We Talked About Tomatoes: 14 - Back off

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urgh school is back. hurrah. I can tell you sense my overwhelming enthusiasm. *imagine me deadpanning guys* Hope you enjoy this chapter.



Rachel and her perkiness travelled across the room to talk to Georgia. Georgia was furrowing her eyebrows and biting her lower lip; showing every sign of her worry like an alarm. But who wasn't worried? Days had passed since the news was told and Nick was still lying still. Steph was still grimacing a smile. Everyone was still on the edge of their seat.

Rachel tapped Georgia's shoulder. Georgia snapped her head around and faced Rachel, mimicking how her brain had snapped out of its thoughts. Georgia hated tappers. Just call my name! Georgia thought angrily. Tap, tap, tap, Georgia recalled the feeling. Annoying.

"What?" Georgia asked, trying not to sound too annoyed.

"Can I speak to you, outside?" Rachel asked, pointing a well-manicured nail at the door. Georgia acquiesced and followed Little Miss Perky to the cafeteria held for the hospital's staff and patients' families.

It smelled much better here, they both decided. That weird smell of anesthetics or cleaning materials seemed to have been replaced with the smell of fries, meat and pastry. They sat down at a white table. Was everything white at this hospital? Had they no other colours? Did they like making people think they were above the clouds, in a clean, white place?

Georgia looked at the food through the shelf shaded by clear glass longingly. How long had it been since she'd had a proper meal? She had to send of Harriette to the day care today. She didn't want Harriette over-thinking and hoped she would play with some kids her age.

Rachel cleared her throat and tapped her long, petal pink, manicured nails on the surface of the table. Tap, tap, tap. It sounded like a horse running.

"I know this isn't the best time to talk about this but I figured this is the only time you'll talk to me." She took a deep breath as if preparing herself for something intimidating. Georgia waited. "Look, I can tell you like Bryce - or just really hate him or us. You think I don't see you staring at him? Whatever you feel about him, can you stop?" she asked almost timidly. "Bryce has been my boyfriend for a while now and you can't - you shouldn't - take him away from me. I know in your world I'm the bad guy, but in mine you're the bad guy. You're absolutely gorgeous and Steph, Nick and all his friends absolutely love you." She opened her mouth but didn't know what she should say next. "All I'm saying is: Can you back off? Just a little bit. I mean you can talk, yeah, just . . ."

"I never planned on stealing Bryce," Georgia interrupted the silence. Half a lie. "And you're definitely not the bad guy in my life. You're so . . . happy." A lie and a piece of truth. "I just wanted to be friends with him again, okay? So you can relax." Half a lie. Georgia eyed Rachel's nails. They were still running across the table's surface, one after the other. Tack-tack-tack-tack. Annoying.

Rachel pulled her hand away from the curved, square table. She placed her small, smooth hands in her lap. She sighed. "This wasn't going the way I planned," she admitted in a mumble. "I guess I just want to make sure you're not going to steal him, you know? Bryce is great."

Georgia nodded in agreement. She didn't need to be told that. She already knew it.


Georgia didn't know how to react after Rachel talked to her. Should she be angry? Sad? She didn't feel anything. Was there a way you were supposed to feel after being accused of *almost* being a man-stealer? A home-wrecker? If anything Georgia felt a little ashamed of herself. She felt as if this whole thing with Bryce was futile and hopeless.

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