Chapter Two Part One
Jesse slowly walked back to his table as he watched Melody walk out of the
“Who was the babe?” Sean asked.
“You mean to tell me you don’t know Melody Tripp?” Nick asked flabbergasted.
“As a matter of a fact, I don’t,” Sean shot back.
“Her father is the CEO of Elkhart General Hospital. Rumor has it, that he is a rich cardiologist from Georgia, and that after he bought his position as CEO of the hospital, he just kind of disappeared,” Nick explained.
“Disappeared?” Jesse asked.
“Apparently, he was accused of murdering a string of patients–”
“What do you mean?” Jesse asked.
“C’mon Jesse, do I really need to spell it out for you? What I mean is he was accused of murdering vicious criminals that were under his care.”
“You’re so full of shit,” Sean accused with a laugh. “Stop messing with the man’s new crush,” Sean said nudging Jesse. “So, I guess this means you’re giving up on the epic Jasmine chase?” Sean asked.
“I don’t know man, I’ve only just met Melody, why give up on Jasmine so soon?” Jesse replied.
“Atta boy, keep one on deck just in case the other doesn’t work out,” Ed said as he returned to the table. “Sorry boys didn’t mean to eavesdrop on your conversation,” Ed said with a loud chuckle. “Anyway, here’s your pizzas, you boys enjoy,” Ed said as he walked back to the kitchen.
“So, Jesse, are you going to make your move with Jasmine tonight or what?” Sean asked as he took a bite of his pizza.
“Tonight?” Jesse asked.
“Yeah, you know, the church game night, the same one we have every month,” Sean reminded him.
“Oh, right,” Jesse said his mind suddenly racing with thoughts of what he would say to Jasmine.
“Remember Jesse, tonight is charity poker night,” Nick reminded Jesse.
“Yeah, what’s your point?” Jesse asked taking a sip of water.
“My point is, everyone will be dressed up in tuxes and dresses, so you’d better bring your A game if you want to impress Jasmine,” Nick said with a smirk.
Jesse and his friends finished up their lunch and proceeded to the counter. “Thanks Ed, everything was great,” Jesse said as he slid Ed a twenty-dollar bill. “Keep the change,” Jesse said. Ed took the twenty and gave Jesse five dollars back,
“Jesse, you don’t need to tip me, the value of your friendship is gratitude enough for me,” Ed said with a smile.
“Thanks, Ed. Well, we will be seeing you around,” Jesse said waving goodbye as he walked out the door with his friends.
“We heading back to church Jess?” Nick asked as he climbed into the bed of the truck.
“Yeah, then I need to go home and study,” Jesse said as he pulled himself into the driver’s seat.
On the drive, back to the church, Jesse couldn’t get his mind off Melody. “Like I’d ever have a shot with her,” Jesse said to himself aloud. He’d always had difficulty talking with girls, Sean told him that it was because he lacked self-confidence. Jesse also couldn’t help but feel conflicted, on the one hand there was his high school crush Jasmine, then there was the mysterious Melody who just breezed in and out of his life within three minutes.
Jesse’s phone began to ring, which startled him and broke his concentration. “Hello,” Jesse answered.
“Hi honey,” Jesse’s mother answered.
“Hi Mom,” Jesse said with a sigh of distain.
“When are you going to be home Jess? Tod and I need to talk to you about your conversation with Pastor Boe,” Jesse’s mom asked.
Jesse rolled his eyes, “I’m dropping the guys off back at church then I’ll be home,” Jesse said with an annoyed tone.
“Watch your attitude with me young man,” Jesse’s mother scolded.
“Yes mother,” Jesse said.
“Okay Jesse, love you, please be careful,” Jesse’s mom said suddenly changing her tone.
“Okay mother, love you too,” Jesse said as he hung up the phone.
Since the divorce of his parents, Jesse and his mother have had a very strained relationship. It wasn’t easy living in the same house as her, especially when she and his step-dad Tod would speak ill of Jesse’s father. It also didn’t help that his mother had eyes and ears within the church that would watch Jesse and tell his mother any and everything Jesse was involved in. This made it hard for Jesse to want any involvement with his church, and made it extremely difficult to trust any of the church members.
“See you later Jesse,” Nick and Sean said in unison as they jumped out of the truck. “I’ll see you guys tonight,” Jesse said as he drove out of the parking lot.
Jesse pulled up to a house surrounded by corn fields and trees, parked his truck, and ascended the long walkway. Jesse felt the cool autumn wind circulate through his lungs as he took a deep breath. The air felt good as it blew through his short brown hair. Jesse unlocked the front door to his house, and walked in to see his step-dad and mom sitting side by side on their leather couch. “Is there a problem?” Jesse asked.
“I’ll say there is,” Tod said.
“And what might that be?” Jesse asked with a note of sarcasm.
“Jesse why were you so hostile with Pastor Boe today?” Jesse’s mom asked gently.
“Hostile! He said I was hostile!” Jesse shouted as he felt his heart shoot up to this throat.
“Calm down,” Jesse’s mother demanded as her gentle demeaner suddenly became defensive. “You asked him if he had a problem with your father. He took that as being very hostile and disrespectful–”
“As much as I hate to disrespect a man of God, he’s taking my words way out of context,” Jesse said defensively.
“Jesse, he’s just concerned for your well-being,” Jesse’s mother said reverting back to her gentle tone.
“I can take care of myself, I don’t need your spies looking out for me!” Jesse shouted.
“Do not yell at your mother!” Tod shouted back standing up as he did so.
“Shut up Tod! You have no business telling me what to do.” Jesse said with a cool tone. “I’m out of here. I need to study and go get my tuxedo from the store,” Jesse said as he stormed out of the room.