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“Sometimes first impressions are wrong.”
- Witt Shettfield ‘Class’


 

She wasn't alone, not really, but she was in a world of her own at the moment. She was curled up on the couch, staring blindly at the TV as it played some infomercial that if you were an insomniac you had already seen half a dozen times. Her daughter was asleep a few feet away in the makeshift bedroom created for her, her ex-something was doing something in the kitchen. His roommate was asleep in his room, most likely curled up around her best friend.

Which was odd to think about, but she wasn't really in the mood to delve into the romantic issues of other people. She had enough of her own.

Her divorce was finalized today. Which was why she was sitting on the couch of her ex. He had become a friend over the past year and a half, and she was grateful he had offered his couch to her whenever she needed it. Like when her divorce is finalized and she doesn't want to deal with the home she shared with her ex-husband. Not that he'd be there. He had moved out a couple months ago.

How impressions changed, she thought. The man she had fallen in love with, the man she had felt could do no wrong was now in the arms of another woman he probably should have been with in the first place. They had stumbled around so badly, had made each other cry and, metaphorically, bleed over the course of their marriage. But it still remained that he wasn't as unbroken as either of them had thought, and perhaps she wasn't as broken as they imagined.

That of course was the root of what went wrong in their marriage. Other than the fact they both had a part of their heart given to other people, but that could be dealt with. People held on to first loves , it wasn't a deal breaker. It was the fact that their impressions of each other had slowly changed over the course of the year of their marriage to a point where they realised they were no longer married to the person they thought they were.

So she was mostly sad because she had failed in keeping her marriage together. She had gone through the sadness of Ryan leaving her a few months ago, dealt with it and moved on. Which had kind of hurt in its own way - it almost felt like it was too easy to get over him.

"Here you go," Baze said, sitting down on the couch beside her and handing her a cup of hot chocolate. She smiled as she took the mug and brought it close to her, enjoying the warmth. It was a little cool today, the onset of fall starting to show. She glanced over to see him sipping his own cup, his eyes closed as he did so.

There was another impression that had changed. She had held so much hate and anger at Baze for so many years, it was hard to imagine that now he had managed to become one of her best friends. It probably helped that she was forced to deal with him due to Lux.

She glanced behind her and checked on her still sleeping daughter, the curtain open just slightly enough to show her hand hanging over the side of the bed. She had been really tired, after a day of basketball practice, helping Tasha out with painting her apartment and then being there for Cate as the lawyers finalized the divorce. At least she seemed to be sleeping soundly.

"How are you doing?"

"Fine, I guess. I'm not sure. On one hand its been a long time coming, but on the other..."

"Yeah." Silence settled over them once more, comfortable. She shifted on the couch to lean against him, and he moved his arm so she could snuggle into his side. This was something new for them, since before it seemed like it was too close for comfort. But it was now. He kissed her forehead, and squeezed her shoulder before turning his attention to the TV. Somehow he had gotten the remote and changed it to some sports analysis show.

There was a part of her, a small part she suppressed most of the time, that wondered if he still loved her. As in "I'll crash your wedding and beg you to come with me" type of love. She knew he loved in her in the general sense. It was a side effect of raising their daughter and becoming friends. But she had watched him fall for Emma, then attempt to get over his broken heart a few months later so she wasn't sure she still held the same spot she did before she got married to Ryan.

She shouldn't be thinking about this, she knew. After all, she might be single now officially but it had only been hours since she had tearfully signed her marriage away. It wasn't healthy, not to mention it was kind of dumb, to jump to contemplating a relationship with another man, especially not Baze.

She wasn't sure what she felt really. On one hand, she hated the fact that after 18 years, Baze still had the ability to affect her in this way. On the other hand she kind of loved the fact. And that was probably a reason her marriage didn't work out either. That part of her that had not given up on her teenage crush despite the anger and the hate and the annoyance when he finally stepped back into her life.

When she and Ryan had applied for divorce, they had chosen not to put the blame on either of them. Ryan had his feelings for Julia, and a baby son to consider. She had her feelings for Baze still simmering in the background and Lux. Both at fault, both hurt by the other clinging to their first love.

They were also both hopeful to remain friends and co-workers, which again meant she couldn't jump into things with Baze right now, even if by some chance Baze still felt the same way.

So for now she'd just have to enjoy the comfort of her best friend hugging her, her daughter safe and sound sleeping behind her, and the knowledge she wasn't alone no matter what.