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Terza’s Anniversary Present

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Janis sighed as she fiddled with the plain brown packaging the box was wrapped in. The bow didn’t seem appropriate, and the three calla lilies tied together on top of it were the only things she felt that she had gotten “right” about the package.

"I hope I’m doing the right thing here…" she muttered to herself, fidgeting awkwardly with her scarf as if to loosen a noose around her neck. She forced herself to turn away from the package and started in on the letter.

It took her nearly an hour, and two ruined pieces of good card stock to get it right. Finally she wrote “Lilian” on the front of it in good cursive and tucked the letter beneath the ribbon on the box.

The morning was cold and gray, no rain yet, but there were strong enough gusts of wind to suggest that it wouldn’t be far behind. Janis thought it was a fitting day to remember someone’s death. She hoped that when the rain came later it would wash Lilian’s heart as clean as it would the streets. The oddly poetic sentiment caught her off guard, but she chocked it up to it being the anniversary of Terza’s death making her a bit philosophical. After all, this day was the one that started into motion the cause of the Ambidex Game so it seemed like a good enough reason to make Janis actually and truly think.

The drive to Lilian’s apartment was a long one. She had to throw off a tail to do it as well. She knew the Cleveland Corporation was keeping close eyes on her, and she certainly didn’t want them anywhere near her… friend seemed the appropriate word. Lilian’s apartment wasn’t the most spectacular thing, but it would serve the purpose the other girl needed. After a short buzz and a jog up the steps Janis was at the door.

She wasn’t quite sure what to do next. Did she leave the package in the hallway? Should she knock on the door? Ring the doorbell? Nothing seemed quite right. In the end Janis left the package in the hall, rung the doorbell an annoying amount of times to make sure that Lilian would answer if she was at home, and then dashed down the hallway - double checking to make sure she opened the door and picked up the package.

Inside would be everything Janis thought Lilian might need for today: an unmarked cell phone programmed with her cell and work numbers, Ein’s number, phone numbers for the rest of the group members as well as of those Star players she could locate the numbers for, as well as the closest local hospital, and a grief counseling number; a recorder with the snippet of Terza’s death wish, a bar of emergency chocolate, and some tissues.

The letter itself read as this:

"Lilian if you need anything today, just ask. - Janis"

Once the door closed behind Lilian Janis couldn’t help but pause on the steps. She wasn’t sure if she should stay, or if her package would do any good, or if she had messed everything up. She hoped that it would help - at least a little.

Eventually Janis turned around and headed down the stairs, this time much quieter, and content in the fact that if Lilian needed her she had a way to get in touch.