Part Two: Shattered
Christine made her way up to the apartment she shared with her roommate, Kaeley, in a record time. She was already late and she had to get changed before work. The cloth she was in simply would not do. She ran into the elevator as soon as the door parted.
Pressing the button indicated her destination Chris bounced on the ball of her feet, she felt as if the elevator moved slower than usual today. And as soon as the doors parted she darted out and head straight to her apartment, giving her neighbor a slight nod when she ran by them. She could feel the curious looks that were being shot her way, but she didn't really care.
"Hey," a greeting was the first thing she got when she entered the door.
Kay was sitting at the couch, some papers and printed out were scattered over the glass top of coffee table. Chris took a moment to breathe.
"Hi, I'm late."
"Obviously," Kay said, looking over shoulder from where she had been sitting.
It would be hard not to notice, since Chris was out of breath and bouncing on the ball of her feet as she spoke. Her usually tucked in shirt was hanging out as if she had been running; even her hair was slightly out of place.
"Professor kept you too long?" Kaeley asked after her as she made her way into her room.
"Not exactly," was the answer she tossed over her shoulder before closing the door behind her.
Kay lifted one brow at the remark, but decided that she wasn't going to ask, so she turned back to the printed outs before her. The work had been landing heavily on her this time, and required her to go into the office more times in a week than usual, and tomorrow was one of the extra days she had to go in. She wanted to get more stuff done before that.
With a mechanical pencil in her hand, Kaeley picked up the notepad that she had been using prior to her friend arrival and made several notes on the paper, and then made a few more sketches. Kay felt as if she was back in school again, when her teacher said over and over to make a lot of thumbnails sketches so that when it came down to the end, she would have more choices of what she wanted to do.
Of course, she had always been one that would come up with something last minute and that end product would look absolutely nothing like all the sketches that she had done from the beginning.
Which was why the thumbnail part had always been a waste of time for her. Well, not always.
It wasn't such a good idea to wait for last minute before starting anything, but she just couldn't help it.
Chris ran into her room and slammed the door shut behind her, she knew she was being a little rude by just running in and out without even a word to her friend, but she was really late now and she didn't have time for pleasantries. It had been quite a day for her, her professors seemed to be out to get her today.
And she had a load of homework and projects to do before the week was over. Actually, those were just a part of it. She wouldn't have been late of not because one of her classmate came up and talked to her. Michelle, she hadn't really talk to her before, just because she usually ran in the class and ran out as soon as the class was over. But today Michelle came up and talked to her before she had the chance to leave the room.
The conversation was brief, but it was interesting.
Christine had found out that Michelle had been interested in her, it was a little strange, of course, to have someone just walked up to her and started telling her that she had been watching. Strange but flattery nonetheless.
She wasn't sure she wanted to actually go out with the girl, but it's nice to know she had a suitor.
Quickly threw the shirt into the hamper, she pulled out the different shirt and put it on while she paced around the room. She didn't even bother to take off her boots, since she would have to put them back on anyway and she didn't have time to change into another pair of khaki.
Pushed the door open she marched into the living room, where she could see her friend curled up on the couch with a pencil in her hand and pad on her lap head bowed. Kay seemed to be deeply engrossed in her work; she didn't look up at the sound of the door being opened.
"Hey," Chris said, walking toward her.
She watched her friend's head snapped up to look at her.
"Yeah," Chris mumbled, looking at what her friend was doing. "I'll be back by nine."
"Ok," Kay nodded.
"I'll see you later." Chris started for the door.
"Bye," she heard her friend said behind her.
On the way to work, Chris kept thinking about the offered that had just been presented to her. She wasn't sure if she wanted to be with anyone just yet. She hadn't been in a relationship for quite sometimes now and when she thought back of the time she actually had a relationship she didn't think she wanted to be in another one, ever.
Her ex-girlfriend was not exactly the nicest person.
