Part 4: A Change of Heart
See disclaimers in part 1.
After that incident with Amy, things kept going downhill. That Thursday Michelle had to cancel going to the movies with Alex because Peter, her boyfriend, wanted to see her. Alex was a little disappointed but the blonde felt even worse about it. Dont get her wrong, she wanted to see Peter, he was practically her best friend but she just couldnt get enough of the intriguing woman. When school starts she realized they wouldnt be able to spend that much time together. So she wanted to soak up as much of Alex as she could get.
When Michelle left on her date, Alex was bored out of her mind so she decided to get in a little tube time. <Hmm, almost time for Friends. Ha! Finally I can relate to that show> She snorted to herself. She wasnt really watching the show because her mind was occupied on other things. <Wonder what Michelle is doing right now? Hope Peter-boy treats her good. She deserves the best. Cause if he doesnt Im going to have t.. > She sat bolt upright just as she realized something. She was jealous. With her head hung in defeat, <No, not again. I thought I was over that part in my life. > She came up with a million reasons to distance herself from Michelle right now before things got worse but not one could cover up the pain it would cause from losing her friendship. <Why am I even worried for. When school starts we wont have time anymore for all this bonding. This feeling will go away in time. Besides, Michelles straight so it doesnt matter how I feel. > With that settled she gave herself over to the mind-numbing TV.
She felt the presence even before they reached her door. It was Capri and Susan. They were standing just outside the door wondering if they should knock when the door suddenly opened. Alex stood there enjoying the surprise written on their faces. "Hey Cappie. How are you feeling?"
Liking the nickname, "Oh much better. Thank you."
Finally she acknowledged her other guest with a little nod. "Susan. Did you want something?"
It didnt look like Susan was going to say anything but stare at the floor so Capri elbowed her in the ribs. "Oww. Will you quit it?" Glaring at her roommate, she looked back up at Alex. "I wanted to say thank you for what you did for Capri. It really means a lot to me. I wasnt here to protect her but Im glad that someone was." With that she held out her arm.
Earning even more respect at the gesture, Alex took the arm, from one protector to another. "Like I said, its fine. Just glad I was there." <Susan seems okay. Maybe theyre not all like her >
Just then Michelle came storming up the hall. She took one look at the three of them and burst into tears. Wanting to be alone, she pushed her way through the crowd that was blocking her room only to turn around and push Alex out before slamming the door shut.
Stunned silence all the way around. When Alex got her bearings back, she raised her hand to knock on the door but she was stopped by a grim looking Susan.
"Better to let her cool off for a while. You go in now and youll get your head lopped off."
"But its my roo.." Alex began to reason.
"Im serious. Just leave her be. Ive seen her like this. All she needs is time to get herself together. After that Ill try talking to her. Then you can try to get back into your room."
"Fine." With that she stalked off to the common room.
The common room consisted of two couches, a table in between and a TV against the wall. There were also chairs spread throughout the room. There were already a few people there watching TV who froze when Alex entered looking peeved. Not wanting to deal with any of it, she turned right around and headed out the door instead.
<A run! Yeah, thatll get my mind off of things. Hope shes okay. > With one final look back toward her hurting friend she took off down the street.
Susan did try again 20 minutes later. But when she knocked on the door, she was greeted with silence. "Come on Michelle. I need to know if youre okay? Do you want to talk about it?" Long pause, "Please Michelle. Otherwise Ill be up all night worrying about you." Nothing. "Okay then, anytime you need to talk, know that Ill be pacing in my room." She waited there hoping for anything. "Anytime at all." Was added. She gave up and started down the hall.
Alex was so worried that she couldnt stay away any longer. She wanted to bust down that door to find out what happened. Then of course to go kick the ass of whoever was causing Michelle all this pain. She called out to Susan who crossed the hall just as she came up the stairs.
"Shes still not ready yet," a frustrated Susan said as she kept on pacing.
She walked toward her room to see for herself. She knocked and nothing happened. "Michelle? Can you open the door please? Again, silence prevailed. <Damn! Now what am I supposed to do? Sleep in the hallway? > She caught a whiff of herself, <and I need a shower. > That made her think of something, "Michelle? Come on, I need to get some clothes for a shower. Im stinkin up this hallway here. Probably attracting flies." Still nothing. "Youre gonna have a pile of passed out girls in front of your door soon you know. Our room is right in front of the air conditioner. Come on "
The door opened at that. "Thank you." Alex cautiously walked in. It was dark so she switched on the light. What greeted her broke her heart. <Oh Michelle, what hurt you so much? > Her eyes were so puffy she looked like shed been punched. Alex concluded she must have been crying the whole time. She didnt want to butt into Michelles business if she didnt want her to, so she walked over to the exercise bike to get some clothes.
"Arent those dirty?" Michelle asked while still standing by the door.
Giving her a sheepish smile, "Nope. I just didnt get around to folding them." She pulled off a few and then turned back to leave. But before she passed, she reached out to gently turn Michelles chin up so she could see her eyes, "Im here if you need me Michelle. Always."
When Michelle saw the sincerity in her eyes, it opened up a whole new floodgate of tears. She practically threw herself at the taller woman wrapping her arms tightly to her. Alex was in total shock. She was never any good in these situations. She always managed to make it worse just by opening her mouth. Awkwardly she wrapped her own arms around her sobbing friend.
