"I think that we could have worked, you know." Tyler's voice came from behind Carissa right as she was pouring a glass of milk, causing her to miss the glass and spill a small amount on the marble counter.
She turned around and glared at Tyler. "And I'm supposed to take what from that statement?"
He paused. "I-"
Carissa cut him off before he could respond. "Am I supposed to believe that you were really ever interested in a relationship with me? That you would have gone against what your little friends thought? That you would have had the balls to ask me? Yeah, I don't think so.
"When you ignored me and cut off our friendship because your friends made you think that I was a loser and a social loner who was only using you, I lost all respect for you. You lost your respect for yourself. You really expect me to believe that you are going to change your mind simply because I told you why I was truly mad at you? I will believe it when I see it."
Her scorn grated on Tyler but he didn't say anything. He stood there and took what she had to say. After all, he deserved everything she was telling him. He had done everything she had said he did and more. He had been a coward and let his friends control his thoughts. But he had changed. He had since made sure that his friends would never be able to force their opinions on him like they had on that day.
The day Tyler had told Carissa that she was worthless and unworthy of being his friend would be forever ingrained in his mind. He would never forget the look on her face as she realized what he was telling her. Her face had been an open book to him, all the time he had spent with her made sure that he could tell exactly what she was feeling when she was feeling it. Disbelief had morphed into hurt which had quickly dissolved into unadulterated rage.
Carissa's pain hurt him the most. He never wanted to hurt Carissa with his words, especially not in public, but he had. And he had paid for his words. Always unpredictable, Carissa's fist connected with a solid right hook to his left eye socket, followed by a quick uppercut into his diaphragm, leaving him gasping for air.
She had walked away, her steps quickening as more and more people turned to stare at her and the mess she had caused. Tyler's friends stood in shock, expressions of complete stupefaction written across their normally smirking faces. Quiet, kind, and openly brilliant Carissa Teaton had reacted in a way that none of them had expected. Bets were placed on whether she would cry or have a hysterical breakdown.
She had done neither. She had done the unexpected. She had done what every girl who had ever had a guy crush their heart longed to do. She had fought back and won.
From that day on, Tyler and his friends were given the cold shoulder by Cari's friends, many of whom enlisted their friends to join in the movement. Cari didn't speak to Tyler. She deleted his phone number, defriended him on Facebook, ignored him in class, and asked to be moved as far away from him as possible in all her classes.
Even if he had wanted to apologize for his behavior, Tyler wouldn't have had the chance. If he tried to come near her, Cari's friends would intercept him and send him on a different route. It had come to the point where Tyler did not even see Cari most of the time. He missed her laughter, her voice, and her sense of humor. But most of all, he missed her friendship.
Cari's friendship had been one of the most consistent things in Tyler's life from freshman year on. He had taken it for granted and he had lost it.
"I don't expect you to believe everything I am saying to you. I just want a second chance. When you feel like you are ready to give that to me, I will be right here waiting for you."
Tyler sighed. "You probably won't believe this, but I have missed our friendship. Coming from a guy, all this emotional stuff sounds weird, but it's true and I think you should at least hear it, even if you don't listen."
He turned away, and walked out of the kitchen, leaving Cari speechless. Guys didn't say stuff like that unless they were in books. They didn't profess all their emotions and then ask for the girl to at least consider them. No, they either didn't say anything at all, or they expected immediate responses. Tyler had done the opposite of both.
Picking up her glass of milk, she reached into the junk cupboard, and snatched her comfort Oreos. This was going to take a lot of thinking about and Oreos tended to make her just a little bit happier when it came to anything Tyler.