Once and Again
Gardenia

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Gardenia

Cut to the high school, where Jessie and Katie are the only ones in the magically empty halls. Katie flits around the place doing what could be described as "dancing," but that would forever rob the word of its true meaning. So, let's see, she twirls. And she kicks a locker or two. And then she twirls some more. That about does it. She asks Jessie if she wants to go somewhere with a group of them later. Glumly, Jessie says she can't; she has to go shopping with her mom. She laughs and asks Katie what she's doing. "Come on!" Katie says, grabbing her hand. "I can't dance!" Jessie protests, which seems perfectly fine, since Katie can't either. Katie gives up and lets go of Jessie after a few twirls. Jessie says she doesn't really want to go shopping, but her mom's been depressed lately. "Mine too," Katie says, winding down. "Really?" Jessie asks. "Yeah, she just doesn't know it yet," Katie says. "She thinks everyone stays in the same housecoat until four o'clock every day for a year." She does a couple pirouette-y things across the hallway, to emphasize how little it affects her. She asks Jessie if her mom cries. Jessie takes a seat on the floor, against a locker, and says she does. Katie finally stops moving around, thank Pete, and asks whether Jessie's going to go shopping. Jessie smiles, pained, and says, "You should see the things she wants me to buy." Katie settles on the floor next to her, and then keeps going until she's fully reclined on the floor, hair and all. Which the janitor must appreciate, since now he won't have to sweep there. Katie says that Jessie should go, and then shifts gears, musing about clothes, and how everyone their age dresses to hide who they are, rather than express it. "And then some guy figures it out and makes, like, a billion dollars." She laughs at the absurdity and rolls toward Jessie. The janitor must be crying tears of joy by now. She looks up at Jessie, who just looks back, waiting. Katie rolls her eyes at herself and apologizes for going on like that. Jessie assures her that she likes it. Katie looks earnestly at Jessie and says, "You should go with her." Jessie seems to consider this advice.

Cut to the kitchen at Manning Manor, where Lily's dutifully cutting up veggies for dinner. Does she even work at the radio station anymore? And now that I'm thinking about it, what the hell happened with that weekly show she was supposed to get? I'm sure Chicago would love to hear about all the problems the kids are having these days. Anyway, Eli comes in the back door and immediately heads for the fridge. It must be expensive to have an Eli. "Hello," Lily says. Eli notes that she must "hate" him, too, or she would have said "hi." Lily wipes her hands and promises that she doesn't "hate him at all." He mutters that everyone else does, and a tear splashes onto my keyboard. Lily says, "They don't. You've just been a very, very, very bad boy." She steps behind him at the fridge and grabs his shoulders to move him aside. She chuckles that she doesn't know what to say to him; she's "never had a son." He grumbles, "Well, you're lucky you didn't have me, except indirectly." Lily tells him "it's not so indirect." He aimlessly opens the fridge again, asking what Rick said. Lily says she doesn't think she should say. Eli chuckles ruefully and figures it must be bad, then. He stands in front of the open fridge, not even looking inside. Lily finally puts down her knife, takes him by the shoulders, and positions him in front of the butcher's block, saying, "Here. Make yourself useful." She hands him a cucumber to slice. Eli asks if she thinks Karen meant it when she kicked him out. Lily figures that Karen means it right now. She asks if Eli was upset, and he says he was; not so much about being kicked out as he was about the shouting. He asks whether Lily ever shouted at her mother. "No comment," she replies with a telling sigh.

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Once and Again

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