Shutting the door with her foot, she led Michelle over to sit down on her bed. Not knowing what else to do she just sat there and held her close. Once she started to quiet down, Alex asked, "Are you all right?"
"Yeah. Ive been better though." Still with her head on Alexs shoulder, "Thanks." She gave her a final squeeze before letting go.
Not sure if she should press her luck, "Do you wanna talk about it?" She took one of Michelles hands that were fidgeting in her lap mostly cause the action was making her nervous with Susans words still ringing in her head. But Michelle just gave a sad smile in thanks.
"Peter and I broke up tonight Thats why he wanted to see me." Shaking her head, "he tried to blame it on me can you believe it? Said I wasnt paying enough attention to him lately. What a crock of shit." Swiping the hair away from her face, "turns out the bastard has been cheating on me for two months!" Getting confidence from the reassuring squeeze her hand got, she went on. "I only found out that part when the bitch hes seeing came right up to the table to gloat." A long silence passed before she added, "but you know what hurt the most? I considered him my best friend. I told him everything that was ever important to me. That more than anything else felt like a stab in the back, you know? That someone I cared about could do this to me "
A fresh set of tears ran down her cheeks, so Alex pulled her back in for another hug. She was so mad right now that she couldnt say anything. She wanted to kill the person who caused her friend so much pain. <And I will when I see that prick> she thought.
Michelle felt the stiffness in the body she was holding and pulled back to see Alexs face. What she saw surprised and even frightened her a little. Her eyes were cold so cold they were almost clear. "Alex? Are you angry with me?"
Looking down, she saw the fear written on Michelles face. "Nooo god no. Im not angry with you. Im angry that someone could treat someone like you this way. Why, if he was here right now I dont even want to think about what I would do to him."
"Youre angry FOR me?" She blinked in surprise.
"Of course. Youre my friend." Alex said truthfully. "Oof!"
Michelle practically squeezed all of the air out of the other girls lungs. "Thank you. You dont know how much that means to me," and kissed Alex on the cheek.
Blushing, "ahh so you feel better?"
"Much. Id better let Susan know Im still alive though " Michelle scrunched up her nose, "and let you go take that shower."
"Hey! If I didnt like you I think Id be offended," she said with an appalled face with her hand on her chest.
"I think the word youre looking for is offensive Whew!" She made a show of pinching her nose.
Stalking over to the smiling woman menacingly, "Oh you think so huh? Care to take a closer smell?" She grabbed her around the waist and wrapped her arms around the struggling woman, and gave her another hug for good measure. "Go on, before Susan makes a hole in the hallway from pacing," and kissed the top of her head. With a sigh, Michelle reluctantly let go and they went on their separate ways.
The next day found the two just enjoying each others company. They were laughing it up watching TV when Susan came in the door with a smile on her face.
"Hey Susan! Whats up?" said a still giggling Michelle.
"Hey guys. You seem to be in a better mood today huh?" Susan made sure to acknowledge Alex with the greeting. Michelle told Susan what Alex did and she was grateful to her for getting her friend out of her funk.
"Oh yes! All thanks to some mid morning cartoons and a carton of Ben and Jerrys," <And one dark haired beauty> thought Michelle while looking over at her lounging roommate sending a silent message.
"Well Ive got some news. Theres a party tonight down on the other end of campus and I think we should go. You too Alex," Susan finished.
Alex was too bewildered to speak. <Shes inviting me? Thats a surprise. Must be because of Michelle. > She knew how people felt about her. Most were even scared to be near her.
Michelle saw the look on Alexs face. She really wanted to go to the party but if her roommate wasnt going she wouldnt either. "I dont know. I kinda wanted to stay home tonight. Schools starting on Monday after all."
But Susan plowed on, "Thats exactly my point girl! This is our last chance to get down with our bad selves!"
"What do you think?" Turning to look at Alex, "Wanna go?" Michelle asked hopefully.
"Um I cant. I gotta get up early on Saturday to go to bowling practice. First one."
A dejected "Oh." But thinking fast, "We could come home early. Please? I really want you to go. It is the last chance to let loose you know."
"I dont know. How early?" Asked a skeptical Alex.
"As early as you like." She knew she was wearing her down, so she went in for the kill. "Besides, Youre the only one with a car on this floor. And since youre driving, you can leave whenever you want." Michelle knew she had her now.
"Ah. So the reason finally comes out huh? You want me to go cause you need a ride. I get it now," said Alex smirking.
"Of course. Why else do you think I keep you around?" Said Michelle barely holding a straight face. But a pillow to the face was her answer. "Oh cool! You going to give me your snuggles?"
"Im going to get you for that!" Alex practically leaped the whole distance to Michelles bed tickling her mercilessly.
An embarrassed Susan turned away then. "Ill take that as a yes then," she called back.
She heard a muffled "NO" being shouted undoubtedly by Alex but then a screaming "YES she is!" by Michelle.
Back in the room, Michelle was resting comfortably in Alexs arms. "Ill drag you there if I have to." With Alexs raised eyebrow staring back at her, "Dont think I wont," and slapped her in the stomach.
"Oof. Fine, Ill go. Could be fun." Looking down at Michelles comfortable position she thought about her no touching rule. <Guess that went out the window when it comes to you huh? > With a smile on her face, <I could get used to this. >
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