When he arrived at the
studio the next day, Simon did everything he possibly could to avoid seeing Paula. He
felt bad for what he was doing and knew that seeing her would only make the guilt worse.
She, however, went to find him.
Sitting on his couch,
Simon heard a small knock on his dressing room door. He opened the door to see
her standing there, tears in her eyes, leaning against the doorframe.
Simon asked, immediately pulling her into a hug.
Now openly sobbing, Paula
had a hard time getting the words out. “It’s….*sobs*…my
...*sobs*…mom.” Paula finally got it out.
Simon kissed the top of
her head and tried to get her to calm down enough to tell him what had happened.
Once Paula’s tears
momentarily subsided, she told Simon what had happened.
“She has cancer. Wendy phoned me last night when I got back from your place. I guess my mom has known about it for a while and just decided to tell us because it’s getting worse.”
Simon really didn’t
know what to say. He pulled her into another hug and told her repeatedly that
things would be okay, but he almost felt bad saying it. He had no way of knowing
whether they would be or not.
The show that night was
weird. Simon and Paula weren’t fighting, which, even since they had decided
they would attempt to get along, was strange. Everyone could tell something was
wrong but figured it was best if they didn’t ask what.
After the long and awkward
hour, Paula rushed back to her dressing room, and Simon wasn’t far behind her.
He didn’t care about the bet anymore. Paula really just needed a
friend right now, and obviously she was beginning to see him as one because she did tell him about her mother before she told
I know this is really hard on you. Why don’t you stay at my place tonight? You shouldn’t be alone at a time like this.”
“I don’t really
want to risk a repeat of last night.”
“I have the key. I promise.”
what a meant.”
not that I don’t like you. It’s just that this really isn’t
a good time.”
“I understand, but
if you need a friend, I’m here.”
Paula collapsed against
him crying once again. He sat her on the couch and began to rub her back.
not fair, Simon. Why did this have to happen?
“I know it’s
unfair, but life has been known to be that way. There’s still a chance
your mother could make it through this. You can’t lose hope. As much as this is tearing you up inside, it’s probably hurting her just as bad. As hard as it may be for you, you are probably going to have to be there for her no matter how much you’re
to go see her tomorrow. Will you come with me?”
“Of course. I’m here for you, and you know that.”
“At least let me
drive you home.”
“If you do that,
then how is my car going to get home?”
you to go see your mother tomorrow, and we’ll pick it up on the way back.”
Simon drove Paula home. He held her hand the whole way, and could tell she was still silently crying by how
much she was shaking.
When they got to Paula’s
house, Simon walked her to the door. He bent down to give her what he had every
intention of making an innocent goodbye kiss. Nothing, however, could ever be