I've been visiting the cafeteria all too often lately. Perhaps I should go into town and get a real meal one of these days. Hmm, an idea I guess, but I loathe to be away from the library, still so much work to be done.
Despite my best efforts, my stomach takes over and I waltz into the large eatery with a small smile on my face, growing larger once I see Greg sitting on his own.
"Hullo love, how are you?" He looks up with a smile and I just have to say. "You did marvellously at the staff meeting, good job."
"Rachel hi!" I smile. "Thanks, I was very nervous and a bit scared, but it went well...I think," I giggle. "Hey...do you want to join me?"
I feel guilty, I haven't seen Rachel in a long time and I think it's my fault really.
"Just as long as I'm not taking anyone's spot...someone you might be waiting for."
"Mmm, no, I'm going to be seeing Drew later so have a seat."
He smiles as I set myself down and contemplate what to have for some supper.
"And don't worry Greg, you did fine at the meeting. If you were nervous it didn't show much, if that was your first time speaking in front of the whole staff then you did an excellent job."
"Yes it was my first time," I blush. "I don't think I will ever get used to talking to a group of people," I giggle a bit.
Besides the group, it was Keanu. I haven't seen him after the whole I-Love-You thing, so that was making me nervous too. He acted like he didn't even see me, so I guess I was afarid for nothing.
" So how are you?" I look at Rachel.
I fold my hands in front of me, all prim and proper, but relaxed. "Oh, I'm just fine. Working away in the library and meeting some new people."
I met Anne earlier today right here in the cafeteria...and well, Viggo. Viggo was a pleasant surprise, very intriguing.
"How are you dear, you and Drew getting along okay?" I always like to keep tabs on these camp relationships. Maybe they call me a busybody behind my back, but at least I'll be informed if there's any uproar...or heartbreak, seems rampant around here lately.
"We're good...great actually," I blush. "We're living together now," I smile. "Oh Rachel...I'm so sorry I haven't been to the library...we had so much fun then when we went for the drive and I promised to bring Drew to meet you...it's just lots have happened after that and...," I have to take a breath after that ramble. "I'm just sorry..."
I wave my hand at him and smile congenially. "Don't worry your head Greg...the library's not going anywhere. Not as long as I'm here anyway." It's a miracle I'm here at all.
"You and Drew take all the time you have for yourselves." All the times I wish I could have been spending with James come flooding back. Times when I went to conferences, socializing with his parents' stuck-up society fiends (I mean 'friends'). "Time is precious, I wouldn't want to see you and Drew frittering it away."
"We're so happy now Rachel, it's so wonderful," I whisper.
Not sure why I whispered, everyone here knows about me and Drew and I think everyone's happy for us too.
"But I promise I will come and see you, alone or with Drew and I know I should come and clean there too, now that Carl's gone," I sigh.
I nod my head slightly, not really giving away my thoughts of glee at the fact that Carl is gone. There was something about that man that made my skin crawl and frankly, I felt something dangerous about him. I also vaguely overheard a conversation at the solstice party about him...Liv and Karl were quite concerned and Scarlett had been involved somehow. I never had time to ask but...*sigh*...I really should invoke the law into my thoughts; innocent until proven guilty...but my intuition trounced it thoroughly.
"Well, Maggie did offer to help you out with the classrooms, you should ask her if she'd join you in the library. I'm sure she'd be happy to oblige." I reach over and pat his hand, hoping that the thoughts in my head didn't clearly show on my face.
"Yes, I was happy to hear that Maggie wants to help and I really appreciate it," I have so much to do now that Karl needs to be elsewhere.
I just have to get used to letting people help me. It doesn't mean I'm weak or unable, they just honestly want to help me. They all know it's my job and there's still lots left for me to do even if someone will clean the library or something else.
"I will ask her when I need help," I smile. "Or if someone else wants to help me too."
I smile warmly at him and nod my head. "I try to keep the library as spotless as I can...but, I may need some help now and then. And Liv's office is kept pretty tidy. She said that Emma and Scarlett have been coming round to just neaten everything up a bit. Maybe you could ask the girls as well?" Hmm, may be pushing him...and he probably doesn't want to ask for help either.
"You could always go to the tutoring sessions too, I'll bet a lot of your friends will be there and you can work something out afterwards. It's a group gathering so you'll see them all in one place." I should really get a tea, I'm starting to run-on. "Oh don't listen to me, I'm just being silly. Odds are you won't need to ask anyone, they'll volunteer their help...always do. I've seen it." I wink after excusing myself to fetch a tea. "I'll be right back."
