April's Fool (1)
It seems like I went into a loophole. I am back where I had started just like that afternoon in the first month of my father’s passing. Grieving, yet, I do not know how to. All I have been doing is staring into the nothingness. And to avoid my thoughts, I let Aunt and Ms Abram teach me of our business. I am learning a lot, but I still feel broken.
Jane knocks on my door, telling me that breakfast is ready and served. But I do not want to leave my bed.
I bring the blanket over my head when I heard the turn of the knob and door opening. I feel her weight on the edge of my hand-carved-gilt-edge, four-poster bed. The Egyptian cotton on the covers of my bed is warming up my cold body. I feel her hand rests on my leg.
“Sierra,” she softly says. “We must get you prepared.”
I lay motionless, breathing slowly and trying to digest her words. The guilt of being alive overtakes my chest creating a lump in my throat. If only I defied Henri’s request, I should have stayed with them, made sure they were in a lifeboat, safe with me. But all I could do now is wonder about what-ifs.
I muster my strength and answer Jane, “I am not hungry.”
She scoots closer, her hand now resting on my shoulder. With a gentle squeeze, she says with worry in her tone, “This is not good for you. You always bury yourself by studying in the library, and if that is not what you are doing, you are here, sulking. Sierra, I am your best friend. I know opening up is difficult, but you can talk to me.”
Her voice is calm, but the tone is unsteady. I know everyone is concerned about my well-being, especially Aunt. Even though I do not have the appetite, she still reminds the maids to leave or place meals for me, hoping that I will eat, not just a bite.
But I do not feel hunger.
This time, Jane begs. “Please, Sierra. Is this what your father would want?” she scoffs, “Oh, or, Henri or Alec, huh? Starving yourself to death?” Her tone now is impatient. She shoves my duvet and looks at my face.
My breath shudders as I pull the blanket over my face, water welling in my eyes. Before sitting up, I wipe my tears away. Jane gently removes the quilt covering my face. I try to smile. She tries to smile back.
“I do not want their sacrifices to be in vain. I’m sorry,” I whisper. I drop my eyes, “It’s just I…” my eyebrows furrow, and my eyes well up with tears again. I heave a shaky sigh.
She nods. “I understand. Today is the Memorial Service for the crew and passengers.” She envelops me with her hug and gently rubs my back. “Everyone has a different way of coping. Sierra, but you are not alone. We are still here.”
I nod. But I am still not ready for goodbyes.
“Sierra,” she pulls back to wipe my tears. “You can talk to me.”
I chuckle, “You have said that already.”
“I know, but I just want to keep reminding you.”
Jane helps me get dressed and hugs me once again before leaving for her duties. I watch her leaving and closing the door of my room. Before I decided to go downstairs, I pull out a piece of parchment and my quill to write father one last letter regarding the hollowness I am feeling.