Monday, March 29, 2010

Chapter Nine: Dazed and Confused

Weeks later, Darin figured Mallory out and decided she would not be worth his time. She slumped and moped for a few days, but bounced back quickly once another guy showed her some interest. She was good at that. I assumed that he was still keeping in touch with his last Truth and Peace girl from home, but come to find out, their correspondence and interest were fading fast. It was understandable. They were living two separate lives – he in a new town and she in college. It was bound to fizzle out quickly– and it did just that. No real surprise.

Curt and Becky jumped in full force with the Youth Group, planning activities and arranging a leadership council. We planned our first conference for them to take the entire youth group to, and it was a big youth weekend conference in the next state over – where they were from…their old stomping grounds, so to speak. I was excited to be a part of this new-to-us conference, and was eager to see what it was like.

The day of the conference, we all met in the church parking lot to load up in the church vans and get on the road. I rode in a van with all my friends, and sat next to Jamie. Jamie was a good friend, but I definitely wasn’t as close to her as I was my “group” of five friends. She was my best friend in Elementary school, so we had a unique bond. On the long van ride over, I noticed she kept taking phone calls.

“I AM, MOM!”, she said – and then hung up. She seemed irritated.

The phone calls continued the entire way up there and did not stop once we got there. She roomed with us, and finally I overheard a conversation she had with her mom.

“No, mom. I did not sit by him on the way over here. He was by John and then after we stopped, he was sitting by Whitney”, she said.

What on earth was she talking about? I heard my name, so I continued to listen. When she hung up, I asked her what her mom kept wanting and she said, “she keeps wanting to know if I’m sitting by Darin….she’s obsessed”.

“Oh” I said.

I was beyond shocked.

Rumor had it that Darin and Jamie may like each other, but nothing was ever said about it. I laid low the whole weekend and deliberately stayed away. Again, my cautious ways kicked in. A group of us were walking to the evening service one night, and I heard a girl holler, “Darin!” I turned around and saw a short girl with blonde hair waving at him. We all walked over and they stood extremely far apart from one another. “This is awkward,” I thought.

Darin introduced all of us, “guys, this is Christie Joe”. Christie Joe. My mind was racing. Christie Joe, that name is so familiar. Christie Joe…..diabetes….OH! This was his diabetic coma girlfriend that he ditched for Samantha!! This weekend was getting better by the minute. I was thoroughly enjoying the drama this boy brought about. We all chatted for a few minutes and departed ways. I should have told her then and there she was better off with out him. I remained silent and kept walking.

At the beginning of the weekend, I could tell Darin was enjoying Jamie’s attention. Toward the end of the weekend – now that is a different story. He was literally running the other way when he saw her and dodging her every chance he could. I continued to lay low, even when he tried to seek me out. I didn’t like it that he and Jamie had flirted some that weekend. I didn’t like it at all. I stayed as far away from him as I could because I did not want to let myself feel anything for him. I was so confused about my mixed feelings, and didn’t know what to think. I didn’t like him; I didn’t want to like him, but I kind of got jealous of him liking other girls. That weekend was the beginning of some major confusion concerning my feelings about Mr. Gatsby, so I began to distance myself.

Sunday evening, when the conference was over and we began to head home, Darin ran over to me. “Ride with us”, he said. “Nah, I’m riding with Terri”, I told him. I did just that. I was going to let him ride with Jamie so she and her mom would be pleased and I wanted out of the picture. He begged me to please ride and that “Jamie was driving him crazy”, and I smiled and said, “you’ll do fine”, as I hopped into Terri’s car. I made the right choice. I had a fabulous ride home.

We pulled into the church hours later and I stayed in Terri’s car chatting for a few extra minutes. Darin was waiting outside of her car. What on earth was he doing? I got out and started walking to my car, pretending to not see him, when he followed me. He helped me with my things and asked if he could sit in my car with me for a few minutes. I told him “sure” and we sat there, listening to music and he began to talk about how horrible his van ride home was. I acted pretty distant and told him I better get home. I just wanted out of there to clear my head and sort my distorted thoughts.

He got the subtle hint and got out of my car. 

“I’ll see you tomorrow, Whit”, he said.

Whit? Since when does he call me “Whit”?