Isellta fluttered his wings as he finished the rest of the tea. He handed the cup back to Maelin. “Thank you.”
She smiled. “You’re welcome. I’m going to put this on the nightstand over there. I’ll be right back.”
She got off the bed.
He looked down at his hands and listened to the muffled shuffle of her footsteps.
It’s a strange thing and it doesn’t really make sense. But that sound reminds me of the waves in my dream. I wonder why that is.
In his mind, he saw the sun set. The pulling sensation in his chest increased as Isellta remembered the presence…the glowing figure.
“Robin.” He pressed his fist against his chest. “It hurts so much. Where are you?”
Maelin set the cup down on the nightstand and returned to her spot on the bed. “Are you okay, angel?”
“It hurts.” He looked up at her. “I dreamed of him. I was on the beach by myself, but I wasn’t afraid. I sensed a presence and I knew it was Robin. He was there, Maelin, really there inside of my dream.”
Maelin flipped her straight black hair behind her back. “Are you sure it wasn’t a nae bi sha?”
“Very sure. It was Robin.” He tilted his head. “Doesn’t that mean he’s here?”
“Not necessarily. It could have been just a dream.”
Isellta considered that possibility. “No. It was really him. I know it. Mae.” He hesitated. “Could you help me up? I want to practice walking. I want to be able to run to him when he shows up. And he will show up. I know he will.”
Maelin’s expression betrayed her doubts, but she said, “Absolutely. Will you be okay with me touching you? I won’t put my hands anywhere that will make you uncomfortable. I promise.”
“Good. I will need you to help me. I need you to scoot to the edge of the bed. Do you think you can do that?”
He nodded again.
“Okay. Let’s do this.”
Moving from the middle of the bed to the edge of the bed was not easy. But Isellta kept his thoughts focused on Robin, on running into his arms, on feeling his arms around him.
Such thoughts did not make it easier.
Yet, they made it so much easier.
Isellta reached his destination and hung his legs over the bed’s edge.
“Okay.” Maelin said. “Touch your feet down. Careful.”
One foot on the floor.
Second foot on the floor.
“My legs feel so strange. They feel…wrong. Numb?”
“It’s okay, angel. They’re just weak from you not using them.”
He looked up at her with uncertainty and worry in his blue eyes. “Will you catch me if I fall? Or will you get mad at me? Will you be disappointed that I couldn’t do it…couldn’t do it right? Will you…” He rubbed his left shoulder. “…be mean to me?”
His words pierced her heart. “Isellta. You nearly died. It’s okay if you’re unsteady right now. It will get better. The more we do this, the stronger your legs will become. And soon you’ll be able to walk without falling. You’ll be able to run.”
The uncertainty and worry left his eyes.
“I’m going to put my arms around you to support you. Are you okay with that?”
“Okay.” She put her arm around his waist.
He inhaled sharply.
“And now we go—-” She helped him stand. “—up.”
He quickly grabbed on to her as his legs wobbled.
“I have you, angel. Don’t worry. Focus on your feet.”
He whimpered. “I’m going to fall!”
“I have you. Lift your foot. Set it down.”
He shook his head. “My feet feel all wrong. I’m going to fall.”
“Don’t worry about it. I have you.”
“I don’t want to fall. I don’t want you to be angry at me. If I fall, you’ll get angry at me. I don’t want you to get angry at me.” He scrunched his eyes. “Don’t get angry at me.”
“I’m not angry.” She soothed him with her magic. “And I will never hurt you.”
His body relaxed.
“You’re safe, Isellta. You’re safe with me.”