She hurried through the tall grass and stealthily worked her way home.
She ran ever faster.
The wind ran its intangible fingers through her damp hair, smothering her lungs and sides with a dull ache.
Goosebumps ran along her skin and made her wish she had a sweater on. It wasn’t that cold, but it didn’t take much to cause a chill to run through the petite athlete.
The darkness of night settled over the plains like a blanket for the fireflies to dance upon. Such luminous creatures strangely brought comfort to the girl who wandered alone in the pitch black with nothing but their glow to light her way.
Having made her long but simple return to the tribe, she received little recognition. Her arrival was not accompanied by the jubilant cheering of overjoyed familiars exuding their glorious enthusiasm over her long-missed presence. It was an unceremonious appearance.
She didn’t mind.
She was too out of breath to crave the attention or greet her people with the vigor they rightfully deserved. Noor tucked a tendril of hair behind her ear and smiled, unsure of what to make of the dress she wore.
It was pleasantly lightweight, however…
Were the baby blue beads too soft for all that red? Did the cyan sash hugging her narrow waist clash horribly with the airy texture of her clothes? She didn’t know.
The perk of such colorful attire was that it was comfortable, and if she could have looked in a mirror, she would have subtly admired how it accentuated her backside but openly disliked how it rendered all else a miserable plank.
Oh, to be a curvaceous temptress and to so beguile the masses with all that womanly allure; she certainly would have thought with the driest humor. She could only imagine the worst version of herself as she stopped the mental commentary with a shrug.
She simply wasn’t the smoking hot one percent that roamed the land, and she was perfectly fine with the idea of being a potato lost in a field of wildflowers for as long as she was useful and whole.
The aforementioned potato had previously anticipated to see some new faces and a few slightly taller children. Much to her surprise, she saw neither, and stewed in the realization for a moment.
Her eyes, once very wide, squinted profusely through her monstrously frizzy locks. Wouldn’t little Koko have started walking in as little as two years? Still as rosy-cheeked and as precious, Noor recalled, as the baby cooed happily in the arms of her mother.
Her attention on the simple oddity had shifted to the grandiose difference that she found in the dense and heavy woodland. It made up much of the towering architecture and impressive slopes of ginormous trees that housed the Gaiyan settlement. It was even more beautiful than she remembered. Then again, her people were always improving their way of life and their aesthetic tastes were always changing, always flowing.
Now that everything looked so remarkably different, Noor was not sure as to where her father lived anymore and it worried her. She rubbed the back of her neck and sighed.
She didn’t really feel like asking around for him, but it was a requirement if one wanted to be part of a community and receive the help when needed. Before she could get the attention of the fisherman’s wife, she heard her name on the lips of another and knew by the deep voice alone of who it belonged to.
They were usually very civil to each other, but there would always exist some of the underlying bitterness of a broken heart. Understandable. Considering it was her doing, putting a merciless end to a long, promising relationship without a reason or rhyme.
Her reasons for it were often poorly explained, never properly expressed to the fullest, and how it made such a lovely fellow so insecure.
The quiet self-blame was present in her voice, all the happiness of home sucked out of her.
“Ahanu,” she crossed her arms over her chest and didn’t know where to look. She only knew that she didn’t want to ask the next question; except it was the most respectful thing she could possibly do at this time.
Noor raised her eyes, the guilt of a former lover swimming in them, as she kept her head bowed. “Are you well?”
“Surprised. Weren’t you supposed to come back in two years like the self-proclaimed mystic messenger of Fleu? It’s only been two months.” He said logically, not minding the added sarcasm.
She processed this information silently.
“I never said anything like that,” she finally said, more so about the strange jab. “Has it really?” The light devastation could be heard in her question.
Ahanu chose to ignore the stunned look on her face. It wasn’t his responsibility to care now.
“It has.” Was all he could bring himself to say, falling silent as he bowed his head in the sudden presence of her father.
Having missed the cue, she wondered why he was being so courteous to her as she did the same despite the growing knot in her throat.
When she did it, he briskly raised his chin to imply that such a polite gesture was reserved only for her honorable father.
“Excuse me,” he said, leaving them to rejoice in peace.
Will add things later.