far from home

“Zora?” The quiet voice pulls her from her reading. The books that had been brought back to her from the library for reading really did fit into her kind of book, she was thankful to have something to do in the hours she spent at home, away from work.

“Yes, Mira?” She lifts her gaze to look to her brother, having only expected one, she blinked at seeing both of them standing side by side in the doorway.

“Are we ever going to go home?” The question startles her and she puts her bookmark in her book before putting it down. She unfolds her leg and looks at her brothers for a long moment.

“We are rather far away from home, aren’t we? You two must not have many memories of India, I imagine it has changed a fair bit since we last were there.” She goes quiet, thinking about the question they’ve asked. She smiles at them gently and chuckles ever softly. “We could eventually, whenever I get my first week of vacation. I don’t know that I would call it home though, there’s no knowing if anything from what we knew is still up and about.”

“Personally I think this is home!” Agni’s voice is soft but sure of itself. He straightens and puffs his chest lightly, as if to make himself seem more than he really is. Zora laughs and shakes her head.

“I guess you could be right, they do say that home is where the heart is. Could this be it?” It is a question that is not half as rhetorical as it sounds and she knows it. This place is nice, Alexis and Eoghan are kind to her and her brothers. They have yet to try to abuse of them in any way but she can’t seem to believe it will happen, there is something definitely different about this place.

“Home is where my family is and you’re both here so home is here.” He calms now, his shoulders drop and he looks somewhat uncertain. He glances to his brother who has been quiet since he first asked the question about a possible trip to India. He doesn’t know whether or not he would want to stay there but visiting to have an idea of what they left behind has been on his mind, though he knows he can’t afford it. Not yet, at least.

“The heart makes a home where it wants to be. This place is nice and I like Armin, he’s not like us but he’s like us in his own way and we’re all one big family.” Mira smiles and nods, as if this is the only answer he was hoping for from the beginning.

“That went better than I had expected.”

“I don’t honestly know what we were expecting. We’ve been out of India for a really long time now and I just wanted to know if it ever crossed her mind that maybe we could go back. I know that the family there is more than likely gone, as is the house and everything else but I thought maybe there was still some desire to go back.”

“Do you want to go back?”

“I don’t know. I barely remember anything from there and I can’t imagine you remember much either. When I close my eyes I just see a lot of people gathered together either around in the kitchen or the big table outside. People wandering off to work in the fields. It’s all pretty fuzzy but I thought that maybe if we went, at least to visit, some memories might come back more clearly.” He shrugs and offers his brother a sort of half-smile as they sit side by side on his bed. He feels closer to his brother now than he did when they were still sharing a bedroom and bed.

“Plane tickets are expensive.”

“Yeah I know, we could save up from the library job. It’s not much but we barely buy anything so we could just save it all up, we could even save up for Zora and she wouldn’t have to pay for anything.” The idea seems like a good one in his mind but he knows it likely might just not work out for them that way. Zora would never let them help pay for that kind of thing, at least not until they were eighteen and they just didn’t know when she might or not get some time off so they could go on that kind of trip.

“We could get books from the library or buy more books from the store but I know it’s not the same, pictures are one thing, videos aren’t all that different, it would really have to be a visit there so we could visit the old home grounds.”

“What if the hunters that broke the family apart made their home there? What if by visiting there we get in trouble and they try to kill us?”

His brother quirks a brow and shakes his head, a wry sort of smile settling to his lips. “Can you imagine? It’s been years, if hunters settled in the house of their prey for years on end, they’d never really get anything done. I mean I get what you’re getting at but I don’t think that would be very likely, it just seems a little far fetched.”

“I guess you’re right. What do we do now?”

They spend the next several hours lounging at times in the sun, at times in the shade, watching the clouds drift on by as they laze up on the roof. The weather is warm and comfortable, there’s not a single storm-ready cloud in the sky and they hardly can ask for anything else. Their life really has taken a turn for the better in recent months and they’re more than thankful for all that has come their way.

“A trip home.” Zora’s words are soft and thoughtful as she looks out the window, the book forgotten on her lap. It has crossed her mind once or twice but nothing that has stayed long enough to really make her wonder whether or not it was a fair idea. The price for three plane tickets from here to India are outrageous for the kind of money she makes, she knows it might take forever to afford it all if she could at all.

With her luck, her vacation would come and go before she had enough money for the three of them and she would have to wait another six months or even another year before considering the idea again. It doesn’t seem like such a terrible idea but she doesn’t know what they’ll find out there if they do go back.

Will their childhood home still be standing? Will it have burned down, trampled by who knows what? There are so many questions to which she has no answers that the idea of actually visiting the old grounds where she and her brothers grew up frightens her somewhat. She doesn’t really know what to make of it.

“Well it’s not going to happen in the next few weeks as is so it gives me time to wrap my mind around it. I can’t just dismiss the idea now since they’re the ones who brought it up. I suppose I was waiting for them to make the first move. I didn’t want to just drag them out of this place and back out there if they didn’t want to.” She sighs and closes his eyes.

Her fingers brush over the cover of the book and she shakes her head lightly. She wonders if Vijaya, the young man she’d had herself quite the crush on while growing up, still was around. He had been from another family but he had spent most of his time around her own, helping with the fields. It is farfetched to hope for that kind of thing, she knows, but at times the past does come back to surface and some old friendships can be rekindled. It would be a good reason to try to make the trip a possibility.

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