There are many ways to deal with grief, some healthier than others. Amelia Sprigg had tried many of them, and what felt right seemed to vary from grief to grief. When her dad had died, she had managed to keep going and even make friends with Death – literally. When mother had died as well, while Amelia was still weighed down by her grief over father, she had managed to spend a few weeks pretending she was still alright.
But her new reality crept in sneakily, like a burglar who – instead of silverware and antiques – took away joy and the constructive ways of handling loss.
At first it stopped Amelia’s calls and visits to her friends. She didn’t even see Katie or Sandra, or the Ley Line Nexus people much anymore. She sent cat pictures and messages on important days and sometimes managed to go out with her colleagues for lunch, but it was all done with a nagging feeling that she shouldn’t. That she had More Important Things to do.
Second, it made her stop thinking too much. She went through the motions during the day and waited for the nights she could talk to Connor and plan ways to help him. She waited for visits from Tad, who seemed like the only appropriate guest she could welcome right now.
She was sure it was only temporary, that once she figured out a way to help others, especially Connor, she would be back on her feet again. Helping had helped her before. Why shouldn’t it help now?
Lately, Amelia had been contemplating calling Tad. Metaphorically, of course. She hadn’t seen him all week, and while that probably wasn’t a long enough time to start missing him, she still did. She never knew when Tad visited nowadays, and that made things worse. If she had had something to look forward to, it would have been easy to wait. And now she had something to ask him too.
That made her a bit nervous. Tad was her friend, but Amelia knew she would be asking Tad a huge favour. She wasn’t certain at all if Tad could do anything to help Connor, and she was even less certain that he would even if he could. He had his rules, that had become clear enough, and Amelia couldn’t bear the thought of putting him in a tough spot again.
Still, it wouldn’t hurt to ask, right?
Amelia cooked too much food again without even thinking much of it. The kitchen filled with the scent of mushrooms and eggs. She ate in silence, in a half-empty house and tried to taste the mushrooms instead of just mush. She gasped when there was a knock on the door. She hurried to open, and wasn’t sure whether to feel happy or more nervous when she saw it was indeed Tad at the door, just like she had hoped.
“Come on in!” she said with a bright smile on her face to mask her nervousness, “I was just thinking about you.”
Tad looked at her rather uncertainly.
“Yeah. I haven’t seen you around lately.”
“You have not?”
Amelia frowned. Tad seemed to be somewhere far away, and while that was normal for him, it always made her a little worried because she could never tell where he went. Sometimes it was for work, but sometimes something bothered him.
“Well, you haven’t been here in weeks.”
“Yes… I have been busy. May… may I still come in?”
He asked it so uncertainly, like he had gone back to the time he always assumed he wasn’t welcome. Amelia felt a frown creasing her forehead – definitely not for the first time when it came to talking with Tad. She thought back to the time she had been a kid. At an age everyone had had (usually) silly, lofty dreams of adventures, dream jobs and riches. Amelia had wanted to live in a castle made out of chocolate wafers and strawberry meringue. That had been a silly dream, but a fun one. When she had grown up, she had of course realised that houses – let alone castles – made out of wafers wouldn’t be structurally sound and that the whole dream was something she should just leave behind. And she did, because then she could start building more realistic dreams about cute houses made out of proper construction materials – though she never necessarily ruled out the possibility of making walls look like wafers someday.
But Tad… he seemed to have made wafer-meringue castles out of even the smallest possibility that he could have the right to expect any humane treatment from anyone. That wasn’t good. Not good at all.
“Um… I can go if you-“
“Oh, no, don’t!” Amelia said, startled because she realised she had probably been very quiet for a long while, lost in weird metaphors about pastry castles, “Come in! Of course you can. I just told you to, and you’re always welcome!”
Tad nodded slowly, stepping indoors when Amelia made room for him. Amelia offered him tea, just like always, and Tad managed a small smile. Something was on his mind, and because something was on Amelia’s mind as well, everything felt more awkward. It was like they were suddenly back to that new-born foal version of social situations, awkward, stumbling and cautious. They sat down in the living room with cups of tea and Amelia’s favourite, cat-themed teapot. The porcelain kitten was the only thing that seemed to be without care at the moment. Amelia sipped her green tea with jasmine, put her cup down and glanced at Tad. He had curled up on the couch, like he often did when he was feeling insecure or when he was somewhere else.
