Chapter 14 – She Knows
Ayira walked back to her teepee through a cold drizzle. She stopped and peeked into Yellow Feather’s teepee. He was lying on his bed, staring upward. Suddenly Ayira opened the entrance and entered. Stunned, Yellow Feather quickly sat up.
Hesitantly, Ayira bashfully said, “You are awake.”
“I could not sleep. I was worried about you.” Surprised, Ayira looked down.
“How do you feel?” asked Yellow Feather.
“My head hurts. I do not feel well – I never do.” She sat down across from him.
“Did Great Eagle help you?”
“He will help you. I know he will.”
“He can only help me if he takes my gifts away; that is the only way. No one can help me. You all think I am mad... You were not supposed to know.”
“We do not think you are mad. We believe you – it is difficult to believe, but we believe anything is possible. The great spirits can give or take from you, and with you, they have given you gifts. You should not be ashamed. You should accept them with honor.”
“These are not gifts... I am cursed. You do not see, what I see. I see horrible things...” She started to feel scared again.
“You do not have to be scared anymore. Great Eagle can help you – I – I can help you. If you let me?”
"You do not understand.”
Ayira stood up, but he grabbed her wrist and asked, “Where are you going?”
“I cannot be here.”
Yellow Feather stood up as well, and asked again, “Where are you going?”
“I must go back to my teepee.”
“But you are not well.”
She shook her head, and said, “I cannot be here – I need to be alone.”
“You have been alone long enough – are you not tired of being alone? I know I’m – tired...”
“You are not alone. You have your tribe, Little Sparrow and Red Sun.”
Embarrassed, Yellow Feather shook his head.
Ayira asked in confusion, “Are you not with Red Sun?”
“No – I am not with Red Sun.”
Surprised, Ayira thought to herself.
“She scares the other women away... She tried to scare you away, but she is frightened of you instead.”
He smiled proudly. Ayira became dizzy and lost her balance, so he softly grabbed her arms and sat her down.
He stared at her sadly. She looked away, disappointed, and said, “I have no one and it has to stay that way. I just need to be alone.”
Suddenly, he started to caress her face. He looked into her eyes, but she quickly pulled her head away. “Why do you look at me that way?”
Yellow Feather smiled and asked, “How?” He stared at her.
“Like that – why do you look at me that way?”
She looked down, embarrassed. He lightly touched her face and again raised her head up to look into her eyes.
“Like this? Stay with me.”
Sadly, she looked down and he continued, “Do I make you sad?”
In a surprise, Ayira kept her head down. She hesitantly shook her head no.
“Why? Why do you push me away? All I want is to be with you. All I want is to make you happy. You know that – I can see it in your eyes. I can see that you feel the same for me. You would not be here. I can’t stop thinking about you – I wake up and I think of you. You are so beautiful.”
“I am not like the women of your village. I am different.”
“I know. That is why I love you so. I cannot be away from you. Stay with me and I will take care of you. I will protect you.”
Ayira slowly grabbed his right hand and gently touched it. She put her face in his palm and closed her eyes.
She started sobbing. “We were meant to be.”
Yellow Feather smiled and said, “I know.”
He softly touched her face. He laid her back and they both stared at each other. He looked down at the scratches on her thigh and softly touched them.
“What happened here?”
She looked embarrassed and said, “My father did a ritual on a woman. She became possessed and she scratched me.”
He sat up and moved down to her leg and gently kissed her scratches. Ayira was stunned and stared in awe as he kissed them.
He then stared at her wrists. She watched nervously as he softly touched the scars on them. He lifted up her left hand and gently kissed the scars on her left wrist.
Ayira had tears in her eyes when he finished kissing her left wrist. Then he picked up her right hand and kissed the scars on her right wrist.
When he finished, he lay back down and stared at her again. He wiped her tears and said, “Turn over...” Ayira looked confused, but he continued, “Turn over – trust me.”
Embarrassed, Ayira slowly and hesitantly turned over with her back to him. He softly touched all of the scars on her back. Tears fell down her face and she closed her eyes. He rolled her onto her stomach and
softly kissed the scars on her back. Ayira started sobbing harder.
Yellow Feather angrily said, “I will never let anyone hurt you again – I swear – I swear to you.”
Crying, Ayira turned back around to face him and said, “I know...”
He wiped her tears, and then leaned forward and softly kissed her on her lips. Then they kissed each other passionately.
As they hugged each other, he said, “You are still cold.” “I am not cold anymore.”
He grabbed his blanket and covered them both. They looked into each other’s eyes and kissed again.
By morning, the rain had stopped. Everyone was out and about performing their daily chores and working.
Red Sun entered Yellow Feather’s teepee with food in her hands and saw him asleep in bed with Ayira. Ayira slept on her stomach, but he slept on his side with his arm over her. They were naked, and the blanket barely covered them both.
Stunned, Red Sun called out to Yellow Feather. She put down the food and walked over to where he lay. She shook him awake in disgust and anger.
“Please let me sleep – I have not slept,” said Yellow Feather.
“What is she doing here?”
He whispered, “I told her to stay with me.”
“I did not want her to be alone.”
“Lower your voice. I wanted to – she needed me. Please let me sleep.”
Red Sun sounded sad as she said, “I need you...”
He sighed and grabbed an extra blanket to cover himself. He got up and they walked outside. “I need you – why is she here?”
“She was not feeling well last night.”
“You don’t let me stay with you, but you let her...”
Frustrated, Yellow Feather said, “You know why I do not let you stay with me.”
“You don’t give me a chance.”
“I cannot – you are my brother’s wife. I would never betray him.”
Crying, Red Sun said, “He is dead – you cannot betray him. You said he told you to take care of Little Sparrow and me. That was his dying wish – you told me that...”
He nodded and she continued, “Then take care of us – be with me.”
“I do take care of you and Little Sparrow. Since he died, I have honored his wishes – that is all...”
“You don’t love me – but you don’t know unless you open your heart to me.”
“I have told you over and over – please, I will never love you. You are my brother’s wife. It is because of you my brother died angry with me. He thought we were together, but I would never betray him, not then – not now – not ever.”
Red Sun sobbed, but before Yellow Feather could go back into his teepee, Ayira rushed out covered with his blanket.
“Are you all right?” he asked.
She ran past them both. Yellow Feather walked after her as Red Sun stared angrily at them.
“Maybe it is the evil spirits,” said Red Sun.
Ayira stopped and fell to her knees. She got on all fours and gagged and vomited continuously. “No – too much drinking.”
He walked up to Ayira and rubbed her back as she continued to vomit.
“That is what happens when you drink too much. The day after is the worst – let’s go back in.”
Ayira looked terrible as he helped her up. They walked back to his teepee, Red Sun sadly staring at him as they walked past her and went back in. Upset, Red Sun quickly ran off.