" Be careful Mum." Matt says as he hugs his mother. He's back to being his old, way too over-protective self. Wait. . . what am I thinking? He's never not been his over protective self!
At this thought, all of the Truthseers present, including Matt, stare at me with laughter in their eyes. I smile sheepishly and laugh along with them.
At the moment, me, Matt, Isabel, and Arkarian are standing in a close-knit group around Jimmy and Coral.
Dillon, Ethan, and Shaun are standing a little further back, waiting until everybody else says goodbye.
Matt and Isabel's mom knows about the Guard now. She wasn't as surprised as we all thought she would be . . . she had always known that her children had been hiding something for years. Although, she was very surprised to learn that Jimmy and Ethan were in on the secret too.
Finally, Matt releases his mother and goes over to Jimmy. He thumps him on the back and they exchange a few kind words. They've never been great friends, mostly because Matt wasn't ready to admit that Jimmy was just what the family needed. Of course, since finding out Jimmy's role as Protector, Matt has lightened up.
Now, Isabel is saying goodbye to her mother. " You guys have fun, just don't do anything too crazy!" She says excitedly, pulling her mother into a warm hug. She hugs Jimmy also, and then moves back to stand by Matt.
Arkarian and I stand there awkwardly, until suddenly, Coral's arms are around us. She also knows about our relationships with her children, and has become a great friend in the past few months.
She holds onto Arkarian for a second longer, before withdrawing and simply says, " Keep Isabel safe. And keep her happy!"
I immediately glance over at Matt, and notice that his jaw is somewhat clenched. He's still uncomfortable with Isabel and Arkarian's relationship, and it's hard for him to hide the uneasiness from his face.
Not that it's easy for the rest of us. Right now, Isabel and Arkarian are having some problems, and the tension in the room is hard to ignore.
Next, Coral embraces me. She knows that I'm the only one that Matt listens to, so she says jokingly, " Neriah, keep him under wraps. We know that you have unlimited control over him."
Every body bursts out laughing, even Matt. The mood is lighter than before.
We're all in Arkarian's octagonal chambers right now, and we are saying goodbye to Jimmy and Coral because they are departing for another world.
Coral is going to live with Dartemis now, and her memory has been fully restored. Jimmy is along for the ride because he is the ever-faithful protector, and must stay with Coral at all times. Of course, Dartemis has told Jimmy many times that Coral's safety isn't at risk anymore, but the Protector doesn't listen. Plus, Coral and Jimmy have become great friends over the last few years, so it's just natural for Coral to feel more at ease with her best friend around. At this point, I think about the power I have over Matt, and can't help but think like father like son. If it were up to Dartemis, Jimmy wouldn't have a choice in the matter, but Coral wields the same amazing power over him, that I do over her son. It's funny how life works out sometimes!
But I'm getting ahead of myself here. They haven't even left yet!
After another couple of moments, and another couple of goodbyes, Coral and Jimmy are finally ready to leave. Arkarian does the honors of propelling them to another world, mostly because he has had more practice at this skill than Matt.
As soon as they're gone, it feels like the whole room finally breathes. We've all been keeping secrets from mum and Jimmy, not wanting them to worry about us.
It's two months after the final battle, and we're back in the same mess we were in earlier. Well . . . not entirely. The Order doesn't seem to be resurfacing, and there has been peace and quiet since the prophecy played out, but we're all still in a fine old mess.
Me and Arkarian have been trying to uphold the illusion that we're happy. For my mother's sake.
Matt and Neriah have many secrets of their own. The most major one being that they spend every night together, although I'm sure my mother isn't that naïve, and has noticed that Matt isn't home most nights. Another of Matt's illusions: that he isn't pissed off at Arkarian for what he did to me.
Ethan's illusion is that he's not as depressed as he really is. Of course, he has all the reasons he needs. . . unlike the rest of us. This thought has me feeling guilty and I glance over at Ethan. He's standing with Arkarian, both of them absorbed in conversation with Shaun. Arkarian must feel my eyes on him because his gaze suddenly shifts upward, his distant, violet eyes searching mine. I hesitate for a second and then glance away, noticing that Neriah has seen the whole thing.
She walks over with a sympathetic look. " I guess nothing has changed between you and Arkarian." She says sadly.
I look at her for a moment, fully appreciating her kindness and sympathy.
" You know the story Neriah." I utter miserably.