"Syreeta, you'd tell me what was ever is troubling you, wouldn't you?" Fish's question was so sweet. Maybe that's why he'd brought her down to the coffee shop so they could be away from everyone at home.
She peered at him as if he knew something. Something, she would not talk about.
"I'm.." Well, she knew he wouldn't buy..I'm fine.."It's..its Luna. You know.." She had no idea where this conversation was going. "You know, how..how she spends all her time with Zac."
"But..but you have Sawyer. How is he these days?" Fish's open smile was so carefully planned. He knew. He knew something.
Syreeta gritted. She found herself squirming. She cradled her big mug of coffee.
"He has to see his Mom, every weekend." She sighed as if that messed up their quality time. "He's afraid he might have to go live with her, even if his dad says that won't happen..because..his Dad has full custody of him now."
"You sure, he's..he's not taking anything..out on you?" Fish winced. "You know, he's not getting physical, is he?"
"What?" She winced hard.
"Listen. Just listen to me." He sighed, reaching for her hand. "Kat..had some trouble one time."
"Like what?" Syreeta slightly scowled.
"This one guy was abusive. I don't think she knew..it was really serious, until..well..IT WAS serious. He was upset. About his parents. And..and he took it out on her. First, she..she just thought it was game. How..how he'd hit her. Like, you know, they were just playing around. But then..then we found the bruises. And, and she'd deny it. Because, she ..she said she could take care of herself. Actually, she just made up excuses for him."
"Oh God.." Syreeta shook her head, no. She did know about abuse. She'd seen what it could do to people and families. But she barely remembered a life like that. She barely remembered an uncle who was on drugs. He could be explosive. Even watching a TV show. A cartoon, at that.
"I'm fine, really. Its not..what you think." She took a sip of coffee then.
"Are, you sure? Absolutely, sure?" Fish looked her in the eye. Syreeta nodded.
"Look, I might break up with Sawyer, but ..but he's not hitting me. OK?" Syreeta felt so sad. She knew she should be there for Sawyer and all that he was going through with his Mom. She shouldn't think of Holden. She shouldn't care about him. She didn't want to care about him, but somehow, Holden was the only one on her mind.