Chapter Sixteen - Open hearts in an open land.
The limo wound it’s way around the camp perimeter like a sleek animal going through the forrest. The large vehicle seeming to glide so effortlessly over the shoddy dirt roads that were there. It was a testament to the skill that the driver who piloted the huge car had.
Settled in for the ride, Mandy started to look around the interior of the car and marveled. She had never been in a limousine ever, and this first experience was one of great fascination she relished greatly.
It was larger than her own little cubbyhole was back at camp... and by far more opulent. Rich leather seats rung the insides of the large car, a small television was built into a small stand which also housed a small fridge and even a computer that matched up with everything. The girl had never seen anything built up like this, and she wondered how her friend had came about to be in one of these.
Lacy turned and looked at the girl beside her. She saw the girl was not really looking nervous, but the term might have been anxious. She knew that she should set up what was going to happen, as far as she could explain it.
" We will start with answering your questions for me... I will be asking some later." She said.
Mandy paused and thought. So many questions were in her head, and she was not quite sure of which one would be the first. She took a deepened breath in and just started.
" The first one is a pretty obvious one..." Mandy said, her voice was sort of strong as she did it. " Why did you show up at Camp?"
" Straight to the point..." Lacy mused, her eyes sparkling. " Got to hand it to you, that is a change."
The girl shifted and looked at her friend.
" Some of the answer, I can’t tell you right away..." Said Lacy, trying to be polite but somewhat evasive to a small degree. " I am able to say that I come to hear some things that pointed to you were having a little trouble down here at Camp, more than just one in fact... it was then I knew I had to come."
" From who did you hear that?"
" I can’t come out at the moment and tell you the ‘who’ I heard it from at the moment either..." Said Lacy, never once turning away from the girl. " Most things are interconnected."
" Why cant you tell me anything at all?" Asked Mandy, finding Lacy’ answer not quite what she expected her to say.
" It’s simple...I gave a promise to someone not to say anything, at least not yet anyways." She said bluntly. " I will be able to explain further.. but not for awhile longer."
Mandy knew that the if the girl had promised someone, she went through with whatever it was. That was one of many things that she always admired about the girl, her word was as good as gold...but the same attribute that she respected was also was frustrating her. She knew that Lacy would never break her word for anything, other than something very serious.
The dark haired girl wanted to respect Lacy and thought perhaps some other questions she could ask, and see if she those questions in a more round about way... would end up helping her find out things without compromising her friend’s stanch adherence to her principles.
" Then explain the limo thing to me." Mandy finally asked, picking her question to be one that is a little lighter to get things started.
Lacy nodded and laughed, looking at the expression that her friend’s face held. She turned in her seat to fully face the girl.
" That I can explain..." She said, with a wink. " You know that my family had moved away so Dad could build a electronic business up in a bigger city that he had started a year or two before we left..."
" I remember that." Said Mandy, her face sad as she went back to that time in her head..
" Well for one thing it surprised us all and now it is a success. He already has three outlets and two that are being built from scratch... and he has taken over another competitor’s chain that has four stores on other counties."
" So that is the reason for this over sized battleship you call a car..’ Said Mandy, understanding. " Your Dad got things humming along?"
" That is partially the way I came to be riding around in a limo... My father thinks it ‘keeps me safe’." Lacy said, then added with a little titter of a giggle. " There is a little more to the why..."
" Partially? More?" The girl came back with, confused again. " Girl...I think you have to keep explaining."
Lucy saw the look on Mandy’s face, and smiled.
" I was put in the first few commercials for Dad’s business, and someone from Hollywood saw me in them and talked to my family... " She blushed, as this girl was known to do at the drop of a hat. " After doing a few ads for a national chain of fast food places, I got more work quite fast...I just finished doing my first movie, and now have been asked to look at a few others to do."
Mandy nearly fell over, as the girl told her. Once over her surprise, a warm feeling came across her. She smiled, she already know that Lacy would do something very big in her life... she was right on the money with that one.
" Looks like you and your family have found happiness and success..." She said, feeling a tinge of sadness. " That was the reason to why I had not heard from you... you were too busy."
" It is... but.." Lucy started, but her words fell flat and her face changed in just a few seconds " In some ways, I really wish that the move and everything had not happened that way in the first place..."
" Lacy?" Asked the dark haired girl, worried about the suddenness of the change in her friend.
The blonde haired girl became somber, shiny tears had started to form at the corners of her eyes and a few rolled down the pale skin of those cheeks.
