Seasick: [Late November 1072, a month after Ingrid Bergman, Grey’s mother dies]
It was another cold day on Peaceable Country. Seasick, now 49, was heading back to the house after having her usual long chat with Furious. She was about to enter the house when she saw two dragons in the sky approaching the house. It was none other than Dagny and her son Havelock.
“Ah welcome home, dears.” Seasick called out, pulling her shawl closer to her chest.
Grey: Normally, Dagny would’ve dismounted the dragon and given her aunt a huge hug in greeting, but…unfortunately, now wasn’t one of those times. The 18-year-old-daughter of the Chief of Haligan Island was far beyond angry despite how hard she tried to hold it in, but she just couldn’t. She could not believe that Aunt Seasick would do something so low to her mother after what she and the rest of the family just went through. All she could do was stare at her aunt.
“How could you?” she simply asked.
S: Havelock, although cold from the freezing wind hitting his face the entire flight, was hot with anger, not at his mother but at Dagny, who spent the whole flight ignoring his cries.
“Dagny, please! This isn’t the way to go about this!” Havelock called out to her.
Seasick walked down to the couple and had a confused look on her face.
“How could I what?” She asked simply. “I haven’t done anything.”
G: “Don’t act like you don’t know!” Dagny shouted with tears in her eyes. She really hated the idea of yelling at Aunt Seasick, but she needed to get to the bottom of this. “How could you do that to my mom?! I know you had a huge fight and that you guys said some hurtful things to each other, but did you really have to do what you did?! I thought you were better than that, Aunt Seasick!”
S: “What are you talking about?” Seasick asked, trying to not raise her voice. “I haven’t seen or spoken to your mother since we had the fight. I haven’t written or received any letters either.”
“See Dags? It’s all just a misunderstanding.” Havelock said as he reached her side.
G: Dagny’s face fell as she stared at her aunt but listened to her boyfriend next to her. “B-But…Mom said that she was going to write to you,” Dagny finally said as the tears streamed down her cheeks. “She wouldn’t lie to me about something like that. Don’t either of you try to make my mom the bad guy here!”
S: “Dagny, sweetie, I’m not trying to make your mother the villain here. I just want to know what you’re even talking about.” Seasick said calmly, placing her hand on Dagny’s shoulder. “Start from the beginning. what was your mother going to write to me about? Perhaps it got lost in this terrible weather.”
G: Dagny stared at Seasick. She believed her when she said that she wasn’t trying to make her mother like the villain. As for the whole not-getting-her-mother’s-letter…she tried her best to find any traces of lying in Seasick, but she couldn’t find anything that would raise suspicions. However, that could only mean one thing.
“So…you really don’t know? Mom really never wrote to you about…what happened?” she asked carefully
S: “No she didn’t,” Seasick replied quickly. “Gods, Dagny, what happened? Is everything okay? Dd something happen to Grey? Your father? Your siblings? What happened??”
G: “Aunt Seasick…m-my Grandma Ingrid…she-she passed away a month ago,” Dagny simply said as tears flowed down her cheeks.
S: Seasick let out a quiet gasp as she stared at Dagny. Quickly she called out to Furious, who was resting nearby.
“Sorry, Furious, I need to travel to Haligan Island immediately.” Seasick said to him. “Let me grab a few things for the trip and then we’ll be off.”
“Mom wait, you can’t go!” Havelock said, chasing after her. “Not in this weather.”
G: “W-What..Aunt Seasick, what are you doing?” Dagny asked running after Havelock and her mother’s best friend.
S: “Grey and I have always been there for each other, and this is no different.” Seasick replied, racing inside and quickly grabbing some food and clothing and blankets, “If I had known that Ingrid was dying, I would’ve been right there for Grey.
Racing outside again, with the couple following, Seasick turned to her son and gave him instructions. “Havelock, since you’re home I expect you to look after the younger ones with Hafdis. Help out your father at all times, his back is killing him again. And keep an eye on Eydis. She’s pregnant again.”
“Wait, WHAT?” Havelock exclaimed. “No, no mom, you can’t go! The weather is too bad! Just send Aunt Grey a letter! She’ll totally understand!”
G: "Yeah, she wouldn’t want you traveling in this just to see her,” Dagny said. “Dad even told me to stay here because it was so bad! We can always go tomorrow!”
S: “May I remind you that I was once a rebel who fought in Ragnarok.” Seasick replied quickly, while placing various items on Furious’ back. “This weather is nothing compared to the hell I faced back then. We’ll be fine. You two are staying here, got that? Only I shall go. I’ll write to you when I arrive.”
G: Havelock was about to protest again when Dagny stopped him. “Okay, good luck, Aunt Seasick,” she said, “and I’m really sorry I doubted you about bailing on Mom.”
S: “It’s not a problem, Dagny.” Seasick replied, smiling down at her. “Stay indoors and stay warm! I’ll be back soon!”
With that, Seasick and Furious took to the frozen skies. After an extremely long flight lasting a week, the duo finally landed on Haligan Island. Much like Peaceable, the island was eerily quiet due to everyone being indoors. Seasick was about to make her way to Grey’s house, when she saw Grey outside of the Great Hall, sitting on the steps.
