2X10 – Breaking Point
"Why didn't she come to me?" Tootie questioned. I would have talked her out of it."
"They don't talk about it," Jo snapped. Tootie turned around and stared. "They just wake up one morning and say 'Okay, that's it. I'm checking out,'" she explained.
"That's not true Jo," Mrs. Garrettt shook her head. "There are signals but sometimes we don't recognize them."
"But how can we tell what's going on inside anybody else?" Jo questioned. Her eyes narrowed slightly. "We're not mind readers."
"Jo, the best way you can let people know what's going on inside of you is to tell them," Mrs. Garrett insisted. Jo shifted from foot to foot as Mrs. Garrett held her gaze. Jo cleared her throat and looked down at a box full of miscellaneous items as Mrs. Garrett turned her attention to the rest of the girls. "
Now you girls are under a lot of pressure to achieve, to succeed, to fit in, to grow up," Mrs. Garrett continued. "And I'm going to tell you, it's okay to feel confused and frightened and insecure we all do. And when you feel that way oh god please talk about it."
"But what about people who don't have others to talk to?" Tootie piped up.
"Well you girls are lucky." Mrs. Garrett insisted. "You can talk to your parents or if they're not available, I'm always here." She smiled.
"Nothing personal, Mrs. Garrett," Natalie said slowly. "But sometimes the only people you can talk to are kids your own age."
"That makes sense." She nodded. "Talk to your friends."
"Sometimes there are things you can't even tell your friends," Jo muttered. She continued to look inside a box.
"We should have something here at Eastland," Blair suggested. "You know, for kids who want to talk but are afraid and have no one to talk to."
"You mean like a hotline?" Jo turned sharply. Her eyes light up for a few seconds before darkening again. She walked over and stood next to Mrs. Garrett who put her arm around her shoulders.
"Can we do something like that?" Natalie asked.
"Why not?" Blair shrugged. She looked over at Jo. Their eyes met for a second before Jo turned away, but not before Blair noticed a look of hurt flash across her green eyes. "I'll talk to the student council about it." She turned and nodded towards Mrs. Garrett. "Mrs. Garrett will you have time to help us set it up?"
"I'll make time." Mrs. Garrett smiled. "It's a wonderful idea."
Jo faced forward and looked at Blair. "It's a lot better than writing a new school song," she commented.
"Oh, I intend to do that too," Blair said innocently. Jo rolled her eyes but remained silent.
"Well, I guess we're just about finished," Mrs. G announced as she looked around the empty room.
"Wait a second, I forgot something," Tootie said. She lifted the necklace from around her neck and laid it down onto the empty dresser. Mrs. Garrett ushered the four girls out. She took one last look around the room before turning off the lights and shutting the door.
Natalie and Tootie headed towards the cafeteria talking quietly. Mrs. Garrett was walking behind them and Blair followed her. Jo hung back a bit; she looked up at the blue sky and scowled. As they entered the cafeteria Jo cleared her throat and headed for the stairs.
"I'll be down in a bit. I just need to check on a few things," she said before climbing the staircase.
"Oh, Jo," Mrs. Garrett said quietly. She took two steps in the same direction but Blair reached out and grabbed a hold of her by the elbow.
"Let me, Mrs. Garrett," Blair insisted. Mrs. Garrett nodded twice before turning and clapping her hands to signal Tootie's and Natalie's attention.
Blair took a deep breath before ascending the stair case. She flinched when she heard the bedroom door slam but continued up the stair case. Outside of the bedroom she leaned closely and pressed her ear up against it.
She heard Jo's sobs coming from inside. With another deep breath, she knocked on the door twice before entering.
"Hey," Blair said quietly as she entered the room. She closed the door behind her and took a seat on her pink sheets. She ignored the wave of perfume that fluttered in the air.
Jo was seated on her bed. Her arms were behind her head and she was staring at the ceiling. If it wasn't for the slight redness to her otherwise green eyes, Blair wouldn't have known that she had previously been crying because of the stern look set upon her face.
