I… can’t wrap my head around my life decisions. I am an intelligent and hard-working girl; it runs in the family. My father is unable to work anymore due to his bad back, and my mother works herself to the brink of insanity that she has terrible anxiety. I asked her when we were having dinner:
“Mother. Did you ever think about retiring?”
“Why do you ask, darling?” She asked back.
“You have anxiety, mom. Bad anxiety. You know what your doctor told you; if it flares up again, you’d have to stop working before you end up in the hospital. Again.”
“Oh, by Alpha! What would he know?”
Admittedly, I know I’m stubborn as well, but I have half the stubbornness my mother has. My father looks to my mother.
“Sade, you know our daughter is right. You must listen. It might be best if you retire.” My father said.
“Ramon. Not you, too!” She exclaimed to father.
“Mother. You’ve been a Sui instructor ever since you were 16. You’re 47 now. It’s about time you retired.”
My mother teaches students how to study and control the ability to manipulate water which is called Sui. That’s a custom when you live in Haliae; you must learn how to control water; most can, some don’t. We also learn about every entity that is connected to water from age 5 and up; some entities are good, some are bad. Our land, Haliae, is separated into two; our city of Koro, and the Temple of Haliae. In the temple is the Safekeep that represents us for the land of Elem as a whole. Our Safekeep, Lady Hanchia, also governs… Koko; it’s a city in the mainland, Elienta exporting our fish and fresh water. I then hear my mother sigh.
“I guess you both are right. I’ll tell my boss tomorrow about retiring.” She spoke.
Thank Alpha. She listened. I hope my stubbornness isn’t bad as hers when I get her age. As of now I’m 20, so I have a lot of time to evolve.
I guess my intelligence is not what I thought. I got in a fight with my boyfriend right outside my parents’ house underneath a large umbrella since it’s pouring.
“Why did I have to hear from Jarvis that you were talking with Charles?! You’re cheating on me?!” he yelled at me. Idiot.
“Jos, does it look like I have time to do that?! I’m working to keep myself occupied so I can find a place! Since you’re asking me this, are you cheating?!”
Since it’s been proven that if your “other half” accuses you of cheating, that person is absolutely cheating behind your back. Also, Jos has been somewhat controlling recently and even though his parents are decently stable like my family, he doesn’t work. Seriously, I can’t talk to a long-time friend without one of your lackeys telling you and you get mad for no reason? I’m ending this tonight.
“We’re not talking about me; we’re talking about you, cheating cow!”
He tried to attack me by slapping my face; idiot missed. I’m now furious. I punched him a few times in his face and pushed him away from me which he fell in the rain. He looks like a wet defeated dog with his tail between his legs. He slowly stood up and held his face and looked at me. I used my Sui to surround myself with the rain around me if he tried to do something else.
“Jos. Don’t come back here ever again. I… am done with you.”
And I meant it. I was willing to continue fighting him if he came close; I would’ve made him drown with the water I held, but he didn’t dare. He never saw me this angry and we’ve been together for almost a year. Now, it ends. I refuse to carry his weight for he wouldn’t carry mine. Never will I be treated as a joke nor a tool to this “child”. And never will I be ridiculed by every significant thing he accuses me of. Oma Warrens is done with Jos Ferrell. As he walked away from my parents’ house, I began to realize what his were his parents going to think when they saw those marks and bruises on his face, because he’ll tell his parents who did it, I’m sure. Note to self: pick Haliaen men. Not boys.
*Two Days Later*
Jos’ parents came to the house to talk to me and my parents. My parents and I were sitting on one side of the dining room table while the bruised “boy” and his parents were on the other side.
“The reason we’re here is about the altercation that happened between our son and your daughter. Our son told us that your daughter used her Sui to attack him.” Jos’ father said to my parents.
“We must tell you that we don’t condone violence in our family, nor… fornicating.” His mother said while she glared at me; like I cared.
