Jesse wasn’t above having fun teasing an eighth grader, but it was a relief when Stacey’s mom finally picked her up. Caleb was done outside and it was growing dark. They fetched the guitars to play in the living room, out of respect for Rosa’s ridiculous aversion to guests in Wynter’s bedroom. Wynter sat on the floor, leaning against the couch with her legs stretched out. She’d brought something else down from her room in a plastic bag, and handed it to Caleb.
“I didn’t have gift wrap, but it’s a late birthday gift.”
Caleb opened the bag and extracted a multicolored box made of Lego.
“I made it from Rosa’s Lego. It’s supposed to be the jamroom,” she explained.
Caleb turned the object around in his hands and took great pains to look pleased. “This is cool, hun. I’ll use it to display those minifigures Jesse made.” He handed it to Jesse to admire, not that there was much to admire.
“Yes, that’s what I thought,” Wynter said. “But I’ve just now realized you won’t see the people once you’ve put them inside.” She twisted her mouth in apology. “It’s my first attempt.”
Jesse jumped to the rescue. “Easy fix. We’ll move the doorway into this wall here, and then this wall becomes the floor, with an opening at the front. Good job, Wyn.” He winced, feeling like he was praising a three-year-old.
“Would Rosa be okay with you giving this to me?” Caleb said.
“Yes. She said I could.”
“What did she think of it?” Jesse asked her.
“She thought it was—” Wynter cut herself off and drew a deep breath. “Um, she thought it was a room at the ashram. A room with no windows. She wanted to talk about it.”
“Were there rooms with no windows at the ashram?” Jesse asked.
Wynter ignored the question like she always did. “Let’s play.”
They jammed for an hour, with Jesse slapping his thighs and the leather couch for a beat, grateful he hadn’t brought a third guitar because he wouldn’t have been able to keep up. He’d never had the patience to persist with such an illogical instrument. He found a pencil and a ruler to rap a beat on Rosa’s coffee table, and then moved a couple of large vases from the fireplace into position, along with an exotic wooden chest, and soon he had an entire drum kit going. He kept waiting for Caleb to make him stop.
Rosa came in and the music stumbled to a halt.
“Jesse, would you mind putting my things away? That copper vase is particularly valuable.”
Jesse got up to move everything back. The copper vase was the least likely thing to get damaged in his makeshift drum kit, but whatever.
“Caleb, thank you so much for fixing that gutter.”
“Any time. You let me know if you need anything else done.” Wow, his brother was trying real hard to please the shrink.
Rosa said, “Now Stacey’s gone and I have you all together in the same room, can we have a little talk?”
Caleb went from relaxed to wary in a split second. He put his guitar down and became politely attentive. Jesse returned the wooden chest to the table under the window, careful not to knock it on anything. He sat on the couch. Wynter stayed where she was, at his feet, holding on to the guitar like a shield.
“I’m not going to rehash what happened the other week,” Rosa said, addressing Caleb. “I’ve talked to Wynter at length about the dangers of online chatting and so on. I’ve accepted her apology for using my credit card. However, on a related note, she may have told you I found it necessary to look through her phone history a few weeks ago.”
Caleb said, “She didn’t tell me, no.”
“She told me,” Jesse said with a hint of belligerence, “so I showed her how to put a password on her phone.”
“And that’s what I’d like to talk about,” Rosa said. “Wynter, you’re doing so well at school, and you have a lovely friend, and everything’s going well. But you have to remember that all these new experiences can be overwhelming. I think we all need to be aware that you may not understand what is and is not appropriate when it comes to the way other people use phones to share information. We’ve all learned a lesson after that terrible episode in Eugene. If I’d been monitoring your phone during that time, I would’ve realized what was happening and it could all have been avoided. A great deal of damage can be done in the way teens use social media. There’s cyberbullying, to start with. There’s sexting and inappropriate selfies.”
“You looked through three weeks’ worth of my texts and found nothing,” Wynter said.
“I didn’t find nothing. I found some very inappropriate material—some websites in your bookmarks, for example.”
“What websites?” Caleb said, keeping his tone neutral.
“One in particular—a sex education site that I felt wasn’t age-appropriate.”
“I gave her that.” Jesse already had his phone out, calling up the site. “It was written by psychologists and teachers, specifically for teenagers.” He handed his phone to Caleb.
