Taylor wrings her hands as she watches Henri-Michele set up his painting supplies in the hotel room. She doesn't know what else to do. She's tried being angry, begging, crying, threatening, and is now deciding whether or not to throw something at him. He's really being very dense; either that or just really stubborn. He knows she has a boyfriend (Taylor's only told him two hundred times), but he insists on staying in Newport.
At least she's convinced him to stay in a hotel instead of at Summer's house.
Henri-Michele is humming softly to himself, and Taylor glares at him as he sets a book next to the little digital clock on the nightstand. Suddenly she notices it's almost one o'clock. Crap! She's going to be late for lunch with Ryan! She yells "Sorry, gotta go!" to her ex-husband and dashes away. As she climbs into her car she calls Ryan's cell. No answer, so she leaves a message.
"Ryan, it's me. Sorry sorry sorry. I'll be there soon, I promise. Sorry. I'll explain when I get there. See you soon." She snaps her phone shut and tosses it onto the passenger seat before driving off to the mall.
Ryan's face lights up with relief when he sees her, and she realizes that he was worried she wouldn't come. She feels sorry for him; so many people that he's known have just up and left him that he thinks eventually everyone's going to leave. She makes a mental note to be on time from now on so he won't get freaked out.
After wandering around the mall for a bit, they decide they aren't really hungry and end up just getting Jamba Juice. As Taylor drinks her shake she watches Ryan; he seems to be holding up pretty well, and she doesn't want to make things worse by telling him about Henri-Michele. She decides to tell him later. It's best, really, because telling Ryan would ruin (or at least mar) his day and probably make it even more difficult for her to get rid of her ex-husband.
They sit on a bench and finish their drinks. Ryan asks if she's okay, because she's been weirdly quiet, but Taylor insists that she's fine. In order to distract him from her, she brings up the only subject she can think of at the moment.
"So how's Kirsten doing?"
Way to make him feel better, Taylor. She feels instantly guilty as his face darkens a bit, so she adds, "You know what, I changed my mind, let's not talk about that right now, it's kind of depressing. So...are you going that charity thing next week?"
"What charity thing?"
"Something about...actually I'm not sure what it's for. It's like, for the beavers or some animal like that. Supposedly because there's not that many left, but I think it's for the fur. Summer would know."
"Oh. I don't think we're going."
"Yeah, I'm not either. Other things to do, you know."
Ryan nods and mutters to himself, "Other things to do."
x x x x x x x x x x x x
Summer is draped over the couch, with a wet cloth placed over her forehead. Fracking headaches. She closes her eyes and is just starting to drift off to sleep when she hears someone come in the front door. Cracking one eye partially open, she sees Seth walk in and look around.
"I'm right here, Cohen."
"Oh, hey, it's you." He walks over and tweaks her nose. "You okay?"
"Never been better."
"You know what you need, Summer?" Oh God, is that his I-have-a-plan voice?
He waits for her to answer but when she doesn't reply he triumphantly cries: "Food!" Guess not.
"Because I noticed you haven't been eating a lot lately and you've also been getting a lot of headaches, and then I got this idea." He plunks something down on the table. Summer sits up, surprised- somehow she'd missed that he was carrying something- and sees: a picnic basket. Seth grins and looks proud of himself. "I took something you need-food- and am combining it with something you love- the environment. Well, it's not exactly the environment, it's nature, but they're almost the same thing anyway. Come on."
Summer stares. "Now?"
He nods enthusiastically and grabs her arm to pull her up. Her arm looks and feels devastatingly thin in comparison, and Summer realizes that Seth knows. That he's probably known for awhile but didn't know what to do about it. And he couldn't come out and talk to her about it because it probably entail talking about his feelings, and if there's one thing Seth can't verbally express, it's feelings.
So this is his way of telling her that he knows.
