“Fuck!”

Eli ends up outside the Rosemont Heights Rec Centre a little before six, clothes damp from the rain and backpack still heavy with the weight of Jake’s chem book.

Jake hadn’t been home. Eli had found the address easily enough, and had been . . . sort of surprised, actually. It’s not like he’s been to a lot of trailer parks in his life, but the neat, modern, wood-paneled trailer with the double glass front doors and rooftop patio is not what he’d been expecting. Seemed like nothing in Rosemont was immune to gentrification.

No amount of knocking or ringing of the doorbell or peering in through windows had enticed anyone—Jake or his grandmother or otherwise—to appear, however, and things had been getting late. So Eli had moved on.

At the rec centre, Arthur and Zoe greet him at the door which, Eli has to admit, is a sight he thought he’d never see.

“Dude!” says Arthur, at the same time as Zoe announces, “You’re soaked!”

Zoe has changed since Eli last saw her, into a simple black dress. He almost thinks she’s out of cosplay until he sees her earrings, shaped like tiny silver bees. “Are you . . . dressed like a witch?” he hisses at her, while Arthur is busy off to one side doing something with a table full of finger food.

Zoe draws a sort of triangular shape in the air with her fingers. “My hat is full of sky,” she says, then winks.

Eli finds Morgan doing something with her violin in one corner of the room, not far from where a table has been set up with a memorial for Val. There’s a photo of him in a sombre, black frame, surrounded by pale white lilies and roses, plus a big book and fancy looking fountain pen for people to write messages. Morgan comes over while Eli is studying the arrangement, wondering if he should write something and, if so, what. Sorry I couldn’t save you, seems like the sort of thing that Zoe would sneer and call “manpain,” although maybe it doesn’t count when it’s another dude.

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