Chapter 198

Dyllan landed with a thud on the rooftop of the building where he’d agreed to meet Cedric. It had been a week since Cedric’s awakening, and Andie had been weirdly… normal for every day of it. Not Andie normal, not normal normal, but something somewhere in between the two. Tonight, Cedric had asked to meet up and talk in dreamwalker form about it. Without Andie. Dyllan wasn’t super comfortable with that last detail, but he trusted that Cedric had his reasons.
“Punctual as always, I see.” Cedric’s voice came from behind Dyllan.
“Okay, one: ” Dyllan turned around to face his friend. “I am getting really tired of you sneaking up on me like this. Two: I’m almost never late, and I left pretty early, so I’m pretty sure I’m on time today, too.”
“…I know? That’s why I called you punctual? Because you always arrive exactly on time. I don’t understand why you sound so offended.”
“Oh.” Dyllan heaved a sigh. “You know, your tone of voice always sounds sarcastic when you’re giving compliments – genuine or otherwise. I know that – I’ve known that for a long time. Yet still, I try to detect sarcasm through tone, not context. Someday I will learn, but not, apparently, today.” He clicked his tongue. “But enough about us, you wanted to talk about Andie?”
“Yeah. She’s been acting… preoccupied, lately. Like she’s not all -” Cedric paused, then corrected himself. “No, she is all there, she’s just not all present. It’s… it’s like she’s focusing on a video game while she talks with us, giving out absent minded replies and only half listening.”
Dyllan shrugged. “She’s probably just processing something.”
“Yeah.” Cedric’s tone of voice tightened slightly. “That’s what I’m worried about.”
“Why would you be worried about -” Dyllan froze and stared right past Cedric. “Oh.”
Cedric blinked a few times. “Oh?”
Dyllan sighed. “Goddammit, Andie.”
“Goddammit, Andie? Dyllan what -” Cedric turned to look at what Dyllan had been staring at. “Oh.” His eyes wandered up toward the sky, tracing a rising plume of black and orange dream smoke. “Goddammit, Andie.”


A note from the author:

You know, Andie, after witnessing both their best friends go through a supernatural existential crisis, most people would probably rethink their policy on keeping more difficult emotions hidden and buried.

But you do you, I guess.

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