At the time she couldn't see it, not really, but then, as Kaeley pointed out to her once, she had been diving head first into the relationship without taking the time to get to know the real person underneath that nice façade first. She knew that her friend was right, even though she hated to admit it.
Chris actually hated to admit that she was wrong period.
In that relationship she thought that she was in love, maybe she was, maybe it was just her head playing tricks on her. During the eight months time that she was in the relationship everything in her life was falling apart, her health, physically and psychologically. She had never gotten sick as often as she did then.
And in that eight months period, she had rather been distant from Kaeley, something that she still regretted today.
But her friend had been nothing but patient and even gracious where had it been someone else they would've left long ago. No one would've leant her their shoulders for this long, not after she had been disappeared on them over and over again.
She wasn't sure what really went on back then, everything had become a big blur to her, not really know what went wrong. Maybe Kay did, but she wasn't going to ask. Knowing that her friend would be able to give her a very accurate description of the event, more so than she would, even though Kay had not been there.
When everything was over, she decided that she couldn't live there anymore, and she wanted to leave. Luckily that at the same time, Kaeley was moving and looking for a roommate, so they agreed to move in together. So far the arrangement had work without a glitch, and Chris had no problem with her health at all, but it had only been a few months, she could never say anything for sure.
Christine remembered when she first met Kaeley Titan, she had been so happy to know her and to get the chance to be her friend. They had so much in common and never once had Kay hurt her in anyway. She used to joke about being her roommate and stayed with her forever, and here she was, doing just that.
There was so much she wanted to know from her friend, so much she wanted to tell her, but she couldn't, not back then and certainly not now.
Chris pulled into the parking lot, her eyes searching for the spot where her car would be well away from general traffic and still being close enough. When she finally found one she pulled into it, looking at her watch, she was beyond late, but there was nothing she could do about it now.
At first she did not know what it was that roused her from her slumber, Kaeley rolled over to her stomach and lifted her tousled head up from the pillow. It took her another thirty seconds to realize that the phone was ringing, the intrusive rings piercing her ears and she winced. Rubbing her face with both hands, an annoyance sigh escaped her lips as she reached for it.
Before she could answer the phone, Kay was startled by the muffled voice from beside her. Then she realized that her roommate had joined her in her bed again. She rolled her eyes and pressed on talk button to answer the still ringing phone.
Kay rolled over and scooted up to rest her back against a few pillows that she pushed up against the wall at the head of the bed, wondering who in the hell would be calling at this time of the night. With one hand rested on her side she felt Chris rolled closer and she lifted her hand up then let it fall and rested at the back of her friend's head as she tried to figure out who it was on the other end.
"Who?" Kay asked, "I'm sorry I can't understand you."
From beside her, her roommate mumbled something and threw an arm over her lap, still deeply in sleep.
"Lizbeth?" She asked after it finally registered that it was Christine's ex-girlfriend's voice. "What do you want?"
She didn't mean to be rude, but she never like the woman, Lizbeth was all right as a friend, she couldn't really tell, because she had never feel that she wanted to get closer to her, the thought of being her best friend had never crossed her mind. They could chat, but right after she and Chris had gotten involved she found herself tolerated her, but not really cared to do more.
And since Chris had almost ceased to talk to her at all there was no reason she would want to get to know Lizbeth. She had tired to keep the contact going, of course, but after she tried, long and hard, and there was nothing coming out of it, other than occasions brushed-off, she decided that if Chris wanted to just live her life and lose the contact then it was time for her to move on.
Or that was her resolve anyway.
But her resolve wasn't a long live one, her friend would occasionally called, and each time Kay could never just say goodbye. She knew it was the selfish reason for not liking Liz, but after a while the slight dislike toward her was justified.
And when the relationship gone bad, she found her slight dislike for the woman grew.
Now she just wanted to tell the woman to just go away.
"She's sleeping." Kay schooled her voice into that of a passive, but unfriendly tone.
