Can you all wait here at the living room? We started cooking late” Linda told them. “Its better if we helped out” Colleen said. “Oh that wont be necessary. John will be cooking the steak and Bob will be helping me with the other dishes” Linda explained.
“We insist. The more hands the better” Gerard told her. “Well come this way then” Linda said as she led them towards the kitchen. “I will go help John” Anne said as she ran towards the back door. “Anne, leave the cake here!” Colleen told her and the young woman laughed and placed the box on the counter.
As soon as Anne stepped out Colleen stood beside Linda and smiled. “Please forgive her, she has been acting weird since this morning” she whispered. “Oh don’t worry, John has been acting differently too” Linda replied and the two women laughed. Bob entered the kitchen scratching his head, “Linda you better have a back up meal, I think the steaks might get burned” he said.
“Don’t worry Bob, Anne knows how to cook them” Colleen assured him. “Yeah, I taught John as well but I do hope they focus on the meat” Bob replied and Linda laughed. “Focus on the meat?” Gerard asked and John’s parents looked at each other. “We may know the reason why Anne has been acting weird” Linda said as she looked at her husband and nodded.
Bob took the video camera and the three gathered around him. “Well last night we were wondering why John has not come in the house even though we heard the limo arrive. So we took a peek out the window after a few minutes and this is what we saw” Linda said as her husband played the video.
“Aw she got her second prom” Colleen softly said as tears filled her eyes. “Second prom?” Bob and Linda asked in unison. “Last night we got a call from Anne telling us to pick her up. We panicked and had to rush since she was crying” Gerard told them. “What happened?” Linda asked and Anne’s parents laughed.
“Well she was jealous for the first time” Colleen said. “Did Charles dance with another girl?” Bob asked. “Nope but John did” Gerard told them and everyone paused for a few seconds and then they all laughed. “She was jealous of Sarah?” Linda asked and Colleen giggled.
“Well what does this mean then?” Gerard asked and John’s parents shrugged their shoulders. The four took a peek outside and saw Anne and John standing close to each other. “What about Charles?” Linda whispered. “I don’t know yet. Maybe I should have a talk with her” Colleen replied. “Don’t, let them work it out themselves” Bob suggested and they all agreed.
Monday morning and John was back to reality. The moment they entered the gate Charles was there to meet Anne and the his friend walked towards him. As he slowly walked away he started to feel pain once again.
“Hey John” Sarah greeted him with a smile but the young man just nodded his head for his facial muscles didn’t want to form a smile. “Whats wrong?” she asked and John looked at her. “Can you please wake me up” he said. Sarah was confused but she could tell he had a problem, “Meet me at lunch and lets talk about it” she told him. “Sarah, I cant. Its about her again” John said and the young woman smiled. “I know” she replied.
“But Sarah” John reasoned but his friend raised her eyebrow. “I am your friend. I know what you are trying to say but don’t worry about it. Okay?” she told him. John took a deep breath and smiled at her, “Now come on walk me to my room” Sarah said and John gladly walked beside her.
Over lunch John and Sarah took out food and decided to eat at the back of the school. “So tell me about it” the young woman said. “I really don’t know if I should be talking about it after what happened last Saturday” John told her. “Why? I don’t see any problem” Sarah said.
“Well it feels awkward and I don’t want to hurt your feelings” John said and the young woman laughed. “You know what it should be me feeling awkward. Look, I broke your heart before and here I am talking to you. I didn’t like you before and here I am admitting that I do, it should be me feeling embarrassed” she explained.
“Still I cant do it. I really don’t want to hurt your feelings” John repeated and Sarah looked at him. “Look at me and focus on my eyes” she told him. “I didn’t like you before. Something happened and I realized that you are such a great guy and I want to be with you. Now, I cant just force myself to you and hope that you still like me too. What I did before I do regret but look at me, I am here talking to you, heck I even kissed you” Sarah said and they both laughed.
“How do you do it? I mean, we almost have the same situation. You know I like Anne and you are cool with that. Anne has a boyfriend and I don’t like it. I know we two are waiting but how do you do it?” John asked.
