Ordinary World Soap Opera
An Online Soap Opera

Episode 864: C'Mon Get Happy

He held out the bag to her. Tansy smiled. She reached her hand in and tossed several peanuts into her mouth. She was nervous but he’d been such a kind, calming presence for her since she was small, walking alongside him now, soothed her just as she’d hoped it would.

It was just easy to be around him, he’d pry if he thought she need him to, and he’d back off when he thought she needed that, too.

“Are you dating Lucy?” she asked after awhile, since sometimes his life needed prying into, too, even if she was the kid and he was the adult.

“Are you supposed to call your counselor Lucy?”

“She says it’s okay, and you avoided the question.”

“We’re just friends.”

“So far?” Tansy asked. “Or for always, you’ll just be friends?”

“I don’t know, I’m not a psychic, I can’t know the future. I just know that there’s a lot of baggage on both sides.”

“It would be nice for you.”

“Maybe so, kid, but for now friends is good. A few years ago some little, little thing pulled me out of a dark, lonely space by forcing her friendship on me, so I know firsthand what a friend can do for you.” He gave the top of her hair a quick scrub and a kiss. “I’m glad you pushed your way into my heart, friend.”

“Me, too,” Tansy agreed, momentarily leaning her head against his arm before looking up at him. “Who else would I drag on missions like this if I didn’t have you? Thanks for coming with me, I know you probably have other stuff, you’d rather do on your day off.”

“I’m right where I want to be,” he said. “When I’m at work though, you have Molly as an option now, right?” He asked about Molly nearly every time they talked. Since Molly and her mom, Tansy’s Aunt, weren’t always the nicest, he constantly checked in with Tansy. “Is your cousin still being a decent friend to you?”

Tansy shrugged, and remembered a phrase she’d heard on a TV show or in a movie or something. “I’m cautiously optimistic.”

He chuckled. “Smart.”

She nodded. “I’m careful around her, you know, cuz of the past shadiness, but so far she’s been okay. Between you and Molly, I don’t sit in my room as much and Lucy says that’s good. Molly’s fun sometimes I guess, and when I told her that maybe it would be cool to work at an animal shelter, she said I should totally go for it, that I’d be good with the animals. I thought she might laugh at me or say how lame I am for thinking about doing that but she just said if I really want to do something I shouldn’t let anything hold me back. She even looked up the address for the shelter closest to home and their hours and stuff.”

“That was nice of her to encourage you, especially with this. Volunteering is something the chatty girl I first met did all the time. It’s a good idea to get back to doing things that made you happy, like helping people.”

“Maybe it’s a good idea,” Tansy said, “or, maybe they won’t want me there.” This was why she’d asked for his support today, to come along with her while she applied to volunteer at the shelter. Places didn’t usually turn down volunteers, but Tansy couldn’t help thinking they would turn her down, her self-esteem was at an all-time low, rejection felt inevitable after so much rejection from the kids her age.

Episode 865: The Right Stuff

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