Episode 971: Good LifeXavier opened the door to leave his apartment only to find Avalon standing on the other side. “Oh, hey,” he managed. He’d given her his address as well as every other kind of contact information when they’d talked that night in the book store, but he hadn’t really expected to hear from her.
“Hi, oh, um, you were going out?” she said. “I’m sorry, I should have called, not just showed up like this.” Ava stepped back.
Xavier reached out, taking a loose grasp of her forearm. “No, no, stay, okay? Just, for whatever reason you’re here, stay.”
He and Lucy hadn’t made firm plans, she’d understand, she knew what Ava meant to him, that he’d at least like to leave their relationship in a better way than he originally had.
As Ava stepped into the apartment, Xavier took out his phone and sent a text to let Lucy know he might not be by that night. Lucy replied that she had some student evaluations she could work on anyway.
“Everything okay?” Ava asked. “If you had plans, don’t change them on my-”
“It’s fine. It wasn’t really plans. Sit, please. Can I take your jacket? What about something to drink or eat?”
“I’m fine, thanks.” She sat though, which he was glad for since it allowed him to sit, too, with his mind reeling over her unexpected visit, he didn’t feel all that steady.
“So, you were going out… with friends tonight?” Ava asked, her hands seemingly restless, frequently changing positions.
“Not out really, just to a friend’s house. We have dinner sometimes or snacks or whatever, while we watch a movie, or play a board game, something like that. The way I go out now, it’s nothing like how I used to go out.” He wasn’t sure if that’s what she’d been fishing for or if it had simply been small talk. He just couldn’t imagine a scenario where she’d stop by for small talk. Of course he also couldn’t truly imagine her saying she’d ditched her husband to be with him, either, that just wasn’t in her moral wheelhouse. Most likely she wanted to know about his life, not to live it with him, because she cared, she needed to know he was okay despite everything, she needed to know that so she could once and for all move past them. Knowing she cared about him, would have to be enough.
“So you really are in a good place?” she asked.
“Yeah, I haven’t used in a long time. And like I told you at the store, I have solid friends. My job, it isn’t fancy anymore, and neither is my home, but it’s a good quiet life.”
Ava nodded and glanced around at his sparsely decorated apartment. “It’s nice and clean, there’s nothing wrong with simple, it’s nothing to be embar-” She reached for the only framed photo in his home, seemingly only just then noticing it on the end table.
“This is Tansy, Sebastian’s niece, and that’s her dad in the photo with you, too. I don’t understand. What’s your connection to them?”
“Tansy gave me that as a gift a long time ago, she was so little then.” He explained how he knew them, how they, especially Tansy, had saved him from being entirely alone and falling back into his old struggles.
“So,” Ava said, “all this time, for years now, you’ve basically helped raise a child? And you like helping? You love it even? Do you want to be a parent someday?”