“Jeanae, I’ll talk to you later. I’m a little busy.” Pete closed his phone. “You could of talked to her.” Pete walked to Tina and bent down to her level. “I’m sorry. She’s been calling . And she somehow found out I was in jail and came to visit me.” “Why does she have a hold over you. Tell her to get lost.” “Tina, you don’t understand everything that we’ve been through.”
“This isn’t going to work.” “What isn’t?” “Us. I can’t always look over my shoulder to see if she is there. Once you have given up on her, then maybe we can have a relationship. In the meantime we are just going to be friends.” “Listen to me.” “No. You kiss me and call me baby and then your ex girlfriend calls. How do you think I’m suppose to feel?” “I don’t know. I’m sorry. Did you really want to go out with me? Are you ready to move on?”
“Get out. This isn’t about me.” “Just listen to me. Have you really grieved for Danny?” “Please just leave.” She started to grab Pete’s books and notebooks and put them in his backpack. Pete grabbed her arms and Tina dropped the books.
“Come here.” Pete led her to the bed. “I’m an ass for leading Jeanae on with answering her calls. I’m sorry. I’m going to tell you something that no one knows. I’m seeing a therapist. My mind is all over the place sometimes. I don’t feel that I am normal. Life is going around me, but I’m standing still. The guys think I get depressed because of Jeanae. She doesn’t help, but it’s not all her fault.”
Pete looked into Tina’s eyes. “I want to wake up in the mornings and be happy I’m alive. Sometimes it’s so hard to get out of bed. I’m so tired of feeling like this. I stay in my room and write. I have about ten notebooks filled with my thoughts. I’m scared I’m not going to make it to 28. And if I do will I still be like this. I’m sorry. This isn’t where I wanted to go.”
“It’s good that you are seeing someone. Is it helping?” “Sometimes. Lots of times I feel as though I’m being pulled in so many directions. I’m also seeing a psychiatrist for medication. Please don’t get mad, but I think you should see a therapist. You’ve had a lot happen. You need someone to talk to.” “I don’t know.” “I understand how hard it is to make that first step. I’ll go with you if you want.”
“Can I think about it?” “Sure. I don’t want to push you into it.” “Thank you. Maybe your right. I guess I just thought if I went out with Billy and now you the pain of Danny would go away. Plus, now with Billy. I just want to forget what he did.” “We both moved on too fast, even when we said we wouldn’t. Friends then.” Pete smiled.
“Of course. Thanks for being so understanding. So, what are you going to do about Jeanae?” “I’m going to call her and tell her it’s over for good and not to call or see me.” “Will she listen?” “I don’t know. But I can’t go through the pain she causes.” “I’m glad you see that is what she causes you. I could see that the first day I was here. You need to let her go. Maybe she will understand.” Pete smiled at Tina.
“You really don’t know Jeanae do you?” “Be serious. You need to tell her where you stand. If you want her in your life don’t do anything. She’ll keep calling and stay in your life, but if you don’t you need to be strong.” “I will.” “What are you doing tomorrow?” “School and studying. Dad has been getting on me for failing a few classes, so I’m trying to study more.” “That’s good.” “I guess. I can pick you up from school tomorrow.” “I’d like that.”
There was a knock on the door. “Come in.” Tina said. “I brought you two a couple of pops and some popcorn.” “Thank you, mom.” Tina’s mom handed Tina and Pete the pop and popcorn and left. “Yum, this tastes good. I didn’t have any supper.” “Peter, you need to eat.” “I know. I just got busy with writing and practicing. If you haven’t noticed I’m not the best bass player.” “You are good.” “Sure. How is your music coming?” “Good. Mostly just playing around.” “Sometimes the best things come from playing around.” “I hope you are talking about music.” “Ha-ha. Aren’t you funny. I better get going. I want to call Jeanae and tell her it’s officially over before I go to bed.” “Alright. Good luck.” “Thanks. I’ll need it.”
Pete grabbed his backpack and walked downstairs with Tina. “Maybe I’ll call you and let you know what happened.” “Okay. See you tomorrow.” Tina kissed Pete on the cheek and closed the door.
Tina turned and was about to go in the kitchen when her dad asked for her. “Tina, can you come here for a minute.” She walked to the living room. “Yes, is something wrong?” “No. I just wanted to talk to you about Pete.” “What about him?” “I don’t think it would be a good idea for you to get so close to him.” “We are just friends.” “I know. Just be careful.” “I will, but there’s nothing to worry about.” “Okay. I trust your judgment.” “I’m going to go to bed soon.” “Good night.”
