Hey guys, I know, I know I promised to try to make the gaps shorter! I hope you guys can forgive me, and I hope you all like this chapter. Let me know what you think, whether you love it or hate it.
Disclaimer: Don't like, don't read. Please read the disclaimer at the first chapter.
Since it's been a while, a little recap. The story started in the present, at the time of Eddie's wedding, then we took a trip to two years earlier, where we still are.
Raven awoke and stretched. She didn't get very far; Chelsea was draped across her. She looked at the clock on her bedside table; it was 10AM. Raven chuckled and slowly pushed Chelsea away and made her way to the kitchen for a glass of water. As she went through her fifth consecutive glass of water, she recalled how much Chelsea had to drink the previous night and set out to have some food and pain relievers ready for when Chelsea woke up. She sliced a bagel in half and put it in the toaster, then rummaged through her cupboards looking for her extra large water bottle, filling it to the brim before closing it and guzzling the water.
The bagel popped out of the toaster; Raven lightly buttered it and placed one half on a plate along with a banana. She put the food and a glass of water on a tray, taking it to her bedroom and leaving it where Chelsea would find it before entering her bathroom and retrieving two bottles from her medicine cabinet. As Raven reached the threshold, Chelsea snored loudly, and Raven laughed, disturbing the silence and waking Chelsea.
"Good morning," Raven said, smiling, then taking a bite of the bagel half she'd been holding.
Chelsea groaned and held her forehead as she sat up. "What's so good about it?"
"Eat something. Pick a pill," Raven said, holding out the two bottles she'd retrieved from the bathroom, "and drink some water. You'll feel better in no time."
Chelsea looked at the meager offering on the tray and selected the banana. As the redhead bit into the fruit, Raven decided to give her some space and retreated to the living room.
Upon arriving, Raven dropped her bagel and screamed. Someone was asleep on her couch. She calmed down a bit because she knew who it was, but clutched at her chest; her heart was still beating rapidly.
The man that had been lying on her couch was now on the floor, hurrying to his feet. Chelsea came rushing out of Raven's bedroom, brandishing the tray that had held her breakfast. She relaxed her stance as she entered the living room, but was very confused.
"When did he get here?" Chelsea asked. "Did I really drink that much? I remember most of the night--"
"Chelsea, he wasn't with us." Raven said, shaking her head. "What are you doing here?" she finally asked him.
"I got in from the airport at around 5," Devon said. "I wanted to surprise you, but I didn't want to wake you and Chelsea, so I slept on the couch. I didn't mean to scare you. Sorry."
The shock had worn off, and Raven was ecstatic. Devon was there, with her, and not in Seattle. She hugged him tightly, partly to make sure he was really there. Surely it was too good to be true.
And on that note, Chelsea said to herself, it's time for me to go. She set the tray down on the coffee table and retreated back into Raven's room, gathering her things quickly. Raven knocked on the door. "Heading home? You can stay for as long as you'd like, you know."
Chelsea sat on Raven's bed to put on her shoes. "I think I'll just go home to my own bed. You're going to need yours," she said, grinning. "I'm just gonna get last night's leftovers before I go. Thanks for dinner. It was great. Plus, I don't have to cook for a few days."
"I'll drive you home."
Chelsea finished with her shoes and declined Raven's offer. "I'll be fine. You should stay here with Devon. I know how much you've missed him." She headed to the kitchen, put containers of food into a tote bag, and said goodbye to Raven and Devon before leaving. She exited the building and the morning sun shone so brightly that her head hurt. There was no way she was going to walk all the way home. She took out her phone and called Ben to pick her up.
A few hours later, Raven was smiling as she got up from the couch. She and Devon had been cuddling, talking, and watching TV for hours. She'd really missed him. His cell phone had rung quite a few times, but he ignored it and finally turned it off when it became a nuisance. She decided to give him time to take care of whatever business he had; she wanted to check on Chelsea.
She drove to Chelsea's favorite smoothie vendor, getting smoothies for both Chelsea and herself. As she walked into the building, one of Chelsea's neighbors stopped to mention that Raven seemed different. Raven explained that things were starting to look up for her, sipping her strawberry smoothie and hurrying through the doorway before the door shut.
Raven stopped short of Chelsea's door to grab her keys, setting her smoothie on the floor for a moment. Her keys to Chelsea's apartment were only to be used in emergencies or when Chelsea was aware that Raven was coming, but Chelsea didn't seem to be feeling well, so Raven wasn't sure if Chelsea would be up to opening the door.
Raven entered Chelsea's apartment. Chelsea was raising her voice.
"Ben, things are just fine the way they are. Coming clean would ruin everything!"
"I'm sick of this," came Ben's response. "You have to choose!"
"I don't want to choose between you two," Chelsea said.
"This is insane, Chelsea! Things are fine the way they are!? I'm not going pretend everything's okay. If you want to be with me, then you have to deal with this so we can move past it. You need to talk to her and clear this up."
"What?" Chelsea sounded like she'd been caught off guard.
