I feel bad for not answering the door. I know it was Gloria out there. But I don't feel like meeting Thalion right now. I really don’t feel well. I feel nauseous. I’m hungry but even the thought of food makes me feel ill. I sit on my bed and pull my knees to my chest.
Be strong Morgan, be strong.
But it’s been so long since I was strong, I don’t know if I remember how. Tears fall down my cheeks. Gloria is so lucky to have Thalion back. Their love is so strong, it's easy to feel. Why can’t I have that? Why did he have to go and break our link as if he’d never be back?
You know why.
“Shut up!” my voice echoes around me. I lie on my side and curl in on myself. I cry at that dark spot he left in my mind. It’s empty and barren save for the small fire I started in my dream. I zone into nothingness. I have no thoughts, no feelings, no dreams. It is blissfully peaceful.
“Morgan!” Someone pounds on my door startling me awake. “Morgan let me in or I will break this door down.” Dad, but why is he so upset. I hear Gloria outside too. They are concerned. I look at the sky and at the clock. It’s been thirteen hours since I left breakfast. The door crashes open, and I sit up.
Dad stops at the bed glaring at me. I shrink back. “Don’t ever lock the door on me again. What were you doing in here?”
“I, I don’t remember locking it.” It’s the truth, I don’t. I didn’t even know I could. Before I can answer his other question Gloria comes in with a tray of food.
“You haven’t eaten since yesterday morning Morgan,” she gives my father a quick glare as she sets the tray down on my bed. I immediately roll over and retch, but of course nothing comes out. Gloria leans in “You’re pregnant!” she whispers excitedly.
“I wish,” I whisper bitterly back. That would have been better said with my Dad on another planet.
“What was that?” I don’t know why he bothers asking.
“No I’m not pregnant,” I state for them both. “Ash would have to do more than Kiss me for that to happen.” I face Dad and look into his eyes. “I feel like this because Ash broke our link. Are you happy now?” By the range of expressions that flash across on his face, he’s not. However; saying it out loud has brought on another rush of tears. I toss my arms out one to each of them. Dad only takes a second longer than Gloria to embrace me. I sob into their shoulders.
At last, as the rays of the setting sun shine on my ceiling I let them go and sit back. They both go for the tissues at the same time, which makes me giggle a hiccup. I take one from Dad and then one from Gloria. Dad’s still looking at me grimly. I know, I’ve wasted a day and a half in my sorrow. That’s a day and a half of training that wasn’t done, and my birthday, and the test, are right around the corner.
“Tomorrow,” I tell him, “I promise, tomorrow morning I’ll be strong enough. I’ll train the whole day. Magic, sparring, everything! I promise. I just need one more night, to center myself, to refocus myself.” My eyes plead with him to understand. Surely he can understand. I hold my hands out to him and suddenly wonder if he’d been linked to Mom. Had she had broken their link?
At last Dad takes my hands. He leans in and kisses my forehead, leaving a note of strength with it. “All right, but I want you in the Orchard at sunrise young lady.”
“You got it old man.” I giggle. Dad looks slightly taken back by that but shakes his head and leaves.
Gloria is still sitting on my bedside. “Antee Morgggguh!” Sarah Morgan races for my room, only to be caught by Thalion in the doorway.
I shake my head. “No, it’s okay.” I feel tears forming in my eyes again. He sets Sarah Morgan down and she clambers onto my bed to give me a tackle hug. I squeeze her back before handing her to Gloria. “Shoo, I just need a little more alone time. Go, go be a happy family for me.” I usher them out.
I close the door and make my way back to my bed. I’m crying again. But it’s not the same agonizing cry as it was. Lying down I close my eyes and tend the fire I had created in my mind.
Where ever you are Ash, where ever you go, I’ll always have a warm spot, here, waiting for you to come home.