“So, how are you?” Amelia asked, “Any progress with the… probation?”
“Yes, actually,” he said, “I was assigned as a mentor to a young muse named Disegno.”
“Muses are real too? Like… they’re like you?”
“Yes. If I mentor him for a while, I have proven myself and can go back to normal.”
“Oh? That’s great news!” Amelia beamed at him, “So… what do you have to do? What do you teach to uh… a muse? They’re beauty-beings… or art-beings, right? At least they are in stories.”
“Yes,” Tad stared at his teacup, “Knowing what to teach him is one of the challenges, really. He does not want to learn anything from me at the moment, and… well, now he seems to have disappeared.”
“So… I came here to… well, to see you of course, but also to ask… what do you know about runaway teenagers?”
Amelia stared. The situation had turned surreal very fast once again.
“Um… me?” she chuckled, “Not much, really. I never ran away. One of my friends did, back when I was fifteen. She ran away with a boy. The police found her three days later, and she was pretty eager to get home. But I don’t think this is the same. Is Disegno really a teenager?”
“Technically. He is older than your version of it, but he seems to have assumed the role of one.”
“He does not seem to like me very much,” Tad shrugged, as if it was normal – and it shouldn’t be, darn it! “I have given him time, but he has not come back, and as much as I would not like to disturb him, I need to find him if we want to get anywhere.”
Amelia looked at Tad for a long time. Then she closed her eyes and listened to the fireplace that crackled and popped behind them in an erratic rhythm. Tad was a mentor now. At first she felt like the role didn’t suit the Tad she knew. But then she realised it did suit the other Tad. The one she didn’t know so well. The Death-Tad, who was incredibly at home with the job he did, and who seemed to know all the rules of the universe. And Tad was gentle and patient. Surely he could teach an unruly teenager a thing or two about… whatever it was he was supposed to teach. The thought brought a smile to her face, but then she remembered what Tad had just said.
“So… you can’t find him at all?” she asked, “I thought you could find anyone.”
Tad looked a bit embarrassed.
“It is… different with those who are not mortal. And especially with those who are not living ones. They can hide from me if they focus hard enough. I am not usually supposed to reap them, after all. Not until the death of the entire universe.”
The last sentence made Amelia shudder, so she decided to ignore that for now. She figured it was a long way in the future. Hopefully.
“And… do you think he could have gone to someone he knows? Does he have like… a family?”
“The muses are a fairly large group,” Tad said, “I did go see them first, but they claimed they did not know where he was. So now… I am at a loss.”
“Maybe he’ll come back?” Amelia suggested, “He just needs more time, maybe. Though… do you know why he doesn’t like you?”
Tad shook his head. The tea in his cup shrank back from him, if that was possible.
“I hardly remember meeting him at all before now. I think Time mentioned him a few decades ago… not favourably, I think. I mean, this is a punishment for him as well. Perhaps he just has a problem with the situation as a whole.”
“But I should not gossip about people like this. I just want to move things along and to find him so we can talk.”
Amelia nodded slowly. She tried to think. Lately thinking had been harder. Her mind was so clogged up with grief – which she was getting back under control, of course.
“Uh… well, have you tried places that are beautiful? If beauty is his thing, he might go to places like that?”
Tad’s eyes widened.
“Yes… with many clear shapes. I can start with all the places that boast sleek, geometric and functional design from a human standpoint.”
“There you go!” Amelia said, a smile brightening her face and mind, “I should just leave you to it, then… though-“
“Hold on…” Tad squinted at something, his nose scrunching up. Then he shook his head, “No, he is not in any of those places. But I will keep looking, your idea was a good one.”
He looked at her again, and this time he actually looked. Amelia felt uncomfortable. She still couldn’t meet his eyes for too long. Perhaps she never would. It was a built-in feature in mortals to not be able to take long looks at things that were too unknown and incomprehensible and that spelled out their end.
“Are you okay?” Tad finally asked, “You seem… like you are still grieving in ways that hurt you more than they heal.”
Amelia laughed a little, but it was forced and she knew it.
“Oh, I’m getting better all the time.”
She trailed off, clutched her shirt sleeves for more security, and gathered her courage.
“But… there was something I wanted to ask you. A favour… or advice.”
