"Wait, so, you think it was a Shadow Man?" Finn asked when Day recounted what had happened in the hall way the previous night.
"No, a Shadow Kid." She corrected.
"What's the difference?"
"Shadow Kids are Ružan's spies. They see and hear everything. They're Shadow Kids, because children can't be trusted with secrets. They tell you everything they see and hear, even if they weren't meant to see and hear something." Finn looked skeptical. "I'm not crazy!"
"I didn't say you were. It just seems a little far-fetched to me, is all."
Day looked into Finn's brown eyes, pleading with him. His red hair hadn't changed at all, but his face was more grown up now; the baby fat had gone. His face had a few freckles, but they weren't as pronounced because it was winter, and he wasn't outside in the sun as much.
"Okay. So why were you in the study in the first place?"
"That's the part I haven't told you yet. See, I've been having those dreams about him again. And a few nights ago, I heard whispering from the study. Something weird is going on, I know it. I just don't know what it is, yet. Finn, what if my dad is still alive?"
"Day, I want him to be alive, I really do. But it's been ten years. If he was alive, you probably would've heard something from him by now." Day looked at him accusingly, and he couldn't hold her eyes. "I don't like seeing you hurt like this, Day. You're my best friend. I don't think you should forget him, but I think you need to let go, and accept that he's gone, and he's not coming back, or else he would've by now."
"How can you say that, Finn?" The tears welled up, and she dabbed them away before they could fall.
Finn sighed, clearly regretting that he'd said anything about it.
"So where did your mom go this time? And when is she supposed to be getting home?" He asked, changing the subject.
"She was in Egypt, I think. She's supposed to be back this evening, probably around six or so. Will you stay here until then? You can even have dinner with us. My mom won't care. Just don't mention that you were here all night."
Finn nodded. Day knew the look on his face, the one that said his thoughts were far away. "Hey, do you remember our adventures in the backyard?: She started, trying to bring him back. "We pretended we were in places all over the world. I remember searching for the black lion. I didn't think we'd actually see anything, but then Ms. McCarthy's cat appeared. I wonder how she's doing..." Day trailed off, knowing that Finn hadn't heard a word of it. She sighed, turning to the cupboards to find a bowl so she could pour herself some cereal.
"Day?" Finn made sure she was looking at him before he continued. "What exactly was the bed-time story about?"
"Well, it was about a broken man. I think all he wanted was to be loved, and the lack of any affection towards him made him bitter and cruel." Day knew the story by heart, and recounted it for him.
"Your mother told you that before you went to bed?" Finn was clearly disturbed. She laughed at the expression on his face.
"Yeah, I guess it's pretty demented. But I always felt bad for Ružan. He never asked to be a monster; all he ever wanted was to feel loved. That's all anyone wants, isn't it?"