The third episode for an imaginary season three. Joan is confused about her relationship with Ryan, and her family have their own problems. Can she trust her friends to help?
"We need to talk," she informed him.
He looked alarmed. "What did I do?" he asked.
"Nothing," she said impatiently. "Nothing that I know of, anyway. We need to talk about your sister. I think she's on the brink of some sort of major freakout."
When Bonnie opened her eyes, there was a strange girl sitting beside her hospital bed, leafing through a fashion magazine. "Aw, no: the fall fashions are really cute," the girl said. "How is it fair that I'm missing these?"
"Who are you?" Bonnie asked, and the girl looked up.
"Oh, I'm Judith," she said cheerfully. "Joan's friend."
"Joan's friend?" Bonnie repeated. "Then why are you here?"
"It's slightly complicated," Judith said cheerfully, "but the gist of it is, Joan felt bad about you lying here all alone, so she talked a bunch of her friends into sitting beside you."
"So you're some friend of Joan Girardi's that's here on some kind of pity visit?" Bonnie said coldly.
"Not quite," Judith said. "You see, I didn't get asked to do a shift. I'm not really one of Joan's crowd anymore."
"You had a fight?" Bonnie asked.
"Oh, no," Judith assured her. "I died."
Glynis had just taken up position in the uncomfortable chair next to Bonnie's bed when Friedman appeared in the doorway. "What are you doing here?" he asked.
"This is when I'm supposed to be here," she snapped. "We arranged it yesterday."
"Are you sure?" he asked, strolling into the room and pulling up a chair. "Because I could have sworn it was my shift. Well, I guess you're in luck: today your life benefits from an extra dose of Friedman."
Glynis rolled her eyes and didn't bother answering, but once he'd focussed his attention on Bonnie she stole a few curious glances at him. What was this all about?
"Her eyes are moving a lot," Friedman observed. "Do you think that means she's dreaming?"
"You died?" Bonnie repeated, looking horrified. Judith nodded, looking slightly smug. "You mean you're dead?" Judith nodded again. Bonnie sat up. "You mean I'm dead?" she asked shrilly.
"Oh, no," said Judith. "No, you, for some reason, are alive."
"Then why can I see you?" Bonnie asked suspiciously.
Judith shrugged. "How should I know? What am I, an expert on near-death experiences? If it's any help, I'm not really in your room right now-I'm in your head. You're still unconscious, Bonnie. I'm just doing my bit to keep you from being alone in the dark-and believe me, if it weren't for Joan, I wouldn't be here. I just felt that, since the others were all doing their part, I should too."
"So Joan's other friends are taking turns sitting with me?" Bonnie asked, sounding more interested.
"Yup," said Judith. "Even as we speak, you're not alone. Kind of creepy, isn't it?"
"Including Adam?" Bonnie persisted.
"No," said Judith firmly. "Not including Adam. Adam opted out. Could you maybe try thinking with some other part of your anatomy?"
"That's not fair," Bonnie snapped at her.
"It's not /nice/," Judith corrected her, "but it's perfectly fair. You slept with a guy who you knew had a girlfriend. Now, that's not totally your fault, since obviously it was his choice too, but still: your half of that decision sucked, and if you'd made a different choice, you wouldn't be here."
"Is this the big moral lesson?" Bonnie sneered. "If I hadn't made a bad choice, my self-esteem would have been higher and I wouldn't have tried to off myself?"
"It's a bit more direct than that," Judith told her. "Remember talking to a guy in Ms. Girardi's office?"
"Why do you even know about that?" Bonnie asked, looking startled.
"I've been keeping an eye on him," Judith said. "He likes Joan, Bonnie, and I mean likes her a lot, in a restricted-movie kind of way, if you catch my drift."
"And this has what to do with me?" Bonnie asked, but by now she sounded more confused than hostile.
"You know how some guys like to express affection with gifts?" Judith said. "Well, Ryan Hunter isn't the candy-and-flowers type. He chose something a little more...exotic. You hurt Joan, Bonnie, and you made her angry. Luckily for you, she's too nice a person to get revenge, or to trash your reputation all over school, or whatever. Unluckily for you, the guy who has the hots for her isn't quite so nice. He saw you were close to the edge that day, so he pushed."