Chapter 58 - Something in Common
“Grant! Grant! Are you alright!?” Rhett’s voice phased in through Grant’s ears, knocking him awake.
Grant rolled over the indented grass and sat up, soaking wet. Mud and grass muddied his blonde hair. He shook his head slightly and a few strands of grass flew off as he placed the palm on his hand over his face. His head was throbbing.
“I-I don’t know... Where am I?” Grant got to his feet, wobbling. “Why are we out in the middle of the field?”
“That’s what we’d like to know!” Saraiya shouted. “Why did you leave the bar alone?”
Grant couldn’t remember a thing. Just how much did he drink? The last thing he remembered was…
Of course. He hurt someone. Grant paused for eight seconds, staring at the familiar faces around him.
“I left by myself?” He finally answered.
“Yeah, man. You had us all worried,” Rhett sighed. “I guess it’s all good now that you’re alright. It’s partly my fault too… I should have stopped you from drinking so much.” He stepped forward and pat Grant on the back, helping the best he could in his own drunken state to keep Grant from tipping over as he helped bring him to his feet. “Man, I should have tried to help with your mental state instead of feeding it…”
“Rhett, It’s not your fault, trust me.”
It was no one’s fault but his own.
“I’m just so used to dealing with my own problems by abusing alcohol, I figured if you did too, well, maybe I wouldn’t feel so bad about it…”
“Rhett...” Saraiya said. “Maybe we all need to take a break from drinking for a bit. Well, mainly you and Grant, but still. I always figured there was a reason you drank so much, but I just never felt like asking. If you ever want to talk about anything, you can with us.”
Everyone looked around in silence. Rhett had been suppressing his own emotions with alcohol? Grant just figured it was because he enjoyed it, like Lars. But, perhaps even Lars was trying to escape from something as well. Drinking just to escape seemed right in the moment for Grant too, but on top of trying to forget about hurting that man earlier, he only ended up making the people around him worry, causing more issues for this day.
“That includes you too, Grant. We’re all friends, right? Practically family, even though you haven’t been here that long, you see us every single day.” Saraiya threw her arms around the both of them, while they both just gave a weak nod.
“I think I should probably tell you guys something,” Rhett said. “First off, I will say that maybe I should cut back on the drinking and just have a few here and there. Now for the serious part. I’m actually not just here in Lyros to experience a new life. I’m an agent for a police force in Kandorr known as Shelpo. I was sent here to find clues about my sister who was abducted.”
He had a missing sibling too? Grant’s body felt heavy as tears fell from his own face, partly due to the excess alcohol. If only Elijah never went missing, perhaps his life would have turned out completely different. He wouldn’t have to worry about a monstrous blade being trapped within his finger.
“Really Rhett? My brother was abducted long ago too… But, I’ve given up hope on finding him. I’m really not here for any reason other than to escape where he and I grew up.”
“What? Your brother too?” Rhett’s body froze. “And… you just happened to come to Lyros?” He seemed to be breathing heavy.
“Yeah, I just wanted to escape, and my coworker told me I could find a place out here for cheap… Do you really think you are going to find a clue about your sister in Lyros? Of all places...” Grant said, looking down at his dirtied shoes.
“I, uh, I thought so. But, I couldn’t see anyone in Lyros doing anything so bad… Or maybe I just want to try to see the good in people… I ended up really enjoying my time here and thus not investigating enough. Grant, what was the name of your brother?”
Saraiya and Natch didn’t say a word as they looked perplexed. Kale’s body twitched slightly.
“Yeah, I don’t even recognize that name based on the cases I had to research… But—”
“I’m going to head back towards my place. Tell me when you go pick up Ambri.” Kale picked up Zair and turned around.
“But, we’re having a heartfelt conversation Kale! I doubt that Rhett thought you were ever responsible...” Saraiya said, looking guilty of telling a lie. Kale gave a wave and seemed to wipe his face.
“Sorry you two had to go through that... I can’t imagine losing Lynn.” Natch shook his head.
Grant and Rhett gave a slight nod. The air was quiet. A still black night.
“Still…” Saraiya said. “Back to the topic of you Grant.”
Everyone stared at the massive grass indent that surrounded where Grant laid.
“I really don’t know...”
Saraiya bent over and felt through the grass. “Yeah, I’m not too sure either, but I only have one guess.”
Grant sighed. “A lion rested here?”
At this point nothing would surprise him anymore. He seemed to be turning into a lion himself little by little anyway.
“Yeah…” Saraiya said. “Maybe in your drunken parade you found a comfortable indented spot and decided to nap.”
Grant released a breath of relief. Yeah, that would make more sense than turning into a lion, he thought.
“Well…” Natch scratched his head. “You guys wanna tag along back to pick up Ambri? Maybe even possibly meet Axis of Cygnus?” He was doing his best to try and cheer everyone up.
“Nah, I think I’m going to pass for the night. Thanks though.” Grant said.
“Yeah, I have things I need to think about as well, possibly even act upon. Who knows if we’ll even get to meet them anyway,” Rhett said and gave a half smile.
“Alright guys! We’re going to head on back with Kale then!” Saraiya said as the two wandered out of the tall grass and back into Lyros.
“Grant, I need to talk to you.” Rhett said, his eyes burning with determination.