Alina marched straight from the mercantile into her home, but if she would have known that Molly Jenkins would come knocking on her door, she would have taken more pains to make sure no one saw her return. As soon as she heard the knock at the door, Alina groaned and prepared herself for the worst. Can't people just leave me alone?
Alina and Molly hadn't spoken in...oh, Alina couldn't remember the last time they'd spoken. And now, Molly was asking Alina if she could come in?
Opening the door more widely, Alina nodded. "Come in," she said at Molly's request.
Molly entered, wringing her hands, a basket on her arm. When she could bear the silence no longer, she finally said quietly, "It's been awhile."
"I've noticed that ever since that vi - ever since Alexander's death, you've not been yourself."
Alina raised her eyebrows. "And?"
"I was avoiding you because I was bitter toward you, Alina. I didn't understand how you could possibly love someone like...him." There was a long silence. "But now, I have to tell you. I mean, show you."
Molly's eyes were already wide, but when she finished her final sentence, those eyes got so wide that Alina wondered what on earth could be causing her once-friend so much anxiety. Biting her lip nervously, Molly reached into the basket and withdrew a small journal and a a few pieces of paper.
"What are those?" Alina asked, unable to deny the fact that her curiosity had been piqued.
"Conner found them in Alexander's room, the one he'd been renting at the inn. He gave them to me to give to you, saying that you would rather receive them from me than from him."
Without further ado, Alina reached out and snatched the journal and papers from Molly's hands. "Why haven't I seen these until now?"
"Because I didn't want you to have them."
Jerking her head up, Alina met Molly's eyes. "What did you say?" she asked in a voice low with anger.
"I didn't want you to have them," Molly repeated, her eyes filling with glassy tears.
"What?" Molly asked, jaw dropping in disbelief. "You're telling me to leave?"
"What does it sound like I'm doing?"
Allowing herself to be herded out the door, Molly's mouth didn't stop running. "Alina, this is madness. You've never been like this, not ever! Do you realize how you sound? You've allowed grief and bitterness to overtake your heart, Alina, and it's frightening! Where's the friend I used to know? Where's - "
And then Alina closed the door.