Episode 687: Sweet CarolineIím not a party girl, Caroline thought, pressing the butterfly wings of her costume tighter to the wall, as if blending into the woodwork would relax her.
She hadnít relaxed much since that first night when sheíd found Jesse collapsed in the hallway at the movie theater. Why had she thought a Halloween party would improve anything? How had she convinced herself that she would meet some cute boy would cross her path and make her forget all about Jesse? No boy was that cute.
So there she stood on the outskirts of a party, thinking only of him, wondering how he was doing, wondering if she should have said something to someone by now or if sheíd overreacted, if sheíd lost her boyfriend for no good reason.
Caroline kicked the wall with the bottom of her foot; mad at Jesse, and mad at herself, just plain mad.
"What did that wall ever do to you?" A tall blond all-American boy approached her, dressed as a baseball player. Actually, he didnít strike her as that boyish. He was definitely older than she was, by a year or two, his shoulders, his swagger, everything said so.
Caroline didnít know what to say. She wasnít really good at flirting. It hadnít happened that way with Jesse. But being with Jesse was upsetting; he upset her, so maybe she should at least try to talk to someone else.
"I-" She still didnít know what to say. Her phone rang and she apologized for checking it, though she wasnít sorry for the interruption until she saw the callerís name. It was hard to forget about someone, to stop worrying about them, if they wouldnít leave you alone.
"Boyfriend?" Blond guy asked as she glared at the phone.
"Ex. He keeps calling."
"I would, too," blond guy said.
Before Caroline knew what was happening, blond guy snatched her phone and answered for her. "She doesnít want to talk to you. Itís over. Itís done. Itís-" Blond guy handed the phone back to Caroline. "Itís some little kid. Heís practically crying."
"Little kid?" Panic hit her. "Nate?" She said into the phone.
"Jesse collapsed. I donít know what to do. I donít know what to do."
Neither do I, Caroline thought, join the club; itís awful to be a member. But she didnít say that. She shivered. "Tell me where you are."
"The park. Near the fountain. He wonít let me call anyone else."
"I know. Iíll be there. Iím close."
When she pocketed her phone, the boy next to her noted, "you donít look good. I have a car. I can drive. Iíll drive you."