For the third time, I shot out of my sleep with my face beaded in a cold sweat, and my heart thumping in my throat. I examined the palms of my hands, vaguely recalling the images of the dream I'd just had of the fire once again consuming me. I felt the skin burning but it didn't cause pain. It was the thought of becoming ash that caused me to scream. I glanced over at the small digital clock beside me. It was the third hour of the night cycle on Planet Santi IV. I changed my gaze to the front of the bed where my phone lied on the window seal. It was far enough away that I could get my mind off of it, but close enough so that I could check if the LED light was blinking. With reluctance, I got up and walked over and picked it up, despite not seeing the light, hoping anyway that the person I wanted to hear from had finally returned my calls. I saw that wasn't the case, and hit the redial button for the 32nd time. I felt my heart drop for the 32nd time as I heard that familiar automated voice. I hadn't talked to him in awhile and I was regretting that decision so much it was bringing me to tears every time I thought about it. I only called him occasionally because he seemed like he wanted to be distant, but at least he picked up then. Ever since the attack on Haalm though, I hadn't had a single answer or at least a confirmation that he'd heard the voice mail and was okay. I sat my phone back down and glanced out the window of the hotel at the downtown area of Santi IV.
The hotel offered a nice vantage point for the extremely beautiful, aurora filled city. The building over looked a park filled with ponds and on either side buildings rose to monumental heights, arching and some even spiraling in various shapes and forms. Air traffic flowed like rivers over, around, and through the various shapes the structures gave off. Traffic in the lower streets ran in linear patterns throughout the downtown area. The sky was filled with a vast amount of different auroras, casting down blue and green rays of light during the busy night. Across in the distance was the most prolific part of Santi IV. A large tree rose and towered over all buildings, and reflected the light the sky casted down, causing it to appear glowing, inviting all to relish in it's beauty.
I awed drowsily at the beauty that could never be captured by words or pictures. I felt my head begin to feel heavy as the scene slowly calmed me down. Just as I began to drift back to the cloud that awaited my slumber, I felt a ripple come through me as I heard the vibration of my phone on the window seal. I answered it without looking at the caller ID and yelled the name Sy into the phone. On the other end was a confused reply from my brother.
“Umm, no. Mel.” I shook my head trying to regain my composure as I spoke.
“S-sorry, I just umm-
Never mind, what do you want?”
“Is something wrong Ka'Lyla?”
“It's nothing,” I lied.
“Doesn't sound like nothing.” He was right. Not hearing from Sy had me on edge, and it was obvious from how quick my responses were. I sighed, and closed my eyes thinking of a way to draw him away from the subject.
“Look Mel, I'm fine, just, what did you want?”
“Just to check in and make sure everything was alright.”
“Thanks, I'm fine.”
“Yea, alright then.” He obviously wasn't deceived by the lie but I can only assume he decided not press on.
“How's everything on your side?” I asked, trying to keep the conversation flowing.
“I'm managing.” Hearing the phrase again brought another streak of worry back into my conscious. Mel had been 'managing' since Mii died. I cried for weeks when I found out that I wouldn't share laughs with my sister anymore, but my grief was nothing compared to his. He'd blamed himself for her death and my grief, and for a time I thought he was broken. For the first month he avoided me, saying he wasn't worthy to be my brother since he couldn't do anything about the outlaw clan that killed her. When I finally managed to make him realize how much it hurt that my brother didn't want to be around me, he snapped out of his depressing streak, becoming extremely overprotective in the process.
He must have noticed my distress, and spoke again.
“Look, Ka'Lyla, I'm sorry about Haalm.” The statement caught me by surprise. I had almost forgotten that he practically dragged me off of Haalm when the attack started. I was gearing up with everyone to evacuate the civilians when suddenly Mel appeared and told me that we were leaving. Of course I thought it was bullshit, and I wanted to help out, but he insisted on wrestling me onto a ship and leaving Temprock. I'd calmed down since then, but I said quite a few choice words. Despite the fact that we had exchanged a few blows, apologizing usually wasn't something we did very often. Then again, quite a few things had changed since Mii died. He took a deep breath before continuing.
“I know your old enough and strong enough to defend yourself, but when I saw the possibility of a threat I-”
“I understand Mel. I'm sorry about the things I said. I know you just want to protect me.” I knew that was true but, I still didn't like the fact that he was so overprotective. He sighed on the other side of the phone before speaking again.
“Well look, I got to go, let me know if anything comes up?”
“Yea,” I replied drowsily. He said his goodbyes before hanging up the phone. I hadn't realized it, but I had made my way back to the bed during the course of the conversation and I felt the little energy I had drain the moment I placed my phone on the desk next to it. I put my mind to rest with one more thought of Sy, hoping that he was alright. Hoping that I would get the chance to finally say the words I've wanted to say to him for so long now. That I loved him.