Episode 799: HelloCaroline wasn't really a party sort of person but Henry, being in politics at his school, tried to be a social person, so here they sat on the sofa talking to people she didn't know at the biggest teenage New Year's Eve house party in the city, in the world even, since, according to the host, “everyone” was coming.
Everyone, apparently, included Caroline's ex-boyfriend, and friend (ex?), Jesse.
She hadn't talked to him in awhile, she wanted to, but he just wouldn't. She'd told herself that was fine, he wasn't her responsibility, maybe he wasn't her anything anymore, so maybe she should stop crying, like he'd said.
The moment she spied him across the crowded living room though, she couldn't pretend he didn't exist, she couldn't act like it didn't matter to her that he looked pale and unsteady on his feet.
“Back in a minute,” she told Henry with a pat on his knee.
“Be quick,” he said, with a kiss to her cheek a second before she shot up off the sofa. “It's getting close to midnight.”
“I know, I won't be long, I just saw Jesse and wanted to check in with him for a sec.”
“Oh, I thought you were getting in line for the bathroom,” Henry said, and got to his feet. “If it's Jesse, I'll come with and say hello. He's my friend, too,” and after that, he muttered, “I think.”
“No, stay, or we'll lose our seats and end up having to stand around and have people crashing into us while they dance or whatever. I can just tell Jesse you said hi. Odds are he won't talk to me anyway.”
Once Henry nodded, and even though he didn't look totally happy about it, he took his seat again while Caroline set off in search of Jesse. She finally spotted him leaning against a wall. She called out to him. Their eyes met, and he walked off.
He didn't appear in great shape, still, he got away from her fast, other than a glimpse of him headed towards the door, she soon lost track of him in the massive crowd. Yet that didn't send her back to Henry. She looked everywhere it seemed and eventually, she found Jesse in the backseat of one of his friend's cars, the door still wide open. It looked as though he'd just sort of flopped onto the seat.
Caroline gave his legs a gentle shove over so she could squeeze in and shut the door.
“Don't you think enough is enough,” she said, what if there's a simple cure and all you need to do is see a doctor, I think-”
“I think you should go back to your boyfriend, instead of sitting here with your ex who's just had too much to drink.”
“I know that isn't what this is. I know you're not drunk. I'm not stupid.” She reached out and placed a hand to his clammy forehead.
He pushed her hand away. “It's almost midnight and you're here with me, I think Henry would call that something a lot worse than stupid, don't you?”