A/N: Here's a story that I'm hoping I can commit to! I think this will be another short one.
Review at the bottom please!
My roommate, Brielle, had slowly unlocked, opened, and then relocked the door behind her. She stared solely at the ground, her eyes quickly shifted at me then down again. She then ran to me where I sat on the couch, dropping her canvas bag on the ground. She dove into my left side, immediately kicking off her shoes and toeing off her socks. She wrapped an arm around my stomach, and her other around her own. She rested her head on my shoulder and sniffled. Her legs curled up, and moved her arm to wrap around them. She sniffled again. With my left arm I pulled her in tighter, and my hands went to rub her arm and pet her hair.
"You alright?" I asked. She shook her head against me. It seemed like a stupid question, but the way someone answered it was important.
"What happened?" I pushed. Bri whimpered, the poor girl.
"We broke up," she whispered. Yeah, that made sense.
"Who broke up with who?" I whispered back.
I figured. I continued to rub her arm and play with her hair, not knowing what else to say or do. This was the fourth time that this had happened. Brielle had an on-and-off relationship with our mutual friend, Grayson, and they both had issues that they needed to address individually. At least Brielle was seeing a therapist, because I doubted Gray even wanted to accept the fact that he needed someone to talk to. I would have offered my own services, but that would have been a conflict of interest.
"...Why?" I eventually asked. That's what a good friend was supposed to do, wasn't it, get the details from their friend and hear them out? I must have been tired, because I wasn't feeling much in terms of sympathy, and I wasn't terribly interested in what happened. It couldn't have been much different from the other times they had broken up.
"He said that he's not good for me right now, that he needs to figure himself out," Bri mumbled into my shoulder. I nodded, gazing at the ceiling. That answer was a little interesting.
"I can give him some business cards from colleagues," I suggested. I knew a few people that Grayson would probably feel comfortable opening up to, probably.
"He might not like you doing that," she sighed. I frowned and looked at her. She was tired, I could tell, in that sleepy-and-fuck-the-whole-world way. Her eyes were closed and she had moved her arm from my stomach to grip my arm. It wasn't tight, but it was a good grip, a subtle message telling me not to move away.
"Well, to be honest, fuck him if he doesn't like it. He can't keep using that fucking excuse and then not do a damn thing about it. I'll do it, and I won't use my helpful therapist voice when I do." She flinched when I first swore, and I squeezed her arm as a way of apology, and she hesitated when I finished talking. I looked at her again to gauge her reaction. She appeared hesitant.
"You're a good friend, Lillian." I rested my head on hers and continued to comfort her. I turned on the television and switched it over to Netflix, hoping to make her feel better with meaningless shows.
It worked, for a while. I was able to soothe and shush her sadness with affectionate touches, and I continued to hold her like she needed to be. However, I soon found myself uncomfortable with the position we were in, and I wanted to push her away and go to my room. I wasn't going to do that to her; if I left her she would only feel more distraught. No, I continued to hold her, and moved to a slightly better position, where I left one hand in her hair. I picked up my phone with a free hand and played games. It was easier to pretend I wasn't awkwardly one-half of an affectionate pair.
I wasn't much of an affectionate person, and it wasn't really my fault. My mother wasn't an affectionate person, and I was much more like her than I was my dad, despite our strong ties to being therapeutic. I loved my mom more than anyone, but she wasn't terribly affectionate, and didn't always recognize the need other people had to touch and be touched. I didn't fault her for it, she was who she was. I just happened to grow up with many of her tendencies.
That wasn't to say that I didn't know how and when to be affectionate. My mother and I shared more idiosyncrasies than I'd wanted to admit, but there was a lot that I got from my father, and my perceptive and helpful people habits were the most important. When someone needed a hug or a pat on the back, a shoulder to cry on, I knew it instinctually, and I always knew what to say, because I was after all, a psychiatric nurse practitioner. I was a therapist with the ability to prescribe drugs. In fact, I was so good at what I did that my university offered me a position immediately upon graduation, where I could teach and help conduct research studies. We were seven weeks into one, actually.
When Brielle fell asleep, I took it as my chance to leave the situation. I turned the TV off, and gently moved her, just enough for her to open her eyes.