“Let me guess, your ass is frozen to the steps and you’re waiting for someone to come thaw you!” Seasick joked, walking up to Grey. “Sorry, that was… inappropriate.”
G: The 48-year-old-Chief of Haligan Island had certainly been out of it for a while now ever since her mother’s death, and today was simply no exception…well other than today was going to be the day when she would clean out her old house. However, she couldn’t bring herself to go, so she just sat herself down on the steps of the Great Hall. She was in such a daze that she didn’t even acknowledge the dragon approaching the island…until the rider finally spoke up. It was Seasick! Dagny had written to her saying that she was visiting Havelock’s family and staying there due to the bad weather, but she said nothing about Seasick coming.
Grey immediately sat up and stared at her…best friend (if she could even call her that anymore). She knew Seasick was joking, but she couldn’t bringing herself to respond. What could she possibly say?
S: Seasick cleared her throat several times and looked down at her feet and then back at Grey. There was a long and extremely awkward silence between the two women.
“Ah, um, so… you know what? I’m just going to come out and say it. I’m sorry about your mother. I wish you told me about it in a letter. Or when we had that big argument.”
G: Grey furrowed her eyebrows together. “How did you…?” she tried to ask.
S: “Dagny and Havelock arrived and Dagny flew into a rage, accusing me of purposely avoiding you” Seasick explained. “So I came as fast as I could. Poor Furious is exhausted. But anyways, here I am.”
G: Grey stared at Seasick for a brief second and then placed a hand in her palm sighing with exasperation. “I’m so sorry,” she said. “I had no idea that she was going to do that. I thought she was just visiting Havelock’s siblings for a while. I’ll talk to her when she gets home.”
S: “Nah, it’s fine.” Seasick replied, shivering a little bit. “I’m willing to put our differences aside, and instead focus on you and your late mother. Will you invite me inside so that I can comfort you? Or are you really frozen to that step?”
G: Grey tried to smile as best as she could, but she couldn’t bring herself to do it…not after the awful argument they had. The memory of that day came flying back in full force.
“Well, maybe you should teach your girl how to follow orders or how to not to be a juvenile delinquent. Oh wait, you already failed with Eydis. I wouldn’t be surprised if Saeros went down the same road.”
“OH SURE! SCREAM TO HIGH VALHALLA! THAT SOLVES ALL YOUR PROBLEMS! NO WONDER YOU WERE SO LONELY IN THAT REBELLION!”
Chills went down her spine as she thought about her cruel words, and now here was Seasick despite how hurt she probably was…ready to comfort her about her mother’s recent death. Then she remembered Seasick’s question.
“Umm…sure,” she said standing up. “Umm…you know, I was going to go to my old house and clean some stuff out if you would like to join me. I mean…I know it’s not ideal, but Brandt is stuck at home with Sven and Kari. Greg, Warren, and Asha are dealing with their kids, and I didn’t want to bother any of them.”
S: “Sure, I don’t have anything else to do.” Seasick replied.
There was another awkward pause between both women as the headed towards Grey’s old house. “I’m not… accusing you or anything but… did you send me a letter about your mother?” Seasick asked awkwardly. “Dagny was under the impression that I knew about your mother, but I had no idea.”
G: Grey sighed clearly knowing that this question was going to come. “As much as I really…really hate to admit it,” the Chief began, “I…I didn’t. I wanted to, but…I didn’t know if it would be…appropriate considering our situation.”
S: Seasick stopped in her tracks. “I thought you knew me better than that.” She said simply. “I’ve always gone out of my way to help a friend. Remember our rebellion days? I wanted to back out and run away so many time, but I never did. This is no different.
Seasick sighed and shrugged her shoulders. “Well, whatever. I’m here now. You can’t kick me off the island! I mean, you can try, but I’ll fight you.
G: “You seem to forget that I have a Night Fury and soldiers,” Grey said smirking at her best friend.
S: “I could probably take you,” Seasick replied, proudly placing her hands on her hips. “Granted it could take a while, but I’d probably win. Oh, before I forget, what exactly are you cleaning out here? If it’s furniture, then count me out. I’m too old to do that… old… and lazy.”
G: “Just some old things…nothing too big,” the Chief said sadly. “I’m going to leave the furniture. Trust me, I’m not too keen on doing that myself.”
S: “Hey,” Seasick said seriously, grabbing Grey’s arm gently. “I’m here for you. You don’t have to do this by yourself. You’re not alone anymore.”
G: The Chief didn’t even look at Seasick as she held onto her arm listening to her friend’s encouraging words. Despite the horrible things she said a few months back, Seasick was still willing to help her and to comfort her. How could she even want to breathe the same air as Grey after that horrible argument? Tears finally came to the Chief’s eyes…all the grief and stress that had been piling up for months…from the big argument to her mother’s death coming back in full force. She tried to say something…anything, but no words came out.
S: Seasick was quiet for a moment, her hand still on Grey’s arm. There were several things she could and wanted to say, but there was a time and place for them. Instead, she took a deep breath and spoke.