I look at Rachel go. She's right, they are always offering their help, I just have to learn to take it. I should also go to the tutoring classes. I could use some other activities and learn new things. And like Rachel said, I would meet my friends there.
I eat and drink and just wait for Rachel to come back.
It's far from breakfast but I saunter back to join Greg with a piping hot cup of English Breakfast tea.
"Ah...that's better. Nothing like a cup of tea to relax you." I take a small sip, it's still steaming and I sound quite the fool speaking with a burned tongue.
I smile at Rachel.
"I was just thinking how right you are. I'm sure I will go to tutoring lessons and I will try to let people help me more," I blush. It's just not easy sometimes...I feel quilty taking money if someone else does my job," I whisper.
I look at him over the rim of my teacup and nod slightly. "I can understand how you'd feel that way...but they're your friends. They're not doing the job for you, they're helping you so you can be more efficient." I put my tea down and take his hand again.
"They don't ask to be paid Greg, and it's not out of sympathy. They know we're understaffed as well. All the campers can see it. They just want to help you so you can have some free time and be ... 'hanging round' with them in your spare time."
He nods and stares back down at his food. "It'll all be okay...and go to the tutoring sessions. Just because you work here doesn't mean you can't study and learn here as well. I'll let Scarlett know that you'll come. Okay?"
Scarlett? Oh right, she's the tutor.
"Oh yes...are you sure, she wants me there?" I ask carefully.
Rachel doesn't know about the whole Keanu-Scarlett-me triangle. It's in the past, but I'm not sure how Scarlett feels about me. She might hate me or feel sorry for me or think I'm being ridicilous or something. I'm a bit scared of meeting her.
I can actually feel the confusion arriving on my face.
"Why wouldn't she want you there?"
"Um, no nothing nevermind..." He laughs and looks down at his food again, playing with it.
Okay...that was somewhat odd. "Of course she wants you there. She's asked for my help finding some books...and well, she's quite nervous that no one is going to show up." Oh durr..I don't even know if I was supposed to keep that under my hat or not. "I'm sure she'd be thrilled if you showed up Greg."
"I hope so...I'm just not so sure about it," I smile awkwardly. "I would like very much to go to the classes...other classes too," I'm trying to change the subject, I don't want to tell Rachel about Keanu, it's so embarrassing. "My mom would love me to learn new things since I can't afford to go to college," I turn my eyes to the table.
Well, there goes the subject change, more embarrasing things about me coming up.
I take a sip of tea and look him over...he seems ashamed or embarrassed about not being able to go to college? I say it might be time to put him at ease.
"First of all love, if you're not sure she'd want you there...why don't you find out first hand and ask her." He looks up and almost laughs at me. "She never mentioned anything to me about 'make sure Greg doesn't come'...no, she wouldn't be like that dear." She was so bloody nervous looking through books and making notes...I've never seen someone so anxious and nervous at the same time. "She just wants to help here, help the others, including you. So I wouldn't worry about that. But if you like...I can ask her for you...just to gage a reaction if it would help."
I clear my throat preparing myself for the next statement.
"Plus, I wouldn't worry about college either. They do have programs, financial plans if that's what you're worried about." He looks around again, obviously checking to see if anyone's listening, so I lower my voice to comply. "But not all wisdom and education is bought my dear..." I wink and lean in a bit "...I've never been to University. Everything I know my parents taught me." I smile and sip my tea. "Other things I've just learned from experience, reading on my own...and you're so young, you have massive opportunity Greg."
I reach over and put both my hands over his one and look him straight in the eye. "Let the others help...you'll have time to have fun...study on your own. Let Scarlett help you...and if you still want, I'll talk to her. And there's always me...you can come to the library any time you want and I'll help you find some books on a subject that interests you. There are ways Greg."
"Yes...I know," I sigh and smile. "I just have to get used to people helping me...I've never been in situations like that. It's always been me and my family, we've done everything together and nobody's ever helped us...so it's hard to understand that people care about me and want to help me," I whisper. " As for studying, there's some things that interest me more than others and I'd love to learn more about them, so I'll try to find time to do that and to relax also," I smile and look at Rachel.
She's so great! She always knows what to say to me and how to help me. I wish I could return the favour.
"And about Scarlett...I guess I should talk to her myself," I shrug nervously. "I'm just a bit scared...there's some issues between us...all caused by me and I don't know how he...I mean she feels about me at the moment, but that's not your problem...I have to do it myself, I caused the problems so I have to fix them," I try to sound firm, but my voice stutters slightly.
Good! "Very well then...once you find something you like...I'm sure learning about it will feel like relaxing. You'd be surprised...learning becomes an addiction."
