Ruby wasn’t sure what to think as she glanced over at him. It was hard to focus as she felt like there was so much weighing on her. What was he thinking? She couldn’t help feeling like he wasn’t giving much away but he didn’t seem happy. Would he ever be happy again? She didn’t know.. she didn’t know how that worked because losing a child didn’t seem like something you’d get over but.. that didn’t mean you’d be stuck feeling the way you did right after forever.. did it? She had no answers for that. It’s not like she’d ever lost a kid, it was hard enough losing her friends. She bit her lip, feeling awkward and tense without really knowing why. She hated that feeling.. not that it was much better when she had a sense of why she felt on edge but still. It sucked. She just wanted to stop feeling so much.. stop thinking so much. It couldn’t be good for her, could it? Probably not for anyone. All it did was make her feel more confused and unsettled. She missed Charlie but she didn’t miss this.. uncertainty. This feeling that no matter what she did it wouldn’t be the right thing. Not for him.
She wasn’t good for him. She really wasn’t and her issues.. they were too much. He didn’t know if he could handle a relationship and she believed that but she also thought it didn’t help that it’d be with her. She was complicated and things were her were messy.. she was a mess. Maybe if he tried with someone else, someone with less issues and complications he’d actually manage to be happy. Or as happy as he could be at this point. “Oh.. um.. right.” What word would he use? It wasn’t like she quite liked the idea of just being casual exactly. That made it sound like it wouldn’t really mean anything but.. ugh. She didn’t know how to explain what was in her head. As usual. “Okay.” They’d see.. that wasn’t wasn’t very reassuring but maybe because he sounded kind of doubtful. Like he was just saying it or something. She nodded. “I know..” She knew she didn’t have to be there at all but she wanted to be. Except.. maybe it was better to leave at this point. He didn’t seem very happy and it was probably just making everything worse by being around each other. “I.. do you want to be alone now?” Maybe that’s why he was telling her that, right?
Part of him wished this conversation had gone differently and part of him wished it hadn’t happened at all. It just.. wasn’t the right time for it, or didn’t feel that way, and he wished she hadn’t asked if he still loved her. He felt like he was letting her down or something for some reason which was probably ridiculous but still. He felt a lot of things that were likely ridiculous. Most of all, he just felt kind of empty. With a feeling like that, it barely felt worth it making it to the next day, never mind talking about a future he didn’t even know if he wanted anymore. Well, no, it wasn’t really that he didn’t want it… it was complicated, he supposed. He hated describing things as complicated, he really did, but it was true. Charlie shook his head when she asked if he wanted to be alone now. Being alone didn’t sound very appealing but it wasn’t like he wasn’t used to it by now so it probably wouldn’t matter either way, right? “Not really, I just..” He shrugged, reaching out for her hand but thinking better of it and pulling his back before it made contact. It was weirdly disappointing.
He just didn’t know what else there was to say and… Ruby sitting there probably feeling awkward while he sulked wouldn’t be any good for anyone, right? It just felt like ages since he’d seen her and part of him didn’t feel ready to say goodbye again but that was stupid. It’s not like he thought he’d never see her again, run into her or something if he ever managed to drag himself outside… but he wasn’t sure he trusted himself to actually get in touch with her. Call her or whatever. Maybe he would because he always seemed to give in or however you wanted to put it. It was just sad to think that he might not after saying all these things. He didn’t care much about closure anymore, not really. You didn’t get closure. People stopped talking to you. People disappeared. People died. He knew that now. “I don’t know.” He sighed, looking over at her for a moment almost blankly until his gaze fixed on her necklace. He half smiled, reaching out to brush a finger across the pendant and then he turned away, covering his face with his hands. “I wish I had a drink.” His tone definitely didn’t imply that he meant tea. After another few moments of silence, he took his hands away from his face and looked at her again. He felt like he was all over the place in his movements but it could just have been up in his head. “I’m sorry.”
No..explain. You owe me that much, Baker.
Oh, I owe you.
Charlie..have you spoken to anyone at all?