"Are you alright?" Blair questioned.
"I'm fine," Jo answered stiffly. She continued to stare up at the ceiling.
"No you're not," she responded. "I noticed you acting weird in the other room," she commented. Blair got up from her bed and took a seat at the foot of Jo's.
"I don't want to talk about it," Jo snapped. She sat up and looked Blair straight in the eyes. "Especially not with you."
Blair normally would have been offended and demand to know what she meant by especially not with you but she couldn't bring herself to argue. "Mrs. Garrett just said that we should talk about what's bothering us, especially to a friend."
"We're not friends,"
"But I am willing to listen."
"It's nothing," Jo sighed deeply. "All of this just makes me think of Gloria. I really miss her. She was my one true friend," she explained. Blair nodded and leaned back to lie down on the bed. Her blond hair cascading on the bedspread and around Jo's feet.
"What was she like?" Blair whispered.
"Like me." She couldn't help but smile. "My mom would know that every time the phone rang at a certain time of the day we had just gotten into trouble. Gloria was like a sister to me. She always had my back. Even in the bad times she always found a reason to smile. "Just like Cynthia."
Jo cleared her throat twice and blinked. The tears that had begun to gather in her eyes retreated. "Well not exactly; Gloria wouldn't be caught in a school like this."
Blair nodded. Her blond hair moved a bit across the bed and danced lightly across the bottom of Jo's feet.
Jo bit her lip as the corners began to twitch. She breathed heavily to stop the flow of giggles that were bubbling up inside of her. Before her laughter became audible Blair propped herself up on one elbow.
"What's so funny?" Blair questioned. Jo quickly sobered up and shook her head. She shrugged and all traces of a smile were gone.
"Nothing," she answered quickly. Blair frowned and held her gaze before shrugging and lying back down again. Jo instantly began to fight off fits of laughter. She covered her mouth with her hand and
"What is it?" Blair whined. She turned her head to the side and noticed Jo's grin starting to get wider. With a quick jerk of the head, Blair moved her hair over her shoulder. Jo let out a few small giggles as Blair's blond hair trailed across the soles of her feet.
Blair noticed. She looked back and forth between Jo and her feet a few times before a smile began to crawl across her face. "Are you ticklish?" she asked.
"No." Jo blinked.
"You're not ticklish at all?" Blair asked slowly.
"No," she insisted. Jo sat up a bit straighter and crossed her arms over her chest. She then gave Blair one of her iciest glares. "I'm too tough to be ticklish."
"Oh really?" Blair raised an eyebrow, silently challenging her.
Jo's eyes widened slightly when she noticed Blair leaning close towards her. "Blair," she stammered. "I think Mrs. G was calling you."
"I didn't hear anything," she answered innocently.
"You're going to ruin your nails." Jo's speech began to speed up as Blair got closer towards her.
Blair stopped. She looked down at her nails and cocked her head to the side as she examined them. She then shrugged. "I can call in for an appointment. A chair is always open for me."
Before Jo could think of another excuse, Blair reached over and lightly raked her nails across the arch of Jo's feet. She flinched and leaned down to smack Blair's hands away, when at that point; Blair quickly moved her hands to Jo's side and quickly began to tickle her.
Jo let out a light shriek before bursting into hysterics. She curled up into a ball and tried to push Blair's hands away. However, her slim fingers were able to more swiftly around.
"Don't!" Jo laughed, grinning from ear to ear. Blair ran her hands up her sides and slid them under her arms, tickling her mercilessly. Jo could barely talk for laughing so hard, but she managed breathlessly gasp: "Stop! Please!"
Blair chucked to herself as she watched Jo move tighter into a ball.
Jo's laughter slowly turned into sobs. Blair slowed down her tickling and sat back in shock. Jo's face turned a light shade of red. She pulled her knees to her chest and bent her head down.
Blair crawled up to the head of the bed and placed an arm around Jo's shoulders. She lightly pushed the brunette so that her head rested on her shoulder. She then used her other hand and wiped away the tears with her thumb.
"Everything will be okay."