Hey fellow Queendalers! Looks like this nickname has kind of stuck. I love it, but if you have any ideas for names, please leave them in the comment section, and I will take a look! Now onto the news, for it has been an interesting week!
So, as you know, things have been kind of rocky for Emilie and Paul since they found out the whole thing about his father and Erica. And from my last post, you can see he hasn’t really been taking it well. And it has only gone downhill from there. That downtown club called “Aries,” has become his new hangout and he spends most of his evenings and weekends there. Emilie still goes to try and keep an eye on him, but even she seems to be tiring of it. As she ran to the school bus Monday morning (three weeks before school gets out), she looked very exhausted. What was interesting to me, is that she was coming to the school bus alone. Paul was nowhere in sight. Could he be skipping?
I get my answer as I turn and look in the rear window. Paul was sneaking into a cab way at the end of the curb. I’m guessing he was still grounded from using his car. Emilie doesn’t say a word as she gets on the bus, but I do catch her glance at the taxi as it drives off down the street.
Paul is gone for all of school and I only see him again at the end of the day, waiting for the school bus. He does this for the next couple days, until Emilie seems to have had enough.
On Wednesday, I see Emilie step out through the school doors with a look of irritation in her eyes. I can tell she is done with Paul’s behavior. She marches over to Paul who is waiting by the sidewalk with Derek Richmond.
“So we’ve missed you in track the past few days,” Derek was saying. “You think you might make it tomorrow? The coach is kind of annoyed and might kick you off if you don’t show up again.”
Paul shrugs. “Maybe. I’ll see.”
When Emilie shows up, Derek takes that as his cue to go, and with a wave, he runs off toward his motorcycle parked nearby.
Paul, this needs to stop,” Emilie says as she approaches him.
Paul scoffs. “Emilie stop hounding me. It’s none of your business.” Behind them, I see Kara leaving the school, she spots them, hesitates, but then continues walking toward the bus.
Emilie looks furious. “What do you mean it’s none of my business? Of course it’s my business! I am the one who keeps covering for you every time you do this!”
Paul shrugs. “I didn’t ask you to, Emilie. So that’s not my fault.”
Emilie looks angrier than I have ever seen her.
She balls her hands into fists. “I am so sick of this! You are not the only one going through this Paul! I am too! But you don’t even seem to care about that! You are so stuck on just spiraling out of control that you haven’t even bothered to ask me how I feel! Do you think that’s fair?”
After she says that, they just stare at each other in silence, both looking completely enraged. I’m starting to feel like I am watching a soap opera. I’m not trying to be humorous about this or anything, but if this situation wasn’t so awful, it would be pretty funny. At least by this time, the bus had already left, so there wasn’t really a lot of people around to witness their exchange.
Since Paul clearly wasn’t going to be the one to say anything, Emilie finally sighs.
“Look, just please stop all this,” she says. “This is all taking a toll on me and I can’t deal with all it. Would you stop all the sneaking out at night to clubs and skipping school? Just talk to me.”
I feel pretty awful for her. She looks so concerned about Paul, even through her obvious frustration toward him.
But Paul doesn’t seem to see it.
“I’m sorry Emilie,” he says. “But I don’t feel like talking about this. I need to deal with this in my own way.” He then turns away, leaving Emilie standing alone in the school parking lot. She looks like she is going to burst into tears. Wow, never knew Paul had an “Angel” and “Claire” streak in him. He really seems more like a member of their group the past few weeks. Yikes!
And of course, his way of dealing with everything, is heading over to the nearest bar. It still baffles my mind how they keep allowing him in. Does he really look that much older? But strange enough, I can see in his eyes that whatever Emilie said is getting to him. Instead of downing several drinks, he finishes off his one glass and after paying, heads back out the door.
Curious, I tag along to see where he is headed. Perhaps another club or bar?
Nope. As he walks along, he bumps right into Kara who has just come out of the bookstore. I heard she works there part-time.
She seems a little uncomfortable to see him, and who could blame her? I’m sure she heard a little bit of what was going on outside of school that afternoon, and being Emilie’s friend, she probably already knows what’s going on.
I guess I’m not the only one who noticed.
“You saw what happened at school didn’t you?” Paul asks.
Kara smiles and nods. “I’m sure everyone in the parking lot did. It was hard to miss.”
Paul sighs. “I’m sorry, it’s just that Emilie won’t get off my case. She keeps lecturing me and following me everywhere I go. It’s driving me crazy.”
That’s because she’s worried about you Paul!” Kara shakes her head. “She told me what’s been going on, and honestly? It’s a little hard to believe. The Paul I know would never go out sneaking into clubs and skipping classes. Okay, the skipping class part maybe, but not track! You love sports! They are like your life!”
Paul shrugs. “Maybe they aren’t anymore.”
Kara shakes her head. “I don’t believe that for a second. I think you are going through a really hard time right now and you are lashing out and pulling away from all the things you care about. But you need to stop Paul. Or you really are going to lose everything.”
Paul raises his eyebrows. “So now you are going to psychoanalyze me? Seriously?”
“You know it’s the truth Paul.”
Paul scoffs. “Kara, you don’t know anything about me. We’ve known each other for what? Eight months? What makes you think you can say anything about my life? You don’t know anything about me.”
Kara smiles at him sadly. “You are doing it again, Paul. You’re trying to push me away. But you know what, you are right. We have only known each other for eight months. But I think you and I both know that it’s felt like longer.”
Surprisingly, Paul actually gets quiet and looks, dare I say it, guilty?
“So, Paul, you can say all those hurtful things to me, but I know it’s all just your anger talking. You may have been able to chase Abigail away, but you aren’t going to chase me away. I’m your friend, and I am going to be here for you when you are ready to talk. Got it?”
Paul looks stunned, as do I. As long as I have known Paul, he never backs down from anything. Yet here he was, speechless.
After a moment of silence, Paul nods. “Yah, okay.” He then sighs. “I’m sorry Kara, I didn’t mean what I said.”
Kara smiles. “I know you didn’t. And I’m sure you didn’t mean the things you said to Emilie either.”
When Paul nods, Kara reaches over and pulls him into a hug. He seems a bit surprised, but he hugs her back.
“I got to get home, before it gets too late, but you know what you have to do. Go talk to her Paul, and I’ll be only a phone call away.” Then after she pulls away, she gives him a wave and heads into a taxi nearby. I have to say I am impressed. She is the only one who has been able to get through to him. Maybe there is more going on with the two of them than we think…