I was really struggling with this one, and I want to say it's because this story line disturbs me so much, but I don't know. This is Clare's phone call to Eli.
My hands are shaking as I try to keep the phone pressed against my ear. I can't let myself disappear into my mind. I need to be here for Clare. I take deep breaths and murmur into the phone, "Tell me."
And she does. She tells me how that sad excuse for a human being abused his position of power, what he tried to do to her. What he did do to her. I feel disgust rising up inside me as I remember how I admired Asher for his journalism. Now I understand why he never did seem very professional. I have to cover my mouth with my hand to press back the angry words that are trying to pour out. Now is not the time.
Clare does not need to be reminded of just how much of a bottom feeder he is. She knows that even more than I do.
"I can't stop reliving it, Eli," she whispers, the pain evident in her voice. How did I not notice it there before? "I keep going over and over it in my head. Was I . . . did I . . ." she takes a deep breath, "Did I throw myself at him? Did I make it seem like I wanted more than an internship, Eli? Tell me the truth."
"Oh, Clare," I breathe out, wishing I was there with her right now, wishing that I could protect her from what happened, "No. No, Clare, you didn't. You were excited for your internship and went at it with all you had, just like you do with everything. Asher is your boss and he should never ever have touched you. What he did is not your fault, okay, Clare? You didn't want that."
There is silence on the other end for a moment and then I hear sobs, "I was so scared, Eli! I never thought anything like this would happen to me. I just thought . . . I got the internship through Degrassi . . . I trusted him." The sobs increase in volume and I panic a little as I struggle to think of a way to comfort her over the phone.
I mentally curse the traffic that I am stuck in. "Clare, it'll be okay. I'm in traffic right now, but I will be over as soon as I can. If you want me to, I'll stay with you while you tell your mom and Glenn." The cars in front of me start to shift forward and I turn my signal on, quickly trying to map out the shortest route to Clare's house.
"I have to hang up now, Clare, but I'm coming. Don't worry. You have so many people that care about you and that will not let this asshole get away with what he did. I love you."
"I love you, too. See you soon."