I told him he wasn’t my friend. Before he could protest I said that real friends don’t wake up other friends in the middle of the night for money for drugs. (Even as I said it I thought of at least half a dozen occasions when that has happened to me, but that wasn’t the point.)

How will the ships navigate
without stars? And then he remembered that the stars were
dead, long dead, and the light they shed was not to be trusted,
was false, if not an outright lie, and in any case was inadequate,
unequal to its task, which was to illuminate the evil that men did.

Something cascaded lightly through me-a gentling, a suffused glow. If love could be morphed into a physical element, this would be it. It was strength and yet it was vulnerability. It was all-encompassing and yet it was freedom. It was a wall of protection. It was wings of trust and faith.

It was Gabriel Ross Sullivan, answering the questions I couldn’t ask. Not that everything would be okay, but that everything in his power would be done, and we’d face whatever outcomes there were together.

They were your friends?”
“Yes, they were my friends.”
“And they will leave you to suffer alone?”
“Now I see it.”
“And until this, were they friends you could trust?”
“I could trust them.”
“I see what you mean. You mean they were the kind of friends that a good man could choose, upright, hard-working, obeying the law?
Tell me, were they such friends?
And now they leave you alone?
Did you not see it before?”
“I saw it.

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