Thursday, July 6, 2017

December 28

I haven’t slept more than a few hours the last two nights. I’m starting to think I might have to throw in the towel and go back to Clan Seot no matter how messy my head is.

I did have one nice distraction today. I met Matara Elwa, Betra’s mom, for lunch in the market. We sat at a lovely private table on the roof of one of the eateries, overlooking the centerpiece of square where the entertainers amused and delighted shoppers. The roof was a delightful place to eat with its carved stone railings, marble-looking tiled floor, and fountains that shot plumes of rainbow-colored water into the air. The food was terrific too, and I made note that I wanted to return there with Clan Seot.

“My friend Katrina thinks I’m being a brat for running out on Clan Seot the way I did,” I confessed to Elwa after telling her all about my trials. “And now I wonder if I did make a terrible mistake. But I’m afraid I’ll damage my relationship with them if I don’t straighten myself out first.”

Elwa spooned some of her warm wedi broth into Anrel’s mouth and laughed at the face the baby made…but Anrel kept accepting the soup she was offered, soon not screwing up her nose anymore.

Elwa smiled at me. “Well, I’m delighted that you’ve found a clan to love. As for making a mistake by leaving when you did…well, only time can tell on that. While I’m not sure it was the right move, I believe you did it for the right reason. Sometimes being in the thick of things makes it impossible to fix them. We do need to take a step back from time to time to get a clearer picture.”

I felt some tension slip from me. If Elwa didn’t think I was a total idiot, then maybe I wasn’t. “I just wish I knew why I feel so much terror when it comes to the actual commitment. They’re everything I could want for myself and Anrel. They love us. There shouldn’t be a problem.”

“But there is. Otherwise, you would be moving into their home and beginning your life as a clanned woman.” Elwa shrugged. “You’re correct to set yourself a time limit, at least. When the two weeks is up, whether or not your emotions are stable, accept Seot’s offer. Maybe discovering the joy of clanship will calm whatever fears are making you so miserable. The fact your men know there is a struggle will help them remain patient with you.”

“You don’t think I’d be shortchanging them by going into it with my head screwy?”

“No. If it’s all in your head, it will resolve eventually. If the problem was in your heart…that would be a completely different matter.” Elwa sighed. “You young people and your relationships. I don’t remember it being this difficult when I was being courted.”

“I wish I could see into their heads. That all the stupid fears that keep coming up could be killed off once and for all.” I shook my head, despairing at my ridiculousness. “I know beyond a shadow of a doubt they’ll be good fathers to Anrel. I know I’ll be happy with them. I know Clan Aslada, as wonderful as they are, are not the men for me. Why do I keep questioning everything?”

“A lifetime commitment is no small thing, even when you’re sure. It’s frightening to know you’re not just responsible for yourself anymore.” Elwa chuckled. “If you knew how I’ve gone round and round on that with Betra…well, you have to trust that things will work themselves out. In the end, I have faith you will all do the right thing for your futures.”

I’m glad she’s so confident in me. I’m second-guessing every move I make these days.

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