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Jenny had been true to her word and had called Molly the night before. Shane had insisted that she could do it herself, but she realized that she really didn’t know what to say or how to tell her that what had happened. Jenny seemed willing to do it, and Shane thought she might be able to explain things a little better in person.

Neither of them really knew what to say, so they just smiled nervously for a minute or two. That didn’t really get them anywhere, but it was all they could think to do given the circumstances. That was, until Molly opened her mouth and apologized for the way things had gone.

It made Shane pause, but after a minute of confused silence she shook her head and insisted that Molly had had nothing to do with the overdose. Which was true, for the most part. Obviously what had happened had contributed, however indirectly, but Shane still didn’t feel that Molly had been in any way responsible for it. Nor had events with her made a bit of difference in the long run.

When she tried to explain this, though, Molly shrugged it off and went into what Shane could only describe as a holier-than-thou diatribe about how life’s setbacks shouldn’t cause one to go so far off the handle that they endangered themselves and caused others to worry. Shane sat through it, mostly because she didn’t really have a choice unless she wanted to call security and have Molly thrown out, and she didn’t. It wasn’t as if she could blame her. Molly wasn’t saying these things to be condescending, she was simply upset.

So she let her ramble for about five minutes about things, things that she really knew nothing about. Shane didn’t interrupt, though, feeling that it would be pretty pointless to do so. She knew that Molly wasn’t saying these things to be intentionally hurtful, and that it was simply her way of trying to help. But she was damned if it wasn’t incredibly irritating.

She realized she must have zoned out and stopped listening, because Molly was staring at her expectantly and people usually only tended to do that when you were supposed to say something. Shane racked her brain and tried to remember if she’d been asked a question and could come up with nothing, so she simply stared at her blankly. “What?”

Molly sighed and said that she’d asked if Shane was going to try to fix things in her life. Shane bristled a little at the insinuation that her life wasn’t good enough as it was, although she did see the point beneath all the things Molly was saying. It didn’t exactly feel good to have her ex tell her that she needed to get her ass in gear, though, and this little meeting was only serving to remind Shane of the night with the rolling blackouts, where she’d overhead Molly telling Phyllis that she was simple.

It had hurt. She’d tried not to let it, knowing tat Molly didn’t mean it in quite the way it sounded. But it stung to know that someone she cared for thought of her as something of a lower life form simply because she wasn’t as educated or as cultured or as whatever the fuck Molly had been all her life. She couldn’t help remembering that now as Molly kept going on about how stupid the overdose had been and what a bad way it was to react to events, as if she hadn’t already known or been able to figure that out by herself.

She then went on to claim that she’d meant everything she said in the letter, and Shane had to try hard to keep herself from scoffing. She was now convinced that the pretty words had been generic, and while Molly had obviously had good intentions to accept her as she was and to love her anyway, the reality was different. Not that Shane could really blame her for it, but she didn’t want to be someone’s pet project. For as much as she hated thinking in such a way, she felt that a project was all she’d been to most of the people she’d been with.

Shane felt she finally had to interrupt when Molly went on for more than five minutes about something, and the tangent was threatening to turn into something completely nonsensical. It had something to do with helping her through therapy and rehab and whatever else she needed to do to get her life in order, but Shane had stopped paying attention by that point.

“You shouldn’t have to do that,” she said quietly. It worked, in the sense that Molly stopped babbling. But she wasn’t entirely quiet.

“I want to do it,” she insisted.

“From the opposite coast?” Shane couldn’t resist asking.

Molly started to explain that Shane was more important to her than school or her internship or anything else right now and that she could either transfer or take a break, but Shane sighed. “I don’t want you to rearrange your life. I’ll be fine.”

“I still want to help,” Molly said, and it was fairly obvious she wasn’t going to give that up no matter how much Shane protested. So she simply gave up and told her that while the letter had been very sweet, she needed to work some things out herself before she tried to be in any kind of relationship again. Molly said she understood, but that she’d be there whenever Shane was ready. She just hoped Shane would really take the initiative to get better.

