Robin took small sips of his salt and sugar rimmed drink.
I wanna do somethin’ for him.
I know me makin’ an appearance is gonna be more than enough for Isellta. I hope, anyway. But it ain’t enough for me. It’s my fault we ain’t together. I wanna give him somethin’ to show that we’re startin’ all over from scratch. That I ain’t that obnoxious jerk Robin no more.
Somethin’ he can hold.
Somethin’ he can look at and be all “Yeah. Robin gave this here thing to me as a promise.”
Shoot and darnation!
I’m thinkin’ about a ring.
Well. I ain’t goin’ to a jeweler. That’ll be too expensive.
He smiled and took another sip of his drink.
I know exactly where to go.
Robin paid for his drink and left the bar.
He headed to the other side of town.
All the way to Your Junk = My Treasures.
It ain’t gonna be an engagement ring. I ain’t ready to jump on that boat just yet. I want us to get to know each other and unnerstand each other a whole lot better first.
It’s just gonna be a promise ring. A promise that I’ll love him no matter what. A promise that I ain’t gonna be mean to him no more. That I ain’t ever gonna slap his face again.
A promise of a new beginnin’ for us.
Isellta moaned. He was lying still, but his head felt like it was spinning in insane shaped circles. Sometimes fast. Sometimes slow. But always in motion.
A woman’s hand pushed his bangs up and put a cool washcloth across his forehead.
He whimpered. “I don’t want…I don’t…I don’t want to. I. I…”
“Shh. It’s okay, angel.”
He opened his eyes to half-mast. “Maelin.”
She smiled at him.
He tried to raise his head, but it took too much effort. He laid his head back down. “Robin. Is…Is Robin here? Has he come? Is he…Is he here?”
She shook her head. “You still have five more days.”
“Five.” He closed his eyes. “My head hurts. Washcloth feels good, though. Thank you.”
He opened his eyes again. “Mae? Do you know any songs?”
“Could you sing for me?”
“Maybe when you’re better. Right now, you need your sleep.”
“Please. It will help.”
She smiled fondly at him. “If you’re going to insist.”
“Do you mind? If you don’t want to sing—”
“It’s fine. Don’t worry. Worrying will just keep you sick.” She cleared her throat and started to sing, “Av ra dae shi sha ka la ka hae.”
He smiled. “I know this song. I like it. It’s pretty.”
She smiled and continued,
“Av ra dae shi sha ka la ka hae.
Eh chi ha ah si ka ah dae,
Eh lae si sha,
Eh lae ki da,
Av ra dae shi sha ka la ka hae.”
He shivered. “Keep going.”
“Av ra mae lin lae ha da ha dae.
Ka shi ha pa ran si mae,
Ka ra si sha.
Ka ra ni ma.
Av ra mae lin lae ha da ha dae.”
I’ll see my Robin in five days. I won’t be able to touch him and he won’t be able to touch me.
But I’ll see him. Even if I am still sick, I will see him.
And it will be him.
The Robin I love.
Isellta curled up with his favorite pillow.
He loves me.
My Robin loves me.
Isellta fell asleep half-way through the third verse of Maelin’s song.