Some of this is familiar
Mon Aug 6, 2018 23:08

“Um, hi.” Claudia paused as if frozen (she would not be surprised if Holland had taught Marley how to execute that spell, but on this occasion her motionless was a result of surprise, not literal freezing) as she appraised the person with whom she would be stuck in a series of small spaces for the immediate future. She hadn’t directly spoken to Marley in about a year, and their communication via letters had been sufficiently upsetting that Claudia most certainly would have preferred it not to have happened. What precisely was she supposed to say to her alienated ex-best friend?

Several thoughts crossed Claudia’s mind, although none of them were words she desired to speak aloud. That was acceptable for the current moment, however, as Marley proceeded to ask if they could work together. Claudia appreciated the gesture: it wasn’t as though she could turn Marley away (not with the Professor standing outside) and risk working alone, but the illusion of control was an extension of courtesy, not an obligation. This might prove to be tolerable, proving the two girls could continue acting with civility towards each other. She elected not to attempt to fathom the reason for Marley to voluntarily approach her (she was almost certain she had imagined Dade talking to Marley at the Opening Feast - why would they be speaking to each other? - and she had not glimpsed them together since. Yet both students being currently wandless was a beneficial circumstance of renewed interactions; perhaps if Claudia could separate Dade from his wand she could confront him and demand a reason for his turning against her so suddenly?) until, “I’ve missed you.”

This sentiment had been repeated in both of Marley’s missives last term, but combined with the assertion that they could never go back to being friends, Claudia had wondered why the Lyra had bothered to so inform her. Apparently this sentiment still lingered. Claudia would have liked to suggest to Marley that she worked on not missing Claudia, especially as renewing their friendship seemed so impossible to the taller girl, but she would be hypocritical if she uttered such advice. Even now, Claudia occasionally lamented that their days of manicures, talking about culture, and about relationships, were past. Her current friends were supportive and shared her viewpoint on many topics, but could not offer many of the benefits she had enjoyed in her friendship with Marley.

Unfortunately, Marley did not seem any more experienced in the Life Skills task than Claudia herself, yet the blonde found that less disappointing than she would have guessed: it was a ridiculous class, anyway. She would never need to put a tent back in a bag, with or without magic. She would, however, need to converse with Marley, and that was more pressing, more relevant, and arguably more difficult. “It’s okay,” Claudia managed to utter, in case her silence was interpreted as a sign that Marley should leave. In comparative privacy, yet in a classroom environment, with neither of them in possession of a wand, was the ideal time for this conversation. “We can work together.”

Claudia looked silently at Marley a moment longer, before addressing the pointless assignment. “It probably does not surprise you to know I have never set foot in a tent,” she said, the words expelling themselves from her mouth without her mind giving them much consideration. This was surreal. Why would they talk about the tent when so much had transpired? Conversely, why would they talk about anything other than the assignment? They were not friends.

Yet even when they had not been friends, Marley had expressed concern for Claudia’s well-being. Marley had not been recently hexed, as far as Claudia was aware, but she had broken up with Teal… or perhaps been broken up with. Claudia was not certain of the details, despite the split occurring in Spellwork (she had been suitably distracted by her own interactions with Remington at the time). While she had never entered into a romantic arrangement (her exclusive friendship with Connor did not count; there was too much propriety between them for romance to ever be a consideration), Claudia was familiar with the sensation of being let down by someone close, and that relationship subsequently dissolving. It was never a pleasant experience.

After a moment's hesitation, she said, “I heard about you and Teal. I’m,” sorry? Was she really? Claudia wasn’t certain. Even if she was sorry, she doubted Marley would believe her. Disinclined to instigate an immediate disagreement, especially as she had already introduced a most contentious subject, Claudia changed tack, instead inquiring, “Are you okay?”

  • Surprisingly, this isn't mine, either - Marley Chapman, Mon Aug 6 15:24
    It was a whole month since she and Teal had broken up, and she still wasn’t over it. That was kind of weird, right? Like, sure they’d been dating for ages (and that wasn’t even an exaggeration, since ... more
    • Some of this is familiar - Claudia, Mon Aug 6 23:08
      • And some is unknown territory - Marley, Tue Aug 7 22:46
        As soon as the word ‘okay’ had finished, she exhaled in a short sigh, forgetting for a moment not to be too obvious about her relief. She couldn’t help it. Although logically it wouldn’t make sense... more
        • Ready to explore? - Claudia, Wed Aug 8 16:23
          Marley seemed relieved; Claudia wondered why. Did it have more to do with absence of rejection, and with it the need to find another partner, in addition to any negative emotions experienced, or to... more
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