“So, hi.” I said as I sat at the dinner table. Daniel and the lot had gone home and now it was just the four of us. Xander, Alex, me and Song Kang.
“Song Kang, this is Skylar--”
“Erm Alex! I can introduce myself, thank you very much.” I said turning to Song Kang. “Hi, my name is Sky.” I said.
“It’s nice to meet you. I’m Song Kang.” He said with a bright smile.
“I like your accent.” I said pouring him some orange juice. “So, where are you from?”
“I’m from South Korea. Daegu.”
“You know BTS?”
“Yeah, I’m a huge ARMY--”
“Shut up Xander.” I said gently stepping on his foot to shut him up. “As I was saying, I’m a huge fan.”
“That’s so cool. I love them.”
“That’s really cool. What do you like doing? Hobbies?”
“I like music and writing, also vlogging. I also love dancing. I have a YouTube account too.”
“Can I see?”
“Okay, but we should eat or the food will go cold.” He said starting to eat.
“You’re right.” I said picking my fork up. “Time to eat.”
Xander’s phone started to ring. He looked at the ID and got up. “I will be back.” He said before leaving the room.
“This is my channel.” Song Kang said once we’d finished eating. We were in our pyjamas and looking at his laptop screen. “I want to film some dance videos here.”
“Have you ever been to the UK?”
“No. It’s my first time.”
“Well, you speak good English.”
“Yes. I practiced since I was a child. Even in school.”
“Wow. You’re very impressive.” I said clicking on one of his dance covers. “You can dance so well and you decided to pick medicine?”
“Yeah. I enjoy medicine more. This is like a hobby.”
“Can you dance?”
I froze on my seat at the instant question. “Erm, I can.”
“Can you show me?”
“I’m...well..okay.” I said standing up. “Okay.”
“What song should I put on?”
“Oh, I love that song!” He said. “Take my hands now, you are the cause of my euphoria,”
“Yeah yeah, yeah yeah, yeah yeahh.”
“Yes. You can sing very well.” He smiled putting it on. “Ready? I don’t know the whole dance--”
“That’s fine. I do.”
“Do you only know--”
“I’ll tell you a secret.” I whispered to him. “Whenever any BTS song is released, I learn the dance and dance alone.”
“Why is that a secret?”
I sat back down and paused the video, frowning.
“It’s fine. Want to watch Extraordinary You?”
“I watched it.”
“So did I. I don’t really watch and K-dramas.”
Suddenly the door knocked. I looked at Song Kang confused and got up. “Stay here. I’ll be back.” I said leaving the room. I went to the front door and saw Xander opening the door. Noah.
“Xander.” Noah said pouting.
“Noah, why the hell are you here?! If it’s to get Sky back, then no chance.”
“I need help on some work. I don’t know how to solve these equations--”
“Have you got Wi-Fi? Yes. So use it.”
“What’s going on?” Alex asked coming up to us. “Noah why are you here?”
“He’s come to get Sky back--”
“No Xander. I came because I need help with some equations--”
“Where’s Calvin? Can’t he help you?”
“He told me he hates me and to stay away from him and he wishes I had died in mum’s belly,”
We all looked at him in surprise. Calvin said that?!
“Noah stop crying.” Xander said hugging him. “He’s probably just mad at you--”
“No, he hates me--”
“Stop saying that. Come on. Show me your work. I’ll help you.” Xander said walking Noah to the living room. I stood looking at Alex in confusion and betrayal. “Did..did that just happen?!”
“Sky, Song Kang’s here. Just act reasonable. I know Noah’s done wrong, but remember, it’s not really his fault he reacted that way.”
I tilted my head confused at what he’d just said. “What?”
“Mum and dad have been..hating on him since he was a child and now mum’s really lost the plot. Practically verbally abusing him without even knowing and, and then before..Xander and you know...the beatings.”
When he said the beatings, I felt bad. Truly I did but still. I cannot let him off like that. “He can control his actions--”
“He was brought up like..he was nothing.” Alex sighed. “Anyways, just go bed. You’ve got school tomorrow.”
“Yes I do.” I mumbled going into Song Kang’s room. “Night oppa.”
“Oppa?” He asked almost choking on his drink.
“Yes. Got a problem? Oppa?”
“I’m not your oppa.”
“You are my oppa.”
