I was rather glad that Clara was on a different lunch shift to us. The way she’d looked at me…
“I think Clara might be crushing on me.”
Kanesha grinned. “That just means she has excellent taste.”
I mock bapped her. “I need to let her down easily.”
“Let her crush. She’s a freshman. She’ll get over it quickly enough.”
“I’m not sending her to the LGBT club, though. They still think I should pick a side.” I rolled my eyes. If Clara was like me I didn’t want her to have to put up with that crap.
But I was afraid that taking her under my own wing would encourage any crush. Ah well. Soon enough I’d be out of here, one way or another. Hopefully graduated and…maybe I would go to fashion school. There were worse ideas, and Kanesha had options for New York too.
Out of here in all sorts of ways, even as I knew it was all only temporary. Maybe I was treating Kanesha as badly as I would be treating Clara if I encouraged her. Maybe it was…best if I…
Nah. She knew the situation. If I abruptly had to leave, she’d deal with it. I trusted her to find a way to work through it and move on.
I trusted her to get on with her life…and to get on with protecting people. Or teaching them. I reached across the table for her hand, entwined my fingers with her darker ones. It was all we could get away with here, but…
“What are you thinking about?”
“The future. Whether we have one.”
Kanesha shook her head. “Think about now. Let the future take care of itself. Worry about your…duty.”
“My duty’s going to take me away from you one day.”
“Or me from you.” She gripped my hand. “I don’t care. I wouldn’t be with you if I cared about what might happen in a few years or, if we’re lucky, a few decades.”
Or centuries, I thought, but didn’t say. I wasn’t sure I could imagine that much time; except that the more I thought about it the more I could.
“And I haven’t picked a side. I’ve just picked you.” That felt necessary to say. It felt right to say it. “But…for now…I need to deal with our possession situation.”
Part of me still wanted to let the ghost beat them all up. Part of me refused such an easy solution.