Ray didn’t show up for dinner, and he didn’t show up the next day, either. In fact, he didn’t return for nearly a month, during which time Christa alternated between shutting herself up in the bedroom, pounding on my door to talk incoherently for hours, and scaring up whatever expats and aimless travellers she could, for wild parties that lasted days. I was pretty worried about her, especially when I realized she was taking not only Crestilin, but Levelal and Hedonalex, too.
The first few days Ray was back, he was irritable and silent, but soon he became cheery and expansive, as though he had achieved something of note, and Christa began to make plans to redecorate. ‘Would you like the dresses back?’ I asked. ‘I don’t really have anyplace to wear them.’ ‘The dresses?’ she said. She smiled vaguely, and patted me, as though I had barked.