Chapter 9: The Play at Ember Island
The night after Katara forgave Zuko, I decided to take a walk. I was still upset by the fact that I still don't have closure. I do miss my parents. I wish that they're alive. I started to run down to the beach. There, I let my tears fall. I started to cry for the loss of my parents. I heard some rustling behind me. I turned and saw both Zuko and Katara standing a short distance from me. "What's wrong, Zuron?" Katara asked, gently.
"N…nothing," I stuttered an answer.
"Zuron, it's not 'nothing'. Something's bothering you," Katara replied.
"I guess I'm just jealous," I muttered.
"Jealous? Of whom?" Katara asked.
"Of you!" I shouted, "You managed to get closure! I miss my parents too, you know!" Tears were rolling down my eyes again and I bit my lip. I curled my hands into fists. I turned away from them and ran.
A few minutes later, I had run to the rocky outcrop that blocks off one part of the island from the other. I found a cave etched into the rock. I laid down in the cave and cried myself to sleep.
When I woke up, there was a blanket resting over me. I sat up and saw both Zuko and Katara sitting nearby. "Wh.. What are you doing here?" I asked.
"We were worried about you. We didn't expect you to just run off like that," Katara replied. I looked down at my hands. Katara placed her hand on my shoulder. She and Zuko led me back to the beach house.
Just after we got back, Sokka and Suki come running with a giant poster. "Look! There's a play about us!" Sokka shouted.
"Oooh! A play! I'd love to go!" Keisha squealed. "Please! Can I, Zuron?"
I smiled at my little sister. "Sure! If everyone else goes, that is," I answered. Everyone agreed to go and, within a few minutes, we were ready for the theatre.
When we got there, Katara sat down. Zuko sat next to her with Iroh on the other side of him. I sat next to Iroh with Keisha next to me. Everyone else was scattered nearby. The first scene was basically a wash. The same goes for the rest of part one. Toph kept making wisecracks about our characters in certain scenes. Part two wasn't much better. It included the scene where Zuko, Keisha, and I betrayed Iroh. Zuko folded his arms on the railing and buried his head in his arms. Iroh looked at Zuko and placed his arms around him. Zuko started to shake and I could only assume that he is crying. The final scene was one where we all died and the Fire Nation won the war. Frankly, I hate this scene the most. Then, the play ended and we walked back to the beach house.
I hated that play! I hate myself even more! I can't believe I betrayed Uncle like that! "Zuko!" Uncle called.
I jumped and turned toward the beach where he's standing. "Uncle," I replied.
"Zuko, I know that you're upset. Tell me. Is it the play?" Uncle asked.
"No, it isn't that," I answered.
"Then, what is it?" Uncle asked.
"It's just… I hate myself!" I shouted.
"Why?" Uncle asked again.
"I hate myself because… because of what I've done to you! I betrayed you Uncle," I crumpled down to my knees and let out silent sobs. I buried my face into my hands and continued to cry. Uncle wrapped me into his arms. He held on to me as I cried. I had never felt such sadness since my mother left.
When my sobs ceased, I looked into my Uncle's kind, loving eyes. "I have already forgiven you, Zuko. Why do you still hold this sadness and fear?" Uncle asked.
"You may've forgiven me, but that doesn't change the fact that it happened," I replied.
"Nephew, we can't change the past, but we can improve upon the future," Uncle told me. I started to think of my past. I thought of my mother and how she disappeared. Uncle doesn't know, yet. Maybe I should tell him. "Uncle, I need to talk to you," I started.
"Ok. What is it?" Uncle asked.
"I… never told you about… what happened to mom," I continued.
Uncle looked surprised. "Zuko, you never speak of her. What did happen to her?" Uncle asked. I told him what I knew before, coupled with what father told me. By the end, tears were streaming down my face again. Uncle looked at me, shocked, before he grabbed me and held me. "Zuko, I'm so sorry you had to go through this pain. Shhh. Just let it out," Uncle whispered into my ear. I sobbed until exhaustion took over. I fell asleep in my Uncle's arms. Uncle carried me to my room as I slept on in comfort.