Clarisse shut down the VR feed after making sure the files had downloaded fully. When she refocused on the real world, she was startled to find Grace sitting on the bed across from her. The blonde looked worried and exhausted, like she hadn’t slept for days. Clarisse hadn’t seen much of her friend since the birthday party, and then only in passing.
Grace looked at her. “K-B, I need to talk to you”, she began, almost choking on the words.
“Sure, Grace. What’s up?” Clarisse tried to keep things light. Maybe it would help.
The blonde was silent for a long time. When she reached up and brushed a stray lock of hair away from her eyes, Clarisse could see the fresh bandages around her friend’s wrist.
“Oh My God, Grace! You promised me you wouldn’t cut anymore!”
Her friend quickly sat on her hands and looked away. “Sorry. I know. But I was just so upset about what happened at the party, and then worrying about what you must think of me, and then…”
Clarisse slid over to the bed, gathering the blonde girl into a close hug. “Gracie. I’d never hold your hormones against you”, she said, trying to make light of the topic. “Remember what I said about Richie?”
Grace closed her eyes. “Except this one worth it, K-B”, she mumbled.
Clarisse shook her head. “Look, I understand how you feel. I’m OK with that. And he’s been pretty clear about what he wants, so I’m not mad about it, OK?”
The blonde nodded miserably. “Yeah. You’re always a better friend to me than the other way around, K-B.”
Clarisse playfully swatted Grace on the head. “Hey! None of that. Not after what we went through last year. BFF, right?”
Her friend managed a weak smile. “Yeah.” She looked back down at the floor for a while, and Clarisse wasn’t sure what else to say. As the silence stretched on, Grace looked up, her eyes full of tears. “Do you think it would be OK if I talked with Sam again? You know, to like, apologize, and stuff?”
Clarisse looked carefully at her friend. “Are you sure you’re up to that? Sounds intense.” At the blonde girl’s nod, she added, “Then I think that’s a good idea. You want me to talk to Sam about it?”
Grace stared at the floor for a moment before nodding again. “Yeah. Just let him know what it’s about. So he doesn’t think I’m playing games again. If he brought everyone else along I’d die of embarrassment. This is hard enough already.”
Clarisse gave her friend another hug. “OK. I’ll let him know to expect a call. Take your time, there’s no rush to do this, Gracie.”
The blonde girl stood, and headed for the door. “Thanks, K-B. But I have to do this soon before I lose…my nerve. See you around.”
“See you soon”, answered Clarisse as the door shut behind Grace.
Damn right he’s worth it. And you’d better not forget it again. Bitch.