|nishka//loki (nishka) wrote in paxletalelogs,|
@ 2017-10-11 12:20:00
|Entry tags:||hel, loki|
they were wrong (bad things come in fours)
Who: Nish and Jocelyn
What: Girls night pity party
Where: Nish’s apartment
When: after this exchange, approximately 6pm
It wasn’t a good day for Nish.
Not only did she not sleep right after she came home from James’ apartment, but she woke up in the morning to find that her cat had been horribly sick on the carpet. A quick text to Jess to let her know she wouldn’t be in to work and a call to the vet got him looked at, and she found out he had some sort of intestinal bug. Also, he was now considered a ‘senior’ cat, and she spent a half hour discussing new food options for him that brought to the forefront of her mind that Bear had been around now for eight years and may be entering the second half of his life.
She didn’t go to work after that. She stayed home and cuddled her cat and maybe cried a little. Jo’s text had woken her up that morning, and her second text had come while she was at the vet. Her decision to ask her friend for alcohol was therefore entirely premeditated, and now she had guilt to add on top of everything else that was turning her evening into quite the pity party.
That, and she still hadn’t had a chance to buy a new phone. And she'd just got her period. Fucking. Perfect.
She now sat on the couch, cuddling bear and a tub of Ben and Jerry’s in her lap, watching Netflix and waiting for Jo to bring the required booze to cap off the evening.
A quick rap sounded at the door, and then Jocelyn let herself in. “Hey…” she called out, just loud enough to be sure Nish had heard her coming in. A cloth grocery bag was slung over one arm, two bottles sticking out of it.
She held up a hand to forestall any protest from Nish. “I only brought one bottle of wine. But in case you changed your mind, I brought another bottle of that cider we had last week, too.” She rummaged into the bag. “I also have about a pound of Belgian chocolate to go with...just in case you are sick of ice cream.”
Nish looked up at her and sighed with exhausted relief. “You are a goddess.” She got up from the couch and crossed the distance between them, giving her a long bracing hug before letting her go. “Please tell me you had a better day than I did,” she said, heading back to the couch and curling back up under the throw blanket. “Honestly, at this point spilled milk could make me cry.” Bear, having had enough forced cuddles, headed off to his scratching post in the corner to remind it who was in charge, and Nish watched him go with a pout.
Jocelyn hugged her friend tight, then released her. “Well, I spent most of my day keeping dying people company, so…” she looked around at Nish and the rest of her apartment. “Yeah, I suppose maybe I did.” She ducked into the kitchen, and returned momentarily with the wine glasses. After confirming Nish’s preference, it was a matter of a moment’s work to open the bottle and fill both glasses.
Nish smiled weakly and accepted the glass of wine, her expression melting into a pout as she studied the dark red liquid. “Six months, eight days,” she said flatly, “a record.” She took a sip and held it in her mouth for several seconds before swallowing, sighing softly with pleasure and then allowing a wry smile. “All at once. Why did it all have to happen at the same time? Fuck, Jo,” she complained, her tone coming dangerously close to whining.
“Well…” Jo took a sip of her wine, and leaned against the wall. “I guess at least you get to get over it all in one go, eh?”
Nish chuckled darkly and half shrugged, taking another, larger, sip of her wine. “And we might as well get around to that giant elephant in the room,” she sighed. “I almost literally ran into him at the elevators. Here, look,” she said, fishing around beside her on the couch and showing her phone to Jo, a spiderweb pattern of damage over the surface. “At least it still works, but at this point it's cheaper to get a new one than to try and fix it.”
“Jesus,” Jo muttered, looking at the phone. “Did you throw it at him?” She sipped her wine. “I mean...I wouldn’t blame you.”
That actually got a chuckle out of her. “Didn't think of that,” she said. “I dropped it. I...just froze. I mean...who expects that they'll run into their ex? Especially one you thought you left on the other side of the country?” More wine, and she leant forward to snatch the chocolate off of the coffee table. “And I didn't even get pissed at him,” she complained, berating herself. “All those things I've had four years to stew over, and not one of them came to mind.”
“Well, for what it’s worth...I did give him a piece of my mind,” Jo admitted, reaching over to snag a piece of chocolate before Nish could hoard the entire box of it to herself. “Didn’t throw anything at him though - all I had to hand was my coffee.”
