Mild spoilers below the fold. I may be getting ahold of editing on WordPress….
Lily helped carry out the scrambled eggs. Erik, obnoxious though he might be, came after her with bacon. The outpouring of generosity of the rest of Texas after Ai’s visit had been overwhelming. Lily and Carol were still surreptitiously moving food and clothes about northeast and northern Texas as needed.
It was, Lily thought without crying, like one big family.
Coming right on the heels of the departure of her friend’s android body, the revelation that her sister might be alive somewhere in the badlands was almost enough to unhinge her. “But then,” Lily said to Ai’s image in her little apartment, “it’s not as if I’d to put up with much in the past few months!”
“Ah…about that…” the cute little CG started to explain….
“The physical form of the one person I love so much is taken from me, and at the same time, three pictures of my supposed dead sister are put before me.” Lily said clearly.
“Tell me, my beloved friend,” Lily asked, “just how am I supposed to feel?”
Lily lightly tapped the middle of her three flatscreens, where the nose of Ai’s silly CG image was.
“I’m neither blaming nor accusing you of anything, beloved friend,” Lily said. “But you and your family are like a whirlwind in my life. Sometimes, I’m a little confused!”
Ai’s image looked away.
“Where’s the world going, friend Ai?”
Ai looked back, her overly large eyes glistening. She mimicked Lily’s reach outward.
“Won’t somebody tell me?” Ai asked.
Lily blinked her tears away. She had to get back to her kids in the orphanage.
“Are we all one?” She barely laughed.