" Between everything that was happening... so many changes... I admit, I ended up so damned preoccupied to even write you one single time... I feel so horrible that I actually did that." She said, voice wavering as she spoke. She wiped one of the tears away and kept eye contact with the girl. " I thought of you so many times, over so many months and made many plans to get a hold of you... but it seemed like I ended up putting it off over and over again."
" You were busy building a new life... I understand that." Said Mandy, seeing the girl’s face turn so blank. " I admit that I was hurt a little by you moving away and then not hearing from you for two years... but that hurt I did feel, is now healed by seeing you."
" Do you honestly do not hate me for it?" Lacy said, seeming surprised at the girl’s words. " I would understand if you are."
Mandy took one of Lacy’s slender hands in hers and made sure the girl was looking right at her.
" I could never hate my best friend.. I was hurt, angry a little as well but never truly hated you for it." Said Mandy, knowing that she held nothing against the girl. " I am setting it straight for you once and for all. You are my best friend, and I do not hate you... period, end of story!"
" Could you forgive me for what I have done to you?" She said, her voice starting not to waver as much but still holding great emotion behind it. " Abandoning you like that...I was not the greatest friend."
" Already have, Lacy." Mandy said somewhat calmly, her friend’s tears tugging at her heart. " We will always be friends, and right now all I feel is happy for you and your new life, and happy that I have gotten to see you again."
The two hugged each other tightly, reaffirming the bond they had through out their childhood was still there...alive and kicking, as the saying goes. The broke apart and looked at each other. Smiles were evident on each girl’s faces.
" So... about the other stuff..." Said a smirking Mandy. " Still won’t say who told you I was having trouble?"
" I will be explaining it all... but in just a little while." Said Lacy, her voice giving the promising. " But I got to say though...I know quite a few things about you."
" About me, hummm? That.. I can wait for." That was all Mandy needed, and felt a little better with the mystery knowing the girl was keeping this promise. " So...I guess it is time for you to ask me something then, since I am having to ‘wait’ for my questions to be finally answered."
Seriousness painted Lacy’s perfect features all of a sudden. The thin tall girl turned and looked right at the girl.
" I said earlier that I see something else going on with you, and you know that I have heard some things..." She started. " I came to you for the reason that I was worried about you...What is going on with you? I heard about CC dying and about some other relationships you have had."
The dark haired girl froze, a mixture of shock and sadness coursed through her all at once. She lowered her head a little, as she wondered about her friend’s reaction to this... and what will come from it.
" You heard about CC?" Mandy said, so quietly, shocked to hear that she actually knew.
" Yes... I have heard that you two were close, and I also heard how much you were in love with this girl." She said back, slowly. " Judging by the look in those eyes of yours.. you loved this CC with everything you had..."
" You see that in me?"
" Face it, girl, I know how deeply you love, and without even trying." Lacy said firmly. " ...you always have loved me like that, and you do that with everyone else in your life. You love with ever part of your being, and all unconditionally."
Mandy’s head drooped a little, and her eyes watered up a little. She looked up at her friend and nodded, knowing that Lacy’s insight was right on the nose. She felt so blessed, to have a friend like the one that sat next to her in a limo.
" I did love her so much...." Mandy whispered, with a gasping noise that stemmed from deep in her chest.
" Tell me about her a little." Said Lacy. " She must have been a very special type of person."
Mandy nodded, sighing with a mixture of sadness and longing. With eyes twinkling, she started.
" CC...She was one of the most different yet amazing person I have ever met. She was pretty, smart... had one weird sense of humor and a heart bigger than any mountain. She said " The best part of her was that she honestly loved me, just because of who I was.. That alone made me a better person for that... and I miss her so much."
" Wish I could have met her then..." Smile the blonde girl.
" I wish you could of too." She said with a half cry and half laugh. " Knowing you, you would look past her looks, and saw just what I did.. When she died, it felt like something in me did also."
Lacy sat for moment, thinking on the description of this girl named CC. She honestly did feel like she just might have liked this girl, and liked her a great deal... because of the fact that CC was clearly a person who was as unique as Mandy was.
" Gay or straight... That is never easy, to lose someone you love." She finally said, putting her hand on top of the smaller girl’s " Whether it is your first love, only love or something else, hurt is hurt."
" It still seems to be the hardest thing that I ever went through in my life." Mandy said.
" I hope I never come to understand it, like you... it would mean that I had lost someone like that." Firmly answered the girl.
" I hope that you never do." Plainly said the dark haired girl.
Mandy smiled a little, her friends caring words had already been easing her pain. She then looked into those blue eyes, and a question came up.
