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Chapter Thirty-Three: Diana

Jesse and I popped into a little nursery that looked slightly familiar in some areas but much of it was new to me. This time, I wasn’t the little baby in Thalia’s arms as the memory played out. I was my present self and able to walk around the room with Jesse beside me.

Jesse spun around. “Where are we?”

Thalia was standing over a crib. There was loud banging against the door behind Jesse and I, startling us. “Come find us when you’re older.” Thalia dipped down into the crib to kiss the baby at the bottom of it. I noticed the bundle of blankets in Thalia’s arms.

“My memory.”

Jesse chuckled. “Obviously, but where is this?”

I looked at Jesse but was very tempted to see the baby in the crib, the one I was connected to in some way. “I don’t know. I was a baby. It’s not like my parents whispered my location to me.”

Thalia and Nate moved through the shadows toward a secret passage in the back of the room. The baby in the crib shrieked as they left her alone in the nursery. I felt a pang of sadness strike my heart as she cried. I never wanted to leave her and I still didn’t.

“Come on,” said Jesse.

Thalia and Nate ran down a corridor with windows that stretched from the ceiling to the floor. Jesse and I kept up with them as best we could, but we were still pretty far behind them.

“Stop right there!” shouted someone from behind us.

Thalia, Nate, Jesse, and I all stopped. I could feel the crackling in the air again as lightning streaked across the ceiling, but remained in the molecules creating it. There was a rip in the air behind us as the portal, Thalia and Nate would take to be one step closer to my parents, was created.

Jesse stared at the woman in yellow that created the electricity in the air. “Mom?”

I grabbed a hold of Jesse’s wrist. “Come on.” We jumped through the portal with Thalia and Nate.

We appeared in a clearing in the middle of nowhere. Thalia and Nate were standing there, breathing heavily. I was still in Thalia’s arms, bouncing up and down rhythmically. “That was too close,” said Nate.

I finally got a good look at Nate. He had short black hair that was cropped close to his head. His eyes were an emerald like Natalia’s but were somehow brighter, if that was possible. He was taller than all of us in the clearing, probably placing him near six feet. He was wearing a black jumpsuit with a silver crown embroidered over his heart.

I looked to Thalia. She was also wearing one of those ridiculous black jumpsuits the TWA loved so much. Her’s had the little silver crown over her heart as well. If a gold crown meant king, then did the silver crown mean prince and princess? I wan’t sure, but I definitely wasn’t going to bring it up to Jesse. If he saw it, fine, but opening that can of worms would be stupid. It would create too many questions I didn’t have answers for.

Thalia continued to bounce me up and down as I screamed my head off. “I know, but I couldn’t leave her without saying goodbye. She needed to know we care about her too.”

Nate closed the space between him and Thalia quickly. His hands were clenched into fists by his sides. “I’m sure that’s what she’ll be thinking when she remembers we left her with him, Thalia.”

Jesse was watching the scene unfold as if it was his favorite T.V. show. “You’re not making this easier,” screamed Thalia.

Nate sighed. “I’m just saying, she’s going to feel abandoned by us whether or not you visited her one last time. If we’d left when I said, we wouldn’t have had those guards chasing us. What if Diana had gotten hurt?”

Jesse pointed to the little bundle between Nate and Thalia. “So, that’s you?” I nodded.

Thalia held me closer to her. “She didn’t.”

“But what if?” yelled Nate angrily.

“I don’t know what I would’ve done! Is that what you want to hear, Nate?”

Nate wrapped his arm around Thalia and little baby me. “No. I’m sorry. I know this is hard for you.” A tear trailed down Thalia’s cheek. “We’ll see her again. I promise.”

Thalia and Nate opened up another portal beside them. Jesse and I ran to catch it before it closed.

We were now outside my childhood home. Thalia and Nate manifested a basket on the front porch before they laid me inside. Thalia squatted down beside the basket. “We love you, Diana.” She leaned her head down before Nate joined her.

I saw my hand emerge from the bundle of blankets to grab at Thalia and Nate. Nate wrapped Thalia in his arms before they took one giant step back. “Come find us when you’re older.” They knocked on the front door before hopping into a portal.

The front door opened beside the basket. My mom stepped out, looking all around for the people who left me on her porch. “Sh. You’re okay.” She picked me up out of the basket. "It's okay." She bounced me up and down in her arms.

I looked down at my toes. "Can we go? I don't want to see anymore."

Jesse and I fell from the memory and back into the darkness. He grabbed my hands. "When you're ready to return to reality, just focus on your body." Jesse disappeared from my mind.

I called the bubble back to the front of my mind. I dove back in, needing to see my parents again. I needed to remember what their faces looked like before the king killed them.

My mom and dad were smiling at me as I smiled back at them. I took a seat on the couch and watched them as their eyes lit up. They had tried so hard themselves to have a baby. I was their greatest gift...and also their greatest curse.

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