“Some of the information was fine,” Rosa said. “But half of it was completely unnecessary at Wynter’s age. You should not have sent her something like that.”
Caleb scrolled through. “I’m not seeing anything here that Jesse didn’t know at fourteen.”
“I hope you’re not serious. Why does a fourteen-year-old need to know nine positions for sexual intercourse?”
“Well, damn,” Jesse said, “I gotta study that site again cuz I’ve been doing the same eight positions over and over, thinking I was pretty fly with the ladies.”
“Cut it out.” Caleb’s tone was hard, although Jesse sensed it was mostly directed at Rosa. “Rosa, I think you’re overreacting. I’d rather she had factually correct information than some nonsense about purity rings and sticky tape.”
“I’m simply saying we should be careful, and conservative, given Wynter’s history and… naivety.”
“Unless this website is misinforming her, I don’t see the problem.”
“It’s not only the website. I have concerns about her interactions with Indio. He’s been sending her adult-oriented cartoons.”
Jesse couldn’t believe his ears. “You mean Dimiti Dime?”
“Isn’t that something he made up as a kid?” Caleb asked him.
“I didn’t find the humor in those cartoons childish,” Rosa said.
Jesse’s irritation rose in defense of his brother. “Okay, Dimiti does sometimes have something pithy to say about politics or masturbation, but it’s nothing she wouldn’t see watching The Simpsons.”
“He never sent me anything like… that,” Wynter muttered. Jesse couldn’t see her face but he sensed she was uncomfortable—and no wonder, with everyone talking like she wasn’t there.
“I’m pretty sure Indio knows how to be selective in what he sends,” Caleb said.
“I wish I shared your faith in him.” As Rosa spoke, Jesse felt another uh-oh moment coming on, recalling the trigger-happy groupie with the pink hair and the forgettable name. “Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Two weeks ago, I was sent an obscene photograph—”
Jesse guffawed. “Obscene?”
“—by mistake, apparently,” Rosa went on, ignoring him, “from Indio’s phone. My concern is that the photo, or similarly inappropriate material, could just as easily have been sent by mistake to Wynter.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Caleb said in that careful way he had when he was completely confused and unwilling to pass judgment yet.
Rosa thrust her phone screen under Caleb’s nose. His brow went up comically but he wasn’t smiling.
“You kept it?” Jesse said. “I mean, Indio works out, so why not? Women of all ages drool over the guy on stage. You gotta admit, that’s an aesthetically pleasing example of the male physique—” He stopped at the look Caleb gave him.
“Who sent it?” Caleb asked.
“He claims it was a prank,” Rosa said.
“The girl he… uh, his girlfriend sent it,” Jesse said. “I was right there. I met her. Nice girl. Great sense of humor.”
Rosa folded her arms, pressing the screen against her chest. “It’s clear he does not have control over his phone or the people he associates with. I need to keep a lookout for anything unsafe that comes Wynter’s way. Wynter, I need you to remove the password on your phone.”
“That’s an invasion of privacy,” Jesse said. He wasn’t actually sure he had the right to say anything. Rosa was worked up over that photo for no good reason. The rest… well, it was indirectly his fault Wynter had gotten into all that trouble in Eugene. Trouble that could’ve turned into a sickening disaster. He’d encouraged her to find online friends, given the real-life ones weren’t working out. And the “friend” she’d found wasn’t at all who he said he was.
Caleb looked mighty uncomfortable about the whole thing. “Jess, let’s hear her out.”
“I feel this level of oversight is necessary,” Rosa said. “And there’s more.”
“Steak knives?” Jesse muttered, thoroughly disheartened now because Caleb wasn’t doing a bang-up job defending Indio.
“Jesse,” Caleb snapped, “I need you to keep your mouth shut for five minutes.”
Even Rosa hesitated before speaking again. “Indio gave Wynter an old sketchbook of his with some upsetting content.”
“Some of the drawings were… angry, disrespectful, distressing.”
“You’re giving me emotions, Rosa—your emotional reactions.” Caleb was this close to losing his shit. “How about you show me the pictures and we decide together what’s appropriate?”
“I’ve already made that determination. I’ll return the offensive pages to you. I’m quite happy for Wynter to keep the rest.”
Rosa left to fetch them.
“He went through a million of those sketchbooks in high school,” Jesse said, though his five minutes weren’t up. “He probably didn’t even know what was in that one.”
