(this is part 29 of an ongoing story. Click here to go back to the beginning)
Samantha took one look at her distraught friend and invited Bertha in. She got Bertha settled into a bean-bag chair in her bedroom and said, “I’ll be right back!” She went to find her mom and told her, “Bertha is upset about something. Could you make us some hot chocolate?” Her mom agreed, and Sam went to her room to find out what was troubling her best friend.
It took a few minutes for Bertha to calm down enough to talk, but when she did, she told Sam, “Raph asked me out on a date.”
For the last 6 months, Sam had heard almost nothing except “Thorson this, Thord that”. She had yet to hear about anyone named Raph, so she gently quizzed her friend until she felt that she was sufficiently up to speed on the situation. She was considering how best to respond when her mom came in with the drinks. They were just cool enough to not scald the mouths of the two teenage girls, and there were marshmallows slowly melting on the surface.
Sam, sitting cross-legged on her bed, took a few sips of her drink. She loved Bertha like a sister, and hated to see her so miserable. Despite her friend’s beauty, Bertha had never had much success with boys…most of them wouldn’t take her seriously because of her name, but then Thorson came along. Sam had been concerned about the geographical distance, but at least Bertha had a boy she was interested in…and now another guy had entered her life. This was a predicament that Sam wasn’t sure what to do about. She wanted to give her friend some great advice, but at the same time, she wasn’t sure how. From what Bertha had told her, Thorson was kind and caring…but he lived so far away. Raphael was close enough to actually do things with, but his character was an unknown. Other than what Bertha had learned about him at the studio, she really knew nothing.
Sam spent some time just being silent…letting her presence be the comfort that Bertha needed, but eventually she suggested to Bertha, “why don’t you go on your date as planned, but don’t rush into anything. Tell him that you don’t want to be in a relationship just yet. If he asks why, be honest with him. If you think that Thorson is interested in you, you need to be honest with him too! You don’t want to lead either of them on, but at the same time, don’t be too quick to push either of them aside.”
“But If I tell Thord, he’s going to be hurt!”
With that one statement, Sam knew where Bertha’s feelings truly lay. Bertha wasn’t concerned that she would hurt Raph, so she must have the greater feelings for Thorson.
Sam wasn’t nearly as concerned about either boy getting hurt as she was about Bertha getting hurt, but sometimes it was hard to give advice to prevent pain without inflicting pain, “Bertha, from your last statement, I think that your heart belongs to Thorson. If you want my advice, tell Raphael the truth and break your date with him. Just try to stay friends on set. Things might change in the future, but for now, don’t rush into anything that you’ll regret later on.
Bertha stood up, set down her cup, looked at Samantha and said, “I’m GOING on that date with Raph.” Without another word, Bertha walked out of the room, out of the house, and down to the bus stop.
Sam hadn’t expected Bertha to like the advice, but she hadn’t quite expected that! She sadly picked up the cups to take them to the kitchen. Bertha’s cup was cold and untouched, with dead marshmallows still floating on the surface.
~~to be continued~~ (click here for part 30)