Found Part Twenty Six
Read parts one through twenty five here.
Regret. Frigid and unyielding regret pierced right through me. Why? The question rang through my body like a bell in a hollow tower. Dasha and Cyrus sat across from me. Their faces were expectant with the tale of woe I had promised them. They sat in eerie stillness, ready to hang on my every word. I had their undivided attention. And I didn’t want it. What had I done?
“I don’t think I can do this,” I blurted out after another long stretch of silence. Dasha and Cyrus thawed in their spots. They were a cacophony of soothing words and encouraging voices.
“You can’t heal if you don’t face what happened to you.”
“You don’t have to face it alone.”
“That part of your life is over.”
“You’re safe now.”
Their words volleyed back and forth in my mind, like thunderous echoing in a stone hallway. Each affirmation crashed against me, leaving cracks behind.
I recoiled from them. I wanted to push them away and run as far as I could.
“Stop!” The command exploded from my mouth harsher than I intended.
Cyrus looked away, but Dasha’s loving gaze became a defiant stare.
“Oh okay, so you want to be a prisoner of your past,” she seethed.
Cyrus was shocked by her sudden anger. But not more than I was.
“What?” We asked in unison.
She sprang from her perch, and marched over to me.
“Why else would you hold on to it with such ferocity?”
“Dasha—” Cyrus warned.
“No, no.” Dasha waved her hands in the air, interrupting him. “We are trying to help him, but all he ever does is shut us out and push us away!”
“Of course, I do!” I yelled back at her. “But I can’t!” The air around me crackled with heat. It wound its way under my skin. Don’t.
“Dasha—” Cyrus tried again with more urgency in his voice.
“Why won’t you let go?” Dasha’s voice shook with the force of her passionate plea.
“Dasha!” Cyrus grabbed her shoulders and turned her around to face him. She struggled out of his grasp and shoved him.
“Don’t touch me!”
They began to argue, but I couldn’t hear them. I was drowning in the scent of lavender and sunlight. Soft pillows and bedsheets threatened to consume, and the sounds of rushing filled my ears. Don’t. I fought for control.
“Why do you keep trying to stifle him? Every time he has an emotion, there you are telling people to leave him alone! Why isn’t he allowed to feel anything?” Dasha’s outcry echoed through whoosh.
“Because I can’t!” The heat ran from my body and demolished the control I’d been trying to hold on to. The force of the blast knocked Dasha and Cyrus over.
The edges of my vision began to blur, and pain prickled in my blood. A hand snatched one of my shoulders. Another hand forced my head back. There was no strength in my body to fight them.
“Drink this,” a voice commanded from far away. Cold liquid spilled down my throat, and the effect was near-instant. The blackness faded, and the world became color again. I regained my senses. Dasha’s room looked disturbed, but not destroyed.
“What was that?”
“I finished the potion I promised you. This will help when things get,” he looked at Dasha and finished his sentence. “…overwhelming.”
Dasha looked contrite.
“I’m sorry, Nox. I know I came on strong. But I want to help you heal. I don’t have any Magic like you or Cyrus.” She sat next to me and took my hands in hers. “I know now, that I’m not afraid of you. But I’m afraid for you.”
“You’re the most Magical being I’ve ever known,” Cyrus whispered from across the room.
“Stop that,” Dasha scolded.
“I mean it. Knowing you assures me that Magic exists.”
They stared at each other for a long few seconds, and I felt like an interloper in their private moment.
“I can’t do this right now,” Dasha breathed.
That sounds familiar. She must have thought so too because she looked back at me and lowered her head.
“I didn’t mean to force you to tell your story. But I think I have an idea. One that might work for all of us.”
Cyrus and I shared a look of confusion.
“We all have some letting go to do. What if we did it in stages? Nox could open up a little bit at a time,” she gestured to me. Then she turned to Cyrus, but wouldn’t look up at him. “And maybe I can start to maybe try to think about possibly forgiving you.” The words tumbled from her mouth as though she’d pushed them out for fear she’d hold them back.
I turned those words over in my mind. A little bit at a time? But Cyrus needed no time to think.
“Yes,” he gushed. “Yes. I can do that.” A light entered his soul that I never knew he could hold. He looked at me, begging me with those new hopeful eyes.
“I can try. So I suppose that means I’m staying.”