It is 1.30 am in the morning but I just cannot sleep and here I am thinking about Riley Matthews and what a ray of sunshine she is and also how amazing a friend she is. So, instead of closing my eyes and sleep, I keep thinking about how Riley is with her friends when they are sad.
- When Maya is sad, they sit together in the bay window and Riley just holds her in her arms until the tears stop streaming down her Peaches’ face. There are days when the pain of her father leaving just creeps up on her and consumes Maya. On those days when the tears don’t come because the sorrow is so numbing, she and Riley just sit there together. Sometimes, they will talk after about what is bothering Maya and other times when she doesn’t want to talk, Riley wraps her blanket around the both of them and turns on funny videos she finds online, stopping only when she finally hears her best friend laugh again.
- When Farkle is sad, Riley piles him with mathematic and scientific equations and questions that she gets from her Uncle Josh’s college friends in the Engineering faculty. She sits beside him throughout, heart aching for him when he first tightly grips the pencil, pressing hard against the paper as he struggles to focus. She knows that it is safe to talk to Farkle as soon the grip on the pencil relaxes, and he starts scribbling onto to the paper lightly but quickly. They talk about what is bothering him only after he has finished whatever question he had been working on.
- When Lucas is sad, she does not stop talking to him at all. Riley rambles on about her day or how embarrassing her father is or how she painted another purple cat in art class. She will slowly notice the tension in his shoulders ease and more often than not, she finds herself being extra dramatic with her stories. She knows how goofy she might look and she almost always starts to tone down when she thinks about how foolish she must seem. But then she hears the affectionate chuckle that Lucas lets out and she smiles at him, heart soaring when the previously forlorn look on his face is replaced by an affectionately soft one. They always talk about whatever is bothering him afterwards, her hands laced through his.
- When Smackle is sad, Riley sits with her. Most of the time, Smackle goes to Farkle but on the very rare days when Farkle is not there when she is sad, she is fine with just sitting with RIley. Smackle shuts down when she is upset but most of the time, Smackle frustratedly bangs anything she can get her hands on like the mug that she orders her hot chocolate in or the books she is supposed to be reading. Riley just wipes whatever liquid spills or tapes back the pages that are torn from the books. When Smackle seems to be calming down, Riley directs Smackle’s attention to topics she likes such as Farkle and the Noble Prize for Physics. They do not talk about whatever it is that has made Smackle sad but Smackle does scoot a little closer to RIley on the couch.
- When Zay is sad, Riley bakes him brownies. It is not the cookies that he craves so much from his grandmother, but it is pretty close. When she is done baking, she makes her way to the dance studio to watch her friend dance his sorrow away through ballet. She is always mesmerized by how graceful Zay is when he dances, and how every move can invoke such emotions within her. When he is done and it is clear that the weight from before has lifted slightly, he makes his way to her and they sit cross-legged in the dance studio, munching on the brownies as they enjoy each others’ company. By the time it is time for them to go home, Riley feels lighter when she sees the dimples on Zay’s cheeks emerge again.
I’m sorry if this was long. I just really miss my Princess Riley Matthews 😭