A/N: So I was just rereading Rose's blog, and I came upon this little bit. This being shortly after discussing possible topics for future fics, including expansions on blog scenes, I couldn't help but write this. I think I like doing blog extensions, so I'll probably do a few more in the near(ish) future. Enjoy the story, and review please!
I am struggling. Struggling with what to say.
This is unusual for me. Usually I always know what to say, when to say it, and when to just shut up. But now, now I don't know what to do.
I am going to South America for a while. A long while. Nearly two whole months, in fact.
And I don't know how to tell Rose.
Indigo knows. He can tell her.
Saffy and Sarah know, as do Caddy and Michael and Buttercup and Eve and Bill. One of them can tell Rose.
But I know they won't because it's my news, and I have to think of a way to tell her. I have to think of a kind way to tell Rose that I won't be able to talk to her for months on end.
She won't be happy. I know she won't. The last time we went that long without talking was the first summer I was back in America after living here.
We both went crazy.
And it will happen again this time. I know it.
I know I can't go for two months without hearing Rose, seeing her words on my computer, without giving her lyrics to critique and seeing her pictures in return. I worry that she will forget me, or that she will replace me, or that someone else will get to her first. I don't want to leave because it will feel like she's leaving me, not the other way around. And I just can't deal with that.
And I know she can't either. And I know she's going to be upset, at least as upset as I am.
And I want her to look at me when I tell her, look at me and not look away and then tell me not to go. Tell me to stay there, with her and Indigo and the rest of the Cassons and the Cadogens and David and not take myself off to South America for studying like my parents want me to. I want her to throw her arms around my neck and never let go, holding me here with her where I know she'll never change.
But I am afraid to tell her, afraid that she won't do any of that, that she will just let me go or worse, tell me to go.
But someone has to tell Rose I'm going away. So I will do it.
Just as soon as I think of how.
A few days later
It is almost the end of my visit here. Next week I am off, off to South America. And I still have to tell Rose.
So I just strike up a conversation about it with David, who is much less perceptive than Indigo is and won't suspect what I am really doing, just when I know Rose is going to come into the room. And then Indigo comes in and joins us, and I worry that something will mess up my plan.
But it works.
Rose comes in the door and hears about my trip.
"South America?" she says, a worried look beginning to creep over her face. "That's a long way."
I look at her and look at her, staring into her pure, cobalt eyes until she cannot look away. I keep waiting for her to jump up in protest, to tell me to stay, but she doesn't.
"Yep," I say. When that doesn't cause a reaction either, I finish it up with a question intended to bring out the response I want. "So what's it to you, Permanent Rose?"
She doesn't answer. She just looks at me, a bit mournfully, I'd like to think, and then walks away, picking up her sketchbook as she goes.
Indigo pats my back. "She'll miss you, Tom. I know she will, even if she won't tell you. She's never been very good at words, you know."
I know. But I can't help wishing for some sign, something to prove to me that she really doesn't want to go.
Nothing happens for a few more days until there is just three days before I have to leave. Rose has gone out with Kiran, and left her sketchbook on the couch. I pick it up, curious to see what is drawn in Rose's closely guarded book.
It's filled with portraits.
In America, in the kitchen, on a roof, with my guitar, helping Indy, playing in our band, holding Jassy, teaching Buttercup to juggle, even a picture of me asleep.
The last one in the book is a picture of me in a plane, flying to an island labeled South America. This one is a bit less precise than the others; the lines wavered, as though drawn with a shaking hand. And there were little spots on the paper, as though Rose had been crying when she drew this.
I notice that South America had a high population of pretty girls.
I grin. What Rose couldn't tell me with words, she's telling me with pictures instead. Unintentionally, but still.
I grab a pencil and make one small adjustment to the drawing. Then I set the sketchbook back on the couch, exactly like it had been, and stride off to meet Indigo in town, whistling as I go. I am now mostly satisfied with how things have turned out.
I came back from Kiran's house to find my sketchbook on the couch. I frown, wondering if I had left it there. I try to make sure I kept that sketchbook private, filled as it is with pictures of Tom, but here it is, sitting right in the middle of the couch. I open it up and flip through, just to make sure nothing has happened.
I shut my eyes tight and hope that Tom hasn't seen it.
And then I get to my last picture. I drew this one right after I heard about Tom's trip, and it shows: Tom is flying to South America, which is filled with all the pretty girls I know he will meet there. And there are tear blotches on the page, from where I was crying about all of those girls who will get to have Tom for two months while I don't.
This is where I stop. I notice an addition, one that I certainly didn't put in. I hyperventilate for a moment, thinking of Tom seeing all of my drawings of him and worrying that he will tell Indigo or David and they will laugh at me. Then I relax, and smile. I know Tom, and I know he won't do that. I close the book, suddenly in much better spirits than I have been in for days. Ever since I heard about Tom's trip.
I laugh and run upstairs, filled with a sense of relief.
Tom has drawn in a little thought bubble from his head.
Inside is a rose.