A month ago something amazing happened to Polly. She let herself get carried away, but in doing so it revealed to her things she wished she no longer knew. People she’d have rather not met. If she had the opportunity to go back, to stop things from happening, she would have grasped it immediately. But, here she sat, with a smile on her face, next to John. This wasn’t fun anymore. She looked down into the light brown liquid in her glass for a minute before John asked her if she was okay. The smile played its masquerade and she lied well enough to cover the ill-feelings and resentment she had for him. He had it all, really. He clearly took chances that she never did. His luck was better than hers. She could no longer look at him with any feeling of curiosity like there was a month before.
Yet for two weeks she had tremendous fun. This was of course balanced out with the anger of the second two. At least she couldn’t disagree with the balance of nature. She waited for some of John’s friends to appear and used the opportunity to slink off back home. She could at least rely on Sophie to say words of encouragement that would ultimately be ignored, but still very appreciated. Polly clumsily turned the key in the door and went straight to the lounge to sit down and stayed very quiet. Just focusing her gaze straight forward. Sophie’s boyfriend, Danny, walked in with his usual cheery face. Polly liked Danny. He was cool and friendly. Not at all Polly’s ‘type’, but just a cool guy to hang out with. When he didn’t get back what he called the ‘trademark Polly look’, he was justifiably concerned. He went out again. All Polly could hear was murmuring before Sophie and Danny came in together and sat on the other sofa.
“Polly, hey, what’s up?” Sophie tried her usual tactic, the magic touch only she had, of fusing together concern and positivity. Polly just looked up and from her downtrodden face, Sophie knew exactly what was the problem (and probably a few more, she was that good). “You don’t have to say anything I guess. To be honest, I figured it out a bit ago. I kinda thought you’d realise what was going on, butttttt, if you’re like this, I guess not. Not that this helps, I mean wha…” before she could finish Danny gently elbowed her, signifying him taking an attempt. “Soph, hold on a mo. Polly, it sucks. I know it does. When I thought I couldn’t have this troublemaker”, nudging Sophie much harder, but still in a playful way, “I was pretty bummed, justify? But, you’re a cool person, very likable. You’ll find someone. Guarantee it!” Feeling he’d done his job as Polly lifted her head to face them, she just proceeded to lower it again. Any smiles Sophie and Danny had had now gone. They looked at each other for help of what to say next. “You know when things seem like they should just work? You can’t at all think of a reason why they shouldn’t, but for some, utterly bizarre reason, that’s just the way it has to be. This is just my luck.” Polly’s quiet speech was just loud enough to be heard, but definitely quiet enough to make its soulful point.
As the days went on, she’d keep on talking to John and while the difficulty was apparent, it was only between them. Things were okay though. That was enough for both of them. Sure, Polly’s boredom and sleep schedule had returned to what they were not too long ago and her house mates were disappointed; they had seen a part of Polly that clearly wasn’t going to be seen again, but they, like her, had some faith in something even better coming along.
Whilst Polly’s short tale was neither incredibly uplifting or depressing, there was still more to tell. Not that what came painted a completely happy ending, but one with promise of the something better at least. On a Friday night Sophie had managed to corral Polly into action and almost dragged her out of the house to go down with her and her boyfriend plus a few other nice friendly folk. Polly grabbed her standard double rum and coke and stared into it without lifting her head. All the while, she didn’t notice she had grabbed someone’s attention.
One of the people in the group, or at least one of the people the group Polly went down with to meet up couldn’t help looking at Polly. And then he went up to her. And they started talking. And for the first time for well over a month, she seemed incredibly happy. Sophie looked on, basking in her friend’s happiness before she went back to her attention requiring drink.
His name was Gary. (Gary, of course, being one of the ‘safe’ names for a boy that Sophie had flagged up for Polly in a late night talking session). He seemed nice, but there was a burning question on Polly’s mind. “Why did you come over and talk to me?” she asked. Of course, Gary replied, “I just wanted to see what would happen.”
[To the next entry: Strangest Folk]