I took Ana into my office. I sat down. She didn’t. She stood looking down at me, shifting her weight from one foot to the other. She clutched her phone without looking at it.
I looked at her. I wanted to tell her to sit down, but I had another appointment in half an hour. She’d stay longer if she sat. “Ana, we don’t have an appintment, and you need one. But I can give you twenty minutes. Wha’d you want?”
Ana breathed three times through her nose, hard. It didn’t help. “Why are you avoiding me?”
“I’m not avoiding you. Look, you’re nearly done with probation. I have to spend more time with people who are…” – I waved my hands vaguely – “who need me more.”
“Bullshit. I mean, yeah, that might be true. But we’re friends. You were my … You were Sa’afia’s boyfriend. And now you’re treating me like you don’t know me.”
“No, I’m not.” But I was.
“You’re punishing me. Much worse than you ever punished Sa’afia.” Her eyes were welling with tears. She’d found an injustice. She was the victim of an injustice! But I saw myself in her eyes. I didn’t like me.