“I’m sorry, Agni.” I lost count of how many times he’s apologized already, I know it’s not real fault of his. He’d just been playing with Ophé, not expecting anyone to come check on him and Cyrille had just seen something we had been told to keep quiet on because no one knew how he might react to it. Now we have our answer and I don’t know that he’ll ever talk to us again. Mira is blaming himself completely and no amount of telling him that it is all right, though it isn’t on so many levels, helps.

“If he can wrap his mind around what he’s seen, he might just come back around to ask more questions, Mira. I don’t think he’d judge us monsters without asking a few questions first.”

“We barely know anything about him, how can you say that?” I know how much it hurts him to think that Cyrille might never talk to us again. He’s the first friend we’ve made, the only friend we have in our age range and the thought of losing him makes me feel empty inside. I don’t want him to never talk to us again but we can’t just go up to him and force him to talk to us, that would just make things worse and I don’t think that’s how it all should go if it should go anywhere at all. He’s the one who has to come our way.

“I had a dream about the raven again.” One thing we grew up with is Zora telling us that dreams are important. To always note down the bigger notes in there so that we could keep track of what they might have said. I didn’t give it much thought myself though I know Mira always believed it more easily than me. I suppose it’s mostly because I don’t recall my dreams often and the say that dreams not recalled tend to be good dreams, so okay, sure, fine.

On Thursday morning though, Mira comes to me and he says, I had a bad dream, there was this whole flock of raven and they were just sort of staring at me, as if waiting for me to make a wrong move. I looked it up. Ravens in dreams usually seem to symbolize betrayal, disharmony, misfortune, and death. Of course, I know that ‘death’ is usually as symbolic as the rest, that it can be just the end of something or other. I figure the ravens in his dreams are mostly there for betrayal, I guess. I really don’t know but it’s all I can get from it.

I can imagine that Cyrille is feeling rather betrayed at this point or maybe just scared or who knows what else. I can’t read in his mind, that’d be more Eoghan’s cup of tea and we can’t just go up there and tell him what happened, that wouldn’t be right. I don’t even know what he might say about it if we did.

I hope he comes around, I don’t want to be miserable this way for the rest of my life or until I get over the loss of his friendship. I know I should manage but I don’t know that Mira will manage. He’s not as emotionally strong as me. Though at times of course he surprises me.

“I saw the ravens again.” He moves to sit next to me, huddling a little against my side and I just wrap my arm about his shoulders and hug him to me. I can’t do a whole lot else. He’s been seeing ravens in his dream since the incident and now, four sleeping nights later, they’re still there.

“Tomorrow is Monday, maybe he’ll come around, Mira.” I don’t know if he’ll come around or not, I don’t know that if he does, it’ll be to talk to us about what he thinks he might have seen or not. Maybe he won’t show up ever again, maybe that’s it and we have to find someone else to befriend, I really honestly don’t know. I try not to think too much about it. “Just try not to think about it too much, you have rings under your eyes, rest your head and try to sleep.”

It’s all I can do for him, I feel helpless and I don’t know if it’s just because of my inability to help him or if it’s not just because I can’t help us. I feel as bad as he does, I’m sure. I miss Cyrille, I don’t want our friendship to end on that kind of thing, it would be a terrible kind of waste. All I can hope is that he comes around once Monday comes and that maybe he’ll be willing to talk to us and maybe he’ll be willing to try to understand that we’re not monsters, we’re just a little different.

Mira closes his eyes and shifts until he can curl up on the couch, his head on my lap and I brush my fingers along his hair lightly, barely. His breathing evens out before too long and I sigh, closing my own eyes for a few moments. He’s been seeing ravens in his dreams and I’ve just been seeing our friendship dissolve completely every time I rest for more than a few moments.

In my dreams, I see Cyrille just looking at us, his eyes filled with betrayal, his face clearly showing that he thinks we’re terrible, we’re monsters and we should burn in hell if it existed. I don’t bring it up to Mira because he doesn’t need to worry about things more than he does now. One of us looking like shit come Monday is enough though I know I don’t look much better than him. I just don’t know what to do or think.

I wake up with a start, my heart beating a mile a minute, the pain of betrayal profound in my breast and I press my palms into my eyes to stop the inevitable tears of frustration that try to squeeze out. I don’t want to think about all of this. I don’t want to imagine that it’s all been lost because of a mishap, it can’t be right.

Against my side, Mira shifts and looks up at me with sleep-filled eyes. I look down at him, trying so hard to smile for him but it just doesn’t come. He moves just so, shifting to curl his arms around me and I hug him back, holding him to me as if he’s my only salvation. In a way he is. If Cyrille really does decide that we’re monsters and we can’t be trusted, it’ll be back to almost square one. I have Mira, he has me, we have the others as part of the family but it’s different. There’s a bond that develops between people in the same age group.

When I stop thinking, just for a moment, I realize that Mira is humming softly under his breath. I choke on a bit of a startled laugh and I quiet utterly, just hugging him closer. I need to stop thinking that he’s not as strong as me. At times I realize he’s stronger than I’ll ever be but most of the time it slips my mind. I can’t help it.

I try to ignore the whole world, I just focus on his soft humming, on how securely he’s hugging me and how I’m just hugging him back. We’re each other’s anchor in this world, there’s no other explanation for this. If we ever find love, I think things will change, anchors will need to be found elsewhere but for now, oh for now this is fine and I don’t really want to go anywhere else. He holds me, I hold him, he hums and we forget the world exists for a few moments, a few hours, maybe a lifetime. It doesn’t matter.


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