She pulled into his driveway.
Hildreth unbuckled his seatbelt. “Elsie. Are you sure?”
“I should ask you the same thing.”
“I mean it. Do you mind? Do you…Can you wait? If you don’t want to…If you feel like you can’t…”
“As you said, it’s only a matter of time. Weeks. Days. Hours. Minutes. Seconds. And then.”
“Then.” Hildreth smiled as a thought occurred to him. “I have a plan for when we finally do it.”
“It’s a secret.”
He leaned forward and whispered in her ear.
A smile spread across her face.
She covered her mouth with her hands and laughed.
“What do you say to that?”
“You think it will work?”
She looked surprised by the question. “How could something so foolproof fail?”
“I can’t even imagine.”
“I can’t wait.”
He kissed her forehead. “Neither can I.”
Isellta sat quietly on the bed in the recovery room.
For fifteen minutes.
Then, his curiosity got the better of him.
He got out of bed and explored the room.
Only to be disappointed.
The room décor comprised of four stretcher-like beds – two on one side, two on the other – with just enough space between each pairing.
The bed frames went all the way down to the floor. So, there was no space underneath for him to snoop. Of course, he did peek under each bed, just in case. But each one disappointed him.
Cabinets lined the back wall.
Isellta opened each door and pulled each drawer open.
Not even dust bunnies.
He frowned. Why have drawers and cabinets and not fill them with interesting objects?
He sighed. It doesn’t make sense.
Why can’t humans make sense?
He brightened. “But this isn’t the only room. There are other rooms I can explore. Secrets I can find. Ooo! That reminds me.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out Raven’s corkscrew.
Isellta sat down on the bed and admired it.
It wasn’t very shiny.
It was old and tarnished.
Rust collected in the threads of the piece connecting the ring to the screw. The tip of the screw was nicked off.
But it was a prize to Isellta.
An absolute treasure.
Every little bit of it made sense to him. Each turn of the screw.
Even if he had no idea what it was for.
“So symmetrical. So perfect. So beautiful.” His fingers spiraled down the screw.
His wings flapped a happy beat.
He admired it for a good forty-seven minutes before returning it to his pocket. “I’m going to be fine. As long as I can snoop and no one locks me up and no one breaks my wings again, I’ll be fine.”
Isellta thought about Robin.
He’ll be fine. I know it. He’ll forget me and move on.
A slight frown creased his forehead.
I don’t want to be forgotten.
I don’t want him to forget me.
And I don’t know why.