Summer finds herself being led to her room, Seth chattering on about something-or-other-- she's not really listening-- and she thinks that maybe this isn't such a bad idea. Maybe Seth doesn't want her to be rail-thin. Maybe he liked her curves. After all, they had sex before she started this thing, and now she can't really remember the last time they slept together.
Still, the very idea of food makes her feel kind of ill, so maybe she'll just eat a little bit. She's making no promises, but she figures she'll give it a try.
She goes into her bathroom and changes her clothes in there (she's suddenly very ashamed of the way her bones stick out), then slips on shoes and takes Seth's hand and lets him lead her away.
x x x x x x x x x x x x
Julie stares at the dresses in her closet. She knows that the event is a whole week away, but she has to start getting ready now. Hell, she should've started getting ready at the beginning of the month, but she just got so distracted by everything...she shakes her head as if to clear those morbid thoughts away, then reaches out and fingers a dark blue silk dress. She pulls it off the rack and walks to her mirror, holding the sexy little number in front of her. Maybe I should wear green instead? Usually Kirsten tells her what looks good on her.
The idea hits her hard and fast. Her green eyes light up, and she grins and starts pulling dresses of her closet rack. Red, pink, ivory, blue, a green floor-length one, a few pairs of heels. It takes her two trips to lug everything out to the car, and as she's walking down her stairs she's thinking that she really should call first. Oh, but she's so excited!
When she pulls up to the Cohens' place, she immediately feels a difference in the atmosphere around it. Normally, the house exudes the youth and vitality of the people who reside within it. Now, that aura has been dimmed down a little.
She decides to see how Kirsten's doing first. Sandy's the one who answers the door, looking decidedly older than the last time she saw him. Has he slept at all? She brightens into a smile and quips "Hi!" He smiles wanly and welcomes her in.
"So, how are you guys holding up?" Her cheery tone of voice sounds forced even to her, but Sandy doesn't act like he notices. "We've been better." She sees right through that statement, but chooses to ignore it and says, "Can I go see her?" Sandy gives her an odd look, like She's not dead, of course you can see her, then nods and informs her that Kirsten's upstairs.
Climbing the stairs, the first thing Julie sees is Kirsten propped up against the wall. "Aren't you supposed to be in bed?"
The blonde shrugs. "I was hungry so I was going downstairs to get food."
Julie helps her down the stairs, staring as they walk. Kirsten looks even more tired than Sandy, very pale, thinner than usual. No, not just thinner. Frailer. Even her hair isn't as shiny.
After a quick snack of water and yogurt ("Coffee makes me throw up."), Julie cautiously brings up the charity event.
"Oh yeah. I heard about that," says Kirsten, setting her spoon softly in the sink, her arm looking very white in the sunlight. And suddenly, Julie feels incredibly selfish for being so worried about her dress.
"You need help picking out what to wear?" Kirsten's voice sounds amused, and Julie looks up, blushing and surprised. How did she know that? Kirsten raises an eyebrow, and Julie nods. "Sorry, I just thought it might distract you from..."
"It's okay, Julie. And any distraction is good right now. Go get your stuff. I'll be upstairs."
At first Julie hesitates, then she dashes outside to bring in the clothes she brought.
Kirsten is sitting on her bed, leaning against the wall and waiting. Julie dumps the first load of stuff onto the bed then goes to get the shoes. When she comes back into the room, Kirsten is looking wistfully at the dresses but not touching them.
And Julie puts on a little fashion show for Kirsten. She changes into each of the dresses and heels, then walks out, striking funny poses that make Kirsten laugh gently. In the end, Kirsten tells her that the ivory dress is the most flattering on her. Julie carries the stuff back to her car, taking special care with the ivory one, then trots back upstairs where she finds Kirsten asleep. She sits on the bed next to the sleeping blonde and rests her head on Kirsten's bony shoulder. She falls asleep right next to her, and when Sandy comes upstairs later he finds both women slumbering peacefully on, smiling a little as they sleep.