“We never talk anymore,” Andria said softly.

“We’ve been busy,” Emery replied with a small shrug. “We only just moved back into the neighborhood, Andy. Was there anything in particular that you wanted to talk about?”

“I haven’t seen you since the funeral,” she added. “What have you been doing?”

Emery shrugged and stepped away with a sigh. He replied, “Working… we went right back to school afterwards. We finished our classes… got our degrees. Then we went to the capital, started working. Me first, then Miles. The school didn’t want to emancipate him and wouldn’t release him into my custody. I guess they ended up naming Morrissey as his guardian. I didn’t know it until just recently.” His voice had grown very soft.

“How do you feel about him being Miles’ guardian,” she asked.

“I don’t know… I don’t think about it much,” Emery murmured.

“I wish you wouldn’t push me away,” Andria said softly. “You and Miles are my oldest friends. I wish you would just talk to me about your troubles.”

“I know,” Emery murmured. “It’s just… I don’t want to burden you with things… and I’m fine, really.”

“You’re worried, Emery. It’s never alright to push your friends away, especially when you’re troubled,” she insisted. He turned back and their eyes met. She knew he was ready to share now.