And keeps dragging on
Thu Aug 23, 2018 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 emotional-intimate stuff, which was absolutely the category that her thanks had fallen into. (It couldn’t not be emotional, because the collapse of their friendship and later reinforcement at various times that, no matter how much she wished they could be friends again, it just wasn’t gonna happen, had been pretty rough and emotional, or at least for her. Likewise it couldn’t not be intimate, because her perception of the blonde throughout had in retrospect been all black-and-white, whereas now she was able to see a little of how that wasn’t actually true, and Claudia had in a sideways direction admitted what she’d done wrong, and now Marley was accepting her sideways apology, and that was totally intimate.)

However, apparently Claudia was the type of person to challenge the conditions of a thank-you, or she was now even though she had never seemed like that type of person before, as that was exactly what she was doing. It was very confusing, and if they had still been best friends, Marley might’ve tried cracking a joke about how ungrateful it was to reject a thank-you and good thing she’d rejected a thank-you from a Canadian because all she could do in response was apologize. But they weren’t still best friends or friends at all. So it was just confusing.

More confusing was how angry she was acting. Feeling herself wilt just from being on the receiving end of such a sharp and accusatory reaction, shoulders slumping a little, the darker-skinned girl resisted the urge to look away and made herself keep facing Claudia. That was at first just because if she was this upset, she couldn’t imagine that breaking eye contact or otherwise acting like she wasn’t listening would be taken well. But after a moment, when she had a chance to accept that this was happening, and this was Claudia of all people it was happening with, Marley started to feel… doubtful? Was that the right word? Like, she knew the first time they’d talked about marriage had been in Cultural Studies, but she’d been sure that it had come up again too. Claudia claimed not, though, and sounded like she had been offended at the suggestion it had, and also sounded like she had been offended at Marley’s assertion that who she dated was her own business. The latter had been (still was) absolutely true (well except for in situations where your friends warned you against dating someone because they were secretly, like, hiding taxes from the government, or a serial killer, or racist, but literally the only case any of that would’ve applied was if she had announced she was dating Connor, which, ew). But the former? Ugh yup, suddenly she was doubtful.

And now Claudia’s voice had changed and gotten all stiff and proper and she didn’t like that at all. It was like she was retreating, but still she was using really strong language, except now she was crying and that was something Marley didn’t like even more.

“Claudia I’m so sorry,” she burst out. Apologizing again hadn’t been her intention but she couldn’t see what else to say so just kept barreling on, “I didn’t mean to insult you. Like, maybe I don’t exactly remember what we talked about, maybe you never said the marriage stuff when I first was telling you about Teal, I don’t have a perfect memory. But in my head they’re mushed together because they both made me feel the same way, and really what I was just trying to get at was that dating can be fun without getting serious, and...” Now another tear had slid down her cheek, and Marley scrubbed at it with the back of her hand. “I’m trying to answer your questions, honestly,” probably Claudia wouldn’t believe her but she had to try, “but to answer them I have to explain how I felt then and felt about what you’d said, and I’m trying so hard but it feels like you’re just taking it all personally - and that’s not meant to be an insult either,” she hastily added, “that’s just what it feels like to me, like you’re not listening and just getting upset, but I guess it really just means I suck at this and I’m an awful friend. I’m sorry,” she repeated, scrubbing more vigorously now as her voice hitched and she finally had to give up and look away.

All of a sudden, there was an inconvenient, very loud, even more awful than her apparent friendship skills scrapey-scrape sound, like hands rubbing sandpaper right overhead. Marley jumped and flinched at the same time, clued in that it must be the timer Professor Blair-West had set, briefly wondered why she’d picked such a weird timer before remembering she had a much more important if also much harder thing to be thinking about, and glanced back at Claudia through watery eyes. “I guess we have to move to the next cubicle? And, can we start over? Not, like, from the start,” that was basically impossible at this point, “but with this conversation. Try it again.”

  • It started well - Claudia, Fri Aug 17 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... more
    • And keeps dragging on - Marley, Thu Aug 23 20:39
      • 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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