Chapter Fifteen, Daft Love...?
It seems like I always sit in my car and think a lot. I probably do. I couldn't help it today, though. My mind was running off about Carmen and the fact I will be seeing her later on. It was because of these stupid little dreams I had last night that kept waking me up every hour or so. Each one of them were about Carmen and made me question my entire life and existence. One was about us walking the school holding hands. The most shocking part was that liked it and wanted to. Another was about me taking her to my favorite place to eat, which I don't know why I'd ever do that. What made it all so ridiculous and silly was that I felt like I... like I really, really, really liked her a lot.
Who am I kidding? I'm being stupid. My dreams were stupid and more annoying than anything. I barely had a chance to sleep peacefully without waking up in a fright over something or another that involved Carmen.
Just as I was about to get out of my car, I saw Carmen and nearly had a heart attack. I couldn't control the groan that left my mouth as I got out and faced her. I made a mental note to find another good parking spot while I studied her face. She looked mad and I prayed it wasn't at me. I haven't done anything since yesterday. At least I don't think. We had exchanged numbers yesterday, so maybe I was supposed to text her? No, she would have sent me a text and she didn't. Did she? Crap, I feel like there was something important I probably intentionally forgot and shouldn't have. Hmm, maybe that's why I was dreaming about her?
"Where have you been?" Carmen asked with her hand on her hip. Someone is sassy and mean. See, this is why it's impossible for me to freaking like her so much.
"Um, I was home getting ready? What's up with you?"
"Samantha! I hope she gets hit by a bus."
"We shouldn't have watched Mean Girls yesterday. Calm down, Janis."
"Don't call me Janis Ian! You're freaking Karen Smith."
"I'm totally Glen Coco."
"Whatever, just stop."
"Okay, okay. Tell me what happened."
Carmen was glaring at me with a tense jaw and stance, but relaxed and looked at the ground. She ran a hand through her hair and sighed as she thought of something to say.
"She was talking behind my back in front of me... or, well, she was talking about me and I heard her."
"What did she say?"
"It was... uh, never mind. It doesn't matter. Let's just go to school."
"Were you planning on ditching again? How bad was it? Tell me what Samantha said."
"No, I realized it's stupid. Sorry, I don't know why I waited for you. I'm going to go clean my locker before school starts."
"I've seen the inside of your locker. It's cleaner than Adrian's."
"I meant the outside."
Carmen ignored me as she began to walk away towards the school. So much for thinking she was mad at me. A part of me was upset still. I wanted to make her feel better. I wanted to hear her laugh at something she said about me. Okay, that sounds crazy. I'm crazy. Jesus, what did those dreams do to me? I can't stop thinking about them. Or maybe I just can't stop thinking about her... ew. I ended up following her out of my own free will. When I caught up to her, she ignored me. That only frustrated me and motivated me to know exactly what happened.
"Carmen, please talk to me. Whatever happened, I want to make it better." I said with so much truth I surprised myself. I wanted to ditch with her again and just run away from school with the look she gave. I need salvation after this is all over.
"You can't and it doesn't matter. Let's forget it, yeah?" She said before ripping off a strip of tape from her locker. I watched her angrily crumple it up and throw it on the ground before ripping off another, giving it a similar fate as the previous. When she was about to tear off another piece of tape, I put my hand over hers.
"Stop it, okay? What the hell is wrong? Please, for the love of god, tell me."
Carmen's eyes were big now and were looking directly in mine. I held her gaze, impatiently waiting for her to say something or at least do something. I didn't think she was this upset until now. It's not fair. She doesn't deserve to feel this way at all. She needs to be happy. I want her happy. She's freaking wearing those stupid Converse again today and I'm almost certain she has one of those ugly mustard sweaters for every day of the week.
"Samantha called me... a freak." Carmen whispered as if it was some horrifying secret. "She... said I'm such a loser and don't deserve Mikey or Chris as my friends, or anyone for that matter. She said I'm only trying to have friends because in reality I'm better off as a loaner. She said I have this insane obsession with tape and should probably be in some institute to get my head straight because what normal person would tape their hideous nickname to their locker or tape up great shoes."
