as I'd imagined it would be. Here's how it started...
I open the door. "Hey, Layla." I've startled her.
"Nina." Pushing a strand of hair out of her eyes, she says, "I didn't know if you were up, and I didn't want to wake you. You need your rest."
I close my door and step into the hallway. "I don't think I need any more rest. My shoulder's fine." I circle my arm in the air. "Besides, Dr. Cunningham wouldn't have allowed me to start Cliste Galad if I wasn't healed."
Layla smiles. "Of course she wouldn't. I just... Are you hungry? Breakfast is ready."
"I'm starved. But first, can we talk?"
A momentary flash of apprehension crosses her face, but she says, "Sure."
Suddenly I'm the one feeling uncertain. "It's about, well..." Layla's eyes fill with sympathy. Gah! Maybe I should've thought out exactly what I wanted to say first. As I grasp around in my brain for words, Layla touches my arm.
"I'd imagine you have a lot of questions about your father and me," she says. "If I were you, I know I would. We could go downstairs - he's not here right now. We'll have some tea and chat."
"Uh huh," is the best I can muster. My mind races like a veljet as we go downstairs to the kitchen. Fortunately, when we get there, I've managed to gather a few of my thoughts into some kind of coherence.
Layla pours tea for both of us. Instead of sitting opposite, she chooses the chair next to mine, and any lingering resentments I have slip away like water down the drain.
I don't want to go into details right now... I'm still thinking about everything she said about life, love, and the choices we make. She's amazing.