A/N: Hello, everyone! Sorry this chapter is a little bit later than normal. My updates will probably be slowing down since I have tests coming up and work is kind of crazy. But as long as there is interest in the story, I'll be sure to keep them coming. I hope you enjoy this chapter. Let me know what you think!
When she made it back to her room, Quinn finally let the tears fall. She threw herself on her bed and buried her head in a pillow as her tears turned into full out sobs. Consumed in her own thoughts, all of the frustration, exhaustion, and hurt of the day slowly melted away as she finally just let go.
God, why can't I ever get anything right? I hate being a FABRAY. All I want to do is be happy. Be ME. But me, isn't good enough for them. Nothing is ever good enough for them.
Frustrated, she brooded for another 10 minutes as her tears began to slow. She slowly peeled herself of the bed and headed to her ensuite bathroom to clean up. The mirror revealed red, puffy eyes and mascara streaks trailing down her face. After blowing her nose and putting drops in her eyes, she used a tissue to dispose of the evidence of her breakdown. Her mother would be bringing her dinner soon and Quinn refused to let Judy see the cracks in her armor.
When her appearance was back to semi-normal, she exited her bathroom and picked up her bag from where she dropped it on the floor. She decided her Trig assignment was the priority as it would take the longest to do.
An hour later, Quinn was silently cursing Sue Sylvester. Math was so much easier to learn from a teacher than from a textbook. She had only gotten through about half of the problems, and she wasn't completely sure she was doing them correctly. Her head fell into her hands and she groaned loudly. Mrs. Carter was right, her grades were going to suffer for this.
A gentle knock sounded through the door and Judy poked her head through. Quinn turned from her desk with frustration written all over her face. "Hey, mom. Did you need something?"
"No, Quinnie. I was just bringing up your dinner," she said as she set a tray of food on the corner of Quinn's bed. "How is the homework coming along?"
Quinn glanced back at her open notebook and rubbed at her temple before answering. "Kind of slow, Coach Sylvester made me miss half of class and I'm trying to figure out what they covered while I was gone."
Judy nodded sympathetically and took a deep breath. "Quinn, look at me please." Once she was sure she had Quinn's attention she continued. "Sweetie, I know that your father and I expect a lot from you, but please try to understand. We just want the best for you. We know what you are capable of and we just want to be sure you aren't selling yourself short."
Quinn scoffed quietly as she rolled her eyes. "I know, mom. I'm going to do great things in this world," she replied, sarcasm dripping from her words. "And it's all going to start with forgetting one Trig assignment at home."
Judy's eyebrows shot up and she gave her daughter a stern look. "Don't give me that, Quinn. That 'woe is me' act is unacceptable and you know it. Maybe a couple of the things that happened today were out of your control, but you can't deny that your irresponsibility caused just as much of it." She moved to sit on the bed in front of Quinn and put her hand on her knee. "I know high school isn't easy, but you need to make sure you are putting your time and effort into the important things. A stable future doesn't just drop in your lap. You need to work for it." She patted her on the knee as she stood back up. "Now, eat your dinner before it gets cold. I'll come back up to get your dishes later," she said as she walked out the door.
Once she finished her homework, Quinn started packing her stuff back up for the next day. She glanced at the clock. 9:15 PM. Even though it was early, she decided to go ahead and get ready for bed. She was exhausted and needed to catch up on her sleep a little. After turning out her light, she crawled into bed and looked up at the dark ceiling. Please let tomorrow be a better day, she thought as she slowly drifted off to sleep.
When Quinn came down for breakfast the next day, both her laptop and phone were sitting on the counter in front of her usual seat. She set them off to the side and smiled when she saw that her plate had extra bacon on it. She knew it was her mom trying to make a silent apology and appreciated the gesture. She made quick work of her breakfast and looked at her mother. "I'll see you later, mom. I should be home earlier than I was yesterday," she said as she started out the door.
"Wait, Quinn!" Judy called after her. Quinn turned around with an eyebrow raised in question. "You forgot your phone, dear," her mother said as she offered Quinn her phone.
"Oh, I did that on purpose actually," Quinn responded. "It was almost dead when I gave it to you last night and I can't think of any reason that I should need it. I'lll just get it back from you when I get home from school. Bye," she called as she walked through the door.
