~ The Push ~ pg 3

The comment cut deep. She was nothing to him… again. It wasn’t fair! When she turned around, five pairs of eyes were fixed on her holding varying degrees of sympathy and chagrin. Though it looked like they wanted to say something, none had adequate words. Fiora threw her gaze to the ground so she wouldn’t have to face them… to face their pity… “Excuse me, please,” she croaked out. “It seems I will be leaving sooner than I thought. I must pack.” 

Nivia, older and wiser, ignored her request and instead wrapped her in an embrace. “Oh, child,” she moaned. “I am so sorry.” Fiora bit her quavering lip. She would not cry… She would not cry! Nivia held her at arm’s length to look her in the eye. “You are a very brave woman. Don’t worry yourself over packing. I will take care of things.” 

“I can help,” Fiora tried wanting to keep her mind occupied but Nivia shooed her away. 

“Let me do this for you. You just go and collect yourself. Go, child. Go!” The old woman in the young woman’s body pushed her away from the others. Away from the things that could keep her busy. Away from avoiding her emotions. Cursed Fates! She would not cry. 

The chill of the morning made her shiver again. She didn’t think she’d ever be warm again. Fiora wandered to the edge of the plateau, wrapping her arms around herself as she looked out over the expanse. Straight down began the strange land filled with strange trees and strange animals… but she would be the stranger walking among them. It was a troubled land which promised her nothing but strife. She didn’t know if she could survive it… Leave everything – and everyone – behind to follow one man who didn’t even want her along. How would she bear it? Fiora fought the bile that rose up in the back of her throat. She would not cry! 

Footsteps crunched behind her. She didn’t need to see him to know who stood there… she could feel the pulse of his blood calling out to her. “Fiora?” The one whispered word was both a request for permission and an invitation. She turned to him, unshed tears brimming in her eyes. He saw her. He knew her. His arms were open in an offer to comfort… an offer to welcome. “Oh, Alex,” she sobbed as she stepped into him burying her face in his chest. His arms wrapped around her tightly. Her resolve broke. It was too much. Fiora wept. 

The End

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