Author’s Note: I got most of the way through this part and thought that I should delay it for something else, and then I changed my mind again.
Luna conceded defeat five weeks later.
Tynan wasn’t coming back.
He’d disappeared for long periods before, but something about this time made her sure it was different. Even Alvin seemed to know it. He moped around the store, and she didn’t think that the tapes were helping him sleep anymore. She didn’t know how to help him.
She didn’t know how to help herself.
She didn’t understand. Was it too much? Too close to the impossible for Tynan? He’d had to run because… because he thought that was what aliens did, that because he was a “monster” and a black hole he couldn’t stay? Was that it?
She shook her head. That wasn’t like him, was it? Did she even know, or had she managed to fool herself again? She would have said she’d made the whole thing up if not for Alvin, and she didn’t know that she was all that comforted by his presence.
She almost wished she was crazy. She’d rather spend the rest of her life in a drug-induced fog than keep going like this. She’d been okay when she believed he was coming back—well, when she’d told herself she believed it—but now she didn’t. She couldn’t pretend any longer. She couldn’t fool herself into thinking that she thought he would return.
“Is there something you need, Dad?”
He held out a box of tissues. “You need to stop waiting at the door. I’m sorry, sweetheart. I… Honestly, I thought he was going to do the right thing. He… I thought I’d given him the right kind of nudge. Never thought I’d scare him away.”
“Stop apologizing. You couldn’t have made him go anywhere that he didn’t want to go.” That was the part that bothered her the most. He could have stayed. She wanted him to stay. She’d told him to stay. He’d ignored all that and left.
Her father cupped her cheek and kissed her forehead, and she willed herself not to pull away from him. She didn’t want to be here with him. She couldn’t stay where she was. She had to find a different way to deal with this.
She snorted. Like she was dealing it now. “If I crawl into my bed for the next week, are you going to drag me back to the doctor? Put me back on medication?”
“No medication can cure a broken heart. You know I know that.”