Gillian just hollowly follows Riley with her eyes as the other woman walks over to the area where she’s been staring; Michelle simply dodges Riley’s arms and glares at Gillian, Are you just going to let her spout these lies? You know I’m real, Gillian. She resists the urge to respond and instead mumbles a “Mm” to Riley. Her hand tightens around her mug, and she feels like… just a whole void of nothing. There’s, there’s so many questions. What is she going to do? Listen to me, Michelle walks around Riley and stands next to Gillian, leaning in so close that she swears she can feel warm breath on her cheek. If she can feel it, how can it be false? What if… what if she’s seeing ghosts or something? What if she’s been in touch with the spirit world all along? What you’re going to do is walk out of here because this is stupid. Why do you even trust her in the first place? She’s one of Them, isn’t she? Don’t you remember what we said about Them? We said we’d stick together; how could you forget that? We’re humans; she’s a mistake. They’re all fucking mistakes. Gillian stands up straight and snaps at Michelle, her eyes lighting up with annoyance, The mistake here was trusting you in the first place. You fucking lied to me. She realizes her slip at the last moment and blushes furiously, immediately looking at her feet. If Michelle really isn’t there, then she’s… then she’s yelling at the air.
Her heart sinks as she listens to Riley’s words and those questions come raging up again. - God, she prays, please help me through these hard times. I’m lost and confused, and I need your help in interpreting the path you’ve set before me. I… I don’t understand why you’ve given me this… this situation. Please, please help me understand why, and I’ll do my best to embrace and trust your judgment and decisions, despite being unsettled by them. Please, God, I… - Emotions aren’t something she expresses easily, but the silent tears come, anyway. It’s incredibly uncomfortable to feel herself cry when she knows that Riley is watching. Gillian wipes at her tears and shakes her head, reluctantly meeting Riley’s eyes, No, no, I… came to you first. I, um, I trust you. She says it as if it’s the most obvious thing in the world; it truly is, really. Her doctor can’t give her the comfort she needs; those psychologists they sent her to after being medically discharged couldn’t give her ease. Only someone like her could, someone she knows is a God-loving person. There isn’t too many of those that she knows. She rubs at her eyes, trying to stop her tears, but they keep coming and she can feel Michelle’s hand on her shoulder, trying to comfort her but it’s not working. There’s nothing wrong with you, baby. She can’t listen, no, she can’t. You’re not sick. She doesn’t know what she’s saying. It’s so hard to resist. How could she be sick? That, that wasn’t her, it couldn’t be her. It isn’t her. Who? she asks, desperately, her voice almost a pleading whine, Who can possibly help me? I-I… she sighs, heavily, God wouldn’t listen. He- he gave me this, whatever this fucking brain chemistry or psychology you’re talking about… Gillian rubs her temple, forcing herself not to look at Michelle. Her voice drops low. Riley, what am I… what am I going to do? She can’t… does Nexus allow their employees to get their jobs back after they’ve gone to, what, a loony bin? I love her, she mumbles, shaking her head, She was perfect, and I loved her and… and he took her away, she’s nothing but, nothing but air. I’m right here, Gillian. No, no, you’re not. You’re not fucking real. she trembles, her whole body shaking uneasily away from her girlfriend’s hand on her shoulder.
When Gillian stands up and starts yelling, Riley is quickly on the defensive, tensing up and ready to diffuse the possibility of a fight between them if that were to happen. She knew Gillian wasn’t a post-human so that made things much easier, but she had military training that Riley lacked. “I.. didn’t lie to you.” Riley attempted, wondering if that realization would make things better between them, but then it quickly came to Riley’s mind that Gillian wasn’t speaking to her. She was speaking to the hallucination, the voice, whatever it was. She was. Gillian had said it was a woman, right? “Wait, never mind.” Riley put her hands up, feeling the tension inside her fade away. “You… weren’t talking to me.” She didn’t turn that into a question, but she still got her answer when Gillian said she trusted her. It was nice. To be trusted. Riley was aware of Gillian’s strong convictions and even stronger beliefs about the way the world works. She’s not very open minded. Riley hoped could have gone both ways, but it didn’t.
