I woke up the next morning with a smile because Nathan was curled against me. I tried to get up, but Nathan pulled me back against him. I let out a giggle, and that made Nathan chuckle.
“Morning Nate.” I said as I looked back at him.
“Morning Kris.” Nathan said back as he held me tighter, if that was possible.
We pretty much spent the day in my room, until Nathan had to leave. I was happy that we got to spend a whole day together away from his parents because they seem to be trying to force Nathan to choose between them. I woke up the next morning and went to the café to help Haley and Deb, since momma Karen was in Italy for cooking school. I’m so proud of her and so is Lucas. I was in the back, helping Deb, when this man came in, looking for Karen. Haley told him that she was in Italy, and asked if he wanted to leave a message, but he didn’t, and that seemed weird to me. Especially when Deb looked at the man as he left the café.
I wanted to ask Deb about him, but I decided against that because it was none of my business, and I have my own problems to worry about. I went home, showered, and was relaxing in my bed, when Nathan dropped by, and asked if I wanted to come to this dinner party thing for his dad’s birthday. I agreed because I figured that it would be full of drama, and I also knew that I could drag Nathan out of there to protect him. I got dressed and Nathan drove us to his house. Nathan introduced me to his grandma and grandpa, and I knew that his grandpa was the man in the café earlier, but I didn’t say anything. I ended up between Nathan and his grandpa, and that’s when Whitey came in. Now, maybe everyone will behave.
Dinner was going good, as good as it was going to get, when Mrs. Scott said that she needed to go check on the cake. I told her that I would do it, and dragged Nathan with me. I didn’t know how to say it, but I needed to know about why his grandfather was in the café asking for Karen.
“So, how often do your grandparents come into town?” I asked cautiously.
“A couple times a year. Why?” Nathan replied.
When I didn’t say anything back, Nathan said, “Kris, you’ve got that look.”
“What look?” I asked confused.
“The look you get when you wanna tell me something, but you don’t really wanna tell me.” Nathan replied.
“No, I don’t, and you shouldn’t know that look yet.” I said.
“What is it?” Nathan asked.
“Your grandfather came by the Café today, and he asked for Karen.” I finally replied.
“He did?” Nathan asked confused.
“Yeah. I just got the feeling like they’ve been keeping in touch.” I replied.
“Does Lucas know him?” Nathan asked with a scoff.
“No, they’ve never even met. But your grandfather asked about him.” I replied.
“That doesn’t make any sense. My grandpa acts like my dad’s the Second Coming. Why would he visit Karen?” Nathan said while trying to digest all of this.
“I don’t know. I don’t want to start anything. I’m just telling you.” I said back.
“You know what? My family is so screwed up… nothing new would make a difference right now. Don’t worry about it.” Nathan said.
We finally made it back to the table, and watched Dan blow out his candles. After we clapped, that’s where the real fun began.
“So, Nate, how’s your game this year?” Mr. Scott asked.
“Here we go again.” Mrs. Scott said with a sigh.
“Just cover your ears, May. I just want to know how my grandson’s doing on the team.” Mr. Scott said, and that made me wonder why she put up with him.
“I already told you, dad.” Dan said.
“No, you didn’t. You didn’t tell me jack. Every time I mention it, you change the damn subject. Will somebody around here tell me what’s going on? Nathan? Whitey? Anybody?” Mr. Scott asked as he looked around the table.
“Nathan, I think you better take this one.” Whitey said.
“I quit the team, all right?” Nathan finally said.
“You quit the team. What do you mean you quit the team?” Mr. Scott asked with anger.
“He didn’t quit the team. He’s just taking some time off.” Dan said while trying to defuse this situation.
“No, he’s not. Please stop lying, Dan.” Deb said.
“Were you ever gonna tell me this? I mean, that’s a hell of a thing to keep to yourself.” Mr. Scott said while looking at Nathan.
“Yeah, you’re one to talk.” Nathan said back, and I knew exactly where this was going.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Mr. Scott asked.
“I know you visit Karen at the Café, all right? What’s that about?” Nathan asked, and I said, “Nathan.”
