Different Expectations

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It's not until
a few days later
that Euni actually pulls
me aside to talk.
Track is coming up
in only a few months,
so now that our break
has come to an end, she
is starting to have
a lot on her plate.
I guess it's still not
enough to keep her
from nosing into
her younger sister's
relationship, though.
I almost wish
that it was.

“We've gotta talk,”
she tells me one day
after school as I
duck into our room to
deposit my backpack
on my bed.
“About you and
Seth, I mean.”

“Can it wait?”
I ask her
with a frown
as tension begins
to knot deep in my stomach.
“He's gonna be here
to pick me up
any minute now -
me and him and Nat
are going to that
basketball game tonight.”
I'm not really thrilled
to be going to some
lousy sporting event
that our school will
likely end up losing, but
both Seth and Natalia
had insisted that I
come with them.
Seth apparently has some
friends on the team, and
Nat obviously just likes
basketball as a whole,
being as she's played it
in the past.

There's that, of course -
and then there's the fact
that I don't want to
have this conversation,
especially not with my sister
of all people.
Eunice, who has never
had a stable relationship
in her life, who
seems to scare boys away
faster than she can catch them.
She's not really
the best person to
got to for advice, and
we both know that.

Maybe she can somehow
read all that's
on my mind, because
she casts me a
stern frown that
stops me in my tracks
before I can get
fully out the door
and away from her probing.
“Look,”
she grumbles,
“I know you don't want
to hear anything from me
about him, or about
guys in general.
I get that, but
I've had a lot more
experience dating than you,
even if none of it has
ever really been permanent.”

“Eunice,”
I say slowly,
“you have a horrible
taste in boys.
I don't think you're
exactly qualified to
say anything about Seth
when the last guy
you dated is
in jail right now.”

“Juvie,”
she corrects petulantly,
“and it's not his fault -
but that's not important.
I just…
Look, Matty, I just
don't have a good feeling
about him.
You've never dated before,
and he has, and
I feel like he has
different expectations
than you do
concerning this whole thing.”

“That was a
pretty speech, but
considering you always
choose the wrong guy,
maybe your 'bad feeling’
means he's not so
horrible after all.”
Euni doesn't have
much of a reply to that,
her mouth opening and
closing once before
she gives up, letting it
settle into a thin line.
She knows I'm right
and can't argue the point;
I'm sure of it.
So why am I
not so convinced of
how right I really am?

“I’m not
saying this right,”
she finally grumbles.
“Matty, you guys are just
two different people
with different opinions
and different expectations.
Yeah, you might not
see it now, but
trust me when I say
that realizing the
messed up stuff always
comes too late to
do anything about it.”

We're both silent
for a long while,
both mulling over her
closing statement;
Euni stares at me
from her bed, while I
levelly gaze at her
from my place at the door.
She looks so
open and honest
and sure of what she's saying -
but what does
she really know?
I ask myself.
She hasn't heard Seth
when he's talked about
his broken family situation,
or seen how much happier
he seems around me.
Even Natalia has noticed -
but Euni just
wouldn't know.

Maybe Seth seems
a lot different on the outside
to people who don't
known him as well, but
I do know him, so
she has no place
to judge him, I think,
when she is the last
person who should have
a say in this.

“I'll be fine,”
I tell her at last.
“He's my boyfriend -
why would he
ever hurt me?”
That one word
almost seems to
hang between us,
making my sister
narrow her eyes just a little.
Maybe she was doubting
the truth of Seth's declaration
after all, since I'd
never fully confirmed it.
But here I am now,
calling him my boyfriend
for the first time.
It almost seems
too huge to comprehend,
and leaves a bit of
a strange taste in
my mouth after saying it.

But then the judgement
is gone from her eyes,
replaced with a sort
of sadness and exhaustion
that makes me wonder
what exactly its
cause is.
Sure, Euni has never
had much luck when
it comes to relationships,
but all I've ever seen from her
is the resilient girl
who will simply shrug off
the errs of her dates
and move on without
a second thought.
I guess I've never thought
about what could have happened
to end all those relationships,
or how it all must
have affected her.
Because it has, obviously;
I can see that just
from her current expression.

I think she might have
been about to say something,
but the sound of a
car honking outside
interrupts her first.
Frowning, she glances
out the window while
I dart across the room
to grab a sweatshirt.
It's obviously Seth
waiting out there;
there's no doubt about it.
I can imagine Natalia
reaching around in front
of him from the backseat
to lay on the horn,
as well as the arguing
that inevitably ensues.
Normally, the idea
would make me smile.

“Are you all right?”
I ask Euni,
lingering again at the door.
She has a weird
look on her face now,
like she's trying very hard
not to think of something,
but more or less failing.
“Is it something
that I said?
I didn't mean to-”

“I’m fine,”
she brusquely interrupts,
shrugging both me
and her mood off
as she stands.
“Go and have fun
with Talia and the pigface.
Don't worry about me.”

“But-”
Before I can make
any sustained protest,
she firmly, but gently,
pushes me out
into the hallway and
shuts the bedroom door
between us,
leaving me to wonder
what exactly is
going through her mind now.
But wondering is all
I can do now, and I
soon just sigh,
heading downstairs before
either of the two outside
can jump to any
drastic conclusions.

×

Let me say it again: college is insane. Fun, but insane. For all of you guys who think high school is bad, let me tell you something. It gets both better and worse, at least in my experience. The workload in college is so much heavier, though, so if you think you have it bad, remember that I haven't had a single day since classes started that I haven't had a boatload of homework. It never ends...

(That was also yet another explanation for my lack of updates. Y'all are probably sick of that by now, so I'll let it alone for now. I desperately need to write more of this story, though...)

If you guys liked this chapter, I'd very much appreciate if you guys would vote and leave me some feedback!! <3 Love you guys! Good luck with all of your school stuff - because if you're anything like me right now, you'll need it... I know I do.

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