“Excuse me?” She confusedly blinks rapidly at me.
“I want to learn what you know. You owe these people, for whatever reason. You obviously can’t go to them, and if I’m able to—”
“As I was saying, I’m going to the village tomorrow to meet these people, and it would be more beneficial to have me go and work on your behalf. They never have to know you exist, and I can get to know more people. Yea?” I give her a big grin. She can’t resist the grin. Right?
Or maybe she can because she doesn’t say anything for a while. I’m not sure if she’s finding the right way to let me down or if she’s thinking about teaching me. She gets up from the table and paces towards the window. The moonlight coming through the window shines off her as she turns her head to look at me. She looks tired; we’ve both had a long day. I’m not sure if it’s the light or not, but her hair and eyes almost look a little pale. She gives me a brief smile and finally speaks to me.
“I guess I couldn’t keep it from you forever. I just didn’t think that it would be this soon.”
“Were you ever planning to tell me about the village? I’m sure you couldn’t keep sending me away on tasks every time the elders came to visit.”
“I could have certainly tried,” she chuckles. “But I would have eventually let you know of their existence. But I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t want to keep you away from them for as long as possible.”
Fighting the urge to roll my eyes or say something that will ruin my chances for tomorrow, I walk closer to her.
“So,” I put my hands on her shoulders. “Is that a yes?”
“Yes, I will teach you. I’m not sure how I’ll teach you certain things that I’m not too sure of myself, but I’ll teach you more about which herbs to use for when and what to pick. But only after we see how tomorrow goes. It’s too late now, and I don’t want to waste time if you’re not even going to like these people.”
I pull her closer to me into a hug, her head buried in my shoulder. I want to jump up and down, but I’m trying to remain calm, and I don’t want to wake up Baolarah. She hugs me back, but I know that she’s still a little tense. I know that I have to prove myself to not disappoint her, and I won’t pass up the opportunity to learn more about people like me. Maybe I can get one more question in since she’s in the mood to finally answer.
“So…I also would like to know where I came from. I clearly don’t look like the villagers, and I obviously don’t look like you. Did you find me? Did I wander here and don’t remember? Every time I try to remember, I just can’t. I have to be from somewhere near here because so many things seem familiar. Even the elders look familiar. Why is it so hard of a question for you to answer?”
Okay, that might have been more than one question. I still think I deserve to know something, and she can’t dodge all of them. Anyone would find it weird that they suddenly wake up naked in a strange woman’s house with little to no memories of anything. I had to learn how to walk, talk, everything. Maybe I did come from a faraway land. Maybe I lost my memories due to an accident. I’m getting distracted.
She pulls back and looks at me, wide-eyed. I’ve asked this question plenty of times before, so I’m not sure why I’m not being met with slight annoyance like usual. This time, she looks frightened. Now I almost feel bad for asking. That’s what I get for pushing my luck.
“Um, well…” She looks like she’s actually going to answer at least one of my questions.
“I don’t think that it’s the best time to tell you where you came from.”
“But you should know that you wanted to be here.”
She senses my confusion because she takes my hands in hers.
“It’s…complicated. I would rather not share a lot of things with you about myself, for a good reason, I will add. As far as you, I don’t think now is the time.”
Well, when she puts it like that, it’s hard to stay mad. Great, now I feel guilty for asking all these questions at once. I know she’s obviously hiding something, so I guess I need to trust her and be patient for now. I squeeze her hands and give her a small smile.
“I don’t want to feel like I’m making you uncomfortable or pressuring you. I’d rather you tell me that you don’t want to talk about it instead of ignoring me and making it seem like you’re hiding things. I can handle you keeping some things to yourself. But I would like to learn more about myself. Sometimes things seem so…strange, and I want answers.”
“Like I’ve told you before, you’ll know in due time. And you have a big day tomorrow,” she says, actually smiling this time. “I’m sure you’ll learn more from them and about them that could answer a lot of your questions.”
That is true; this is my chance to finally learn about other people. I wonder what they look like, what they talk like. What kind of lives do they live? I hope they like me. I can’t help but think about what Maeren said. I don’t look like them, and what if they think I’m suspicious? They have no clue that Mother exists, so how am I supposed to tell them where I’m from, especially when I don’t even know where I’m from. I’ll have to come up with an excuse, or I can ask Denchi or Tetyh. Not Emerta and especially not his stupid son Maeren. I almost forgot he’s supposed to be the one to show me around tomorrow. As if I want him anywhere near me. Stupid, tall, broad-shouldered Maeren.
What was I thinking about again?
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