Hildreth sat there for a few minutes longer.
Then, the cold really got to him. He shivered and returned to his room.
He sat on his bed.
Thoughts filled his head. Conflicting thoughts that crashed into each other in no specific order or care.
He picked up his phone.
The thoughts grew louder, more conflicted, more difficult.
He dialed her number.
“Elsie. I didn’t think you would answer.”
Wrong. Lying is wrong. Concealing things from her is wrong. Master Shinowa is right. I need to tell her. She needs to know.
“Nothing. I was just…”
Going to tell you about Mark Caten and Ambrose. And me.
“I was just thinking about you. I was thinking about…”
Telling you everything.
“About how much I miss you. And I miss you.”
“I could come.”
“If you want me to.”
I want you to so much.
“Elsie.” He closed his eyes and imagined her already there.
At this dojo.
In this room.
Her arms holding me.
Need to tell you the truth.
Don’t know how to tell you. I don’t know how to start. I don’t know how you’re going to react.
“I’ll be home as soon as I can. When I am ready to return, I will.”
“How will you know?”
“I’ll know when I don’t get tossed half-way across the room. I don’t get it. Master Shinowa’s just this short, wiry little guy. I have no idea how he can throw me like that.”
“He might be a Jedi.”
The unexpectedness of her response cracked him up. He laughed long and hard. She laughed with him.
“He would be Yoda, of course.” she said.
“Naturally. Even though, I think he imagines himself to be Obi-Wan.”
“Hm.” She paused. “Alec Guinness Obi Wan or Ewan McGregor Obi-Wan?”
He shrugged. “Alec Guinness without a doubt.”
“Too bad. That Obi-Wan got killed.”
“At least, he isn’t Qui-Gon. Qui-Gon didn’t even live to see the second movie.”
“Which may not be a bad thing. Qui-Gon didn’t have to deal with Anakin going through his annoying hormonal stage.”
“And talking about sand.”
“The sand’s the worst.” I wish she were here. I wish I could touch her. I wish…”We should do a Star Wars marathon when I get back.”
“I intend to.”
“First through the seventh?”
“I love you, Elsie.”