Having much experience about blaming God for receiving the shitty end of the stick, Riley didn’t know what to say. Especially when Gillian continued and confessed that this hallucination was once someone real, someone she loved. Someone that had passed. “It seems hopeless now. I know.” Riley frowns and looks to the ground as she sighed. Riley wasn’t the best person for advice. Hell, she didn’t even take her own advice. It was stupid. “But, with the proper treatment, everything will get better. It’s been proven that things get better that it can be maintained. Unfortunately, I’m not sure there’s a cure for mental illness, but… it can become manageable. To the point where it won’t interfere with your work like it’s doing now. Right now it is harming you. Right now you need to start receiving help. Don’t… don’t let your beliefs stop you from getting better. It’s the only way.” Riley hoped she understood. She really did, because if Gillian didn’t seek treatment and continued to see these hallucinations, well, it would only get worse. Riley isn’t sure what mental illness this fell under, but she knew, unchecked and untreated, it would be detrimental for the person and those around them.
plot ideas for riley
i added two new plot ideas (although i took one out)
"I’m glad that you aren’t an expert in politics. I have enough friends who are, it’s a nice switch up." Lina makes a kind smile in her direction before ordering a small portion of mozerella-sticks. They were her guilty pleasure and she figured she might want to have something to snack on because this conversation was off to a good pace. "You’re a woman who understands, Riley, and I love it." The woman compliments Riley before dipping one of her mozerella sticks in the marinara sauce provided. "I’m a criminal lawyer. So, if you’re ever in need of some help that involves the law — give me a call." Lina hands Riley her business card before continuing. "Even if I can’t help you personally, I know plenty of others who can."
"Ah, well, I guess I’m glad to give you something different today then." Riley takes a bite from her burger, although still listening to what the other woman was saying. She is smart, there’s no doubting that and Riley knows there could be something she would be able to learn from this woman, even if it is just facts about something. Riley thanks her for the compliment, genuinely appreciative of the opinion of someone much smarter than her. That was the thing with some smart people, they could make anything sound true. "A lawyer, wow." Riley is definitely impressed by that line of work. She takes the card and glances at it, nodding, before setting it in her purse. "I take it you’re the defender and not the prosecutor?" There was a difference between those two, right? Riley doubts herself momentarily, but it’s not like she can take those words back. "What kind of crime to specialize in?"
"You were planning on?” War turned to look the other woman over, skimmed over the tickets in her hand and the lack of people apparently with her, and drew her own conclusions, “Sounds like a good movie, though— you know, now you mention it, I think I might remember the first one. Had a talking plant thing, right?” She bumped her luggage and grinned when it came up, “Yeah, I mean, you don’t think they’ll notice, do ya? Got enough gummy bears in this thing to last for days, you don’t even know.”
"Had plans to," she raised the tickets in her hand, giving a close lipped forced smile. "But my friend cancelled unexpectedly. You can have them if you’re waiting on someone," she stretched her hand toward the other woman just in case. Her smile is more genuine as their conversation continues, feeling more comfortable. "A talking tree, yeah," she nodded, looking down at the luggage. "Nah, I’m pretty sure you’ll go right through. Although with the way things are priced here, I don’t blame you for bringing your own snacks."
"A symptom of the American disease as a whole." Lina smiles back at the woman. It felt nice to have company at the table and a non-small talk conversation with someone other than her co workers. The woman sips her wine carefully before shaking her hand and responding. "It’s quite the pleasure to make your acquaintance Riley." Riley’s southern accent was so refreshing to hear, something different — her kind energy was a definite plus. Lina crosses her legs before giving a quick scoff to her question. "I deal with those fat cats on a daily basis and let me tell you something Riley, they are the most deceitful, pompous, self-centered folks around. I am certainly not pleased in the slightest bit by the situation at hand." She raises har hand aand places it on her chest to point at herself. "Now I may have my own small fortune, but here’s the thing. I help others to get that , not steal it or deceive them."