He's a brave young man...if he thinks there's problems and he still wants to work them out. "I wouldn't be scared though love...to talk to Scarlett. She's not a monster. Plus I highly doubt all problems are caused by you. Don't worry yourself...just you watch, you'll say what's bothering you and you'll be all prepared for the worst for nothing." I know this...Scarlett's not one to go off on Greg on just anything. If he's committed a crime even, I think she'd find a way to talk through it rationally. She's not the explosive type and I can't foresee it happening unless someone hurts her badly.
"Yes Scarlett is great! She's one of the nicest people here," which is exactly why I feel so bad and guilty for having feelings for Keanu.
She's always been so nice and sweet, a good friend and I just couldn't let her near me because of Keanu, stupid jealousy. I sigh and look at the plate in front of me. I should eat it all, but I'm so full.
"Then you've got nothing to worry about. Just concentrate on studying and letting people help you...the more you do it, open up, the less badly you'll feel about it." I smile and finish off the rest of my tea and notice him looking at his plate.
"Not hungry dear...or was I yapping too much and it's gotten all cold?"
"I'm full," I smile. "I'm trying to eat a bit more, for energy, but right now I'm full," I giggle.
I save the fruits for later, maybe Drew would like to eat the other one. I know he likes fruits so this could be my little surprise for him.
"By the way...one thing about letting people help me," I smile, I know I can talk to Rachel about this. "Drew will take me shopping soon, he's going to by me some new clothes," I blush, I wonder if that sounded kind of childish.
"Always best to start with the one you love." I smile and wink at him, pushing my teacup to the side. "And shopping's always fun too...be sure to pick out something nice. Not just jeans and t-shirts and things."
"Why's that? I mean, it'll just get wrecked with working and everything."
"No...just save it for something special...a night out. Buying something like that gives you the possibility, something really unique to look forward to. Trust me."
I start to giggle and blush like a teenager. Rachel is right, but I think I want to buy those clothes alone or with a friend. Surprise Drew sometime, a romantic date and a surprise.
"That's a good idea. Drew would like that," I smile. "A special date, we have time together, but not enough, so something special would be perfect."
"Mmm, yes, I know you don't get much time together, but I'll bet the time you do spend is all the more special."
He's a good young man, and lucky to have someone who loves him so. I had that...I shake my head to bring myself back to the present.
I notice Rachel drift away somewhere.
"How do you like it here at Camp? Do you have friends? Do you enjoy being here?" I ask carefully.
The last thing I want is to pry on Rachel. She's been so good to mem I consider her a good friend, so naturally I want to help her feel better if she's sad even a little bit.
"Hmmm? Oh, yes...I do enjoy it here. I have the whole library to myself and I can organize it in whichever standard fashion I wish, people come in to help me...it's very comfortable." I nod my head and consider his other questions. "And before you think I'm just a hermit coming out for a breath of fresh air...yes, I do have friends. Well, I consider them friends so that counts doesn't it?"
I'm being a total ninny again and just thinking about it..I had so many friends in New York, but none of them were my own, they were Jamie's and subsequently latched onto me, society people and all that. I rather liked my friends back in England much better...not at all stuck up and money was never their chief concern.
"I've got you...of course, Billy and Jason come by and help me in the library, Liv, Jake, Viggo...you've met Mr. Mortensen, right?" Now how did he creep in there? Not hard to do though he is quite charming.
Greg clears his throat because it seems I've drifted into Never-Never Land again.
"I'm sorry dear, I keep drifting away...everything starts to look like books and shelves after a while."
"It's alright, everyone has a right to drift away," I smile and quickly squeeze her hand. "I do that quite often," I giggle a bit.
Not so much these days, I did that more before. Now I have so much things to do, people to meet, Drew, a whole new life really. I still think about dad everyday and the rest of my family too. But I'm happy again so not so much drifting anymore.
"Well, let's hope when you do drift...you drift away somewhere pleasant." When I drift it's most often pleasant, but other times...
"Anyway, I should probably head off to my room and get some proper sleep...the library couch is surprisingly uncomfortable after a few nights." I smile and rub my neck slightly.
"And I should find Drew," I smile and start to gather the dishes back to the tray. "It was nice to see you...maybe we get to see each other a bit more from now on."
I'd like that. I just have to visit library more. I haven't read much lately. Maybe I could read out loud to Drew sometimes, in the bed perhaps.
I stand up and walk beside him, patting his shoulder gently. "I'm sure we will love. You take care okay? Drew as well." I give him a small smile before he nods to me in agreeance and I make my way out of the cafeteria and towards my real bed.
"I'll come and see you more Rachel," I shout at her and wave my hand. "I'll bring Drew too!"
We could go and choose a book together and then I can read it to him.