Chapter 4:

sceNe 4 - ꜱecoNᴅ ɢuess

ᴋraCᴋeᴅ ᴍooN

The reunion went really well, but I think I lost track of my rebellious plan once I saw Cryztal again. Since the party we messaged each other every day. I was also messaging Jason, of course! But not as much, and not in the same way. Cryztal and I had a joke as kids, the “No Sapiens Allowed Club”, where we would exclude Jason just to tease him, but I guess that means we learned to be chatty with each other. I mean that and...did you see her?

Who would have thought she would have grown up to be hot! An absolute bombshell! I understood that she was nervous around people, but the courage to wear short shorts to a thing like this! I have a hard enough time showing my knees in public! And was her face always so pretty, or has she just gotten amazing with makeup? She never looked that good on set! I mean we were kids, and she wasn’t exactly being dressed up like a woman, but still! It’s so--

“You’re being kinda gross.” Sandra said, looking over my shoulder.

I guess I should clarify. I didn’t just spend the past week going to work and chatting with Cryztal. I was also watching her streams. Highlights from older streams, her new streams, fan edits, collaborations with other streamers, all kinds of stuff! There was so much for me to look at, and I just wanted to know more and more! How could I not? Even just her voice! It’s like...smokey, but really playful! I know she’s probably exaggerating for the stream, but it’s so easy to tell why people like her so much!

“I mean like really gross.” Sandra said, trying to get my attention.

I was watching the streams on my phone, often laying across the foot of my bed.

“What do you mean? She’s my friend! I have to catch up!” I refuted, in a bit of a huff.

“Yeah, but a normal friend catches up by chatting. You’ve been staring at videos of her every day. That’s creepy.” Sandra was very direct when she thought I was doing something unhealthy. She also loved to defy my parents, which was how we became roommates at all.

“Okay...maybe I’m going a little overboard…” I admitted, thinking about it in context. “But she said I could watch whatever!”

“And you’ve completely wrecked your recommendations and adsense in the process.” She said.

“What can I say? I just can’t get enou--”

“You like her, don’t you?” She said, slyly.

“Ah! Don’t say that! We’re just old friends!” I shouted, incredibly embarrassed.

“You told me yourself that you had a crush on her as a kid! Are you sure this didn’t rekindle anything?” She was just teasing me now.

“I...I can’t know that! It could just be butterflies from getting to see an old friend again!”

“True, but you’ve mentioned Jason like maybe twice since the party, so I’m pretty sure you’re at least playing favorites.”

Was I really that focused on Cryztal? Maybe I needed to slow down. Seeing her in person again might answer what I’m feeling. It’s easy to see her charisma when it’s intentional for an audience, right? Just because she sometimes streams trying on clothes she bought online doesn’t mean she’s trying to show ME how good she looks. It’s like she’s acting! Yeah! So I should see her in person again!

I decided I would send her a message asking if she wanted to get together for dinner sometime. And mentioned that Jason should come too! That way it doesn’t look like a date or anything, and I can make sure I don’t have a crush on Jason either! A simple dinner, easy to tell who likes who and not have to worry about anything!

“You want me to go too?” Sandra asked, reading over my shoulder AGAIN!

“No, no. I’m sure you’ll just find a way to make me lose my cool.” I said, a bit confidently.

“Or keep you grounded.”