Mara emerged from the bath nearly an hour later, wetter, cleaner, and a bit more steady
than before. Without even thinking, she started heading for the kitchen, following the
calls of her empty stomach. Poking her head through the doorway, she still saw no sign of
Joshua, but a plate of fruit, cheese, and bread had been left out. A goblet of cordial stood
next to it. Mara grabbed the waiting meal and wandered back out with it, intending to eat
in the main cavern and wait for his return. Mara bypassed the table and chairs, plopping
instead on the mattress. She curled her legs up beneath her and started devouring the
food like a starving wolf.
Joshua walked into the cavern from the front door when Mara was nearly done with
the plate of food. Kaze was not with Joshua. He didn't call out a greeting, but simply
noted Mara's wet hair, plate of food, and that she had changed into a simple, sleeveless
dress that would have been appropriate for summer. Joshua closed his eyes and let out
a sigh, dusting off some snow that was still clinging onto his shoulder. Then he spoke at last.
"How are you feeling Mara?"
"Clean, and I'm not hungry anymore. My eyes feel normal now, but I'm really embarrassed
that I lost control of myself last night. I'm sorry you had to see that Joshua, I don't
normally break down and cry, and I never cry in front of others, but I-"
"Mara, don't worry about that. How are you feeling now? Do you feel like yourself again?"
"No. I don't feel like myself at all. I feel like I became a totally different person, lived a
whole other life. I'm not entirely sure that the me I am now is actually me. Joshua, I don't
understand what happened. Do you know? Do you know if I am me right now?"