“Grey,” Seasick said quietly. “I know this is hard for you, and I’m here for you but… can we do this inside? I’m freezing my ass off and I can tell you are too.”
G: “Uhh…” Grey said realizing that she was shivering under her parka, “y-yeah…yes, I’m sorry. Let’s go inside. The house isn’t too far away.”
With that, the Chief led Seasick all the way to her old house. Grey opened the door and walked in leading her friend inside as she scanned the old house. It was dark and quiet. The Chief was half-expecting her mother to show up…maybe walk out of the bedroom or suddenly appear from upstairs, but unfortunately, that wasn’t going to happen
S: Seasick took a moment for her eyes to adjust to the darkness. When she was ready, she walked over to the fireplace and started a fire from the old wood that was still there. Light and warmth spread throughout the room, and bot women were warmer within a minute.
“I’m here for emotional support, once again.” Seasick said, slowly walking around the room. “I’m not very good on advice but I’m a good listener, so if you feel like talking, go for it. If not, that’s okay. The quiet is pretty nice too.”
G: “I don’t know,” the Chief simply said looking around the house trying to figure out where exactly to start. “There are times where I really hate the quiet.”
S: “Okay, well then talk. About anything.” Seasick said. “About like… well, like why you never told me your mother was dying.”
G: “Well, you know how to keep the mood on track,” Grey retorted. She then sighed, “but if you really want to know, we didn’t think it was serious at first. We’ve been trying to find a cure for her and to keep hope alive, and around the time we had that argument…we were at the point of realizing that it was more serious than we thought. But…I guess I was so wrapped up in keeping hope alive, trying to find something to make her better and guilty about our argument that I just…I didn’t. I’m sorry I didn’t keep you in the loop.”
S: “I suppose I can accept that answer,” Seasick said simply. “But surely Havelock must have known about it as well… yet he never told me. I suppose there are lots of things people don’t tell me.”
G: “He knew,” she said, “but…I guess they wanted to leave it up to me to tell you. That, and I was still blindly thinking that Mom was going to get better.”
S: “Hm, well I guess I can accept that.” Seasick said. “But still, I would have liked to have been there for you when this all happened… regardless of how we felt towards each other at the time.”
G: "Why?” Grey asked rather coldly. “According to your dragon, I’m a horrible person.”
S: “Ah yes, I do recall Furious saying that.” Seasick replied, thinking back to his comment. “Well, he’s like us… We.. say and do a lot of horrible things when we’re angry or upset… and we don’t mean it…”
G: The Chief felt the tears coming back in full force and sniffled as she hugged herself leaning against the staircase. She couldn’t believe what Seasick was saying. Well…no that was a lie. She could…because that was what she would’ve said if she wasn’t feeling so guilty and grieving over her mother’s death at the same time. She always found a way to forgive someone who wronged her and wanted to repent for their actions and words. Perhaps, that was why she and Seasick got along so well. They had so much in common, and that was enough to make the tears flow down her cheeks.
“I…I…I would do anything to take back what I said,” she finally said hoping Seasick would hear.
S: Seasick was quiet for a long moment. Instead of facing Grey, she turned towards the fire and stared hard at it.
“But… will a simple “sorry” really erasure the pain we caused each other?” She asked quietly.
G: “I suppose,” the Chief said as she wiped the tears away still not facing Seasick.
S: Seasick sighed and looked at Grey.
“I want to go back to the way things were before the argument but..” She began, then stopped and turned back to the fire. “It’s hard to erasure what we said to each other…”
G: “Unfortunately, we can’t,” the Chief said as she finally gathered up the courage to look at Seasick despite the fact that she was looking at the fire, “no matter how much we may want to, we can’t. But maybe just…admitting that we were both wrong to say what we said will help a little.”
S: “Well, I may have been wrong with what I said,” Seasick replied. “But you were right about… what you said about Eydis and Saeros. And… about me running off instead of facing my problems. It’s the truth and it hurts.”
G: Grey couldn’t help but sigh as she remembered her hurtful words regarding Seasick’s two daughters. Then, without so much as thinking about it, she walked over to where Seasick was and stood next to her.
“I should never have said that,” she said. “Both Eydis and Saeros are good kids. Eydis just needs to figure things out I suppose, and Saeros…she…she reacted out of anger. I know she didn’t mean to hurt Sven. And…as for screaming and running off, it’s like you said. You always come through for those you love. If you always screamed and ran off, you would’ve left the Rebellion long before Ragnorak. I…I really am sorry, Seasick.”
S: Seasick was silent for a moment, staring into the burning fire. “It’s stupid that our argument is getting in the way of our friendship. we were just trying to protect our children. Instead… we should have left it to them to solve. But we got involved and like them, our emotions got the best of us.”
Turning towards Grey, Seasick took Grey’s hand in her own. “It would be stupid of us to let this little argument ruin several years of friendship. Through thick and thin, you’ve always been there for me, and I’d like that to continue… I’m sorry Grey.”
