Episode 708: Wasted On You"I figured we should go big to celebrate." Charlie smiled as he returned to Caroline’s side carrying a jumbo tub of popcorn.
"Celebrate?" Caroline tossed a couple pieces of popcorn into her mouth, much more out of courtesy than hunger. She always lost her appetite when things didn’t feel right.
"Yeah, we’re finally on an actual date," he said with no small amount of joy in his voice. "I was beginning to think it would never happen."
They attended different schools but they’d kept in touch through texts since they’d met on Halloween. For months Charlie had pushed for more than texts.
"You wore me down." Caroline said it with a grin as if she were teasing. Truthfully, Jesse was the one who had worn her down. She was tired of thinking about her ex, tired of worrying about him more than he worried about himself. It felt like ninety percent of her days were devoted to Jesse, which she figured in some ways didn’t make her much healthier than Jesse was.
"Well…" Charlie laughed. "However I got you here, I’m happy." Which explained why he jumped all the way to what should have been the endpoint of their evening, leaned in and kissed her.
Caroline did her very best to relax, to enjoy kissing this nice, cute guy who loads of girls would want to kiss. Part of her wanted to kiss him. Another part of her felt horribly guilty over it, at first she thought that was why she felt watched, but when the kiss ended she turned her head from Charlie’s smile so he wouldn’t catch the fleeting state of her smile, and that was when she saw him.
Her eyes met Jesse’s but only for a second before he smiled at the dark-haired girl beside him. He was there with a large group of kids, but he took the dark-haired girl’s hand. Her name was Sue or Susan or something along that line. Caroline didn’t know her. She wondered if Sue or Susan knew about Jesse, if the girl even cared.
"Are they your friends?" Charlie asked. "Oh, right, that’s that guy from the park, right? Do you want to go say hi?"
"I just want it to be us tonight."
Inside the darkened theater though, her gaze continuously shifted to the raucous group from her school. There were plenty of people looking at them, glaring at all the noise, so it was easy enough to study Jesse without her date catching on. Not so easy was watching Sue or Susan cuddle up to Jesse and see him just let her. He was moving on. Caroline knew she should use that as motivation to move on, too. She reached for Charlie, she kissed him, she let the makeout session go on and on before she calmly excused herself and covertly sobbed her way up the aisle.