As the morning passed, Quinn realized the residual effects of her bad day seemed to have pretty much worn out. Thanks to falling asleep so early, she was well rested and alert. She had turned in her late assignment and even had time to get a little help from Mrs. Carter before school started. Of course, she still had to deal with Jewfro and Finn during History, but that would only last a couple of more days, and she was trying to look on the bright side of things today.
The bell for lunch rang and she quickly made her way to her locker to put up her books and grabbed her lunch. She wanted to make it to Marley's locker before the other girl did so she could invite her to sit with the glee club at lunch. She knew Marley still didn't know very many people and Quinn wanted to make sure the brunette knew she was officially part of the group.
When she turned into the correct hallway, she was disappointed to see that Marley had beaten her there. Quinn waited patiently just behind the girl and watched her lazily arrange her things and then grab for her lunch. She closed her locker and turned right into Quinn.
She jumped and small squeak escaped her lips. "Oh my gosh, Quinn! You seriously need to stop sneaking up on me like that. You're going to give me a heart attack," she scolded with her hand over her heart.
Quinn just chuckled at the girl as she tried to calm herself down. "Any plans for lunch?" she asked.
"Not really, I was thinking about eating in the auditorium and maybe singing a little?" she shrugged. "I don't really know anybody, so that seemed like the best option."
Quinn hooked her arm through Marley's and started to lead her to the cafeteria. "You're a member of New Directions now. And you're always welcome to sit with us," she said as she smiled gently.
They walked up to the table and took the two seats next to Santana who greeted them with a brief nod. Quinn cleared her throat, "Alright everyone, I know you had a chance to meet Marley yesterday, but it's time to introduce yourselves and start making her feel like part of the family." She looked to Sam who was sitting across from them. "Why don't we start with you."
Sam cleared his throat. "Uh, yeah ok. Hi, my name is Sam. I'm a Sophomore and I moved here this year. I play football and I really dig sci-fi and comic books," he said as he smiled at Marley.
Marley turned to the boy next to Sam. "I'm Matt and I'm a Junior. I also play football," he told her.
Mike spoke up next. "I'm Mike, also a Junior and football player," he said as he smiled at her. He and put his arm around Tina. "And this is my girlfriend, Tina," he said as he gave her a squeeze. She blushed in response and waved shyly at Marley.
Kurt and Mercedes eyed Marley with thinly veiled disdain. When it was clear neither of them were going to introduce themselves, Blaine jumped in. He smiled widely at the girl and waved. "Hi, I'm Blaine," he said cheerfully. "I just transferred here this year as well. That is Mercedes and this is Kurt, my boyfriend," he told her as he patted the boy's knee affectionately.
Artie was next. "Sup girl? I'm Artie and this is my bro Finn," he said as he pointed at the large boy sitting next to him.
Finn gave her a crooked smile and said, "I'm the captain of the football team and glee club co-captain with Quinn. It's really great to have you on board. Your voice is awesome!"
Marley blushed at the compliment and said a quiet, "Thank you."
Brittany jumped up and walked quickly over to Marley. She picked the girl up and gave her a big bear hug. "Hi," she said as she squeezed the girl. "I'm Brittany, and it's super awesome to finally meet you. I'm so glad you decided to join glee club!"
Santana was chuckling quietly at the exuberant blonde. "Britts, put her down, sweetie. I don't think she can breathe." Brittany slowly put the girl down and gave her a full blown smile before she returned to her seat.
Santana gave Marley a second to recover before she introduced herself. "And I'm Santana. I'm the baddest bitch in this school, but since Quinn here seems to like you, or whatever, I'll cut you some slack. Just don't get on my bad side," she said dismissively. She then turned to Mercedes and Kurt with a hard glare. "Oh, and you two, throwing the diva fit over there," she said as she gestured between the two. "You're on my shit-list. Keep it up and you best be believing you'll regret it."
Marley looked a little scared after that. Quinn laughed and at her. "Welcome to the family."
By the time she arrived back at her house, Quinn was in a great mood. The day had gone by quickly and the glee club seemed to really be accepting Marley into the group. Even Kurt and Mercedes had gone from incensed to seemingly indifferent. And though that was most likely a bid to prevent Satan's wrath, Quinn decided she would take what she could get with them. No matter their personal feelings, she knew there was no way they could deny that brunette could sing. They would come around eventually.
