October 16, 2014

In Which Alina Can Do Nothing

July 22, 1187

It was, from what Alina could gather, a sad day all around.

Of course, neither Prior nor Alina's father had at all happy since Prior's father died, and Alina thought she understood that, even if she was lucky enough not to know exactly how they felt. Prior had lost his father, and her father had lost one of his best friends. Of course they'd be miserable, probably for a long time.

But today, they'd both been further down in the dumps than they'd been since the news had been fresh. Her father had been up all night, according to her mother. He'd spent the morning walking around like he was half-dead himself, not noticing anyone around him without direct prompting. Alina guessed he hadn't improved since she and her siblings had left for school.

As for Prior, he hadn't shown up for school. His mother had, also somewhat more morose than she'd been in recent weeks. Alina had asked if Prior was sick, and Lady Camaline had told her that she wasn't--and then invited her to come see him after school, figuring having a friend around might raise his spirits.

So Alina had told Severin to tell their mother she'd gone to Prior's. Her father had her mother at home, after all, at least after she was done at the university for the day. Plus Lonel, plus her siblings after school. And if the conversation she'd overheard between Rennie and CeeCee had been any indication, her grandfather planned to stop in on her father. Prior needed her more.

She just hoped she wasn't bothering him. Sometimes, people just wanted to be alone. "Hello, Prior."

"Hello." A dull murmur. He hadn't turned his head.

Maybe he wanted her to leave and was too polite to say it. Or maybe he just wanted her to sit with him. Some people wouldn't have had to ask, but Alina wasn't quite so confident. "What's wrong?"

"It's my father's birthday."


That explained it. A birthday would be a glum occasion if the birthday boy wasn't here to celebrate.

And there was nothing she could do to help. "I'm sorry."

He nodded. He still wouldn't look at her, but Alina got it. She had brothers. She didn't fully understand why, but she knew boys didn't like others to see them crying.


1 comment:

Van said...

So many exams... :S