Season Three, Episode Two: Sacha
The fight between Cora and Harlow still lingers in the air, weeks after if happened. The idea of losing a close friend isn't something Cora can shake. All along, she visualized college being a good thing for Harlow. Yet is has only molded her into a bitch who cares for nothing, aside from how much alcohol she can ingest via a funnel. Knoxx has attempted to console Cora as much as he can, but this is a job for Luca. Cora steps off on the fifth floor of Luca and Ryder's apartment complex after a short elevator ride. She reaches the door and before she is able to knock, Luca opens the door and happily invites her in. On a less than appealing sofa, Cora dives into the situation with Harlow. Luca follows and listens intently. And when Cora stops to take a breather, Luca launches into friend-mode. "Why are you waiting until now to tell me about this?!" he scolds. "I don't know, Luca. I thought I was overreacting and I wanted to take some time to cool off." Cora says apologetically. "But I cannot help but keep thinking that I'm not in the wrong." Luca's eyes grew wide. "That's because you're not. You did nothing wrong." he says reassuringly. "Then why do I feel so awful?" Cora sighs. "Because she is one of your best friends and she turned on you. College life is definitely taking a toll on her." Luca states. "She is meeting new poeple, making new friends and having new experiences. You've tried your best to keep in touch. There isn't much more you can do." Cora sighs and a small wave of defeat washes over her. The last thing she wants to do is permanately lose someone who is such a close friend. But maybe Luca is right; maybe there isn't anything else she can do. "So what am I supposed to do about it?" Cora questions. "For now you just have to wait it out." Luca says. "She'll contact you when she's ready, and when she does you need to let her know what's been bothering you. Don't hide your feelings. She needs to be aware of them so she can decide whether or not she wants to fix it." Cora nods in approval of Luca's suggestions. And though the situation is not diffused, Cora feels relieved.
After her chat with Luca, Cora finds herself heading home and in the midst of her thoughts, she lays eyes on a Christmas tree in a display window of a local shop. Her mind immediately falls into to holiday-mode and a sense of worry envelopes her. Holiday plans weren't easy for Cora considering her sour relationship with her family. As she pondered a way to celebrate, Knoxx came to mind. Givng him a call seemed like the easiest thing to do at this point..
>ring ring ring<
Cora: "Hey, you."
Knoxx: "Hi there, how are you?"
Cora: "I'm pretty good. Just in a bit of a situation."
Knoxx: "Oh. Is there anything I can do to help?"
Cora: "Actually, yes."
Knoxx: "Alright, well shoot."
Cora: "I was hoping that I could spend Christmas with you since my family isn't an option."
Knoxx: "You know I would love that more than anything, but we're all traveling out of town to visit family."
Cora: "Oh, um....no, that's fine. I completely understand. Don't worry, I'm sure I'll find something to do.
Knoxx: "I bet you will. I have to go now, lots of packing. But I will call you later and we'll meet up when I get back."
Cora: "Yeah, sounds great.
The rest of Cora's venture home was a bit nostalgic; but not in a good way. She reminisced on past holiday experiences, and experiences in general. With a father that was heavy into drugs and mother that was absent for most of her life, Cora was left to flourish under the ever so cautious eyes of her overbearing grandparents. Cora sought salvation in her high school graduation day when she made a break for freedom from her non-traditional family life and never looked back. With the thought of spending Christmas all alone, things were looking glum. Nevertheless, Cora was determined to make this Christmas as normal as possible. When Cora finally returned home, she wasn't empty handed. In tow was a boxed Christmas tree. Though she would have prefered a real one, the thought of lugging home a live tree was unbearable. When it came time to locate a resting place for the tree, Cora found a beautiful spot near a window in her living room. And after tearing the box to pieces and removing all of the parts of the tree, Cora realized that assembling a fake tree was about as difficult as lugging a real one up to her apartment. An instruction manual was no where to be found, and frustration built up inside Cora as she made many failed attempts to assemble the tree. Tears streaked her face and she tossed a branch she was holding onto the floor. She collapsed on the sofa and let her emotions take over. For hours she cried until a deep a sleep fell over her.
