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The car Tina was driving always seemed like it was about to break down or fall apart. Clunky. Worn down. Lily wondered if it could be fixed, and made to run smooth. It was, in itself, representative of the sort of challenges she wanted to work on. To work on cars and make them better, to fiddle with the mechanics of it all. The sooner the better. Unfortunately, that was still some years off.

Lily stared out the window for a bit, enjoying the bumpiness of the ride and watching the desert fly by, and didn't immediately realise Tina had asked her something.

“Hm? Oh.” She focused back on her cousin. “Same as usual. Nothing's changed.”

Parents were still over-protective—if they'd eased off, Lily wondered if she'd be sneaking off into the desert at all—and Connor was still a jerk, but not enough of a jerk to get too aggravating. At least he acknowledged that she didn't need the protection, though in his case he saw it as favouritism rather than worry.

Other than that, Lily liked that nothing had changed. Routine was nice. Routine meant control over her circumstances. Even this sneaky piece of rebellion was carefully marked in her planner, albeit with an acronym rather than explicitly stating it just in case her parents went through her desk to figure out where she was or what she was doing. She wouldn't put it past them.

“And yourself?”
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Repoussoir · Memories from the Past