Dia duit gach ceann de mo chairde interdimensional! Although I am still rather bitter about future-me saving Valentine, I'm trying to make the best of our situation. The only person more worried about this problem is Rhyme, who seems rather upset with me.
I found him earlier, as he was sitting by a river in the middle of pretty much nowhere. Rhyme's face was screwed up, eyebrows furrowed as he concentrated on something only he could see.
"Hey?" I whisper, putting my hand on his shoulder.
"Hm?" was the only reply.
There is a short pause before he says, "Define 'okay'."
"Well...like...are you still, you know, depressed?"
"Who said I was depressed?!" he snaps, then turns back to whatever he was staring at. Both his hair and eyes are illuminated by the sunset. So beautiful. The sunset! The sunset is beautiful.
"No one, I just assumed-"
I'm cut off by a loud, low-pitched whistling sound. It's Melody, signaling her return. Rhyme mimics the sound as best as he can without turning around.
"Breá? Can I see you, please?" Melody's voice says.
I turn from my spot to see Álainn, of all people!
She looks worse than when I last saw her. Well, not really, but it looks like...she's just not there. Her eyes are unfocused, and it seems like she's having a conversation with an invisible person.
Melody mutters somehing and walks away.
"Álainn," I say quietly, so I don't startle her.
"Cad ba mhaith leat?" She says coldly, probably because I busted into her 'conversation'.
"Bhuel, tá brón orm!" I say sarcastically.
"Gur mhaith leat a bheith níos fearr. Ba é sin plé tábhachtach."
"Níos tábhachtaí ná do dheirfiúr?" I hiss, sounding harsher than I intended. But on the inside, I was boiling over with emotions. I loved and hated her at the same time. It reminded me of my 'mother', who seemed to think everything was more important than me.
"Ar ndóigh ní! ach tá sé níos tábhachtaí ná mar a mbainfidh tú a bheith riamh!"
Ah, so she's still going with the idea that I'm not her sister. It hurts to know that the only family member of yours who still exists won't even accept you as family. What's even worse is that said relative has literally been driven insane.
Now I'm staring my sister straight in her face, watching as her pupils dialate and expand in anger and perhaps fear. Like a heartbeat.
"Is fuath liom I.. Tá tú."
Perhaps that was the wrong thing to say?
"Tá tú cad é? Conas is féidir leat a rá rud éigin mar sin?" Álainn screams, collapsing. "Shíl mé leat ... grá dom!"
As she writhes in apparent agony and rips out handful after handful of her hair, I watch, not knowing what to do. After a minute, she curls up on herself, howling in pain.
"You two?" Melody yells, not hiding her fear at all. She comes sprinting from her spot next to Rhyme faster than I've ever seen her move.
Without even noticing, I have already taken off, sobbing uncontrollably. The picture of my sister breaking down like that... just... uafásach. And so I ran and ran and ran until I was sure no one had followed.
As I sat and cried, I mentally cursed myself for being so impulsive. It's always been an issue, but the result has never been so horrible!
After a while, two ravens had landed beside me, one on each side. They seemed to be communicating, hopping closer to each other (and to me) with every flutter of their wings. As they reach the halfway point- right in front of my feet- they turn to look at me with large silver eyes...
And I rise to my feet, picking up a stone the size of my palm. "Go away! Get out of here, you stupid birds!"
I blink a few times to rid my eyes of rising tears. But when I stop, both creatures are gone. "Wha-?"
"Who said we're birds?"
I spin around, nearly tripping over my own feet in confusion. Next thing I know, two more pairs of silver eyes are staring me down, this time with human faces.
"Hey! How'd you- but there were - what?!" I stuttered.
The boys remain silent, their faces emotionless.
"So... are you to going to-" they cut me off, causing me to murmur angry words under my breath.
"We heard about Álainn."
I stop my mumbling and look at them.
"And we're sorry."
For what? They hadn't done anything! Or at least I don't know what they've done.
"It was an accident. Really, it was."
"Álainn is not an accident!"
"WELL EXPLAIN TO ME WHAT ON EARTH YOU TWO ARE TALKING ABOUT!"
They didn't seem startled. Neither one of them even flinched. But I did I was frightened by the sound of my own voice.
And like Álainn, I fall to my knees, but I don't cry. I just stay there, shaking as if there was really something wrong with me.
Moments after me, the boys are on their knees. One of them has started to stroke my arm. The other squeezes his hand between the ground and my face, lifting me so that I'm sitting on my heels, facing him.
"We hope Álainn gets better," the first one says, wrapping his arms around my neck.
"And you, too," the other says, hugging me from behind.
And then I'm trapped between the two strange boys, their bodies warming mine. It feels strangely right, and I don't want to have to leave it.
Soon, I fall asleep, dreaming of the two ravens circling my body.