[This post is from Marin’s point of view.]
“It’s a gift and a curse,” she said, echoing my words. S touched my arm gently, but I didn’t look at her. I just kept staring out over the yawning maw of the ravine, at trees and fallen branches and leaves, at the grass the stubbornly clung to the steep banks and the mud that marked where the grass had failed to hang on.
“Yes,” I said in a whisper. “It is. It always has been.”
I choked on a laugh. “I wish that helped, Kel.”
“Yeah, well. It’s what I’ve got.” She lapsed into silence for a few seconds, then said, “I still think you should stay behind.”
“It’s not going to happen.”
“You and Thom can’t both go, Mar.”
My heart seized for a second and I had to swallow twice before I could actually breathe again. “He’s not going to go.”
“That’s definitely not the impression he left anyone with.”
“It doesn’t matter,” I said. “He’s not going, Kel. It’s not even a discussion. He’s staying behind. He’s in no physical shape for what’s going to happen out there.”
She stared at me steadily, but I couldn’t look at her. I wouldn’t. I couldn’t bear to see doubt in her eyes, doubt and truth. No mater how much I denied it, no matter how knee-jerk my reaction, if Thom made up his mind to go, I wasn’t going to be able to stop him. I just didn’t think he’d make that decision.
I didn’t think he’d put me through that, put us through that.
But if he thought it was necessary? If he thought it was right? He would. I knew, that, too.
That was something else I couldn’t deny, no matter how much I would have wanted to.
Is this how it all starts, I wonder? Is this where it begins, what I saw about him?
Is this the beginning?