"Hey Wesley," Connor said casually. "This is Wren. She was just leaving."

"Oh, okay," Wesley said, kicking off his shoes in the foyer, and the way he brushed me off made that unsettling feeling burrow deeper. I clung to my elbows, and ducked my head a little. I barely noticed how Kurt moved past me, leaning over to address Wesley.

"Hey... Asher needs to talk to you," he said, dropping his tone a little. Wesley frowned.

"...Why?" he asked slowly.

"Just... go," Kurt said, indicating with his head to the stairs. Wesley threw him a confused glance before heading for the stairs. I released a breath I hadn't known I'd been holding and turned to the two boys.

"Well... thanks for everything," I said, sincerity in my voice. They beamed back, looking pleased with themselves.

"Hey no, that's okay! We're sorry it happened in the first place!" Kurt said.

"Let us know how it goes, okay?" Connor added, and I told them I would. We said goodbye and I headed down the front steps towards the gate. Kurt had called another Uber, which would be arriving shortly, and the cool air caressed my exposed shoulders as I slipped through the gate and onto the street to wait. I checked my phone, and found multiple texts and missed calls from various people.

Daniel had been texting me about the Starbucks Scandal and insisting I reconsider his words from last night, as well as asking if I was okay. He'd been around again, but of course, I hadn't been home. I told him I was handling it— not because I wanted to check in with him, but because I knew he'd keep pestering me if I didn't.


I hadn't had this problem with my other ex's. They'd all left me alone once they'd kicked me to the curb. It felt strange to have someone still care, and still try to hold onto me.

Then there were the missed calls, from my mom. This was going to be interesting.

I rang her back. She answered almost immediately.

"Oh, honey!" she breathed, her voice full of relief. "I've been trying to reach you all day!"

"I know, I'm sorry—"

"—What on Earth is going on over there!" she continued, blabbering right over me. "There were all these articles online, and Daniel said he tried to talk to you— what's this about you losing your job?"

I inhaled slowly.

"Mom, it's fine," I said more firmly. "I'm dealing with it. I met up with the two boys behind the video today, and they're helping me find a new job."

"So now you're talking to these culprits?" she added, sounding a little lost.

"Well, yeah. They're helping me—"

But mom was off again, letting out a noise of disapproval.

"Oh, I don't understand all this social media nonsense," she scoffed. "It's clear to me that it's doing more harm than good— though I always said that, right from the very start. Louise and I were discussing it today at the saloon."

Louise was mom's 'gal pal', as she liked to put it.

"Honey, won't you come back? It's been a good month now— surely you've seen everything you wanted. Aren't you sick of it?"

"No, mom, I like it here," I said firmly. "Just because I had a little mishap doesn't mean I'm going to give up and come back. I'll find another way to make it work."

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