Back at Home
Mia landed back on wet grass, across the clearing from the swinging girl. She stood up and stared at Dmitry, who looked solemn.
“D-d-did Faye die? Did you die, then?” she searched his face for any answers, but he showed none.
“I died. The man killed me. Faye, I am not sure. I never saw her…
“You are much like her, Mia,” Dmitry dismounted his horse and cautiously strode closer. Mia backed a step. This was by far the most she had heard him speak.
“Much like her,” he repeated. Tears filled his white eyes. “You still don’t remember, do you, Faye?” he came closer.
Mia gasped, and her eyes stung and blurred. She buried her face in her hands so that Dmitry wouldn’t see. He thought she was…..But she wasn’t……She couldn’t be……
She felt a gloved hand on her shoulder and she jumped backwards. “Stop it, just stop it!” she cried, tearing her face out of her hands. Dmitry looked so remorseful it hurt her.
“I-I’m sorry,” she said. “But I’m not her.”
His face twisted, but he nodded.
“I’m sorry,” Mia repeated, her voice more steady. There was an awkward silence in which both of them looked down at the grass. Dmitry was the first to move. He sighed and looked at Faye, laughing and swinging.
“Were you really a wizard?” Mia whispered.
Dmitry nodded but didn’t look at her. She couldn’t help but gasp. She was standing with a real wizard, even if he was…..she couldn’t bring herself to think the word.
“I’ll help you,” said Mia. Dmitry didn’t respond, and after about a minute she wondered if he had heard her. She opened her mouth to repeat the words, but then Dmitry spoke.
“Help me with what, Mia?”
“And how will you do that, Mia?”
“I-I-I don’t know. But I will.”
Dmitry turned to look at her at last. His eyes had the whole world in them, completed with the ocean. Mia made a note to implant that moment in her brain and never, ever forget it.
“Thank you, Mia,” his voice shook when he spoke.
Mia ran forward and gave him a quick hug. He needed one.
Dmitry looked surprised for a moment when she had stepped back, but he made no comment and re-mounted his horse. Once he was on, he held out his hand. Mia took it, and, with one look back at Faye, they were plunged into ice cold.
Mia knew that Amanda had been keeping a very close watch on her. She could feel her eyes on her every time she left the room to use the bathroom, to get food, to do anything in general.
Luckily, it had been still dark after Dmitry had brought her back, and Mia was able to slip in unnoticed, but being filthy and scraped up in the morning had been hard to hide.
Mia wasn’t doing much either. She was normally busy doing something, even if it was only fidgeting, but lately even she herself had noticed that she had been unusually still. She found herself lying on the couch with Vampire, her normally evil cat who seemed to like her now that she wasn’t moving, purring on her stomach.
A few days after Dmitry had left, she wondered if she would see him again. She absentmindedly stroked Vampire’s long black coat, wondering how she would help Dmitry. Suddenly, she bolted up with a start. Vampire clawed at her front then leapt off of her, hissing. She paid him no mind. She thought she had heard hoofbeats. She listened intently.
She sighed disappointedly. Then, Amanda walked in and sat down on the couch across from her.
“Mia, are you okay? You’ve been acting weird lately,” said Amanda in her normal, matter-of-fact voice.
“I’m fine, Mandy, leave me alone,” Mia grumbled moodily, flopping back down on her couch.
Mandy made a face. “You never act like this!” she said, as though Mia were a badly behaved puppy.
Vampire hopped back onto Mia’s stomach, purring again. Mia stroked him but didn’t say anything.
“What were you doing when you got all scraped up the other night?” Mandy shot at her. She didn’t reply, just kept stroking Vampire.
“Amelia!” Mandy snapped.
“Don’t call me that,” she murmured.
“What were you doing the other night?”
“Nothing! I told you!” said Mia, irritated.
“You couldn’t have been doing nothing and got all beat up!”
Mia sat up, more gently this time, so as not to upset Vampire, and said, “I thought I heard a noise, so I went outside to see what it was and I fell. Happy?” she scooped up Vampire and stormed out of the room and into her bedroom.
She plopped down on her bed and Vampire curled up beside her. Then, he started meowing loudly in her ear.
“What’s up, sweetie?” she asked him, petting his head. Then, she saw which direction he was looking.
Dmitry was standing by the door.