When Mikayla had been home a month, she sat down at the table while her mother got the first aid kit. Carefully lifting up her skirt, Melissa began to unbandage Mikayla's wound.

     Hissing, Mikayla studied what used to be a jagged wound, torn through flesh and muscle, but was now a clean, pink scar. Tilting her head, Mikayla noticed the grey hair at her mother's temples, and the bags under her eyes.

     "Are you okay, mom? You look... Tired." Melissa looked up at her daughter, trying to look like she was feeling okay.

     "What? Oh, I just had a little trouble sleeping last night. My back was, and still is, hurting." Seeing the worried look on her daughter's face, Melissa quickly said, "But don't worry! I'm going to see the doctor when he gets back from the other village this afternoon. One of the Smith babies is sick with the flu and they fear the little one might not make it. Oh, that poor little girl... She was just born about a month ago, you know."

     While her mother got herself ready to see the doctor about her back, Mikayla gathered up some clothes, and made her way to the bathroom, craving a nice hot shower.

     After her shower, Mikayla went to the kitchen. She was dressed nicely, in elven clothes, which consisted of a dark blue, knee-length skirt, and a light blue, elbow-sleeved blouse. Melissa came out of her bedroom and nearly walked into her daughter. Stunned, she looked at Mikayla's clothes.

     "I thought you had decided not to ask the help of the elves." She asked when she had her voice back.

     "That was three years ago, mom, and they really made me feel comfortable asking them."

     Melissa sighed. "Did you see her?"

     "Yes. She claimed not to know me, but she knew who I was, and it was obvious. I know she doesn't want everyone else to know she's my mother, but she could at least notice me. I'm kind of starting to hate Esther, you know."

     Mikayla's mother, her real mother, was named Esther. Mikayla was adopted by Melissa when she was one month old, because she was born when Esther was only fourteen, and uncapable of caring for a child. To explain, Esther is now the queen of the elves, which makes Mikayla an elf. The elves are almost extinct, and, being so vulnerable, even the women are trained in the art of swords, so they may defend themselves. Mikayla was no exception to this notion. Three years before, Mikayla had left home and all she had, to go train with the elves. Elves come into their ears when they are trained with magic, and the more elaborate their ears, the further they were in their training. When Mikayla left, her ears were rounded, like a human's. And so no one knew what she was, no one except Melissa. When she returned, her ears were very prominent indeed. They were extremely pointed, and her face more angular and elvish, making her even more beautiful.

     But, only her mother knew of Mikayla's existance. She had kept her daughter a secret from the rest of the village until Mikayla's wound had healed. And now that it was healed, her mother beamed with pride, confusing everyone around her.

     One day, about a week after her wound had been unbandaged, Mikayla decided to go for a walk to excercise her leg. She headed for the beach, just north of her village, and paced the shores barefoot. After an hour of walking, Mikayla stood knee-deep in the water, with her skirt tied in a knot at her thigh. Not knowing it, someone was watching her.

     When they finally approached Mikayla, she turned, sensing their presence. She immediately recognized him.

     "Shawn?" Mikayla was stunned at the appearance of her childhood friend. He seemed to recognize her all too well, though.

     "Where have you been? We all thought you were dead." He didn't seem too happy to see her. Mikayla stared at her bare feet, trying to hold back tears at the hostility she'd seen in Shawn's eyes.

     "I left to train. I'm sorry I didn't say goodbye to you before I left. I couldn't tell anyone about where I was going or for what reason."

     Little did she know, while she spoke, the hostility had faded from his eyes, leaving only understanding and amazement. What she had said had cleared up her appearance. He approached her and took her hands in his.

     "I'm sorry. I didn't know. You went to the elves about your brother, didn't you?"

     Tears slipped down her cheeks, despite her will. A small sob escaped her lips, and she felt Shawn's arms slip around her waist. As he pulled her close to him, Mikayla began to cry.

The End

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