What Is The Difference Between Friends and Frenemies?
How to Be There for a Frenemy
Read Chloe's previous post here.
It's funny how hospitals can change people. Take out all the bullshit, the petty differences, the selfishness. When I entered Nicole's hospital room, she was a different woman. Not the enraged, screaming banshee from hours earlier; now she sank into the large bed, tiny among all the tubes and equipment. Her room had a window and she looked out it, her gaze barely flicking to me when I entered.
"Does Clarke know about Paulo?"
"Yes." I didn't bother telling her that it was Dante who shared the news or that Clarke had pulled it out of us. At that moment, she didn't seem to care and I was running out of the energy to deal with all of this.
"I don't want to talk to him." She whispered the word and wrapped her hands around her stomach. "I'm just so tired. Of everything."
I sank into a recliner next to her bed and closed my eyes. The last few days had been such a whirlwind, I'd hardly had a moment to rest. I wondered where all of her friends were. Then again … I don't think Nicole really has any friends. Acquaintances? Yes. Fellow social maggots? Yes. True friends? No. Another domino on top of Nicole's stack of sadness. I had a fleeting thought of Chanel and wondered where she was, probably with a maid.
"Is he staying?" Nicole's question was so subdued, so quiet and naked in its vulnerability, I almost missed it.
"Who? Clarke?" It seemed like a ridiculous question. "Here at the hospital? Yes, he's in the waiting room." Wanting to see you. An addition I should have added, but I'm chicken.
"He should leave me." She mumbled. "After everything…"
I didn't know what to say. I agreed with her, completely. I'd asked myself a dozen times, during this last year, why the damn man stayed with her. On the one hand, it was endearing, his commitment and devotion. On the other hand, it was stupidity. But what did I know? I'd stayed with Vic for two years. There were probably plenty in his inner circle who had laughed behind my back, who had questioned my intelligence level. I shouldn't judge Clarke for anything.
"This could be a fresh start for you too. You could be honest with him. Faithful."
She snorted, a little taste of old Nicole fighting to the surface. "Like I have a choice?" she scowled. "My body is going to be shot after this."
I think this was in reference to the baby. I swallowed every response that bubbled in my throat and mentally circled, in bold red pen, my date of resignation. Next Monday. She should be out of the hospital by then. Maybe I should kidnap Chanel. With all the baby and affair drama, they'd probably not even notice.
I discarded that plan in the next breath, it joining the pile of never-gonna-happens, right alongside my ancient fantasy to have Clarke bend me over their dining room table, his voice gruff with need, his fingers fumbling in his haste as he—
Whoa. OK. Maybe that ancient fantasy still has a teensy bit of life left in it. I kicked it deeper into Never Never Land and tried to focus back on the present. I glanced at my watch and decided to move this pity party along. "I've got to run." I stood, snagging my purse off of the floor. "I'll send Clarke back."
Her head lifted off the pillow. "Where are you going? What is more important than this?"
"A prior obligation." I moved for the door quickly, before she had a chance to retort.
Her last words were shouted at me, the demand slipping through the door right before it shut.
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