Afterthoughts~Forgive and/or Forget
Written by Isa
Set after "Forgive and/or Forget"
Griffin handed Claudia her suitcase. "I don't know why you didn't
this, it's gonna be hell to--"
"Griffin, I can't."
"You can't carry it? I think it's too late to--"
"No, I mean I can't go back."
"I don't belong there, I belong here, with Charlie & Diana & even
"You're not my parent k? You weren't when you and Jule.....you
so don't start now, all right?"
"I was just tryin' to help."
"Don't try so hard." she picked up her backpack. "Come on. Let's go
I haven't seen the baby all day."
Julia knocked softly on the door to the house. No one answered, so
fished in her bookbag for her keys and let herself in. She immediately
up to Diana's nursery. She hadn't been home yet to see it, and as she
up the stairs of the house she grew up in, she felt like a visitor
She entered the nursery in the dark so she wouldn't disturb the baby,
Diana wasn't alone. Asleep in the chair someone had stuck in a corner
Daphne. Diana was asleep in her arms. Julia carefully took the baby
Daphne's arms and set her in the crib.
"Julia?" Daphne whispered.
She put a finger to her lips & walked out, waiting for Daphne to
She lingered at the crib a long time, staring at the baby and then
came out, pulling the door to a close behind her.
"Julia, what are you doing here? It's late."
"Around midnight. Can we...." she ran down the stairs and Daphne
slower, taking the steps one at a time. She followed Julia into the
room and stopped at the doorway.
"I didn't know he was here."
Julia took off for the kitchen. "I guess he & Sarah must've had a
She sat on a bar stool and Daphne sat across from her. "How are you
"I'm tired, but I'm okay."
"I need some advice."
"You're coming to me for advice? Me and not Charlie or Bailey or
"I know them all too well."
"Why don't you ask your roommate? Or that guy you had tagging along
"It's kind of about them. Griffin's out in the shed, right?"
"I guess so."
"So, my roommate is Maggie, and Ned is her boyfriend."
"Isn't Ned the guy you brought to the hospital?"
"Yeah. So, Ned was her boyfriend, but now he's sort of my boyfriend."
"How can you have a boyfriend if you're still married?"
"Daphne, interupting me isn't helping."
"Sorry. Go on."
"Okay, so....should I start over?"
"Please." Daphne re-adjusted how she was sitting and started to eat
pretzels from the bag one of the guys had left open on the table. Julia
didn't seem to notice.
"So I was married to Griffin and he cheated on me, so I went away to
to get away, but I didn't really mean to get away from him, I guess I
know why I went. But I went & he told me he was seeing someone else and
I should see someone else, so I almost went for this guy Josh, but that
work out. So Maggie was my roommate and Ned was always hanging around
her all the time and before I knew it we were talking all the time, and
one night he kissed me."
Daphne opened a box of Triscuits and started to eat on those as Julia
"So we started just kissing and fooling around all the time, and then
night we were gonna do it, but I pulled back at the last minute because
Griffin. And then when I came down to watch Owen and Ned came and
us.....I just sort of threw myself into the whole Ned thing to get away
the Griffin thing."
"Do you love Ned?"
"Do you love Griffin?"
"Do you still?"
Julia sighed. "I don't know. I really don't. I mean, I just came
spending half the night with Ned. In bed."
"And I really want to be with Ned and have everything be okay, but I
think I can."
"Because it's weird since he was your roommate's boyfriend?"
"Because of Griffin?"
Julia sighed again and brushed her hair out of her eyes. "I don't
"I wish I knew what to tell you Julia, but I don't think I can know
tell you because you don't even know what you wanna hear."
Julia stood up and shook her arms in frustration. "Maybe I should
"You could try your sister. I think I heard her crying earlier. And
know where Owen might be? He said something about pitching a tent."
"Claudia's here?" she totally ignored what Daphne had said about Owen.
"Yeah, she's in the attic, I think."
"She didn't go home?"
"I think she missed her flight."
"Why don't you know these things? You live here."
Julia didn't wait for her to answer. She trekked up the two flights
attic and opened the door without knocking. Sacked out on the floor,
her clothes, a journal and pen in her hands, was Claudia. In front of
window sat Claudia's old tent. She peered in the opening. Owen was
inside, and all his Pokemon figures and his Hot Wheels were beside him.
almost laughed, but held it in so she wouldn't wake them. She ran back
the stairs and found Daphne pulling a piece of leftover pizza out of the
microwave. "Owen is asleep in the tent up there. Is Charlie awake?"
"I don't know. I was gonna head up to bed after I eat this."
"I'm gonna go wake him."
"Go quietly. You don't wanna wake the baby."
Julia ignored her and thundered up the stairs. She barged into
bedroom, but he was totally sacked out on top of the covers. She took a
off the rocking chair, covered him, and headed up to the attic to crash
old bed. The last thought she had before drifting off was that it was
first time in a long time that all five Salinger children had slept
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