“Acceptance and no expectations” Sarah replied and John was confused. “For me I have accepted the fact that you like Anne more than me. I am cool with that because it was my fault in the first place. Then its true I am hoping but not expecting. If I expect that you and me will be together then I could have cried so many times already but do you see me crying? Hope is different from expectation, you should not have both. If you do you will only get hurt” she explained.
“But it should be me with her” John said. “I do tell myself that sometimes, that it should be me with you. Then I remember said no to you before so I have to live with that. How about you? If you say it should be you, did you do something about it before she met Charles?” Sarah replied and the young man sighed.
John had finally relaxed and told her everything. He was careful with every word as he watched Sarah’s reaction. His story reached the kissing part that happened with Anne and still the young woman was smiling at him. “Well you are right I expected much only to realize this morning that she was still with Charles” John said.
“John after I kissed you last Saturday, if I expected much after that then you should see me angry or crying after hearing your story” Sarah told him. “I kissed you because I wanted to and the chance was there but still I do respect you liking Anne. Call me foolish or wrong but I don’t regret it, I actually made myself happy” she explained and John smiled.
“You on the other hand, well you expected much after she kissed you. It does not matter if she kissed you first. She is still with Charles so you cannot think about her reason why she kissed you. You speculated and now look where you are. You expected much from that kiss and look who is sad? She kissed you, you liked it so leave it at that. If she kissed you and she was not in a relationship with someone then that’s when you start speculating” she told him.
John was confused once again so he leaned back. “So what do I do now?” he asked. “Two choices, let go or hang on but don’t expect” Sarah told him. “Like you?” John asked. “Yep, I can let go and forget you but I am just holding on and look I am happy just like this. No expectations whatsoever just pure happiness” she replied.
“And how about your life? Arent you supposed to move on? Other guys might be better than me you know” John told her and Sarah stared at him. “Same question to you” she replied and the young man was speechless.
“I feel terrible really. I can be stubborn and hold on like you with no expectations or I could easily let go and be with you but that would be unfair to you. I don’t want you to feel I am settling for the second best. Its confusing” John uttered as he leaned his head on Sarah’s shoulder.
“Don’t be silly. I wont be hurt at all, I would be happy” she told him. “Why?” John asked and Sarah giggled. “Because you would be mine and take note you liked me first” she explained and the two laughed. “You know what the driver saw us kiss and he knew I liked someone else just by looking. He said he knew because I didn’t kiss you” John shared.
“I knew you wouldn’t kiss me” Sarah said and he was surprised. “You did?” he asked and the young woman smiled at him. “Yep, because if you did kiss me then you would feel guilty after” Sarah explained. “I would feel guilty? But I didn’t feel guilty when you kissed me” John told her.
“Yes because it was I who kissed you. If it was the other way around then I am sure you would feel guilty” Sarah said. “How would you know?” he asked. “Based on experience” she replied. “What? You felt guilty after kissing me?” John asked.
“Of course not, I wanted to so I did and I felt happy after. And if there was another chance I would kiss you again” Sarah said. “Then when did you feel guilty?” John inquired and the young woman shyly turned to look the other way. “Two weeks before I broke up with Barry. I remember that day I kissed him and I felt guilty so after that I never kissed him again” Sarah revealed.
John laughed at pinched her nose, “You are weird, I don’t see why you would be guilty after kissing your boyfriend” he told her. “Stupid! Because that time I already liked you” Sarah countered and the young man slowly released her nose and froze. Sarah retaliated and pinched his nose and looked at him, “That is why if you kissed me last Saturday you would be guilty because you like Anne” she explained.
“Cant breath” John uttered and the two shared a laugh. The bell rang and lunch time was over. The two walked back towards the school entrance but John suddenly stopped and looked at the sky.
“Hey Sarah” he uttered. “Yes John” she replied as she looked at him. “When Anne kissed me…do you think she felt guilty?” John asked and he slowly looked at her. Sarah took a deep breath and looked around, she saw no one was looking so she gave John a smack on the lips. The young woman giggled and playfully walked away, “I didn’t” she said and the John touched his lips and laughed.
Inside the school among the crowd stood Anne, Charles was holding her hand but she was facing the entrance. The young woman saw Sarah kiss her friend and her gripped tightened. “Ouch! Whats wrong with you?!” Charles asked.
Anne angrily looked at her boyfriend and shouted. “YOU!!!”