Another day has come and with it, more training. Training keeps me occupied. It makes me feel good. I want to feel good. I want to be able to smile at Gloria’s wedding. If I cry; I want to cry for her happiness, not for my sorrow. So I train. Today we’re continuing with Air. I am convinced I have an affinity for it. It’s almost as easy as Water.
I finish my Air and sword dance. Dad critiques and Gloria and I listen. She comes to watch me for a little bit everyday, no matter how busy she is.
Suddenly a crash in the trees near us breaks our conversation. We all turn to face the noise. There’s a figure there. He’s in the shadows, but my heart leaps. For a brief second my eyes lock with Ash’s eyes as my sword clatters to the ground. Then he’s gone. I step forward. “Ash?” Was I dreaming? I take another step. “Ash?” Why didn’t he stay to say hello? I start to take another step but Dad’s hand restrains me.
“Morgan,” his voice is soft, pulling me back.
“Didn’t you see him?” I turned to face him and Gloria. I know I have tears running down my cheeks. They exchange looks. “Didn’t you see him? It was Ash, I know it was.”
“Morgan,” Dad’s voice is stern.
Gloria hugs me. “I know how you feel Morgan. I remember right after Thalion died,’ she paused and shook her head slightly. I can understand. She thought he was dead, but he’s alive. That has to be odd. “I remember glimpsing sights of him, because I wanted to see him again.” I nod.
Be strong Morgan
“It was probably just someone from the town or castle,” Dad states.
I hope Dad’s right. And yet I don’t. It’s my heart that tells me he’s wrong. My head; however, is quite ready to agree. Ash has left to keep us safe. He wouldn’t be back to endanger us. I take one last deep breath and squeeze Gloria before pulling back.
“You good?” she asks, proffering a crumpled tissue from her pocket. I nod as I wipe my eyes and nose. I ought to carry a box of them with me.
Dad picks up my sword, wipes it down and replaces it in the sheath. I can tell he feels awkward about my crying. I can’t blame him. My tears sometimes make me feel awkward. I sniff one last time and blow my nose. He brings a basin out of his bag and sets it in our training area.
“Why don’t we go back to Water?” Dad smiles at me. He knows it’s my best element. Water is calming for me, unlike Air, which excites me, or Fire which inflames me, or Earth, which frustrates me. I hesitatingly return his smile as I sit across the basin from him. “It’s pretty humid out tonight. I wouldn’t be surprised if it didn’t rain soon. So how about you fill the basin with water from the air?”
I nod. Closing my eyes I let myself flow into nature. There’s an odd sense like the Island’s hiding something from me. So it was Ash, my heart leaps only to fall again. He could have at least said hello.
I’m trying. I feel Mom sigh. Like Dad and Gloria, she’s trying to help me, only sometimes I think Grandma B had the right idea; send me off to fend for myself. I feel a drop of water on my nose, bringing my mind back to the task at hand. It’s misting, which makes my assignment much easier.
Opening my eyes I gather the little droplets into my hands. They merrily run between my fingers, singing a little tune as they splash into the basin. I smile. It’s good to smile, but I know that I’ll cry myself to sleep tonight. Why didn’t Ash say hello?