Hidden Mall 51: Apart

Abby stared at Liv.  She could hear the other two stirring.  She flinched, despite herself; she couldn’t play nasty with one Liv and expect the other two not to take it personally – since it was personal, wasn’t it?

“I haven’t even met another Abby.”  That was probably the wrong thing to say.  “I’ve seen one dead-”

That was definitely the wrong thing to say. “Well, of course you have! Since you want them all dead – tell me, do you even know why?  So you can be the One True Abby? It never made any sense to me. But I did figure out that I didn’t mean anything to you. Nothing.” She sneered.  Even though this was a strange Liv, Abby could tell that she was hurting. “I figured that much out before you ditched me here.”

“She’s not your Abby.”  The voice came from somewhere behind this angry Liv.  “You have to remember that. She’s not my Abby, either.  So she’s not dead, and she didn’t ditch you anywhere. Yet,” she added tiredly.  “She does have this habit of going into situations that can get her killed – but we’re in the Mall. Anything can get her killed.”

“Yeah, well. She’s her own worst enemy in more ways than one.”  The angry Liv sneered. “But just because she’s not my Abby, doesn’t mean she’s not still Abby.  She is.  I don’t know why you’re too much of an idiot to see it, but she’s still Abby.  You’re still Liv, so’s that one, so’m I.”

“What about the Liv-Vic pairs?  Or the Sandies that were paired off?  Sometimes something shifted back in our past and sometimes it was later and we end up different people.”

“Oh, come on, do you think Abby can even tell you apart?”

Abby hoped they didn’t notice her squirming.  She’d gotten comfortable with them both being Liv, with them both being her friend.  She had stopped trying to guess which was which a while ago.

“That doesn’t matter.  What matters is that I can tell me from, say, you — which, I’ll note, she did too — and that I can tell her from another Abby.  She’s fresher, she’s more determined, and she’s less selfish.”

“…What?”  Abby blinked.  “Wait, what?”

“You are.  You’re less selfish, you fuss more over your Liv and even over me, you can tell us apart but that doesn’t mean you don’t like me, and I bet you’re going to try to find a solution for this Liv here, even though she hate everything Abby.  You felt bad about dragging Vic along, even though we need more people. So… yeah. I think I can tell the difference between Abbies.”

“I…”  Abby cleared her throat. “oh, good.  Because I-“

“Hey, we’re both Liv.  So you don’t have to remember that I’m the Other Liv all the time either – what?  Come on, I have always been able to know what you were thinking. Always. And yeah, I know you’re not my Abby.  That doesn’t mean that your face isn’t still completely readable. Like a sign, Abby.”

“Well, this is nice and sweet,” the Other Liv sneered, “but the problem is, it’s not going to solve the problem, now is it?”

“What’s the problem?”

“You can’t be that stupid, you’re me.”

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