"Come on, darling, you have to go to bed. I can help you get your makeup off, if you'd like," I murmured. She nodded pitifully and I helped her off the couch. She slowly stretched her limbs, after having been curled up. I walked her to her bedroom, and I sat her on the bed. As I left to go to the bathroom, she began reaching for a ratty shirt that Gray had given her years before I met them. They used to be best friends.
Makeup wipes in hand, I returned to the room where she was putting on sweatpants lazily. I sat down on her bed and held her face by her chin. I started to wipe softly, and then put more pressure on the heavier spots. If I had done this while we were teenagers this would have taken forever, because she had the tendency to put too much stuff on her face, and I knew it was because of how she thought of herself. With time, she learned to be more accepting of herself and the way she looked. Eventually, I got even the mascara off.
I folded the used wipes and stood up to throw them away. She mumbled to me about going to brush her teeth and I nodded. As she came back and as I was leaving, I stopped and gave her a last hug for the night, just to be safe. She looked like she needed it.
"Thank you," she whispered.
"No problem," I answered. I rubbed her back once more and then we separated. She went to her bed, and I left her alone.
The bathroom was between our bedrooms, so our walls weren't connected- except for our closets. We figured that out when we moved in, because there was a hole that we could hear each other through. Most of the time we didn't think anything of it. The closets were full of clothes and small things that should really go into storage, and I always kept my closet doors shut. I couldn't hear her and she couldn't hear me, although if one of us brought a guest back, there were a few corks lying around, just to make sure. Tonight, I left one door open and moved my things around so I could hear her. If something happened, I wanted to be able to hear it.
All I heard that night was their song played from her phone, over and over and over again. I fell asleep and dreamed of punching Grayson in the face.
"Well hell, I'll take him on, he can't be that much of a tosser," Connie said. Connie was a tall blonde woman with sharp facial features, and an even sharper tongue. She hailed from England, and sometimes people were too enamored with her voice and looks to really hear her words, until she abruptly snapped, insulted their "half-dead and rotten brains" and walked away. We collectively decided to give her a fewer amount of patients than the rest of us. It felt like she viewed that as an accomplishment.
"I'm only going to recommend male therapists, more out respect for Brielle than anything. Even if I wasn't friends with her I wouldn't take him on. The boy's a damn mess," I returned. Connie nodded, her eyes alert and watchful. We were in a lab, waiting for our day to start. In a room to our right, there were patients checking in for their weekly sessions.
"Is he hot?" she asked. I slumped in my seat as I thought about it.
"He's definitely attractive. One of the ones you would expect to always have a girlfriend," I answered. It was true-enough statement; Brielle said that he was taken throughout most of high school, and when they weren't dating.
"Is he attractive enough to you that you would subject him to your sexually deviant activities?" Connie pushed. I laughed.
"I don't do anything sexually deviant. But honestly, I don't know, I've only ever known him as a part of Brielle."
"Now, let's hold off on this Grayson boy. You are a deviant. The fact that you bought an ice cube tray specifically for whatever the hell it is you do, proves it," she said. I shook my head.
"Well that's not a decision I made for me. Bri likes to have ice cubes instead of the ice that comes out of the freezer door, and I'm not going to steal from her stash just so I can have sex with whomever," I argued. "Plus, I'm not a deviant. Society has evolved to the point that the things I do in bed are actually sort of mild, but definitely not weird. You can't talk about deviance in front of my sociological self, I will lecture the hell out of you."
"What are you two talking about?" Connie and I looked forward simultaneously and saw our Australian colleague, Ashton Pierce, standing not ten feet in front of us.
"We're talking about Lillian's sexual deviance in terms of sociology," Connie said in her most professional voice. I felt my eyes widen only a bit and Ashton immediately started blushing.
"Ah-er, right. Well I'll- yes, I'll let you get back to that. Oh, um, both of your first appointments are here and ah, ready?" he stumbled. He turned back and forth, not knowing where to go. He didn't look either of us in the eye as he spoke, and chose to walk stiffly out of the room. I couldn't help but smile.
"I love it here. I've got the Sharp-Tongued Brit and the Blushed and Stuttering Aussie. Now, I hate to cut the conversation short, but I hate to get behind even more," I joked as I stood up.
It was a shame though that I couldn't bring Grayson to Ashton, but then I couldn't be Bri's therapist for the same reason: they were best friends.
A/N: So what did you think? Personally I thought the intro didn't make for a great hook but it's how I imagined the story starting.