Kay nearly snorted at the request to wake up her friend from the other side, but she resisted, keeping her voice cool and controlled. "No, it is late and I'm not going to wake her up. Goodbye." She hung up.
"Who was it?" A voice thick with sleep asked.
"Some nuts." Kay replied shortly, looking down at her friend who was looking up at her with blurry eyes. "Can I lay down now?" She lifted one brow, indicated that Chris would have to loosen her hold for her to be able to lay back down and get back to sleep, though she realized a little too late that her friend probably could not see her gesture.
But her friend loosened her hold anyway, enable her to slide back down and rested her head on the pillow once more and closed her eyes, she had every intention of just going back to sleep.
Chris came awake with the voice of her friend speaking, she couldn't really make out what Kay was saying but her tone felt so out of place, so different from her usual tone that she so used to, cool, calm, with softness underlined it. In her sleep-filled mind she wondered what it was that would set her friend's tone into that icy tone.
But again, whatever it was that could turned Kaeley's, normally calm tone, Chris didn't think she want to know.
And when Kay finally hung up the phone, she asked.
The answer was not consistence of what she – even in her sleepy and blurry mind – heard, but she was in no condition to play twenty questions with her friend, and she could imagine what reaction she would get from her. Especially, she had just come to share her bed without an invitation, or permission for that matter.
Earlier when Kay went to bed after they watched a movie, she stayed for a little while longer, flipping through the channels before decided to turn in herself. She actually went into her own room and sleep in her own bed, though lately, she hadn't felt like sleeping there.
And lately she found herself wanting to fall asleep talking to her friend.
Chris didn't really know if Kaeley ever felt annoyed, or uncomfortable that she was forced to share her bed, especially when she did not have to. It seemed a little unfair to be putting the burden on her friend. They both had different schedule, and while Christine didn't have many classes in the morning, they were still early enough. And by sharing a bed with her friend, meant that everytime she got up in the morning she would wake Kaeley up in the process.
The good thing was that the girl never complain, she would only opened one eye, looked at her then rolled over and went right back to sleep, but still, Chris felt bad for waking her up in the first place.
But tomorrow was one of her day off, when she made sure that she wouldn't have any class that she had to go to. It was something that she did, just to give herself some time off and sit around for at least a day out of a week. So far it had help her on many levels, and also afforded her to be able to hang out with her friends, instead of running in from school just to run out for work again.
Christine walked out of the bathroom and headed into the kitchen to find her friend sitting on the countertop with a can of her favorite beverage, Coca-Cola, sitting beside her, in her hand were a stack of papers. And in her mouth was her black, Pentel mechanical pencil.
She grinned at this small habit her friend indulged in. Chris thought that it was rather adorable the way Kay would hold the pencil with her front teeth and moved it from left to right and then up and down while she was thinking or deciding on something that she was doing. The good thing was that Kaeley did not make a habit of biting them as well as sucking on them.
"Don't bite that thing," Chris said, grinning. "You don't want to make a trip to the dentist cause you chip your tooth."
Kay looked up from her paper and stuck out her chin, making the pencil touch the tip of her nose and pulled the pencil out of her mouth to laugh. Then she put the pencil down with the papers and hopped off of the counter before her roommate made a comment about that, too.
After a few moments of just sharing in the laughter, Kay stopped, leaning against the counter, took a sip of her Coke. "Well, sleeping beauty finally awake." And wiggled her right brow to add the effect to her comment.
"Oh, you are going to pay for that one!" Chris exclaimed loudly, her voice high with giddy, childlike excitement. Eyeing the newspaper lay forgotten on the dining table, the thing looked as if it hadn't even been open, the elastic band was still wrapping around the bundle of papers, but it could also be because Kaeley was done with it. In any event it would still make a great weapon.
"Hey!" Kaeley yelled as Chris took a hold of the newspaper and started smacking her with it.
So she ducked and ran.
