Basilic realised he wasn’t alone when Raven spoke to him. He hadn’t been listening, dwelling on the past. He knew he shouldn’t, but he couldn’t help it. Once he’d seen one memory, he couldn’t stop sifting through the rest, the worst.
“I’m sorry?” he asked, realising he had to say something or look rude.
“Don’t be,” she laughed, “I said are you OK?” This question, for some reason, took Basilic by surprise. He tried to talk, but the words got stuck in his throat and he fell into a coughing fit, the hacking sounds tearing at his throat. He knelt there, coughing, for at least three minutes. When he regained his composure, he managed to croak.
“Yes… Yes, I’m fine… Just memories, is all,” he said, the words barely managing to form. He had another coughing fit, and then stood, only to find that he was light headed, and coloured blotches obscured his view. His knees were weak, as well, and he stumbled slightly. He knelt down again and said to himself in annoyance,
“OK, I’ll sit here then,”