Tired of listening to the lecture, intentional or not, Shane tuned her out a little and wondered when Jenny was going to come back. She’d left not long after calling Molly and telling her the situation, and from what Shane had been able to gather, Molly hadn’t been too surprised by the recent events. She’d mentioned Phyllis’s tirade and had said that Shane couldn’t be held totally responsible for things, and that of course she’d come to the hospital to see her. Shane had waited nervously for her to get there, admitting to herself that she was hopeful. Her hopes had been dashed once Molly arrived, though.

It hadn’t taken her long to launch into lecture mode, although when she’d first gotten there she’d given Shane an awkward hug and told her that she knew all about the thing with her mother, that it was inexcusable and that she now understood why Shane had left her as well as the things she’d done afterward. It was nice to know that people seemed to be on her side after hearing about what Phyllis had said to her, but it didn’t really make things feel any better. Especially since Molly was still going on about how fucked up Shane’s life and her reactions to events in it were.

“You do know that, right?” Molly asked, although what she was specifically referring to was lost on Shane. She wouldn’t have given much of a damn even if she knew what she was talking about.

“Yeah, I know,” she muttered, more to shut Molly up than to admit to anything. She was a little upset that she’d been so hopeful earlier. She’d honestly been hoping that maybe Molly really was different. Maybe she’d really meant the pretty words she’d written, and would accept Shane for who she was. It had been so stupid to hope for that, though. Molly had proven their first night together that she didn’t love who Shane was as a person. She may have accepted it, simply because she didn’t really have a choice, but Shane realized now that she’d never been loved for it, or even in spite of it. The pretty words had been just that, words.

What struck her as sad was the fact that Molly kept rambling on about how much she cared for her and wanted to support her during her recovery. Shane had to make a sincere effort to keep from laughing. She knew Molly probably meant the words, in her own way, as she said them, but the entire situation was a little too much for Shane. She was starting to believe that she’d been right all along. No matter what she did or how much she changed, it was never going to be enough for anyone.

Not that she could really blame them. She knew she had problems. It was why she usually tried to stay away from most people. Molly had been an exception, but she’d wound up proving the rule. It hadn’t been in a dramatic way, but she’d proven it nonetheless. Shane found herself wishing that she’d ended things before she had. Maybe she could have spared her feelings a little that way. She knew she’d get over it, but it still hurt to know that the person she’d liked so much hadn’t really been a person, but an ideal.

That seemed to be the same case for Molly when it came to her and the expectations for the relationship, though. It was painfully obvious that Molly was intent on fixing her, and even after the overdose and the heart attack the last thing Shane wanted was for anyone to try to fix her. She just wanted to be accepted, fuckups and all. Even if that acceptance was tinged with anger. It wasn't that she wanted to be allowed to skate by and never be called on her actions, she just didn't want to feel like she needed to change who and what she was to be acceptable to someone. That was how she was starting to feel with Molly, and it made her really sad.

Thankfully, Molly's lecture didn't go on much longer. She said she was happy that Shane was all right, that she'd been worried about her. Shane could see that she meant it, and a little bit of her annoyance dissipated. She knew Molly didn't mean to come off the way she was, but she also knew that there was no way they could ever make it work. Molly wanted things Shane couldn't give her, and she didn't want to hurt herself by trying to live up to someone else's ideal.

She wished Molly well in her academic endeavors, and was sincere about it. She really did want her to do well and to be happy. When she was gone, Shane sighed and collapsed back into the pillows. The conversation had taken a lot out of her, and while she was pretty much completely recovered physically, the stress wore on her.

Jenny came back before too long. She didn't ask how it had gone, but Shane figured it must have been pretty obvious. They'd always been able to pick up on each other's moods fairly easily, and while Shane wasn't devastated, she was a little downhearted about the whole thing. Instead of asking about Molly, Jenny simply told her that she'd be able to come home soon and that she was going to ask Max to make sure her room was all right. It was all she said, and while Shane knew she wasn't being completely forgiven for anything yet, the fact that Jenny wanted her in the house was something.

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