So, Claire was supposed to clean her room, and I wanted to hang out with her, so I was like, "Hey, I'll help." "Sure," she said.
When the first thing I did was strip her bedding, and disassembled her bed while she put her bedding in the wash, she got the idea that I take cleaning seriously. After we cleaned the area under her bed where her bed goes and cleaned all the bed parts, she decided that we may as well rearrange things.
You know, it only takes a moment to takes the draws out of a dresser to give it a good cleaning. We did the baseboards while everything was displaced. We did the corners of the walls. I got up on Claire's shoulders to reach up to the ceiling. We took everything our of the closet and cleaned it from top to bottom too. Her parents flipped out.
But, you know, you dig things up, when you clean this way. She had a shoebox with old notes from friends at school. I made the mistake of reading one.
You know how it is when you only hear one side of a conversation... like, only hearing the response to a comment, not the comment itself? But the reply is such that there is a lot that could be inferred about the nature of the initial comment. Well, in brief, as luck would have it, I picked up one of the worst notes I possibly could have picked up. This was kind soon after school started last year. It was from a guy she knows... apparently continuing some kind of debate about yours truly.
"No, /I/ don't think she's hot because she puts out. I think her "friends" do. Who knows what all's been up in that? I think she /could/ be hot if she didn't look like a 4th grader... and hadn't 'been there,' you know."
It hurt. I know they didn't know me (obviously, they didn't know me, because anyone who does, knows I don't/didn't/haven't), but it still hurt... a lot. I knew there were all sorts of nasty rumours running around about me, but... Now, these people are (kinda) my friends. They _do_ know me know and don't think that way about me ... any more. But it hurt. It was -- sobering(?) -- though, to see the pain that Claire felt for me seeing that. Mercy that was awkward. There was a lot of crying involved all round. I tried to lighten the mood by joking, "So, he thinks I'll be hot when I grow up."
She said that he got over the 4th grader-looking-like issue. I said I didn't wanna know more.
She hugged me. I hugged her back. That surprised us both. I don't complain any more when she hugs me, but... well... I have 'touching' issues, you know. Nothing like a little shared pain to bring people closer, eh?
We got back to work, but didn't really talk for a while. We both needed a little time, but it was nice to know she was there.
All things considered, it could have gone much, much worse.
Take Care -