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((Melanie Beckett continued from You thought it was Kimiko but it was me, Jerry!))

She wasn't paying enough attention anymore.

She was tired. Not that that was much of an excuse. It hadn't changed since... days before. Felt like an excuse. When'd she ever been tired before? She'd always been able to push herself when she needed to. Draw up some hidden reserves of energy. Always. Now she was just tired.

She wasn't paying enough attention so when Serena asked a question and Aiden started talking and kept talking, she didn't even try to get a word in. Maybe she hadn't even properly heard the question.

No, she'd heard it. But there was little use in protesting when, at this point, she was doing it just to be contrary.

She was involved, after all. She was here. She hadn't left. She was still helping them. She didn't want them to die. They were supposed to die. Better not to make it to the end so that they could be tempted. Who was she to make that choice for them? How delirious were her thoughts now? How many loops could she string out of her unraveled brain?

That felt like a template for a decent abstract painting. Unravel a brain, as if it were pink lasagna, and... she didn't know. Stupid thoughts, now, irrelevant thoughts. When was the last time she'd ever painted anything surreal?

She was still here. She'd always be here, with them.

"Be careful, okay?" she managed as Aiden left, though she didn't think he heard her. She'd be there when he came back, anyway.

She'd been dragging him around and now he was taking the initiative. They'd started doing this, and he'd lit up like a candle. It was good for him. She only wished she felt the same way.

No conclusion to that train of thought. She just left it hanging.
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The Past
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Open Your Eyes and Look North · The Bell Tower