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I’m skipping over what the data pocket held, because that’s kind of the point of the story, and going straight to Clyota’s reaction.
I’m sure Charlie’s really glad he followed her to the bathroom . . .
“This is going to sound stupid, but are you okay?” His voice was gentle, and kind, and exactly what I didn’t need right then.
I shook my head. “No,” I said, as the lights went bright through the hot, unshed tears that were suddenly glazing my eyes. “No, I’m not okay. I haven’t been okay for so—” I buried my face in the towel and, to my horror, began to cry. Not pretty tears, but great wrenching bursts that hurt like hell.
Immediately, Charlie was there, and I was sobbing so hard, so loudly, that I couldn’t do anything but hang onto him as three years of packed-down misery and twenty-nine years of resentment, pride, betrayal, and love welled up and had their say.