Episode 676: That's What Friends Are ForA knock at his door woke Xavier with a start. Heíd fallen asleep with a library book in his lap even though it wasnít that late in the evening yet, such was the excitement of his life these days, not that he would really complain, excitement hadnít generally been good to him.
Xavier walked the short distance to the door. The closer he stepped, the harder his pulse pounded, and the more he thought it might be Avalon. But when he opened the door, he found a girl, shorter, blonder, and younger than his ex.
"Hi," he said, fighting to keep the disappointment out of his voice, he didnít want to hurt her feelings. What had he been thinking anyway? It was stupid. Ava wasnít going to just show up. She didnít know he was there and even if she did, would she even want to see him? Probably not after the way heíd left her. Not when she had a life with another guy.
It would have been a huge shock to find Ava at his door, Tansy, was only a minor shock. Heíd become friends of sorts with Quentin, her father and his boss, they hung out sometimes. "Did you race up the stairs ahead of your dad?" He didnít know why they would visit him spur of the moment, but he was glad they had. His life tended to be a bit lonely, and he wasnít as okay with that as he used to be, not since that perfect little while heíd shared with Ava.
Tansy breezed past Xavier, her chin up, determined to look like she belonged, so maybe then Xavier might not question her the way adults do. Xavier wasnít really like an adult; anyway, he was more of a friend, her only friend.
Tansy grimaced as she recalled day camp a few hours earlier. Her parents thought it would be good for her, but all summer long, the few friends she had were dropping away like flies, convinced she wasnít someone you want to hang around.
"My dadís not here," she explained to Xavier and he shut the door with a puzzled look on his face.
"Your parents canít be okay with you coming here on your own."
"They donít exactly know, but itís okay-"
"No, itís not. You have really great parents, Tans, youíre lucky to have them; theyíll be worried when they donít find you at home."
"They wonít know Iím gone. Theyíre at their anniversary dinner. Iím staying overnight with my Aunt Tal. Itís her book club night. They just sit there and gossip. I even overheard stuff about my mom. I hate it, and I hate my cousins, so I came here instead."
"Iím happy to see you, and I really like having you around, but you canít just run around the city without your parentsí permission, youíre just a kid. I donít want them to be mad at you or me. I need to call your aunt."
"But she wonít even notice Iím gone. Canít I just hang out here for a little-?"
"I have to call her. I think I still have her number from all the emergency contacts your parents shove at me when Iíve babysat you."
Tansy scowled at him. "Thanks a lot, tattletale. I thought you were my friend."