Mr. Ferrell motioned his wife to stop the passive aggression attitude and looked back to us. Also, it wasn’t a secret that we were sleeping together. Hints were given to his parents as well as mine. That’s another mistake I won’t repeat again.
“Do you have anything to say, Ms. Warrens?” Mr. Ferrell asked me.
I decided to stand from my seat and tell exactly what happened.
“Well, Mr. and Mrs. Ferrell. Jos came over to the house and was banging at the door at 9:00 L. I answered it; not letting him in, but I guided him underneath our giant umbrella near the front door since it was raining. He proceeds to yell, accusing me of cheating on him with my old friend, Charles. Jarvis told him that he saw me with Charles. Charles and I were having a conversation about our jobs. We work in the same building in different departments. Charles walked me home. This had happened a week ago; also, Jos and I weren’t talking at the time. I told him I work to keep busy. I have responsibilities here. Then I asked if he was cheating. His response: We’re not talking about me! We’re talking about you, cheating cow!”
His parents stopped focusing on me and onto Jos, along with my parents. I continued.
“He then tried to slap me and missed to where I retaliated. I punched him a few times, pushed him away from me, and he fell on the ground in the rain. My Sui came in later if I had to defend myself when he stood up; I did not attack him with it. When I saw he wasn’t going to attack, I told him to never come back here. He left; I went back in the house.”
Mr. and Mrs. Ferrell and my parents were glaring at Jos.
“You didn’t tell us that, boy.” His father said and he was upset.
His mother couldn’t say anything. I guess the thought of his actions were too much for her. By Alpha, she is too sensitive for my taste.
“You went over to this house at night to start trouble? Because of what your ‘friend’ assumed?! We’ve taught you better than this! You’re 21 and our son. I am disappointed in you. Not only you disrespected her, but you also disrespected Mr. and Mrs. Warrens on their property?! Shame on you.”
I am not the person to lie. My parents taught me better. I defended myself at my home and was truthful on what happened. Now I’m ready for him to get out of my life.
“You will apologize to Mr. and Mrs. Warrens, and their daughter.” His father stated.
Jos looked at my mother, my father, and me. Such a pitiful look on his face; it disgusts me.
“Mr. and Mrs. Warrens. I apologize for my actions, and I shouldn’t have caused trouble at your home. And Oma…”
He looked at me; I looked away.
“I’m sorry that I yelled at you and accused you of cheating. I shouldn’t have done that; along with trying to hit you.”
“And also lying to your parents that I used my Sui to attack you.” I had to add that.
“Yes… that, too.”
His pitiful voice is close to making me sick. I just want them to leave the house now.
*One Week Later*
Another gap in my knowledge. This morning I was sick; throwing up everything I ate. I noticed… that I was late. One month late! I cursed under my breath and out loud; I was so angry at myself. The father was definitely Jos. I told my parents; I know they were upset with me, and I wouldn’t blame them. They asked for Ario and Trinity to come back to the house along with Jos.
Here we are again, sitting in my parents’ dining room. My father tells them about my condition.
“Are you sure there wasn’t another boy you were with?” Trinity asked snobbishly which just ticked me off.
“You dare question our daughter? She says the child is your son’s.” My mother defended me.
“And he’s the only one I laid with.” I helped to add.
Jos’ eyes did not look to mine; his father saw him avert from my gaze then looked to us; mainly me.
“What are your plans for the child? Are you getting rid of it after it is born?” He asked me.
“No. I’m keeping it and raising it.” I answered.
“What makes you think you know how to raise a child, Oma?”
“TRINITY!” the father shouted startling almost everyone at the table. “You watch your tongue. Don’t cross that line and don’t be rude.”
The same thing I was thinking. Now I know where Jos got his insecurities from, his mother. He’s not as humble and sensible as his father. He’s just so pitiful and disrespectful.
