185 Days Until Wonder And the Uncertain End (part 3)
Evester listened to the breathing of those who where asleep. The hushed voices of the watch resounded from the walls of the bus. There was a thickness to the air, that came from a chill that was not the night air. Evester sat up a bit, feeling Kim tumble away from him lightly. She seemed to mumble something and pulled the blankets closer to her. He didn’t want to wake up anyone, which was good for him that only Kim could sleep next to him directly. It was late into the second shift, and third shift would be up soon, and that meant Kim. Waking her up now was not too bad. Unfortunately, it was the first night that Evester was able to sleep a full night in a long while and he could not.
He felt the rush to check on his papers before he remembered that the information was under his pillow.
The bus was filled with the hot breath of those who slept haphazardly on the bus floor and seats that remained. Evester looked over the bodies to sees Zeydar sitting in the dark, eyes closed, and leaning against the frosted window. He was awake. Evester knew it. In his hands was a steaming cup of tea. Evester could smell it sweet in the stench of the sweat of the bus.
In the darkness Zeydar’s eyes snapped open. They eyes met in the moonlight, and Zeydar sipped his tea looking back. Zeydar wasn’t on the next shift either, but Rayda had made him tea anyway. The world seemed to shatter around Evester, watch voices becoming silent and the snores of the bus disappearing.
“So this is when you take your doses?” Evester hadn’t meant for the words to come out so harshly or quickly.
“I’d rather not subject everyone to my needs during the day when they can see.”
“We can monitor you better then.” Evester knew better than to say more, considering that Rayda had made the tea. She and Uly must have known.
“We both know how that turned out.” Zeydar looked to his tea and let it rest on his lap. “I’ve been on medical grade Sweet Dreams for most of my life. You have to let me do this my way.”
“The last time took years.” Once again, the tone was not supposed to be so angry. He wasn’t supposed to be such an ass to Zeydar. He knew this was difficult to Zeydar. He simply didn’t want Zeydar getting hurt in the process.
“Yes. And this time it won’t take that long. I’m… trying to make it faster.”
Evester immediately tried to change the conversation. To switch it to something else. Evester thought back to that afternoon when the world had broken around him. “Is the magic overwhelming?”
“Far too much, and I’m learning to live with it.” Zeydar answered before he looked to Evester completely. “You must understand that. I don’t intentionally do this to numb the pain. The trauma is still there, but I’m trying to work on that.”
“And how is that?” How was Zeydar helping himself. The Zeydar who had seen the destruction of Arcadia, needed more help than they could give him. The worst was, everyone knew that.
“Horrible.” Zeydar smiled and drank his tea. “But I’m working on it.”
“What were you doing just now?” Evester decided to go to what had woken him.
“Training. You could feel it?” Zeydar then thought to himself. “Your innate magic is strong for a Circle, so that would make sense. I’ll be sure to exclude you, so you can sleep as I exclude Kony.”
“I’m working on training my magic, on my control. On the things I’ve been praised for and had power over for years. Things that with my Sweet Dreams taken, I can not do so easily. I am only taking Sweet Dreams every two days, with smaller doses each time. Soon I will push it to the moment I feel the withdrawal coming, and continue to lower it. All while training my magic, and my understanding of it.”
“And working through everything else?”
“I’ve thought for years that I was the reason for 658,450,789 deaths.” Zeydar said the number of those that died at Arcadia, with the solemn tone of one who believed he were at fault. “I found out that in part I was, but in part I was just a tool to activate the destruction that have been coming for a while. Memories are tied to my magic and it will take time to separate them.”
“You can talk to someone.” They would get him someone. They had to.
“I will, but I have to figure out what to say. Now, Evester you should get back to sleep.” Zeydar said it in a way that seemed as if Zeydar actually cared. However, Evester could feel Kim waking for her shift, and he knew that Zeydar knew Evester didn’t want to be chastised by her.
“You should sleep.”
“I will. After I finish this tea. I don’t want to train my magic when the Dreams hit, for that would be counter intuitive.”
“One day you won’t need it.” This was what Evester had wanted to say the whole time. That one day Zeydar wouldn’t need it. To be sweeter.
“And that day will be the day I’ll have nothing that can hurt me.”
The world seemed to come alive with noise as the bubble burst and Zedyar continued to drink his tea. The warmth of the bus came from the bodies that were packed close. The chill came from the frozen outside world that was breathing into the bus. Evester did not stop watching Zeydar, until Zeydar laid down once more, and only then did Evester lay down. Even when Kim got up and asked Evester why he was awake. Not even as the shift changed and Rayda lectured him on sleeping again. It was only when Zeydar seemed to fall asleep that Evester tried himself.
He did not sleep.