“It’s true,” Wynter said quietly. “It was in that old bag he gave me. He said I could use the blank pages to write down songs.”
“What were the pictures Rosa didn’t like?” Caleb asked her.
“I didn’t see. She ripped them out.” Wynter pressed her face into the crook of her elbow. “I’m not scared of what was in Indio’s head when he was fifteen. Does she think I never saw anything distressing before in my life?”
Jesse put a hand on her shoulder in a gesture of solidarity as Rosa returned holding a manila folder. She gave it to Caleb, who looked through the drawings for a minute in silence. Jesse wanted to go over and take a peek for himself, because Indio was a fucking awesome artist, but he didn’t want to leave Wynter’s side or risk pissing off Caleb any further.
Caleb closed the folder and gave Jesse a brief, unfathomable look that made Jesse even more curious.
“I hope you appreciate my concerns,” Rosa said. “It’s not just the violent imagery. Some of that material is bordering on pornographic.”
Okay, now Jesse really needed to see those sketches.
“He drew these years ago,” Caleb said. “Wynter says she hasn’t seen them. So, I’ll take them home and ask Indio to be more careful with his… uh, artwork. And with his phone. Problem solved.”
“And if he’s not more careful? He’s free to live his life as he chooses, of course, but clearly he still has behavioral issues. I can’t allow his influence to—”
Rosa stopped as Wynter stood up suddenly and set her guitar against the couch. For a moment Jesse thought she was going to say something dramatic, but that wasn’t her style. She slipped out, and Caleb didn’t say a thing to stop her. Probably for the best.
When they heard the front door click open, Caleb gave Jesse a little chin-jut and Jesse went after her. Wasn’t like he was going to add anything useful to the conversation anyway. He heard Rosa launching into another speech and was glad to get out of the house.
He grabbed his jacket from the car and went out the front gate. Wynter was a few yards down the street, walking with her hands jammed in her jeans pockets. He jogged to catch up.
“Here.” He put the jacket over her shoulders and she pushed her arms through the sleeves. “She’s a bundle of laughs, that woman.”
“I don’t understand any of this,” Wynter said plaintively. “How does anyone know what’s appropriate? Who decides? Someone spent all that time writing a website and someone else says it’s wrong. There are all these other websites about the same topic, all written a bit differently, and Rosa hates this one and Caleb’s fine with it, but not with that one. Is there someone out there who knows for sure which sites are right and which are wrong? What did he mean about sticky tape?”
She had stopped walking, and faced him now, distraught. Jesse drew a deep breath, wondering how he was going to explain it all to her.
“The world is full of people with different ideas and different standards. The websites are written for different audiences. And that’s fine, if the information is true.”
“Where do people’s ideas and standards come from? Why can’t everyone decide on the same standards?”
“Well, if I ruled the world…” Nope, that wasn’t helping. “It depends how you were raised, the community you live in, your worldview, your religious beliefs.”
“And the sticky tape?”
“That’s a nutty religious thing to convince girls if they don’t save themselves for marriage, they won’t be able to love their husbands properly. I’m sure Rosa thinks she’s protecting you, but she’s making it into something bigger than it has to be. That website’s fine.”
Wynter narrowed her eyes, considering him. Considering whether to trust, him, perhaps.
“Caleb thinks the website is fine,” he added, knowing that would sway her.
“He doesn’t think Indio’s sketches are fine. And I didn’t even see the photo. Was it something bad?”
“It wasn’t bad. It was actually quite artistic and tasteful. That girl thought she was sending it to his mother, which makes me think she’s a bit messed up.” Jesse sighed. “And who knows what Caleb thinks? He picks his battles. He doesn’t want a fight over something trivial.”
“It’s not trivial to me.” She started walking again. “Anyway, I only looked at the first three positions on that website. After that it got weird.”
“See, that’s what Rosa doesn’t understand about you. She’s terrified you’ll see something scary, but you know how to self-monitor. That’s what you do when it comes to your past, too. You don’t talk about stuff that doesn’t need to be talked about, until it does.”
“I don’t talk about it cuz there’s no point. It couldn’t possibly make anything better.”
He touched her arm to make her stop. “Let’s go back. I’m freezing my nuts off.”
“Oh, I know that one—from the slang words page.”
