December 14, 2016

In Which Celina Gives Up on the Word

March 5, 1203


It was a sad excuse for a greeting several minutes after she'd picked the lock on her sister's door and slumped into the bedside chair, most of that time spent with her eyes one her own lap rather than on Aspen. If not for that barest turn of Aspen's head when the door had opened, though, Celina would have thought she'd gone unnoticed. Of course, if anyone had cause to be distracted...

Well, it wasn't Celina herself, even if some of her leftover queasiness hadn't settled.

"I should have figured Darry had some reason for inviting me to the party, but I was too excited to question it. I really should have--and I shouldn't have pushed you. I know you don't like parties."

"Don't apologize." Aspen flicked a finger at the end of her braid, the flash of gold about it not beyond notice. Why was she wearing the ring? Insane as his plan had been, had Darry at least been right about Nato? "I'm not angry with you."

"Just Darry, then?"

Aspen shrugged. There must have been more, then. But if even Celina got a pass, then surely someone who'd had even less of a knowing role...? And if she was wearing the ring...? "You're not mad at Nato, are you?"

Her sister shook her head. "No, not Nato. I'm not even mad at Darry, really. Anger isn't the word for it."

"Oh." Sad? Disappointed? Shattered? Celina gave up quickly on guessing. If Aspen hadn't said the word, then she didn't know it herself. "Are you still going to leave?"

"What else would I do? Stay and be Nato's wife?" She punctuated the thought with a dismissive sniff, but that wasn't--not quite--an outright 'no'.

Or was it? The question of yes or no never seemed as simple as it ought to have been. Or perhaps it was simple and the mind took too much glee in making it complicated. Celina didn't know. She was too young and stupid and still mildly hungover to figure it out.

"I don't know what that means."

Her sister spun the wedding ring about her finger. Celina tried not to read too much into it spinning toward the knuckle rather than the tip. "It means I want to be alone for a while. Maybe a long while."


1 comment:

Van said...

What has two thumbs and is totally behind on life? This lady!