And Rebecca thinks, of course, that Cathy is drawing lines around her in the dirt, saying she's not trustworthy, saying she'll only embarrass herself if she promises because she can't be trusted. Cathy doesn't mean any of those things, at this moment, so she only pauses for a moment: "Just be you." Cathy missed the pants, they were flattering, her ass looked fantastic in them; she's missed Rebecca more.
Honesty is a drug. The truth feels good, and whatever feels good, we want it. Just one little slap more, we think. But once you start confessing it becomes harder and harder to stop and what starts as just a little light, chinks and spots and half-truths twinkling, can become a rushing river. You could drown in light, senses awake to the world in ways you never dreamed; honesty is a drug. It makes you stronger, never weaker; it's a weapon that only ever heals; a tool that only ever breaks off and burns away what doesn't work. It is a drug, but its addiction is grace. There's a reason it's called coming clean.
Adam sees her in the hallway, back in senior summer school, and takes a breath and approaches. He opens up his mouth and wonders what will come out, after all. "Look, um, I just wanted to say that I didn't mean what I said at the party last week. I mean, I think you're cool. And I just kind of want things to go back to the way they were."
She doesn't disagree. But when he presses for an answer Andrea tells him to prove it. To lick her locker, her summer school locker, older than all of us, touched by millions. It wasn't quite confession, but she's not being honest either: If he doesn't do it, this penance, then he isn't really sorry. So he does it. She can't really believe it.
"That's fucking disgusting! You nasty little bitch!"
Andrea laughs. Adam laughs. She can't believe he did it, not really.
Cathy buys a jar of olives, and takes them to the sister's house. She holds them out, explaining the grocery store was out of olive branches. The sort of jokes she makes; the sort of jokes he enjoys. Paul stares at her, terrified. Honesty coursing through his veins. He keeps his mouth shut tight against the flood.
"I want to talk to you. Actually, I've wanted to tell you something for a long time, but I guess I wasn't ready. So I want to come clean with you. Sort of a do-over."