Chapter 25

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Lola's POV

"I feel bad."
"What for?" Matt asked, glancing at me.
"For lying about where we're going." I told him. "To everyone."
"Look." He said, watching the road. "We didn't tell Alex because she'd worry about why we were seeing her therapist and we didn't tell Bri because he has a big mouth."
"That's not nice Matt."
"No but you know he'd probably accidentally blab to Alex."
I nodded. He had a point, Brian probably would do that.
"So why do you think she wants to see us?" I asked him.
He shook his head. "No idea. But." He said as we pulled up out the front. "We're about to find out."
We got out, walking inside and checking in with the receptionist. We didn't even reach the seats when a girl around 35 opened a door smiling.
"Lola and Matt." She said. "Come through."
We followed her into her office and I looked around. It was quiet cozy and Matt and I sat next to eachother on one of the sofas.
"So." She said sitting opposite us. "I'm Karen and it's nice to put faces to the names."
I nodded and smiled and Matt shifted in his seat.
"Alexandria speaks very highly of you both." She told us.
Matt smiled widely and I just nodded again.
"So you three are close?" She asked, looking between us.
"I guess. I mean yes, considering we haven't known eachother for that long."
"Ah yes, you're the housemate Lola." She said. "You know Alex can't explain why she went against Brandons wishes and advertised for a housemate, but lucky she did."
"Well yes, I'm glad she did."
"She's very lucky that someone like you, who took note of her predicament, moved in." Karen said. "What did you think when you moved in Lola?"
"I pretty much knew straight away something wasn't right, just the way Alex was and the way he was."
"So you met him?" She asked.
I nodded and Matt laughed. "Yeah he accused Alex and I of sleeping together."
"Wait." I snapped. "He did?"
"Yeah, such an idiot."
"So you helped her, how do I say this. You helped her get away from him?"
Matt and I both nodded.
"You both understand the depth of this relationship right?" She asked, looking between us. "You understand that he mentally abused her, he physically abused and he raped her regularly?"
Matt shifted looking uncomfortable and I nodded, looking down at my hands.
"The last time was only about a month ago right?" She asked.
I nodded again. I remembered it well. The night of the party.
"I should have left with her." Matt mumbled.
"We're not blaming anybody Matt." Karen told us. "It happened, you all intervened and Alex is now free of him."
"That's true."
"Well as free as she can be." She added.
"Yeah, so how is she doing?" I asked.
She smiled. "Remarkably well and I think alot of that has to do with you two. She admires you Lola." I smiled. "You're the strong woman that she'd like to be and you're teaching her."
"I like Alex, and I want her to get over this."
"Of course." She said. "And Matt, well, Alex talks non stop about you."
I watched Matt's face light up and he wore that dopey grin.
"She feels safe with you around."
"Aren't we trying to encourage Alex to be independent?" I asked, scowling at Matt.
"We are, but all Matt is doing is being there for her when she needs him am I right?"
"Yeah and drooling." I muttered.
Karen grinned at me. "Lola let me ask you something?"
"What problem do you have with Matt and Alex?"
I raised my eyebrows. "I don't."
"Well yes you do. I can see that Matt cares extensively for Alex, it's all over his face and I've sat here, watching you become defensive over it."
"Look, I just don't think Alex needs that. I think she needs friends more than anything else, I mean what she's been through, she needs to heal."
"She does." She agreed. "And whether you like it or not Matt is playing a big part in her healing."
"Fine." I mumbled.
"Now Matt." She said smiling again. Such a smiley bitch. "What is it about Alex?"
"What is it about Alex that attracts you?"
He shrugged, looking awkward. "I don't know, I mean we get on well and we're happy in each other's company."
"And you support her." Karen added. "Without pushing her."
"I guess."
"It's exactly what she needs right now."
"Yes." I said. "But can't you see Matt wants more from her?"
"And, so what Lola. He's not throwing himself at her is he?"
"Well no."
"All I'm going to say is this." Karen announced, standing up.
Matt and I both stood up.
"Lola, keep being the friend you're being, you're helping Aex more than you could ever know."
I smiled. I was glad. I just wanted Alex to be happy.
"And Matt." She said smiling at him. "Keep doing what you're doing. And believe it or not." She said, looking straight at me. "Alex isn't as closed off about another relationship as you might think."
Oh just great, like Matt needed encouragement.
"It's just going to take a very special, patient man."
I was surprised Matt didn't put his hand up, yelling pick me, pick me.
"Anyway hopefully we'll chat again soon." And that was it.
We didn't speak until we got back in the car and only then did I open my mouth but Matt was quick to cut me off.
"Can it Lola, I don't need your lectures." He snapped.
"I'm not pushing her okay, just get it through your head."
"Okay." I said softly.
"And you heard it yourself. Maybe, just maybe." He said softly.
I looked at him and I smiled. For the first time I kind of hoped he and Alex worked things out, I could actually see that he was exactly what she needed. I only hoped Alex would see it too.

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