We Used To Be Friends
Author's Note: I couldn't get this story out of my head, so I have finally decided to write it out. It's another Carcy story, but it's a little different than my other story, "The Lucky Ones". Please let me know what you think of this story. I'll probably only continue to write this story if people are interested in the plot. Thanks and enjoy!
A long time ago
We used to be friends but I
Haven't thought of you lately at all
If ever again
A greeting I send to you
Short and sweet to the soul I intend
26-year old Lucy Knight stood outside the building that would be her second home for the next two years—Cook County Hospital. When her family moved away from Chicago after her eight-grade year, she never intended on coming back. But now, twelve years later, she was back in Chicago as a 3rd year med student. Cook County hadn't been her first choice, but it was a great teaching hospital. Besides, she knew that she would have a roommate if she returned to Chicago. She was sharing an apartment with her oldest and dearest friend, Shelby Thomas. Shelby was the only person that Lucy kept in contact with after she moved away from Chicago. The only reason she wasn't too happy about coming back to Chicago was because of him. She was a little concerned that she would run into him at some point and time, but she hoped that he had moved far, far away. He was the reason why she was so glad that her mom had gotten a promotion at work, which made them move to Indiana. Just the thought of him made her blood boil and her heart race. But she was determined not to dwell on her past and instead focus on her future—a future that didn't include him. Smiling, she entered the ER.
John Carter sat in the waiting area, crammed in between sick children and sick elderly. He was stuck there in the waiting area until the other med student arrived. Then they would both be taken on a tour of the ER by Dr. Greene. He had to admit that he was a little nervous. Being a doctor was his only real goal in life, and now here he was in med school, very close to reaching his goal. Looking at his watch, he saw that the other med student was five minutes late. Inwardly, he cursed that med student for being irresponsible and keeping him waiting. He was early, so he didn't see why he needed to wait for someone who couldn't even get to the hospital on time.
Lucy approached the admit desk and saw a man standing on the other side. "Excuse me..."
Jerry looked up at the young woman in front of him and practically shoved a clipboard into her hands. "Fill out this paperwork and then go have a seat. We'll get to you as soon as we can." He replied gruffly.
Lucy put the clipboard back down on the desk. "No, I think there's been a mistake. I'm not here because I'm sick. My name is Lucy Knight. I'm a 3rd year med student and I'm looking for a Dr. Greene."
Jerry smiled. "Oh. Sorry about the attitude earlier. It's just been a mad house today."
"Oh. Don't worry about it." Lucy smiled back.
"I'll go get Dr. Greene." Jerry replied, rushing off to find Mark.
Lucy stood over by the admit desk and took a look around. She glanced over at the waiting area, doing a double take when she saw someone she didn't expect to see. Him. He had obviously grown up, but she could still tell that it was still him. She quickly turned back around, not wanting him to see her. She wondered what he was doing here. Did he still live in the Chicago area? He didn't look too sick. So what was he doing here?
"Lucy Knight?" Mark asked, approaching the young woman with blonde hair. He extended his hand for her to shake.
Lucy turned and shook his hand. "Yes. Hello. Are you Dr. Greene?"
"Yes." Mark waved for someone to join them. "Welcome to the ER. Since you are here now, I'm going to show you and the other med student around."
"Other med student?" Lucy asked.
"Yes." Mark smiled as Carter approached them. "Lucy, this is Carter."
"Hello." Carter smiled.
Lucy screamed on the inside. Carter was the other med student? Was God trying to play a practical joke on her? Because it wasn't funny! "Hello." She said quietly. She noticed that he was sticking his hand out for her to shake and she quickly shook his hand. Then she pulled her hand back to her side. She avoided looking at him, and instead looked at Dr. Greene.
Carter took a good look at the woman in front of him. She reminded him of someone he used to know. She looked a lot like...no, it couldn't be the same person. Could it? No, because if it was her, she would have recognized him and said something.
"So let's get this tour started." Mark exclaimed with excitement.
Lucy knew that she should be paying attention to everything that Dr. Greene said, and she was grasping maybe 60 of what he said. But her mind kept wandering to Carter, and to the past.
