I didnt know how Azriel had managed to stay aloft—stay conscious during those minutes in the sky. I didnt let myself think about how and when and why hed learned to manage pain like that.
A knock on the door. Kyla, are you up? Youre going to be late for school.Your chariot, ladies, Jazz says and bows. He puts one foot up on the side of the car to yank the door open. I clamber into the back seat, Amy in the front. And though it has a feeling of ritual about it, every morning the same, it is so alien. A safe sameness that rankles.
I stare out the window on the way: farms. Stubbled fields. Cows and sheep stare, chewing and placid as we go past. Herded to school, not questioning the forces that channel us into our prescribed lives. What is the difference?Kyla? Earth to Kyla.Amy has turned in her seat.
Sorry. Did you say something?I was just asking if you mind if I work after school? Its four days a week, Monday to Thursday. Mum isnt sure you should be alone so much. She said to talk to you about it.
Truly, its fine. I dont mind. When do you start?
Tomorrow, she says, with a guilty look.She hesitates, shakes her head. Such sentimentality on my part. You remind me of a girl I knew at school, long ago, she says, and sadness crosses her face.
What happened to her?She got caught up in the riots. There were no other options then; she was executed. She looks back. Enough of your questions, and the past. He is far enough behind us, Kyla, to truly put you at ease. It is your turn. Tell me now as you said you would do so. What do you remember? Why do you remember?
I could push the com at my wrist to signal Katran, and end this conversation before it starts. Yet…her eyes. So curious. The one thing I can do for her is answer her questions truthfully. Maybe she can make sense of things I cannot. Or is it more that some part of me is programmed to answer her, and cant easily stop doing so? Nico would be furious, but he isnt here to listen.I remember strange things: sights, sounds, feelings. People and places; unconnected, connected. It is hard to even explain. Like when I got on this horse. Feeling him move brought all these associations and feelings of another time, but I dont know where or when.