The first thing I felt when I set step into the house was relief. The smell of a freshly cooked meal wafted through the air, making me feel at home. If there was anything that helped me to calm down immediately, it was my mother's cooking. She was an exceptional cook, an amazing wife and supportive mother.
Both my parents were Durmans but they didn't hold the spitefulness of most. Rather than complaining about the harsh conditions we had to live under, they accepted it. And that helped when I grew up with a sister who was treated just the same as I, at least within the family.
Celeste had been determined a Selvite in a second. Sometimes, it took the selected mage longer to discover the magical potential within a baby. But for Celeste, that had not been the case. The moment Mage Kaleski laid eyes on her, he'd known she was a Selvite.
She'd been regarded as a 'miracle child' by many people. Celeste had been born to two Durmans with 'impure' magic in the family-line. When she'd been assigned to the Selvite-class, everyone had been taken by surprise. They'd also been hoping that the non-identical twin sister would be an equally amazing miracle as the older one. But I ended up being a disappointment.
However, growing up, mother and father had showered the same love on both of us. They didn't favor Celeste over me, which was the case with most families where division started to tear apart the siblings, resulting in a rivalry. For a few years, it was going well but then arrogance and a sense of superiority soon kicked into Celeste. She left.
Heaving a sigh, I tore myself away from my melancholic thoughts and walked towards the kitchen. My parents were sat around a small circular table, waiting for me and the moment they saw me, their brown eyes lit up.
"Oh Safiya, you're finally home." I sensed a hint of worry in my father's voice, more so than would normally be there.
"Is everything alright?" I asked, sitting down and staring at both of them with concern written across my face.
"Let's have dinner first, shall we? You must be starving dear." My mother changed the topic quickly and stood up, getting ready to serve the meal. I didn't say anything, sitting back against my chair and gazing out the window at the garden.
I would have to wake up early the next morning and tend to them, then head off to the shop. My legs and arms were still sore from the work I'd done earlier on today, but it didn't bother me. We had to make a living somehow.
My parents and I ate quietly. I was under the notion that something was troubling them both. Had they heard the rumors as well? Just when I was about to ask them what was on their minds, three sharp raps sounded on the front door.
I exchanged a glance with my father who looked nervous. Standing up, I said strongly, "I'll go check who it is." Must be Sahara. Or Cain.
"No. I'll go." My father left the kitchen before I had a chance to argue. I wanted to follow him, to check who it was but I didn't need to.
A man strode in, an unpleasant smile on his lips like the very fact that he was here disgusted him. His blonde hair was pulled into a ponytail, and he stood with his chest-out, haughtily. Beside him were two guards, Kathites no doubt who glanced around at their surroundings warily. One of them met my eyes, looking almost sympathetic before hastily looking away.
"So, you must be Safiya Caroban." His stormy blue eyes shone as they rested on me and my mother, his sneer growing.
"Yes," I said, finding the strength to speak up. "Is there a problem, Sir?"
"Yes, Caroban there is.As you're probably very well aware of, the higher officials have heard of a resistance forming. And to assess the validity of this," He paused, licking his lips, "This improbable theory, every Durman from the ages of fourteen and upwards are required to show up at the town-hall tomorrow."
"Yes, Sir, we shall." My mother said, bowing before him to show her respect. My father did as well. However I stood frozen to the spot. The Selvite's smile faltered, as if the very thing he'd suggested to be improbable was being proven wrong the very instant. I felt my mother hiss my name and after a minute of standing still and looking him straight in the eye, I bowed as well.
My hands clenched by my sides when I straightened my posture after a few seconds, to be met by the sight of an empty kitchen. The Selvite had left, along with his guards. But the worry he'd stirred up inside of me, my mother and father, was yet to say its' goodbye.