picking oneself up

The rink is nearly empty at this hour and I have to be glad. Though maybe Alexis paid the owner to let us have peace for a few hours. I’ve never skated before. I never had a chance. My brothers haven’t either and by the looks of things I think the only two who ever have been on skates before are Alexis and Eoghan. They’re almost flawless in the way they move.

I don’t know why I accepted this invitation. I suppose that last shared dinner had some good. So far they’ve all been very nice though Quentin still seems a bit unwilling to really talk to me. I can’t blame him, I’m not all that comfortable talking to any of them yet either.

He and Yael are wobbly on their skates but Yael seems to have a certain natural grace to his motions. He looks to be a fast learner. They haven’t really fallen yet though they’re clinging to one another, slowly moving together and easing along.
I haven’t left the edge of the rink, I know I’ll fall flat on my face if I try at all. Agni and Mira though, they’re a lot more adventurous. They were almost dancing all the way to the rink when they were told we were going skating. They’ve been craving the chance to learn new things and they learn quickly.

There goes Mira hitting the ice again though he only laughs and he waves his brother’s wobbly attempt at help away. He looks down to his skates, he cants his head, almost as if studying them and he slowly shifts and pulls himself back to his feet. Still wobbly but he intent on not asking for help. He and Agni both are now side by side, slowly trying to get the hang of keeping up and then moving forward or back, it seems. Any time one of them falls, they make it clear they’re picking themselves back up again all on their own. It’s good to be independent.

“Want some help?”

I blink, I look away from my brothers who already are steadier than they were a few moments ago, steadier than Quentin and Yael. Eoghan cants his head, smiles at me and I blink again, a soft little frown touching my lips. I can’t help it. I guess I really should try to release the wall, I have really good balance usually but I don’t feel much grace in anything currently.

“I don’t trust you.” The words are out of my mouth before I can stop them. He doesn’t look surprised, he merely still smiles at me lightly and keeps his ground. He shrugs.

“I honestly want to. I just can’t, not yet. Not openly the way my brothers seem to. They’ve likely forgotten what happened last time but I haven’t.”

Again he shrugs lightly but doesn’t move. He shakes his head lightly. “I’m not forcing anyone to trust me, Zora. I’m just trying to help someone who, like me, has been judged, cast out and hunted down. I’m not going to try and force myself on you or your brothers. Lex would have my balls on a platter and I don’t want anyone but him anyway.”

I suppose that puts me somewhat at ease but not really enough to warrant trusting him openly yet. That might never really happen though I’m trying my best.

Sighing, I look down to his offered hands and I look back out to the rink where the other five are managing well enough for a first time. I lightly slip my hand into his and he curls his fingers lightly. He pushes back and I have to follow. I feel less than steady but his presence keeps me focused.

I push with one feet, sliding with the other and repeat the motion on the other side. It’s not so hard really. It’s like nothing I’ve done before but it’s not as hard as I thought it might be. He smiles down at me again, simple slowly skating back, holding my hands and keeping me on my feet. I guess I might be a little thankful.

Eventually, he releases both my hands but he keeps in front of me. I push myself with one foot, then the next and I find myself steady enough. I can’t help the smile that finds its way to my lips. This might actually be fun!

He chuckles, moves further back, giving me more room and while I don’t try to move to catch back up to him, I keep upright and steady, my motions aren’t perfectly smooth but they’re good enough to keep my going.

I watch him dip in a slight bow and he moves away since I manage well enough on my own. I guess he’s going back to Alexis’s side. That’s fine by me.

I do fall a few minutes after I’ve been left on my own. I’m a little stunned, I’d just been trying to move a little further away from the wall. I see a shadow partly fall across mine and I look up to Mira and Agni both stopped just a pace away, looking but waiting. I did teach them to be independent best as they could though some things require help always. I smile at them but shake my head and they go back on their way.

I calculate the distance to the wall, wondering if I might scoot over there to pull myself back up but I shake my head. It’s childish to want to always use the wall to pull myself back up. I shift my weight, try to find my center of gravity and slowly I ease back first to a crouch. I make sure I’m balanced before I ease back up to my feet and there. I’m standing again.

I know that if I fall I can always get back up. At times I’ll need help but most of the times I’d like to believe I can do so on my own. I don’t much like the idea of depending on others unless I absolutely can’t help it. Like this roof over my head situation. I could find a job but that would require leaving the twins alone. Then again, they’re old enough and they can keep themselves occupied, I could. I’d then have an income, I could find us an apartment. Find us a real place to stay at.

I guess that I should accept help at times, it’s hard to go anywhere in life when absolutely alone. It doesn’t really get anyone very far, I know, I’ve been doing this long enough on my own, struggling along to know better. Trust is just an issue and without trust, it’s hard to accept anyone’s help at all. I’ll just have to try harder.

I don’t know how long we spend on the ice but when we’re out on the benches, changing back from skates to boots, I can feel my muscles aching in protest over all the exercise we’ve just done. It was good exercise but I’m pretty sure all of us will be aching for a while.

We all gather up in the minivan, my siblings and I in the back row since we can all sit together, Quentin and Yael in the middle, Alexis and Eoghan up front. It was Eoghan who drove us here earlier on but this time it’s Alexis behind the wheel. The drive home is quiet, the twins nestled together and I know they’ll sleep well. They’re not used to a lot of exercise yet, I guess this is means of slowly building up to a regular kind of lifestyle.

One day following the other. It’s all I can ask for.

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