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1048: Invisible

Autumn thankfully still hadn’t rushed in at full force so Tansy could take her lunch outdoors rather than brave the cafeteria or find some corner inside where she wouldn’t be noticed.

Across the sports fields, past kids playing games or seated in small groups, Tansy had found a quiet refuge behind a big old tree. She rested her back against the bark with only the occasional bunny, squirrel, or chirping bird for company.

Sometimes she video chatted with her family, with Molly, or with Xavier, but mostly if she talked to anyone during the school day, it was Lucy.

It wasn’t like she was pestering her old counselor, it had been Lucy’s idea. She’d told Tansy after so many lunches together and their shared connection with Xavier that she didn’t want to lose touch just because they were at different schools now.

Tansy suspected her parents, Xavier, and Lucy had all conspired on this situation to have her sometimes eat lunch with Lucy to make sure she was okay. Tansy knew all the adults in her life worried about her, and she didn’t want that, and Lucy did talk to her like a friend, not a lecturer, so Tansy didn’t mind it. Plus, once or twice a week it was nice to talk to somebody in the middle of the day since aiming for invisibility required a lot of keeping your mouth shut.

But today Tansy didn’t feel like having a conversation with Lucy, even if more often than not it did make her feel more optimistic about things.

Today, she wanted to try one of the meditation exercises Lucy had mentioned. She needed to try it. She needed to clear her mind of Enid giggling on her phone yesterday in the break room. Tansy wanted Enid to be happy. It just felt... complicated.

So Tansy ate the peanut butter and honey sandwich she’d made for lunch (identical to the one she’d fixed for her brother at his request) and she drank her grapefruit juice, then tilted back her head to better feel the warm sun filtered through the trees.

She closed her eyes, but before she could even try to empty her head of Enid’s giggles, someone asked, “are you asleep?”

Tansy’s eyes sprang open. She thought she’d been stealthy. She’d thought she’d been invisible. That was her plan to get through this hellscape some people called school.

“Hey,” the girl, dark-haired, dark-eyed, and dimpled, gave a little wave of her left hand. “Sorry if I interrupted your nap or whatever, it’s just I’ve been hoping to bump into you since the first day of school and it just hasn’t happened. Then I was playing ball and I saw you walk out here and I was like, wait, is that her? So as soon as I could get away from the game I came out here to check and it is you, I think? And you don’t remember me, I guess. I mean we barely did meet. I’m Theresa Alvarado. I adopted a dog from the shelter. We have a friend in common. Enid.”

Episode 1049: Truth Hurts

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