Thursday, September 3, 2015
Deep breath. I’m as good as I’m going to get. Candy was sweet enough to make my hair pretty and do my makeup for me. I still look way too haggard, but at least I don’t look like I nearly died a few weeks ago. I just look like I haven’t slept in the last century.
All of Anrel’s clothes that I collected prior to her birth are way too big for that tiny body. Yet I’m going to put her in a cute little pink dress and pin it so it fits as well as it can. Betra will arrive soon to take me to her, and she and I will say hello to Clan Seot together. Hopefully we won’t look so pathetic as to scare them off.
Oh well, there is always Clan Aslada. I received a message from them and we’re to talk tomorrow. Yippee, I get to do this all over again. Ugh.
I’m hoping what happened earlier is a good omen. As Candy was primping me, Katrina visited my quarters. At first, we were afraid something awful had happened. Katrina burst into the room, her face drenched – drenched – with tears. As Candy and I stared at her in shock, sobs shook her frame. She didn’t sit on my lounger so much as collapse on it.
In an instant, we were on either side of our elder friend, hugging her and begging to know what was wrong. It took Katrina a few moments to calm enough to speak. When she did, it was between harsh hitches of breath.
“Alive ... they made it ... they’re alive!”
I could think of only one situation that might fit the moment. “Your children? Your grandchildren?”
“Yes. They all survived Armageddon!”
In an instant Candy and I were screaming with joy. We forgot our poor worn-out bodies in the elation of the moment. Could there be any better news?
After more tears were shed by all three of us, Katrina was finally able to tell us what she knew. Her son and daughter, along with their spouses and children, had been hiding from the Kalquorians like so many confused Earthers. Scavenging for food and fighting for survival had nearly gotten the best of them when a Joshadan representative of the Galactic Council showed up. He assured them that the nearby rescue site was safe and that the Kalquorians were not looking to enslave anyone. The news that Earth was soon to become uninhabitable was another consideration. Exhausted, hungry, and at the end of their collective rope, the family entered the rescue site three days ago. They are there now, knowing that Katrina survived too and evacuated the planet.
“It’s the middle of the night for them right now, or I’d be talking to them instead of you,” Katrina told us. “I can hardly wait to hear their voices – to see them again. The next few hours may be the longest ones of my life.”
“They’re all healthy? Okay?” Candy asked.
“The site facilitator told me that other than slight malnutrition, they seem fine.” Katrina beamed through her tears. “All the nights I couldn’t sleep, all the nightmares when I did, wondering and worrying and hoping against hope – I can finally believe in miracles again.”
Except for hints here and there, Katrina has never let on how much agony she’s gone through these past few months. She’s been a rock for us to lean on, never asking us to support her in kind. Even now, at this happiest moment, she opted to think of our one true orphan.
Katrina wiped her tears away and in an instant was holding Candy close. “I’m so sorry to go on and on about finding my family when you lost yours.”
“Don’t you dare be sorry!” Candy hiccupped through tears that might have been joy or grief. It was probably a mix of the two. “You go right ahead and celebrate and let me be happy for you. After all, I have you and Shalia, so I’m not without family.”
“You’d better believe it,” I affirmed. “We are more than just friends. I can’t imagine life without you two. I’ll always be here for you both.”
Candy and Katrina are better than a regular family, truth be told. After all I got to choose them, these sisters of my heart. I’m so grateful to have them.
Whew. Reliving that took my nervousness away for a little while. It’s time for Betra to take me to Anrel. Hopefully Katrina’s good fortune rubbed off on me.