G: Grey only squeezed Seasick’s hand just a little tighter as she finally got the courage to look at her friend…her best friend. She was right. They were both just being mothers looking out for their children, and unfortunately, they ended up hurting each other in the process. There was no reason why they should let one argument destroy almost 30 years of friendship. After what seemed like an eternity, she mustered up a small smile as best as she could.
“I know you are,” she said, “and I’m sorry, too…again.” She chuckled. “You’ve been there for me more times than I can count. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have you to support me anymore.”
S: Seasick looked at Grey and smiled. “So… we’ve apologized… now what?”
G: “We…we could hug?” Grey suggested innocently shrugging.
S: “Right, yeah… that sounds good.” Seasick replied awkwardly. Quickly she embraced Grey and stayed in her arms for a long time.
G: Grey gratefully returned the gesture hugging Seasick as tightly as she could without suffocating her. It was awkward at first, but that quickly changed when the Chief buried her face in Seasick’s shoulder. It felt great…almost as if a huge burden was being lifted off their shoulders. She now hoped that their friendship would be stronger than ever now.
“I really missed you,” she said.
S: “Really? You missed boring ol’ me?” Seasick laughed. “Surely you’ve enjoyed the peace and quiet, a nice change from my constant yelling and screaming and bitching.”
G: Grey couldn’t help but laugh at Seasick’s sarcasm. “I’m not sure if boring is the best way to describe you, my friend,” she said smirking, “especially someone who knows how to make an entrance when saving her friend from a brainwashed dragon. What was that you said? ‘I did NOT leave the ocean for this shit!’”
S: “Hmm, I do seem to be pretty good at entrances…” Seasick laughed. “Well, I’ll try to not swear so much while I’m here… given the circumstances…”
G: The Chief’s face fell as Seasick reminded her where they were–in her mother’s house…her late mother’s house. They were supposed to clean it out today, and the Chief couldn’t help but sigh as she hugged herself again. She took a deep breath trying to keep the tears from falling.
“Right, I-uh…I…I’m sorry,” she quickly said. “I guess…I…forgot for a moment.”
S: “No, it’s my fault. I brought up our argument and took the focus away from your mother.” Seasick said. “So um, well, when do you need to have this place empty by? Because if there’s no rush then we can take it slowly.”
G: “There isn’t,” the Chief replied scratching the back of her neck. “I just can’t stand the idea of our old valuables rotting away in here.”
S: “Right, that makes sense.” Seasick replied, looking around the room. “Well, we should start with the little things and work our way up to the big heavy furniture. Unless you have a system in place already.”
G: “No, that’s alright,” Grey said. “I have some small crates here for the little things. When Brandt gets here, we can handle the furniture.”
S: “That sounds like a good plan.” Seasick said. “So um, do you… do you want to talk about… your mother? Or just work in silence?”
G: “No…No…it will help…to-to talk about her,” Grey quickly said smiling at her friend. “Like I said, I can’t stand the quiet.”
S: "Right, right.” Seasick replied. “Um, well, when did she start getting sick?”
G: “It was about a few weeks before Sven and Saeros broke up,” Grey said as she led Seasick into her parents’ old bedroom. “She just stared coughing a lot. There were times where I asked if she was okay, but she just downplayed it.” She thought on all the times where Ingrid smiled and laughed whenever she or anyone else in the family asked if she was alright. “Sometimes, it sounded like she was having a hard time breathing, but she downplayed it too much that I didn’t think too much of it.”
S: “I see… it sounds like she was trying to be strong for you, and to not make you worry.” Seasick said sadly.
G: “Perhaps,” Grey said as she started going through a few drawers in her mother’s nightstand. “Still, though, I just don’t understand why she didn’t say something sooner. I…I don’t know maybe we could’ve found something to help her.”
S: “It’s unfortunate that we’ll never know… but,” Seasick paused and looked at Grey. “It was her choice.”
G: The Chief sighed and nodded. It was her mother’s choice no matter how much she wanted to deny it. “Something tells me she knew that…that she wasn’t going to get better,” she finally said as she pulled out some old clothes. “We always told her that we would help her through this, but she never really…I guess…she didn’t want to bring us down. We looked through those books a million times, and she was never against it. But…she comforted us when we couldn’t find anything useful.”
S: Seasick crossed the room again. “How does that make you feel, truthfully?” She asked simply. “How have you been dealing with the loss?”
G: The Chief sighed. “Honestly, I feel like I failed her,” she replied as she pulled out an old drawing she drew of her and her parents. Tears came to her eyes as she remembered the day she gave it to her mother as a present and the smile on Ingrid’s face when she saw it. “I couldn’t save my father from being killed in battle, and I couldn’t save my mother from a sickness. I was once a rebel who fought in Ragnorak. I was King Haddock’s second-in-command. I’m a Chief and the daughter of a healer, and I couldn’t do anything to help the healer. Now, both my parents are gone because of that.”
S: “Hey now, that’s not true at all!” Seasick said, quickly rushing over to Grey and hugging her. “Those were things that were completely out of your control. No one blames you for them.”
