A/N: Inspired by my retainer. (Yeah, that's such a clichéd Author's Note.)
Sometimes it's hard to separate between tragedy and life. Sometimes when something monumental happens, it's hard to remember the events leading up to that event. Sometimes all you can recall is the awful drop in your stomach, not the normalcy of the moment before the world shattered. Memory and certainty are two different things, and there were times that Henry Griffin and Jasper Bartlett couldn't be sure whether they truly remembered that day at school or whether they knew they'd gone to school.
It doesn't really matter what day it was. Not a weekend or a holiday. It was just a mundane morning that two cousins tiredly walked into Smithson High and tried to survive another school day. Henry's infectious curiosity had been dormant for the past few days, but Jasper was worriedly anticipating another outbreak of mystery soon. They didn't make plans with Maggie after school because Jasper had to go to the orthodontist to get a new retainer (Henry had accidentally thrown his old one out), and Henry had insisted on coming with him.
"Why do you want to come?" said Jasper. "It'll be boring."
"I've never been to an orthodontist's office before," explained Henry. "Part of living with you and Uncle Bryan in America is so that I can gain new experiences."
"Because sitting in a waiting room is an extremely important experience," he muttered.
Sometimes Jasper theorized that, if Henry hadn't thrown away his retainer, if they'd studied with Maggie or something, the universe might have held itself together. Or maybe not- his universe had a way of crumbling no matter what.
When they got home, his dad was standing in the doorway. They swung open the door to encounter his solemn look. "Dad?" said Jasper, perplexed.
"Henry, Jasper, I'm so sorry," he whispered raggedly. Some sort of pain was echoing out of his weathered eyes- it looked more like pity than sorrow. "Maggie's father just called." Henry stiffened. "She committed suicide."