He went on. “It’s manipulative. It’s all just manipulation. It’s like when Rowan told me that you basically planned to fuck off to Europe if I didn’t get back together with you. And what, just find a nice, historic city as an aesthetic backdrop to drink yourself to death in?”
“[Arkady,]” I said in a rough voice. “What the fuck did you think I was in the process of doing when I met you?”
That night was probably the final push I needed to spiral past the point of no return. Because, like I said, sometimes I obsessively pinpoint things. That was my point of no return.
A countdown was begun.
It was getting to the point where Ash and Arkady were objectively spending more time with Zara, from Syracuse, than me, who they lived with. I’d agreed to her coming over the first couple of times, but after, permission of the entire household was just assumed. I was told when I’d be having company in my house. She was over so often that, Ash, without prompting, made her a copy of a key.
After a brief yet tense discussion, Ash put forth the issue that March would have trouble moving to the smallest room of the house. “He can have my room. I can move to the smaller room.” It wasn’t ideal, but with the amount of time that I was spending with my family and in Arkady’s bed, being snuggled– I would honestly only be sleeping in my new, tiny room. If I had known it was to be my jail cell a mere five months later, it wouldn’t have been worth it.
I remember the four of us waiting around, partially hungover, and charged with pre-battle fire. March was accosted by Ash nearly immediately as he walked in the door. I’m pretty sure Pearl Harbour was less startled. “[March.] You lied to me?”
Ash fell silent for a moment. “Who– who else thinks this?” Their tone was accusatory, as if we were all having a laugh at their expense and not terrified they’d end up in a double suicide.
“It’d– uh, be a shorter list of those who don’t think it. And I think that’s limited to–… you and… Maybe, like, his cat.” I don’t try to be a smartass; my dickishness is au natural. “
That, containing a heavy reference to suicide, caused my mind to fold over in on itself and open up some dark neural pathways that led to only poor decisions. I screenshot this and sent this to Aberle, so that the trauma-induced panic could now bombard the system through two sources,
Aberle, then, out of the worry of his bleeding-heart Cancer Moon, did precisely what I told him we must not do.
He told Ash that March was abusive.
“My hand!” he wailed. “I really hurt it. Look at it. I see bone!” That last sentence seemed to echo mournfully throughout the street.
Ash paused. I could see on their face that they had to shoot down about four responses to settle on a suitably gentle one. “It– It’s just a scrape, [March.]”
When the most established couple of the house came home, I’d already seen the Facebook posts about the proposal and fawned over them with congratulations and exclamations of adoration. March reacted, predictably, less than ideally. “[Ash], could I talk to you for a second?”
But to understand how much he disgusts me, I must paint you a portrait of what he took from me.