The next morning Tina woke up with the phone ringing. She looked at the clock. It was 6am. “Who in the hell?” She got the phone. “Hello?” “Did I wake you?” “Pete, I told you not to call.” “No, you said not to text or message you.” “But I said I wasn’t in the mood to talk.” “I know. I’m sorry, but I needed to talk to you. I don’t want to lose you as my friend. I’m such an ass. Can we go for coffee?” “Now? I’m dead tired.” “God, no. I haven’t slept yet. I’m about to see if I can get a few hours. How about 2:00?” “Alright.” “Can I ask you a question?” “Sure.” “Are you still mad?” “No, I’m upset with you. We’ll talk later.” “Okay. Bye.”
Tina went back to sleep for a few more hours. She got up and got dressed. She went downstairs and had some breakfast. She then decided to do some homework before going out with Pete. Right at 2:00 the doorbell rang. Tina answered. “Hey, how are you doing?” “Okay. Would be better if someone didn’t wake me up at six am.” “I’m sorry. Are you ready?” “Yeah.” Pete drove to the coffee house. They ordered their coffee’s and sat down. Tina took a drink.
“So.” Pete said. “Yeah.” “I don’t know what to say. And I always know what to say. Even if it’s not the right thing. Which is the case most of the time. As you know,” “Just tell me what you want to say.” “I want to say that I’m really sorry about last night. I don’t know why I said what I said. Will you forgive me?” Tina looked at Pete. She could tell that he was sincere. “Yes, I’m sorry for slapping you. I shouldn’t of done that. I should of told you about my ex and not let you think he did something to me.” “No, I understand. You’ll tell me when you want.”
Tina thought for a moment. “I want to tell you now. I met Danny in grade school. He came half way through fifth grade. We didn’t really talk. In band we were seated next to each other. That was the only time we talked. In sixth grade we talked more and did a science project together. We became friends. When I was fifteen we began dating.” Tina looked at her coffee cup. She then continued. “A year later he started getting sick. He would get a cold, then get well for a few days and a cold back. He would bruise very easy. Finally, his mom took him to the doctor. He had leukemia. It was spreading fast. He had to have chemotherapy. It was awful to watch him go through that. After school I would visit him. Danny never wanted me to see him sick. He spent some time in the hospital. The cancer was spreading too much. Danny wanted to stop the chemo. He knew he would live. He didn’t give up. He didn’t want to live the rest of his life sick from the chemo. We spent time talking about dreams we had, having picnics, watching the stars, and just holding each other.”
Tears started falling from Tina’s eyes. Pete took her hand. “Six months ago he got worse. He couldn’t get out of bed or dress himself. I knew one day I would get a call from his parents. Once night he was sleeping when I was visiting. I guess I fell asleep holding his hand and had my head on the bed. I woke up with Danny playing with my hair. He told me to never give up on my dreams and to search for my soul mate. He told me that if he wouldn’t of gotten sick, he would of asked me to marry him. I didn’t know it then, but he was telling me goodbye.” Tina wiped her tears. “You don’t have to finish.” “No, I need to. So, I went home that night. I woke up at 2am with a start. I didn’t have a nightmare or anything. I knew what happened. I just cried. Two hours later his patents called. Three days later was his funeral. It was awful. He was so loved and had so much love to give. I went to visit his parents once, but it was so hard. I stopped. Then we moved here.”
Pete looked into Tina’s eyes. “I feel like a real asshole. I am so sorry. I’m sorry for what I said.” “You didn’t know.” “I just don’t know what to say again. You went through so much. How are you doing with Danny’s death?” “Some days are better and others are just unbearable. I wake up and think I need to tell him about a new song I wrote. Then I remember and I just want to stay in bed and cry.”
Tears started to flow again. Pete took Tina into his arms. “It’ll be alright. You are so strong. So much stronger than me. If you ever need someone to talk to or just to hold while you cry I’ll be there for you.” Tina sat up and wiped her eyes. “I don’t think Jeanae would like that.” “We broke up again. What a surprise.” Pete gave a fake laugh. “Oh, I’m sorry.” “No, you’re not. Don’t lie to me.” Pete had a smile on his face. “Was it that obvious?” “Just a little. I don’t know why I keep going back to her. I need to keep my distance from her.” “What happened?” “I seen her kissing someone else. It wasn’t the first time. Then we had a fight. I told her I was finished.” “I’m sorry. To tell you the truth you are better off.” “I know. It’s just that I’ve been with her for awhile and I do love her.” “You need to look out for yourself. I don’t really think Jeanae knows what she wants. I guess I really can’t talk about her. I really don’t know her.” “Let’s talk about something else. How was your date?” “Good. Billy is a nice guy. We are going out next week. “I’m happy for you.”
Pete took a drink of his coffee. Tina looked into his eyes. “Now who is lying?” “What?” “You don’t like Billy. I know you don’t.” “Your right. There’s something about him.” “He seems like a nice guy.” “And how long have you known him.” “Just a week.” “I think there may be someone else for you.” “Oh yeah. And who would that be?” “I don’t know. Someone that you know.” “Hmmm. I wonder who it is? Could you tell me? Would you really want to know?” Pete asked. “Yes, I do.” Pete looked around. “It’s me, alright.” Tina smiled.
“Well, say something.” “I don’t know what to say. I’m actually a little shocked. I do like you, but I just started dating Billy.” “Yeah, but it’s not like you are serious.” “No, but I can exactly tell him I found someone else. Plus, you just broke up with Jeanae. I don’t want to be your rebound girl.” “You won’t be and why can you tell Billy you found someone else.” “Pete, I’m not like that.” “So, you would rather date him than me?” “I don’t know. I mean I do want to date you, but oh this is so confusing.” Tina put her head in her hands. “Hey, I’m sorry.” Tina looked up. Pete put his hand on hers. “You know what, forget what I said.”
Pete stood up. “Peter, sit down.” Pete looked at Tina and then sat down. “I made a fool of myself.” “You didn’t. Just understand that I can’t just blow Billy off.” “Well, just know that I’ll wait for you. No matter how long. Could we at least go on a date?” “Yeah, of course. But I want you to really think of where you want things to go with your life. You can’t keep going back to Jeanae and you need time just for yourself.” “I guess you are right. When can you go out?” “A little anxious?” “I was hoping for tomorrow night. The guys and I are playing at a club and I want you to be there.” “I’d love to. I have some homework, but I’ll finish it tonight.” “Alright. I should get back. I’m typing up a paper for my Psychology class.”
Pete drove Tina home. She went to her room. A few minutes later there was a knock. “Yeah.” “It’s Tommy.” “Come in.” “A Billy called for you. I said you were out with Pete.” “What? Did he leave a number?” “Here you go.” “Thanks.” Tina called Billy. “Billy, my brother said you called.” “Yeah, I just want to see if you started the questions for Biology.” “I got two done.” “Actually, no that’s not why I called. I just wanted to ask you how you were doing?” “I’m doing good. I went out with Pete for coffee. Your not upset with that are you?” “No, we aren’t dating.” “I know. I just don’t want you upset.” “Well, I was a little jealous when I called before, but I know he’s a friend.” “He wanted to apologize. He was really sorry.” “That’s good. Did you want to come over for some pizza. I know we said we were going out on Wednesday, but I’d like to see you again.” “Uh, sure. Just for pizza though. I really need to get some homework done.” You can bring it with you if you wan and we can help each other out.” “Alright. I’ll see you around six.” Tina thought of what she was going to say to Billy. She didn’t wan to lead him on. She just hope he took it well.