"By Teej. See ya tomorrow," replied Cassie as she entered her house and closed the door behind her.
As TJ began to walk home, tears began to fill his eyes. To avoid any nosy bystanders, TJ began to run home. Once he reached home, he ran inside, shut the front door, went up stairs into his room, shut that door, and locked it. As TJ laid on his bed, the tears began to return, but he began to wipe them away.
_Why canít I even think straight without being sad? _ thought TJ. He turned to his side to face the only window in his room.
_Why am I letting our recent conversation eat me up? _ TJ began to reminisce on his last conversation with Cassie.
"Iím glad you could come TJ," said Cassie as she closed her front door from outside.
"Letís walk," said TJ as he and Cassie began to walk slowly down the neighborhood sidewalk.
For awhile, TJ and Cassie were quiet as they walked down the sidewalk. TJ finally broke the silence.
"Cassie, whatís wrong?" asked TJ as he continued to look ahead of him.
Cassie stopped and put her left hand on TJís right shoulder. He stopped as well.
"I donít feel comfortable talking about my problem while walking. Letís go to our bench in the park. Then, weíll talk," said Cassie as she removed her hand from TJís shoulder. TJ complied with her wishes.
Angel Grove Park appeared to be sparse of people today as TJ and Cassie saw no one.
TJ and Cassie reached their bench and sat down.
"Now, are you ready to tell me whatís eating you?"
Cassie looked towards the ground and spoke. "TJ, I donít know where my life is going. I have the greatest friends a person can have and the greatest opportunity of a lifetime as a Power Ranger. The only thing that is in turmoil in my love life. I just donít understand." Cassie began to softly cry.
TJ put his arm around her and began to hug Cassie. "Donít worry Cassie. Iím here for you." He started to rock Cassie as he continued to hug her.
Cassie stopped crying and spoke. "I donít know why Phantom doesnít like me. He obviously knows that I like him, and every now and then, he displays some kind of interest in me. Whatís wrong with me TJ? Why doesnít Phantom in all his mystery have to remain a mystery?"
"Cassie, you are perfect. Ever since I first met you, you created a spark in my life that I never had before. Youíre beautiful, intelligent, creative, ambitious, and free-willed. I canít imagine why Phantom wouldnít want you. I canít imagine why he would lead you on like this. Maybe, he has other things on his mind; I donít know. Iíll just let you know that Iíll be here for you. Search in your heart for the answers you deepest desire. There, youíll find the reasons for what you want to know."
Cassie looked up into TJís face and looked him in the eyes. "TJ, youíre the greatest. Thanks for all you help." Cassie hugged her male friend.
"Itís all right Cassie. Itís all right."
TJ was staring out into space, totally unmindful of the knocks coming from his door.
Finally, a repeated sound entered his mind, and TJ finally realized that someone was at his door. He got off his bed and opened the door.
"Carlos, what are you doing here?"
"Just coming to see one of my best friends. Justinís with me too," said Carlos as he entered TJís room.
"Hi Teej," said Justin as he followed Carlos into TJís room.
"Hi Justin." TJ closed his bedroom door.
"So what brings you guys here?"
"Donít tell me you forgot that we were going to the movies with the girls tonight?" asked Justin.
"Gosh! I forgot all about that!" exclaimed TJ. "Wait, that still doesnít explain why youíre here at 3:45 in the afternoon."
"Goodness TJ, your mind must be completely out of it today. Just a small reminder, we have to go to Angelís Ride limo service and pick a limo out of their lineup, courtesy of radio station KALL," said Carlos.
"Yeah, Cassie and Ashley had called in together and won five tickets and a limo service to the new Drama Theater downtown. So, have they decided where to eat?"
"Actually, they left that up to us. I say we go to McDonalds."
"McDonalds! Sorry Justin, but we would look like fools riding through a McDonaldsí drive thru in a limo," stated TJ.