When she entered the house she began looking for her mom to let her know she was home. She passed through the empty living room and dining room and walked into the kitchen. There was a note sitting in the middle of the island.
Your dad had to run to Columbus to meet with a client this afternoon and I went with him. We're staying there for the night and will be back by dinner tomorrow. There are leftovers in the fridge and I put your phone in your room. Call if you need anything.
Love you, Mom
With her newfound freedom, Quinn decided to relax for a while and maybe watch some television before she started on her homework. She didn't have much anyway. She ran up to her room, dropped her bag on her bed, and grabbed her phone and charger before heading back to the living room.
Once her phone was plugged in, she sat on the couch and tried to find something to watch. After looking for a while she found a Friends marathon and decided that was her best option for the night.
After a couple of minutes, her phone came back to life and began to go off repeatedly with text messages. She picked it up and looked through them. Four were from Santana and six from Brittany. They were all from yesterday and she had already explained to them that she didn't have her phone, so she ignored them. She deleted a couple of poor attempts at flirting from Finn. They had just broken up a couple of weeks ago and she didn't want to go anywhere near that disaster for a while. She finally got to Rachel's messages. Her mouth dropped open and her eyebrows shot up as she saw a total of 11 messages from the girl. She started scrolling through them starting with the earliest.
Had a nap yet, sweetheart? -Rachel*
Okayyy, I guess you are napping now? -Rachel*
You aren't still mad at me are you? :( I was just messing around.. -Rachel*
Oh my goodness, I just saw your status. Please answer me. I'm really sorry! -Rachel*
Seriously, Quinn. Please text me back. I'm really, really sorry. I didn't intend to ruin your whole day! -Rachel*
I guess you don't want to talk to me tonight. Maybe tomorrow then. Just so you know, I'll keep apologizing until you forgive me. I'm very persistent. -Rachel*
Goodnight, sweetheart. Sleep well -Rachel*
Are you still mad at me? -Rachel*
I guess that's a yes. I apologize profusely, Quinn. Please respond. -Rachel*
Please, Quinn. I can't deal with the silence. You can gripe at me as much as you want. -Rachel*
I don't know what else to do... I'm so sorry, Quinn. I really didn't think it would affect you this much, or I never would have done it. -Rachel*
Quinn shook her head in amazement. She had no idea silence could worry someone so much. She immediately started her response hoping to assuage the girl's guilt.
Wow, honey bunch. You seem really worried. Sorry about the lack of response. I lost phone privileges yesterday and just got it back. -Q
Oh my gosh, thank God! You finally responded. -Rachel*
You almost gave me an aneurism, Quinn Fabray! -Rachel*
I'm sorry, I would have responded if I could have. Oh and I accept your apology. -Q
it's completely unnecessary though. -Q
No it isn't! I ruined your whole day! I can't apologize enough. I feel terrible :( -Rachel*
Really, Rachel. It's fine. You didn't ruin my day. There were a whole lot of contributing factors -Q
Oh.. Care to share? -Rachel*
Quinn was about to dismiss the offer, but something stopped her. She thought about it a little. Rachel had proved she actually cared time and again over the last 24 hours. They didn't go to school together, so it's not like she could tell anyone important what Quinn said. They hardly ever saw each other which would lessen the level of embarrassment and potential for judgment quite substantially. This was suddenly seeming like a great idea.
You know what? Yes, I would love to. But it's way too much to say through text. Get on your computer. I'll message you -Q
Okay :) Give me just a second -Rachel*
Quinn ran to the kitchen to grab her laptop from where her mother had left it that morning. She turned it on and waited for Rachel to log on.
Rachel: Okay, I'm here! What's going on?
Quinn: Hmm, where to begin... Well to be completely honest, it started off with your texts. Although, you need to know, I don't blame you for any of it. The worst of what happened yesterday had nothing to do with you.
Rachel: I'm so sorry :( I really didn't mean to start anything.
Quinn: I know you didn't, honey bunch. Please stop apologizing.
Quinn: I'm just going to try to get this all out at once. I know it's hard for you to not respond to everything, but please try to restrain yourself ;)
Rachel: I'm offended! :P I will try my best though.
