OK, I forgot the author note on the top the first time – FAIL! Sorry about that, but I only found this site the other day! I really hope u enjoyed the first bit (although it's not REMOTELY Blytonesque, it's the best I can do, never written a fanfic before!) , and yeah, I know you might be saying that Janet's meant to be tough – that's why it was an important alternative scene for me, because nobody's perfect. I couldn't resist but have a go at doing Carlotta and Janet's conversation too! I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it, and PLEASE review, I need to know how to make it better coz I'm new to this site! Enough of me now! :P
Janet entered the hospital, trying to look more confident than she felt. 'May I visit Carlotta Brown please?' she boldly but worriedly asked the receptionist.
The receptionist beamed kindly at her, naturally thinking the fear in her voice was because her friend had been injured, and said 'Yes, visitors have just been allowed this morning. She is in the emergency ward.' 'Thank you!' Janet replied gratefully, as the kindness gave her a little more courage than she'd had before she entered the hospital.
Carlotta had not been informed she would have any visitors, and she was surprisingly subdued until Janet entered. She was incredibly surprised – she hadn't expected anyone, and least of all, JANET…the girl who had been so cold to her the last term. JANET…the girl who was the second least fond of her after Fern. JANET…the friend she missed so much, for although she was a strong, tough girl, just like Janet, her weakness was that she, secretly, really was a very friend orientated girl – the world revolved around her friends, so she was very unhappy when Janet and her had gone over the rocks. She was speechless for a moment. She then managed to splutter 'Janet…?'
'Hey.' Janet replied, strangely solemnly. Carlotta looked at her suspiciously, until her eyes spotted the book and grapes Janet was giving to her.
'Oh…thank you, Janet!' was all she could say. She was a little nervous, as was Janet…except the little, is the understatement of the century, Janet though bitterly. She sighed. I'd better get this over with…
'I'm…glad, you like it. I'm…so, so, genuinely sorry, about your…accident…and everything with Fern.'
'Thanks, Janet. Yes, it is rather horrible to have someone as jealous and hating to you all the time.'
'I can imagine…and…'
Carlotta was extraordinarily confused – what WAS going on? Was she going to split on somebody else? No, never! Janet would NEVER do that, Carlotta told herself fiercely, the only person who'd ever have done a thing like that, apart from maybe Fern, is old Sour-Milk Prudence! So what on EARTH was going on!
'What is it, Janet?' she said, stumbling a little on her words for the first time in her entire life.
'You…you've had…a…a…double dose…'
'What do you mean?' Carlotta cut in instinctively. Then she realized 'Sorry, Janet.'
'You've…had a double dose of it…from Fern, and…oh...from…' She broke off, and then continued bravely, daring to say the one word she had been dreading so much to say aloud.
Carlotta put her hands over her mouth – she was one hundred percent SHOCKED. She sat up abruptly. 'Janet…I…think…the injury is getting to my head…'
'No, Carlotta.' Janet wavered. 'You heard correctly.'
Carlotta was speechless for literally 15 minutes. The nurses were concerned, but she pretended to be engrossed in her book. She was really forbidding herself from crumbling, both inside and outside.
'But…why, Janet? WHY?' Carlotta turned away abruptly, but not in the juvenile way she used to. No, this was because her eyes were wet. Carlotta was telling herself fiercely 'Stop being so pathetic!'
Janet looked away too, but then looked back at Carlotta, who looked back. 'Because you were made head girl. What Hillary said, it, it…went to my head, Carlotta. I became as swollen headed as Fern. As envious. As dishonest. As cruel. All because I thought the teachers didn't pick me because of my tricks. They picked you because you're more worth of the position than I, and I, I…was too swollen headed to see. The thing I despise most. The thing I've always hated. It took me over. It consumed me and took away my friend.'
Janet stared bravely at Carlotta's beautiful face, her curls bouncing around her face despite the fact that she'd been lying in a bed staring at the ceiling all day, thinking things over with her and Libby. Janet couldn't cope. She looked away, her eyes glassy with forbidden tears, like Carlotta's.
'Janet, you can look at me. I'm not going to slap you. It's OK.' Carlotta spoke out into the pained silence, feeling and sensing her friend's pain and remorse as strong as if it was an earthquake, a volcano and a tsunami all in one. 'It's OK.'