“Please tell me it wasn't hot enough to cause facial burns; he's still goddamn gorgeous,” she sighed.
“I would never waste perfectly good coffee,” Jo responded, sounding mildly offended. She glanced at Nish, considering. “He spin you the story about the mob boss and witness protection?”
Nish nodded, thoughtfully letting the chocolate melt on her tongue before swallowing it.
Jo frowned. “Do you believe him?”
“That's just it...it’s plausible. The details are right, from what I know of the program.” She paused, chewing on her lip, “and...he's never lied to me. Until now, ironically.”
Jo sighed and took a deep drink of wine, almost emptying the glass. “It’s plausible, sure...but there’s enough stories about that stuff out there that anyone could put together a plausible story.” She shook her head. “If he’s telling the truth now, then he was lying to you then. And if he was capable of lying to you then...well, who’s to say he’s not lying now?” She laughed, a short, sharp sound. “A paradox.”
Nish chuckled wryly at the conundrum and nodded, draining her glass and cradling it to her chest. Already she was feeling a slight loosening of her limbs; her tolerance had gone down in the past months she hadn’t been drinking. It was a pleasant feeling, but it also scared her a little. Too familiar, too addictive.
“I know which I’d prefer,” she said, blinking slowly, the pull of sleep becoming irresistible after such a long day, but her desire to talk overpowering her fatigue. She held out her empty glass for Jo to fill, since she was closer to the bottle. “The bitch of it is...I want to believe him. Back when it happened...part of me was sure he was lying then. I never really believed that he would ever do something like that. And now...it’s like he’s giving me what I’ve been wanting all this time, and my bullshit detector isn’t working so I can’t even figure out what’s true.”
Jo busied herself momentarily by refilling her glass partway, and pouring the remaining wine into Nishka’s. She had promised not to judge her friend for wanting to drink after months of sobriety, but she had deliberately chosen a smaller bottle of wine, just to be safe.
She sighed again, thinking of the altercation she’d had with the man that morning. She...hadn’t been kind. “I mean, I distrust him, as a matter of principle, after what he did to you. But…” She glanced over at her friend. “I’m family - I’m supposed to hate someone who hurts my ‘big sister’ that much. That’s what little sisters are for, right?”
Nish took another long drink from her refilled glass, halving her second portion and burning pleasantly all the way down. “You’re a good friend,” she said softly, her free hand finding one of Josie’s on the couch. “My head is just...it’s all over the place right now, and...I’m wanting things that should be out of the question by now, and I just needed to hear someone else say it…” she pouted over at her, her eyes starting to take on a slightly glazed look from the alcohol now hitting her brain.
Jo squeezed her friend’s hand tight. “For what it’s worth...it doesn’t really matter how good his reasons are. You were hurt. You’ve picked up the pieces. You’ve moved on, even if he hasn’t.” Another drink of wine. “You’re happy again, despite everything that’s happened. If you decide you don’t want to give that up, just because he shows up….Nishka, you don’t have to. You get to decide that.”
She looked over at her friend. “And if he can’t accept that...then he must be absolute shit as a psychologist.”
Nish listened silently to her friend, wincing at her words and draining the rest of her glass before responding. “I guess I’m a better liar than I thought,” she said sadly, looking over at her with a frown. “Because I still fucking love him.”
Jocelyn looked at Nishka for a long time before she spoke again, unsure of what to say. “You still love him…” she echoed. “But can you trust him?”
Nish took in a shaky breath, biting down on her lip to keep it from quivering. A tear traced down her cheek without permission. “I can’t even trust myself,” she managed, squeezing her hand hard, taking all the support her friend - her sister - was willing to give. “Tell me I’m stupid. Tell me I’m horrible for wanting this...because I can’t do it on my own.”
“I...can’t.” Jo took a deep breath in, steeling herself. “Because you’re not stupid, and you’re not horrible.” She squeezed her friend’s hand again. “But, Nishka? You deserve better than him.”
Nish sighed out the breath she’d been holding, squeezing her eyes shut tight and forcing the rest of the tears in her eyes to chase themselves down her cheeks. She didn’t know what to say to that, she didn’t for a minute believe that she deserved very many good things, but the one good thing she wanted was what she and James had had before. The one thing she couldn’t have.
She leant over, resting her cheek on Jo’s shoulder, holding her hand tight like a lifeline as silent sobs shook her shoulders.