Selene opens her door to see me back to my normal self. Well, on the outside. Inside, I’m an emotional train wreck. Selene takes one disgusted look at me, and starts to close the door.
Nu-uh. Not happening. I want my best friend back. Swiftly sticking one of crutches in the way of the closing door, I plead with Selene.
“Please Selene, I know you are really mad at me right now, and you have every right to be. I’m not even going to try and defend myself, I am a horrible person and I don’t deserve your friendship. After today, you can go back to hating me, and I won’t blame you. I just-I really miss you.”
Selene looks me up and down, taking in my cast and tear-smeared mascara.
“I don’t know, you are a murderer. How do I know this isn’t just some plot to get close to me so you hit your mark?”
Ouch. That hurt.
“I know. It’s not like I want to do any of this. You should now that more than anyone. You know.” I softly plead, desperately trying to keep my voice even.
“I know,” she says, her voice softening, “I’ve missed you too Nix. I’m still mad at you though.”
“So can I come in?”
“Sure, but know that I don’t trust you,” she says with a shrug, opening the door wider to let me in.
I follow her into her house and through the hallway to her room. I could probably locate everything in her house blindfolded. Her house is more of a home to me then my house ever will be to me. And if I’m being honest, it’s nice to be in a house that doesn’t have water stains on the ceiling and broken hearts on the floor.
Saying that Selene’s room is nicer than mine is an understatement. From the night sky mural on the back wall to the black king size canopy bed with little stars hanging down from it, her room screams, “Look at me Nixie! Look at what you’ll never have!”. But it’s ok, I’ve long gotten over the financial gap between us.
Selene sits in her bed and clutches a fluffy white pillow to her chest while I take the matching bean bag chair a couple feet away. The fluffy-ness swells around me and I realize that I probably look ridiculous, so I instead sit on the-also fluffy-swivel chair at her desk.
“So, how’s your plan with Atlas going?” Selene asks, her voice laced with bitterness.
****. I don’t really want to talk about him right now. I regretted breaking up (would that even be considered breaking up?) with him the moment he dropped his hand and walked away. I can feel my plan slipping away from me, and that can’t happen. My life is on the line here. I thought I could find a way to kill Captain Colossal without using Atlas. I sat (and bawled, but that’s besides the point) at the same bench where I had to come up with my original plan for hours before coming to Selene’s, but I couldn’t come up with anything.
“Well…it’s complicated.” Is what I finally decide to say.
“Well, it’s a good thing my parents are having date night. Start talking.” She snaps.
So I tell her. I tell her about the emergency room and the side yard heart-to-hearts. I tell her about Atlas’ unwavering kindness and how it was like he could see right through me. Then I tell her about our tearful exchange in the classroom, and by the end I’m in tears again.
“Oh shoot*” Selene breathed when I was finally done spilling the tea.
Now I’m laughing and crying at the same time.
“Get over here Nix,” Selene barely manages to say through her own laughter.
I move from the chair to the bed, and lay curled up in a ball, head in Selene’s lap. The laughter is gone and just the tears remain.
“Does this mean you forgive me? Cause I’m really, really sorry.”
“Yes, I forgive you. And I’m sorry for being a horrible friend. I knew what you were going through and I still turned my back on you. Oh and by the way? You totally proved me right on the whole ‘Atlas Rivero is amazing’ issue. Remember that debate from a few months ago?”
“Yea, I do,” I pout, not happy that I got proved wrong.
“So here’s what you need to do,” Selene instructs, pulling me up so that I’m sitting upright, “you have two options. Number one- tell Atlas everything, yes, everything, and you two together figure out what your going to do, or number two- avoid Atlas like the plague and find a way to take down Captain Colossal without involving Atlas.”
“There is no way to go through with my plan without Atlas. I’m getting too much attention from Atlas.” I explain, flopping back on the bed in frustration, my hair flying all over.
“Well then that leaves one option, doesn’t it? Plus, it’s not like you’re going to be getting action with that cast on.” Selene says, pulling me up again.
I simply groan in response.
“It doesn’t have to be right now, but you have to do it soon.”
“Can I sleep over here tonight? We haven’t had a girl’s night in a while.”
“Of course, now what colour do you want your nails?” she asks with a smile, already walking over to her vanity.
“Take a guess.” I respond. It’s the same every time.
“Red.” she groans playfully.
“You know it!” I laughed, Atlas, Captain Colossal, and the Shade Assassin already far behind me.