“You know Connor, right?” Amelia took a nervous sip of her tea, “I mean… you remember him, right? He as the one who met my dad in your garden and who talked to me as your birthday present for me.”
“I do, yes. He is a good young man.”
“He’s stuck in my head,” Amelia said and felt a bit foolish saying that all aloud. It sounded crazy, “I mean… he sought me out when you were gone, and now he can’t seem to properly leave. So sometimes I talk to him in my dreams. And he’s pretty miserable because he’s haunting a place under a mall and he’s been stuck for so long, and I… I want to help him.”
She said it all in a long, frantic exhale. Tad listened, thoughtful and not put off by any of it at all. Amelia reminded herself that of course he wouldn’t be. It was his job to help ghosts, after all. Finally, Amelia let the living room go quiet again. Fire crackled and Tad finished drinking his tea before putting the cup down.
“I am glad you want to help,” he said slowly, “But what exactly were you planning to do?”
“Well I… I want to un-stick him,” Amelia said, “And keep him company. I don’t want him to just stay under a mall where there’s no one to talk to, so I was thinking that… would there be a way to get a ghost to haunt some other place?”
“Wait…” Tad said, suddenly much more serious, “You want him to haunt your house? You want to adopt a ghost?”
He frowned, and for a while Amelia could see a dozen fatally bad ideas in the air around them, for some reason. As if to remind her that she should really consider before she did things. But she wasn’t going to stick a knife in the toaster or try parachuting with a live tiger. She just wanted to help a friend! A good kid who had passed away too soon and who deserved better than what he had.
“Is that so bad?” she asked out loud, “Then he wouldn’t be stuck in my head either! Maybe. And I could help him.”
“If you want him out of your head, I can take care of that,” Tad said, “Do you want him out of your head?”
“I… yes! But I also want to talk to him! Help him move on!”
“I have heard that some grieving people adopt pets. Could you not do that? You like cats, right?”
“I don’t need cats!” Amelia said, almost raising her voice, “I have you! And why is it so bad that I want a ghost in my house?”
“Because I am not an adoption agency!” Tad stood up, his edges sharper than usually. Amelia realised vaguely that she was probably soon treading dangerous territory, but she couldn’t stop now.
“It’s not adoption! He would just be staying for a while. Like you did.”
“And you are grieving. I am not saying I suspect that you would do anything out of selfish reasons. but-“
“But you’re thinking that I want to help Connor just to cope with my grief?!”
“I…” Tad frowned, “no, I… but are you?”
“Well, maybe…” Amelia sighed, her shoulders slumping, “Oh, gods, is my coping mechanism inviting over macabre young men? That’s… oddly specific.”
She shook her head.
“No. I just want to help. That helps me too. I do really care about him!”
Tad turned his back on her and wrapped his arms around himself. He looked very tired. It was a look Amelia saw on him far too often. But then again, it probably couldn’t be helped when one was billions of years old.
“Committing to helping a ghost is a huge responsibility,” Tad said, his voice gentler again, “And it is different than usual friendships. You will have to help him find his way – something only he can do, in the end – and then let go as soon as he finds it. And it will all be uncertain… finding the way could take only days, but it could also take years. Lifetimes, even.”
Amelia paused for a moment at that, and then Tad turned and she met Tad’s eyes again. They were endless depths she feared she would get lost in – and not in a good way – but she held his gaze for far longer than she felt comfortable before she said with as much conviction as she could:
Tad sighed and closed his eyes.
“Fine,” he said, “But I need to talk to Connor first.”
“Of course, I-“
“He says yes.”
Amelia again had to wonder when she would get used to Tad being everywhere. Then what Tad just had said sunk in.
“So he wants to be here?” she asked hopefully.
“Yes. Do you want him here now?”
Amelia nodded. Tad smiled thinly and then let his gaze travel around the room. Amelia could have sworn that the television’s wires sparked a bit threateningly.
“I cannot just hand him over to you. That would not be proper. But… you know where he is buried, yes? It is a mall, with many little stores.”
“Buy something from there. I will make sure his spirit is bound to whatever you buy.”
“It’s in Ireland!” Amelia protested, but then she felt a spark of whimsical joy in her chest. It was like a new, crazy adventure, but hopefully one that would involve less collapsing realities, “But I’m sure there’s at least some store that ships overseas. I’ll do it!”
