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Racing upstairs, I try to contain my enthusiasm. I want everything to be perfect because I know Ria is worried. My parents don’t fully understand her family’s tradition that children only go to one ceremony and only when they are older. But Ria told me about her cousin and her fears when we slept hand in hand under my open windows, whispering to each other into the night. It is hard to believe something so horrible about the Priests and Priestesses, who come to bless our village. But Ria is truly frightened. I believe her.
So, everything must be perfect for her arrival. I’ve been waiting for this for years. She will see there is nothing to fear. The ceremony will be over and then we will be able to enjoy the festival. She will love the street fair!
I must make sure her rooms are ready and fill them with flowers, the shells we found the last time she was here, and the twist of vine and grass she made me when I went to her family’s estate. So many things that she’ll not think of tomorrow.
Best of better – Ty is home! I can’t believe his ship came to Mirocyne just at the solstice. There never was better luck. He doesn’t look at all different from the day he left. Just tired, mother said. Probably from sailing so hard for so many months.
But he is home. And he can help me distract Ria with his tales of where he has been. He must have brought her something too. I know he has always admired her – who has not? I’m sure he’ll have found something wondrous to give her that will make her forget about tomorrow.
I’ve always wanted them to fall in love. I thought that she would worry when it was his time to go to his apprenticeship, but surely she has missed him since he has been away. She must have missed him as I have. And he is just back when she will be here and fretful, his apprenticeship only a few months from ending and mine from starting.
They will realize it now and make promises for when he comes back. Maybe I’ll have to delay when I leave so that they can be married? Ria will be my true sister at last! She could apprentice at one of the orchards near town and be close. Oh, hopefully she will not have children too soon – not while I’m gone! It is only two years. They will wait. Our children must be friends, like we were. And they will be family.
But of course, I’ll have to marry. Maybe Kriess? He is not too bad and sort of likes me. Well he likes Ria better, of course. But as a city official’s son, he would do. Or maybe I will meet someone when I am gone? From another sailing family. As long as they will move to Mirocyne, it doesn’t matter. I’m sure it will work out.
Oh, but it is dinner time and Ria is to be here soon. I’ve barely seen Ty at all! I must find him and get him to help me distract Ria.
Ria is asleep, fitfully dreaming. I never found Ty before dinner, but the look on his face when he turned and saw Ria and then she held him so tight . . . . I was so happy. Then, I don’t know why, but I felt so alone and wanted to cry. How silly.
He picked on Ria like he used to, calling her princess. She looked down her nose and ordered him around. We all laughed. But . . . there is something not right here. It was like they were going through the motions because they didn’t know what else to do. Like they were both scared. It is odd. Maybe Ty is worried about Ria tomorrow too?
I’m just happy to have them both back, both here. I love them so. I wish I could keep us together like this, that Ty didn’t have to leave or Ria to go home. They are family, friends and so important to me.
I just keep thinking of the look on Ty’s face when he saw her. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone look like that before, certainly not at me. I realize how silly what I thought about Kriess was earlier. Just childish dreams. I want someone who will love me the way Ty loves Ria. At least now she sees it. She is so lucky.
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