Quinn: Well, after you texted me I couldn't fall back to sleep and lost about 2 hours. I was completely exhausted by the time I got to school and on top of that, small, frustrating situations kept popping up.
Quinn: I couldn't focus in any of my classes. I got grouped up with my doofus ex-boyfriend and the school creep for a project in my History class. I completely forgot about and was totally unprepared for a meeting I had to lead in Celibacy Club.
Quinn: Then, Coach Sylvester pulled me out of my Trig class to discuss recruitment of Cheerios for next season. After 30 minutes of her droning on about nonsense, I snuck out to go back to class only to get scolded by the teacher in front of the whole class. I was totally lost and spent the remainder of the period trying to catch up. As I was leaving class, I realized that I forgot my assignment in my room that morning and had to beg my teacher to let me turn it in today. Oh, and I also got into an argument in glee club.
Rachel: Woah, that's a lot have to deal with in one day :( I'm so sorry.
Quinn: Ha, please. That was just the frustrating build up. The real cherry on top is about to come...
Quinn: Apparently, my Trig teacher called her husband, who works at my father's law firm, and told him about how I missed class and forgot my assignment. She also mentioned that I wasn't paying attention/falling asleep on and off throughout the day. Her husband took it upon himself to inform my father of my shortcomings and when I got home we had a "serious discussion."
Quinn: He basically told me that there is a certain standard of living that comes with being a Fabray and I wasn't meeting it. He said my behavior was unacceptable. That I was embarrassing him and a disappointment.
Rachel: Oh... Sweetheart... I'm so sorry :(
Quinn: He just frustrates me so much. My parents put all this pressure on me to be the quintessential daughter so they can show me off to all their friends. It's just another thing they use to try to make themselves look better than everyone else.
Quinn: They expect me to take all of the honors classes available to me and maintain a straight A average while juggling all of these clubs and activities. I have to maintain this go-getter, angelic façade and be this perfect little princess all the time. It's so exhausting.
Rachel: Quinn... you're breaking my heart. I'm so sorry you had to go through all of that yesterday. That sounds horrible. I had no idea you were under such an enormous amount of pressure.
Rachel: I know you want to try to make your parents happy, but at some point you need to start living for yourself. Your life is your own. Not your parents'. They won't have to live with the consequences (good or bad) of your choices. You will. And what is the point of going through life unhappy?
Rachel: You should start making some choices for yourself. What makes YOU happy?
Quinn: That's the thing, Rach. I don't know. I have spent so many years perfecting this mask that I don't really know what makes me happy. I just play a part all the time. Do what I'm told.
Rachel: Sweetie, that's a terrible way to go through life :( Consider this a turning point. I am officially proclaiming myself head of the "Find out who Quinn Fabray really is" project. Effective immediately :)
Rachel: It's time to find out what brings true joy to your life :)
Quinn: Haha if you say so. Are you sure you want to take on an endeavor that large? It could be pretty rough... and take a while...
Rachel: Oh I'm definitely up for it :) I love a challenge
Quinn: Alright, let's see what kind of magic you can work, honey bunch ;)
Quinn: I should really get going though. I need to eat dinner and get started on my homework.
Rachel: Okay, well, I guess I'll talk to you later then. Have fun :P
Quinn: I'll definitely try, lol.
Quinn: And thank you for this. I know I just unloaded a lot on you out of the blue. But, for some reason, I feel like I can trust you. I really appreciate you taking the time to be here for me. You have no idea how much that means to me.
Rachel: You are very welcome. You can absolutely trust me, and I'm here for you anytime you need me. :)
Quinn: Thanks, Rach. I'm here for you too if you ever need anything :)
Rachel: OH! and one more thing...
Quinn: What's up?
Rachel: I'm glad I have regained my status as honey bunch ;)
Quinn: LOL, me too, honey bunch ;) Have a good evening
Rachel: You too, sweetheart ;)
Quinn chuckled at Rachel's antics. She couldn't believe she just laid out her biggest struggles for a girl she hardly knew. It was so against her nature, but she couldn't deny that she felt so much lighter after baring her soul and venting.
Well, I was right, this friendship with Rachel is definitely going to be an interesting one.