I met someone. She’s a translator. Her name is Mila. I’ve only been close to her a few weeks, but I already know she’s the one. I want to bring her home with me when I finally get some leave. We’ll see. It could be difficult.
But that brings me to something I need you to do for me. Check in on Sera. I did something I want so badly to take back. She came to see me and things got out of hand. I said some things I had no right to say to her, reacted in a way I definitely shouldn’t have. For so long she was an escape for me. I didn’t treat her the way she deserved to be treated and I want to make sure she’s all right. Tell her I understand. Ask her to forgive me. I scared her the last time we were together. It’s why I’m not writing her. I gave up the right, but let her know I would love to hear from her.
Let her know how much I care about her and what a good friend she’s been to me.
Tell Mom not to worry. I know she’s angry at me for leaving, but she’ll see. I’m happy.
Tell her it might be time for her to be free, too. I think she should divorce Ralph, and damn the consequences. We’ll all support her. Tell her I love her, too.
And send some snacks, brother. Give Mom and Ang my love.
WesHer hands shook as she finished the letter. He was free. Free of pain and crushing responsibility. Free of the confines of his name. Tears dripped from her eyes and the world went blurry.
“Mom, it’s all right to cry. It doesn’t mean you’re not strong,” Angie whispered. She’d gotten to her knees and her eyes sheened.
“If I start,” Celeste managed to gasp.
“Then I’ll hold you until you stop.” Angie’s arms came around her.
“What if I don’t?” But she was losing the fight. She could feel all the pain and anger, all the worry and guilt, all the sorrow welling inside her like a tidal wave.
Cal’s voice was hoarse as he came to her other side. “Then we never let go. Not ever.”
Celeste sobbed, and sometime in the hours of grief, she finally found some peace.chapter sixteenSeraphina listened to the message for what felt like the thousandth time.
Hey, Sera. I know you don’t want to talk to me right now, but I need you to know that I’m here. I want to help you in any way I can, and if that means leaving you alone for a while, I’ll do that, too. Just know that I promise to keep my phone charged in case you need me.
He never kept his phone charged. He forgot about it. He got lost in work and never could remember the little things like charging his phone. He’d been on his own for so long he often didn’t think about checking in, didn’t understand why people would worry about him.
But he always remembered to bring her coffee when he was making his own. He remembered to come into whatever room she was working in and he would kiss her and tell her how great she was doing.
He remembered the big things. He remembered her.
Luc giggled from where he was playing and suddenly stuffed animals were being thrown in the air.
She had to smile her son’s way. He didn’t have any idea that the world might implode, and it was her job to make sure that it didn’t, to ensure his world was as normal as possible.
He stopped and his head twisted, eyes looking around for something.
“Momma, where Shep?” he asked, leaning against her legs.
Tears sparked but she tried to hold them back. Over the time she’d been with Harry, Luc had gotten so close to the big, loving German shepherd. “He’s with Harry, sweetie. You know he’s not ours. He’s got to be with Harry.”
“Harry come here,” Luc replied simply.
She shook her head. Maybe it was time to look for a dog of their own. “He’s working.”
It might be the first time she’d lied to her child.
“Hey, hon. How are you doing?” Her momma walked in, carrying her purse. She’d gotten up early, put on her nicest caftan, tucked her hair in a vibrant scarf, and left. She’d been out most of the morning. Probably plotting with Marcelle on how to fix the situation by calling the spirits of her ancestors or something.
She wasn’t sure how the ghost of Pop-Pop Guidry could help unless he’d studied law in the great beyond. Though Aunt Irene as a ghost would probably be a pretty effective scare tactic since she’d been so good at it in life.
“I’m cursing myself for every single choice I’ve ever made,” she admitted.
Her mom put her purse on the table. “Call him.”