Janet replied, slowly. 'But…I don't think you understand the extent of what I did… it was… I was prepared to lose you over a stupid head girl position. That's the worst thing of all I could've done, worse than Fern. I've…I've betrayed you.'
This was enough for both girls. Their strong, reinforced walls were crushed by this speech. Janet fell into Carlotta's ever-strong arms, and Carlotta let her head droop on Janet's ever-present shoulder. They sobbed hopelessly. Luckily, the nurses had gone for a late lunch.
They both tried to compose themselves desperately, as if desperately clinging onto a cliff edge that was covered in slippery ice – it was hopeless, it could not be done. So they, for once, let themselves. There was nothing else to do.
After an hour, the girls composed themselves a little, and each had a drink of water, but Janet choked on the water, because she was still choking back tears. Carlotta, who had recovered a little better, held the girl in her arms. Then, for the first time in an hour, Carlotta spoke.
'You haven't betrayed me. You could never betray me. You could never betray anybody. You've made a mistake. So have I…with Libby.'
'She…she was a marvellous friend to you, I tho...'
'Yes, she was. But…I let her go, though we're pretending. We've decided we shouldn't keep in close contact – just every now and then, and maybe one day we can see each other again, for old times' sake.'
'But why? Janet...you…oh never mind. I would tell you to swear you'd never tell anyone but there's no need – I trust you.'
Janet nodded, her final tears seeping down her face. She was ashamed – Carlotta had recovered 15 minutes ago. She hadn't. She, embarrassed, turned red and wiped them away fiercely.
'Janet…I ruined it, because…because…I…convinced myself I wanted to be…more, than friends.'
'It won't work anymore – Libby's paranoid, and she has good reason, unfortunately for me. I didn't find out till recently what…IT…was like. I thought I had with Libby, all I'd found is a very close friendship, something I'd never found.'
'Carlotta, I'm so…genuinely…sorry. And I know this will…'
'Janet, I know what you want to know. I'll tell you. You're not being nosy, we're friends, we always have been, and we always will be! Well, if you must know, it's someone in St Clare's. Very much like you, actually. A strong character, brave, loyal, understanding, sensible, and loves to play tricks. Fun, amusing, and very pretty, in my opinion, especially when she's planning a trick and her eyes sparkle maliciously!'
'I didn't think there was anyone like me in St Clare's…and besides, I don't know this girl. Is she a 5th former or something?'
'No. She isn't.'
'A FIRST FORMER?'
'No, Janet. Not Second form, not Sixth form…'
'It's got to be a 4th former, surely! Is it…TESSIE?'
'No, Janet. NO! Not Tessie. Not a 4th former…'
'Carlotta, you're not talking sense. That only leaves OUR form! And no one fits that exact description in OUR form; the closest to it is either me or Bobby!'
'Actually, you're very close. But someone DOES fit that description. She's visited me in hospital – I haven't told her yet. I am, though.'
Carlotta laughed nervously. She drew Janet closer. Their lips touched. It was enough. It was surprising, the tenderness of the moment, seeming as both the candidates are two of the toughest girls to ever go to St Clare's. But Janet understood why she had been so uncharacteristically affected by Carlotta and her accident, and how she had behaved towards her. She wrapped her arms around Carlotta, received her warm embrace, and it was the best moment of her entire life. She knew, she had been permanently forgiven. She knew, it wouldn't be the same…it would be better. She knew, this would never die.
At last, like a rocket pulling from a strong orbit, they pulled apart. Neither spoke, until…
'Well, isn't it just as well the nurses weren't here to see THAT!' Carlotta grinned, over the moon. They both laughed, and then relived the moment they had, unknowingly, been longing for the entire term. Janet stayed with Carlotta the entire afternoon, and despite her punishment for staying too long being double the prep, she succeeded in doing nothing for 30 minutes, she was in a daze. But, Mamzelle, who had been told to give her more prep, and who was supervising that night, didn't have the heart to care. She knew that Janet had spoken to Carlotta; she knew something important had happened for the girl, and after seeing her earlier, she was delighted for the girl. A grin broke out on Mamzelle's face, and she let Janet off her prep with a note to the teachers. She knew, that Janet had been longing for this a long time, and that she deserved her happiness and rest of mind.
'Ah, this kind, deserving English girl. It is so good to see her as herself again. She looks like the cat that licked up the milk, ah, does she not?'