Chapter 13

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Brooke nervously wraps her fingers on the hotel room table in front of her. When this whole plan formed in her mind just a couple days before she hadn't taken into account how awkward it would be, or how little she knew about what to say to him, let alone how he would be have. Nothing bad had happened, but Gary isn't himself, not that she expected him to be.

Now she is supposed to have a meal with both Gary and Peter's mother! As she sits staring at the two outfits she has to choose from she remembers that not only has it been three days since she last talked to Jaelyn, but she didn't even tell her best friend her fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants idea! Quickly she grabs her phone and searches for Jaelyn's contact.

Three rings and then a, "Hey girl, you finally remembered me!"

Brooke can't help the laugh that escapes her, but suddenly confusion overcomes her. "Wait, how did you know that?"

Now it is Jaelyn's turn to laugh. "What you didn't think that your brother, or my brother, wouldn't spill the beans?"

"Okay, I guess that was really naïve of me, but I do have to say that I obviously haven't been a good friend either! I mean I didn't even tell you my off the wall plan." With every word her voice becomes a little bit louder, and a bit higher.

Jaelyn giggles followed by a groan. "Oh girl, you are making me laugh way too much. This baby is mashing against my ribs so, so much. Anyway, enough about this big one, what is all this craziness about?"

Brooke hops up from the uncomfortable chair and plops back on the bed. "Well, Gary wasn't being himself, and I knew he wouldn't with the things he is going through, but I couldn't just sit there and not do something to help him. So, this idea popped into my head and I kind of went with it without thinking." She ends with a sigh and rubs her free hand over her face.

"But it isn't going as planned?" It is more of a question then a statement and Brooke can almost see her best friend's arched eyebrows.

"I didn't really have a plan," she quickly adds, "I know, I know, that's were I first went wrong! It's just the longer I'm here the more out of place I feel, the more I realize how little I know Gary, and how to help him. I feel like this was all just a huge mistake!"

Jaelyn allows there to be a moment of only the hum of the phone line for a moment before she speaks again, "Did someone tell you that?"

This stops Brooke's spinning thoughts a second. No, none of the people she has come face to face with so far have actually said the words. Did they have to though? Aren't things implied sometimes? "I guess not."

"So then why are you here moping to me that no one wants you there?" Jaelyn screeches with a slight chuckle in her voice. "Go! Go do some fun things, along with whatever you have planned. Enjoy yourself a bit while you are gone. Take Gary along with you if you want or whatever you want to do, but don't worry about what everyone else does or doesn't want you to do. This baby is about to put me in the crazy ward if I don't get up from here, so I'll talk to you later!"

"Thanks Jae! You are the best friend I could ever ask for."

With a swipe of her hand and a slight blush on her cheeks Jaelyn counters, "Don't get all sappy on me!"

After they say their goodbyes Brooke hops from the bed and begins to throw her clothes around until she finds exactly what she wants to wear. A light blue paisley print dress that hits her just about her knees. She pairs it with a pair of her favorite sandals and a simple cactus pendent necklace.

In a matter of a half an hour she is dressed up, her hair done in a bun, and ready to check out the stores of downtown Midland. She grabs her car keys and heads out the hotel to first find a snack before she gets too heavily into her hobby of window shopping.

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