"Home again, home again," were the first words out
of Susan Ivanova's mouth when she walked in the door. And she meant
them, deep down inside, no matter how wryly they came out.
She had taken leave from the Warlock for three months. To come home and relax in the house she had grown up in. She'd worked through that pain, but not the pain she carried with her everyday on the Warlock.
After Marcus' death, she'd pushed every emotion she'd felt aside. She hadn't felt anything for a few good months now. And no, she didn't know if she was happy about it.
Now that she was home, and with no one around, she wanted to sit down and cry. She wasn't even sitting at the moment the thought occurred to her, but she started crying none the less. I'm alone, she told herself, it's okay to feel something for once.
The computer chimed in with an annoyingly cheerful announcement, "incoming audio/visual from," slight pause for the computer to think, "Lviv, Ukraine Consortium."
"Lviv?" Susan asked, "from Marichka?"
"No," the computer said back happily, "from Margaret Mysnick."
"Marg . . . receive," she said.
The Mysnick's had been family to her since she was 15. Friends of her parents, since they had met almost as long ago. They were family, and family was not something she minded having right now. No, not now.
"Mati, Preveet," she smiled when she saw the 50 year old woman on the screen. Margaret smiled. "Susichka, hello. Marichka told us you were coming home. And not too soon. It was only a matter of time before you broke from all that stress."
"Well," Susan started. Margaret cut her off, "Volodomir, Tamar, come and say hello to Susichka."
Susan laughed as she heard the little girl squeal, "Titka Susichka!" and run to her grandmother. Volodimir came to the screen. "Hello Susan, when will you come to visit us?" he asked.
"Did Marichka tell you I would?" Susan asked.
"Marichka is Marichka. She does not tell us anything."
Tamar was only ten, and not tall enough to be seen on screen. Susan laughed when she started jumping up and down, her waving fingers appearing at the bottom of the screen with every jump. Then she started pawing her grandfather, asking him to pick her up in Ukrainian. Finally, he did. "Titka Susichka!" she cried.
"Preveet Lyoubi," Susan said.
"Titka, what's wrong with your eyes?" she asked.
"Hush," Margaret snapped.
"No, it's okay, Mati," Susan said, realizing her face was wet. She wiped at her cheeks. If there was anyone she could open up to, it was them. She was done with bottling everything up. It cost her one person she loved, that was too many. "I was just thinking how much I'd love to sit down and cry."
"For how long, Susan?" Margaret asked gently. Susan thought for a moment, then shrugged, "until I'm done."
A silence ensued, which Margaret soon broke. "Well, Susichka is a busy woman. Marichka will talk to you soon."
Susan leaned back on her heels and looked at them curiously, "Marichka isn't there? Where is she? And why aren't you with her?" she asked Tamar. Tamar looked at Susan, suddenly very serious. A mature darkness replaced the childish innocence in her eyes. "On a business trip. She's too busy to have to worry about me," she said flatly.
"Yes, of course," Susan smiled, trying to ignore the urge to cower that look gave her. She knew what that meant. It had been awhile since she'd spoken to the Mysnicks, and she remembered something she'd forgotten, Tamar was the youngest child with the oldest soul she knew. Margaret and Volodimir didn't notice when Tamar did this. They weren't that old, but, well, they only noticed what they wanted to. And they wanted to see a sweet innocent little girl in Tamar, not a child who is mature beyond her years and has seen and been through more then Susan had, or probably ever will.
"Das vidanya, I promise I'll come and visit," Susan said to them with a smile. "Do pobachinya," they all said back. The message then ended.
Susan sighed, "wonderful. What would they want with her on Z'Ha'Dum?"
on with the next exciting chapter!