"Yeah, same here." Riley smiled and nodded, agreeing. "Although, I gotta be honest with you, politics isn’t exactly my field of expertise." She chuckled to let off some of her nervous energy. She was embarrassed to find herself in a position where her unintelligence was apparent. Not every day she found herself in the company of someone so knowledgeable about something like this, even if she worked with some. She laughed, leaning back in her chair after hearing her opinion. "I deal with similarly awful people on a day to day basis, too." She reached for the back of neck and rubbed it slightly. "I can’t imagine what it would be like to deal with ones who think just ‘cause they’ve got money they themselves make the world go round." She expelled a sigh, shaking her head. "Hey, you shouldn’t be ashamed of the money you’ve got, as long as you don’t go acting like them. What kind of work do you do, if you don’t mind me asking?"
Riley brought up a good point, thoguh the woman could go on for hours about all the things she felt were plaguing the country. She decided that since this poor stranger surely didn’t want to hear her complain all day, she’d keep the list to herself. “That’s just a symptom, if those who were rich and powerful didn’t run the country then we wouldn’t be sending troops to other countries in hopes of gaining more riches and power.” Lina Shrugs before continuing. “Oh! Please forgive my lack of manners. Would you like to sit down? It’s not like I am expecting any guests.” She gestures to the seat across from her own. “I’m Lina by the way.”
"A symptom of the lack of freedom?" Riley asked for clarification, a slight smile still on her face. She wasn’t prepared to be offered a seat, but seeing as Riley had planned to eat alone, eating with someone wasn’t so bad. "Oh, thank you, if it wouldn’t be a bother." She then walked a couple of steps back to her table to grab her tray and sit down across from her. "Riley," she greeted, standing up again to extend her hand over and give the other woman a handshake. "I take it you’re not so happy with the people on Wall Street, either?" Riley remarked, looking down at her burger and fries before glancing up at Lina.
Lina notices the blonde approaching her table before Riley responds to her statement. “I’m afraid that’s the American disease.” The woman nods her head and rolls her eyes in a gesture of annoyance to the state of society, it’s 2017 yet everyone was still behaving like school children over the matter of those with abilities. When the other woman asks for her ketchup, Lina merely shrugs and responds. “Help yourself, dear. I am already stuffed.” She laughs and dabs at her face with the cloth she was provided to assure her appearances was tip-top.
"Really?" She couldn’t help but chuckle at that even though it wasn’t exactly a laughing matter nor did Riley consider it a joke. "Could’ve sworn the American disease was not being unable to mind its own business." She shook her head at her own comment; she had come from a very patriotic family. After all, two of her brothers served, but that didn’t mean she didn’t know its flaws. She grabbed the ketchup, but decided to stick around for the conversation. The motion she did was not one Riley had seen for a while, usually in the upper side of her town—or her sister. She could only internally roll her eyes at the thought of her sister’s behavior, in the most loving way of course.
For the past fifteen minutes, Lina’s eyes had been locked onto the Tv that rested on the wall, listening intently to the latest news. As the anchors spouted their lines from the prompter, the woman couldn’t help but chuckle. This whole situation was so painfully annoying — but it kept her busy at work so she couldn’t complain. After a while, she becomes so annoyed at the information she was hearing that Lina spoke, intending to mumble to herself but the words come out louder than she had intended. “It’s amazing how much lies we live in, land of the free — pft.”
The sound of the television battled with the hum of the ceiling fan in the small restaurant, but Riley was glad it beat the chatter of the patrons. When she finally sat with her meal, she noticed there wasn’t ketchup and she looked around before pushing her chair back slightly to the nearest table. She was about to ask for it, but then the woman spoke. Believing she was speaking to her, Riley responded. “It seems it can only be free for some, not everyone.” She left her comment at that, sighing. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to bother you, but may I borrow your ketchup?”