Midweek by planet p
Disclaimer I don't own the Pretender or any of its characters.
Opening the top drawer of her chest of drawers, Debbie rifled through her jumpers, looking for the right one; her favourite top, the navy blue one she'd been given by her best friend for a present. Finding the top she'd been looking for, she pulled it out and over her head, shutting the drawer when she'd done with it.
Wednesday was her early day; the day she got up extra early because she had to be at Parker's place on time for breakfast. On Wednesday, Miss Parker and she always had breakfast together, and, even though she was grown up, Debbie looked forward to the time they spent together. She appreciated Parker's friendship in a different way to how she had as a girl, not so much as a mother figure and older female role model, now, which, given that she wasn't a kid anymore, was fair. Their friendship was different now; they talked about all sorts of different things, about current affairs or boyfriends; lots of things she wouldn't have been interested in talking about as a girl. Of course, knowing some of the less glamorous things she did about her friend tended to lead her in the direction that having role models who you thought were spotlessly clean and perfect people was silly; people were people and they all had their moments.
She didn't like that Miss Parker continued to pursue Jarod for that horrible company she worked for, and that the most of the time she talked about her connection to Jarod it was all about what Jarod could do for her, but what was there for her to do but to be straight with Parker when the need called for it, and, when it didn't, to let some of that go. She had a feeling that Parker was damaged in a way that she'd not fully be able to understand unless she went there herself, which she didn't ever intend on doing, so she could only pick up some of the things for comment and others she had to let pass.
She wasn't, for example, impressed with Parker's attitude towards men (her father included). Perhaps most of the guys Parker knew were players from Playerville, but how could Parker complain when she acted like that, too, and what was she to expect if she would never step outside of her comfort zone and get to know any guys who weren't? Debbie supposed she went for that sort because though they could hurt her (emotionally), it was a hurt she was wholly familiar with and would have a chance of tackling. It wasn't like the hurt she'd felt after Thomas had died, because Tommy hadn't been like the other guys she'd known, and maybe she hadn't really appreciated that about him enough when they had been together – that he'd been a person, as much as anyone; as much as her; a person who could be hurt if she only thought of herself, her own needs, her own emotions, but that he had still cared enough about her to be that person as well as to understand that she was, too – but she'd realised it after, Debbie thought. And she'd not been keen on throwing herself into another round like that one – not at all!
So she stuck to what she knew and took comfort in the familiar old pains it brought up. Pain was a part of living, Debbie knew, and sometimes it was the only part you truly could feel anymore; when you were really, really down. She hoped it wasn't always like that for Parker, but if Parker wasn't putting out in words, she wasn't a mind reader. She couldn't know if Parker didn't say, and she'd learnt that killing herself over it was pointless. If nothing else, her dad was honest and hard-working, but all that seemed to get him from Parker was criticism after criticism. Debbie always told him not to let it get to him; it was hard for Parker to see and appreciate the good qualities a person had because maybe they frightened her a little bit and she never, ever conceded to that sort of pain, that sort of fear. She'd rather ignore it, maybe.
Underneath, Debbie supposed her self-esteem was something of a horror show, and awfully lacking. Everytime someone tried to care, everytime she felt that they were making an effort at getting closer, she would pull away because she was always thinking, Why am I different to anyone else? Why do I matter? And maybe, a little, What do you want from me? All you want to do is use me up and throw me away – no thank you! Maybe, though, Debbie thought, she tried to think of Parker as less damaged than she was, because she was her friend, and maybe that was a mistake. Maybe Parker was as damaged as she'd always suspected, and maybe even more so.
Suppressing a sigh, Debbie pulled her front door closed after her and headed for her car. She couldn't wait to tell Parker all about how her job was going and that her circle of friends had wanted to meet her and had invited them both to lunch at an ultra spiffy restaurant she'd never been to before, but was assured wasn't cheap. She supposed the food couldn't be too bad if it cost that much; she crossed her fingers and smiled. Let's hope it's nice.