G: Grey hugged her best friend tightly as the tears began to fall down her cheeks. “But I blame myself, Seasick,” she said. “I blame myself. I wanted to keep trying to find the cure she needed, and I let Brandt convince me to let her go. I shouldn’t have done that. I should’ve kept trying.”
S: “You did everything you could, Grey.” Seasick said, stroking her hair. “Even looking for a cure was enough for your mother. I’m sure she was proud that you tried so hard.”
G: Grey let out a shaky sigh as she let Seasick stroke her hair. “I guess,” she said as she stared at the picture on the parchment in her hand while continuing to hug Seasick.
S: “How long do you want me to stay for?” Seasick asked, still holding Grey. “I know it’s important that you have alone time, but you also need someone to help you out. I can stay for a month or two?”
G: “I would love it if you could stay for as long as you can,” Grey said. “We should take some time to catch up. I just don’t want to take you away from your family.”
S: “I think I need a break from my family after all of this.” Seasick replied. “I’ve instructed Havelock to take care of things, so he and Hafdis should be able to handle things like usual… hopefully.”
G: “Well, he has Dagny to help as well,” Grey said. “He’s a good kid. I think he’ll be okay. Thank you, Seasick.”
S: “Hey it’s no problem.” Seasick replied. “I’ll just write a quick letter telling them that I made it safely. I also want to talk about something regarding our argument.”
G: Grey pulled away sniffling as she wiped her eyes. “Actually, I’m glad you said that,” the Chief finally said, “because I wanted to mention something, too, but…you can go first.”
S: “Well, all I wanted to say was that the whole fight was stupid and we shouldn’t have let our anger jeopardize our friendship.” Seasick said. “If we ever have another fight, we should talk it over tea or something.”
G: The Chief chuckled. “Yes, I agree,” she said. “We should’ve sat down and talked about it once we calmed down.”
S: “Definitely.” Seasick said. “So, what was it that you wanted to talk about?”
G: “Well, I didn’t want to admit it at the time,” Grey said, “but you were right about Sven being in the wrong as well. I just want you to know that Brandt and I did take your punishment into account and he won’t go near your daughters, but…after seeing what happened when we let our anger stop us from talking to each other and potentially ruining our friendship, would you be against Sven at least writing to Saeros…to apologize?”
S: Seasick was quiet for a minute. “Well, I suppose that’s alright.” She said. “Um, well, perhaps Sven… perhaps he can be near my daughters, with constant supervision. He can write to Saeros, but I’m not sure she’ll reply.”
G: “Maybe when the situation calls for him to be near them, he can be under supervision,” the Chief said. “Other than that, he won’t be near them, and he will write to Saeros when he’s ready.”
S: “Alright, if that’s what you are okay with.” Seasick replied. “I’m sure those two will work it out. It’ll just take time, that’s all.”
G: Grey smiled at her friend as she took her hands into hers. It was truly amazing how they went from not being able to look at each other to hugging and comforting each other. Friendship was truly a powerful thing!
“Yeah, if we can make up after an argument,” she said, “I’m sure they can, too.”
S: “well, the only difference is that we’re not in love with each other.” Seasick laughed. “That and we’ve been friends for such a long time, while Sven and Saeros haven’t… it’ll be quite a bit harder for them.”
G: “That’s true,” Grey said, “and let’s be honest, if Saeros never wrote to him, they probably wouldn’t have started dating. But…our kids are tough. They’ll find a way through this.”
S: “I certainly hope so.” Seasick said, sighing. “I hate how all of this went down. Saeros was so upset when she came home. She didn’t want to be near anyone for 2 months.”
G: “I could imagine. I was listening in with Brandt and the girls. From what we heard, it wasn’t pretty,” Grey said nodding remembering the awful argument from behind the door. “Sven was just as upset. He refuses to speak or write to Phelma until he can figure this whole thing out.”
S: Seasick sighed again. “Perhaps everyone is being too hard on that girl.” Seasick said. “She really didn’t do anything wrong, but Saeros’s jealously made her out out to be a monster…”
G: “I agree,” Grey said. “Brandt and I had to talk to Dagny and Kari because they were so angry at Phelma. As much as I believe that Sven didn’t handle it as well as he could, she really was being a good friend. I really believe she knew not to cross certain boundaries.”
S: “I hope that the friendship between Phelma and Sven can be mended like ours.” Seasick said. “And maybe one day Saeros can apologize to her as well.”
G: “I think it would be great,” Grey said nodding. “I think they would’ve been good friends. Hopefully, Sven can find a way to be friends with Phelma again.”
S: “We’ll just have to wait and see, and hope it works out for the best.” Seasick said. “This will all be in the distant past soon enough.”
G: “I hope so,” the Chief replied. “But I can tell that our stupid argument is though.”
S: “Yup. Actually… did you tell Brandt and the kids about our fight?” Seasick asked. “They don’t… think differently of me, do they?
G: “Seasick, of course not,” she said wrapping an arm around her shoulder. “I mean I told them we had a fight, but they don’t think differently of you. They all love you, especially the kids. Trust me, you’re still their Aunt Seasick. If anything, not to make you feel guilty, but Sven’s worried about what you think of him now.”