“That’s none of your damn business. I guess somebody’s got a big mouth.” Mr. Scott said, while looking at me.
“Will you shut up, Grandpa?” Nathan asked, getting angry.
“Don’t you talk to me like that!” Mr. Scott yelled in anger.
“Back off, Royal. I’ve had enough of your crap. Nathan is not the problem.” Deb said, and that made me super happy.
“Would someone please explain?” Mrs. Scott asked, and I felt bad for her because she was so confused.
“Dan has been riding Nathan for the past six years about that damn game.” Deb started.
“Deb, stop.” Dan said.
“Riding him so hard that Nathan took drugs so he could measure up.” Deb continued, but Mr. Scott interrupted by saying, “Drugs?”
“Until he had to be rushed to the hospital. He could have died because of this insane pressure… to put a ball through a hoop. But none of that is my son’s fault, Royal. It’s your son’s.” Deb finished, and that made the whole room go quiet.
“Danny, you of all people? How dare you. You know how much you hated it when your daddy bullied you to be better.” Mrs. Scott started.
“I never bullied him!” Mr. Scott yelled.
“And when you wanted a way out, I gave you one. All these years, I protected you. I lied for you. And now you’re doing the same thing to your son?” Mrs. Scott continued.
“What lie? What are you talking about?” Mr. Scott asked confused.
“In college, his knee injury… it wasn’t permanent. Danny quit, and I helped him.” Mrs. Scott finished.
“What do you mean he quit?” Mr. Scott asked angrily, and I was angry too because he lied and made everyone think he was some big hero, when in reality, he was a big fat loser.
“It’s not like that, Dad.” Dan said, while also trying to figure out why all this was coming out now.
“Stop it, Dan. It’s time the truth came out.” Mrs. Scott said.
“Will somebody tell me what in the hell is going on here?” Mr. Scott asked while getting angrier by the second.
“You were on the road when Danny hurt his knee. So we lied.” Mrs. Scott replied.
“You told me it was a degenerative knee condition. You looked me right in the eye and told me that.” Mr. Scott said to Dan, who was also trying to say something, but couldn’t.
“Don’t you see, Royal? He was never gonna be the star that you wanted him to be. You just couldn’t see that. The boy had two choices: To fail in front of you or to quit. Either way, he lost.” Mrs. Scott said.
“So you just quit… without being man enough to own up to it.” Mr. Scott said while throwing his rag onto his plate.
“There’s more to it, Dad. You don’t know the whole story.” Dan said while trying to present his case.
“I’ve had enough!” Mr. Scott said as he got up from his chair and left the room.
“Me, too. Come on, Kris, I’ll take you home.” Nathan said as he got up and stood by my chair.
“Thanks for dinner.” I said while getting up as well, and following Nathan out the door.
Nathan was quiet the whole way to my house, but then began talking as he walked me to the door.
“I’m sorry you had to see that.” Nathan said.
“It’s ok. It helped me understand you.” I said back with a slight smile.
“You know, growing up… there were certain things that were just carved in stone. And the main one was that Dan Scott would have been pro… if he didn’t blow out his knee. So, all this time, he’s just been feeding me this line of crap… about how great he would have been. And how I’d never be as good as him. Bastard.” Nathan said while I just sat there and listened.
“At least you know the truth, though, right?” I asked.
“I just don’t know what to do with it.” Nathan sighed.
“Ok. Good night. I’m here if you need me, ok?” I said as I hugged Nathan.
“Good night. All right.” Nathan said back before I kissed his cheek and headed inside.
I changed into my pajamas and fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. The next morning, Nathan came by and asked me if I wanted to go to his house for breakfast. I declined and that’s when the whole basketball thing came in and he told me that he was getting back on the team. I was happy for him, but I also knew that something else was going on because he left my house pretty quick.
I hope I’m just imagining it because if not, then I don’t know what the hell I’ll do.
Kristi's outfit to the cafe: http://www.polyvore.com/kristis_outfit_to_caf%C3%A9_ch.9/set?id=103040798&lid=1978885
Kristi's outfit to Dan's birthday town: http://www.polyvore.com/kristis_outfit_to_dans_birthday/set?id=108714614&lid=1978885