“No I’m not--”
“You can’t call me hyung! You’re a girl!”
“I know. Oppa.” I teased leaving the room. I went upstairs but did a U-turn and started watching Noah and Xander.
“Noah you look like you haven’t slept in a while.” Xander whispered. “Look at me Noah. What’s wrong?”
“You already know. I’m trying to forget it okay--”
“Is it mum and dad?”
“They’re not my parents.”
Xander sighed and lifted his chin up. “Noah, I know mum and dad are practically unconsciously bullying you...they’ve always done so...”
“I didn’t mean to hurt her. I was looking for someone to hurt and I knew she was weak. I just wanted to feel powerful and not fucking be a victim of my parents curses and--”
“But you should never have hurt her like that. I was so scared when I saw her. She could’ve died. She was freezing and fucking wet from the rain.”
“I never meant for her to get hurt like that. I just ticked, because--”
“Because she didn’t praise your hard work?”
“I studied so hard, and she was the only one that actually took proper interest in me. She’s the only one that knows how good of a person I can be. She knows everything about me. But everyone just..thinks of me as a monster or pure trouble.” He said his voice cracking. “But I don’t care because it serves me right. And anyways, I don’t need anyone, I’m fine all by myself.”
“No you’re not. Noah no one is watching you, you can cry. Or want to go outside? We’ll get some fresh air? Hm?”
“No, I don’t want to fail this next exam.”
“You can’t keep bottling up your emotions.”
“I’m not Xander..I’m not..” He sobbed. “I’m not.”
“Come here.” He whispered. Noah hugged him tightly and continued crying. “Am I terrible?”
“No you’re not--”
“Then why does everyone hate me? And why do I keep hurting everyone--”
“Because you lash out. And that’s because you’re scared. You’re scared of something and that’s been eating you away all this time. You’re scared of loosing someone that you love. Isn’t it?”
Noah pulled out and looked down at his hands. “I never used to physically hurt someone..I just used to pushed her, never beat her up. But then, but then you..and Mr Trent. Xander I didn’t know what to do, I just stayed quiet and acted like I was fine and mum and dad never even helped, they just kept comparing me, constantly. I was just fifteen. I turned fifteen..and..and I thought it was never going to stop, everyday I went to school, I had new bruises, mum and dad would yell at me telling me to stop fighting and--”
“Stop crying or they’ll hear you. Lets go.” Xander said helping Noah up. They continued talking and left the house. I sat on the staircase lost in thought. Noah was getting abused..by Xander before and..that wasn’t fair. I..I know he was putting on a brave face.
I gulped and looked down. Why do I feel so bad? He hurt me. He’s the reason that my voice sounds a bit different from before. He’s the reason for everything...but there must’ve been a reason. He said I was the only one that had faith in him. His only hope was me..is that why he beat me up the very first time? Because he was scared to loose me? Is that why he kept threatening me? So that he wouldn’t loose me? Is that why he was scared?
I got up and went to my room to grab my coat. After I went downstairs and walked out the front door. I saw Xander talking to Noah and then Noah heading into his home. Xander turned around and started walking towards me with an angry look.
“Lunar Skylar don’t you know what the word, ‘privacy’ means?!” He hissed.
“I need to talk to Noah.”
“Let go off my hand. I’m going to speak to him.”
“You need to get home NOW.”
“I am going to speak to him. If you don’t let go off my arm, I will scream.”
He immediately let go and scoffed. “If you get hurt, don’t even approach me.”
I rolled my eyes and went into the house sneakily. I walked into the house and up the stairs. I could hear everyone in the living room so I was careful with my footsteps. I stood outside Noah’s room watching him speak on the phone. “Mum, I--”
“Noah I don’t even want to hear you right now--”
“But mum, tomorrow we have a new test, I promise I’ll score higher. I’m sure I will--”
“Noah that’s what you continuously keep sayin--”
“Mum, I’m serious. Please just trust me?”
“You better get a distinction like Calvin.”
“What is it now?”
“I need some money--”
“My computer broke.”
“Well, it was an accident. I tripped over some wires.”
“Get a job.”
Noah fell silent for a while. “Aren’t you gonna ask if I’m okay?”
“Noah, that’s the last thing I want to hear. You’ve lost the plot. You beat up your own girlfriend!! Why can’t you be like Alex, Xander, Calvin?!”