“I’ll help you understand that I don’t run away from responsibility, Mrs. Ferrell. Between me and your son, I work. If I must provide for a child that I wasn’t ready to conceive, I’ll be ready to provide for it before it’s born. I have supportive parents that will help me if I need them. I know there’s an age gap between you and I, but you will not disrespect me in this house. This is a mistake, but I am willing to put it on me as a badge, not a black mark. I suggest your son does the same.”
I was shooting daggers at him. I saw how every word cut through Jos and Mrs. Ferrell that the tears slowly flowed. Mr. Ferrell smirked at me then looked to Jos.
“My son. Is there anything you want to say to Ms. Warrens?” he asked him.
He finally had the will to look in my eyes.
“Oma. I… promise I will get a job and help out with you and baby—”
“Not me. For the child and the child only.” I interrupted him.
“Okay. I promise I will get a job and help with the baby. Whatever it needs.”
Hmm… I guess he was genuine about what he said. Only time will tell. I extended my hand to him.
“Promise?” I asked him.
He slowly reached for my hand; we shook on it.
“Promise.” He said to me.
*Two Years Later*
I need to always remind myself that I am not a clairvoyant; I never know what’s going to happen. My daughter is sometimes unpredictable, not in a bad way. She always keeps me on my feet; full of energy when she wants to be; she’s mostly content and quiet. Luckily my parents help me raise her while I work. In my job, I’m a water purifier when I use my Sui. When Amira gets older, I’ll teach her how to use her Sui. She has my eyes, my skin tone, my natural hair color (which is black), she has her father’s nose and lips. Every time I look at her, I want to be better, and I know I need to be. Her father is doing the same and by Alpha, he kept his promise. It’s my day off; I’m cleaning up in the living area. Still living with my parents. My mother just ran inside the house after shopping which concerned me. She’s never done that before.
“Mother, what’s wrong?”
“I just received word that our Safekeep was stripped and banished from the Queen’s Castle and Haliae Temple by Queen Furia herself!”
That… sounds unbelievable. Lady Hanchia. Stripped from being a Safekeep and banished from the temple and the castle?!
“What?! Are you serious?! What did she do?!”
“She went on a rampage in Elienta.”
“Where in Elienta?” I asked.
“In Bura. She killed hundreds of people there. Queen Furia sentenced her to be imprisoned in the jail in Tanz.”
Hanchia Gabura became the Safekeep of Elem’s Water two years ago under Queen Furia Nyle’s rule when she became Queen. She really went on a rampage in Bura? Why? What made her do something like that? Did she… just lose it? Well… according to rumors, it was said that she was a bit off. But I never thought that would happen for real. Since there’s no one in the temple, there will be a tournament held to protect the temple and serve the Queen along with the four other Safekeeps. Anyone can join; the earliest age to enter is 15. When will it be announced is the question.
“Do you know when the tournament will be?” I asked.
“I’m sure they’ll schedule it in two or three weeks at Haliae Temple. Do you want to watch it?”
Thinking about it, no. Something within me wanted to participate. I was getting tired at the job I worked at, and I wanted to do more; more so my parents can be proud, but more so, my daughter. I want to give her more. Also, I don’t think all of Haliae needs another person who is going to make a fool out of themselves. If I can become the Safekeep of Water, people living in Koro and near the temple can live easier. Hanchia to be honest had… several hiccups when she was Safekeep. We had a water shortage to where people’s crops dried up; that was questionable. The day when I gave birth to Amira, 15% of Hanchia’s soldiers were missing or found dead. I wonder what the Queen thought at that time… no, what her parents thought, because the Queen was 11 at the time. Yes. Our Queen is a 13-year-old and she decided to make a great decision to banish that woman. Now I know gaps in my knowledge are not as bad as hers. If I become the Safekeep of Elem’s Water, it won’t be for the fame like some people would, it would be for the people. Not just for Haliaens, but Elientians, Oreadians, Pamolans, Alpies, and Satorians.
“No, Mother. I plan on entering the tournament.” I replied.