Lionel was released from the hospital with a bunch of "Feel Like Suicide? Call us!" pamphlets, and a very warm welcome from the new us.
We threw him a party and agreed to tell his parents that the whole thing wasn't suicide, no matter what the doctors said. It was a terrible accident. It was almost midnight, and things were starting to wind down. Claudia was getting ready to pack up, I was feeling like home, and Charles... well Charles just did what he wanted really. I think I heard some mention of him spending the night at Lionel's.
I can't really say I was jealous of Charles... I could have been a better friend. I should have been a better friend. But I hadn't been. Now... Lionel had a new wingman. We were on speaking terms now, and so I took advantage of the fact and pulled Lionel aside to talk to him. I wanted to straighten some things out.
"What's up Daniel?" he asked.
"I... I just wanted to talk to you and see where we stand. And how you wanted to work this thing out with... you know..."
"As far as I'm concerned, you can have her."
"For real? You aren't going to get mad at me a few days later? You aren't going to seethe with anger when you see me? If you want her Lionel... I will stay out of the way. I made you a promise."
"I know. But... I don;t think Claudia and I are meant to be... like that. I did some... thinking... in the hospital and... no worries. I'm fine with you having her. As far as us... we're cool."
"Yes! I'm sure. Trust me. I won't be getting on your case about Claudia or anyone."
I looked at him hard. I waited for him to say "ha ha tricked ya!" I waited for him to-
"You ok Daniel?"
"Um yeah... I just... thought maybe you... huh... I guess I didn't expect things to go this well."
"Well I'm glad I could pleasantly surprise you."
He smiled and held out a fist... I held one up in return and we bumped.
We were cool.
"Hey everyone I'm heading out! See you tomorrow!" yelled Claudia, and she was out the door.
"Yeah I'm heading out too guys. I'll catch ya later." I started to head out then turned back and opened my mouth to say "You sure?" again, but Lionel anticipated me and all but shouted,
"YES I'M SURE! Now get out of here Romeo."
"See ya mate!" Charles said as I closed the door behind me. I gave him a nod, and left the house.
So that was that with Lionel. I was glad we were cool. He seemed a little... too friendly... nah. probably just me not used to seeing him actually happy. Now that that was all wrapped up though I had another thought...
How were things between me and Claudia?
She had changed. She... looked more like the girl I knew from my childhood. Not frilly and all made-up... she looked normal.She was now sporting shorts and a tee-shirt, with her hair let down, and a single ring.
I liked it. But after things had left off in the hospital... would she still want me? She had left in a rush so I decided not to go to her house. Instead I went home and sent her an email.
I had nothing else to do so I just sat at the computer desk... waiting for her to respond.