“Because you never taught me how to look after a girl!! You only told Calvin, Alex and Xander!!”
“Don’t you dare shout at me!!”
“Mum why do you hate me so much?!”
“Because you’re a stupid mistake. I should’ve listened to my mum when she told me to abort you and keep Calvin.” She muttered angrily before cutting the call.
Noah immediately dropped the phone. He stared at the phone he’d dropped on the floor and I could see him starting to cry. “No, she’s lying. She’s just mad at me.” He kept saying through his sobs. He grabbed his phone and dialled someone. Me. My phone started ringing and I ran to the toilet. “Hi Noah--”
“Sky can we talk--”
“I just need someone to talk to. I’m desperate right now--”
I stared at the floor unsure of what to do. He hurt me, and is probably going to keep hurting me more. I can’t have that. It’s time for me to stand up for myself.
“Sky?” I heard him say again. “Are you there?”
“Noah, we’re over. I can’t do this. I’ve gone through too much pain in such a short amount of time. I can’t--”
“You can. I know you’ll change your mind--”
“No. It’s final. I won’t let myself get hurt again.” I said cutting the call. After a few moments I heard
said cutting the call. I waited for a couple seconds and then went into Noah’s room.
“Sky..” He said as I sat beside him. I looked at the screen and saw that there was barely anything to see. 65% of the screen was damaged. And it was glitching. “Noah can’t you buy a new phone--”
“It costs too much.” He sighed. “I’ll live.”
“I’ll ask Xander to--”
“Sky you still don’t get it. Everyone hates me.”
“We both know--”
“My mum just told me that she should’ve aborted me and kept Calvin.” He said as tears rolled down his eyes. “She said that to her own child. But again, I’m okay. I can take everything just because I seem strong and okay.”
“And I’ve now lost all my friends, my twin, my family..Xander is still here for me..you..you..hate me..don’t you?”
“Noah, look at me.”
“No. I can’t. Please just leave--”
“I love you Noah. I always will.”
He suddenly sat up shocked. “But I just--”
“I can’t let you go now. Not when you need me most. But, I’ll make something clear, and that is that if you dare, and I mean, if you dare to ever, lay a finger on me again, I will leave, out the door. But until then, you have me.”
“..No.” He said. “I can’t hurt you again--”
“Noah that’s not true--”
“And even if we do get back together, everyone will always be suspicious of me and will always check on our relationship..”
“I can’t go through that--”
“We. Remember? It’s WE from now on.”
He looked at me unsure and then smiled. “Okay then..we’re back together?”
“Yes we are.”
Then I heard the door open. “Noah?” Calvin asked. Noah took a deep breath and turned around. “Yeah?”
“Erm, want any help?”
“Is this your way of apologising?”
“No. I cannot believe you told me you hate me, not by text, but to my face.” Noah said getting up. “Now please leave my--”
“Sky? Why are you here?”
“Well, I came to talk to Noah--”
“Noah I thought you both broke up.”
“We did.” Noah said.
“I’m confused. Noah what’s going on here?”
“Calvin it’s none of your business--”
“I need to know she’s safe so you better tell me what you’re doing with her or I’ll tell mum.”
“No!” Noah said quickly, then turned to me. “Should I tell him?”
“We’re back together.” I said getting up.
“No. I’m not gonna let you get hurt again.” Calvin said.
Calvin suddenly slapped him across the face. “You better back off her or I’ll make sure I tell mum.”
Noah stood frozen and dumbfounded. “W..what?”
“You and her are over--”
“That’s me to decide, not you!” I snapped. “I want to be with him, so screw you! Noah, lets go.”
“Sky I’m sorry--”
“Noah stop listening to them. Please--”
“Sky but out of this.” Calvin said. “Noah, I don’t want to see you anywhere near her. Even when we’re all together. Sky, get downstairs.”
“Calvin, he’s my boyfriend, and you’re just gonna have to deal with it.” I said locking arms with Noah. “So get out of OUR room.”
“OUR?!” Noah and Calvin asked surprised.
“No, I mean, Noah, I will be here often, right?”
“Sky. Downstairs. Now.”
I looked at Noah, waiting for him to back me up. “Noah.”
“Sky if my parents find out--”
“You and your parents! Why don’t you just tell them to leave you the fuck alone!!”