A small, blonde girl of about six ran across the yard. She was giggling as she ran from a little boy. In her hands was a small toy stethoscope.
"Luce!" The boy called out to the girl. "Give it back!"
"No!" The girl yelled, sticking her tongue out at the boy.
"Come on! Give it back!" The boy finally had the girl cornered. There was nowhere left for her to run or hide. "Give it back!"
"What do you say?" The girl asked, putting her hands on her hips.
The boy grunted. "Please?"
The girl smiled and handed the stethoscope back to the boy. "What do you do with that thing?"
"You listen to people's hearts." The boy explained in a serious voice.
She made a funny face. "Why would you want to do that?"
"Because I'm going to be a doctor when I grow up." He proudly announced.
The girl laughed. "Sure you will John, and I'm going to be a fairy princess."
"I am too going to be a doctor!" he protested. He could see that she didn't believe him. "I'm telling the truth Lucy."
She rolled her eyes. "Whatever."
"Any questions?" Mark asked Carter and Lucy.
The sound of Dr. Greene's voice brought Lucy back to the present.
"Actually, I have a question. Who are we going to be paired up with?" Carter asked.
"I was just getting to that part." Mark smiled, leading them into the lounge. "Good, you're here." He turned to Carter and Lucy. "This is Dr. Lewis. Lucy, you will be working with her."
"It's nice to meet you." Susan smiled warmly, shaking Lucy's hand.
"You too Dr. Lewis." Lucy smiled.
"Carter, you'll be with me." Mark announced.
"Ok." Carter nodded.
"Any other questions?" Mark asked. After a few minutes of silence, he nodded his head. "Ok. Let's get started then."
Lucy unlocked the door of her apartment and saw Shelby sitting on the couch eating leftover pizza and watching TV. "Hey."
"Hey." Shelby greeted with a smile. "There's still some pizza if you're hungry."
"Thanks." Lucy replied, walking into the kitchen. She came out a few minutes later with some pizza and a coke.
"How was your first day?" Shelby asked, turning the TV to mute.
"Interesting, to say the least." Lucy grunted.
"What's wrong? What happened? Did you make a big fool of yourself?"
Lucy shook her head. "No. I wish that was the case. That would be a lot easier to deal with."
"Oh come on! It can't be as bad as you're making it seem. What happened?" Shelby prodded. Now that her curiosity was peaked, she wasn't going to let Lucy get away before telling her what happened.
"Ok." Lucy relented, getting ready to tell her. "Who is the one person that I've said I never want to see again?"
Shelby thought about the question for a moment and then came up with the only possible answer. John Carter. He is quite possibly the only person that Lucy has ever hated; although, Shelby always thought that one of the reasons Lucy hated Carter so much was because she had feelings for him. "So was he there because he was sick?"
"No." Lucy shook her head. "He's a med student just like me. I mean, what is the probability that we would get stuck in the same hospital?"
"Oh wow." She was shocked. She had no idea that Carter was in medical school. "What did he say to you?"
Lucy laughed and then looked down at the floor. "He didn't say anything. He didn't even remember me."
Shelby felt bad for Lucy. She could tell that her friend was really hurt by the fact that Carter didn't recognize her. "Lucy, you have changed a lot over these past twelve years. You got contacts and the braces are off. Not to mention you're hair is shorter and lighter, and..."
"Nice try, but it doesn't matter." Lucy replied, looking at her friend. "In fact, I'm glad he doesn't remember me." She knew that was a lie. As angry as she was at Carter for the way he treated her, a part of her still wanted him to at least recognize her. "I'm really tired and I gotta get up early tomorrow. I'm gonna go on to bed. Goodnight."
"Goodnight." Shelby replied, sadly watching her friend walk to her bedroom. She wondered how Carter could not recognize Lucy. They had all been friends since they were little kids. Then middle school came and Carter ditched them. Personally, she wasn't as hurt or betrayed as Lucy. She hadn't known Carter as long as Lucy had. Lucy had been best friends with Carter for a long time before she moved in next to Lucy's house. Lucy took Carter's avoidance of them pretty hard, and was very upset with him over the way he shoved them aside so that he could be one of the popular kids. It was like Carter changed, and he seemed to think he was better than Lucy. She sighed, wishing things could have been different.
