A Little Cheating

Time for some real talk; I am exhausted and have zero energy to even consider writing anything today. So instead I thought that since I do this whole adventure in order to prep for NaNoWriMo I could maybe show off some of what I did for NaNoWriMo last year. It might make zero sense out of context but I think you’ll get it as an alone piece too. It’s a scene I didn’t have in my mind when I had started writing but it ended up being one of my favorite bits I did and so when I thought about what to pull from all of the work I did this was the first that came to mind so I just searched it out and copy/paste it. So yeah, that’s all I got for today. I am gonna go try to fit all my damn shows in before I pass out for the night.

-x-

Grabbing my keys and a jacket I mentally run down the closest places versus the best places and as I reach my car I decide on a local place Delta that is just a few miles away. Just before I duck down into the car I hear my name being called, when I look around I see Lauren coming towards me from her own driveway.

“Uh, Lauren hi,” I say without any hiding the confusion in my voice.

The smile on her face is almost too much in the early evening darkness that has settled in the last half hour. Not to mention that now it just looks so fake anytime I see it directed at myself or any of my friends. She stops just on the other side of my car and stares for a few seconds before speaking, “How are you?”

It’s always been funny to me how often we ask that question but rarely is anyone totally honest about the answer, nobody is “great”, “good”, or “fine” at least 70% of the time but why would they want to appear anything less? I shake my head at my inner thoughts and answer her, “Decent, and you?”

“I’m great, thanks.” Lauren said as she tucks some of her long blonde hair behind her ear and continues to smile far to wide. “I just, “ she starts again, “I don’t mean to be nosy but when I got home today I saw you and Dylien arguing a little before she stomped off. I wanted to make sure you were okay.”

My head rears back at the female pronoun and I automatically correct her once she is done. “He. And I’m fine, it wasn’t even really an argument. I was tired and cranky and just asked him to post pone a conversation till the morning.”

Lauren’s lips go into a thin line and purse, at what exactly I am not sure but I also don’t care. She gives a curt acknowledgment and prepares to say more when I cut her off, “And why do you care? You haven’t spoken to any of us since this summer.”

“Wrong.” she says shaking her head in quick motions. “I tried to talk to Nicole and Natalie but neither of them would respond and I talked to Michal for a while before she cut me out of her life for Dylien too.”

One thing Lauren had always been bad about was being spoiled. She was the only child of two doctors who spent a lot of her younger years at work and had a nanny doing most of the raising. They tried to over compensate with treating her to mostly anything she wanted, all she had to do in return was focus strongly on school. So when things didn’t go her way Lauren tended to get defensive, eager to place blame, and very high-pitched.

This was the last thing I needed, but I wasn’t going to let her walk away after saying that. “Okay first,” I hold up an index finger because I enjoy the dramatics from time to time, “None of us cut you out of our lives, you cut us out of yours. And second none of it is “for Dylien”. He didn’t ask us to stop communication with you if you reached out, we did it because we are not capable of being around someone who has hurt our friend.”

She has her arms tightly crossed over her chest and from the movement on her right side I can tell she is tapping her foot in impatience. “If anything pulling away is helping Dylien.”

I snap my head back and just give her a look that conveys my level of disbelieving. So she tilts her head to one side, takes a breath, and continues, “I can’t accept what Dylien says she is going through, I won’t apologize for that. But I also know that if she really believes she is male and can alter herself to fit that idea then she needs people who believe her, people with positive energy to give her. Trying to remain friends while I can’t provide that or support her would just make it worse.”

On some level I think I get what she is saying but it still hurts to see the girl we would play with at neighborhood gatherings and have sleepovers with reject Dylien with such ease. I lick my lips, trying to breath through my nose so it is controlled, “Are you saying you’re being a martyr for the good of Dylien’s sanity?”

“Jesus Royer! Do you have to be so over the top?” Lauren said as she threw her hands up in the air and let them slap against her side when they fell. “You know for how quiet and background you can be you sure know how to pack a punch in a statement. I didn’t mean that and you know it, but if you think me being around wouldn’t affect Dylien then maybe I’ll sit with you at lunch and try to infuse myself back in the group.”

“No.” It’s out, harsh and almost violent, before I can think about it and hold it back. Lauren’s eyes go wide and she takes a single step back. That’s twice today I’ve done that to people, and to the two I’ve known the longest. I run a hand up and down my face a few times before I pull it together, ”I’m sorry Lauren. You’re right, it’s not a good idea for you to be around but don’t act like your inability to accept Dylien is you doing a good deed.”

Lauren’s arms are back up around her and even though the light is horrible I can see her biting at the corner of her bottom lip. It’s hard to see someone and think less of them than you once had, and I figure that’s exactly how she sees all of us now. The silence is too much and I am starving now and just want to get away from this situation. “Lauren, none of us, Dylien included, hate you. We don’t wish you bad luck or anything, we just…like you said don’t need negative energy around us as we support Dylien through this. It’s a road already littered with enough land mines we can’t see, so our focus has to be strong and unclouded.”

Somewhere in that I think she got it, which part exactly reached through her wall I’ll never know. I can hear a sniffle from her side of the car and she wipes at the corner of her eye under the guise of more hair tucking. “Okay.” she finally manages to get out, “And you guys too.” Her back is to me before I can register that we are done. But when the distance between us becomes almost a full block it’s like I can feel and understanding, a flimsy and breakable understanding, but one none the less.

Finally I duck into my car and head over to Delta, where I order a large pizza to go.

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