Carmen wasn't looking at me anymore when she finished. Instead she was staring at the floor and kicking the balls of tape she made between her feet. It was like I could see the shame and hurt drape over her. I knew she actually believed the garbage Samantha said about her. I was beyond furious at Samantha, but I couldn't even let myself have a second to feel it because I was too hurt by what had been said.
I had this unsettling, churning feeling in my stomach and I wanted to be sick. I wanted to puke my insides out and have my body be mauled by carnivorous bears. I felt horrible in that moment and the only person I could blame for her despair was myself. I wanted to see her smile, I wanted to see her face light up and beam like the brightest sun in the universe, and I wanted to see her smirk for some witty remark she made to me. I never, ever, felt like the worst person in the world until that point. I thought those same things once, actually I believed them. I feel disgusting.
"I'm sorry." I said. I realized my hand was still holding Carmen's down, so I removed it and stood there with her. She looked liked a wounded animal that had been hit by an ignorant driver.
"It's not your fault. She's right."
"No, oh god, she's so unbelievably far from right." I quickly replied, hoping she would stop feeling that way about herself and trust me.
"Don't listen to what anyone ever tells you, okay? Especially that demon spawn. She's worse than Regina George. Seriously, you're amazing, Carmen, and you have to understand that it's completely ridiculous and hard to believe, but so true. I love the fact that you like tape so much. I think you're an easily likable person. You're really nice and honest."
"You're just say-"
"No, I'm not just saying it. I really do believe it. I admit, it took me a while to see it and half the time I was ignoring the fact that it was true. You're incredible. I swear it's true, Carmen. I will personally go find Samantha so I can give her a piece of my mind if you want." She smiled at my last words and shook her head.
"No, don't do that. You know, you may act all tough, but you're the sweetest guy."
"Don't push it, but go on. I wanna hear more." I smirked causing her to laugh.
"You're so full of yourself."
"Idiot, but thank you. I've always been made fun of for being weird at least once. It's nice to have someone sticking up for me and telling me I'm an above average person." I rolled my eyes.
"You're giving me another sob story. If you continue to do this, I'm going to start crying every time I see you."
"Sorry, I've never seen you cry and don't want to. I bet you're an ugly crier."
"I wouldn't know. I don't watch myself cry."
"Wait, you're good now, though, right? You're not upset anymore?"
"Yeah, I guess so." Carmen shrugged her shoulders after.
"Good?" She raised an eyebrow in question.
"I didn't like seeing you upset, especially after what Samantha said. I'm sorry I didn't get to school earlier."
"Don't apologize. Come on, let's go talk about her with Adrian, Brandy, Chris, and Mike."
"Do we have to?" I whined.
Carmen took my hand in hers and tugged me along to where our friends must have been. It reminded me of the last time she held my hand and what it felt like. I couldn't stop the smile that appeared on my face. It was so, so wrong. I was utterly foolish. I didn't want to let her hand go and I started to get flashbacks of my dreams from last night. Maybe I was so stubborn, there really wasn't anything wrong with me at all. Maybe after countless times I had been in denial, this is what I have really wanted- something I didn't believe I actually liked in the first place. Maybe I've been wrong about everything this whole time. Or maybe she just spontaneously came into my world, not hesitating to turn it all upside and ruin it because she just didn't care at all in the end.
I, probably creepily, stared at Carmen as she forced me to follow her. This time, I let myself feel whatever it was I was feeling. I stopped myself from thinking about something negative about the situation. Really, it was pleasant.
I may have listened to Digital Love by Daft Punk before I wrote this and I may have listened to it throughout the entire time I wrote it, plus decided to make a link to the song available. oops. I like Daft Punk so much. at least I wasn't listening to Fall Out Boy or 311
also, who's excited for the end?!