“It’s not that simple--”
“Don’t.” I said storming out the room. I stood on the staircase looking at Noah’s door. I felt bad. I shouldn’t have shouted at him like that. I know his parents mean a lot to him..
“Noah you cannot get back with her.” Calvin hissed.
“I can and I will--”
“Okay, and I can and will tell mum--”
“Calvin stop. I won’t hurt her. I’m serious this time.”
“No. That’s what you keep saying.”
“Calvin just please--”
“No. You need to break up. Now.”
“Calvin...she’s the only one I have and that cares about me!!”
“You told me you hate--”
“Forget that. I wasn’t in the right state of mind.” He said.
“Calvin, I promise I WON’T hurt her--”
Not a split second later, the door opened and Calvin left the room. He looked like he was searching for someone when his eyes landed on me. “Sky, go downstairs.”
“No.” I said. “He’s my boyfriend--”
“He’s going to fucking keep hurting you!!” Calvin yelled. “You are loosing your mind--”
“Don’t talk to her like that!” Noah said pulling me away from Calvin.
“Back off her Noah--”
“No. She’s my girlfriend--”
“That’s enough!! I told you to back off her!!”
“I told you--”
“What’s going on?!” I heard Alex 1.1 hiss coming up the stairs.
“Noah and Sky are getting back together!!” Calvin snitched.
Alex 1.1 looked at Noah and then back at me with a blank expression. “Sky you’re enjoying this aren’t you?!”
“Well to me, it looks like it.” She said glaring at me and Noah. “Noah don’t you even dare look at her and same goes for you Sky. I’m also telling mum and dad Noah, and Sky, I’m telling your parents too. Both of you go to your rooms.” She said to Calvin and Noah. “Sky, to your room.” She said dragging me almost out the house. I walked down the street in fury. It’s my choice! I love him! Why does no one understand!? I turned around and saw Noah waving at me. I smiled and waved back. “I LOVE YOU!” I mouthed. He smiled and closed the curtains. I stood star struck. He didn’t say it back? Maybe he forgot. I sighed and walked into my house. “Xander I’m back.” I said. I saw him anxiously pacing around the room.
“Did he hurt you!?” He panicked.
“No. He didn’t.”
“Are you sure?”
“Don’t lie to me--”
“Noah I’m fine! More than fine.”
He looked at me unsure and then sighed. “Go to bed. Tomorrow is school.”
I sighed after class. Noah wasn’t in the zoom today. Neither was he in yesterday, or the day before. I wonder why..either way, why should I care!? He hurt me.
“Sky?” Victoria said coming suddenly appearing in front of me. “Why do you look so down?”
“I don’t know.” I lied. I’m sad of course, because I just came from a breakup not two days ago...
“I know how it feels--”
“No you don’t. You're a ghost. A figment of my imagination.”
“I came to make you feel better, and now I’m regretting it.” She said glaring at me. "Now, if this is about that loser, then you're gonna recieve a good old slap."
"Correction, harmless slap."
"You're so mean."
"No. I'm just stating facts."
Victoria sighed and slowly started fading away. I feel stupid. I mean, why am I speaking to ghosts? I don't even speak to the real Victoria. Wow..
"Sky?" I heard Noah say. My eyes widened as I saw him come into my room.
"Sky can we talk--"
"Noah, get out." I said getting up. "I don't want to hear any excuses--"
"No. It's about the kids--"
"Seriously?! You're using my children--"
"Children as an excuse to talk to me?!"
"Sick!? Noah Heffley I cannot believe you--"
"Sky I can't lie--"
"...What kind of sick?"
He gulped and walked over to me.
"I won't hurt you." He said sitting beside me. "I should've told you the day you woke up, after birth.." He whispered.
"Noah what?" I asked my voice quivering.
"Um.." He looked at me like he was about to cry. "I didn't want to hurt you. I thought you'd neglect the kids--"
"Noah what is it?!"
"It's Cole..he's got a weak heart.. He couldn't breathe properly and the doctors put him into an oxygen machine. It was horrifing--"
"I couldn't even understand what was happening..I mean, I'm just a teenager, and I've just seen my baby at the verge of dying.."
"Cole had to go through a lot of examinations after that rainy day when you were outside. Cole couldn't cope well. Cleo could but not Cole."
"Noah..why didn't you tell me this sooner?!"
