I Dare You

Good Friends and Lots of Tears

Nancy woke with more sleepies in her eyes than usual. "Ohh," she groaned. She rolled over to look at her clock. It was eleven o' clock in the morning! I don't know when the last time I slept in til eleven was, she thought. Slowly, she sat up. The tray that Hannah had brought in the night before was gone. She must have taken it away, Nancy thought.

Nancy padded downstairs. She looked around. "Is anyone here?" she called softly.

Hannah rounded the corner just then, "Oh, heavens, child. You nearly scared me to death!" She was carrying a laundry basket full of clean clothes. "How did you sleep?" she asked, setting the basket on the table in order to give Nancy one of her giant hugs.

"Like a baby," Nancy responded. She let herself be consumed in Hannah's embrace.

"And how are you feeling this morning?"

"I don't know…" Nancy replied honestly, "better I guess. I mean, it still hurts…"

"Of course it does, Sweet. It will for a while."

"I kind of figured it would. But you know," Nancy looked at her hands and then at the woman who cared for her so much, "at least I feel like I might survive the day. Last night was horrible."

Hannah nodded. She moved the laundry basket onto a counter. "How about breakfast? I'll make French toast the way you like it," she coaxed.

Nancy smiled, "Sounds wonderful, Hannah. Do you want any help?"

"No!" Hannah scolded, "You just had your heart broken. I'll fix it myself. Tell you what, go up and wait in your room. I'll bring it up when I'm done."

"Thanks, Hannah, you're the best," Nancy hugged her one more time before somberly turning toward the stairs. She made her way to her room and crawled back under the covers. Oh, they were so warm and inviting!

A little while later, Hannah came in with another tray. Nancy's mouth watered looking at the French toast topped with sugar and fresh strawberries. On the tray was also a cup of cold milk, and of course, a slice of Hannah's lemon poppy seed bread with almonds, Nancy's favorite. Hannah left the room without a word. Not long after, she came back, wheeling the spare T.V. in behind her.

"Hannah?" Nancy said through a mouthful of her breakfast-in-bed.

"Oh, hush child!" Hannah smiled, "You need something to do besides dwell on the past. Now, what movies would you like to mourn to?"

Nancy couldn't help but giggle. Hannah chuckled at the sight of Nancy with her mouth stuffed like a chipmunk, her cheeks bulging just like years ago when she'd taken her to any ice cream or fast food restaurant with fries. Chipmunk Cheeks, that's what she'd called her.

"Oh, I know the perfect thing…" Hannah quickly rushed out of the room.

Twenty minutes later, Bess Marvin ran into Nancy's room. She was one of Nancy's two best friends. The second, dark-headed George Fayne, followed her blonde cousin into the bedroom.

"Bess? George?" Nancy looked up in surprise.

"Girl! We heard what happened and we just had to come over!" Bess cried. George was silent. "Oh. My. Gosh! I can't believe he just dumped you like that! I mean he shattered your heart into a million pieces. No one saw that coming."

"Bess!" George glared at her model-gorgeous cousin. Tears began to brim in Nancy's eyes again.

"Oh, Nancy, I'm sorry. I didn't mean it, really," Bess whimpered.

George rolled her eyes and sat next to Nancy on the bed, "How you holdin' up?" she asked softly. She was such a tomboy it was crazy, but when it came to her friends she let the sympathy through. She couldn't help it, not that she'd want to.

Nancy sniffed and wiped her eyes before the tears could fall, "Okay, I guess…considering…" Bess sat on Nancy's other side. She laid her head on Nancy's shoulder, and the three sat there in silence staring at nothing.

Hannah came in with a brilliant smile. She took Nancy's empty tray and put a DVD in the player under the T.V. She winked at Nancy and said, "This is sure to cheer you up, if anything!" She closed the door behind her and walked merrily downstairs.

"What did she put in?" Nancy asked curiously as she sat up.

"I don't know. I didn't see what it was," George said.

"She didn't leave the case either," Bess commented, looking around.

"Figures," Nancy pouted, "She knew I would want to know. She's playing games with me."

"Oh, come on. Just wait until the previews are over. We'll know soon enough. You don't always have to be such a detective, you know," George teased lightly.

"If I'm such a great detective, then how come I didn't see this coming?" Nancy asked. Her eyes filled with unshed tears once more. "Ooh," she grumbled, wiping furiously at her eyes, "I've never been like this! Why can't I stop crying?"

"Hey, take it easy, Nancy," George soothed, "You loved him, that's why. It's not something that you can just shrug off. It'll take time to heal. He meant the world to you and you trusted him with your entire self. You can't just…" She huffed wishing that she could think of the right words to say.

"It's a dangerous thing," Bess said in a ghostly whisper. Her eyes were glazed and she seemed to be lost in a memory, one of many, "…love."

"Easy for you to say," George crossed her arms, "Every guy that sees you falls for you! You can have anyone you want, and you do!"

Bess looked hurt, "George, I wouldn't expect you to understand real love. You're so closed off that you wouldn't see love if it hit you between the eyes!" Now tears began to fall from her eyes. "I wasn't talking about a crush on a cute guy that passes by. I was talking about that one special guy made just for you! And you won't even let anyone into your life because you're so obstinate, and so drawn into yourself, and so, so, so…ough! You're so independent that you don't need anybody! You're afraid! That's what you are! Well, the rest of us are HUMAN!" Bess stood and stormed off to look out Nancy's window.

Nancy looked at Bess in surprise. She'd never seen her blow up on George quite like that. She knew that the two had their differences—they were as dissimilar as night and day, black and white, ivory and ebony, but still…

"Bess…" Nancy ventured. She looked over at George, who seemed just as surprised at her cousin's reaction.

George walked over to her cousin. She tried to put a hand on her shoulder, but Bess just shrugged it off. "Bess, I'm sorry. I didn't mean anything by what I said," she whispered in a pleading tone. "Bess…" In Bess's reflection, George saw tears flowing down her cheeks and Bess frantically wiping them away. She breathed out a shaking breath and continued to look out the window.

George turned away from both Nancy and Bess. She didn't want them to she her cry. She was supposed to be the strong one here, wasn't she?

Just then, Hannah walked in the room with a humongous bowl of steaming buttered popcorn. All three girls turned to face her, startled.

"Oh, heavens!" Hannah's smile turned into a worried look when she saw the three tear-stained faces, "Did I put in the right movie? It looks like I grabbed Pride and Prejudice by mistake. Oh, dear, I'm so sorry girls. I could have sworn I grabbed…Let me fix that!"

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