Grandma's face showed confusion, then softened when she figured it out.
"You read the book." She said, not as a question, but a statement.
I put my hand on her back and slowly nodded my head.
"Then you know what danger you, your sister, and myself are in," Another statement.
"Grandma," I said, "This isn't necessarily what the book said it was. This might just be an illness," Grandma was shaking her head, and I felt angry, furious that she had no faith in Leona, that she presumed she was set for death, "This isn't the curse!"
"Hun," Grandma looked at me, her eyes bored into my eye sockets, I felt slightly violated, like she could see inside me, every thought I've ever had, every feeling I've ever felt, everything I've ever known. I gasped inside my head as tears started rolling down Grandma's cheeks. I'd never seen grandma cry before. She choked out an "It is," before she started sobbing so much that she couldn't speak.
I felt the lump in my throat. The lump of tears. I held it back, someone needed to be strong, if it wasn't going to be grandmother, then it had to be me. It started to hurt, it hurt to hold in my emotions, but what other choice did I have?
Almost my entire being wanted to convince grandmother that it wasn't the curse, convince myself too, find another solution. Almost my entire being. Almost.
But instead, I found myself saying, "How long do we have?"
My grandmother looked at me, eyes wide, as if she, too, had expected me to convince her that this wasn't happening, and said, "The curse has evolved since it started, I don't know why and I don't know how, nor do I want to know because as far as I know, this gives us an advantage. I'd say we have at least a week, maybe a week and a half, the symptoms won't get worse, they'll stay like this until they take control of her actions and burst- causing the fit of outrage. Resulting in............well, you already know that part." She finished with another sob.
I thought for a moment.
"There has to be something we can do," I persisted. I remembered her saying that the curse had evolved, that meant she must have experienced it before to know that it didn't quite match the description in the book.
I settled deeper into the couch, feeling the soft, warm, flannel cover that grandma made to make the couch comfier, it worked. I rubbed my hand gently back and forth, soothing myself.
It didn't work.
I couldn't escape my crying grandmother sitting on the couch next to me, reminding me instantly of what was going on.
My heart rate sped up, and I swear I started hyperventilating. I needed something to distract me, well, sort of.
"Who was it?" I asked my grandmother, completely forgetting that I hadn't even brought up the topic of there being another person that my grandmother saw it happen to.
But that didn't matter.
I guess she really could see right through me.
"My mother," she cried softly.
That didn't make any sense; she always told me that her mother had died giving birth to her.
I guess she figured that I didn't comprehend when she started to explain.
"I didn't want to worry you with talk about the curse because I was sure that you wouldn't have to deal with it, ever," Grandma said.
Then a question struck me, "But didn't it say in the book that it.......happened to every female that was of Dmetrius blood?"
"Well, it did, when the curse was fresh, but over time, I guess it sort of evolved into a minority." Grandma paused, "Which I guess we should be thankful of."
I didn't want to sound selfish and uncaring of my sister, but I had to ask her, "So that means I won't necessarily get it?"
"Probably not, I haven't heard of it effecting two people from the same main family in a long time," Grandma laid her head back on the top of the couch and closed her eyes.
"What are we going to do?" I asked, surely grandma couldn't be hinting that we were just going to sit around and not try to anything about it.
She turned her head slowly and looked at me, "Rinoa, there's nothing we can do, nothing at all."
"No! There's got to be something!" I persisted. I wasn't letting this go down without a fight.
"Rinoa." Grandma shocked me when she said my name sternly. "As hard as it is for you and I to accept it, Leona will die," tears were brimming her eyes, "And we can't do anything to prevent it," she took a sharp intake of breath as she started to cry again, then she whispered almost inaudibly, "Just accept the fact." And she got up off the couch and walked away.
And I just sat there, dumbfounded. My heart hurt, like actually hurt, it felt as though it was swelled up from this sudden impact. My sister doomed for death and my grandmother wanting me to accept that and move on.
I don't know how long I sat there, but it was a while.
I eventually got tired and checked the clock.
It was almost lunch, that explained my hunger pains.
I went into the kitchen to grab something to eat.
Just when I opened the fridge, I heard a noise coming from upstairs.
I closed the fridge, and slowly walked up the stairs.
Grandma's door was closed when I reached it. But the noise was definitely coming from inside her room.
I creaked her door open a bit and peered inside. Grandma's bed was full of papers. And on the floor beside the bed were two cardboard boxes, empty cardboard boxes. Grandma was leaning on the side of the bed, rummaging through all the papers.
I opened the door a bit more, figured it couldn't do any harm, but she seen it out of the corner of her eye.
"Come in," she said softly.