She's Lost Control
"What the hell is going on?" Jess interrupted her many excuses for Logan's behaviour. "I mean with you. What's going on with you?"
"What do you mean?" Rory asked.
"You know what I mean. I know you, I know you better than anyone. This isn't you."
His words hit her square in the chest. Words that she had been trying not to think about since the day he had shown up at Yale begging her to run away with him.
He did know her better than anyone, and now he was standing in front of her throwing everything she was doing wrong in her face. Saying everything her mother had tried to tell her over and over again.
"WHY DID YOU DROP OUT OF YALE!?" He demanded, and she detected a hint of pain in his voice. As if he knew that every day she wasn't there, she was slowly killing something inside her- the part that made her the person she really was, not the girl she had become in the last year.
"It's complicated." She tried to argue, but Jess had always seen things in black and white.
"It's not! It's not complicated!" He insisted.
"You don't know!"
"This isn't you!" He insisted again. "This, you going out with this jerk with the Porsche- we used to make fun of guys like him!"
His mention of the days when there was a 'we' made her stop for a second, and somewhere in the back of her mind she saw a flash of who she used to be. Of the Rory Gilmore she had been all those years ago when Jess was so much a part of her life, but as quickly as the thought came, she pushed it away.
"You caught him on a bad night," she said, going back to defending Logan .
"This isn't about him!" Jess yelled in exasperation. "What's going on with you? This isn't you Rory, you know it isn't. What's going on?"
His eyes didn't leave hers, his tone pleading with her, trying to find the Rory Gilmore that he had known, the one that he had been in love with.
As he yelled, begging her to listen, it was like her brain stopped working. Every question made her more unsure about what she was doing, making her more and more unstable.
And then he stopped yelling and just waited, waited for her to say something- anything.
"I don't know!" She spat back at him, suddenly realizing how true that was. "I don't know."
He could tell by the way her voice softened that he'd struck a chord.
"Look, uh, maybe we'll catch up some other time." He backed away, hoping that if he left now she would stay in her head and come back to her senses. He stepped around the corner, but he didn't go back to his car. Instead, he stood just out of sight and watched as she paced the sidewalk. He didn't go back to his car until he saw her march back into the bar, a determined- if somewhat confused- look on her face.
A few minutes later he saw Logan storm out of the building, get in his car and squeal off- without Rory.
Maybe he really had gotten through to her.
She didn't sleep at all that night. She took a cab home and sat on her bed for hours thinking about everything Jess had said and everything she had done. Sometime around 4 in the morning she started making lists and by 6 she had made her decision. She had turned into someone that she didn't recognize anymore- the person her mother would have been if she hadn't walked away when she did. She was wasting her life partying and drinking, blowing off school and living like the rich and privileged class that her mom had worked so hard to keep her away from. She was standing in quicksand up to her neck and she couldn't help feeling that Jess had been standing there throwing her a rope, begging her to take it. She had ruined everything. Now, here he was offering her an out, a hand to hold onto while she pulled herself back onto solid ground. She looked at his book, which was sitting on her nightstand and noticed a little sheet of paper sticking out it. When she opened it she found a phone number. She prayed that it was his cellphone number as she started stuffing clothes and books into bags and dialled.
"Hello?" His voice was thick with sleep, and it suddenly occurred to her that it was 6 in the morning and she had probably woken him up, but her embarrassment subsided quickly.
"Rory?" She could hear shuffling on his end of the line and figured he was getting out of bed.
"Yeah, it's me."
"It's early, are you okay?"
The concern in his voice tugged at her heart strings, but she pushed that aside. She had to do this without getting too emotional.
"You were right."
"You were right. About everything. I'm not myself. I've turned into some sort of monster that Mary Shelley would have dreamed up, but instead of inadvertently killing people I'm planning teas and partying and turning into someone that I don't even recognize anymore. You were right." As she spoke, she felt tears pricking her eyes. "You were so right."
"Ror, it's okay. You can fix it," Jess assured her. "The real Rory Gilmore is still in there, you just have to find her."
There was a long silence before Jess spoke again.
"I don't know who I am anymore."
It came out no louder than a whisper and he could hear the fear in her voice, the uncertainty. So he took a deep breath and said the one thing that he had promised himself he wouldn't say, feeling like he was taking advantage of her fragile state, but knowing that it was what she needed.
"Do you want some help figuring it out?"
He heard a small sob on the other end of the line and immediately regretted the words. She didn't need him anymore, he had ruined things with her. He had screwed everything up before, and now he had gone and made it even worse.
"Rory, I'm sorry, I didn't mean- I mean I can call Luke and he can come get you, or something. Or your mom, I didn't mean-"
"Can you meet me?" She asked, stopping his rambling.
She hung up and finished packing, taking only the things that she had brought with her and leaving anything and everything that reminded her of the life that she had been living for the past five months.
This was it. She was walking away, just like her mother had. This life had ruined her, turned her into something she wasn't and taken away everything she had grown up knowing. Things were going to be different now. She had turned the corner. Now she was going to find the real Rory Gilmore, the Rory Gilmore she had walked away from the second she slept with Dean.
This was it. This was her starting point, and where better to start than the last place she had felt even a little bit happy, with the last person who had made her happy.
She slipped out of her room as quietly as she could with her bags. She left a note on the dining room table and for a moment thought of the last time she had lived in this house, how her mother had done the same thing- packing their few belongings into her car and running away from the life that she had never been meant for. Knowing that she was doing what her mom had wanted for them all those years ago gave her the smallest feeling of pride. She was finally on the right path.
When she closed the large front door behind her, she knew that she wouldn't be back anytime soon- maybe not ever. This was a part of her life that she needed to leave far behind her. She needed to look to the future now, to her own happiness, to getting her life back- to Jess.
Jess was her future. She had known it for years.
Since the night he crashed her car.
Since he left for California, and she felt her heart break in a way that it never had with Dean. Since he had told her he loved her and ran off, not waiting for her answer.
Since he had stood in her dorm, begging her to run away with him, and it had taken every ounce of strength that she had in her body to say 'no' when all she wanted was to scream 'yes'.
For a moment she allowed herself to think of how different her life would have been if she had said 'yes', but she knew if she had gone then it wouldn't have lasted. They were both too screwed up to make it work at that point, they weren't ready.
But now? Jess was her future, her one. The person she wanted to hang out with until she dropped dead, and she was finally ready to admit that to herself.