“Are you feeling alright?” Aimee asked Adela yet again. “I thought you wanted to go to the Market with me to buy food.” Aimee had walked into Adela, in the kitchen as always, and invited her to go to the Market. However, Adela had hurriedly refused, excusing herself for not being able to join her.
“I am doing this traditional meal from my island for Mr. Wilker to try. Lately, he has been complaining of back aches. I think it will do him good to eat some of our natural remedies.” Adela said. “I have everything here to start, it is a long process. My apologies again.”
Spikes of envy took over Aimee’s body and mind. How did she know about her father’s aches? He had never told his problems to strangers, and Adela was preparing something for him just like any good daughter would! Aimee had to get out of there or else her fury would take over her. The end results would be devastating. She could foresee it, she would shout at Adela to stay away from her family and then feel guilty when Adela runs to her room, shedding frightful tears. “It is okay, Adela,” Aimee finally said, taking the bag of money and the list Adela wrote for her. “See you later.”
“Have a good day in the Market, Miss Aimee,” she waved her goodbye and went back to prepare the food.
Aimee walked out of the house, relieved. She couldn’t bear her agony and pain any longer. The back of her throat was throbbing with pain. What if her father and Daniel preferred Adela over her? It felt so strange to be competing against another girl for the affection of her father. All these years it had been only Daniel and her, which was okay because Daniel is a boy and she a girl; their father loved them differently, but loved them nonetheless. Now, Adela was a girl too, and there was no way a father could love a daughter differently. Aimee bit her lower lip to stop that stream of thoughts that would surely incur tears in her eyes.
The Market had become a place for gossip and news ever since Shkein took over the Trade. Everybody had these crazy conspiracy theories about him taking over the world and watching his minions from secret hidden cameras spread around the world, insuring his total domination. That was likely the explanation they gave for his sudden appearance in the north. Others, more reasonable people, argued that it was a siege of the North; he wanted to monopolize everything that produced any profit on this Earth. Unlucky for the chasers, it had to be the Northern Lights. The Market didn’t have the negative impact the Trade received, it only diminished it number of merchandise, but the feisty and arrogant merchants remained with the same attitude.
“Thank you for coming with me,” Aimee told Eliana, who was walking beside her with a basket in her hand. They were examining the fresh produce promenade.
“It’s my pleasure, Aimee. I needed to buy some things for tonight as well,” Eliana said. “So, how is everything going in your house? Are Adela and Pablo okay, have Shkein been looking for them?” The news of the purchase of Adela and Pablo had become quite a piece of gossip in the Northern Territories over the past week, and most surprisingly was the meeting with Shkein. They were all curious as to whom the infamous Shkein was and what was like to be a slave. They pestered poor Adela and Pablo for days with endless questions.
“They’re okay, more than okay, actually,” Aimee said bitterly. “We haven’t had the displeasure of seeing Shkein, and I hope we never do.” She lowered her voice to a sad whisper, “and we haven’t set the Chaser in the sky, either. Oh Eliana, I miss the sky so much.”
Eliana looked at her friend sympathetically. “Aimee, please smile, everything will end up alright. Maybe things look gloom now, however, light is always at the end of the tunnel.” Aimee returned her attempts to cheer her up with silence, and Eliana rapidly changed of subject. “So, have you spoken to Christian lately?”
Aimee blushed, her cheeks like rosy petals. “No, Daniel refuses to bring me to the Market with him. I am sure he is with Christian right now.” Aimee had enlightened Eliana about the time when Christian saved her life and Adela’s; however she omitted the part of the kiss. “Do you think I should?”
“Of course!” Eliana scoffed in disbelief. “You should’ve visited him a week earlier! From what you told me, he is obviously into you.”
Aimee pressed her lips together, “I don’t know. Everything seems so…surreal. A part of me longs to see him, but another part tells me to hold myself together and take things slowly.”
“I don’t recognize you Aimee,” Eliana said. “It is uncommon of a Wilker to think things through! You guys just follow your instinct of adventure and let the dices of destiny roll. Come on, Aimee. After shopping you ought to pay him a visit.”
Aimee was thoughtful, “perhaps I shall, as a token of my eternal gratitude to him.”
Eliana nodded in approval. Suddenly, Aimee wanted to be done with the shopping and go to Christian. Her heart fluttered and danced in the cage of her chest at the thought of it.