A Novel: Ostatini Las Part 13
She was greeted with an embrace.
“Leah!” her mum sobbed, “I – I’m so glad you’re here!” Leah stiffened with shock, flinching back slightly.
“What do you mean?” she asked quietly. She already knew.
“Joey’s gone!” her mum wailed. “I thought you went with him!” Really? Did her mum not know her at all? Had she actually thought that Leah would run away on a suicide mission?
A voice in her head, or maybe her heart, said that her mum had just been irrational with worry. Leah silenced it.
“No, mum. I’m here,” Leah muttered, uncomfortable to have her mother crying on her shoulder. Her face was stiff, as was her shoulders. As always, her eyes showed no emotion.
“Thank god! Thank god!” her mother sobbed, brown eyes clenched tightly shut and her face pressed up against Leah, muffling the words.
“Mum… did Joey tell you where he was going?” Leah questioned, still staying calm. Joey wouldn’t – couldn’t – have been so cruel as to not tell mum.
“When – when I woke up, there – there was a note! It – it said he was leaving but not where he was going!” Joey was cruel enough to do it. Leah realized that she couldn’t brush her mother’s misery off and ignore it. Instead, she had to say,
“He’s joined the rebels, mum. He wants to make a difference.” Leah couldn’t help but sneer the word difference. Her mum gasped, fresh tears sparkling in her eyes. Face blotchy, eyes red, she let out a howl. Leah winced at the sound. She hadn’t been expecting that reaction. When it stopped, her mum whispered, hoarsely, brokenly,
“You must bring him back.” Leah swallowed hard. She didn’t just say that. No. It was… irrational.
“Mum…” Leah began.
“No!” her mum snapped, “He can’t be there yet! You have to find him! You have to bring him back here!”
“Mum –“ Leah tried again, desperation growing.
“No! They’ll kill him, Leah!” her mum yelled hysterically. “Just like – just like… Jae.” the last word was a whisper, and Leah stiffened at the sound. Jae. Her father. Her dead father.