I'm not good at giving up
Mon Sep 3, 2018 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. Was that ‘cause of the gesture? It wasn’t like Marley had actually made contact with the other fifth-year, just lifted the set of robes out of her hands, which might be significant to some people but considering she used to like, hug Claudia and stuff, exchanging robes really wasn’t a big deal or even a little deal. Maybe it was just from the leftover but still totally present stress of their botched conversation and the subsequent relief that her former friend had agreed to try it over, and subsequent to that, the stress of needing to get it right this time… whatever exactly “right” meant. Clearly something had gone horribly wrong, like not even just in this conversation but from the beginning way back, and Claudia had been holding it against her and maybe still was, and she doubted someone in that position would think she deserved another chance but for whatever reason Claudia had nodded and walked with her to the next cubicle in line, and she couldn’t screw up again.

Unfortunately she soon realized one way in which she’d already screwed up, which was the fact that she hadn’t thought to completely wipe her face dry before leaving their tent-cubicle. Ugly crying wasn’t a thing Marley tended towards - it seemed pretty safe to assume that was because of genetics; the whole blotchy cheeks and puffy eyes deal that she had observed on multiple occasions while sitting through sappy old movies with her white gran had never made an appearance on either of her parent’s faces. Well to be fair, she’d never seen Mum cry, so maybe it was all Dad’s genetics? Regardless, her tears would’ve barely been obvious if her face wasn’t so wet, and she didn’t notice at all until after Buckley of all people passed her with his stupid fake-hipstery fedora and whispered something pretend-caring-but-actually-misogynisty about how she should know better than to not carry tissues with her (her misogynisty interpretation came from how Marley was, like, 90% certain the next words out of his mouth were gonna be about how girls were the more emotional sex, as if there were only two sexes and as if that had anything to do with it anyways). She had a super strong urge to trip him, but it was too late and he was already behind them, and that wouldn’t help her make a good impression on Claudia, and she’d already dumped her cereal at him today anyways. So with a grimace, Marley lifted her robes and gave her whole face a good scrub dry. The silvery fabric wasn’t the most absorbent but it helped enough.

Dropping her wand in the bin as well, Marley entered the tent not feeling very optimistic about either her ability to make it through the rest of class nor her ability to patch up something even vaguely sorta friendly with Claudia again. But oh, wait. This was actually so much easier than a tent. If the cubicles bounced between easy and hard, they might be able to make it work out fine. “Oh thank gosh,” she sighed in a whooshing exhalation, dumping her robes in the corner. “I can do this one if you want.” Marley didn’t really expect an affirmative, because she didn’t really expect Claudia to know how to tackle bike repairs, or that she’d particularly want to get involved with a task that could get dirty, though hopefully not too dirty. Hopefully Professor Blair-West had cleaned off the excess grease in advance, because it looked like the small table nearby had only tools and no rags or stuff for cleaning, and although Marley wasn’t too attached to this shirt and could also pull off a cleaning charm well enough when necessary, she wasn’t interested in making a mess if it wasn’t.

She pushed a loose kinky curl behind her ear and crouched down to survey the burst tire, and then hopped back up to investigate the assorted tools. There was an adjustable wrench, which would be perfect for removing the bolts on the tire, and after that it’d be fairly simple to patch the hole, screw the tire back on, and reinflate it. Probably if her mum was here, she’d just fix the whole tire while it was still attached to the bike, but Marley had never done this entirely on her own before - she’d done it without help, but there was still always an Adult lurking behind her ready to offer advice, or offering it without being asked - and it seemed better to play it safe juuust in case she’d forgotten something important. Ten minutes wasn’t much time, and she wasn’t sure if the clock started after they got inside the cubicle or if it had already been ticking during her brief fantasy of making Buckley fall down. Taking the wrench, she crouched again and began twisting the wormscrew (it was such a funky word, she’d never forget it!) until the jaws were the right width to fit around the tire bolts.

“I miss talking to you.”

However soft Claudia’s words were, they came pretty suddenly and she was taken a little by surprise - at least until Marley remembered that she had been the one to suggest starting their conversation over, and then had gone straight to work on the bike without initiating conversation. Whoops. But after rambling so much at Claudia in the first cubicle, it was absolutely fair to give her the same shot anyways, so Marley bit back an instinctive apology and let her talk, frequently glancing between Claudia’s face and the tire as she worked on the bolts at the same time.

It seemed like she had a lot to say, and also a lot more that she was implying but not saying, which made her feel bad all over again. The year and a half or two years that’d gone by had moved fast in some ways and also so, so slow. They had tons to catch up on. And it was great that Claudia was starting on that now - it changed the bad feeling to a less-bad almost-good feeling - but it was also strange that she was starting by talking about boys - although maybe not truly all that strange, since their initial falling-apart had also been about relationships, or what at the time had been more of a prospective relationship, and so they were sort of in the same category even though the focus originally had been girls and now the topic was boys. Caleb was lovely, definitely kind enough to balance out Buckley’s idiot unkindness among the older Lyras, and she was for sure happy that he’d transferred in. It was surprising to hear that Claudia had turned him down for a date (she didn’t specifically use the word “date” but it wasn’t a leap to assume). But not nearly as surprising as hearing about Connor. Ugh.

The last bolt came free as Claudia finished. Holding the bike steady as she slid the tire free, she leaned the frame against the wall before rising and facing Claudia properly, tire and wrench hanging loosely in her hands. “I… honestly, I don’t think I knew if I liked you anymore, either,” Marley admitted, feeling a frown digging into her forehead. “That sounds really awful. But, like, I didn’t like some of the things you were doing, and it’s hard to balance not liking some things with liking who you are... But also,” she added, the frown getting deeper as she realized it for herself, “that wasn’t fair. It’s been ages, and everything changes, but I didn’t stop to think you might’ve changed too. I just kept getting frustrated ‘cause I was worried about you but I thought you were exactly the same, even though I was different and obviously you would’ve been different too and… I’m sorry,” she repeated. Talking her thought-process out loud might not have been the best idea, because now Marley was feeling kind of embarrassed and her cheeks felt warm, and she had to really work to keep from looking away. “I know I keep saying that, but I really am, and I really do still miss you and care a lot about you.” And also Caleb is great and even if you change your mind about him again you still deserve way better than Connor, she wanted to add, and almost did, before reminding herself that right now was about salvaging their own relationship if possible, not helping Claudia make healthy choices. Considering how this had all started, she might not appreciate dating advice right now. Plus Marley had dumped her first ever girlfriend so probably she wasn’t a good source of dating advice anyways.

  • 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
      • 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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