S: “Oh… right…” Seasick said, as she realized that she’d have to see Sven again. “I forgot about the fact that I’ll have to speak to him… Well, I suppose I’ll be honest with him, but I won’t get mad.”
G: The Chief smiled at her friend and nodded. “I think he would appreciate that,” she said.
S: “And you’ll be okay with that?” Seasick asked. “That hardly seems fair. I didn’t let you speak to Saeros, yet you’re letting me speak with Sven.”
G: The Chief thought back on the day she flew over to the Peaceable Country extremely angry at her friend’s daughter…her niece for attacking her son. Seasick told her that Saeros wasn’t around.
“Well, Saeros wasn’t around, right?” Grey asked. “So, it would’ve been impossible to find her.”
S: “Ah, um yeah, about that…” Seasick said awkwardly, looking away. “Saeros was around… she was in the forest behind the house. Close enough that I could have called her over… but I didn’t… Sorry.”
G: The Chief widened her eyes slightly at Seasick. Her friend actually lied to her about where her daughter was. True, she intended on speaking to Seasick anyway, but the fact that she felt the need to lie about where her daughter was. She simply sighed…not because she was angry…but because she understood why Seasick did it. If anyone came to her island angry at something any of her three children at all, she would do what she could to protect them…no matter what they did.
“It’s okay,” Grey said. “I get it. I probably would’ve done the same thing if you flew to Haligan Island looking for Sven. I’m going to lie. It probably wouldn’t have gone very well if I saw her.”
S: “Maybe the next time you come to visit, I’ll let you talk to her. I don’t know if she’ll say anything, since I can’t make her talk, but perhaps she’ll just listen to what you have to say…” Seasick said.
G: “What do you mean ‘make her talk?’” Grey simply asked immediately concerned about her niece.
S: “I mean, I can’t force her to talk to you if she doesn’t want to, that’s all.” Seasick answered. “She’s been very closed off about the subject, and still seems pretty upset whenever it’s brought up, so she might just not talk at all.”
G: The Chief sighed in relief as she placed a hand on her chest. “Oh thank the gods,” she said. “I thought you meant something happened to her. Well, alright, if it helps, I’ll wait till the next time I visit, but…” she stopped when she remembered how angry Furious was with her after the argument, and if Seasick’s dragon thought she was horrible…what about Ellidi and the kids? “there is one more thing. You asked if Brandt and the kids think of you differently. Well…what about your family? Do they think of me differently?”
S: Seasick stopped and thought about the question for a moment. “Well, Ellidi and I have argued about the whole situation a bit. He thinks we just needed to cool off for a bit. Havelock isn’t taking any sides, and the rest of my children don’t really care about any of it really. all they know is that Saeros attacked Sven, and that you and I had an argument. I don’t think anyone hates you…”
G: Grey simply nodded relieved that she wasn’t hated by her friend’s family. “You know if it’s any consolation, Brandt said the same thing about cooling off for a bit,” the Chief said chuckling. “Seems like our lovely husbands were right.”
S: “It seems that way.” Seasick replied. “There’s no real reason to worry. I think if anyone hated you or was mad at you, they would have said something by now.”
G: The Chief smiled. “Well, that’s good to hear,” she said, “and the same goes for my kids. I mean, I know Dagny was angry because it seemed like you blew me off, but she still loves you. I think she was just…reacting to the situation.” She sighed thinking about how she and Havelock tried to keep their relationship together despite the tensions between their families. “Call me crazy, but I think this was really hard on her and Havelock.”
S: “No I agree.” Seasick replied. “Havelock tried his best not to get involved in the mess, and I think that upset Dagny a bit. He didn’t want to talk about it or get involved, but I think Dagny wanted to hear his opinion on the matter.”
G: She nodded yet again. “It’s just who she is,” Grey finally said aloud. “She has to know what people are thing…what the future is like, especially her and Havelock. She was worried that Havelock was going to break things off with her as well.”
S: “I don’t think Havelock would have ever done that.” Seasick said. “He loves her too much. And to break up over something that doesn’t involve them would be silly. They have too strong a bond for that.”
G: “They really do,” Grey said smiling at the memories of Havelock and Dagny playing together as children and writing letters to each other over the years. It was amazing how her daughter and Seasick’s son grew from being friends to lovers over the years. “I can still remember when they snuck off together in the forest when you all came for that playdate. They were so inseparable after that.”
S: "Yeah, I guess that was the first time they became friends…” Seasick said, thinking back to earlier days. “Actually, the topic of marriage… has come up more than once in recent years…”
G: “You’ve been getting that, too?” Grey asked as she looked up from gathering a few more old things from another drawer. “I didn’t realize Havelock was talking so much about it. I only had really been hearing it from Dagny.”
S: “Well, it’s not that he’s ready to ask the question…” Seasick explained. “It’s more the concern of… where Dagny will be living after the marriage. Havelock knows how close she is to her family, and so he’s been thinking maybe he’d move here instead.”
