Kally Sten
Anando came back to New York almost two months ago. He didn’t bother announcing his presence, and I wouldn’t even have known he was there if Lizzie hadn’t asked me whether she ought to procure blood for him too. She didn’t ask who he was, but then, I guess she didn’t need to. She’s been dusting his portrait in the dining room for almost thirty years, I would have been more surprised if she hadn’t recognized him.

I went down to the guest suite that first evening, and found him redecorating. That’s when I knew he was going to stay for a while. We bantered about his lack of taste – honestly, I will never understand how he can appreciate such a minimalist style after spending so much time with me – and it felt just like old times.

Except for his eyes. He smiled, he laughed, but his eyes remained dark and dull. Wounded.

I asked him why he had come back. He didn’t answer. I didn’t push. I already knew the answer. There’s only one reason why he ever comes back to me anymore, and that’s when he’s hurt. I understand why, I understand it’s my fault, but I still wish he would come back more often. Come back to see me, rather than come back to hide from someone else. If I could take it back…

But the past is the past, and better left behind.

I took him out every night to party, and I’ll admit it was as much about distracting him as it was about having him on my arm again. We always drew everyone’s eyes when we were together. It used to be shocked looks; nowadays, they’re envious. It’s nicer this way.

A week ago, something changed. His phone started ringing. Once a day, sometimes more. He always picks up, always walks away as though to get some privacy, but I never heard him say anything more than ‘goodbye.’

Whoever it is doesn’t seem to understand the meaning of the word since she keeps calling. Or maybe Anando isn’t all that convincing when he says it. He certainly doesn’t sound like he means it. Knowing him, he left without a proper goodbye.

I’m going to have to do something about it. I never could stand to see my favorite Childe sulk. Always so stubborn… and always so easy to hurt, even after all this time.