“It’s fine Love,” Paul told her with a smile. Hesitantly, he frowned. “Please don’t get the wrong idea, but feel free to crash in here if you ever need to. It doesn’t bother me and you know I’m armed and everything, so if you feel safer or more comfortable, you’re more than welcome to. There’s an extra single mattress and a couch, and yeah.” He stepped forward, giving her a quick hug. “You did the right thing, Cloe,” he smiled at her.
Cloe laughed a little. “Paul, I think I can get back to my room just fine. Unless I fall over, then I’d be stuck in the hallway like a turtle on it’s back” She joked. “But thank you” She said embracing Paul for a split second when he hugged her.
“Oh sweetheart,” Paul murmured softly, at a loss for what to say. He sighed, running a hand back through his hair. “I’ll get a referral to a psychologist - one that’s not Mr O’Shea, not that I don’t trust him but… Yes well. And then we’ll go from there, okay? I’m not legally viable to give you any sort of restrictions or rules seeing as you’re not technically under my care, but I want you to either go to myself, Noelle or a trusted friend if you feel really down, alright?”
Cloe nodded and frowned her brow slightly. “Thank you for being here though. I know you don’t feel…comfortable with all of this, but to finally get it out there…it feels refreshing. When we’re on break, I’ll get some appointments and stuff, I might get one later though. Just a quick one” She said drinking her tea. “Thanks again Paul” She smiled weakly, but honestly.
“Cloe, stop,” Paul told her firmly, motioning for her to sit back down. “My discomfort is none of your concern.” He exhaled slowly, taking a sip of tea to calm himself. “I’m glad you came to me about this, okay?” he told her truthfully. Even if he didn’t know Columbia all that well; she was part of the family. “How long have you been feeling like this, Love?”
Cloe looked at Paul with her eyes started to get weaker in terms of defence. “It’s been on and off for a while, but lately, after everything is changing a lot” She began. “It’s just gotten worse and worse” She looked at the steam from her mug of tea. “I want things to go back to normal” She muttered.
“You’re fine,” Paul repeated with a smile. He frowned slightly, looking at her quickly. Coughing, he rubbed the back of his neck. “That really might be a conversation to have with Mr O’Shea…” he murmured quietly, swallowing. “Depressed as in sad or… Depressed?” he asked uncomfortably.
Cloe nodded “Yeah, I think it is.. but like..no one else is here, So I just. Don’t worry. I can leave if you want” She said setting down her mug. “Depressed depressed” he muttered. “Honestly, I can really just leave, I mean, you don’t seem comfortable, and I had no right coming here” She said.
“You’re fine Love,” he assured her quickly, taking the seat across from her and settling. Paul took a sip of his own tea, coughing slightly. “Columbia, right?” he checked. He hadn’t spent an awful lot of time around her, but she seemed like a sweet girl. “You can relax,” he added with a smile. “I don’t bite.” He shifted so that he was more comfortable, trying not too look as curious or confused as he felt. “What can I help you with?”
Cloe nodded at the sound of her name and smiled awkwardly. “I’m sorry, I just…I’m an awkward person. It’s hard for me to like..open up quickly” She said gripping her mug tighter. “See, I’ve had this thing going on recently. I’ve just…I’ve been really depressed…You could say…” She took a sip of her tea before continuing. “And I’m not exactly sure what’s going on. I’m just confused. Sorry” She said again, as she had just laid out to Paul that she was feeling depressed.
Paul nodded, clapping her on the shoulder quickly before going to make tea. He slowly pulled out the two mugs, unwrapping the teabags and putting them into each. Spooning two lumps of sugar in Cloe’s mug and a half in his own, he waited patiently for the kettle to boil, wondering what Columbia wanted to talk to him about. He couldn’t help but wonder; he’d hired a therapist for this tour and yet they were all still coming to him. Shrugging, he poured the water into the two cups, as well as a dollop of milk in Cloe’s. He was glad they seemed to trust him, at least. Walking back in, he set the two mugs on the coffee table.
Cloe sat awkwardly by herself and waited for Paul to come back with her tea. When he did, she extended her hand out and reached for the mug, taking a quick sip before holding it in her hands. “So yeah…I would talk to the therapist person but he never answers his door” She said. She coughed, feeling as awkward as she could in the whole situation
“It’s seriously fine Love,” he told her calmly. Carefully steering her toward the sitting area, he helped her onto the couch, handing her the box of tissues and resting a hand on her shoulder. “Alright. I’m going to make tea and if you want to maybe sort out everything before we talk that might be a good idea?” he suggested, frowning worriedly. “How do you usually have your tea, Sweetheart?”
“Thank you” She said resting her arms, with her fingers rubbing against what would have been her elbows but layers of jumpers assured that she wouldn’t touch them in the slightest. She bit her lip and nodded at Paul. “Milk and 2 sugars please” She said in her quiet voice.
Paul shook his head firmly. “No; I’m not doing anything - really. I’m sorry the place is such a mess…” He frowned, running a hand through his hair distractedly and glancing sheepishly at the untidy hotel room. Despite his efforts prior to her arrival, wrappers still littered the floor and the stack of dishes in the sink was growing precariously high. “Come and sit on the couch and I’ll make tea,” he smiled encouragingly.
“I am sorry to stop by like this. I just…felt the need to talk to someone” She said biting her lip. “If you don’t mind” She asked again. She kept asking if she was allowed to stay because, she was a wreck and talking to someone could help her. Other people were too close to her to tell her the truth of her situation.
Paul blinked, taking in the girl’s crumpled appearance. He was more than a little shocked. What was her name? It started with a C… Clara? No, that was Ed’s girl. Oh right ! “Cloe,” he said in concern, frowning. “No - of course not - just come take a seat. Do you want a glass of water or anything? Or a tea? You look like… You could, erm, use a cuppa.”
Cloe felt uncomfortable with Paul looking at her the way she was dressed. “I mean, I can come back later or something?” She asked again. She sat down awkwardly, letting her hands roam freely amongst each other. “A cup of tea would be great right now” She said tightening her hands.
Paul frowned, checking his phone for the time. He didn’t have to see anyone that day did he? He’d already arranged all the concert details for that week. Dusting off his hands on his pants, he quickly cleared the coffee table of the billion odd newspapers and shoved them underneath the couch, picking up a dozen empty teacups and carrying them on a tray to the sink. “Come in,” he said hastily.
Cloe picked herself up from the floor and opened the door. “I’m sorry, I just..” She stopped, wiping away the tears in her eyes. “I haven’t had a good week” She said standing with her knee bent towards the other and her fingers fiddling with one another. “I can leave if you’re busy or anything” She said pointing towards the door.