6. 4 - Extract from Georgia Shadownight's Journal
I have never felt so alone.
The world can go on turning. Midnight can travel it with Thomas, leaving all her burdens here, with me - chasing some exotic fantasy - while I tend to old wounds, things gone wildly wrong. I stare at Kennedy's peaceful, dreaming face every day: each passing hour wishing she would wake, wishing she would move. But: nothing. Some days I can do nothing but stare and pray or stare and curse.
When will this end?
Asa is little help, always mooning on about his philosophy that had no room for sadness.
“How will being depressed help you?” he keeps asking me.
As if it's choice, as if I decided to be upset about all this.
Queenie returned for a while, to see Kennedy after Midnight and Thomas returned with her from Rome, but now she's on some other adventure, I'm sure. To where, I haven't the slightest idea. I haven't opened mail in the last few months. Bex becomes increasingly restless about Kennedy's slumber and more so with Queenie's absence, but she has her gaunt fellow - Damon - to comfort her. Zoe and Brynna had moved on years ago, living respectfully in their own houses - Zoe on her own in some far off city and Brynna with Travis in the Shadownight Villa in Florence, Italy.
I was immensely grateful for Midnight's daughters - both genetic and adoptive. Desdemona helped often, as did a daughter of her own - Vera - and Ginny and Kitty did what they could. Topaz and Tori were never far behind - even though Topaz had two children also. They all kept their men in line, but kept them happy as well. I had never heard Ted complain about Des, or Alex grouch about Topaz.
I didn't know how this could be - that the apples from her tree were so tame, while mine were so wildly gluttonous for mischief.
Did our genes switch at some point?
How had this happened?
William - Thomas's half-brother - was around as was his lad, John. They seemed to be the only men in the house, apart from Asa, and would do any 'manly' chores that were required of them (mostly John, as William had aged horribly and was far more out-of-shape than his older half-brother) - hunting, bringing home firewood and repairing any damages to the manor.
And then there was Aldrin...
He was sweet in his own way, endearing even, I suppose, but he was strange to me and - more expectantly - bore a military bearing. Thomas and Midnight had taken him in from their feuds in Italy shortly after Kennedy's success as a gladiator - along with Tori and Topaz.
Aldrin was... a dog. A 'furry', Queenie had mentioned to me - a developed missing-link between man and beast. He had come to the family, a pup, and had a child of his own in the last few years, naming her Amethyst.
The scolding he got, I could almost smile at the reminiscence.
“Now if ye were my actual son,” Thomas had said, “I would've understood, some idiot trait taken from your idiot father - but ye've no excuses for this! Drunk and knockin' up a woman?”
Midnight had eventually calmed down her degenerate husband and Thomas eventually came around.
“You did always want a son,” Midnight reminded him, “Obviously forgetting what you were like when you were his age.”
“He's five!” Thomas protested.
“Dogs age quicker!”
“I ne'er got this carried away! I maintained a level o' dignity, e'en when drunk.”
“Let's not go over how much of an expertly dignified drinker you are, Thomas, just leave the boy be. He has a kid now - and if that damn well doesn't sober him, nothing will.”
Whatever Midnight is, whatever she's done - she's most definitely almost always right.
Aldrin matured much faster after Amethyst's arrival and Midnight took care of the pup, her first grandchild - quickly followed by Vera and most recently the twins, Edward and Rose.
“If I had known how much fun grandchildren were,” she had told me, “I would have had them first.”
Thomas gave her a look, I remember. They both had completely different out-looks on growing old. Midnight didn't seem to mind it at all, but Thomas hated the idea. That in mind, he questioned her remark.
Midnight just shrugged, “I can play with them as much as I like, but as soon as they start warbling - that's their parents' problem, not mine.”
I hate that she's left me alone in a house full of people. Asa is good to me and the others sympathise, but it just feels like that hard, annoying, know-it-all woman is the only one who understands me at times. She knows when to joke, and when to sit and just cry with me.
I hope she quits whatever fool's errand Thomas has dragged her into and comes home soon.
She stays by Kennedy's side, waiting and waiting and waiting - almost with as much eagerness as myself. Her father had visited some time ago, though I'm not entirely sure why. She didn't speak much about it, and I haven't pressed her for answers.
Her focus is the same as mine:
Kennedy. Though, I see her wander around the house every now and then - looking for things to do, to occupy her. She carries a sword at her side all the time now, and it shone with a light I couldn't understand. I assumed Annabeth's father had given it to her, but she'd never before been mindful of her father's gifts...
What did it matter anyway?
Annabeth wasn't the one in the coma.