"Stop apologising!! Enough! You keep messing up--"
"I don't mean to--"
"Yes you are Noah! Open your eyes!! You need help!!"
"No I don't.."
"You need to see a psychologist AND therapist."
"Sky, don't say that--"
"You don't get to tell me what I should and shouldn't do--"
"Sky..Cole is feeling a bit weak today. I'm just worried, that's why I came to talk to you. I didn't come here for you to nag at me."
"I'm not nagging at you. I'm simply telling the harsh reality."
He looked at me and down at the floor. "Sky, Cole isn't--"
"Don't call me Sky. You lost that right two days ago."
"Sky I still can't sleep--"
"I don't care if you can or can't--"
"I'm literally loosing my mind..I just want to speak to you--"
"But I don't. Just go away--"
"I need to tell you about Cole--"
"I'll call my parents instead. Now get the hell out of here."
"Noah if this is some sick way of trying to get back with me then forget it. I am never, ever ever getting back together with YOU."
"But Sky its not fair--"
"Yes it is! It's so fair. Too fair!!"
"Sky you don't understand--"
"I understand. Yeah, you went through hell but I did too. I have suffered more and worse than you!! You went through nothing compared to what I went through!!"
"I do understand and don't you dare ever say you went through more than me!! It's not like you spent years in fear? How many sleepless nights have I had?! Hm?! Scared that Xander will come into my room, while I'm asleep and decide to beat me up?! I get so scared!! So don't you dare compare what you've gone through with what I had to go through." He said as his voice cracked. "You had people. Your parents to talk to. Everyone really. Where as I, had to hide constantly from everyone. I'm fine. Oh, Noah you got into a fight again? Or Noah when will you learn to grow up? Look what trouble you're causing. Sometimes I'm ashamed to call you son! Yeah. My parents really said that. You're lucky you've got loving and supportive parents...I'm jealous sometimes..sometimes I dream about being Calvin and getting all the love from my parents. And then I wake up. Pam. Reality hits. So Sky, don't you ever. Ever. Ever compare what you've been through with what I had to go through. You see me? I still get nightmares. Anxious. You want to know why I'm so desperate to bloody move in with you?! Its because that room gives me nightmares. There's still blood marks around the room." He said before wiping his tears. "I am sorry..I can't express how sorry I am but one thing I know for sure is that I will regret this for the rest of my life. I have had enough with everything. Everyone! I'm a failure in life and bloody beat up girls. I think mum is right. It's Gods fault for creating me--"
"Woah woah woah. Noah that's not true! You were born for a reason--"
"Mum says and I quote, 'I will never forgive god for creating you.'"
"Noah..why would she say that?!"
"Sky, life hates me. Now that I think of it, no one cares. No one asked if I was okay after all the Xander and Mr Trent and my beating drama. No one even asked me how I was coping. Instead, I was getting told off. I mean..." He scoffed. "You're the only one that gets me and you barely checked up on me.."
"No, it's okay." He lied. "I'm okay. We've all moved on haven't we."
"No Noah. This isn't something you can forget. You went through hell since you were fifteen..and you're almost turning seventeen. We should all have checked up on you. The same way Alex 1.2 talks to Xander every night..about Mr Trent and if he's okay. Xander opens up to Alex if he's having a hard time...Noah have you been having a hard time?"
"Alex 1.1 re-painted my room recently."
"That's good. But how are YOU coping?"
"It's hard." He said looking down at his hands. "I'm stupid aren't I?"
"NO! Don't say those things."
"I keep getting bad results...and..Calvin gets amazing results--"
"Noah..is it hard studying? I mean, some people find studying hard."
"Its not that..it's just..everything..the twins and Levi..I need to look after them, especially Cole. I need to keep an eye on him constantly. I need to check up on him. Calvin sometimes looks after the twins but I can't trust him. I keep going into his room every few seconds. I can't leave the kids alone. What if something bad happens? Last time Calvin dropped Cole. That day I almost had a heart attack and since then, I haven't allowed him to come anywhere near the kids. But now..the kids are far away. It's giving me anxiety. I can't sleep, I can't eat. When I want to video call, mum or dad, they never pick up. I don't know if they're safe. I can't rest. I can't eat. I feel like my head is about to explode. I can't do anything anymore. I just keep thinking about the twins. I want to go visit them soon, like tomorrow.."