The chase was on as Kay made her way into the living room. She leaped across the back of the couch that faced away from the kitchen and dropped onto the area rug, she was quick, but not quick enough for her friend not to see where she had gone to.
Chris ran after her friend, seeing where she was headed, in her hands, she loosened the newspaper from a tight roll, so that it would not actually hurt when she hit Kaeley with it. She long stride brought her into the living room on time to see her friend dropped on to the rug behind the couch.
Laughing, Chris ran after her, and just as she reached the couch, the phone rang.
"Save by the bell," Kay yelled from where she was, laughing.
"Not for long," Chris retorted, pointing at her with the rolled up newspaper, as she was laughing with her.
The phone rang again and they looked at each other, see who was going to make the move to get the phone. Finally, Chris rolled her eyes seeing how Kay grinned sweetly up at her from her place on the rug, she knew she had lost.
"Fine," she muttered under her breath. "I'll get it."
"Thank you," Kaeley said, getting up. "You're so sweet." She sank onto the couch and leaned back, still looking at her friend who was answering the call a few meters away from her.
Chris was still dressed in a pair of dark sweat pants, with white T-shirt, the outfit was clear that she had no intention of going anywhere today, which was not a problem. Kaeley had nothing to do today, her project was finished and presented to the client the day before so now she had some down time, and she would be more than happy to spend the day with her roommate. They rarely had the time to sit around and do nothing together these days.
She turned around and reached for the remote for the TV when she heard Chris's voice raised up just a bit; indicated something that she didn't really want to know about.
"Yes, this is she." Chris spoke into the phone, the voice on the other side sounded familiar but she couldn't really remember whose the voice belonged to.
As soon as the answer came through, she froze. "Liz," she said with mixed feelings. "Hi."
It had been quite some time and she didn't think she would ever heard from her ex-girlfriend ever again. She hadn't even thought about her at all, her life had been rather uneventful, with the exception of school and work, which she was more than welcome it.
During the time with Lizbeth, her life had filled with chaos everything unorganized as she tried to conform herself to her girlfriend. She knew that relationship was not supposed to be that way, that both party should have mutual interests and neither should changed who they were to fit the other's way, but at the time she felt as if she did not have any choice and that she should do what she could to get the relationship going as smoothly as possible.
It was rather absurd, really, when all the things that made their relationship a bumpy ride were created by Lizbeth.
The voice from the other line was rather hoarse as if she had been screaming all night, and Chris wondered what was going on and why she was calling.
"I called last night."
"You did?" Chris asked, unsure of what she wanted. "I didn't know. When did you call?"
Instead of answering her question, Lizbeth went ahead and told her what her roommate did. "Kaeley said you were sleeping and she told me to go away, then she hung up."
"I'm sure she didn't mean to."
"Yeah, the bitch didn't mean to be rude, right!"
Christine frowned at the sarcastic and rather rude reply, and before she could say anything Liz continued on. "And she probably didn't mean to break us up too, right? I was crying my eyes out last night and I really wanted to talk to you—"
"--Liz, she didn't try to break us up, it was time." Chris tried to explain, wanting so much to defend her friend, but she couldn't get anything out, Lizbeth always had that effect on her; and inside she felt like crying.
Kay sat in her place, her blood starting to boil, she didn't really need to hear the name to know who was calling. She knew that Lizbeth wouldn't give up, and that she wasn't the type to just let go easily. Kaeley had hoped that everything would be over by now, since they hadn't heard from her for months, apparently she was wrong.
Quickly, she got up and walked over to where Chris was.
Christine stood in place, barely moving a muscle, one hand clenching the newspaper, the other clenching the cordless phone. She looked as if she was about to cry.
All Kay could think of at the moment was to just take the phone and rip it off of the wall; she tempered the thought down settled to only take the phone from the clenching hand. Her friend resisted for only a moment before letting go and allowed Kaeley to deal with the unpleasant phone call.
She simply pressed the talk button, cutting off the connection without a word.
To Be Continue