Written after I watched 3x23 The Party Favour. Julie POV- something new for me!. Not the best writing, but I needed to get something down and out there. As always, please R&R.
She'd hated this woman, at first. Jimmy remembered her too fondly, kept photos of her close, a reminder of his first, and maybe true, love. She'd met her when they moved in next door; a helplessly classy blonde with a perfect house, a perfect husband, a perfect life. In the years Julie Cooper had known Kirsten Cohen, she'd noticed flaws in the perfection, but nothing that had ruined the seamless jealousy she'd held for her. Kirsten gently advocating her morals, Kirsten receiving endless amounts of love from husband, Kirsten almost effortlessly running the Newport group, Kirsten the apple of her father's eye…
It was always Kirsten Julie had looked to when she and Jimmy had arrived in Newport… Always Kirsten and Sandy's relationship that Julie had thought of as a symbol of true love. But now, cracks were appearing. Carter Buckley. Caleb's death. Sandy being consumed by a project that was for the good of the community.
Now, the woman Julie Cooper had always admired and hated equally was looking her in the eye… Those big, wounded eyes that had men falling apart before her, and telling her she drank again. It was an admittance she tried to justify with AA meetings, the fact that it was just one drink, the fact that it was the first in 11 months… Ignoring her rationalizations, knowing that to an alcoholic a drink was a drink was a drink, no matter what circumstances or how much was consumed, Julie asked her about Sandy and was almost unsurprised at the answer. Of course, she was too flawless to tell her husband, too unselfish to want to hold onto him enough to bring him under her storm cloud. Julie was considering all the angles she could have taken on this; guilt, emotional blackmail, when she looked in her friend's eyes and realised… Kirsten was dying inside. She was sinking slowly, effortlessly, barely scrambling at the banks. Julie heard Kirsten speak to her, confide in her, heard the weariness and sadness equalled. It brought an anger and protectiveness to the surface that begged for action.
She felt like slapping Sandy. She felt like taking Kirsten to Palm Springs and ordering alcohol free beverages and sitting in the sun until Kirsten smiled. She felt like rewinding the clock and taking them back to when Julie was still jealous, and Kirsten was still… Kirsten. Not the deceivingly perfect woman in front of her telling her the marriage she thought would last forever was teetering closer to the brink… And that she had no plan to stop it from freefall…
Speechless in front of her, Julie chose to call Neil. She didn't know how to deal with it. Two of the images she had held above all else in her life; the love between Kirsten and Sandy, and the perfection of Kirsten, were now crumbling to ashes in front of her.
Outside, Kirsten and Julie shared the perfunctory cheek kiss before Julie captured her in a surprising embrace. She didn't want to leave her thinking she had no one. She didn't know the words that would make a difference, but she felt Kirsten return the hug and knew it was true; actions were louder. Ignoring Sandy, Julie got into the car. Looking back as they drove out of the driveway, Julie saw the perfect house with its perfect occupants. They were standing apart, not touching, distanced. Julie watched as Sandy retreated inside before the lone figure of Kirsten followed him into the light, and the house was out of sight. Neil looked over to her, sensed some change in her mood.
"Everything all right?" He asked. Julie nodded, turning back to the front. She looked at her new husband.
"Everything will be fine." She smiled back at him, took the hand he offered. Maybe she was the new perfect.