“I knew it would be educational.” They turned around. “What I said about self-monitoring goes for anything—horror movies, peer pressure, drugs, boys and dating and sex and porn—if it gets weird for you, that’s when you stop. And always remember, I am your one and only source of accurate information. Except on that elusive ninth position. That might be the one that persuades Natalie to sleep with me.”
“I’m sorry she won’t.” Wynter nudged him. “Is that what I’m supposed to say?”
“Thanks for the sympathy. I can’t decide if she’s a tease or frigid or just really really slow moving.”
“Maybe she’s really really into you, and wants to make it special. That website talks about choosing partners wisely and the value of anticipation.”
“Yeah, well, anticipation after a while is just another word for blue balls,” Jesse muttered.
“I know that one, too! Your website really is informative. Is Rosa gonna make me delete it again and take the password off my phone?”
“Depends on how strong Caleb’s mojo is today.” That woman was ergonomically designed to rub the Fairn boys the wrong way, which unfortunately might negatively impact Caleb’s superpower. “But whatever happens,” he added, “I’m on your side. You remember that, okay?”
She squeezed his hand. “Okay.”
At the house, Rosa suggested Wynter help her make dinner so she could show off the skills she was learning. Jesse was itching to ask Caleb what happened after he left, but he wasn’t about to reignite the discussion with Rosa present. However the conversation had proceeded, it was over now.
Wynter pan-fried chicken breasts, made a herbed sauce from the juices, and served it up with prettily cut vegetables, all under Rosa’s careful tutelage.
“That’s called julienned,” Wynter said of the thin-cut carrots and zucchini.
“Everything’s delicious,” Caleb said, and it was.
“Wynter has superb knife skills,” Rosa said. “I watched her like a hawk for the first week—she chops so fast, I was scared she’d cut off her fingers.”
“How do I know there’s not a julienned finger in here?” Jesse stirred through his zucchini.
Wynter pulled a face and wiggled her ten fingers for him.
“Where did you learn to chop like that?” Rosa asked her.
“Same place I learned everything I didn’t learn after January.” There was an edge to Wynter’s voice, like she thought Rosa had ruined a fun moment by asking a question with an obvious and painful answer.
“Rosa’s going to drive you down to Seattle for your birthday visit,” Caleb said, to change the topic. “A bit quicker than the bus.”
“No overnight stay, though,” Rosa said. “I’ll collect you in the evening.”
Wynter’s face fell. “Why can’t I stay the night and take the same bus home on Sunday like last time?” She glanced at Caleb. “Is it because Indio’s staying the night?”
“He’s not staying, as far as I know,” Caleb said, bristling from all the unspoken implications of that particular rule of Tina’s.
Rosa said, “I won’t be around to pick you up from Pasco. I have a church committee meeting after the service, right through the afternoon.”
“I can take the local bus back to Richland,” Wynter said in dismay. Rosa didn’t appreciate the significance of her missing an overnight stay. Caleb’s house was home and she wanted to spend the night there even if she’d be asleep for most of it. She wanted to wake up to Caleb’s pancakes even if she had to wolf them down to get to the bus station on time.
Rosa said, “For the time being, I don’t want you riding buses out of town. To and from school, or the library, or the local mall, that’s fine.”
“I’ll get a taxi, then. I have fifty dollars because you made me… because I sold the guitar.”
“No, Wynter. The overnight stay was a concession when there was no other option. I have things to do in Seattle for the day, and then I’ll bring you home that evening.”
Wynter frowned, biting down on her lip. Jesse sensed her anger bubbling at a high simmer. He’d never seen Wynter truly angry. What would it look like?
“Can I still visit in three weeks, like we planned?” Jesse said sullenly. “It’s the start of spring break.”
Wynter brightened. “Can we take a family vacation?”
Caleb said, “No, hun, your spring break isn’t until April.”
“That’s stupid. Does that mean we can never take a vacation together?”
“Over the summer, sure.” If Caleb had custody by then.
Rosa twisted her neck, a slight and awkward motion that signaled to Jesse she was about to say something uncomfortable. She gave Caleb an odd look. “Did I see some Lego with your jacket, on the couch earlier?”
“You said I could keep it,” Wynter said quietly. “It’s Caleb’s birthday gift.”
“I said you could keep it,” Rosa said, matter-of-factly. “I didn’t intend for it to leave the house.”
