Falling Out

Falling out of friendship can be like dive-bombing into the ocean, a sharp impact, air forced out of your lungs, but more often than not, it’s slowly drifting to the bottom until your hit with the realisation that it’s over.
Closing the front door behind me, I collapses limply to the floor with a thud.
“Ebony, that you?” Cassie calls from within the apartment. Footsteps near as I struggle to reply until I see her in the kitchen doorway. Her face morphs into one of concern as she comes over to me, pulling me into a hug. I clutch onto her as my eyes water.

I sit at the counter as she finishes serving pasta, giving her a weak smile as she pushes a bowl toward me.
“So, I guess things didn’t go as planned?” she asks, sitting next to me.
“I thought it’d just be the two of us hanging out, making up for last time, but when I get there, Lidia's talking to Michelle like they were best friends,” I murmur, playing with my food.
“Didn’t she push you down the stairs ‘cause you ‘copied her hairstyle’?” she clarifies, looking at me in astonishment.
“Yep,” I reply, before shoving pasta into my mouth.
“Rude,” she mutters, eating her own pasta.

“You know, this wasn’t the only time she’s done something like this,” I murmur, eyes trained on the screen as the TV rambles away in the background. Cassie turns to me in silent question as I curl into the corner of the couch.
“She was really manipulative, I was just too stupid to see it until I broke,” I say, giving her a watery smile. She comes over to me, pulling me into a soft hug.
“Don’t ever think it was your fault. As you said, Lidia was manipulative. You deserve better,” she affirms, and we don’t talk for the duration of the movie.

Cassie pulls me alongside her as we walk through the supermarket.
“Okay, last is milk and bread. Can you get the milk?” she asks, shopping basket in her hands. I nod with a smile, shoving my hands into my pockets as I make my way over to the fridges. As I head back over to her, I freeze.
“Eby?” she asks as I stare behind her. She turns around.
“Is that?” she trails off.
“Yeah,” I murmur, walking away quickly, heading down a different aisle to the registers.
“Ebony?” I stop yet again, turning to see Lidia standing there, a smile on her face. Cassie quickly comes over to us, taking my arm in hers.
“Hey,” I say, trying to force a smile.
“Still as quiet as normal,” Lidia says with a laugh, traces of malice laced throughout.
“Leave her alone,” Cassie says firmly, turning us around. A genuine smile makes its way onto my face as we check out.

“Thanks for that back there,” I say as we pack the shopping away.
“No problem,” Cassie says with a grin. “What are friends for?”

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