Chapter 8: The other team
I hardly slept that night. The next morning I called Abby. She told me that everyone had been arrested! I caught myself too worried about him… At first, that scared me, but as the time passed I realized that maybe it was a good thing.
On Monday morning, when I finally got to go to school the first person I saw there was Chris.
"Hey!" I said to him.
"Hi, Jess! How are you?"
"I'm ok! How is everyone else? Abby told me they arrested them on Saturday."
"They did! I was there all day, yesterday, trying to… persuade the caps to let them go. The good thing is we were not actually racing at the time they came, so they suspect what we were doing but they can't prove it! And without proof… there is no accusation! So, I guess, they will let them go one of these days…Wait a minute!" Chris said and looked at a guy who passed us by. I had seen him in the races.
"Hey, Craig! What happened? Did they let you out?"
"No! It's just me!"
"Why did they let you go?"
"My dad payed !"
"What about everyone else?" I asked Craig "How long are they keeping them?"
"I don't know! Dylan's dad came, though… he tried to pay so they would let him out, but you know Dylan!"
"Yeah… he wouldn't take anything from his dad…."
I looked at them confused. I wanted to ask more.
"They had a terrible fight!" Craig said.
"Oh, not again!"
That scared me! Dylan fought with his dad? I tried not to show my surprise so they would keep talking. That was my chance to get some information about him!
"The caps said that Dylan's history with them was too long and that if he got in there again he would not get out easily…"
"I know! This is his forth time! He has to be more careful!"
"Dylan? Careful? He would prefer to stay in prison for years than let anyone of us get caught instead if him!"
"I know! But this has to stop! I'll talk to him! He's taking this too seriously!"
"I've got to run! I've got to copy some exercises from someone else! I didn't have the time to do anything with all these going on!"
"I know, man…. Neither did I! I'll see you around!"
When Craig left and I was alone with Chris I decided to ask him. We were friends and I actually had no one else to ask!
"Chris, can I ask you something?"
"Well… what you said before about Dylan and his father got my attention! Please, don't think I ask this because I am too curious, it's just that… I…"
"You care about him!"
I looked at him. What was I supposed to say? Chris was Dylan's best friend! He was the last person I should reveal this to! "You know… I…"
"I know you care about him, Jess! I've seen it! On Saturday night you turned back to persuade him to come with us, so they wouldn't arrest him! That shows that you care! And I know he cares about you, too!"
My heart started beating faster.
"He does? How do you know? Has he told you? He doesn't look like he likes me or anything…"
"I know my best friend, Jess! I can tell whether he likes a girl or not."
"You… you think he likes me?"
He smiled. "Look, Dylan's been through a lot in the past years! It's really not easy for him to… like a girl, flirt and show his feelings to her like the rest of us!"
"What do you mean? Why not?" I asked.
"I am not sure if I am allowed to say that? Dylan feels bad about these stories…."
"Chris, I don't want to pressure you and I won't ask you to tell me if you don't to, but I can keep a secret and I do care about him!" I said.
When I finally admitted that I truly cared about Dylan Ford out loud it suddenly became true! I did care about him before, but hearing my own voice saying it made me realize how much I actually did cared!
"I know! It's not that I don't trust you… it's just… this is not my secret! It's his!"
I nodded. "I understand!"
I spent all day thinking about this… Dylan cared about me? In what way? On Tuesday morning I was surprised to see that the kids had returned to school. They had been let out late the previous night, as I found out later.
My eyes searched for Dylan.
"Who are you looking for?" Abby asked me in a smile that made me uncomfortable.
"Ah…" I hesitated. I wanted to tell Abby but I didn't know how.
"Ok, Jess!" she said "Let's be honest here! You like him!"
I took a deep breath and let it out. "I do!"
"I knew it! I knew it!"
"Fine, you knew it!"
"He's in the library, with Chris!"
"Oh…" I said and my hart started to beat faster. Oh God… I really liked him!
"Do you want to go?"
"Well… it's not a bad idea!" I smiled.
When we got to the library he was there in deed. And although his face was still a little messed up from the fight with Logan on Saturday night, he looked as perfect as ever… Now, I was blushing and my hands were sweaty.
"Hey boys!" Abby said and smiled.
"Hi, baby!" Chris said and kissed her.
Dylan was still looking at his book. He hadn't noticed me.
"Hi Chris!" I said "Hi, Dylan!"
He looked up surprised. His eyes widely open. He looked at me for some seconds that felt like an eternity… I could see that his body was becoming nervous. Maybe Chris was right… maybe, he did like me! "Hello!" he said.
"I… I heard they caught you! I'm… glad you're out!" I smiled nervously proud of myself for being able to put two whole sentences in the right order.
"Yeah… they couldn't prove we were racing!" he said breathlessly.
For a moment I thought there was only me and him in the room.
"By the way… thank you for… for… getting me out of there before it was too late!"
It took him about twenty seconds to understand what I was saying and finally answer.
"Chris took you out of there!"
"Yes, but… it was because of you!"
"Well… I… I didn't want you to get into trouble! You were not in the team anyway!"
"But Jess and I will join the team!" Abby said enthusiastically.
"What?" Dylan looked at her.
"We'll join the team! Right, Jess?"
I was not expecting that! But, it was a good idea! "Yeah! Sure!"
"That's not going to happen!" Dylan said and there was nothing in his voice that would let us disagree. It was like he was making a decision for us. That really peased me off!
"Excuse me?" I said and tried to sound offended. Because I was!
"I said, you are not going to join the team!"
"Who exactly are you to forbid that?"
"The captain of the team" he said, he took his book and left without saying an other word.
How could he humiliate me like this in front of my friends. I felt so angry, I just forgot everything else. I would join the team! It just wouldn't be his team!
"Chris, do you know where Logan Green is?" I asked.
"Oh, no Jess! Don't do that! Logan is jerk!" Abby said.
"No! I've made my decision! If I can't join your team! I will join his! Just tell me where I can find him!"
When I finally found Logan, he was sitting in a classroom with a group of girls around him laughing. For a moment I regretted my decision but then I thought of Dylan's behavior and kept going.
"Hey, sunshine!" he said surprised to see me. "Sorry, girls! I'll see you later!" he said and came near me.
"Did you break up with your boyfriend?" he asked.
"He. Is. Not. My. Boyfriend.!" I said.
"Ok… what's up?"
"I was wandering if I could join your team?"
He raised his eyebrows and looked at me like he didn't believe what he'd heard. "Sure! You'll be my co-driver!"
"Great!" I said. Not really meaning it. "When is the next race?"
"Friday? That's awesome! I'll see you there, captain!" I said and smiled maybe more that I should have.
"See you there…" he said still not able to believe what had just happened.
What had just happened?