And then it’s morning and they’re at opposite angles again — in Naomi’s bed.
Naomi blinks her eyes open and rolls over, clutches a vodka bottle to her chest the way she clutched her teddy bear as a little girl because the night is dark and the world wants to rip her apart. And there’s Emily. Emily who thinks she can do anything. Emily who sees the truth of Naomi and is dazzled by it. Emily with her hair splayed out like fire on Naomi’s pillow, looking for all the world like a painting in want of an artist. And she happens to Naomi. Every time she sees her, Emily happens to Naomi all over again. And in sleepyhead veritas, just like we’ve talked about, Naomi reaches out her hand to caress Emily’s hair.
Naomi pulls her hand away almost immediately, muttering "for f-cks sake." She grabs some clothes willy-nilly off the floor, asks out loud what she’s doing. And she leaves. She tells herself enough, but it never is. It’s never enough and it’s always too much and if it really is the world that wants to maim her, why does it feel like Emily Fitch is the one who is destroying her?
At Roundview, Cook’s got a whole Chavez riot going, and if JJ and his mum painted this banner, they’ve got some explaining to do about that weaksauce poster they made Lara for JJ’s ukulele serenade. Seriously, if they can do this in a night, they should start a business. Emily chases Naomi down again and tells her she got the message, but they still can’t let Cook win the election. The look on Naomi’s face when Emily says it is just …. how do you never stop being so great, Emily Fitch?
Campaign montage! (Emily, those posters are the most horrific thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Where did you learn to match your colors? Naomi’s closet?)
At lunch time, Naomi marches right into the cafeteria, hands Emily her bag, and jumps up on a table to talk about the election. Cook interrupts and gets a deafening See You Next Tuesday from Emily. And because he never fights fair, he mocks Naomi about her "girlfriend" and reinforces the thing she’s been afraid of all along: This is what caring does. It hurts you. It embarrasses you. You dream out loud and you fall down in front of everyone.
Naomi shouts at Emily to leave her alone, and she flees to Kieran’s classroom for comfort. But by "comfort" he thinks she means "snogging" and he gets super gross super fast. And that’s it. There are no more safe places for her to go.