Rebuilding (part 2)
When Heia realized that Evester was missing, yelling was her first instinct. Her second instinct was to reprimand herself with how stupid she was, and her third was not to tell anyone. Unfortunately, there were others with her when she found out and they did not have the same inclination. Everyone soon knew and panic erupted through her family. Andre and Layla seemed justified in their distrust. Trace and Robee and the children seemed betrayed. Heia couldn’t believe she trusted him.
Then Shawn found the backpack. There was no note, just the pack. And Heia knew he would be back. There wasn’t a way she could explain to the others that he would return. For she wasn’t completely certain, and there were no words to justify the gut feeling. But her gut told her, he’d return for them. It was why he left the backpack.
The triplets seemed to understand instinctively, the same way that Heia did. Where as the others said that he had discarded it no longer needing it, Heia disagreed. She had seen the way he cradled it, the way he struck to kill for it, how his hands had held it for safety. This was his assurance to her that he’d return for her.
What she didn’t understand was why he had disappeared.
“We need to figure out what to do.” Andre spoke to the siblings, a day after Evester had disappeared. “He’s not coming back.”
Heia sat in the back, near the door, of their makeshift home with the bag in her arms, cussing him out in her head. Saying to herself that she’d curse him in death if he did not return.
“Where do we even get a job?” Layla shook her head.
“He will be back.” Karla protested. “Believe us.”
The triplets had defended him, even when Heia could not.
“He will…” Robee agreed. “He has to.”
“He’s a circle he doesn’t have to do anything.” Layla disagreed.
“Why lead us here if it wasn’t for real?” Kori asked. “He will be back.”
“Kori! You can’t just believe everything.”
“No.” Heia agreed, speaking up for once. “He will be back. I know it.”
“Heia.” Layla seemed disappointed that Heia believed in the only truth Heia had. Evester needed her.
“I don’t trust him, no. But I trust the fact that he’s a wanted citizen and his report to find him hasn’t been answered.” Heia spoke as the intercom asked for any information on him. Layla’s eyes seemed to change and the room grew more silent as they all looked to Heia. “He didn’t leave us alone. He knows that we know he’s here. He is coming back.”
“I am.” Evester spoke from the doorway. Heia turned over her shoulder to see him standing in different clothes. He was disguised differently, but still Evester. Heia’s fury rose as she saw him.
“Where did you go!” Heia threw the bag at him. The moment he caught it, a sort of visible relaxation rushed over him. His fingers curled around it protectively.
“To secure our route.” Evester answered pulling another bag off his back and tossing that one back to her. Heia caught it with a thump as she almost fell backwards. It was heavy. Opening it, she saw files, paperwork, IDs, and all sorts of other documentation tightly sealed in clear envelopes with names written atop of them for every child. “And the identification. My mother needed to know I wasn’t just going to disappear.”
“This is it?”
“The others are helping the kids into order so that we can start the process of getting everyone through to the City.”
Heia brought the bag to the floor next to her sister and dumped out the contents. “This is our path inside.”
Layla held up the envelope with her name, her eyes drifting to Evester. “Apparently no one trusts you.”
“Perks of being a known flight risk.” Evester shrugged. “Now. Who is ready to go to Valaria?”
Kori, Kony, and Karla cheered. Robee and Trace picked up the packets and took the bag from Layla. Once they had gathered it all they raced out with the triplets to go and distribute it all.
“Next time.” Heia walked up to him. “Tell me.”
“Would you have trusted me to come back?”
“Then why should I?”
“Because then I will know.”
“Better to ask for forgiveness than permission.”
“What sort of backwards thinking is that? Circle ideals?”
“The best type.” Evester smiled at her offering his hand out to her. It was a truce offer. This was him saying that she should have trusted him from the beginning. That she should have known that he had no way of ever betraying her. This was his way of saying, see? I need you. She took his hand.