Leaving him be, I grab my phone, make another coffee and sit in the sun on the balcony scrolling through Facebook while sipping my coffee. I’m engrossed in reading through Erin’s posts when Jett startles me.

“I’m going out for awhile. What are you up to today?” he asks as he joins me on the balcony, not taking a seat at the table, but rather standing near me, as if he can’t escape fast enough. He’s holding his keys and shuffling them from one hand to the other, all jittery.

I narrow my gaze and take a good look at his eyes. Still so bloodshot. And he’s in no state to drive. My inner turmoil makes my tummy cramp up. He should not be on the road so I’m going to have to say something, but at the same time, I don’t want him to think I’m constantly nagging him about shit. I am wiped out mentally from all the nagging I feel like I’ve been doing the last few days.

Standing, I try to form the right words. “Jett, you can’t drive. You’d still be over the limit and I hate to think what would happen if you crashed the car.”

His forehead creases into a frown. “I’m fine to drive.”

“No, you’re not. Trust me on this, please.”

We face off, and annoyance flashes in his eyes. “You’re not gonna let this go, are you?”

“Let me drive you to wherever you want to go,” I suggest. I hold my disappointment with his behaviour in check; keeping in mind this is his grief causing his bad behaviour.

He slams the keys down on the table and glares at me. “Fuck it, I’ll call a taxi.” And with that, he turns and stalks out of his apartment.

I collapse into the chair and squeeze my eyes shut as the tears come.

This is his grief.

I repeat this over and over in my mind, but I’m not sure how much longer I will be able to put up with being treated this way.

I pace the studio as the words form in my mind. They’re close, but I can’t quite grasp them. Frustration takes over and I slam my hand down on the desk.

“For fuck’s sake, this should not be this fucking hard,” I mutter out loud.

Looking at the lines I already have down, I mentally curse myself. Four hours work for only five lines of a song? I’ve never had this much trouble writing a song.

I’ve never tried to write a song about my dead sister before.

Giving up for now, I decide coffee may help, so I close up the studio and head out to the café on the corner of the street to order one. The studio I’ve booked isn’t our usual recording studio, which is a relief. Everyone there and everyone at the café near it would know about Claudia and want to talk to me about her. Here, they may recognise me, but they don’t know me, so I’m hoping they’ll leave me alone.

And they do. Thank fuck.

I almost inhale the coffee, it’s that damn good, and as I stare out of the café while drinking it, some lines come to me. Of course, I don’t have any paper, or a pen or even my phone to get them down, but I spot that the girl at the table next to me has what I need. She’s studying what looks to be psychology by the textbook she has open in front of her.

Leaning across to get closer to her, I catch her attention and ask, “Could I possibly borrow some paper and a pen?”

She scowls at me. “Dude, seriously… you just interrupted me in the middle of something really fucking important. Thanks very much.”

God. Bitch much? But I do still want a pen and paper so I paste a regretful look on my face and say, “Sorry, babe, but I desperately need pen and paper. I promise not to bug you again if you could help me out.”

“Did you really just call me babe?”

Fuck, she’s a tough one to crack. Usually women are not this hard. I hold my hands up defensively. “Sorry, it won’t happen again.”

Her eyes narrow on me. “Why do you look like shit?” she asks, throwing me completely off track.

She shakes her head. “No, it looks like more than a hangover. Spill. If you want my pen and my paper, I wanna know what is wrong with you.” She shrugs. “We can call it research for my next psych assignment.”

Assessing her, I figure she’s not going to budge on this. She seems like that kind of chick – the kind who drives a hard fucking bargain for everything. Kind of like Presley usually is. “Fine, but can I have the pen and paper now before I lose the fucking line in my head?”

“What are you? A poet or something?”

My lips turn up in half a smile and I chuckle. “Something like that.” I hold my hand out and she gives me what I’ve asked for. I quickly scribble the two lines down and then look back up at her and give her what she’s after. “My sister just died and I’ve been a jerk to my girlfriend. You happy now?”

This chick is nothing like most people. Most people would listen to those words, say sorry for your loss, and leave you the fuck alone. This chick doesn’t. “Why are you being a jerk to your girlfriend?”

I stare at her. “Seriously? I tell you my sister died, and you still wanna talk to me, and all you wanna talk about is the fact I’ve been a jerk?”

She shrugs. She’s really into this shrugging. “I figure you’re covered where your sister is concerned, as in I bet everyone keeps asking if you’re okay. But I bet the only person who knows you’re being a jerk to your girlfriend is your girlfriend, so no one’s pulling you into line over that shit. The universe has aligned for you today, my friend, ‘cause I’m here to bust your balls and sort you out.”