I ran to my room and slammed the door shut. I glanced down at my dress. I grimaced it was too... festive, cheery. I was sorry that Jordan's birthday party had gone so wrong but now wasn't a time to be celebrating. I felt worse now than I did when Thalpius died.
I changed into some jeans and a plain, sleeveless top. I made a mental note to buy Jordan a birthday present and then hunted for my notebooks, any scrap paper and a pen. I cleared my desk and grabbed all my pads. I dropped them all on the desk and sat down. I reached for the pad on top and refused to look at the cover. This pad had been given to me by Maz for my sixteenth birthday. On the front was a picture of the two of us when we first met - ten years before. He'd written on the front. It simply said: To Little Nature, Love Nutbrain.
Inside the pad he'd written everything he could remember about what happened to him when we were seperated: starting with his first visit to the Black Twilight World. It was like his diary. All he'd said to me was 'It might be useful'.
I sighed and grabbed an empty pad. I opened both pads up and began to make notes.
I stayed up all night reading Maz's 'diary' and going through my own memories; making notes on anything significant. I used up two pens and nearly all of my notebooks.
I threw my pen on the desk and yawned, running my fingers through my hair. There was a knock on my door.
"Who is it?" I called around another yawn.
"Midnight," was the quiet reply.
"Oh, come in," I said and stretched. I clenched and unclenched my stiff hand a few times to loosen it up as Middy slipped into my room. She stared at the mess I'd made and the thousands of notes. She turned her gaze to me and I smiled sleepily.
"What have you been doing?" Middy asked.
"Keeping busy... and looking for the answers Floppy Ears won't give me," I murmured. Middy picked up a handful of my notes and read them.
"What's this?" Middy held up a list of names.
"Elemental Phoenixes," I answered, "Put that one on the bed. It's an important sheet. Thanks, Little Moon." Middy did as I asked and read through more of my notes. She laughed suddenly, surprising both of us. She showed me the name at the top of the pad.
"Ah, yes, Al'Tijd. Pity you couldn't've met him," I smiled briefly.
"These ones, Maz's memories, did he tell you all this?" Middy asked almost silently.
"Um, not exactly. He gave me this," I threw her the pad Maz gave me. She caught it and tears filled her eyes but she smiled at the photograph. She began flicking through the pad.
"So, what answers have you been looking for? Must be important if your making all these notes," Middy gestured to my desk but her eyes remained fixed on the pad in her hands.
"In all honesty, I barely registered anything I wrote down. I had a feeling it'd be tedious," I muttered, "A puzzle began, Little Moon, a long time ago. I thought it had been solved but after looking at Maz's words I've wondered differently. This thought only occured to me halfway through note taking my original objective was finding out who 'Lapin' really is." I glanced around bleakly, "Care to help me?"
There was no answer. I looked over at Middy. She was frozen and hadn't listened to a word I'd said. I darted over and saw she'd stopped at Maz's stay with her and her mother. I swallowed back tears and put a hand on Middy's shoulder. She eventually shot me a quick smile and continued flicking through the pages. I moved away and began to organise my notes.
About an hour later we were still at it. Me scanning and arranging notes, Middy avidly reading the words Maz had written. It was a companionable silence; I think both of us were enjoying this relaxed atmosphere instead of having people acting weird around us: afraid of how we might react to the smallest things after Maz's death. Middy, who was sitting cross-legged on my bed, suddenly gasped. I spun around.
"What is it, Little Moon?" I asked and moved over to her.
"Read this in Maz's diary! I think I've found him!" She handed me tho pad and I began to read.
Al'Leako seemed to blur around the edges and then in Al'Leako's place stood a rabbit with long ears that traveled down it's back, it's tail was long and dragged along the ground and it's fur was purple.
I slowly raised my eyes and met Middy's. There was a hint of a grin around her mouth.
"Middy, have I ever told you that you're brilliant?" I asked and we laughed. I placed a bookmark in the pad and shoved the notebook into my bag that Middy handed me. I pulled the bag over my head and was about to reach for Middy's hand when I became distracted. Nature was nudging me. I sensed distress. I realized, with a shock, that I had a connection with Crystal through Nature. I decided to contemplate that later. I opened the door.
"Crystal what's wrong? You were sending signals..?" I said.
"I was? I shouldn't be here; I don't know why I'm-"
"Crystal, tell me," I commanded. I knew she was changing her mind about coming to me.
"No, it's not fair, Zuri, you've got your own worries and Midnight's and, and..." she ran her fingers through her hair, in stress.
"Crystal?" Middy said moving to stand beside me, "What's wrong? Your emotions are everywhere."