G: Grey widened her eyes at Seasick’s statement and turned to look at her friend. Now that was something Dagny never really brought up the aspect of where she would live once she and Havelock were to get married. Well…she had discussed it with her mother and sister before, but it was during the early days when Dagny and Havelock began dating. The Chief remembered telling her daughter not to worry about it at that point since there was no indication if the relationship was even going to last as long as it did.
“Really?” Grey asked. “Well, Havelock is close with his family as well, wouldn’t he want to stay close to them? I mean not that we wouldn’t love having him here, but I’m just curious.”
S: “That’s what I thought as well.” Seasick said shrugging. “But he brought up a good point. There’s no room for both of them in the house. They’d have to build a new one, or move into one in the nearby village. Not that that’s a problem of course. But, I think Havelock likes the idea of leaving his family, making his own way in the world…”
G: Grey smiled. “Just like Dagny…” she said thoughtfully. Her daughter had voiced quite a few times regarding how she felt like not being the Heir of Haligan Island, unlike her brother had made her feel that there was no place for her. Grey had assured her that she could make her own way in the world because she had a lot to offer, and that was what her daughter always tried to do.
“Well, they would probably need to build a house here as well,” Grey said. “Unless, they get married while this house is still…you know…”
S: “Well, they don’t have to live in this house…” Seasick said. “I mean, this is a few more years down the road… things could change… but it’s something to think about.”
G: “Yeah,” the Chief said nodding as she continued to rummage through one particular drawer of her mother’s nightstand. “It’s just…I’m kind of hoping to keep this house in the family somehow. I just…can’t bring myself to get rid of it or to give it to someone else.”
S: “That’s understandable.” Seasick replied, walking over to Grey. “In the end I suppose it’ll be up to Dagny, and what she ultimately wants. So… what exactly are you looking for?”
G: “Hmm…well, I’m taking anything I can find,” Grey said, “but there were some things my mother always kept in here. She never really let me–Aha! Here you are! I thought I’d never see this again.”
S: “Oh?” Seasick said, leaning over Grey’s shoulder to see what she found. “What’s that?”
G: In the Chief’s hands was a small leather-bound notebook, and from what Grey and Seasick saw, it had definitely seen better days. The book was dusty and worn out, and the pages were yellow on the edges. However, it was pretty easy to figure out what this was…at least for Grey. She remembered all the times she had seen her mother writing in it. Sometimes, her mother let her draw some pictures in it.
“It’s my mother’s old diary,” Grey said excitedly. “She told me that ever since she and my dad sailed to Haligan Island, she’s written in this very book.”
S: “Wow, that’s pretty neat!” Seasick sad excitedly. “Wait… your parents weren’t originally from here?”
G: “Well, no, they were originally from the mainland,” Grey said as she began flipping through the book. “They lived in the same village as Chief Hroar, but the village was attacked by a conquering tribe. My parents, Hroar, my uncle, and the villagers managed to escape. Hroar was just coronated as Chief, so he led them all to this island. And that, my friend, Seasick, is how the Haligan Tribe became an island tribe. Then my parents fell in love, got married, and the rest is history.”
S: “That’s actually pretty cool!” Seasick replied. “I’ve actually never asked you about your history before… or at least, the history of this island. So that’s pretty cool. I assume this diary has more about it?”
G: “Oh, it has a lot more,” Grey said excitedly as she flipped through the pages in the book. “Not only can this help preserve the history of Haligan Island, but I can–” She suddenly stopped when she came to the very end of the book, and as soon as she did, she found an entirely new page in the book. “Huh, that’s weird. This page is blank, and it looks entirely new.”
S: “Maybe your mother planned on writing a new entry but never got the chance to?” Seasick suggested, glancing at the book. “Or maybe she left it blank intentionally. For you. Like a secret hidden message or code.”
G: “Perhaps,” the Chief said as she carefully examined the page. Then with the slip of her fingers, the paper suddenly moved from the crease of the book. The Chief of Haligan Island gently put the book down and removed the page carefully examining it. “It’s not a part of the book. It’s just a folded piece of paper.” Curiosity overwhelmed her as she unfolded the paper, and as soon as she did, she widened her eyes.
S: “What? What is it? What does it say?” Seasick asked anxiously.
G: Grey skimmed the paper, and her eyes widened even more so. “It…it’s a letter to me…from…from my mom,” she finally said to her friend. She gently ran her hand over the ink. This was recently written…clearly before Ingrid died. She adjusted herself so that Seasick could read the letter as well.
My dearest daughter, Grey,
By the time you read this, I have probably joined your father in the afterlife after saying my goodbyes to you. I am sorry that it had to end this way, my dear, but it is the will of the gods. I know you and Brandt had been trying as hard as you could to find a cure for me, and my dear, I can’t thank you enough for doing what you can to help me. Knowing you, my darling, you feel that you failed me.
S: Seasick was silent as she read the letter. Slowly she placed her hand on Grey’s shoulder. “You need a moment?” She asked quietly.
G: “No, I want to finish this,” Grey said as she kept reading the letter. “There’s more.” She continued to read the letter.
