A Game of Hands
Secrets Define Us
Karim was no stranger to the al’Thiar household, so when she opened the door and walked in unannounced, Rejard was not surprised. He sat on the couch holding a pocketwatch, specifically, Rolan’s pocketwatch.
Frowning at the sight of the somber Rejard, she sat down beside him, “What’s up, Rej? Don’t make me go get Rolan to snap you out of this.” When her teasing was met with silence, she made to stand up. However, Rejard’s hand caught her wrist.
“You won’t find him. He’s gone.”
“My dad had to leave.”
“What?! But he can’t just leave you here by yourself! And he didn’t even say goodbye!” Karim stared at Rejard incredulously and sat down unceremoniously. “Send him a note! Tell him he needs to come back!” She shook Rejard slightly.
“Karim, stop. Sometimes…. sometimes people have things they have to do. Okay?”
“And he needs to be here for us! It’s not fair, Rej!”
“Karim.” Rejard spoke sharply to cut through her ranting. He could see her eyes shining slightly from unshed tears. He’d never seen her look so angry and upset. “Karim, this was something he needed to do. Please, calm down. He’ll come back when he’s done.”
“But where is he? What is it?”
“I don’t know. I don’t need to know. I just need to understand.” Rejard reached forward and tugged her pendant of Malach from its hiding place under her tunic. “It’s a part of who he is. Remember when he said that our secrets define us. I think this is one of the ones that define him.”
She stared at Rejard in shock for a moment before slowly releasing him. “Do I have to like it even if I understand it?”
“No… you don’t.”
In a uncommon display, Karim reached forward and hugged Rejard. “I hope he comes home soon, Rej. Just knowing he’s gone… it feels empty.”
He patted her back and held her. “I know. I hope so too.”
Rejard carefully ignored the slight sniffle and he felt her grin. Karim’s voice was muffled when she spoke, “I’ll have to kick his butt though. He can’t just leave and expect no reaction when he returns.”
“I’m sure he’ll understand your reasons.” Rejard smirked at Karim.