Monday, September 30, 2013
Sad Shalia. Again. I don’t dare cry or Weln will tell Dusa and Esak, and they’ll be unhappy that their visit upset me.
Just as I’d hoped when Weln commed to say I had special visitors on the way, it was my favorite Dramok and Nobek. They’d gotten clearance to come here with a shuttle full of supplies from Atlanta. They’d received the okay because they needed to check on their Imdiko. I can’t begin to explain how good it was to see the three of them all together, all at once again.
It’s been less than three weeks since they were sent away, but it really felt like it had been an eternity since I was last held and kissed by Dusa and Esak. They spent the few hours we had fussing over me. I won’t lie and say I didn’t enjoy it.
I don’t know how many times those two thanked me for going back to save Weln, along with everyone else. It got pretty embarrassing, in fact. I keep thinking how it was my big mouth that let the attackers know through Matt King when the Galactic Council’s transport was landing. Me a hero? My big, fluffy butt I’m a hero. Not even close. I think saving Mom, Weln, and Dad earned only a little compensation for screwing up.
Weln seemed pretty pissed off with himself. “I was supposed to keep you out of trouble, Shalia,” he grouched. “Instead, you had to pull my ass out of the fire. Literally.”
“I wouldn’t have left if you hadn’t practically dragged me up those shelves to the attic,” I reminded him. “You did save me, and therefore, saved yourself. Stop kicking your own ass, Weln, or I’ll have Esak kick it for you.”
“Everyone was brave,” said Dusa, ever diplomatic. “My Imdiko and Shalia are still alive. That’s all that matters to me.”
They didn’t have long at all to visit, just yesterday afternoon and last night. We made as much of it as we could, but that wasn’t a lot since I was stuck in bed. The boys kept me company though, telling me about the Atlanta area.
“It’s awful, Shalia. The people that came out of there are so traumatized,” Dusa said. “I actually had a woman with three children walk up to me as I was doing a search, and she asked if I would just go ahead and shoot them all right away so they could be put out of their misery quickly. They were starving and sick. She was sure I was there to kill them anyway.”
I shook my head. I couldn’t imagine that level of desperation. “You took good care of her, I’m sure.”
He smiled. “She couldn’t believe it when I gave them all food and water in the shuttle on the way to the refugee camp. When the medical techs took her and the children to be evaluated, she just kept saying, ‘I’m dreaming. This can’t really be happening. You’re Kalquorians.’”
“We’ve got a lot of wounds to heal between our people,” Esak observed. He squeezed my hand. His hair is growing in pretty fast. It nearly covers the evidence of his scars already. I thought he looked wonderful. All three of them did.
I made Dusa promise they’d look me up when they returned to Kalquor. No matter where I was or who I was with, I told him he’d better come see me and say hello. I gather such things might be inappropriate for a clanned Matara to have former lovers show up on her clan’s doorstep, but I was adamant about the matter.
“I’m not joining any clan who won’t accept there might be other Kalquorians I care about,” I told him. “You guys saved my life and my sanity more times than I can count. I’m not giving you a choice in the matter. You will visit me.”
Dusa laughed and ducked his head, probably to hide the tears in his eyes. “Yes, Shalia. We will come see you when we get home to Kalquor.”
Now Dusa and Esak have gone back to Atlanta. Soon I’ll be leaving too. The transport that will take me to Kalquor was delayed a little, but it has been confirmed to arrive in a week. I don’t know whether to cheer or cry. I’ll probably do both. For now, I’m trying very hard to be grateful I got to touch Dusa and Esak one last time. No, we didn’t do anything sexual during their brief visit, but being alive and seeing them again is anything but mundane. I’m not taking that little gift for granted. It will be a very long time before I see them in person again.