“Just a misunderstanding,” Caleb said. “Of course I won’t take it if you’d rather it stayed here.”
“Thank you. I use that toy for my therapy work. Wynter, you can break it up when you’re done with it.” She startled as Wynter stood, perhaps expecting her to walk out of the house again. Wynter headed for the living room. “I didn’t mean right now…”
A moment later, Wynter made her way slowly back to the table with the Lego jamroom in her hands. As she approached, she broke it apart, very deliberately, leaving a trail of bricks on the floor behind her. Rosa stared, dumbfounded. Caleb set his jaw, also apparently speechless—which never, ever happened. Jesse had to press his hand on his mouth to stop himself laughing, a wholly inappropriate reaction given how the adults were reacting. All three of them watched in silence until Wynter reached them. She placed the empty baseboard on the table and resumed her seat.
“Why did you do that?” Rosa said, shaken by her defiance.
“You told me to.”
“I most certainly did not. Please pick those pieces up.”
Wynter sat there and looked at her. Jesse held his breath.
“Hun, clean that up,” Caleb said. He didn’t even sound angry, just resigned.
Wynter got up to obey. When Jesse moved to help, Caleb grabbed his arm and held onto it until Jesse dropped into his seat. Wynter crouched down and picked up all the pieces within reach, stuffed them in her pocket, and moved on a few steps to crouch again. All the way through the room and into the hallway.
“I’ll take you to the Lego store in Bellevue,” Jesse called out. “We’ll make another one. We’ll make it even better. Guitars, microphones, tiles for the floor and a hinged door. I’ve already got some ideas on how to make a tiny drum kit.”
Wynter threw him a quick, sly smile over her shoulder before disappearing around the corner on her haunches. Rosa started eating again.
Caleb considered Jesse for a long time, like it was somehow all his fault. Then he came to a decision and turned to Rosa. “We’re taking Wynter to a movie.”
“Wynter’s curfew is in twenty minutes,” Rosa said with forced pleasantness, anticipating a fight.
“Tonight’s an exception.” Caleb’s tone was equally pleasant, with that casual finality that made people obey despite themselves.
Rosa gave a deep, controlled sigh. “Very well, just for tonight.”
Nope, nothing wrong with Caleb’s mojo.
It was Wynter’s first movie and they did it right, with a jumbo salted caramel popcorn and sodas.
“What’s it gonna be about?” she whispered when the lights went down.
“My favorite thing,” Jesse said. “Teenage superpowers.” They’d picked a PG-13 movie, per Rosa’s instructions.
“You want superpowers?” Wynter asked him.
“I never really thought about it.”
“That’s because you never knew they existed.”
“But they don’t exist.”
“In here, Wyn.” Jesse tapped his head. “I have a rich inner life.”
Afterward, Wynter’s questions were all about the special effects—which parts of the film were real and which were “cartoon”, as she called it. It was important to her to understand the difference. Jesse explained the concept of CGI and thought about all the mind-blowing movies he was going to show her.
“There’ll never be enough time to catch her up with the rest of the world,” he told Caleb on the drive home. “I want to fill up her brain with everything. Pretty soon I’ll be putting calculus in there, so I need to use the time beforehand to stuff in a few fun things.”
“Calculus isn’t fun?” Caleb said dryly.
“Of course it’s fun. But I already know she’s gonna hate it. Way too abstract, at least in high school. I wonder what she’d find fun? I mean, anything’s interesting if you go into enough depth.”
“Might be more useful to teach her how to be discerning, in a more general sense. Then she can make her own wise choices about what she fills her brain with.”
Jesse thought about that, and about the way Wynter dropped those Lego bricks through the house and refused to pick them up when Rosa told her to, just to prove Rosa couldn’t control her. The way she’d picked up for Caleb because he could control her, at least when it came to making a point to Rosa. It was the most outward demonstration he’d seen that she had a mind of her own. She wasn’t a blank slate for Jesse to write on, even if she’d tried to make herself exactly that when she escaped the Light.
“You’re right,” he conceded. “Gotta figure out what appeals to her. Maybe a random approach is best. Throw a bunch of stuff, see what sticks. We’ll go for breadth, not depth. You know she’s never heard of the Trojan horse? Greek myths and military history, the life and times of Nikola Tesla, the underground railroad, Fibonacci numbers, Irena Sendler, Spinal Tap, Final Fantasy VI. Plus, you know, anything she might come up with on her own. She was incredible today, defying Rosa like that. I was proud of her.”
