broken record.

She went home after school and crashed on her bed and fell asleep almost immediately.

She could hear a record skipping...

Her alarm went off at seven and it took her a moment to realize which seven it was. AM, not PM. She'd gotten home at five. She felt like she hadn't slept at all and her body ached all over.

She wiggled into new clothes and grabbed a granola bar and left her house. Her mother was sleeping late again.

She got on the subway and saw Honora a little bit ahead of her, so she squeezed by the anonymous subway riders.

" Honora!"

She called out, and then immediately regretted calling out, because it was a bit awkward. After all, they'd only known each other a day.

... Even though Honora was the only person that had talked to her that she hadn't seen in the river hell. She found some strange comfort in that.

Honora seemed to jump, startled by Vida's exclamation. A pill bottle slipped out of her hand.


" ...Wh... Who... What?"

Vida decided to take a Phonograph approach to it and act like nothing was wrong...

Why did she think of Phoebe as "Phonograph"? Who would name their child that? It was ridiculous and obtuse. Phoebe was Phoebe.

" Ah, we met yesterday, remember? You were telling me about Klaude. And you're friends with Phoebe," Vida offered up, trying to jog her memory.

Honora still looked confused, but seemed to be less on guard after the mention of Klaude.

" S-sorry, got a shit memory. It's... Um... A side-effect. Your... name...?"

" Vida! Vida Verlaine. We've got a class together."

Honora was digging in her pockets for something.

" ... Verlaine...? Hey... Listen... Let's.... Let's skip today? I... You knew Klaude, right?"

Vida was slightly alarmed by Honora's willingness to skip school with someone who was a friend of a friend (theoretically). And besides that, Vida had never actually known anyone named Klaude, just a...


" If you don't go, you'll make Phoebe sad."

She didn't know what compelled her to say that. She felt like she'd heard something similar once.

Honora froze up.

" Phoebe... I... I've done nothing but disappointed her anyway."

Vida reached out and put her hands over Honora's.

" I know you probably don't want her to see you like this, so, um, let's just take the first hour off. Is that okay?"