"I say letís go to the Star Rock Café. We can go in nice casual attire and still eat like we were at a buffet restaurant."
"Great idea Carlos. So we make reservations at the Star Rock Café." TJ found a pen and a piece of paper and began to write.
MAKE RESERVATIONS (STAR ROCK)
"All right, what movie are we seeing?"
"The radio station has us seeing Forgotten Enemies at 8:00. Itís a mixture of action, drama, and romance but has more action than anything," said Justin.
"The movieís ninety minutes long so we can schedule dinner reservations for 10:00," said Carlos.
"Justin, will you dad have a problem with you staying out that long?"
"Nope Teej. He said that as long as Iím with you guys, I can come back by 12:00."
TIME OF DINNER Ė 10:00
"So, itís best to be ready at 7:30 for the limo," said Carlos.
"But tell the girls to be ready by seven. For whatever reason they stall, they should be ready by 7:30,"said TJ.
TELL GIRLS TO BE READY AT 7
DONíT LEAVE UNTIL 7:30
"So all thatís left is where the limo meets us."
"How about Ashleyís house?" asked Justin.
"Yeah, that could work. Her house is the closest to the theater," said Carlos.
MEET AT ASHLEYíS FOR LIMO
"And thatís it," said TJ as he put his pen on his bureau.
"Come on Teej; we still have to stop by Angelís Ride to pick the kind of limo we want," said Carlos as he and Justin stood up.
Just as TJ stood up, his phone rang. He picked it up and spoke.
"Hay Teej; this is Cassie. Are you busy right now?"
"No, not really. Carlos, Justin, and I were heading to Angelís Ride to pick the limo we want for tonight."
"Oh! I almost forgot."
"Yeah, I did too. So what did you want me for?"
"I wanted to talk more about what was said in the park."
"Oh. You need me now?"
"Kinda unless you want to continue what you were doing."
"No, no. Iíll come."
"Oh. At my place then?"
"See ya then. Bye."
TJ hung up the phone.
"Who was that?" asked Carlos.
"Somebody. Sorry guys, I wonít be able to make it; I have something really important to do."
"Sorry Justin but you guys can pick a limo without me."
"All right, weíre leaving. At least you helped with the agenda."
"Shut up, Carlos," said TJ as he playfully hit Carlos on his back. "You two know that I would come if what Iím about to do wasnít as important as it is."
"Yeah, I know."
"Well Justin and I will take the agenda," Carlos picked up the piece of paper "and complete what needs to be done."
"All right. See you guys," said TJ as he opened his bedroom door.
"Bye," said the two as they left.
"Now to go to Cassieís."
"Sorry for calling you on short notice and twice in one day at that."
"Itís all right. Iím always there for a friend. So whatís up?"
"Well, Iíve been considering my relationship with Phantom."
"And I think that I should just let it rest. He left for a reason and with a purpose. If I was important to him, he would have at least told me so."
"Well I canít say I donít feel the same, but I do see where youíre coming from. Iíll say this: youíre releasing something that has been causing you a lot of stress, and thatís good."
Cassie looked at TJ and said nothing. After two minutes of silence, Cassie shuddered.
"Did you feel that?"
"Feel what Cassie?"
"It was as if someone just stepped over my grave, or someoneís in this room, watching us."
"I do feel as if someone is staring directly at me."
_You couldnít be farther from the truth. _
"It must be just a cold chill. Iím going back home to prepare for tonight; I suggest that you do the same."
"OK Teej; thanks for coming over. Bye."
Cassie left the living room to go upstairs to her room as TJ left her house.
_TJís going to pay for the way Cassie feels towards me. If it werenít for his influence, Cassie would still be waiting for me. _
The figure moved from his position in the living room to the bottom steps in Cassieís house. There he stood.
_Cassie, I shall finally come for you tonight. Then you and I will finally be together. Phantom and Cassie: together, forever. _
Phantom disappeared from Cassieís house.