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Broken Hearts and Last Goodbyes (by Jen) - comments

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Such a AWESOME start !!!! ADORE it, especially …..

Casey isn’t coming with her, and Charlie isn’t - can’t, won’t ever again - and that’s when she feels it hit her again. Like it’s all real and new and raw, and Ruby can’t actually believe Charlie is (was) lying on the floor, crimson pooling onto the carpet, soaking through her police shirt. And it feels like she’s losing her all over again. Those jolting moments of remembering and she wishes she could stop for a little while -- because she is just so tired.

Ruby has a pounding headache right behind her eyes and wants nothing more than to just turn over, fold in on herself and sleep, but she knows the signs. She hasn’t checked her levels since she started driving and she can’t remember the last time she ate anything so she knows it’s her levels dropping low.

A part of her doesn’t care, considers letting herself just wither away into some sort of diabetic coma. Maybe that way she won’t have to deal with the constant gnawing at her stomach roughly proportionate to how much she misses Charlie. But her sense of self-preservation still exists, and it’s only a fleeting moment of wallowing in grief, before she hauls herself out of bed and into the kitchen.

It’s not like she literally has anything to be afraid of, but it’s the first of many days without Charlie - and even thinking that makes Ruby want to crawl back into the far corner of the bedroom and cry - and she’s somehow going to have to make it through without anyone else to hold her hand.

and Ruby can’t help but flick her eyes away. She can’t deal with the scrutiny, the inevitable questions if her face betrays her.

“What’s happened?” Nicole asks.

Ruby shakes her head. “Not here,” she manages to whisper, the grocery store starting to swim behind tears, but god, she is not going have a breakdown in front of a display for soup. She grits her teeth, looks skyward and heaves a deep breath. She can do this.

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LOOOOOVED that, most especially …..

The vice tightens as Nicole shuffles around,

Nicole’s not saying anything, but she’s looking at Ruby in a way that’s unnerving; it’s as if she’s trying to figure out what’s going on all on her own. Like she knows that if Ruby opens her mouth she’s going to break. It’ll be a million shattered pieces spread out in front of them and there isn’t a way to put them back together. Not when one piece is definitely missing.

Ruby swallows, carefully places the mug back down on the table and then starts.

She doesn’t look up, can’t meet Nicole’s face as she explains about Brax and the River Boys and how much danger Charlie had to have known she was in and that moment when she walked in and how she hasn’t really slept since -- she can’t anymore, not without seeing Charlie’s lifeless body, her pale face, and the instant her whole world crumbles keeps playing on loop like some sort of torture.

Ruby swipes at the tears streaming down her cheeks with the back of her hand before she sees Nicole shift out of the corner of her blurry eyes. She reaches across the table, hands Ruby a tissue and allows her to gracelessly blow her nose, rub at her eyes and try to stop the tears. Finally she blinks up, takes a couple of steadying breaths and catches Nicole’s sombre expression.

Nicole reaches out a hand, loops their fingers together and holds on tightly.

She doesn’t say, “I’m sorry,” (Ruby finds that statement pretty redundant in her current circumstances), doesn’t say, “It’ll be okay,” just holds on, squeezes, reminding Ruby that she’s there.

Ruby nods, not willing to really commit. She wasn’t meant to see anyone she knew -- that was the whole point of leaving -- to try and erase the memory of Summer Bay and growing up and all the parts that hurt.

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