Chapter twenty 1/3

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[chapter 20 is three parts, the only reason for that is that twenty one is a special number. i know, i"m weird. deal with it ;) ]

“And it’s been hard, very very hard, it still is actually. But I’m coping. Whenever I feel like, you know, doing something, I just go for a hike or something. Not to think, but just to enjoy nature, listen to some music, whatever. Or I would draw something or play a game or mess up my make up on purpose to make myself laugh, talk about happy things to happy people. Anything to distract me. And I know that distraction is only temporary, but so is the relief of self harm, so I prefer to go with the first option.”

I saw Tyler’s lips curl into a small smile at the last few sentences, so I decided to just say it. “It’s not like everything is good now, I still have my bad days and still don’t like myself, but since the last few weeks, since I met you, I’ve been feeling a lot less lonely.” I smiled and breathed a soft “thank you, Tyler.” He hugged me, and I hugged back. We remained in a tight hug for a few minutes, until Tyler started to pull back. He looked into my eyes and then shyly looked at the ground. ‘Awwww’ I caught myself thinking. His gaze returned to my eyes, and I saw something like happiness appear in his eyes. It was a little different though, but I just can’t put my finger on it. At least the sad look from earlier was gone –for now.- “I.. I really like you, Jenna. I mean I… I’m just really, really happy to be friends with you. You’re amazing.” He stammered with a flustered look on his face. I smiled and couldn’t help but think about how confused I was now. I mean, he kind of randomly said it, and if he actually liked me in a love way, he probably wouldn’t have added the last part, and if he didn’t like me in that way, he shouldn’t have said it so nervously. A few seconds later, I recovered from the confusion and pulled him into a short hug again. “I like you too, Tyler.” 

He took out his phone and checked the time. “Whoa, later than I expected it to be.” He said. “What time is it?” I asked, too lazy to take out my own phone. “It’s almost five. Maybe we should get back to the car.” He said, a nervous pause in the middle of his sentence. I nodded and we made our way back to Tyler’s small car.

I’m not sure when things became so awkward between Tyler and me, I think it just kind of happened. He tried to make some conversation, but he couldn’t really think of any more things than the weather, and I wasn’t really interested in that. I really tried to talk about anything, but it didn’t really work out. After 5 minutes and two awkward hand-touches, Tyler spoke up. “Jenna, do you… maybe wanna go out for dinner with me?” He said, looking at the ground. I tried swallowing the nervous lump in my throat, without success. “Uhm, I have to eat with my dad, you know, since well, it’s his only day here.” He nodded, “oh yeah, I forgot that, Sorry.” And continued walking at the same pace with his head bowed down. “But, I guess we could go some other time?” I said, slightly confident. He looked at me with his bright eyes, said “Okay,” and smiled without revealing teeth.

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After catching up with dad during dinner, we did some cleaning together. Then he gave me some money for when I’m in Seattle, and left about an hour later. I realized how tired I was, and decided to go to bed early. My dad left a little before ten. It was now a little more than half an hour later. I went upstairs, showered and brushed my teeth. Before I went to sleep, I decided to text Tyler for a bit.

“heyy :)” I started the conversation.

Within 5 minutes I got a reply from him.

“Jennaa :)” It said. I immediately realized how this was the first time he ever sent me a smiley face, which for some reason made me extremely happy, and I felt butterflies flutter through my stomach. I didn’t even care about the smirk on my face –because of a stupid smiley face in a fricken text message- because well, no one could see it. Tyler then sent another text. “Has your dad left yet?”

“Yepp, like 30 mins ago. Wanted to text you before going to sleep. Meeting everyone today was fun :) I had a good day.”

“Happy to hear.”

“Thanks again, Tyler. For, you know, listening… and everything.”

“Never a problem. Never. I’m always here for you. I really care about you.”

“Thank you, and I’m here too, you know, You never told me your story, if you ever feel the need, I’m here.”

“Yeah. I didn’t feel like telling/hearing two depressing stories in a short amount of time. I guess Debby told you part of the reason already, but I guess we’ll talk about it all sooner or later.”

While texting Tyler, all I could do was wondering whether he felt like I did. I realized I really, really did like him, in that way. And the only way to maybe get over it, was to first stop denying it. I don’t even care if he likes me too, I do like him. At least he likes me as a friend and I guess I should just be content with that. I’ll get to hang out with him, which is nice, and if I’m lucky hug him, which is even nicer. I got up off the bed and walked towards the light switch. I turned it off, and walked back to my bed, when my phone lit up again.

“I can’t wait to see you again x”

“Aww Scott, me neither. Buuuut finals AND THEN THE TIME HAS FINALLY COME.”

I loved the fact that Scott texted me, even though I wished that text had come from a different person. I got another one from Scott, though.

“YESS MY GURL, GO FOR IT. But really, nail those last tests, and then hop on that plane.”

I replied with a smiley face and returned to my conversation with Tyler.

“Yeah, maybe that’s a good idea. I wish I had more time :/ buuuut finals…”

“myeah, you should study well enough. When’s graduation?”

“Friday, before I leave.”

“Oh yeah, you said that. Uhm, your flight is at 9 right? Or do you have to be at the airport by then?”

“I gotta be there around 8, I’ll fly at like 10:30. Soo with the time difference I’ll probably arrive by 11.” I texted. I felt my eyes grow heavier by the second, so I decided to add another text. “Ty, I’m gonna go to sleep. Goodnight x”

“Ah, okay. Goodnight Jenna, sleep well :)” he replied. I smiled at his smiley face, though I was a little disappointed that he didn’t send an x back. ‘Is that clingy?’ I thought to myself. It probably was, but I didn’t really care. I thought back to our afternoon together, and what he said, the liking me, and then adding the friend part, I guess it kind of hurt, though I didn’t really think he meant liking-in-that-way in the first place. I don’t see why he would like me… But I do like him.

I sighed and decided I had to push my thoughts away and sleep, or I would not be able to stay awake tomorrow, let alone study. 

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