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Zodiac Forces Serial: Part 76
Warning: Depression Alex closed Eve's door quietly and returned her slight smile. "I'm ready to talk about Sean." She gestured to the overstuffed chair and sat across from him, her notepad closed but ready. "How are you?" "I feel a bit like a pinball machine." Alex admitted. "Sad, angry, horny, happy, they're all just out there and unrelated. Little stuff triggers really big emotional responses." "It's all a little unwieldy?" Alex nodded. "How was your trip to the desert?" "You know about that, huh?" "I suggested it." Alex lifted his eyebrows. "To Lance?" "Keta arranged for a few of your friends to come in. They wanted to know how they could help with what you are going through." "Oh..." Alex folded and refolded his hands. "I told her when we first met that she should talk to you if she was worried about me." He took a breath. "The desert was good. Dillon and I took a few days and some motorbikes, just talking. I... that was a crazy day. The trip helped me start putting things in perspective." He looked up. "When I came back Kimberly put me on probation for a month." Eve frowned and the distinct opinion actually caught Alex by surprise. Eve never expressed an opinion during their meetings. "I can talk to her--" "No, no, she was right to do it. I never talked to her. We just left from lunch and came back three days later. Not my best planning example ever." Alex waved his hand. "Not why I'm here." Eve nodded. "Everyone else had a freak out when we learned the taurus group was KIA. All I feel when I think about Sean is relief. And then guilt." "Guilt over his death?" "No. For feeling relieved. I understand that I didn't kill him. It was his decision to transfer to the bulls, as much as I had a hand in that, but... He left before I could talk to him about Lance. I should have told him earlier that I wanted to stop seeing him and... well I don't know why I didn't. That's neither here nor there. I screwed up and before I could talk to him about it, he was gone." Alex laced his hands together. Eve flipped through her notebook, scanning the first few pages. "When you first came to see me we discussed the differences between your relationship with Lance verses Sean." "It was never right with Sean. I should have stopped it." "You feel like you were in the wrong and now you can't fix it." "I don't want to fix it, Eve. It's so much easier that he's dead. It's just... not a problem." Alex stared at his hands. "How awful is that? He was a person, someone I cared about, and I'm relieved that he's dead because now I don't have to have a hard conversation with him." "You're disappointed in yourself for not having the right response to his death." Alex blinked at her. "You're going to ask me who decides what the right response is." He put his hands through his hair. "Can't I be normal in anything?" "You wouldn't be you if you were normal." Alex groaned and leaned back in the chair. "The normal response is determined by Mother and Father or society in general." He ticked off on his fingers. "Society has a skewed idea of normal that doesn't reflect the actual experience of people. If that's true then the way I respond is legitimate." He sighed, "But that doesn't make it right!" "What is the response you want to have?" "I--" Alex clicked his tongue and dropped his hands. "I don't actually know." Eve sat there in silence while he took the time to consider it. "Sorrow, I guess? That doesn't seem productive. Relief just doesn't feel... respectful. Why can't I just be respectful?" Eve closed her notebook with that slight smile that told him he was on the right track. "Tell me what you respect about Sean."