Jake stayed at Callie’s for the rest of the day before he left. On the ride home Jake felt full of contentment inside. He had found the girl of his dreams, and she had found him too. But, in the back of his mind, he knew that Chance would find out, and he had no idea how to tell him, or what his reaction would be. Chance was the slick one, not Jake. He was the one who got all the girls, and for Jake to get the girl he really wanted. It worried Jake so much. He was so happy to be with Callie, and he just imagined what Chance would feel. He would have felt the same if the circumstances were reversed. When he arrived back at the salvage yard, he found Chance inside watching the news.
“Hey buddy, when did you decide to start watching the news?” he asked to get the thought of Callie and himself out of his mind.
“Aw, nothing good’s on – I was just flicking through channels,” answered Chance. Then, he suddenly remembered where his partner had been all day. “Hey, how was Callie’s?” he asked with curiosity. But, when Jake was reluctant to answer, he turned to look at his face, finding Jake with a depressed look on his face. “What’s the matter – couldn’t fix it? Or was it that you said something stupid in front of her face cause you were too nervous?” he started to chuckle…. Then, noticing Jake still not saying anything, he got up and walked over to him. He put his hand on his shoulder, ”Hey, Buddy, what’s wrong?”
Jake looked slowly up at him, knowing he couldn’t lie, and said slowly, “Callie’s in love with me.”
“Wow!… That’s why she called you over! So, what happened – what did she say?!?” asked Chance in a very enthusiastic voice.
Jake, surprised to find Chance’s reaction so pleasant, told Chance all about what happened. About when she noticed him, why she fell in love with him, and Razor. And, even about her knowing their identities. All of it. And, Chance never once got angry or upset, but was the complete opposite, full of joy, and enthusiasm for his best friend.
“Wow, buddy, I was really scared to tell you. I didn’t know how you would take it,” admitted Jake to Chance when his story was finished.
“Me?!? Are you Crazy? Why would I get mad?” Chance asked.
“Well, I know how you feel about her…,” answered Jake in a softer voice.
“Hey Jake, forget it, you two are happy together, and in love. Don’t worry about me. You got a great girl to take care of now, remember that,” Chance said.
“Yeah, you’re right, buddy,” Jake agreed with confidence.
“What, are you crazy? Of course I am!” Chance said with pride.
“Thank you, buddy – you’re the best friend a Kat could ask for,” Jake said to Chance. He was so happy his friend had reacted to this situation the way he did.
“Hey, don’t get all sentimental on me. You’re welcome,” Chance sat back down on the couch. ”And, the same goes for you too.” He turned part of his attention back to the TV.
“Alright, hey, I am going down to the hanger to load up the TurboKat and work on that new armor plating. Wanna come help?” Jake asked.
“Are you crazy? There’s an all night long marathon of Scardy Kat on in two minutes! And, these are the first season’s episodes, the Classics! I’m not going to miss it,” Chance answered.
“I should have known, “ Jake replied sarcastically because he knew when his friend got into that show nothing could make him change his mind. “Well, if you change your mind, I’ll be in the hanger.” Jake walked down to the hanger.
“Don’t stay up too late,” Chance called as Jake walked away.
Chance then turned and faced the TV, with a lot on his mind…
Later that night, when Jake finally came up out of the hanger, he could hear the sound of the TV on. When he entered the TV room, sure enough there was Scardy Kat and Chance on the couch watching it. But, something strange caught Jake’s attention. Chance wasn’t laughing. He always laughed at Scardy Kat, rerun or not. Even if he had seen the episode 100 times, he still would laugh as if it were the first time again. He wasn’t asleep; he was just sitting back on the couch, looking at the TV. As if lost in thought.
Jake walked over and asked, “Hey, buddy, are you alright?” he asked.
Chance, as if pulled from sleep, was startled and answered, ”Yeah, buddy, what’s wrong?”
“That’s what I asked you.”
“What, me? Nothing’s wrong. Why? What could be wrong?” Chance asked, trying to get Jake’s question off his back.
“Well, you weren’t laughing,” said Jake.
“At what?” asked Chance
“At Scardy Kat. You love that show. Every time you see it, you laugh your fur right off. But, you weren’t right now. So, what’s on your mind, buddy?” Jake asked in a concerned voice.
“Oh that, well, I was just wanted to relax, and I’ve seen this episode a lot, and instead of laugh, I was just relaxing. Jefferson’s car gave me some trouble today, and I need to relax,” Chance answered in a calm voice so as to not let Jake know that there was something wrong.
“You sure you’re alright, buddy?” Jake asked one last time.
“Yeah, Jake, I’m okay. Now get some rest. You need it – you’ve had a big day.”
“Okay, what about you? How late are you gonna be up?”
“I’ll probably just fall asleep down here, eventually,” Chance answered in a melancholy voice.
“Alight, see in you morning, buddy.” Jake said as he left to go to bed.
“You too,” replied Chance. As Jake walked upstairs, Chance turned back to the TV. “Glad that’s over,” he muttered as he rested his head back against the head cushion. ‘You should have told him the truth,’ he thought. ‘You should have told him how you really feel…’
“But, he is my best friend – I can’t do something like that to him. Even if Callie does love him,” he said out loud to himself to silence his thoughts.
Then, he thought, ‘Look, Jake is my best friend, my partner, practically my brother. I can’t let my jealousy get the best of me. And, it’s not like he did it to me on purpose. He loves her just as much as I do, and I can’t destroy that which he and Callie share. But, it really does hurt… Life’s just full of surprise.’ He laughed to try to feel better, but it didn‘t help… ’So I guess you just got to stand tall in front of the change and not let it get you down’… and soon after that thought Chance fell to his side and fast asleep.
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