To read more about “the story” go here
Just a random storyline involving Tucker and Sarah.
I felt him before I saw him. The hairs on the back of my neck began to dance and I had that overwhelming urge to look behind me. Tucker stood next to the big tree looking anxious. I sighed and looked away, not wanting to talk to him but knowing all the while that he would stroll over.
His shoes crunched on the gravel as he crossed the path that snaked around the park pond. I tried to pretend I didn’t know he was there, my hands gripping tighter against the cool steel railing of the bridge. His shadow announced his presence nest to me. I watched it spill over the bridge into the rushing water of the creek that feeds into the pond. I wished I could jump into the rushing water, speed far away from the bridge, be anywhere but here with him at this moment.
Another sigh escaped my lips. Just a half hour ago I was having a good day, hanging out with Michelle, watching a movie and having a few drinks. Then Tucker had to come home and ruin it all. He ruins everything. He just wouldn’t let up with his teasing. It took about five minutes of his nonsense before I finally blew up on him. Ten years of pent up frustration and anger exploded. I didn’t even wait around for his reaction, I just high-tailed it out of the apartment and headed for…anywhere. How I ended up at Memorial Park I don’t remember.
Tucker cleared his throat, obviously trying to get my attention. I kept my eyes on the water below. When Tucker didn’t say anything for another minute I chanced a glance at him. He had his hands on the railing, his eyes intently on them. He looked…bothered. Nothing bothered Tucker. He was always in a good mood. Always happy and joking around. I looked back at the creek before he noticed me staring.
Finally he inched closer to me. “Logan,” he started, always with my last name, “I was way out of line. I shouldn’t have-” He cleared his throat again, obviously searching for words to put to his feelings. I waited, confused, wondering what he was playing at. What game was this? Was he setting me up for something. I never knew with Tucker.
“I didn’t mean any of that stuff,” he continued. “I just-” He stopped again and I glanced back up at him. His eyes met mine for a split second before we both looked away. My heart fluttered, not an entirely abnormal reaction to his gaze, but an unwanted one. I tried to concentrate on being mad, on the things he had said to me and about me just minutes earlier…in front of our friends.
“I am so sorry,” he said quietly, moving a little closer to me. I forced my breathing to stay even, to act normal despite the fact that the hairs on the back of my neck were standing on end again. His proximity made my skin crawl and not in a bad way. Why do I let him do this to me?
Tucker’s hand skimmed across my arm before coming to a rest on the railing again. I founght back a gasp as electricity coursed through my body. I could see him out of the corner of my eye. He was looking down at the water now, his mouth opening and closing as he tried to get the words out. Just say it and get it over with, I urged him silently.
After a few seconds he looked up, sighed and said, “I didn’t mean to hurt you, Logan. I hate when you’re angry with me.” I snorted in response, unsure how to take his sudden seeming sincerity. Tucker’s moods changed with the wind, I was never sure if he was being truthful or just trying to yank my chain.
“It’s just hard, you know,” he said after another moment, “falling in love with one of your best friends especially after proclaiming to be a bachelor for life.”
My head spun. I wasn’t even sure I heard him correctly. Did he just say “love”? Tucker? My heart raced in my chest, pushing my blood up into my head so fast I thought it would explode. I realized I was holding my breath and slowly let it out, trying to keep it steady so Tucker wouldn’t see what an impact his words had on me. Slowly I looked up at him and his head turned to meet my gaze. The look of sheer terror on his face told me he was being honest, that this wasn’t some screwed up game he was playing.
I didn’t know what to say. Was I in love with Tucker? All the fighting, the flirting, the innuendos. All those stolen moments when Michelle and Kevin weren’t around, everything that always seemed to be left unsaid that I thought I imagined. Memories flooded my head-me and Tucker getting drunk together at 14 because Kevin and Michelle ditched us; Tucker beating up Leo Gessler for breaking up with me on the quad in 11th grade; Tucker taking me to the prom because my date up and ditched me at the last minute; the dance at Michelle and Kevin’s wedding; the week we spent hanging out together while they were on their honeymoon-was all of that real? At the time I told myself I was just imagining him being nice to me, that he was doing it because he had nothing better to do or was setting me up for some later prank.
Tucker licked his lips and I realized he was waiting for me to say something. “I…I…” I stuttered, suddenly anxious and unsure what to say. He quickly looked away and I thought he was going to leave, embarassed for confessing his feelings. I opened my mouth to call him back but before I said anything he turned back and leaned close to me.
“I know I don’t deserve it but I just want another chance. Please, Sarah. I can be that guy you want me to be. I don’t want to hurt you any more.”
I felt tears well up in my eyes and fought them back remembering the promise I made to myself years ago that I would never let Tucker see me cry again, but it wasn’t working. He reached up and wiped away the first stray tear. My eyes never left his face. He looked like the same Tucker I’ve known most of my life but I was seeing him in a completely different light. He did care, he was my friend…I was in love with him. I had fought so hard to keep those feeling away, convincing myself that it wasn’t real but I always knew it was a lie. The reason he irritated me so much and the things he said hurt so much was because I loved him so much. I kept hoping I would outgrow it as we got older or that he would do something so completely horrible that I would finally be disgusted enough to not care but it never happened. The older we got the more I cared about him, the more jealous I got of his girlfriends and the more his jokes hurt.
“Sarah, please,” he whispered, his voice quavered ever so slightly as he begged for forgiveness, something I had never denied him before. He was just inches away from me now, our eyes locked together. Unable to keep the tears back anymore I felt them cascade down my cheek. He leaned his forehead against mine. His voice still low, he said, “tell me you love me.”
The desperation in his voice shocked me and it was all I could do to nod against him. His lips brushed against mine and my heart skipped a beat. No one ever made me feel as alive as Tucker did, whether it was a battle of wits or sharing a quiet night on the couch watching some B rated horror flick on cable.
Finally I forced the words out, words I had tried not to think about for almost 10 years. “I do love you, Tucker,” I whispered, “I always have.”