Today marked two very special celebrations: The Feast of Lights and the youngest Myst’s 19th birthday. If Eden had it her way, he would be spending both alone, cooped up in their house with nothing to do except watch the celebrations take place on their TV.
But of course, he had no intentions of staying in. He’d made it seem like he was well and truly suffering this morning, so he could be sure that Eden wouldn’t even think of checking back on him later. Alright, so he’d admit that he still had a few minor aches and pains, but it was not enough to stop him escaping today.
He was almost ready to go when he spotted two cards and a small box placed on the coffee table. He smiled to himself; maybe his sisters didn’t hate him as much as he thought.
The first was from Kara, the second from Eden, explaining how the gift was from the both of them, and that he should call Kara and say thank you. He dreaded that call. He hadn’t spoken to Kara since he’d been arrested. He was a little concerned that the box had managed to tip itself over in the time that he’d taken reading the cards...
“They’ve stuffed a tiny fiend in a box to spite me.” He picked up the box gingerly, untying the ribbon and noting the air holes in the lid. What stared back at him, though, was not a fiend’s eyes, but the bright blue eyes of a baby chocobo. He grinned, lifting it out of the box in cupped hands. “Well aren’t you a cutie?”
It chirped happily, hopping from foot to foot and flapping its wings. Couldn’t have asked for a better gift. Now he’d definitely have to call Kara.
He dug his hand into his pocket, hesitating before calling his sister. “Kara... Hi.”
“What have you done this time?”
Nova couldn’t help but chuckle to himself. Would his sisters ever believe he would call them for just an innocent chat? “I love how little faith you have in me.”
She was silent, obviously not as amused as he was by the predicament. Kara had no patients for people wasting her time, and he had the feeling he was unintentionally becoming one of them. But no matter how hard he worked, he would never gain her approval.
“Thank you for my card. I love the chocobo!” The little chick, who had perched on his shoulder, nuzzled against his cheek.
“It was Eden’s idea.”
“I thought as much.”
“She told you to call me, didn’t she?”
“Well, happy birthday. Hope you enjoy it.”
“Wait, Kara...” His urgency came off in his voice because although he was silent as he contemplated what to say to her, she didn’t hang up on him. “I’m sorry for leaving the dome. It was stupid, I know.” He waited for a response and got nothing. She was still there, he could hear her breathing. “I just wanted to go outside. To see what it’s really like. It really wasn’t my intention to disturb a Behemoth.” He waited again for a response. “Kara?”
“It’s hard to stay mad at you when you seem so sincere.”
“I hate it when you play games with me...”
His sister laughed, eradicating all the one sided tension Nova had created for himself. “So are you planning to break your house arrest today?”
“Totally. This is the first day I’ve felt well enough to leave the house. And it’s my birthday.”
“Eden won’t see it that way.”
“I know. I’m looking forward to the game of hide and seek.”
“Well, have fun. Take care.”
He left the house quickly, his new chocobo friend making itself comfy in a pocket on the inside of his jacket. He got on his bike and rode to the beach, making up for lost time. He told his friends he’d be there much earlier in the day than this, but he had to be sure Eden wasn’t coming back.
He parked as close as he could to the beach, spotting Markus just as he was about to hit the sand. He stopped dead in his tracks; a decision had to be made. Either sneak by, or just go and talk to him. What was the worst that could happen?
“Hey, Markus!” Nova grinned at him as he walked past, slapping him on the shoulder as he passed by. “Sssh, you didn’t see me.”
“Anyone would think you wanted to get caught.” Markus shook his head, chuckling to himself. Nova mock saluted him, continuing on his way.
The beach was packed with people anticipating the start of the parade. He struggled to weave in between children and their parents, trying desperately not to lose sight of them. He remembered the last time he’d come with his parents, sitting on his dad’s shoulders so that he could get a better view of the show. Some of the lights got so close he thought he could pluck them out the sky. That was 10 years ago now, but he remembered it as if it were yesterday.
He snapped out of his little daze when a coin collided with the side of his head.
“Oi, Spanner-cock!” Cid yelled at him, causing a few wary parents to glare at him. “Stop standing there all misty eyed-” Nova cringed at the awful pun, and was glad Eden wasn’t there to hear it. “-and start drinking. You’ve got some catchin’ up to do.”
“Can’t.” He pulled his bike keys from his pocket as he joined them, jingling them. “Driving.”
“That ain’t stopped ya before.”
“But Cid, I’m trying to be a good boy!”
“Aye, wouldn’t want ya getting arrested again.”
“Speaking of which...” Kite appeared at his side. “What happened to Tai and Talon?”
“Still in quarantine, last I heard.” Nova shrugged, as if it were nothing. Kite would be hard to convince, but Cid was apparently too drunk to care.
“Why aren’t you still there with the others?”
“Nothing wrong with me, I’m all clear!” Nova gave the thumbs up. “Except for that scratch I got from the Behemoth, still healing.”
“It was quite a big gash, if I remember.”
“Nah, just a scratch.”
“A scratch that made you pass out due to blood loss. And got you rushed to hospital cos they thought you were gonna bleed to death.”
“I don’t remember that...”
Kite almost looked smug. “You wouldn’t. Probably don’t remember you got rescued by a girl, either?”
Nova would have made some kind of witty response if it weren’t for the fact he’d just spotted that very same girl talking to Markus. By talking to, he meant threatening, by the looks of things.
Then he watched her scan the beach. She was looking for him, he could tell by pure rage in her expression. Shit...
“I gotta go for a bit, got some other people to see, but I’ll be back later!” He pushed past Cid, who swore loudly at him, heading further down the beach to the shoreline. What was he gonna do when he got there? He had nowhere to run, or hide. Maybe if he jumped in the water he could swim to freedom?
Except that plan was faltered when he bumped straight into Bellaevis, one of Eden’s oldest friends. Bugger...
“Don’t I know you from somewhere?” She frowned, eyeing him up.
“No, I’m quite sure you don’t.” He attempted to sidestep her, but she followed his footsteps.
“But you strikingly resemble someone I know... Who is that person?”
He turned around just in time to see Eden grab his collar and drag him away. Although he wanted to wriggle free, he didn’t dare, instead he tried to dig his heels in the sand.
“I didn’t do anything!”
Sorry if played people wrong. TAG. Zzzzzzzzz.