"I know. I shouldn't. What if mum and dad tell me I'm not allowed to come in. In case, I hurt them..which I would never..I would never hurt them..I can't even get mad at them. Or even annoyed..I can't recall a moment I have..I've only loved them..never showed my angry side at them..our bond is so close, they can figure out who I am just by my voice.."
"Noah..I know you love the twins. But they're being looked after properly. Like you. Your parents took care of you. Same way they will to the twins. Hm?"
"That's what I'm scared of..what if they treat me the same way as they did with me?"
"What?" I asked confused. That's when it hit me. "Noah, they would never treat you like that!"
"No, you don't understand. I'm going tomorrow. I just wanted to tell you.."
"Does anyone else know?"
"No. I can't. And you can't tell anyone. Cole is sick and I can't just sit back all cool like you. I'm sorry. But I have to go."
"Ouch. I do care about the twins, and when will you be back?"
"Um..maybe at around..when my parents trust me to have them back?"
"Look, I can't be happy without seeing them. Yeah? They're the only ones that don't judge me. Levi found out what I'd done to you and is now refusing to see me and of course, he's scared. He says he never ever wants to see me again.." He scrunched his nose. "But it's okay. It's okay isn't it. He'll snap out of it soon and forgive me."
"You seem unsure."
He didn't say anything but instead stared at me with a face that I wasn't able to read.
"When you..beat me up..do you not see your girlfriend? Do you see me as a stranger?"
"Sky lets talk about something else."
"Something else? That's the last thing we should be doing. Now, answer my question."
"When I..hurt you--"
"Beat. Not hurt--"
"They're both the same thing."
"No. Hurt can be a pinch or breaking someone's heart. Beat is--"
"Sky, please, just--"
"Answer my question."
He hesitated for a bit but then let out a sigh. "When I beat you up..I'm angry--"
"Of course you are--"
"No..I mean..I get angry...but I..I don't know how to explain it--"
"No..when I beat you up, I don't see you as my girlfriend.."
"So, I mean nothing to you?"
"No. When I beat you up..I think of you as a punching bag."
"Punching bag?! Noah do you hear yourself--"
"You told me to answer your question. And I have."
"Noah..you..." I shook my head. "Get out."
"No..just..I have picked up a bad habit..and that habit is hitting you..I know it seems like an excuse but...but..isn't Xander older than me? Don't youngsters follow their elders footsteps? Learn from them?"
"Noah? Noah are you crazy?!"
"I learnt from Xander. He didn't care..he released his anger on me. He hit me without a care. He hit me like as if I was a rock he was trying to break. Sky, I treat you the same way. And I hate it. I want to start again. From scratch. I will never ever hurt you--"
"NOAH NO! YOU HAD TOO MANY CHANCES--"
"But its not fair.."
"You should have thought twice."
He looked at me with a perplexed look. I didn't say anything. Just glared at him. "I can never forgive you for what you've done. It's over now. I still care about you but don't take it the wrong way. We are over for good."
"What's going on?" I heard Xander say coming into the room. "Noah why are you here?"
"Get. Out. Now."
"Fine." He said storming out the room almost breaking the door.
"Noah what's wrong with you?!" Xander shouted. Noah turned around. "It's not broken yet."
"Alex just fixed that door and now you want to break it?! Don't you learn from last time?!"
Xander looked at him with a strange look before smacking him across the face. "Last time remember what happened? Hm?"
Noah froze for a moment while blood leaving from his open cut lip.
"Don't you dare come anywhere near her. I swear if you do, you'll end up regretting it. Idiot." Then he turned to me. "I don't know why you even fell in love with this dickhead in the first place. Out of all the people you chose him. I never knew you were that.." He shook his head and went into Alex's room. I stared at Noah with a worried face.
"Are you okay?"
He shrugged his shoulders. "It's fine. I'll go now."
"Sky it's fine." He said quietly as he left the house. Not a second later, Xander appeared with a bat.
"Sky, I'll be back soon." He said.
"Where are you going."
"Out. Don't leave the house."
"But nothing. I'll be back soon." He said walking down the stairs.
"Sky stop it." He shouted walking out the house.
I sighed and sat down in the living room, switching the TV on. I need some Run BTS to cheer me up. I do hope Noah is okay. He seemed upset. But it's fine.