“Alright. I hope you know what you are doing.”
He looked at the walls, probably seeing a dead forest where others saw planks.
“Right now, I am not so sure I know what I am doing.”
The library wasn’t his first choice, nor was it his last. That was why it was the perfect hiding place. That and it was one of the few places in the universe that held nothing that could die. Even the dust there was fake, with no real micro-organisms nor living cells. And there was something oddly pretty about the old books, their rectangular yet rounded shapes and the rhythm they made in the shelves that were pleasantly straight-lined and nicely carved. It was empty at the moment, yet Disegno knew at least its keeper was around. The old, obsolete god, who went by the name Mr. Perkins, was always around.
But right now, he wasn’t at his desk, where he kept the most important books. Such as records of the failings of everyone in the community – if it could be called that – of anthropomorphic personifications and gods.
Disegno gave the bookshelves he had admired a second ago a grimace of distaste. Yes, it was definitely not a pleasant place if he thought about the books on him that were there. Well, one book, probably, but sometimes few failings were apparently enough to warrant prolonged punishments.
He knew he had done wrong, damn it! Why was he still paying for it? Couldn’t Time just let it go? Apparently not. Now he had even thrown Death at him!
He was sick of this all. He just wanted it to end.
So why was he running?
He knew it was stupid. Irrational. Emotional. Probably exactly why Time thought he needed to be mentored.
No. Time was doing this because Time was a petty idiot who couldn’t let things go. That was why!
Disegno clenched his hands into fists. He’d had to get out. He couldn’t stand Death’s fake smiles and oh-so-friendly talk. It was weird. Usually everyone treated him dismissively and just did what they had to. Some were even actively malicious. Like the previous guy he had been assigned to. Who’d that been? Oh, right, the insecure, insignificant prick working in the nature department. Something something Lord of Winds or whatever. He had been hostile and abusive, thinking it would be fun to force Disegno to “test out” his storms. He’d been ripped apart by tornadoes more times he could count during that time. Disegno took great pleasure in knowing the wind-guy was already obsolete and everyone had had enough of his crap. The others hadn’t been that bad, but they were never even trying all that hard, and they were always cold towards him. Even though all of them didn’t even know what Disegno had done, they still sensed that he had done something pretty bad.
It wasn’t even that bad! He had just-
Disegno spun around when he heard echoing, melodious footsteps. Mr. Perkins stepped from between the bookshelves, looking garish yet scruffy like old gods tended to do. They knew their time was up, so they needed to compensate for it by at least drawing the eye. Even when it was in distaste. Disegno scrunched up his nose. Mr. Perkins looked at him for a few seconds, gears turning in his old head.
“Well, I haven’t seen you in a while,” he said, “Are you finally free?”
He knew. Of course he knew. He was the keeper of the archives. Every failing, every broken rule, came to his attention sooner or later. Disegno didn’t really want to talk to him. He shrugged.
“Oddly quiet, are we?” Mr. Perkins said, “Well, at least tell me what you are doing here, behind my desk. This is my domain, you know.”
“I felt like coming here,” Disegno said, aware that he sounded a bit childish.
“Most usually respect this place enough to say their business from the other side of the desk.”
Disegno shrugged again.
“I don’t have any business here.”
“So you’re hiding?”
Disegno sighed. News travelled fast.
“I can leave, if you want. I don’t care for this dusty dump anyway. So just get out of my way, old man.”
Mr. Perkins didn’t move at first, but he still seemed to somehow grow. Disegno shouldn’t have been intimidated by him. Mr. Perkins was a lowly god, someone who had once been either a spirit or a mortal – even Mr. Perkins himself didn’t remember which – while Disegno was a muse and still relevant, so he actually held power. Mr. Perkins was just an archivist, and he only had power in his domain. Still, when Mr. Perkins frowned, Disegno found himself stepping back.
“I’d check that attitude if I were you, son,” Mr. Perkins said in a quiet growl, “I can take you back to Time right away and tell him you got out of line again. That you should go back into the dark.”
Disegno backed away again, even though he was almost pressed against a bookcase already. Why did he pick this place to hide? And why did Mr. Perkins have to know so much about him?
“You shouldn’t,” he managed to say and even sound somewhat confident, “Death is my mentor now. He might not like anyone meddling with his probation.”
