They aren’t friends.
Melanie tells herself this each time she thinks of visiting Liril. They are not friends.
They can’t be.
There’s just something inside Melanie, she tells herself, that has trouble letting Liril go.
The nephilite haunts Melanie’s thoughts, and she keeps finding reasons to go and talk to her, and pretending that she doesn’t love her and she doesn’t hate her and she doesn’t want to own her or be owned.
And also, they’re not friends.
It’s really . . . Liril and Melanie, that is . . . it’s not really a big deal at all.
Liril hasn’t cried. She isn’t sad. She hasn’t cried since that first day.
And Melanie, mostly, she’s OK too.
You will drown in him forever.
You will never die.
It’s a little hard, sometimes, because she really wants to have the upper hand over Liril’s mother, she finds herself craving it sometimes, like a spider might crave blood, and she can’t, she can’t even really look at the woman any more without seeing those billowing clouds of violet, that indigo, that green, that sick sensation of the words like wind beating from every direction against her soul.
But she’s OK.
She never cries, not where Liril can see.
She reminds herself that she’s cunning, and she’s strong.
This is a thing that comes to pass.
There’s nothing I can do.
“She hasn’t aged,” Melanie says, one day in 1988, to her first and fairy lover.
This person who is not my friend.
“She’s maybe even lost a year.”
Not that it matters, or anything.
“Isn’t that really kind of strange?”