“But as you remember, I was who was left without social support. Therefore, I needed something consistent.” Xanthe held up their wine glass and wiggled it for effect. “Either actually be there for me or don’t say anything about my drinking.”

Aberle was also in agreement, but also quite drunk that night. “Widower…? Widow…? Widowex? What’s the gender-neutral form of–…” He murmured to himself in German for a few seconds before proudly declaring, “WINDEX. Wait. No, wait–” I collapsed into laughter. Aberle’s a gem.

“It’s an apology– kind of. Like the ones actors make when they realise there’s no way they’re not getting cancelled. You can read it now, if you want.”
I shook my head. “I can’t let her have the last word, Cotton. Otherwise, she’d win.” I’d meant that as a joke, but that was answered with another question about how much progress I’d made on finding a therapist.

But in this particular day, when Avery hadn’t responded to any of my texts, I happened to notice what their last status update was:
“Either I will fix this body or I will destroy it.”
Oh.
That’s not a good sign.
That’s when April pretended to be struct blind, because of course she did.