I Know It Might Be Wrong, But...
“What did you tell your mom?”
“Nothing? Then, look me in the eye when you say that.”
Stacy was not lying. Or, rather, technically she had not told her mother anything. The intent was certainly there, but Stacy’s mom had come to the conclusion by herself that Steven is her daughter’s boyfriend, which is what he was asking as he cornered Stacy to a wall.
They were also out on the street, just a block away from Stacy’s home. Stacy could hear a couple of “how bold” and “ah, youth” comments from neighbors she’s acquainted with who were passing by, but she wished they saw her situation as more of a shakedown rather than two kids flirting out in public.
“It’s kind of embarrassing when you’re that close”, Stacy nervously responded. Her explanation is half the truth. Steven had leaned towards Stacy for the interrogation and they would have been face to face if she was not trying to avoid his gaze. The other half is she was guilty of knowing about the misunderstanding and doing nothing about it, but she was not about to admit to that.
“Then, why does your mom think I’m courting you?”
“She came to that conclusion on her own.”
“How, though? I don’t think I’ve introduced myself as your suitor.”
“Well, anyone would think that if you spend the night at the home of someone from the opposite sex.”
“But, we didn’t even do anything.”
“Maybe so, but it might have looked like a house date.”
“But, that wasn’t a house date. You should know.”
“Yeah, but to others, it may seem that way.”
Steven paused and could only crease his eyebrows. He could not see the logic in Stacy’s explanation.
Stacy, feeling that it was taking a bit for Steven to make his reply, glanced at him and saw that he was struggling to comprehend what she had just said, so she continued.
“You know, when you see a boy and a girl of the same age together, normally you’d think they were dating, no?”
“Well, you’re a boy. I’m a girl. We were also seen together.”
“But, we aren’t dating?”
“That might not seem like the case for others when they see us together.”
Steven’s expression had not changed, so Stacy continued with her explanation.
“Including my mom.”
Then, Steven finally got it. His face looked as if he received a revelation. He corrected his posture and took a step away from Stacy, finally giving her a bit of space.
Stacy’s back was firmly against the wall, which made her feel claustrophobic, so she took half a step forward to a more comfortable position. She also took a deep breath to ease the tension she felt throughout her body.
After the two had adjusted their stances, Steven continued. “What I don’t understand is why haven’t you tried correcting your mom.”
Stacy froze. That was another question she did not want to answer. But, she had to as she knew Steven is expecting one and he would not let her go if she did not give one.
She looked away again and offered a lie. “We haven’t really talked about it so the opportunity did not arise.”
“The opportunity arose earlier though? When she was talking to you and calling me your boyfriend.”
The lie crumbled apart already, but Stacy was sticking with it. “Well, she didn’t give me a chance to correct it.”
But, before Steven could call her bluff again, she made her escape. Or, rather, she started pacing towards the direction of the school. She knew full well she is unable to beat Steven in a foot race, so the best she could do with the situation is deflect.
“Come on now”, Stacy said without making eye contact. “Let’s hurry or you’ll be late for morning practice.”
Their conversation did not really end there, of course. Real life does not work like the movies or TV dramas where a topic ends when the scene pans out to the next, but Stacy certainly hoped it did. Steven persisted with the questioning and she continued with the deflecting during their commute.
Eventually, Steven got fed up. Stacy had been walking in front of him, faster than her usual pace to avoid conversation so he grabbed her hand to stop her from walking. Then, with a stern expression on his face, Steven demanded “You should help me fix the misunderstanding with your mom.”
Stacy tried pulling her arm off of Steven’s grip, but his grasp was firm. She realized there was no escaping this time. However, as stubborn as she is, she was not budging for him. Defiantly, she asked “Why should I?”
“Why? Isn’t it bothering you?”
“Not really, it’s not like it’s causing problems. Also, she’ll figure out the truth sooner or later.”
“Well, it’s causing me problems and she won’t figure it out soon enough for me.”
“Like I said, why should I?”
“Who else could?”
“You could have earlier today, didn’t you?”
Steven winced. Stacy’s remark hit a soft spot. “That’s true, but you saw it, right? She didn’t listen to me!”
“Well, you should have pushed the issue further!”
Stacy made another hit, which caused Steven to fall silent. He still had not let her hand go though.
“If you don’t have anything else to say, let me go”, she protested. “We’re already near school and I’m afraid what our classmates would do if they saw us like this.”
Steven, though, was not about to back down.
“You saw it! You were there!” he exclaimed, almost crying. “I tried multiple times, but she just didn’t listen!”
Indeed, Stacy was there when Steven tried explaining to her mom that he was not dating her daughter again and again. She even witnessed that defining moment where he just went straight for the kill and directly told her that it was actually Stacy’s mom he was interested in. But, that was met with another misunderstanding.
“You’re a smart boy for trying to be interested in the parents, too, but you should really be trying to woo the girl first if you’re not official yet”, was the reaction of Stacy’s mom to Steven’s confession.
A rejection would have been preferable, Steven and Stacy had thought, but it was not that or otherwise. An innocent, unrelated advice was given, which drained Steven’s spirit more than a rejection would have. After that, Steven simply gave up the fight and it has led to the situation he and Stacy are in now.
It was the first time Stacy saw Steven look so pathetic and desperate that she thought she might just help this poor, cute thing in front of her. But, this was not the first time she felt compelled to help a pretty face, so she already knows how to deal with her impulses better. Furthermore, if Steven gave up now, then this may be the last time he would be bothering her.
Steeling her heart, she reiterated her stance. “And I’ll keep telling you it’s not my problem so why should I clear up the misunderstanding?”
Steven looked at Stacy, disappointed. He already has experienced heavy disappointments due to his involvement in sports, especially back when he had that injury during middle school, but he could never get used to dealing with them. Letting out a deep sigh, he conceded.
“Alright”, he said, but did not continue further as he shifted his gaze to the ground. He has also let go of Stacy’s hand.
Stacy was confused by the reaction, but did not say anything. One thing she knew, however, was that the conversation was over. She started walking thinking Steven would follow, but she quickly realized he was rooted to where he was standing, completely frozen.
“Let’s go”, she tried calling out. “You’re going to be late for your morning practice.”
But, there was no response.
“For crying out loud”, she cursed to herself. Then, as she returned to Steven, she told him “Get yourself together, it’s too early in the morning to be moping around”.
There was no reply, still.
Growing impatient, it was now Stacy’s turn to grab Steven’s hand. This time, it was not for an interrogation, but so she could drag him to their destination, the school.
“I don’t want to be the reason you’re late”, Stacy stated as she forcibly pulled him from where he was standing.
Thankfully, Stacy thought, they made it to school without incident. Steven seemed to have returned to some form of normalcy when he met one of his teammates at the gate. This was also where they parted, so she took a deep breath to relax, thinking she was done dealing with Steven for the day.
But, her problems were far from over. There was an ambush waiting for her in her classroom. As soon as she entered, she was met with a couple of angry looking girls who blocked her path into the room.
“Good morning”, she greeted them. They were still her classmates, after all. It was common courtesy to at least greet them. Then, nervously, she asked “What’s up?”
They did not answer. Or, rather, even if they wanted to, there was no time for small talk because there were other girls sneaking up on Stacy from behind who quickly put a bag over her head and dragged her away to some obscure corner in the school.