It started well
Fri Aug 17, 2018 16:57

Marley was infuriating. Claudia hadn’t been expecting anything much when she acknowledged she could have set aside her own reservations to blindly rejoice in Marley’s happiness, so receiving an expression of thanks was a pleasant surprise. Except then it was immediately followed by the same accusation of disapproval. Claudia grit her teeth. She could admit that dropping their conversation and friendship in one go was perhaps not the most productive move she could have made in response to Marley’s distress, although she had herself been emotionally compromised, so it is possible that under those conditions she made the best decision available at the time.

Claudia wondered why her own good opinion was so important to Marley. Was it a prerequisite of their friendship that Claudia needed to approve of everything Marley did? The Lyra had explicitly stated she was uncomfortable with Claudia’s actions, but that had no bearing on their friendship, or lack thereof; Claudia did not seek Marley’s permission to behave in the manner she felt most appropriate. She doubted it would ever be granted, so misaligned were their worldviews.

Still, Claudia had conceded her actions were not ideal, and Marley had thanked her for the apology, and for half a second Claudia thought the conversation was going considerably better than she would have imagined. Until, moments later, Marley was bringing up disapproval - her apology for implying this was demonstrably not genuine, as she continued to make the implication in the same breath - and then saying far worse things, like, “instead of being happy that I was happy, you were criticizing and asking all these big questions and going on about female roles and marriage.”

Claudia blinked at Marley a couple of times. This was not the recollection she had of the events that had transpired a year previously. Had they both even been present at the same conversation? Admittedly she could not recall every detail of how their friendship had fallen apart so completely over such a brief interlude, but some aspects of it were still abominably clear to her, and she honestly had no memory at all of these new things of which Marley hastened to accuse her. She wanted to retort, but no words were immediately forthcoming; Claudia blamed the false sense of security into which she had been lulled by Marley’s expression of thanks.

She was so disoriented by this unexpected misinformation that she barely heard the comments about homophobia, and was exceedingly content to let them pass without being addressed, tearing her gaze from Marley to stare again at the tent. She couldn’t concentrate on that, though, with the buzzing that had begun to fill her head as Marley casually blamed Claudia for their falling out. Then it came again, that gratitude, because apparently Claudia was now accepting blame for something that Marley clearly perceived as entirely her fault.

Marley was right: it wasn’t productive to go over everything again. Except to Claudia this felt nothing like what happened that first time around. Before she knew it she was starting straight, shoulders back, staring down her taller companion. “I didn’t handle it the best way?” Claudia repeated, incredulous. “I don’t remember saying anything about female roles, or marriage!” Why in Merlin's name would she be discussing marriage with Marley? Well, okay, certainly they had covered that topic, but initially as a specific task in class, and then later as it applied to Claudia and her future. Never would Claudia have dreamed of predicting what Marley - unencumbered by tradition, propriety, or ancestral responsibility - might do with her future. Good grief. “I do remember you banging your fist on the table and telling me it was none of my business who you dated,” she practically hissed in indignation.

It seemed to Claudia that Marley had repeatedly over the past few months made assumptions on her behalf - about her opinions, in particular - which, considering they had not spoken in that time, was grossly inappropriate and generated wildly inaccurate guesses. “You seem to be laboring under a misapprehension,” she told Marley with cool detachment. “Please allow me to inform you that I honestly don’t care who, or what you date, as your orientation or preferences have no effect whatsoever on my life. It is far more relevant to me how you treat your friends, which is apparently to assume the worst of them, belligerently refuse to answer questions when they are honestly trying to understand, and butcher every attempt at reconnecting by continuously insulting them.” Claudia wasn’t sure at which point she’d started to cry, as her voice had remained steady throughout, but her cheeks were now undeniably moist.

  • Sure! I think. Maybe. Too late. - Marley, Thu Aug 16 15:31
    “I didn’t say that.” She had spotted the quirk of Claudia’s eyebrows, but her automatic assumption was that it was just a reaction to being called out. She definitely hadn’t expected the other girl... more
    • It started well - Claudia, Fri Aug 17 16:57
      • And keeps dragging on - Marley, Thu Aug 23 20:39
        It’d probably be super presumptive to say that she had been expecting a “you’re welcome” or even a “thanks for noticing”, because Claudia had never been the type of person to acknowledge the more... more
        • We could abandon it - Claudia, Fri Aug 24 09:28
          It felt as though the two of them were incapable of speaking to each other without arguing. Even when they had been friends, they had argued substantially more often than Claudia would consider... more
          • I'm not good at giving up - Marley, Mon Sep 3 22:53
            Ears still ringing (or maybe scratching was a better way to describe it) from the sandpapery alarm, she accepted her robes back from Claudia, noticing as she did so that her hand was shaking a bit.... more
            • Then I have a new challenge for you - Claudia, Thu Sep 6 15:49
              Marley was measurably more enthusiastic about this next task than Claudia. The paler girl stood towards a back corner of the cubicle, out of the way of its practical assignment, and wordlessly... more
              • If at first you don't succeed... - Marley, Tue Sep 11 21:54
                Quickly recovering from the surprise of Claudia requesting to help with the tire repair, Marley bobbed her head, long-ish curls bouncing along with her. “Oh my gosh, yeah, of course.” Laying the... more
                • Give up and go home? - Claudia, Wed Sep 12 15:48
                  Manual labor was not something to which Claudia was accustomed. Potions and Magizoobotany had both required her to engage in some unpleasant physical tasks on occasion, but Claudia had not continued... more
                  • Yup, that's how the saying goes - Marley, Fri Sep 14 23:52
                    There was a moment where she felt a little guilty for her hesitation in admitting she hadn’t forgiven Claudia for her actions against Holland. Well, specifically, not guilty in the fact itself,... more
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