She started crying. CRYING. I mean real tears. Real, crocodile, saltwater tears. I felt awful. I wanted to wipe them away – she was just a child – but before I could she began to tell me what had happened, in the room with the mirror. As she went on I struggled to find any words sufficient to comfort her. She was quiet, shy – a little injured bird right then. I didn’t know what to do for her, because I still didn't know what to do for myself.
Fortunately Aria cut in and demanded her walk. A few sarcastic (and maybe a little bitter, on my part) remarks later she somehow ended up in a tree, and then on top of me. And then she kissed me. I wanted to throw her, hit her – anything to get her away but before I knew it she had bounded over to the safety of Sara. She winked. It was a joke, a tease. She was being friendly, and it had been a long time since I'd had anyone to be with. But the last person, the last person that had kissed me… Clara…
I was deep in thought, remembering anything and everything, on the way back to the mansion. I let the girls walk in front of me so they wouldn’t see the strained look on my face, the distant eyes – I was searching for her. Sometimes I could hear her. Heaven was for angels with her face, and her voice… and I am something else altogether.
Inside the mansion I met Asha, and that blond kid, Jay, for a brief moment. The guy with the sword – the one that had made me follow Sara – was no longer in the foyer. I slammed the front door behind us, shutting out all memories of Clara. It had been too long.
“Aria, Sara – I’m going to my room.” I spoke abruptly. Aria’s face fell.
“Don’t you want to bake brownies?" She exclaimed. "I’ve been craving them since I got in the house and I think-”
“No. No thank you.” I strode past them to the staircase. “Goodnight.”