You should be prepared for this, then
Tue Nov 28, 2017 16:05

Connor’s affirmation that Marley had asked him on a date was such a relief to hear that Claudia almost laughed. Such a reaction, however, despite the comedic value inherent in her friends’ respective miscommunications, would no doubt be disagreeable to Connor when he clearly felt quite keen discomfort in admitting this occurrence. Therefore Claudia schooled herself to merely slowly exhale the breath she had been holding in anticipation of his response. Internally she marvelled that such an acute mess had spiralled from what had probably been something so insignificant to Connor that he hadn’t thought it worth mentioning (Marley asking him on a date would have been mention worthy, of course, but Connor politely refusing anything was not exceptionally out of the ordinary).

Though now she considered it, perhaps Connor should have mentioned to Claudia that her best friend had been asking him out. While he clearly did not approve of her friendship with Marley - or give any indication that he understood how they could even be friends, considering their many dissimilarities - he was definitely aware that the bond existed. How could he have thought that concealing this from her was okay? If Claudia had known about it, she obviously would have gone immediately to Marley (like she really ought to have done in the very first instance of her forging any sort of exclusive agreement with Connor) to smooth over any potential problems before they would inevitably, and demonstrably, arise.

She felt agitated. He hadn’t told her that Marley had been tormenting him (she rather suspected this was over-exaggeration, as her friend was thus prone, but the details did not matter - in fact his magnification into a personal attack, of what was, in reality, probably just a classmate being interested in him as a person, perhaps made his concealment even less laudable), and he hadn’t told her that Marley had shown a specific interest in dating him, either. She liked to think that they could be open and honest with each other, yet Connor had clearly sought to conceal all this from her, and had only revealed it when she had questioned him directly. Up until then he hadn’t shown any sign of acknowledging Marley’s interest in him. If he hadn’t so very recently denounced their yearmate so thoroughly, Claudia would have been sorely tempted to circle back around to the possibility that Connor had been attracted to Marley all along.

In the brief silence that followed Connor’s defense of his own actions versus Marley’s interpretations of them, Claudia contemplated asking him why he had felt it appropriate to be so secretive about all of this, especially when he knew that she was close with Marley. Naturally she hadn’t told Connor that she was aware of Marley’s interest in him, but that was different: she had been seeking to save both friends from uncomfortable imposition. Connor obviously didn’t have Marley’s best interests at heart, so what would have been his motivation for deception? She was starting to feel anxious and upset again, which was so very disappointing after that fleeting resolution.

“Particularly as she knew that we had already established a more exclusive relationship,” Connor added. Claudia swallowed hard. Yes, Marley was supposed to believe that. Claudia was supposed to have told Marley all about it, but something - cowardice? Sympathy? - had prevented her. Here she had been about to accuse Connor of hiding things from her, when she hadn’t even told Marley that she was dating Connor, all the while knowing that Marley liked him.

Claudia felt wretched. She simply couldn’t confess to Connor that she hadn’t told Marley. He wouldn’t understand - of this she was fairly certain, because she didn’t fully understand herself, and she had a much better grasp of the nuances of social interactions than the boy sitting near her - and she didn’t have any explanation to offer that would acquit her of treating her friend so abominably. Already upset by his deceit, and embarrassed by her own, and altogether worn out by her confoundedly miserable day, Claudia took a sharp breath, and accidentally let out a sob. A tear rolled down her cheek, and then another, and she tried to calm herself but she could only take miniscule breaths into her suddenly constricted lungs, and that was not at all conducive to gaining control of her emotions. Within moments she found herself crying, and unable to stop.

  • I've never been one for optimism - Connor, Mon Nov 27 09:17
    Although Connor had been concerned that Claudia would take his comments about Marley badly, it seemed as though his friend understood, at least partially, the things Marley was capable of. It did not ... more
    • You should be prepared for this, then - Claudia, Tue Nov 28 16:05
      • Oh no . There were, to be quite frank, not very many scenarios in life that Connor was particularly well-prepared for. The whole situation with Marley had definitely demonstrated that, if nothing... more
        • I was not prepared for This - Claudia, Wed Nov 29 16:46
          Claudia was mortified. It felt like barely any time ago at all that she was inwardly judging Marley for making such a scene with her unrestrained, emotional hysteria, and yet here Claudia was,... more
          • At least we're on the same page - Connor, Wed Nov 29 18:46
            All-in-all, Connor was still very confused but Claudia seemed to be less upset so at least something was going correctly. Or, rather, more correctly, as this conversation could not have been said to... more
            • Best bookmark it - Claudia, Sat Dec 2 16:54
              When Connor agreed to pretend as those this whole nightmare had never occurred, Claudia sighed again in relief, and finally managed to compose herself to as close to normality as she could muster.... more
              • Done and done - Connor, Sat Dec 9 12:26
                It wasn’t that Connor particularly minded Claudia having her own plans for that evening - their relationship had an implicit understanding of their differences as well as their similarities. It was... more
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