DAVE: it still feels a little odd accepting an apology from somebody who i just met and technically had nothing to do with my life
DAVE: even if you do feel guilty splinterways or whatever
DAVE: it is just a messed up situation
DAVE: and i guess i had to vent
DAVE: and there was never anyone i wanted to say all that to
DAVE: and the only thing that was gonna drag it out of me i guess was like a teen stand-in phantom of my dead bro
DAVE: just some perfectly innocent dude havin to take the brunt of this shit
DIRK: I'm not particularly innocent though.
DIRK: I've messed a lot of things up.
DIRK: With my friends.
DIRK: Honestly, that's why I wasn't that bent on sticking around, when I showed up.
DIRK: And pretty much jumped at the offer of flying here to get ready for some yet to be explained battle.
DIRK: Battles are easy. Just you, a sword, some bad guys... it's a lot simpler than having to answer for things you did.
DIRK: For the most part, I feel pretty bad about the role I played in my friends' lives.
DIRK: Especially Jake.
DAVE: what happened there
DIRK: I don't even know.
DIRK: An unmitigated disaster for which I'm entirely to blame.
DIRK: It's not any one thing. I think I was just a completely toxic element in his life from day one.
DIRK: I don't know what he's doing now.
DIRK: I wouldn't be surprised if he was trying to avoid me as much as possible.
DIRK: I'm sure that's for the best.
DIRK: I think I need to stay out of his business for a good while, so I don't risk poisoning another innocent kid's life.
DIRK: Like I did with you, apparently.
DAVE: i mean
DAVE: maybe its a little different cause relations between peers is a whole other thing
DAVE: its tricky shit and youre both figuring stuff out on a relatively equal footing and youre both at the same point in your lives
DAVE: its not like when one person is older and supposed to be a lot more...
DAVE: never mind this is a fucked up thing to think about
DAVE: but the bottom line is yeah laying low while you sort out your stuff cant hurt
DIRK: The thing with that, with my adult self's...
DIRK: The sad thing is,
DIRK: I can really see it.
DIRK: How someone like me can go unchecked in life, and turn out to become a much worse person than I already am.
DIRK: I guess I'm just relieved I still have some time to make sure that doesn't happen.
DAVE: you dont actually seem like a bad person to me though
DIRK: Why not?
DIRK: We did just meet, after all.
DAVE: i dunno if truly bad people wrestle so much with whether theyre good or bad
DAVE: i think if i ever sensed my bro like
DAVE: struggled at all with what he was doing or who he was
DAVE: or showed any sort of doubt
DAVE: that might have changed everything
DAVE: but there was never a crack in it
DAVE: or the slightest hint of introspection behind the aggressive cooldude facade
DAVE: if there was i sure never noticed
DAVE: i mean personally
DAVE: i think about it all the time now
DAVE: what it actually means to be good or bad
DAVE: or if not something that starkly moral
DAVE: at least just trying to examine the difference between being decent and being a douche
DAVE: maybe its because of him i worry about that now
DAVE: but for me i think that internal struggle is kind of mild
DAVE: for him...
DAVE: or you i mean
DAVE: it sounds like some pretty dark shit
DAVE: like grappling with...
DAVE: becoming evil vs simply trying not to
DIRK: That's not too far off.
DAVE: but the point is
DAVE: even just talkin to you a little bit
DAVE: its obvious youve been fighting with that
DAVE: which means that you care enough to put in some effort
DAVE: i think that counts for something