Raven was thankful that the couple was in the bedroom. She closed the door as quietly as possible. Just as she was picking up her smoothie, Ben wrenched the door open and she started slightly, nearly spilling the drinks.
"Hey Raven," he said. Something told Raven that he knew she'd heard.
Chelsea walked to the door. "Raven, this isn't a good--" Ben held his hand up to cut her off.
"It's okay, I'm leaving." He turned to address Chelsea. "I'll come get my stuff tomorrow." With that, he walked out.
Raven smiled feebly and held out the smoothie she'd bought, shrugging. Chelsea took it, and stared at it for a moment.
"Are you okay?" Raven asked; she noticed tears. A moment of silence passed. "Chels?" Raven had never seen Chelsea like this before. She stepped closer to the redhead.
"Actually, Raven, could you go?" Chelsea said, sipping her smoothie. "I'd like to be alone for a while."
"Oh, okay. Call me if you need anything." She got no response; Chelsea simply closed the door. Raven frowned as the lock clicked into place. She headed home, her concern for Chelsea increasing as she tried to figure out what was going on.
Chelsea reclined on her couch, finishing her smoothie and replaying her conversation with Ben. It was over; she knew it. She cried; she was in love with two people. She knew that it was best to for Ben and her to end their relationship, but it still hurt. The phone rang and she ignored it entirely.
"Hi, I'm calling for Chelsea Daniels. This is Karen from EcoFriends. We got your application for a yearlong internship at our San Francisco office. Unfortunately, we've got no more slots for interns at that office. However, we've got some new offices in Canada, and I was wondering if you'd be interested in a new internship program we're starting in Vancouver. There's a stipend and housing available. If you're interested, call me back at 415-555-6810. I also sent you an email, which has more details about the program. I hope to speak to you soon."
Chelsea finished her smoothie and stared at the ceiling for a few moments. She picked up the phone and called Karen back.
"Hi, I'm calling for Karen. This is Chelsea Daniels; I got a message about an internship in Vancouver."
For the next half hour, Chelsea and Karen discussed the internship. If she accepted, Chelsea would be part of a group that would help unite all of Vancouver's plant, wildlife, and environmental preservation groups. The more they talked about it, the more Chelsea wanted to be involved. They spent another half hour discussing the administrative details. Chelsea would need to pay the visa fees, but EF would help her with all the forms she needed to fill out. EF already had the apartment ready. She could go there whenever the visa was approved.
"Karen, would it be possible to start the paperwork on Monday?" Chelsea asked.
"Of course. I could be available any time after to help you. Is 2pm a good time?"
"Yes, I can be there at 2. I'll see you then."
After she hung up, Chelsea got dressed and went to her parents' house to tell them about the internship. She pulled into the driveway, and hurried out of the car, fumbling with her keys to open the front door. She found her parents in the living room, kissing on the couch; her father was on top of her mother and his hand was underneath her mother's blouse. They were oblivious to her presence; she was thankful that they were fully clothed. She cleared her throat very loudly.
"Chelsea, why didn't you call first? Is everything okay?" her mother asked, looking over her father's shoulder.
"I have great news and I wanted to tell you guys first and in person. Um, could you--?" She gestured toward them; she couldn't bring herself to ask her father to get off of her mother. "It's a bit difficult to talk to you guys when you're, um, in that position." They still didn't move.
"Chelsea, could you excuse us for a few minutes? We'll meet you in the kitchen. I made fruit salad, and there's cinnamon applesauce and strawberry yogurt." Her mother was blushing. Chelsea shook her head at them and headed to the kitchen. Although she was a bit disturbed , she also envied what they had. She wanted to be as in love as they were. She laughed as she heard them hurrying up the stairs. They came down an hour later. Chelsea was eating another bowl of fruit salad at the kitchen table; she'd gotten bored and added the applesauce and yogurt to it.
"So, what's the great news?" her father asked, taking the spoon from her and scooping some fruit salad. "Wow, that's delicious," he commented before sitting down and taking the bowl from her.
"I'm going to be doing an internship with EcoFriends for a year after graduation. It's the most amazing program; we're going to be uniting different preservation groups in Vancouver so that their missions have a greater impact. EF is going to be at the center to mediate, and I'll get to work with several different groups. It's more like I'm going to be doing more than one internship."
"Wow, that's great honey!" her mother said, hugging her daughter.
"The best part is that I don't have to worry about housing, and I get a stipend, but that's another thing. I doubt that the stipend will be enough to cover all of my expenses so I was wondering if you guys could give me some money. The good thing about it is I'll be in Canada, and hopefully the US dollar will stay stronger than the Canadian, and I won't need too much money from you." Chelsea was speaking really quickly because she was very excited.
"Chelsea, slow down. This internship is in Canada, you say?" her father asked, sobering the conversation.
"Honey, sit down. We're gonna have to talk a bit more about this," he said.
Chelsea sighed and prepared herself for a very long conversation.
To be continued.