“Proud of her?” Caleb shook his head. “That was not what I meant by wise choices. Please don’t encourage poor behavior. You don’t remember how Indio used to do that? Those little provocations for no good reason except it gave him a pointless victory that no one else cared about. Hiding Harry’s cigarettes or draining the gas from his tank. Flat-out refusing to respond to questions or follow instructions.”
“Maybe, for him, the pointless victory was a good enough reason.”
“That’s great for him. Just made my life harder.”
Jesse flared. “You know why he drained the gas that time. You know why. Harry had a New Year’s Eve party to get to, and he was already drunk by three in the afternoon.”
“There are better ways to handle it than wasting thirty bucks worth of—”
“Why does this matter? It was ten years ago. She’s nothing like Indio, anyway.” He knew that concern was driving Caleb’s fears, that she was like their brother and might follow the same self-destructive path. “I mean, they clicked on some level, the music or whatever, but she’s not like him. Totally different vibe.”
“We’re going by vibes now, are we?”
Jesse ignored the withering tone. “So how did things go with Rosa after we left the house?”
“She’s going to allow the lock on the phone. I had to admit I may not be the best person Wynter comes to with some of that stuff, so Rosa will talk to her about the sort of things she needs to speak up about, to another woman if not to her—like Bea, maybe. That seems fair.”
“So, you got everything you wanted.”
“Rosa called it a compromise, which is what matters.”
“You’re so sneaky sometimes, for such a morally upstanding member of society.” Jesse reached for the manila folder on the back seat. “I’m gonna look at these, okay? I need to know what Rosa’s definition of bordering on pornographic is.”
“They’re not bordering on pornographic.”
“Ah, so they’re actually pornographic then?”
“They’re art, Jesse.”
“Like that male figure study on her phone?” He enjoyed seeing Caleb wince. “That’s the tricky thing, isn’t it? Figuring out the difference.”
Jesse opened the folder. The first drawing was a simple unfinished portrait of a girl. On the reverse was the same girl sitting on a chair, resting her head on her arms on a table. From the lightly sketched background, she appeared to be in a library or classroom. She was looking directly at the artist and she was stark naked.
“Uh… speaking of figure studies… Wow, he got someone at school to pose naked for him?”
“I doubt that. I presume it’s a figment of his imagination, although the girl may be real.”
“Who was he dating at fifteen?”
“I don’t remember. He never told me about any of them.”
There were similar drawings—the same girl and others, always naked, the poses so casual and innocuous the nudity seemed almost incidental. Some pages had smaller sketches down the side as Indio attempted to get a nose or knee or hand just right.
“These are good,” Jesse said. “I mean, other than the fact I might be looking at kiddie porn. Am I?”
“A fifteen-year-old drawing naked fifteen-year-olds? I don’t think that qualifies. Tell me those images aren’t on the mind of every straight teenaged boy in the world. The difference is, he had the talent to put them to paper. The rest of them… I don’t know. Maybe they’re uniquely Indio.”
Jesse looked through the other sketches. A young child with outstretched arms to welcome the jagged, monstrous shadows that surrounded him. A screaming, hooded figure cradling a baby and dragging an apparently dead child behind it. A blank-faced boy being crushed on all sides by formless shapes. And more—many with an edge of violence, all beyond anything Jesse could’ve dreamed up, yet nothing worse than what kids saw every day in horror movies and graphic novels. Except that these felt intensely personal.
“What do you think?” Caleb said. “From his fifteen-year-old perspective, I mean. Is this what living with Harry did to his young mind? You can’t live through a childhood like that and come away unscathed.”
“Speak for yourself,” Jesse joked.
Caleb shook his head. “I don’t know what to think. Could be some deep psychological shit or just an overactive imagination fueled by too much late-night TV.”
“I’ll ask him, if you like. What are you gonna do with them?”
“Give them back to him. I don’t know what effect they would’ve had on Wynter. What he does with them is his concern.”
Jesse snapped photos of a couple of the horror drawings and texted them to Indio with a message:
> Rosa confiscated these and more from that sketchbook you gave Wynter. You’re one sick dude.
The reply came a few seconds later—a smirking emoji with a message:
>> I was going through a phase.