Tray had made it home quicker than usual. His sister had gotten off work early, and had picked him up on the way home.
“You seem deep in thought,” she commented. “More so than usual. Want to talk?”
He shrugged. “I found someone today?”
“Found?” she questioned, glancing up from her smart phone.
“An old friend from Operation Birdsong,” he clarified. “A girl.”
“You found Ren?” she asked.
He nodded. “Turns out we see the same shrink. She’s worse off than I remembered. She’s so tiny and slender, and her eyesight’s still as bad as it ever was.”
“So she’s blind on days like today.”
“Yeah. But she’s still just as strong as she was back then.”
His sister smiled. “Do I hear a hint of affection in your voice, Tray?” she asked. “Does my stone of a brother actually have feelings for someone?”
“She’s different,” he replied, looking down to hide a smile. “Ren was my best friend during Birdsong. She’s…” His phone ringing cut him off. “Hey, Ren.”
His sister raised an elegantly arched eyebrow. “Ren?” she mouthed.
Tray rolled his eyes and walked to another room. “Yeah, I’d love to come over for dinner tonight. But can my sister come, too?” he asked, seeing her watching him from the doorway. “Okay, cool. We’ll be there in a few minutes.”
“So we’re having dinner with Ren?” she asked as he returned to the kitchen.
He nodded. “Her aunt and uncle want to meet me.”
“Like meeting the parents?” she asked with a sly grin.
“Ren’s just a friend. Her uncle thinks that maybe including me in her life again will help prevent against relapses.”
She sighed and grabbed her purse from the table. “Maybe it’ll help you, too.” She turned and eyed his dark t-shirt, leather vest, and skinny jeans with holes in the knee. “You going like that?”
He nodded. “Is that a problem?”
She shrugged and rolled her eyes. “Let’s go.”