"Sooo, how have you been?" Eliza asked, turning momentarily to grin at Maya, before flicking back to the wheel of her small family car. Maya looked down, she wasn't sure what to say. After collecting the ravens body, and placing it in a shoebox, she'd thought back over what Leonardo had told her in his letter. You may not return. And she had decided that if she were doomed to leave the mortal world forever, she should have one last day with Eliza beforehand. The member of the Court hopefully wouldn't turn up until tomorrow, but if he, or she did, Maya had a feeling that her locked front door wasn't going to keep them from coming in and waiting for her.
"I've been... busy." Maya chose her words carefully, she had debated about telling Eliza that she had just inherited the powers from a three hundred and fifty year old magician, but decided that she didn't want to risk her only remaining relative thinking she was mad. Eliza had been thrilled when Maya had rung her up and asked if they spend a day in town together. Just before she had picked Maya up, Maya buried the raven in the shoebox outside her apartment, in the flower beds there. "I mean, I've had so much going on, but, it feels good to just set one day aside to relax." She said, although she was anything but relaxed, she was still anticipating the bunnies that were going to start pouring out of her beanie any moment, although she felt little different. "How about you?"
Eliza launched into some huge story about her business, and how they had picked up so considerably since she'd hired a fantastic looking new co-boss. Maya wasn't really listening, Eliza was so easy to talk to, she'd just start going on about anything and everything, and all you had to do was listen and comment every once in a while.
Eliza was her father's step sister, although Maya's father and Eliza had always been as close as ever. She looked nothing like Maya, or her father, though sometimes Maya felt she could see a hint of her father's character reflected in Eliza. Eliza had light brown hair, that she usually wore piled onto her head, and bright green eyes always lined with mascara coated lashes. She was reasonably tall, with a slender figure that was similar to Maya's. When her father had died, she had been told that she would be living with Eliza, as specified in her father's will. At the funeral, Eliza had turned up and said nothing, merely held her arms out to support Maya, and she'd been there ever since. That was until Maya reached seventeen, and decided to live independently. Eliza still loved to visit and see her, she had never married or had children of her own.
Eliza parked outside a small cafe, a few couples and a woman with her baby sat inside.
"I'll order and pay for us, my treat." Eliza smiled, "What do you want to drink?"
"Um, strawberry milkshake please." Maya picked the first thing she saw on the menu, then went to a table near the back, and sat down sighing. How was she supposed to tell Eliza that she might not be coming back? She was making up excuses, twirling her fork in her hands, when suddenly she was no longer holding a fork, but a lizard. She started so abruptly, she kicked the table and earned some stares from a couple nearby. She smiled slightly at them, pulling the lizard up into the sleeve of her jumper so it was hidden. She could feel it squirming about in her hands. I just turned my fork into a lizard, for God's sake, why a lizard?
At that precise moment, Eliza sat down with the tray of food. "Are you alright? You look awfully pale?" Maya inconspicuously slid her hand under the table, and dropped the lizard onto the floor. She felt a bit bad abandoning it like that, especially since it had been a fork five minutes ago, but she didn't really have another option.
"Yes! Yes, I'm fine" She said quickly, reaching for her drink. "Eliza?" She asked, she'd never called her Aunt anything but that, or 'Liza' when she was younger.
"Can I ask you something, about my father?" She saw Eliza stiffen minutely, or maybe it was her imagination.
"Or course, what do you want to know?"
"Did my father... Did he believe in magic?" There was a pause before Eliza spoke.
"Magic? Maya how should I know? Well he believed in Santa as a child, but didn't we all! I really don't know. Why would you ask such a strange question?" Eliza's eyes examined her, and Maya wondered if she could tell. She knew her Aunt had taken psychology classes once.
"Oh, no reason, I was just wondering." She brushed off the question, and decided to pounce on her opportunity to tell Eliza she was leaving. "My friends grandmother has a house in Spain, and my friend's asked me if I want to go out and stay with them for a while, I accepted, I just wanted to let you know." It was a pathetic excuse, she knew, but it was all she could come up with on the spur of the moment. It wouldn't excuse her being gone forever, but it would buy her some time.
"Spain?" Eliza sounded shocked "Why Spain? Well, if you want to go, I suppose you're nearly old enough to do everything alone so, why not. But which friend?"
"Oh, ah, my friend, Ella. You probably don't know her."
"Hmmm, no you haven't mentioned her before, but if you want to go, you go. Send me a text or two whilst you're there, I know you're all grown up now, but it's in my instincts to worry about you." She smiled and Maya smiled back, full of relief, she'd bought it.
"I know, it's why I'll always love you" She replied.