“Yeah…” thinking about what his sister’s referring to makes him want to caress Faye’s head.  He resists this compulsion, though his heart still breaks for her.  “Saying her mom is still just as busy in the Drawing Board as when she was alive, saying they have a house in Juniper that we’ve never seen….  Part of me wonders why Faye would make all that up, but…what’s the alternative answer for her?  I know, at some point, she’s going to have to come to terms with reality.”

    “You could always follow her home,” Owan suggests.  “When you get there and see that she’s all alone, still living here in Dogwood, you can sweetly help her admit the sad truth and be there to catch her when the tears start to flow.  I think that’d be best because she wouldn’t have to go through all that with everyone around, ya know?  Gotta’ think outside the box, do whatever she needs to help her get past losing her mom forever.”

    Owan’s advice has major flaws, but at least he tried, I guess.  It seems as if, for whatever reason, Ally J. didn’t go to the Drawing Board, the backup database for all the good deceased PACs, after she was killed last year.  This would seem to suggest that she wasn’t quite as moral as she led everyone to believe, meaning Faye went to the Juniper District where Drawing Board residents are allowed to walk about, since the physics of PACs works differently than for you and me, and instead of finding her mom, found the harsh reality that the woman that was never there for her in life wouldn’t even be there after death, leaving Faye all alone until she’s rescued by the only reliable person in her life, Elfie.

    “What am I supposed to do, just up and marry her?” Elf asks.  “That won’t solve her problem.  I love her, but she’s not going to get anywhere by lying and throwing herself at me inappropriately, disregarding my wishes, convictions and just me as a person.  Marrying her would bring this into our new home.  She has to throw these cares to God and let Him deal with them.  I just hate watching her learn that.  Then again, maybe later today, I’ll at least talk a little more directly to her about Ally J.  She can’t keep pretending like this.  In fact, I have to admit that it’s quite tiring that Faye lies so much every time something bad happens.  Before she works on anything else, that’s something I’d like for her to address.”

    “Maybe she needs all her friends to remind her we’ve got her back,” Owan suggests.  “You and me could be all big brotherly to her and reach out, or something.”

    “That’s sweet, Owan,” Gigi replies.  “Don’t see why we can’t all cheer for her.  That doesn’t mean we are ganging up on her or forcing her to say something that’s only between her and Elfie, but I think you’re right, Owan, that we should all tell her that we will walk with her in this journey, as Elf often says.”

    “Alright, you losers,” a voice can be heard from one of the other tables, “are you all going to just sit there, or are we going to visit a place?”  This, of course, is Lady Duplica, apparently ready to start much earlier than usual.  Cat is on time—no, early—for once?  Are we sure this is really Duplica?  She claps her hands eagerly and watches her followers slowly leave their seats, including a groggy Faye.

    Everyone gathers and listens to her last-minute instructions.

    “So, today, we embark on our final journey.  Today, we visit the last place we’ll ever go to as a class.  Use the restroom first if needed.  Gather your thoughts if your mind is not ready.  Say a prayer if your heart is not ready.  This is the moment I’ve been waiting for all year, to show you a place that very few get to see.  In fact, I’ve never been there myself.  So, before we go, are there any questions?”  Cat looks around.

    “Where are we going?” Owan goes for the obvious.

    “Do I need to worry about allergies?” Paul is next.

    “I think I’m good,” Kammy adds.

    “It’s obviously a surprise,” Cat answers, “but nice try, Owan.  You know I’m not going to tell you after that beautiful speech, he he!  And Paul, you definitely don’t need to worry about allergies where I’m sending you.”

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