That had some effect, at least. There was a flash of fear in Mr. Perkins’s pale blue eyes. Everyone knew not to mess with Death, and only idiots tried. Disegno didn’t like bringing his new mentor into this, especially since he had zero respect for his friend-act and he was just running away from him, but whatever got him out of this place without Mr. Perkins doing anything stupid was welcome right now. Unfortunately, Mr. Perkins seemed to get over it quickly.
“Well, I’m sure he’ll understand. And Time can think up something else for him. So don’t make me mad.”
He grinned, revealing his sharp fangs.
“Some of you young ones think you’re so high and mighty because you were created from wishes and thoughts and whatever pixie dust it is you come from, but here, everyone answers to good old Mr. Perkins.”
Mr. Perkins suddenly turned his head, and his whole demeanour changed.
“Oh, hello, lady.”
Disegno looked back as well.
Now he had an audience as well.
He recognised the woman with the porcelain skin and white hair as Fate. Disegno had been taught to be wary of her. She was beautiful but fickle, and no one really knew what she was up to at any given time. Right now she looked at him and Mr. Perkins with an almost amused interest.
“Am I interrupting something?” she asked, voice like coming from a cello with golden strings.
“No, of course not!” Mr. Perkins said hastily, and all his previous bravado and his “everyone answers to me” -attitude were gone. Apparently, if the high and mighty wishes-and-thought being was powerful enough, Mr. Perkins was easily cowed, “What do you need, lady?”
“Nothing, really,” Fate said, “I just heard a commotion and came to investigate. I see you have found the young muse Death is looking for. I can take him off your hands so you can keep working.”
Disegno groaned inwardly, but he had to admit that right now even being around the fickle Fate was better than being around the definitely hostile Mr. Perkins. Mr. Perkins nodded quickly and practically pushed Disegno over the counter and to Fate. Very undignified.
“Of course! Take him back! I won’t report this if you wish.”
“Yes, I do wish it,” Fate said, “Time is very busy right now, so I think we should let him work in peace.”
Fate guided the somewhat stunned and very annoyed Disegno out of the library and onto the streets of some insignificant small town. They walked in silence. Where to, Disegno didn’t know. But he was glad about the fresh air, and about the fact that Fate hadn’t forced him to go back to Death yet.
He looked up at Fate, but she said nothing. The silence that grew between them was tense, ugly. Disegno didn’t like it at all.
“He seems to respect you,” Disegno said just to say something, “Mr. Perkins, I mean.”
Fate let out a curt laugh.
“He fears me. I tend to keep him on his toes.”
She smiled almost proudly.
“I tend to keep everyone on their toes.”
That was certainly true. Disegno hadn’t had much dealings with Fate – he had been cut off from almost everyone for so long – but he too realised right away that he definitely needed to be wary.
“Well, thank you for helping me,” he said.
“My pleasure,” Fate said, “So, care to tell me what you were doing there, angering Mr. Perkins?”
“Nothing,” Disegno said quickly, “I just… I need to be going.”
“Where to?” Fate said, “I thought you weren’t even allowed to work yet. You are being mentored, aren’t you?”
“Yes. I know. I am… actually in the middle of an assignment.”
It was a lie, and clearly Fate saw through it.
“Oh, really? And what might that assignment be? Death never lets anyone go behind Mr. Perkins’s desk.”
“It’s… why am I even talking to you?!” Disegno snapped. It was easier to be angry than to try keeping up with the friendly act. Fate would probably betray him at any moment anyway. Somehow.
“Because I just rescued you from the wrath of an old god,” Fate said amusedly again, “Do not underestimate them. For little muses like you, they can be dangerous. And they have a long memory.”
“I already said thanks.”
She still didn’t leave, and neither did Disegno. He wondered why. A thin layer of snow crunched beneath their shoes. Trees swayed gently in the wind, trying to make the dull white sky more beautiful by casting their bare, forked branches against it. The place they were in was sleepy and quaint enough, a countryside town similar to many other little towns that were slowly being sucked dry by the larger cities around them. Disegno suddenly stopped, remembering that he was supposed to avoid mortal places. Death was probably already closing in on him. There were bound to be microbes dying all around him!
“I really have to go.”
“Why the hurry?” Fate asked, “I would have thought that you wanted this over and done with as soon as possible. I think that running away from your mentor is slowing things down quite a bit.”
