"What's wrong?" Ivy's question awoke Simon..finally. He'd meander most of the day and almost forgot it was lunchtime.
"Oh..Valentina's sick." He looked at Ivy who seemed more genuine than he remembered. There was a certain beauty to her that couldn't be accomplished with makeup. He thought that way about Valentina, too. If only she were here.
"Oh, Strep is going around." Ivy told him. She got in the lunch line with him. "How are you feeling?"
"OK, I guess." But he wasn't quite sure. He felt he was in a fog of some kind. He was tired. He did his best not to be at home these days. Something, just wasn't quite right with his parents, but he wasn't sure what it might be. Xander's guest wasn't there anymore. He'd gone back to Xander's house.
"You've been working so hard." She told him. "Maybe, you need a break. I didn't do any studying during winter break."
"It's better to keep busy." He was certain of it. If he kept a tight schedule, life would go on. He didn't have to care what happened at home, he'd decided. But he needed Valentina. She kept him on track. She was the perfect assistant. "The school year, will be over..before you know it."
"And then what?" She looked at him blankly.
It was a sad thought. He'd enjoyed working on the play productions. His mind was full of directions and how emotions should be played out..and yet..he had none of his own.
"Who knows?" He smiled, thinking he was positive, but actually it was just acting.