It took a lot of trying and a whole lot of near wipe-outs, but Jay eventually pulled up Isellta’s slacks and zipped them up. “All right! I could put your shirt on you now, but—”
Isellta shook his head.
“Yeah. My feelings exactly. Let’s get you back to bed. I’ll dry your wings and finish dressing you.”
“That’s a good plan.”
Jay grinned. “I thought so.”
Isellta flapped his wings.
“If I hold you tight, would you want to try walking?”
Isellta’s wings went still. “I don’t know if I can. Jay, I can’t even stand.”
Jay sighed. “True. Well, don’t worry, kid. We’ll work on it. Slowly but surely, we’ll work on it.”
“If Robin isn’t here.”
“Yeah. If Robin isn’t here.”
Isellta leaned his head against Jay’s shoulder and softly hummed John Denver’s “Perhaps Love” as the guard carried him back into the bedroom.
It’s such a pretty song. It makes me happy and sad at the same time. I don’t understand how. Is it the words? Or is it the melody?
Maybe it’s both.
“You really do like that song, don’t you?”
“It’s pretty.” He raised his head. “Jay? How does that song make you feel?”
Jay saw Maelin sleeping on the bed. He carried Isellta to the opposite side. “How does it make me feel? Huh.” He gently set him down. “I’m gonna grab a towel from the bathroom. Then, I’ll answer your question. You okay?”
“Good. Be right back.”
Isellta laid his head on his pillow.
“Perhaps love is like a resting place
A shelter from the storm
It exists to give you comfort
It is there to keep you warm…”
Does that make Jay love? It seems like he should be. Ever since I came here, he has been my shelter. He has offered me comfort when I have been most afraid and hurt.
I do care about him. How could I not? He is so kind to me. But he doesn’t make me feel the way Robin makes me feel. I don’t feel that hurting desire for him.
It’s just Robin.
No matter what happens, it will always be just Robin. I can’t explain it. I don’t understand it.
I can’t help it.
But is it something real? Or is it only the appeal of what I cannot have? He knows so little about me. Jay knows more about me than Robin does. I know so little about him. I know and understand Jay so much more than I do about Robin. Are my feelings for Robin really love? Or is this just a false love? How could I know? How could I possibly tell the difference?
Isellta closed his eyes.
I’ll ask Jay when he returns.