is relentless, calling, texting, sending hand-written letters that smell
faintly of heliotropes. Myka asked for it, said she was afraid of
losing Helena. Now she’s afraid the woman will drive her insane.
Easter, Helena texts a photo of Adelaide in a pastel blue suit, lined with
flowers that Helena had apparently embroidered by hand. Who would have expected
HG Wells to embroider? (God, there is so much Myka doesn’t know about her.)
found the golden egg,” Helena reports, “which for some ungodly reason had fifty
dollars inside it. Americans.”
Suburbanites, Myka thinks, remembering
all the fancy parties she was never invited to growing up, all the spoils the other
kids reported getting for birthdays, Christmas, Easter, even Valentine’s Day.
She doesn’t complain to Helena, though, just adds the snide comment to the list
of things she doesn’t say.
a long list.
relationship with Nate falls through when “Emily” takes Adelaide out for ice
cream as a reward for punching a bully right on the nose. Apparently standing
up for yourself is only a theoretical value in that house.
god he lets her write to you,” Myka says when Helena mourns the loss of another
child in her life.
Thank god that’s over, she thinks.
doesn’t ask Helena to come home.
presents for everyone arrive just in the nick of time, along with a picture of
Helena and Giselle in Rockefeller Plaza. Myka’s gift is a hand-made wrought
iron puzzle in two pieces—she can’t get them apart, and she tells Helena it’s a
lot of fun.
Myka thinks about Giselle and Helena, cozied up together in Giselle’s
apartment, and hates herself for envying a woman she’s never met over an
intimate relationship she knows nothing about. Besides, returning to activities
you once enjoyed is a good sign in depressed people, and Helena has always
enjoyed sex. Helena having sex might be nauseating, but Helena being happy is
what matters most.
Mardi Gras Myka gets a selfie of Helena in New Orleans, alone. “I think I might
stay on the coast for a little while,” she says. “I like it here.”
next week Myka gets a postcard from Santa Fe. She tries not to worry that
Helena seems lost.
spend too many hours driving,” she says instead. It means the same thing, even
if it leaves a lump in her chest that being honest wouldn’t.
wish I could have seen it!” means I wish
you were never anywhere else but here.
hours straight of texting late at night, when Myka has to get up in the morning
but Helena is in an earlier time zone, means I miss you.
you read this book yet?”
sure you get a flu shot.”
I love you, I love you, I love you.
a constant puzzle, finding ways to say just enough that Myka isn’t gagging on
it anymore. She chips at the raw passion with other words until she can swallow
it again, leave it in the pit of her stomach where it lives.
the best way to tell Helena how she feels is to never tell her at all.