Ruby didn’t want to be afraid. She didn’t want to be afraid if she opened up, really let him see her he’d run away. It wasn’t him.. it wasn’t that she thought he was like that or couldn’t handle anything. It was just.. her own insecurities, her own feelings about herself. She couldn’t help how she felt but it made her feel pathetic not to be able to move on from it.. to feel so stuck. To be so afraid. Charlie had gotten closer to her than anyone else in the last.. however long and he was still there. Somehow. He might not see her exactly the same, she definitely thought he seemed more worried but.. that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. It wasn’t even necessarily her fault since she knew Charlie was the type to worry anyway.. she just knew he wouldn’t have worried the way he did without knowing the things he knew. If she hadn’t come to him after Tim.. did what he did. He wouldn’t know about it, he wouldn’t know about her arms either. But at the same time she was glad he knew.. that someone did because being alone in it was a lot to deal with. Even if she couldn’t actually bring herself to really talk about any of it.. it was still nice to have the option. To know someone was there because she couldn’t just.. tell her parents. Or her friends.
Her friends would probably try to understand. She wasn’t worried about that.. they might not even see her differently exactly. She just.. didn’t want to put it on them when they had so much going on. When they had their own problems they were dealing with. Even before they were dealing with.. Sophie being gone too. She smiled a little when he said he loved her, that it wasn’t going to change. Ruby wasn’t sure how much she believed that, she wanted to but.. it wasn’t that simple. As much as she wanted to believe it wouldn’t.. it would. Right? In time he’d forget her, move on and all that.. it was just bound to happen. Maybe at some point with the way they were going he’d even want to. It’d make sense or so she thought. She nodded, understanding when he said he didn’t know what he could handle. He wanted to try? She bit her lip, trying to take in what he was actually sayin. They could just go out a few times. What did that mean exactly? Dating? Ruby didn’t like the idea of going on actual dates, it made her feel nervous but.. that might not have been what he meant. And maybe it wouldn’t be a bad thing to try, right? It wasn’t Charlie.. it was her own awkwardness that made the thought of it hard. But maybe he just meant.. “So you mean.. keep things casual?” It almost felt like she was going to be asking if they’d be seeing other people next. “That’s um.. probably good to.. just go out a few times and not..” Be so serious.. not have it be all or nothing. For once.
Charlie went quiet, frowning over at the other side of the room as he tried to sort everything out properly in his head. It was confusing. Why did talking about things always feel so messy? Like he couldn’t get anything out properly or have it make sense. Charlie still felt a bit strange so maybe that was the reason. He just felt slightly out of it. Casual. He turned to look at her again, making a face. “Well, n—” He cut himself off with a soft sigh. He wasn’t so sure that he really liked what the word implied but he didn’t know how else to put it. “That doesn’t seem like the right.. word.” He looked down at his hands and shook his head. He didn’t even think he’d be up to doing anything like that soon, so… why was he even making it an option? After tonight, he’d probably go back to avoiding her, as sad as that was. It was just so disheartening - being around her. It shouldn’t be like that but it made it very difficult not to think about all the ways they’d just fall apart again if they tried. They would, wouldn’t they? Because Charlie didn’t think their issues or whatever would be resolved if they didn’t try and… it really felt like they didn’t try hard enough… but he wanted so badly to be with her and it was frustrating and horrible.
Maybe it was better to just take it all back and tell her he really couldn’t do it. Honestly, he wasn’t sure that he could. As much as he loved her, as good as he always felt when he was with her, it all just seemed a bit pointless. When Charlie tried to look at his future now, he didn’t really see one. He wasn’t sure how much longer he could keep going, let alone whether or not he could deal with the complication of a relationship that just kept crashing and burning. Was there actually any point in bothering? Maybe it was just another type of self-sabotage but… he just didn’t know. He wasn’t any good to himself like this, let alone anybody else. “We’ll see.” He mumbled, feeling a little like he was placating a child but he didn’t really have the heart to just tell her no, especially when he wasn’t even sure whether or not he would mean it. He wished he could be with her but it was too soon and he didn’t think he could deal with it if it all went horribly again. Charlie sighed, glancing over at her again. “You know, you don’t have to sit here with me if you don’t want to.”
Uhmm…yeah actually. But I don’t want to talk about clothes right now..
How are you? Honestly.
I don’t know.
Not good, I guess.
Look, I’m just going to.. go.
The rest of your family, your little girlfriend.
Maybe I don’t really have those things anymore.
Something wrong with the ones you have?
Its not going to get easier..
Then what’s the point?
No, sit down and have a drink with me.