Okay. I thought I might clear up just what Celia's all about, just so we can all stop wondering. Got it?
I've SOOOOOOOO forgotten about this story.
And Ingrid's a little older now. That's why the voice is different. Also my writing style's changed a bit. And this is VERY short since I want to only clarify things on Celia. And they're pretty good friends now.
When the old Selkie merchant came to town a few days ago, Celia's shy doll-face was contorting into surprised, hopeful eyes and a chattier mouth. By now it was cold, and all the colors had withered as the flowers dried up and their crumbly remains were taken by the wind as she put them in her hair and danced away from the sea with it. I didn't know why I thought that way. Maybe it was because Ellie left. Maybe it was because of Celia. Celia was very much my only friend now.
Today I followed Celia to the merchant's stall after she came through the door from Emil's bakery. The usual apron around her dress and multicolored scarf she haphazardly placed along her hair to keep it out of the buns was gone. I could tell she intended to meet this man for something else, as she pulled at her gloves. She pushed me aside.
"Kid... kid. Ingrid. Just stay awhile here, I won't be long."
She then walks away. I made my way down the sandy path back to Emil's shop, kicking up the dirt as I walked. How could Celia just toss me aside like that? I'd always followed her from now on, what now? What now?
I came to the place. I'd always imagined the bakery as an old, crumbly ruin with its brown stone and its oval wooden door just jutting out of nowhere, and the pink flowers that, like magic, seemed to always be sprouting their little heads up and greeting the customers any time of year. And Emil's shop was always smelling of bread, especially the kind Celia liked, with the herbs growing out of Emil's back window baked right into it. I always thought it was too bitter.
Emil handed me the kind with apples, mumbling something about Celia and it coming out of her wages. He was the only Yuke in our village, and looked to be made of bits of rusted metal and tattered blankets. Somehow I expected him to fall over all tarnished and lifeless any second, but it never happened.
"Who's Celia talking to?" I asked him.
"An old friend of her mother's, little one." he told me.
"You were in the caravan too."
"That I was."
I 'hesitated', as Celia called it, a while before asking him the next thing.
"Did you ever see this new friend?"
He hesitated too. Then responded.
"Yes. They were very good friends, little one, it's actually a wonder that they didn't stay in touch. I never quite knew the man so well myself-"
And then Celia and the Selkie merchant walk in. It was really the first time I'd seen a Selkie in my life- he would've been handsome by standards other than a Lilty's, tall, muscular, though he seemed to look scruffy and weathered, like an old, much-abused pair of boots. Celia's awkwardly elegant, doll-like, clockwork appearance seemed only to make the scene more inappropriate.
"You don't want to see her, then-" she told him. Or more like accusing, before I felt the spray of feathers from Emil's arm whisk me to the back room. "I'm not asking for your damn sympathy. Or your love. But how can she not see you?"
That was Celia's voice. The man said something muffled and I couldn't understand it- my head was spinning and all I could think about was how angry Celia had been.
"I'm not a liar."
"Sir... I just wanted to make you aware that I very much do exist. Thought you might've liked to know that."
And something tells me at least part of the man would have. And then I know what Celia's talking about. And I know why she's angry.
And I know why of all people, she loved her mother most of all.
It sucked. I know. But if you can't figure out what the hell Celia's about, you gain 50 stupid points.