The days following the Christmas tree fiasco, Cora didn't attempt to construct a tree from fake branches. Instead, she avoided the mess alltogether. Cora accepted that Christmas and holidays in general would probably never be normal for her. And to avoid the thought of a less than traditional Christmas, she kept herself busy. Taking extra hours at work, keeping herself distant from her friends and Knoxx who were obviously busy with holiday plans, anyway. On Christmas morning, Cora found herself sitting and staring at the mess still piled on her living room floor. And just when she was ready to curse its' existence, her phone rang. the caller id revealed that it was Ryder calling. Cora was hesistant to answer the call at first, but she decided that a phone call from a friend couldn't sour her mood anymore than it already was.
Cora: "Hey Ryder."
Ryder: "Hey Cora, Merry Christmas!"
Cora: "Yeah, you too. What's up?"
Ryder: "I was wondering if you could meet me at my place so I could give you your Christmas gift."
Cora: "That's really sweet, but I didn't get you anything."
Ryder:"Don't worry, I know your beef with Christmas. Just get over here."
Cora: "Okay, I'll be there soon."
Cora threw on her coat and slid on a pair of shoes. The weather was nice enough outside, so Cora decided to walk. On her way to Ryder's, she took in the sights. The sidewalks were vacant, and the streets were anything but. After seeing how bad traffic was, Cora was pleased with her decision to walk. Though when she reached Ryder's door and knocked repeatedly, and was greeted by no one, her mood went down hill once again. She removed her phone from her purse and dialed Ryder's number. Moments later, he picked up.
Cora: "Um, where they hell are you? I've been knocking for fifteen minutes."
Ryder: "Oh, sorry. I had to go. There was something more important I had to do."
Ryder: "Look Cora, I have to go. Let me call you back later."
After the phone call with Ryder, Cora felt more alone than ever. Slowly, one by one, her closest friends seemed to be turning on her. Was Luca next? She retreated from Ryder's apartment and walked home with a heavy heart, and a lot to think about. This was no doubt the worst Christmas ever. As she slid the key into the lock on her apartment door, she remembered the fake tree that was in pieces in her living room. For a second she almost thought about going for coffee to avoid seeing it. But she decided that avoiding what was bothering her wasn't going to make the situation any better. So she reluctantly unlocked the front door and walked in to see her Christmas tree fully assembled and decorated gorgeously, along with Knoxx, Ryder, Luca and even Harlow standing in front of it. Before she could say anything they yelled "Surprise!". Only then did she notice Knoxx holding a small, reddish-brown puppy with large floppy ears. "What is all this?" Cora said, tears brimming in her eyes. "It's the best Christmas you've ever had!" Luca said, ushering Cora over to a chair near the tree, where he motioned for her to sit. "Who's the little fella?" Cora asked, pointing at the puppy. "He's your new roommate." Knoxx smiled, setting the puppy on the floor. "Well he's the cutest roommate ever. What kind of dog is he?" Cora asked. "He's a Vizsla. They get pretty big, but they are very loving and protective." Luca stated. "We were going to get you a beagle, but we read that they don't make good apartment dogs." Ryder said. All this time Harlow had remained silent, but Cora wasn't going to question it. Her friends had made an effort to do something nice for her and she wasn't going to ruin the moment by adding drama to the mix. "So what are you going to name him?" Harlow said curiosly as the puppy trotted happily over and wiggled his way up to Cora. "He looks like a Sacha to me." Cora said happily. "Isn't that a girls name?" Harlow asked. "Not in Russia." Luca pointed out. "So Sacha it is." Knoxx smiled. Despite the awkwardness between Cora and Harlow, everyone lightened up and allowed themselves to have a good time in honor of Cora's "best Christmas ever". Only after Cora and Harlow were alone did the fight between them find its' way to the conversation. "I'm really sorry about the fight we had. It was wrong of me to treat you the way I did. I hope you can forgive me." Harlow said pleadingly. "Of course I do." Cora said in a small voice. "But this cannot happen again. I'm sorry for sounding like your mother, but I was looking out for your well being." They sat in silence for a few moments. "Can we forget that this ever happened?" Harlow begged. "Only if you promise to make time to call me every now and then. Like when you get a new boyfriend or join a sorority. It's nice to know these things, you know." Cora laughed. "Okay, promise." Harlow smiled. "Speaking of boyfriends, I won't be down for New Years. Ian and I are attending a frat party." Cora found this news annoying, but hesistated, and refrained from saying something rude. "That sounds fun; I wish you two the best." she smiled.
The rest of the evening was pleasant. And Cora was pleasantly surprised by this. She embraced this moment and felt grateful to have amazing friends to help her through all of the rough times. They may not be perfect, but they never fall short of spontaneous.