Part Four

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Part Four of You Will Find Your Way
All roads lead home, no matter how much Dallas doesn’t want them to.

Unbidden, tears sting at the corners of Dallas’ eyes, so she squeezes them shut and counts the little bursts of light that flare behind her eyelids until the feeling finally goes away.

When she can bring herself to meet Giselle’s gaze again, it’s to her staring back with wide brown eyes, “Enough with the Disney Princess doe eyes,” she snaps, anger that she can barely control flares from somewhere deep in her chest. “You know how I feel about that place.”

“I know, I do, but look,” she holds out the paper and points at one of the paragraphs, but there’s no way Dallas can process the words with the way her mind is racing. “They’re giving me a stipend to hire like, three assistants, but I just want you. Please say yes. I wouldn’t be where I am right now without your insights, you know that.”

Dallas sighs, digs her fingers into her right shoulder as she looks at the paper again—Tate College, university of the future—and her gaze is drawn to the university’s crest where it’s embossed in the tip right corner of the blurry letter from the desk of the dean.

After a minute, she finally looks back up at her friend—the only one she has—and nods, a few short jerks, “I’ll come,” she sighs, squeezes her fingers into her shoulder until pain flares down to her elbow.

Giselle narrows her eyes at her, “What’s wrong with your arm?”

“Nothing,” Dallas snaps, drops her hand and squeezes her fingers into a fist. “It’s fine. I’m fine.”

“Say that a few hundred more times and I might think you’re not entirely full of shit.”

For a second, Dallas sees red again, so she breathes deep and counts ten cracks in the walls, finally pushes away from the couch, “Anything else I need to know, or can it wait until tomorrow?” She frowns at the window on the wall behind the table, the sky outside turning from pitch black to, well, slightly less pitch. “This morning. Later, or whatever.”

Giselle doesn’t say anything, and Dallas leans down and unties her shoes, but leaves them on to protect her socks from the stain of the orange dirt that gets everywhere, no matter how many times a week they try to deep clean the bungalow.

Resolutely, she keeps her head turned down so she can avoid looking at the pitying look on Giselle’s face, but Dallas does hear her sigh and she fights the urge to cringe too noticeable, “Nothing that can’t wait,” Giselle says, her voice quiet but still brimming with a happiness that Dallas really wants to fault her for feeling, but can’t. “I’ll be there in a bit.”

“I’ll leave the light on.”

Their living room is so tiny it’s difficult to too much living there, especially since Giselle tends to end up using it as her office slash R&D room slash Dallas doesn’t even want to know what else, so she’s sure she’s escaped relatively unscathed until she hears her shuffle back to the table.

“All roads lead home,” Giselle says, and she freezes mid step, stumbles out of the room. “Even when you don’t want them to.”

She’s right, but Dallas isn’t about to tell her that to her face.

You Will Find Your Way continues with Part Five

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