Today is K-Day for the A-Z Challenge, and I'll be continuing the Happy Acres saga. Yesterday's post must have been too depressing, because nobody commented. Unfortunately, mental institutions can't be all fun and games! But we're going to continue on our journey, learning how each of the crew found themselves at Happy Acres.
"Okay, wait a teensy jiffy here," Mia said, standing from the couch and pacing to the window. "That story was all kinds of sadness. I need a..."
"Cupcake?" Tessa asked.
"No," Mia said. "I need air."
"Cuz I'd like a cupcake," Tessa said, ignoring Mia's plea. "Cupcakes fix everything. No matter what."
"I told you this was a bad idea," I said, glowering at them, not at all ready to let anyone off the hook for making me go through this. "Why do you think we don't talk about this stuff in group?"
"It's scary," Bill said.
"We's all bat-shit crazy," T-Bone added.
"Indeed," Simon said, cocking a sardonic brow. But still he fidgeted just the slightest bit, knowing he was next.
We sat quietly, absorbing my story. In short order I'd just undone all the hard work I'd put in since getting here, working at coming off as flip and maybe even tough. Nothing like a suicide attempt to strip you bare.
Nobody met my gaze, finding other things to see, and I could only imagine they were scrambling for excuses to avoid taking their turn. But Artie surprised me.
From his chair in the corner, he regarded me. "That took courage, Em. You should be commended. You and I? We're kindred spirits, despite our obvious differences." He dropped his gaze and studied his hands in his lap. "I understand how loss can send a person over the edge."
His kindness took the edge off my shame, and I sat up a little straighter.
"We're all kindred spirits," Tessa said. "Or we wouldn't be here."
"You're right, Tessa. We're all friends here..." I started.
"Family," Mia said from the window. "We're all totes family. For certain."
"Right. We're family. So let's get through this. I'm sure we'll all need a truck load of cupcakes and plenty of supplemental oxygen once it's done," I said, skeptical we'd even survive this exercise. I was already an emotional wreck.
Tessa's eyes glazed over as she stared into the middle distance, "A whole truck load of cupcakes!"
Mia clapped, making her way back to the couch. "Yay! Go, go, go, Simon! Your turn. Tell us your tale."