" Your alright with me being gay then...?" Mandy layed out the question, almost like she had thought twice about saying it at all. " That was always the one fear I had... the fear of telling you that I was gay, nearly paralyze me.... guess I was afraid of how I thought you would react to it."
Don’t you get it already, my dear Mandy?" Lucy said, making firm eye contact with the girl." Don’t you make me spell it out to you in ten foot letters...I already knew you were gay. You telling me is not even a shock in the least, and probably one of the worst kept secrets known in the world today."
Mandy looked at the girl a little shocked at the ease that the girl had said what she did, the girl’s face showed that it was indeed, not a gigantic shock. In fact the girl’s placid face showed that perfectly.
" How did you know, when I struggled with it inside me?"
" You don’t remember our times when we talked?"
" Remember.. what?" Mandy said back, unsure of what she meant.
Lacy leaned a little forward and gave a warm smile to Mandy.
" We talked about it often enough when you found yourself liking a girl a little more than you thought was normal to do, and I knew from what you were saying through your confusion over that... and I already had more than a suspicion or two that you were a lesbian." She said, pointing it out.
" I remember now..." Said Mandy, her eyes showing it had all came back to her.
" The fact that you are gay, never ever will matter once to me. I am not a lesbian, yet I know you won’t look down on me or anything because I am straight... so why should I? You’re my friend... and that does not and will not change, just because your preference is girls"
" You being straight does not change things to me...Except if I find your boyfriend could be prettier than you..." Joked Mandy, adding. " Only then I might have to do something about that... but to him, not you."
" I take it that you just might kick their hot asses, if they are prettier than I am?" Lacy smirked.
" I’ll decided what needs to be done.. when and if that happens." Mandy said with an impish gleam in her eye. " There can be only one ‘pretty person’... I may be bias, but it should be you!"
" You’re the same old Mandy." Smiled Lacy, seeming more relaxed.
With some things now out in the open and somewhat cleared, Mandy sighed and happened a look out of the limo window. She saw that they had turned onto a very unused road, heading actually deep into a huge stand of trees and seemed to be headed in the direction of the farthest edges of Lake Pawa.
She was curious to know where they were actually going, because it was apparent by how the driver was piloting this behemoth car, they were on their way somewhere and not just a simple ride around..
" I take it that we are going somewhere specific..." Mandy commented
" And you are not going to tell me where we are going, are you."
" Nope!" Smiled Lacy.
" Not one thread of a hint? Not one little suggestion at all" The girl teased, already knowing the answer to that..
" Not one word will come out of my mouth." Lacy came back with, adding. " I am hoping that once we get there...you will open up more with what it is that’s going on with you right now."
" Maybe I will when we get to where we are going...." Poked the smaller girl, with a smirk.
Lacy looked at her friend with a sideways sort of stare, and started to bubble over with a fit of snickering
" Your playing with my words against me now?" She jested back, seeing what she was doing.
" Uh-hu." The girl came back with. " What good for the goose... you know the rest."
" I thought as much..." Lacy said, through shaking with the giggles. " Getting me back a little because of my promise... I like that."
Mandy giggled and sat back. She already knew the girl was as good to her word as anyone, she just wanted to bug her a little bit. Simple interaction with her best friend in the world, felt so damned good.
" Since you are not going to tell me squat...Tell me more about yourself then until we get to wherever it is that we are going." Mandy said. " Hopefully then I will end up getting some answers to my questions."
" Tell you about me?" Lacy said, taking a look at the girl in questioning " Like what?"
" Start with a sure fire favorite topic of yours... as usual, you can tell me about al; of the boys out there in the big city..." She smirked back.
" We don’t have to do that... You don’t like boys.." Whimsically pointed out the blonde girl.
" That may be true..." Chuckled Mandy with a smile a mile wide on her face. " But you do.. and I always did like hearing about the ‘studs’ as you so eloquently have named them, that you ogle."
" I would not say I ‘ogle’ them..." Said a partially blushing Lacy.
"You might not... But I think it is the right term.. and a nicer one as well...." She came back with. " A lot better than ‘undressing them with your eyes’, which would be the better way to say what you do."
" I do not!" Gasped the blonde girl through a smile.
" Like hell you don’t!!" Retorted back through the explosive laughing fit that Mandy had tumble out of her.
Shaking with the laughter that cam out of both girls, the car kept going on to it’s unknown destination. The friends simply talked for the remaining time while they were on their way to where ever it was they were going. It would end up being a very short trip from this point..