It’s not long after my encounter with the Celestials that Elaine learns that her mother, Delia, has died. She was an old woman, by this time, and death is a natural part of life.
Despite the fact that Delia Caine relied more upon her logic and intellect than her Magicks, she is given the Urn of a Mage. I am fascinated by their burial rituals. We do not have such things in the oceans.
I give comfort to Elaine as best I can. My own people do not keep time as Dry Earthers do. Life and death are apart of the cycles of our world. But still, I try because I see where ‘losing her’ has effected her greatly.
And I have come to see that I do not like it when she cries tears of sorrow. Elaine has become very special to me, and when she is upset, it upsets me as well.
As time goes on, my abdomen grows bigger and bigger. I can feel the life inside me growing with it. I busy myself with my art, feeling inspired to continue working towards our goal of building a home for myself, Elaine, and this child.
This is Elaine’s younger brother, Leon. He is a teenager and lives in her family home in Willow Creek. I don’t know why he looks so upset to see me, but he does.
Seeing him makes me realize that other than brief visits from her father and uncle, I do not really know much about her family. I inquire about them… and Elaine says that Leon was ‘adopted’ and than he ‘as a chip on his shoulder’ because he’s a teenager now and that’s how it is.
“What is this ‘adopted’ mean?” I ask her.
“It means that he didn’t have a family, and then my parents made him a part of ours,” she told me, and explained how there are forms to fill out and money to pay for expenses… background checks to make sure the family is the right one. It makes my head spin. In my world, if your parents die, the community looks after you. It’s kind of the same, except without the paperwork or payments.
One day, after I return home from work, I feel the strangest sensation… pain like you wouldn’t believe in my abdomen… I am going into labor.
Elaine takes me to the hospital in San Myshuno. It’s the closest one to us. I am nervous … and rightly so. What I thought was one baby, turns out to be two. Twins – a boy whom I name Brody and a girl to be called Brielle.
This is the start of my family. Elaine seems to adore them, too. She helps me to look after them. Dare I to think that this could be the start of our family? Does she even feel the same way I do about her? If not, how do I begin to tell her that in my heart, I think of her as …
… a potential lifemate?