A/N: well, this is my first, or maybe the first GCB story. It's my take on how Carlene took her aunt's death. Oh and the other aunt, Dolly is supposed to be Dolly Parton. I own nothing, unfortunately. Thanks broadwaybabeWA for helping me out. Hope you guys like this!
RIPP AND CARLENE'S PLACE
TWO WEEKS AFTER GIGI'S PARTY
It had been two weeks since Carlene's aunt died, out of all places it had to happen at Gigi's. Carlene hasn't gotten up since the funeral, she's just been curled in a tiny ball under the covers, and she whimpers every once in a while. However, at night she snuggles close to me and just wants to be held. She's still grevin' but she really needs to start putting herself back together.
It's almost dinner time so I decide to see if she'll come eat today. Some of her friends have brought things over, but she hasn't touched anything. Landry on the other hand, has eaten just about everything. I get into our bedroom and she's still curled up, all you can see are her matted blond curls peeking out from the covers and resting on the pillow.
I gently put my hand on her shoulder, "honey…"
"what?" she mumbles, snuggling deeper into the sheets.
"sweetie, you've been in bed all week, can you come eat?" I calmly ask, with my hand still on her shoulder.
"no" she sadly says.
It breaks my heart seeing her like this, yeah, she gets upset but never this bad. "why not?"
"not hungry" she flatly replies, burying herself completely under the blankets.
"you haven't eaten since the party, just a few bites of something?" we made ravioli tonight, it's light enough it won't mess with her stomach too much.
"no" she mumbles again.
I give her shoulder a gentle squeeze, "sweetheart, please"
"no" she protests again.
I start to rub her shoulder, "you're still upset, huh honey…"
"yeah" she says, I can hear the sadness in her voice.
She's laying on her side so I start to rub her back, "it'll be okay, but you need a few bites of something"
"I don't want anything" she mumbles, I can hear the tears in her voice again.
I sigh, she's so close with her other aunt, Dolly that maybe calling her will help. I thought about calling her mom but I didn't want her mom to worry. "do you want me to call aunt Dolly?"
I see a tiny nod and she mumbles, "please…"
I give her shoulder another gentle squeeze, " alright, just relax sweetie."
I go into my office and grab the phone, dialing Dolly's number out of memory. "hey"
"hey Ripp" the woman says.
"Carlene's still having a really hard time" I tell her, she knows Carlene well enough to know what's normal for her and what isn't.
"I was thinking that…" she sighs.
"she hasn't gotten out of bed since the funeral and hasn't eaten since the party" or maybe before, I don't remember her eating much at the party.
"I'll come over there" Dolly says, she knows it's bad when Carlene doesn't eat. She hardly ever skips meals, so this isn't good.
"alright, I know you two are close, maybe you can convince her to at least eat something" I tell her.
"she really does need the food, she's a tiny little thing" Dolly says, I try to hide a laugh. But Carlene really is tiny, and I think it's gotten worse since her aunt died.
"I know. She's been crying a lot too, but she won't talk too much" I tell her, the more she knows about how Carlene's been acting, the better.
"she might talk to me" the older blond woman says.
"yeah, just come over when you can" I tell her, Carlene's so close to Dolly she just comes over. We'll probably end up having Dolly stay a few days to work with her.
"alright. see you soon" she says, and I hear keys being picked up. We hang up and I grab a bite to eat, and see Landry already helping himself to seconds.
I get to Carlene's and Landry lets me in. he smiles, gives me a hug and disappears into his room. I see Ripp who looks like he's been through hell trying to take care of Carlene. He just nods, telling me it's okay for me to go into their bedroom to check on her.
I get in there, and the curtains are drawn, the lights are dimmed and all I see are some matted blond curls peeking out from the pile of blankets she's hiding under. I didn't think this was going to hit her as hard as it is. But we'll get her out of this mess.
"Carlene hon…" I calmly say, hoping she'll hear me and that she's not sleepin'.
"Dolly?" she whimpers.
"yeah sweetheart, it's me" I tell her.
She's quiet so I just sit by her on the bed, "hon, we're worried about you…"
She's still quiet but I can see her shiver just a little. Poor thing, she's just miserable. I gently brush some of her matted curls away from her pale face "can you sit up for me?"
She forces herself to sit up and hangs her head. But I do notice her eyes are red and swollen, and there's dried tear tracks across her face. she's just a broken mess right now, but I think we'll be able to get her back on track again. "when was the last time you ate sweetie?"
