“Hey, wait!” Faye stops Elf.  “I found an extra piece of bubblegum in my purse. So-weet!!  Okay, start over.  I can totally focus now.”

    Alright now, we have the newly established love birds responsibly seeking God to make sure they keep things at friend level for now, and we have Kammy C. enjoying the freedom of being honest with herself and others.  And, of course, we have Red O soaking up everything he can from the fountains of knowledge and wisdom being presented by his elders.  He’s even been asking James and Emily about the possibility of him taking over the Lightspeed Lab Bible lessons one day.  So, that only leaves two more individuals to check on.  Shall we see how that is going?

    “So, is this a good time now, or are you going to brush me off again?” Grace says, hoping her wording will be a good hint to Paul that she has been trying to listen.

    “Okay,” he says.

    “Paul,” still in the same mindset she was in while talking to Kammy and Faye, Grace is careful with her words.  “Paul, if I let you go first, will you actually tell me what’s bothering you instead of being afraid I’ll get mad?”

    “You make me feel like I’m a wall.  I think I said that last when we were interrupted, right?”

    “I believe so,” Gi says.

    “I don’t like you.  I have never liked you.  We’re just friends, and it irritates me that you act like you have to be nice to me to make everyone happy.  I’m getting more friends, so if you’re done talking to me out of the kindness of your heart, please stop pretending.”

    “W-what?”  Sure, she can understand Paul was referring to liking her in a romantic sense, but his choice of words are surprisingly hurtful and rude.  “I never said I think of you as a charity or like I have to talk to you.  That was mean, Paul.”

    “So, are you talking to me because the grownups and our friends think we’re supposed to be some thing?”

    Gigi’s finding it hard not to lose her temper.  She never saw this kind of attitude coming from Paul.  “Everyone is annoying with how they pressure me to talk to you.  I wish they would stop.”

    “Then stop trying to make them happy.  If you don’t really want to talk to me, let me just enjoy the people that do appreciate me.”

    Now, she’s mad.  “Paul, stop that.  You’re putting words in my mouth.  I like being your friend.  I just hate that it comes with the obligation to date you.  Why do you have to choose between just having me and having everyone else but me, huh?  Why do I have to only talk to you?”

    “Only talk to me?” he questions, with his hand on his chest in a dramatic fashion.  “If you only talked to me, then you’d never speak again.  I’m the one person you don’t talk to unless you feel guilty…or unless you feel all alone at moments when your rudeness and selfishness have you sitting on the side while your friends have a moment of peace to themselves.”

    He really just beat her down like that, referring to when she contacted him during the fight, just to say hi.  “No…” her voice trembles.  “I tried, but you’ve said enough to me.”  As Gigi backs up, she makes her desires clear and walks away, hoping she can find a secret place to cry, “Paul, I don’t want to be friends anymore.”  Gigi’s mind races and is in that state where any kind presence only serves to annoy as she must find a place to be alone, meaning she has to somehow fake it until she’s freed herself from the company of those who would easily support her, but we understand that now is a time Gigi needs for herself, to face this pain alone.

-To the Final Page-

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