"He's gone."

"I know."

She sits on the couch, facing the wall as tears trickle down her face freely. You can't help but wonder whether she knows you're there at all. Archie was right; this woman sitting stiffly in front of you is not the evil queen. She's not a queen at all. She's someone who's had her heart broken, and you are afraid because someone once told you that that can make you do unspeakable things.

"It's been so long."

"I know."

You contemplate putting a reassuring hand on her shoulder, but you decide you don't want to aggravate her. Instead you sit awkwardly on the other end of the couch, hunched over your knees like the weight of the world rests on your back.

You don't know why he called you, of all people. Enveloped in silence, you start to ponder the possibility that someone else could be taking your place at this very moment. Mary Margaret? Doubt that would do any good at all. David? You're not sure you can look him in the eye right now, let alone her. Ruby? No, just no. Henry? This is the very last thing he needs to see, and the very last thing she in her right mind would want him to see.

You begin to understand his motives when it dawns on you that, in reality, except for him, kind of, you're the only one she has.

"What now?" her voice cracks.

You brush a strand of hair behind your ear. Maybe, just maybe, she really is looking for a good, honest answer. You take a deep breath and gently, so as not to startle her, lay a hand on her shoulder, just a ghost of a touch, barely applying any pressure at all. Hey, if she goes all berserk on you, at least you know Archie's in the next room. Not that it's any consolation. "You cry your heart out where I can see you. You get a little angry, lose a little hope.

And then you start over."

She leans into you and bursts into tears.