Carter entered his empty apartment and threw the keys down on the table. Today had been a long, interesting day. He was excited about working in the ER, but that wasn't what he was thinking about right now. He found his mind wandering to the other med student. Lucy. The resemblance between the Lucy he met today and the Lucy he knew when he was a kid was uncanny. It had to be the same girl. Right? If it is the same girl though, why didn't she say something to him? Did she not recognize him? Did she not remember him? Grabbing a beer from the refrigerator, he realized that he hadn't thought about Lucy in a long time. He sat in his favorite chair, drinking his beer and remembering the past.
"One for all..." Lucy started to say.
"And all for one!" Shelby and Carter said at the same time.
"That's right," Lucy smiled, "because we are the Three Musketeers and we need to stick together."
"Forever." Shelby added.
"Forever." Carter smiled.
He took a drink of his beer, and then smiled as he remembered when that happened. That was during the summer before their sixth grade year. They had all been friends for many years—too many to actually count. When you're that young, a year is similar to eternity. He had met Lucy first. They had been friends for a couple of years, and then Shelby moved to their school. They had welcomed her into their circle and a couple of years later they formed the Three Musketeers. The Three Musketeers was something they had started right before they went back for third grade. That was going to be the first year that they weren't all in the same class. Lucy was in the same class as he was, but Shelby had a different teacher. So Lucy had come up with the whole Three Musketeers idea to make Shelby feel better. It was supposed to make sure that they all remembered that they were best friends forever, no matter what happened.
Carter walked into the cafeteria. It was their first day of sixth grade, and they only had one class and lunch together. He didn't see Lucy or Shelby, but heard someone call his name. He turned and walked over to a group of seventh-graders. "Hi." He greeted nervously.
"You're Barbara's younger brother, right?" The older guy waited until Carter nodded to continue. "Why don't you sit with us today?"
"Well, I..." he looked around for Lucy and Shelby one more time. Not seeing them, he decided to sit with these people. "Sure."
"Great. I'm Kevin. This is Jack, Damon, Frank and Bob." Kevin pointed around the table. "Guys, this is Carter."
He wasn't sure that he liked people calling him by his last name instead of calling him John. But he was at a table with seventh graders. He figured that he was lucky to be sitting there and didn't have the right to complain. "Hi guys." He smiled. They started talking for a little while, and then he noticed Lucy and Shelby waving at him to come over and eat with them.
Kevin looked at Lucy and Shelby, and then looked at Carter. "Can I give you a piece of advise?"
Carter looked over at Kevin. "Uh, sure."
"Ditch the losers." Kevin nodded.
"Those girls. Ditch them. You're in the unique position of being a sixth grader that gets to hang out with seventh graders and be in the 'cool' group. Associating with them will get you kicked out of the 'cool' group faster than you can say jello." Kevin explained. "It's just advise though. If you want to be a loser, then go ahead and eat with them."
Carter took one more look at Shelby and Lucy and then ignored them for the rest of lunch.
He wasn't sure why he chose to ignore them, he wasn't usually susceptible to peer pressure. He wasn't proud of himself for the way he treated Lucy and Shelby. It wasn't that he didn't care about their friendship. He did. He cared about their friendship a lot. But he also wanted to know what it was like to be in the 'cool' group. He'd never been in the 'cool' group, but he'd watched Barbara experience popularity. It looked like fun. Looking back on his decision, he knew it wasn't the right decision. Unfortunately, he couldn't turn back time and change that decision. He wondered if that Lucy was really the Lucy he knew as a kid and she was pretending not to know him because she was still mad at him. Or maybe she was just someone who looked a lot like the Lucy he used to be friends with. Either way, he needed to know for sure.
Song Lyric: "We Used To Be Friends" By: The Dandy Warhols