On the porch is Rebecca, her old friend from college, the girl she wasn't sad to let go. The one that surprised her, with how little it hurt. The one who is back, sleeping with her brother, screaming about it now, on her porch, about how Cathy isn't returning her calls and cracking jokes about the situation and backing away from the jokes and trying, again and again, to locate the truth and say just the truth and nothing more.
"I'm in town. And I would like to see you, and catch up, and be friends. How is that a problem?" None of which, Cathy can admit, is the problem. Rebecca is the problem. She makes that the problem. She chooses men over friends and now the man is Sean, a broken toy from a dusty lonely toyshop that the children used to love and now they fear. Her brother. And Rebecca no better than that, a pair of freaks on her lonesome, with no idea how afraid Cathy grew up to be.
"This isn't all me," Rebecca says, holding onto the truth like the mechanical bulls that time in Cozumel. "From the minute you met Paul, he's all you talked about. And the next thing I knew, you were living the suburban housewife dream, and making me feel ridiculous for my partying, and my serial dating... But what the hell else was I supposed to do? Nobody fell in love with me."
Cathy stares up at her. She's not wrong. The truth feels good. But this, this is a start when it should be an end. Hello, just to say goodbye seconds later. Why relearn Rebecca? Why become the pair of freaks again, when she's only going to break Rebecca's heart? Why won't Rebecca let her fade, and remember her as the strong one, and remember her the way she was? The story could stay in place, like a photograph.
Rebecca is wrong when she says nobody loved her.
"Well I guess we're both screw-ups," Cathy spits, grateful. Lying again. "Maybe we should break up? Huh: We already did." She marches away, on the high road but only as an excuse, to save her friend from stronger and more exquisite betrayals down the road:
When she thinks nobody loves her, Rebecca is wrong.
Andrea has been showing up late, has been skipping weigh-ins, is dropping out of summer school altogether and is only here to clean out her locker. "I don't like the way you teach," she explains airily, in a way meant both to smooth it over and to really sting. When Cathy points out that this class means graduating with her grade next year, she shrugs. "Oh well," she says, and Cathy's jaw drops: "Oh well? I have bent over backwards for you!"