I've been really busy lately spending time with Annabel and trying to help her through all this. It's difficult for her to remember things sometimes, and struggling to do so sometimes leaves her exhausted, so I've been sticking around and keeping an eye on her. Through all that, I've kind of neglected to visit Eddie and the Husks. I decided to change that yesterday. It was maybe a bad idea.
Eddie looked up at me as I entered.
E: Messenger! I've been wanting to talk to you.
M: Well, I'm here now.
E: Yeah. Look, Messenger--what the hell?
M: I know, I know, I'm sorry I haven't been here lately, but--
E: That's not what this is about. This is about Poe.
E: Poe. You'd be better off leaving her as Poe, Messenger, trust me. Do you have any clue what the hell you're doing?
M: She wants to be called Annabel, Eddie. And yes, I know what I'm doing. I'm bringing her back to how she used to be.
E: [He gave an exasperated sigh.] Messenger, no offense to you. I respect what you've done and what you're trying to do. But you're also the most thickheaded dumbass I've ever met. This isn't what she needs. It isn't what she wants.
M: She was the one who asked for it, not me.
E: Yes, but you pushed her and guided her towards it. And now, you're going to end up destroying her. I saw her latest post, Messenger.
M: So? If anything, it just shows how much progress she's made.
E: She's slipping, Messenger. Things are slipping through her fingers. Things she should know. She's confusing herself, and it's not healthy.
M: No offense, Eddie, but I know what I'm doing.
E: Messenger, you may have been spending time around her, but you don't know her worth shit. Donovan knew Annabel. He spent time around her and got to know her. Caper knew Poe. He's the one who helped her forge that identity in the first place. Hell, Screwtape knew her better than you! You saw the way he was able to get into her head. She doesn't need this, Messenger. Don't force it.
M: Trust me, Eddie, I'd love to have Caper and Donovan around to help. But they're gone. And don't tell me what she needs or doesn't need; you don't even know her.
E: [His voice started to rise, the hard look in his eyes becoming almost manic.] I don't know her? I don't know her? I was there when she first arrived, a broken, battered shell of a woman. I was there when Caper helped her reconstruct a personality as Poe. I've seen her struggling to hold on to Annabel and the pain it caused her, and I've seen what she had to give up to become Poe. I took care of her when she couldn't even take care of herself. I've fed her, clothed her, protected her, calmed her down, bathed her--which means I've, through no desire of my own, had to see her completely naked, and I know her well enough to know that's more than you've seen. All these broken souls have been like children to me, and I've done my best to provide for them as much as I can. And you have the nerve to tell me that I don't even know her?
M: Look, Eddie, I--
E: Out, Messenger. Get out. You're not welcome here until you've given your idiotic plan up.
M: Whatever. I'm out of here.
E: [Yelling after me as I leave] If you hurt her, Messenger, trust me, there will be consequences.
M: Fuck you, Eddie.