Tina walked upstairs and went to her computer. A few minutes later the phone rang. “Hello?” “Tina, I told her. It’s over. She didn’t take it too well. I think she got the message though.” “That’s good. I hope things will go better for you without her.” “Me too. I just wanted to let you know that I called her. I’ll pick you up tomorrow.” “Pete, are you alright.” “Yeah. I’ll be fine. Have a good night.” “I will. You too.” Tina hung up the phone and went to bed.
Tina was waiting for Pete outside of the high school. She seen him pull up. “Your late.” “Sorry I fell asleep and didn’t set my alarm.” “I notice your light on at 4am.” “You were up?” “I had to use the bathroom. Nosy.” Pete laughed.
“It was a rough night. I’m glad I broke up with her for good, but it’s a big step I guess.” “Yes, it is. Especially for how long you’ve been together.” “Yeah. How was your day?” “It was alright. Not much going on with Billy. Thank god.” “Good.” “Do you want to come over and study?” “I can’t. The guys are coming over and after I need to work on a paper.” “Alright.” “I’ll call or we can message while I do my paper.” “Okay. I’ll be on.”
Pete parked the car. “Talk to you later.” “Bye, Pete.” Once Tina was in the house she went to the kitchen. “Hi, mom.” “Hi. You got some mail. I think it’s from the D.A.” “Oh. Alright.” Tina opened the letter. “What does it say?” “The hearing starts on October 10th. A month from now. And I need to testify on the 12th.” “How are you?” “Okay. Just nervous.” “I’ll be with you.” “Thanks.” She hugged her mom. “I’m going to watch some T.V.
After supper, Tina went upstairs to study. A hour later her messenger went off.
tinarocker: Hi, how are you?
petahpanda: Alright. The guys just left.
tinarocker: How did the practice go?
petahpanda: Good. We might do some demos next week.
tinarocker: That’s great.
petahpanda: I know. I still don’t think we are that great, but who knows. Anything exciting happen?
tinarocker: Not really. I did get a letter about the hearing. It starts in a month and a few days later I have to testify.
petahpanda: Are you alright?
tinarocker: I don’t know. It’s going to be hard when the date gets closer.
petahpanda: You’ll do just fine.
petahpanda: You’ll put the fucker away.
tinarocker: Thanks. I hope I do.
petahpanda: Do you want to go for coffee tomorrow? As friends
tinarocker: You don’t have to say that. But yes I do.
petahpanda: Good. I really need to go. I haven’t even started on my paper. I’ll pick you up from school tomorrow.
tinarocker: Okay. Be on time.
petahpanda: I will. Bye
A month past and Tina was getting ready for the hearing. She was nervous about testifying. Tina went downstairs and grabbed a waffle. “How are you doing?” Her mom asked. “I’m doing okay. A little nervous.” “Just focus on something in the courtroom. You don’t even have to look at him.” “Mom, I see him everyday at school. It’s not him I’m worried about. It’s his lawyer.” “Just tell the truth. That’s all you can do.” “I know.”
The doorbell rang. “I’ll get it.” Tina walked to the door. “Hello. These are for Tina Alvavado.” There were a dozen red roses. “Oh. Thank you.” Tina took the roses and went into the kitchen. “Oh my. Who are those for?” “Me.” Tina looked for a card.
Good luck today. I’ll
be thinking of you.
“There from Pete.” “What a sweetheart. Can I ask you a question?” “Sure.” “What is going on with you and Pete?” “We are just friends. He broke up with his girlfriend last month and he knows I’m still having a hard time with Danny and the rape.” “I hope you and him get together. He does seem like a great guy. I know though your father might have a little problem.” “Why?” “You’re his only daughter, Pete is older, and not to mention Pete’s tattoos.” “If it wasn’t for Pete I wouldn’t of gone to the hospital.” “I know. I’m just saying what your father has said to me. Just be warned when you do start to date.” “Mom, what has he said?” “Just that he doesn’t like Pete here all the time and especially in your room.” “Why hasn’t he said anything?” “I don’t know. Maybe because he knows Pete makes you happy. We better go or we’re going to be late.” All Tina could think of is when Pete and her would date how her dad would react.