Veth listened attentively as she began to speak of what drove her away from home. Upon hearing the news of her sister’s attempt at taking her own life, his lids widened, brows furrowing in empathetic sadness. And for the general public to shame them with false rumors… It was horrendous, the things people are capable of with voice alone. It must be even worse being a part of a family in such a taboo field of work. But he kept all judgment aside, offering only comfort and empathy in his expression should she look up. After all, he had no room to judge anyone’s dysfunction. His family hadn’t been the shining staple of family values. A hand rose from his lap, hesitated in mid-air for a split second before coming down to rest on her knee. It didn’t have to be more than a friendly offering, a comforting gesture for one in need… right?
He allowed the palm to rest atop her knee for a few moments before reaching to gently ease the notebook from her hands. Upon obtaining the notebook, he readjusted, pivoting his body entirely to face her. His legs crossed, he took to his lap to scribble a response, looking just as he had on the shore when first they met. The pen wrote, and wrote, and wrote, and wrote, with no end in sight. Finally, after several minutes of writing with intermittent thought, he handed her the notebook once more, his words covering nearly an entire page.
“That sounds like a very tough circumstance for the entire family. I trust she is okay now, else I’m sure you wouldn’t be here? And how are you coping? Nearly losing a member of your family so near and dear mustn’t be easy. I imagine in some ways it can be equally as scary as if she had succeeded. But she will recover, I’m sure of it. We are made to love, to lose, and to fall, only to get back up again and start it all over. Those are the facts of life. Sometimes, those falls can hurt worse than others, but in the end, all wounds heal. Your sister’s will heal, and yours will, too, Petra.”
Veth wrung his hands in his lap as she read. For some reason, he had worms wriggling in his stomach, and the closer he studied her, the more they thrashed.
The silence dripped like an ominous noise in the atmosphere. She was looking at her hands, coiling them together in her lap as she took pale fingers and plucked idly at a string or two along the simple robes. She was not certain how he’d take hearing his new friend had such a dysfunctional family, but Petra was the only one who truly came out unscathed between all her siblings, despite her childhood and what she grew up around.
The hand on her knee made her still, her breathing catching in her throat as her gaze snapped to his that lay along the clothed cap. It really was comforting, and she found the warmth of his hand welcoming in the time of her own heartache for her family. Slowly, Petra lifted two large, blue hues to settle on the fel flames of his own, seeing the sincerity there and compassion was enough to make her own lips shift and twitch as a very quiet ‘thank you’ was pushed between her lips.
Huffing a low breath, she moved her hands to allow him to pluck his notepad from her lap and already, she missed the small bit of comfort he’d offered. Certainly, she’d been hugged and adored as the youngest of her siblings. She was forced to grow up quickly and never truly had comfort sort to speak. It was more pity or envy she received, and she had hated it. But Veth offered something else, something she wanted to cling to. The young woman did not have friends- save for her brother Edwin. And of course Susan, but she was always so busy, so… serious. Though she was certainly a confidant to Petra. But with Edwin, Petra was like a magnet to the pirate when he came home to them all, and a hard working recluse otherwise unless in the company of her siblings where she was forced to be something she was not.
The notepad was offered once more and Petra lifted her eyes to settle on Veth’s, locking her gaze with his as he’d now turned to sit fully facing her. He was magnificent to look at, true, but she found herself admiring his personality even more. It was then she reached up for the worded paper and she realized just how much he’d written, taking a moment to fully absorb it. With the extent of how much he wrote and how difficult it was to understand, after what was likely ten or even fifteen minutes to decipher the foreign language, she would stare hard at the light blue lettering.
Fingers came up to stroke along the words, admiring his elegant writing and the glorious accent of the words as she considered it all. Butterflies were fluttering wildly in both her own abdomen and chest, and she felt heat flushing slowly over those pale cheeks. Without asking, she tore the page from his notepad, then she lifted it with both hands to view it closer before slowly folding it… and then reaching for her satchel, she placed it within near his picture and postcard. A keepsake she would use to recollect often.
With the parchment safely tucked away in her bag, she turned to view him, her eyes a bit brighter now as she nodded. “I do believe mine is beginning to mend,” she said with absolution, that flush and wide-eyed look settled onto his complexion. “It is nice to have someone to talk to who speaks with no judgement.” She flushed more, blinking. “Well, writes.” Then she rolled her shoulders, offering a goofy, lopsided smile.