She weakly shrugs her shoulders, fiddling with the soft cream colored blanket that she's been hiding under. "hon you need to eat, you're a tiny little thing"
We don't know how she stays so little, but it's not good if she doesn't even take a bite of something. She still doesn't talk to me, so I start to rub her back, I think she's just gotta calm down some, "I know you're upset, but Ripp told me you haven't eaten since the party and I can hear your tummy growlin'"
"I don't really want anything…" she says, her voice flat, it's almost as if she's afraid to show how she's really feeling.
She just looks miserable, and I think a warm shower will help calm her, relax her muscles and help her clean up. I gently run my fingers through the blond tangles, "maybe you'll feel a little better if you took a warm shower" she can get all the tangles out of her hair and wash the tear stains off her face.
"mmk" she mumbles.
I help her up, It looks like she hasn't been out of bed in a while, she's wearing a pair of flannel bottoms and a oversized t-shirt from high school. This is definitely not like her at all. "take it slow hon, I've got you" she's a little wobbly, but she's probably a little weak from just laying here and not eating.
She wraps her arms around me in a hug and I return it, she's so, so tiny. I hold her and she just clings to me. I start to rub her back, "aunt Dolly's got you, it's okay"
She doesn't say anything, just lets me hold her. I guide her into the big bathroom and sit her down on her vanity stool. I then pull out some clean towels and turn on the shower water so it'll warm up. I go into her closet and find something comfortable for her to wear. Which surprisingly is a lone pair of Juicy Couture sweatpants and an old Cowboys t-shirt. This is something she obviously never wears and has hidden in the back of her closet.
"let's get you cleaned up, it'll be okay" I tell her, putting the towels by the now warm shower and the clean clothes on the counter. I quietly leave the room and close the door so she can take her shower. I straighten up the sheets on the bed so she won't be so tempted to curl back up when she's done.
About fifteen minutes later she cuts off the water and I wait another five before the door opens, she's standing there with dripping wet hair, and is wearing what I've put out for her. I help her sit down again and she shows me where her hair dryer is. I pull out the piece of plastic and she nods, allowing me to start styling her long blond hair. "talk to me hon, what's wrong?"
She lets out a deep sigh, "I shouldn't even be that sad, I didn't really like her that much" which is true. Everybody knew she liked me more than Bitsy. So it's probably a good thing that I'm not the dead one.
I give her shoulder a gentle squeeze, "it's okay to be sad, but we want you to start trying to get out of bed"
She just sighs as I continue to dry her long hair. "what's makin you not want to eat?" I ask her, she may just not be feelin well.
"not hungry" she says, hanging her head a little.
Poor thing is just miserable, she needs a little something. "I'm gonna make you some pasta, and I want you to try a few bites." It's light enough that her empty stomach can handle it.
"mmk…" she mumbles, but it sounds more like a whisper. I finish curling her hair without forcing her to talk, she just fiddles with the hem of her t-shirt. I help her to the bed, but make her sit up, I don't want her curling under the covers again.
I make her some plain pasta, with just a little butter and bring her some juice. I sit the glass down next to the bed and sit next to her. She just looks at me, and the warm bowl of pasta, but doesn't move.
"I'm gonna feed you if you don't eat…" I tell her, she's gotta get something in her system.
She takes the bowl and nibbles on the piece of pasta. I give her a reassuring smile, "can you try a bigger bite?"
She forces herself to put a whole piece into her mouth and I smile at her, encouraging her to eat more. "just eat what you can sweetie, you need something in your system" I tell her.
She's quiet, and reaches for the juice.
"we're worried about you, I want you to talk to me" I calmly tell her.
She just shrugs, and continues to nibble on her pasta.
"Ripp told me that you haven't said much… and you've done a lot of cryin', it's okay to use your words…" I tell her, maybe she just needs a little reminder.
She sighs, "I know"
"want me to go get him and we can talk?" I ask, now that she's up maybe she'll start to tell him how she's feeling.
"no…" she says, taking a gulp of the juice.
"maybe it would be good for you if we took a little walk, you need some fresh air" she really needs to get up and stretch, she's been curled up for so long.
"okay" she says, still drinking her juice.
"let's just go down the street, enough to stretch your muscles a little" I suggest, and she'll get a little sun and some fresh air. It could really help her.
"kay" she replies, handing me the barely eaten bowl of pasta. I smile and get up, making sure she does too, and wait on her to find a pair of tennis shoes.