That "Love" Girl
Chapter Fifteen
By Rachel Rene

    "Hey babe, what's up?" Kari asked, concerned, as she slipped inside of the comfort room.  Vicki looked up at her but didn't say anything
before glumly looking back at the floor.  Kari sighed knowingly, "Mike told me what
happened; I told him I'd come talk to you." Vicki sharply jerked her head up to acknowledge what Kari told her.  "How'm I s'posed to talk to you if you don't talk to me back?"
    Vicki smiled feebly, "I'm sorry.  It's just that I don't, I don't know why I did it.  I can't go back out there, even though I want to.  When he held me in his arms while we danced together on the dance floor, it was like we were floating on clouds and no one else was anywhere for miles.  And it scared me.  What if we fell in love?  Then what would happen?"
    "You'd be in love," Kari answered simply.
    "But what would that do to me?  To Mike, for that matter.  How  would he feel if he knew about... me.  Do you think he'd wanna be with me for another second?"
    Kari stared back at Vicki without blinking, "Do you really think that low of him?  Do you honestly believe he would just lead you on to dump you off when he finds out that something happened to you that you couldn't help?  He didn't do it to me, he won't do it to you."
    Vicki thought for a while, then replied, "Yeah, but you're not romantically involved with him.  It's not like you guys were ever gonna go out- I mean, it's not like we will either, but at least I wanted to."
    Karisma shook her head, her red hair swaying, "It isn't any different.  Sure, it might be a little awkward for the both of you, but he'll stick with you no matter what.  I know he will, that's how he is.  He really digs you, Vick, and you dig him right back.  Get to know him more, then you'll realize I'm absolutely right.  If you really feel that strongly about waiting to be with him, by all means, wait.  As long as it takes for you both to figure out what you need, it's worth the wait."
    Victoria raised her eyebrows in question, "What we need?"
    "Yes," Kari nodded, "What you both need."
    "What's that supposed to mean, Kar?" Vicki asked curiously.
    Kari smiled, "You're a bright kid, I think you can figure it out on your own."  She laughed, then gave in, "Okay.  What I mean is that you need someone to care about you.  Of course all of us care about you, but you need someone to wipe off the tears when you cry, give you a hug when you're down, kiss your lips when you don't remember what it feels like, and most of all share the rest of your life with.  I can be the best of a friend as I can be, but without a mate you can end up taking whoever you can find just for a sense of temporary love.  It won't make you happy, it'll make you lose hope.  You'll start believing that the false love you have is the end-all-be-all of human affection, and you'll think it's not worth it."
    Neither of them spoke for a while more, and Vicki thought hard about what Karisma was telling her.  Maybe she's right.
    "I am right, and you know it." Kari said, causing Vicki to glance up at her.
    "All right, I admit it.  But how do you know so much?  You're only nineteen, and you know more than people who spend their whole lives trying to figure this stuff out."
    Kari shrugged, "Experience does wonders, dear.  I guess I just know what it feels like to be loved... and lost."
    "You'd make a great psychiatrist, you know that?" Vicki giggled, "You know just the right things to say.  Well, c'mon," Vicki walked past Kari to the door, "We can't stay in here all night, I've got a date to return to."
    Kari flashed Vicki a wide smile before exiting the comfort room door, held open by her friend.  Kari soon found Mary and Micky sitting and chatting at a table.  They flagged her down, and she went over to them, pulling out a chair for herself.
    "So is Vicki okay, babe?" Mary asked, Micky's arm casually over her shoulder, "I just noticed she wasn't with Mike."
    "I'm surprised you noticed anything, Mary," Kari grinned wryly.  Mary rolled her eyes, yet blushed even so.
    "So are they hitting it off all right?" Micky asked, picking up two fries with his other hand, feeding Mary one and the other to himself.
    "They just gotta straighten things out, is all.  You know, leave it to me to fix up the relationships around here." Kari winked.
    "Hey, we would've gotten together without your help, missy." Micky stuck his tongue out at her childishly.
    "Yeah," Mary agreed with Micky.
    "Uh-huh, you just keep thinking that, guys." Kari nudged Mary's shoulder playfully.  "Where's Davy and Peter?"
    Mary and Micky  glanced around, "I dunno," Micky replied, "Want me to check the little boy's room for you, Kari?" he added in a baby voice.
    "No, thanks, George Michael, I think I'll manage." Kari said goodbye, and went off to see if she could find the other two.  She found Peter talking with some of the members of the band that was playing that night.
    "Really?" the lead guitar said as Karisma approached, "That many?  I wish I could play all those, but all I play is guitar."
    Kari walked up, "Hi Peter," she nodded to him then turned to the others, "I'm Kari, I work here." She held out her hand, "I'm off for the night," she explained about not wearing her uniform.
    "She's one of my very best friends," Peter announced, "She lives a few houses down from us." He turned towards Karisma, "I was telling them about the Monkees, and all the instruments I play."
    "Oh," Kari nodded and turned to the other band, "He plays a lot!" she giggled.
    "We know," the drummer agreed.
    "I hope you guys don't mind if I steal Pete away from you for a second, I'd like to talk to him."
    "No, it's all right," the bassist answered, "We should be getting back on stage, anyway."

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