Needing some fresh air, I decided to head outside the Passage. So I left the Daughters, Aurie, and Madeleine to their tea. I needed to see the sky, feel grass under my feet.
Sitting against the kerb wall watching Arion nibble grass nearby, Isobeau held her head in her hands. I felt a rush of something - pity? No. Empathy? More than that. I felt love for Isobeau, a dear soul who had saved me, helped me, lead me to this - what?
Might as well admit it - new life.
“Isobeau?” I asked to get her attention, “are you all right? Is something wrong?”
Isobeau looked up, her eyes red-rimmed, her nose running. She wiped it with the back of her hand.
“I am,” she began, choking out the next words, “missing. Ruis.”
I sat down beside her, keeping quiet so she could talk if she wanted to. I watched Arion delicately eating a grass circle around a dandelion.
“You probably did not know this,” Isobeau said, “but Ruis and I have been lovers for a very long time.”
I nodded - a long-lived love like my own once, back in that other world.
“This is our sixteenth life together,” Isobeau continued, “and in every life, something happens that separates us.” Her tears rolled smoothly down her dark cheeks, her breath in hiccups.
I nodded, remaining quiet though what I really...