[This post is from Kailey’s point of view.]
The book stayed unopened on her knees, though. Kailey tilted her head back to stare at the few snatches of sky she could see between leaves and fruit and branches, her gaze unfocused until all that filled her sight was mottled green and brown and blue.
I don’t want anything to change.
But everything already had and it wasn’t something that she got a vote in. That was what hurt the most, she thought. That nothing and no one had asked for her consent when things started to spiral out of control.
Was this what it felt like for Dad? For Mom, all those years ago?
There were things that they didn’t talk about, her parents, and there were things that they did. Most of her mother’s past was shrouded in secrets and whispers. From what little she knew, it made sense. She and her brother had never asked for sanitized versions of the story—which she had no doubt was what they would get—and so all they had were pieces and fragments of the whole picture. That was fine with her. She didn’t want her mother to hurt, not ever again—she knew that she’d hurt enough in her thousands of years of life to last a thousand lifetimes, maybe more.
Now something was coming to upset her and all the rest all over again. Kailey’s lips thinned and her hands curled into fists.
Can’t we all just be left alone?
She knew the answer to that, though, and it wasn’t one that she liked, either. It was the reason that she knew that Lin was right, no matter how much she wanted to deny it. It was why his parents were dead, why he was alone except for them—except for the village that had helped raise them all.
Nothing would ever leave them alone, not forever. They had done too much, faced too much, and were a threat to too much.
Nothing would ever change that, not even the passage of time.