“The Chad Thing”
“The Chad Thing”
The summer after junior year was rough. School had been great this year and all, but I felt different. Not necessarily different than I had been in the past, but just noticeably different than other people. At least I felt that I was. I had finally got a groove for this high school thing (it only took three years, I guess, to get acclimated to a 4-year program). I felt great about my friends at school and of course the gang at church, but I just felt stagnant. Maybe things would change this summer. You know, I’d get a chance to clear my head and just hang out with the gang. That always made me feel better. Lexie and Kenzie were my refuge. Sometimes I felt like they were carrying me through whatever headache I was going through and then other times they boosted my self-esteem by allowing me to feel like I was carrying them somehow. We took care of each other. Kory was so consistent. He was loyal and calming no matter what chaos we had gotten ourselves into. Steve constantly made me feel like he was protecting us in some way. He made me feel safer than when he wasn’t there. Like a really great, funny brother. And then there was Chad. I didn’t know what to think about Chad. Chad had probably been the best “guy friend” I had ever had. It was no secret that we’d had crushes on each other off and on ever since I moved to town, but I had always truly had feelings for Jordan. But there he was…constantly in my life. Constantly a source of joy and confidence for me. He was (out of the guys) the one that I could really be myself around. There was something I couldn’t shake about this guy.
Everyone at church would make jokes about us eventually getting married. We even had a pact where we were each other’s “backup”. If neither one of us were married by the time we were 40, we would marry each other. I could live with that. Chad had actually dated Kenzie for about a year. They had just broken up a few months ago but managed to stay pretty good friends which we were all very grateful for. I did not want anything to mess up our group. But would it be worth the risk to maybe… potentially… possibly… sometime in the future… go out with Chad? Is that crazy?? That was crazy. Chad was my best friend. We would drive each other crazy, right?? On the other hand, why not? I mean, I hadn’t dated a lot in high school. I had spent most of my time in the theater, with the gang, or at a church function throughout the last few years and hadn’t really had time for anything else. I threw myself into distractions ever since Jordan dumped my almost 3 years before.
Hold on! Had it been 3 years since Jordan?? I hadn’t really thought about it. That was pathetic. I hadn’t liked a guy in 3 years? No wonder I felt like I was from another planet in high school. Everybody else was dating and figuring out who they wanted to go to homecoming and prom with and I couldn’t muster up a CRUSH?? Why? I guess I could be grateful. I didn’t go through all the drama and tears and gossip that could come with all of that. And I had been on a couple of dates… I mean, a girls gotta eat, right? But I’d never really thought about the fact that I hadn’t had actual feelings for a guy since Jordan. Is that normal? Or maybe that’s why I didn’t understand what I was feeling for Chad. Is that what this is? I’d always loved Chad but in a brother kind of way. Did I feel something different now?
I thought he had been flirting for a few days, but it was so hard to tell because we’d always been close. He would come into class on Sunday and immediately make his way over to me. He’d make some funny comment that I would normally make fun of, but didn’t want to anymore. This was weird!
I did. I liked Chad. I wasn’t sure if I was happy about it or not. I didn’t really know how to feel about thinking about someone that wasn’t Jordan. This would be so much easier! I mean, we already know we like to hang out. He knows me as well as anybody. We have a great time together. We’ve already hung out alone. I mean, not often, but there were times when it would be a few of us and someone would get up to go to the bathroom and left just me and him alone for a while…and we were fine! This would just be like hanging out with all of our friends if the other 4 went to the bathroom for a really long time…easy.
FINALLY! I am getting over Jordan!