Chapter 62: The Parting
As true night settled in, Colin stood near the breakers curling off the shore where he had first come into this world. He paused to gaze at the stars, the constellations radiated as if they were rejoicing. “They’re brighter here, but not so different.” His gaze fell to his companions who had come to see him off. He had rested and both Egan and Alexandra wanted him to stay, but Gilead was not his home. His life, his problems, his mother were waiting.
“I know what you did for me. I wish I could somehow give you something for her,” Alexandra said.
“It was worth it. You were worth it,” Colin replied, “and I’m not entirely certain I didn’t gain something I can use.”
“Well, you can at least speak now and not stutter like an infernal monkey,” Balaam chimed in.
Colin smiled as the donkey continued, “I daresay you saved all of us, boy. Thank you.”
Colin laughed. He had never been able to give them his name. He cleared his throat. “Uh . . . Colin, Colin’s my name.”
The word finally fell from his lips. His eyes widened. He could say it.
“It’s a strong name, Colin,” Egan said and stepped forward. He handed Colin a gold signet, “It’s not much, and I’m not sure it will even survive your trip home. If I could give you all the riches of Gilead, it would not be enough.”
“Thank you. Take care, Egan,” Colin nodded. “Keep the Logos safe. Keep Alex safe.” He caught her gaze once more. Perhaps if there’d been more time. But home is calling.
And for a second he thought her eyes agreed.
“With my life,” Egan replied and smiled at the new queen as he took her hand.
Absalom shook Colin’s hand. “Avoid tearing up any more cities if you please.”
“You should talk,” he laughed.
Rustag nodded at Colin but said nothing, the acknowledgment was enough.
Colin turned toward the water and moved forward into the breakers. As the icy waves encircled his waist, he turned to face his friends one last time. Alexandra pressed the horn of Gilead to her lips and blew, and with a resounding call, a giant wave washed over Colin, blurring his vision. Within seconds he was swirling in the waters and was deposited back into the sea cave a universe away.