But this I promise you, you haven’t. You have NOT failed me, Grey. I love you with all my heart, and I always will! You should not feel like you need to live with the burden of this. You are not a goddess or a demon. You are a human, honey. You cannot defy the will of the gods…at least not all the time given your adventures. Yes, I know about the trial with Midgardsormr. Brandt had told me about your nightmares, and as much as I wished you told me and your father sooner, I know you probably did not want to worry your father and I, which I understand. It was part of the reason why I tried not to make a big deal of when I started falling ill. I hope that you can forgive me…just as I have forgiven you.
“Why do I get the feeling that there is a lesson in here somewhere?” Grey asked rolling her eyes. “Forty-eight years old and my mother still feels the need to give me a lesson from the afterlife…”
S: “Well, at least you can stop beating yourself up over her passing.” Seasick said. “I think she wants you to not feel guilty about what happened, since it wasn’t your fault at all.”
G: You’re probably wondering where I am going with this, but this is the only way I can help you understand what I am about to ask of you. My dear Grey, you have a good, strong, forgiving heart, and as I’ve told you before, you have forgiven so many people in the past, especially those closest to you. Grey…my little Grey, I ask that you make things right with Seasick.
Grey widened her eyes yet again.
S: Seasick let out a small laugh. “Well, she can rest easy, since we’re friends again. Wait, she knew about the fight too? Geez, who didn’t know about it…”
G: The Chief gave her best friend the most deadpan expression she could muster up.
“Says the woman with a husband and ten kids,” she said.
S: “What’s that supposed to mean?” Seasick smirked. “The note say anything else?”
G: “You have 9 people who knew about the family,” she said as she turned back to the letter.
I’ve seen you two together ever since your coronation all those years ago. You two are such great friends, and it would be a shame to see you two ruin a long-term friendship over a fight. Please, my dear, make-up with Seasick. Fix things between you two and move on. I could tell that you miss her dearly, and she probably misses you two. My one last request is that you make things right with your best friend…because life is short. You never know what you have until it’s gone. I hope you will take this into consideration, my dear. Though knowing you, I have full confidence that you will make the right decision. I love you, my dear Grey, and I will always be with you…forever. Never forget that.
Grey slowly put down the letter as she rested her head on Seasick’s shoulder.
S: “Mother knows best.” Seasick said simply. The two stood silently for a few minutes, until Seasick spoke. “So, what do you plan on doing with the letter and the diary?”
G: Grey could only hug the two items close to her chest. “Besides all the memories, this is the only thing I have left of her,” she finally said as the tears returned to her eyes. “I’m going to keep these with me…forever,” she said.
S: “That sounds like a good idea.” Seasick said. “Will you show them to your kids? They might be interested in seeing the diary at least.”
G: “Of course,” Grey said looking at her friend smiling. “I want to share everything I can about their grandmother.”
S: Seasick smiled back at Grey. “That’s good! So, are you feeling a bit better about this? I mean, of course you’ll never be 100% anymore, but… did it help?”
G: The Chief of Haligan Island was silent for a brief moment considering the other woman’s question before she smiled. “I think it did,” she finally said. “I mean, like you said, I don’t think I will be 100% better about both my parents now being gone now, but knowing that we’ve finally forgiven each other and that things will eventually get better helps quite a bit. Thank you for coming, Seasick.”
S: “It’s not a problem. I’ll always be there for a friend.” Seasick said. “Things in life are always easier to face when you have a friend by your side. From now on, let’s not face things on our own.”
G: “Agreed,” Grey said smirking at Seasick. “Let’s never be alone again.”
S: “Of course, if we are unable to be there for each other, we should at leas write a letter to them.” Seasick laughed. “Speaking of which, I should go write one to my family to tell them that I made it safely.”
G: “Oh yes, of course! This would actually be a great time to take a break,” Grey said as she and Seasick stood up. “In the meantime, I’ll make us some lunch. I’m sure you’re starving by now.”
S: “That sounds like a plan!” Seasick replied. “I could go for some lunch… I didn’t eat much on the way here because I was so focused on you… a nice warm soup would be lovely!”
G: “Great,” Grey said as they walked into the kitchen. “I can scour through the kitchen and find some spare ingredients.”
S: “Ahh um, well, I hate to be rude…” Seasick said as she started to sniff the air in the kitchen. “but I don’t think we should use or eat anything from this kitchen… it smells a bit funky…It might be best to go back to your house to eat.”
G: The Chief looked at Seasick curiously and sniffed the air in the kitchen herself only to shudder at the stench traveling throughout the house. Her friend was right. There was no doubt that food was rotting in the house, especially when it hadn’t been used in over a month.
“Yeah…you’re right,” she finally said. “Let’s head back to my house. We can come back when we’re done.”
S: “After you,” Seasick said to Grey, gesturing towards the front door. “We can take a break, have some lunch, play catch up with your kids and Brandt, and come back in an hour. There’s no rush, remember?”
G: “That’s true,” Grey said chuckling as she led Seasick out of the house and into the cold weather outside. “We should use the time to our advantage.”