What do you care about?
Mon Nov 6, 2017 09:19

It was Marley. Claudia’s first reaction was to smile, because, despite their many and great differences, the chatty Lyra really had become her best friend, and Claudia had missed spending time with her. Then she remembered that the reason she missed Marley was because she was avoiding her, and she was doing that because of Connor. Her half-formed smile began to fall again. All this happened in the split second before Marley spoke. “We’re not friends any more.”

Well that seemed a bit extreme. Admittedly they had only been spending a few short minutes at a time in each other’s company since midterm, but that didn’t mean they weren’t friends anymore. Claudia opened her mouth to say something, but she hadn’t even decided yet on what that might be when Marley started talking again. She said she hated her, and for a second Claudia thought she’d misheard. But no, that was what Marley had said. Claudia hadn’t ever been told that someone hated her before, and she didn’t like it at all. There seemed to be a painful, solid knot where her stomach should be, and her eyes prickled sharply. She didn’t dare blink, because she knew she would cry, and she wouldn’t do that here, in front of everyone. She wanted to argue, to say of course they were still friends, but she felt rooted to the spot as one of the few people in her life Claudia genuinely cared about told her that she hated her.

Then just as suddenly, everything changed again. This was about Connor. Of course it was; Claudia should have realised immediately. She still hadn’t found a way to tell Marley about her agreement with Connor, which was obviously a terrible mistake to have made. She should have said something straight away, to let Marley know gently that Connor wasn’t available, but she hadn’t found the words. Even though part of the reason for Claudia forging this agreement with Connor was to retain his friendship for herself, she had also done it to protect Marley from rejection. The longer she’d put off telling her, the more Claudia had convinced herself that maybe Marley would get over her little crush and everything would go back to being fine and normal. Clearly that had not happened.

Steal him? Now that wasn’t fair. Connor was his own person, Claudia hadn’t coerced him into anything that he didn’t want to do. She was absolutely certain that he had not already been in any sort of relationship with Marley - they weren’t really even friends, because Marley thought they were, but Connor didn’t - so she hadn’t done any stealing. Claudia frowned. The knot in her stomach was still there, and her heart was thundering along like a hundred wild horses, but she was less upset now. Instead she was starting to lose patience with the person who was saying horrible things to her when all Claudia had been trying to do was to protect her. As Marley declared that Claudia had always been a bad friend, the Cetus felt something ignite inside of her. This wasn’t fair. Who was Marley to tell Claudia that she was a bad friend? Claudia had been a better friend to Marley than to anyone else in her whole life.

“Marley, you are being ridiculous,” she said. Oh Merlin, why had she said that? She hadn’t meant to sound as icy as she did but for some reason it was impossible to talk normally. Or to breathe normally, for that matter. Claudia felt all different kinds of horrible. She wanted to cry, she wanted to run away, but she also wanted to tell Marley she was sorry and beg for her forgiveness. She really liked having a friend and she really hadn’t ever meant to upset her.

But in the next heartbeat she was back to being cross. Why shouldn’t she date Connor, anyway? Okay Marley liked him, but Connor didn’t like her back. He liked Claudia, and that definitely counted for something. And that wasn’t Claudia’s fault at all. If anything, it was Marley’s own fault for being so unrelentingly annoying sometimes. “Just because somebody likes me enough to ask me out,” - okay fine, Claudia had done the original asking, but Connor had definitely asked her to accompany him places since, which certainly counted for her purposes in this discussion - “there’s no reason to start accusing me of being a bad friend. If you were a better friend you might try being supportive rather than hating me.”

  • Faeries? Couldn't care less - Marley Chapman, Sat Nov 4 12:26
    Marley had always been a happy kid. According to her mum, she had even been happy as a baby, which was impressive considering how babies seemed to have only two emotions, hungry and sleepy, and those ... more
    • What do you care about? - Claudia, Mon Nov 6 09:19
      • The Girl Code, duh - Marley, Tue Nov 7 20:25
        “Marley, you are being ridiculous.” Marley, who was increasingly feeling literally every single emotion/adjective/whatever except ridiculous, inhaled sharply at the accusation. The quiet gasp was... more
        • That’s not a Thing - Claudia, Wed Nov 8 09:30
          Marley sounded like she didn’t believe her. Why wouldn’t she believe that Connor had asked Claudia? Except that it was, in fact, a lie. There was no way Marley could know that. There was also no... more
          • No, it's the law! - Marley, Sat Nov 11 00:24
            Marley blew her nose again. She tried to watch Claudia throughout, but her eyes (and really the rest of her face too, forehead and chin and all) instinctively scrunched up when she blew out, and that ... more
            • What is the penalty for breaking it? - Claudia, Sun Nov 12 10:17
              He said it sounded like a good idea? He said it was nice of her to ask? One of the two girls was obviously very wrong - Claudia was certain that Connor would not find it agreeable to date Marley, and ... more
              • I've never had to find out before - Marley, Mon Nov 13 00:17
                Yeah, the hug helped. Really helped. Hugging Claudia wasn’t exactly an unusual event, although it didn’t happen nearly as often as it could have, in her opinion, but considering that they weren’t in... more
                • How sheltered you have been from the World - Claudia, Mon Nov 13 15:13
                  It seemed like things between Claudia and Marley were more or less back to normal; they were hugging and Marley was talking too much (and she wasn’t crying any more), and Claudia didn’t really know... more
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