The truth was that Ana didn’t really know how long she had spent in the coma. She knew she had been in one because she had been told so, but nobody had told her the exact period of time; that is, no one that was still around to tell her. She had asked but nobody wanted to tell her either because they had all but given her up for dead so long ago that time had just got lost along the way, or maybe it was that they didn’t want to tell her and cause her more immediate emotional distress. The question was dodged or answered with a question or diversion every time and it hadn’t taken long for Ana to give up asking entirely. They’d tell her when they thought she was ready to know, she supposed, and the truth was, she didn’t care much just then, she was still too tired and all of the little energy she did have was spent on a daily basis trying to get her bearings again. Either way, she had two eyes of her own and she could see that it had been a long time.
She looked visibly older. She couldn’t judge how much exactly and wouldn’t want to guess; it could have been years or decades even. There were definitely a few fine lines on her face that hadn’t been there the last time she faced herself in a mirror and at least a handful of grey hairs peppered through her hair. Her face, once full and healthy was now gaunt and drawn, the dark circles under her eyes showing just how worn down she had become and perhaps how close to death also. But she was here, alive, if not feeling incredibly lost and out of touch with everything, including herself.
What troubled Anaveya Blackcrest the most was the distinct lack of recollection of what had occurred before she had fallen into the long deep sleep. What also troubled her was that she did recall who was missing now she was awake again. Her sister was conspicuously absent and Kaeth, too. Where was her family, she wondered as she absentmindedly ran her hand across her belly which bore a curious cross shaped scar that had also not been there before. Where had her life gone? Where was …
“Ssh, Mommy, don’t think about it now. I’m still here.”
Ana startled at the sound of the little girls voice, a little hoarse and quiet as it had always been, and she felt an odd mixture of both comfort and uneasiness as she looked down at the eyeless girl in the faded blue dress as she pressed her pallid face against the woman’s side and wrapped her arms around her middle. Reluctantly almost, she reached down and stroked the child’s hair once or twice and Eyla tilted her head up to her and smiled, an insidious sort of smile, the one that Ana instantly remembered that almost always came before the child had a brilliant yet terrible idea that she was about to put into action, or draw her mother into.
“I know where Daddy went. He’s in trouble, Mommy, and we’re going to find him.”