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A Worse Idea 148

For reasons Jennifer chose not to divulge, there would be a couple weeks before the Galactic Man Kill Squad’s first meeting.

That gave her a lot of time by herself. Time to learn that she’d flunked three of her classes due to non-attendance (thus getting suspended from the summer semester). Time to think about everything that’d happened to her. Time to wonder what the future may hold.

She got a Hulu subscription, which allowed her to binge-watch not only all the episodes of Real Superheroes of Miami that she’d missed, but also to go through all of Real Superheroes of AtlantaReal Superheroes of New Jersey, Real Superheroes of The Interstellar Federation, and Real Superheroes of Atlantis.

She had to make a lot of calls to keep her dorm for the summer even though she wasn’t enrolled. Eventually the school let her stay there because they didn’t have enough students to fill all the rooms, and colleges are obsessed with turning students into profit centers.

She felt like an animal in a cage — a cage with Internet, but a cage nonetheless. She didn’t go out much, and the heat of the Florida summer seemed baked into the walls. She sweat profusely.

The future looked bright, in her eyes. She was excited for the future, but it seemed like it would never come. She was stuck in a present she hated, waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel. A chance to kill Galactic Man, a chance to be around people she cared about.

She didn’t think much about Shade. Or at least, that’s the lie she told herself. She thought about everything but Shade, keeping herself as distracted as possible. Of course, underneath her every thought and action, there was this bubbling undercurrent, this emotional tide that threatened to subsume her: Shade was dead, and there was nothing Anne could do about it.

One day — a Monday, though she didn’t know it — Anne decided she needed to get outside. She realized she needed to mourn Shade. And perhaps, she needed to mourn David.

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