[this post is from Marin’s point of view]
It was enough to send a chill racing down my spine and set bile rising at the back of my throat. There were some things that logic couldn’t argue against, and one of those things was unreasoning fear. If it was the beginning of what I’d seen, if it was just another avenue fate was going to try to take to meet a similar ultimate end to the one I’d long feared—
What could I do? Rail against it, of course, but that was what I’d always done. Rail against it and try to stop what I could stop, mitigate what I could, and deal with what I couldn’t. Deep down, I knew I couldn’t—wouldn’t—lose him. That was a kernel of truth I knew deep down in the depths of my soul, buried beneath a thousand other things, down where even fear and doubt couldn’t reach it.
So deep that sometimes I couldn’t even reach it.
Kellin kept staring at me, her brow furrowing even more deeply than before. She reached for my arm but I drew away, hugging them more tightly against my chest, still crossed. I stared out at nothing as I faced the ravine, wrestling with the thoughts I didn’t want to allow to rise to the surface, the things I didn’t want to think about.
I can’t lose him. I won’t. I won’t let it happen.
It was the mantra that I’d said over and over again this past year—and longer still, even during the months when it hadn’t seemed like he was mine to lose.
Somehow, I’d always known.
“Mar,” she said softly, gently. “Are you all right?”
“I don’t know,” I said, perhaps too quickly. “I have no idea. No bloody clue. Maybe. Maybe.”
Kellin’s brow furrowed even more deeply. “You don’t seem like it.”
“Yeah. I know.”
“Don’t ask questions you don’t want to know the answers to,” I said, jaw setting. “Please.”
“Right,” she said softly. “I—I’ll let you think.”
I startled as she turned to walk away. “But I’m the one—”
“I know,” she said. “You need to collect your thoughts more than I do.”
She didn’t give me time to respond before she walked away.