agony.

They were sort of near the school, but not really, and Honora was shakily drinking water from a paper cup.

" I'm sorry, I just... I must've been really fucked up yesterday, I can't remember any of that at all... Haha... It is really like me, though, spilling it all over a smoke."

" It's alright! I sort of spilled a lot too. I mean. I didn't really have an excuse, though."

Drugs! What an excuse. Haha. ... She had a really good reason to be that fucked up.

... Vida wondered if it could count as an excuse for her, too. ...Just once.

She thought of David's face and it made her feel sick.

" Well, to make it fair, spill it again!"

She was surprised by Honora's sudden buoyancy, and the way she moved closer with her eyes very, very wide.

Flustered, even?

" Ah, well, it was about... My brother. David. He died in a car crash, and my mom decided to move... It's been really awful and awkward for me, because it was like... For better or for worse, he was part of my life. We were twins. I'd never known a time without him, and now he's gone, so..."

Honora sort of smiled gently. She looked down at her cup of water.

" Me and Klaude met in middle school. Neither of us really fit in, y'know? And we ended up thick as thieves. He was always so unhappy, but I was too, and..."

" You felt bad when you wished that he wasn't happy."

Honora's smile lit up in recognition of the sentiment, but then rapidly burned back down.

" Yeah. It was like that. And I could never figure out how to say it to him... That I wanted bis old self back. Seeing him worship someone like that was... Kinda freaky, honestly. Because I mean, it's not like he was actually dating a god or a celebrity or anything."

Vida felt something weird in her chest, like a hovering recognition that refused to touch down.

" Who was he dating..?"

Honora seemed to zone out for a moment. Maybe trying to remember.

" Oh. I guess... I've forgotten."

She leaned against the brick wall of the building they had been walking by.

" Is something wrong?"

" It's just... It's funny, but getting to talk about him... I sort of feel like going back to school now. I think that, for the first time in a long time, I feel better about it."

Vida sort of stared at her. The morning sun made her hair shine like gold.

" It's weird, but... Even though I can only remember knowing you for just this day... I felt really relaxed talking to you."

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