Episode 999: Goodbyes Made You Mine“It’s called playing the long game,” Sebastian said, seated on Lila’s sofa and folding the black and orange invitations per Lila’s instructions.
He actually wasn’t a terrible helper, or at least, he wouldn’t have been under less distressing circumstances. Juggling a big Halloween booking with personal drama did not make for a good time let alone a stress-free time. But, at least he wasn’t dodging her, he’d dropped by like she’d asked him to, he was willing to talk, so maybe listening would be right around the corner.
At the very least, she’d get an update on the situation, find out whether Ava or Sebastian had said or done anything to cause her concern.
“It’s not a game,” Lila said while stuffing envelopes. “It freaks me out that you’d call it that. It isn’t a game to me or to Bowie.” Neither of them trusted that it would work out the way Sebastian wanted it to.
“Long game was a poor choice of words,” Sebastian conceded. “I’m taking this seriously. Nothing matters more to me than getting rid of the guy.”
“How about making sure this guy doesn’t find out about my son? That should be the top priority. Have you thought for one second about Jesse? He’s doing so well, he’s healthy, he’s in school, he’s pining over his best friend, it’s normal stuff, He isn’t torn between two fathers, he isn’t being emotionally raked over the coals, and neither is Bowie, at least other than the fact that Bowie’s living on pins and needles over your stupid plan.”
“It isn’t stupid, I’m ensuring that everything is going to be good for all us. When Xavier leaves town, it won’t just help me, it’ll help all of you, too.”
“But what if he finds out about Jesse before he comes to this miraculous conclusion to leave town. Suddenly my family will be the big losers of your game. You need to stop this. Stop encouraging him to be part of your lives.”
“The point is for him to become discouraged by being around us,” Sebastian said. “Once it sinks in how solid our marriage is, being in this city, having to see us together all the time, suddenly he’ll have an itch to travel. I don’t care what my sister and her family say, he’s not staying because of them, he’s here because of Ava, and once he figures out she’s no longer a possibility, he’ll be gone.”
“In theory, that’s a great idea, in practice you’re only thinking about how you’re putting on an insincere friendship, you’re not factoring in Ava’s genuine friendship with him. What if your plan takes too long? What if there’s a limit to how often Ava interacts with him before the guilt of him not knowing is too much and she spills.”
“She’s not you and I,” Sebastian pointed out. “When she makes a promise, she really means it. And it isn’t going to take that long. It isn’t. We’ll be waving goodbye to him by New Year’s. He has to go.”