"You okay, love?"
"Yeah, never better" Swishing the warm dregs of beer around the bottom of the glass
Chas raises her eyebrows, not believing her for a second. "Do you want to try saying that again but with feeling?"
"Is Charity with someone?"
Chas looks surprised. "What makes you say that?"
"Well, it's just that we've been spending quite a bit of time together recently for one reason or another and sometimes it kind of feels like it used to between us. And, despite the logical part of my brain screaming at me not to.....the part of me that remembers how special it was thinks that maybe we could try again." She fidgets with the beer mat next to her whilst she tries to work up the nerve to say the next part out loud. "And then....last night I thought she was going to kiss me, but then she blurted out some stupid excuse and ran off. Ergh! I don't know. Have I got the wrong end of the stick?"
"Oh love, it's not you." She takes a deep breath and sighs it out. "She's breaking her own heart so that she doesn't break yours again"
Vanessa looks confused. "What do you mean?"
"I mean.....she still loves you. More than I ever thought she could love anyone. But she hates herself for hurting you and so she's punishing herself by staying away from you. She thinks you deserve better and that she's doing you a favour by letting you try and find someone else. She can't see past her stubbornness and fight for her own happiness. I think she's trying to do the right thing in her own way."
Vanessa sighs and looks thoughtful. She can kind of see the logic she guesses.
"Please don't give up on her. Not if you still love her too."
She goes to leave. "Oh, and I never said any of that okay?! She'll kill me if she finds out I've told you."
Vanessa nods silently and immediately goes back to pondering