That day is one of few that has stayed with me. I wonder if Koso remembers it. I will not ask him.
There was a fullness with being Gifted. Mine was the Gift of Energy, all I could do was assist others. It was enough, though, even if sometimes I wished for other people’s affinities. With mine, I never was cut out to be a leader. That was alright, though. I could watch and feel involved all the same. I could be anyone’s assistant, and be comforted by the Gifts all around me.
Ithan, he was meant for leadership. The common name for his Gift is Fire, though it had little to do with the element itself. It lent him confidence and courage that I never would have had, and allowed him both diplomacy and strength. He could easily discern the true intentions of most people, which allowed him to be both decisive and final in his opinions of others.
These are only the facts, though, cold and hard of what I was told about Fire. Ithan had his confidence, yes, but looking back I see his arrogance, too. He was always arrogant towards Koso, always seeking to play the game of competition. Mom says he would have grown out of it, but I’m not sure. Whatever he saw in most people that allowed him to make decisions, he didn’t see in me. He avoided me much of the time, though I watched him constantly. I was too little, too fragile for his games.
Whatever he was, I cried at his death. He would have made a good king.
I have come to the place that my feet led me, now. I am back at the Porthouse door. I walk in, and the steps creak slightly under my weight. Koso isn’t here. He left the door to the guest room open, but it too is empty. I shut it. It is so quiet. I silence myself, shallow my breathing, and can hear the water of the sea.
I retrieve a pad of paper from the drawer of the desk in the front room. The chair is uncomfortable, hard and wooden, so I grab a pen and go outside to sit on the steps.
There are so many letters to write, so many things to say. I try to start my first.
I stop. I can’t write Zink a letter now. I rip the sheet off and set it aside. Before I can even start again, the sea breeze picks up and takes the paper flying.
I chase after it, not even caring that my name wasn’t on the paper, that it could never be traced back to me. I can’t keep up at the pace of the wind, but thankfully paper isn’t aerodynamic. It twists about in the air, then settles finally on the sand near the water. I stomp on it before the wind can pick back up. I take it in my hands and rip it in two, then again and again until it’s shredded to pieces, then toss the remains at the water like ashes.
Only half of the pieces even land in the water; the other half come flying back at me and swirl around my face, ending up on the sand where they began. I turn my back on all of it and return to the stairs.