Episode 1195: Rock Star“Do you hate me?” Jenny asked, gently bumping her hip against Hope’s as they walked side by side to Jenny’s house.
It had been Jenny’s idea to walk rather than accept a ride with any of Hope’s parents. It was probably a good idea, Hope had definitely needed some air and her two dads probably needed her mom there to referee.
Hope hugged her middle just thinking about how her two dads might be tearing into each other right then. But that wasn’t her fault. It shouldn’t be her problem.
“I’ll take your silence as confirmation on that, you do hate me now,” Jenny concluded, sadness coating her voice.
Only then did Hope realize that she’d been so caught up in her morbid thoughts that she hadn’t answered Jenny yet.
“If you don’t want to go to my place while they hash things out,” Jenny continued, “that’s okay. My mom should be home, when she sees how upset you are, I’m sure she won’t mind driving you someplace else if you’d rather not be around me.”
“I don’t hate you,” Hope finally got herself together enough to blurt out. “I’ve just been obsessing over what might be happening at my house right now.”
“And that’s my fault, whatever is happening there right now, I pushed for it. I’m sorry,” Jenny said. “It wasn’t my place to do that. If it goes bad…”
“I won’t blame you. I’m blaming them because you’re right, it’s their fault I’m in knots all the time. They’re the ones treating this like a competition and I’m the prize, never thinking of me as a human being stuck in the middle. I should have stood up for myself in all that instead of protecting their feelings when they weren’t protecting mine.”
Hope turned and reeled her best friend into a hug. “Thanks for standing up for me when I wasn’t brave enough to rock the boat.”
Jenny broke the hug. “It’s a relief that you don’t hate me right now but what if calling them out now and forcing them to talk it out just makes it all worse?”
“I haven’t heard sirens yet,” Hope managed to joke and both girls nervously laughed. “I don’t think they’re going to be like buddies ever. It’s probably horrible in my house right now. But I think it’s going to be better for me now thanks to putting my feelings out there right in their faces. Seeing you do that, seeing you be brave enough to risk me hating you to try and help me. I think seeing that is going to help me be braver, too, be more honest with them about how they are making me feel. I think getting that off my chest instead of holding it in is going to feel better and that’s thanks to you kicking down that door with them like the rock star that you are. Could I maybe prove that I don’t hate you by treating you to ice cream on the way to your house?”