“I don’t need to explain myself to you!”
“Of course not. Do you want to know what I think?”
“I thought so. Well, let me give you a piece of advice, then. They say that one cannot predict the future by looking into the past.”
“And who are ‘they’?” Disegno asked, not impressed. Fate smiled her mysterious smile. Like she was playing a game. And she probably was.
“Those who are rarely right, but when they are, they are really right.”
“Oh, them,” Disegno laughed, “They also say you can’t be trusted. Why did you help me anyway?”
Fate seemed pleased. Like Disegno had just played the game right, or right the way she wanted him to.
“Why indeed? I see things many don’t. And since no one usually listens to me, I usually just… do things my way.”
Fate caught a snowflake on her long-nailed hand. It didn’t melt, and instead remained in its hexagonal perfection.
“Perhaps I see that things will get interesting again,” she said and waved the snowflake away. Her smile turned too sweet, “Well, since you don’t want my help, then I will just be on my way.”
And then, she was gone. Disegno was alone, and yet, he had a feeling that he was being watched.
He couldn’t see it nor feel it, but he knew that around him, millions of little things died, blinked out as if swept away by an unseen hand, watched over by pale eyes.
Amelia was excited. Almost. She quickly suppressed the worst of it as well as she could. It still bled through her forced seriousness. She felt like she had a purpose again. Like she could do something productive that wasn’t inappropriate in the time of mourning. She could help. She could help someone else move on.
And then… probably grieve him too.
She tried not to think about that. Or about how unhealthy this probably was.
It was weird, browsing an Irish webstore and thinking that she was about to order a ghost in the mail. But she did as Tad had instructed her, bought a cute lamp that she probably couldn’t get from many stores in SimNation, and then informed Tad of her purchase. It was odd, but she had by now started to get desensitised to a certain level of oddness.
Then, she waited. She did her chores, either ignored or kept her calls short, and barely got out of the house aside from going to work. She kept telling herself that she needed to be ready in case the package arrived. That she needed to welcome Connor to his new temporary home and then start figuring out how to help him move on.
At some point she stopped to wonder what had happened to the sunny, glass-half-full Amelia, who had managed to breeze through her father’s passing with a healthy dose of denial and slowly realised ways of the universe. She wondered what had happened to the lovely, actually happy Amelia she had been before the loss and sorrow.
She’ll come back, she knew, I just need to help others be happy so I can be happy too.
Yes, it was a good plan, she kept telling herself. Though it should be said that things one needed to keep telling oneself were usually not very true.
But she had already committed to it, and soon enough, a package that only barely fit in her mailbox arrived, wrapped in cardboard and brown paper, battered after being inspected at some point. Amelia hurried inside and set the purchase – a small table lamp in the shape of potted yellow flowers – on the nightstand in the guestroom and waited, trying not to feel foolish about it all.
When clock struck midnight, something started happening.
It began with light and continued with smoke. And ended with a pair of translucent, charcoal-hued legs, an old, charred jacket Amelia recognised, and hair alight with meteor fire.
Connor, a 16+189-year-old dead boy, stretched his back as if he was experiencing muscle cramps and then opened his glowing, white eyes. A mildly displeased look crossed his face.
“Okay, so you couldn’t think of anything less embarrassing to stick my spirit into?”
Then his face broke into a smile.
“Well, it’s much better than the foundations of a mall. I’m glad you got me out.”
Amelia clapped her hands and her laughter felt real, bubbling like a small springtime stream.
“I’m glad too!”
Author’s Note: What’s this? An update! Man, I’ve missed this story, and I’ve missed TS3. But I’ve also been very stuck with this story. But now this somehow sneakily formed and I realised that hey, it’s done! And it doesn’t feel sucky right now so I’ll post it before I’ll start regretting things.
I’ve been waiting ages for a chance to show Connor’s ghost form, because it’s so cool-looking! I love meteorite-ghosts!
Also Fate seems to like hanging out in Mr. Perkins’s library and occasionally intimidating him. Everyone needs a hobby, and I suppose Fate doesn’t find enough amusement in her main hobby, which is drama. 😀
I hope you enjoy and have a lovely time! I’m hoping to keep updates more frequent form now on, but I can’t make any promises. It depends on how stressful the work shapes up to be during summer. But I’m hoping to see you guys again soon! 🙂