I sat outside alone, just thinking and listening to the sounds of the night, when I heard footsteps behind me. I turned and saw the gentle face of a young woman. She stood timidly with a mug her hands. She was dress in a brown turtleneck sweater, jeans, and fur boots; a bit warm a summer’s night, but I knew it didn’t bother her. Her shoulder length brown curly hair was pulled back in a clip.
“Oh, hello Cassie!” I said with a smile.
She smiled back. “I hope I’m not disturbing you.”
“No, not at all! Please, sit.” I gestured for her to do so.
She took with porch chair next to me. “Oh! This is for you.” She said as she handed me the warm cup.
“Hot chocolate?” I asked.
She smiled again. “Yes. I was told you liked it.”
“Thank you, that’s very thoughtfully!”
I put the cup to my lips, and took a slip, but it burnt my tongue, so I pulled the cup away. “Ah! Too hot!”
“Oh!” She frowned. “I’m so, so sorry!”
I smiled. “It’s ok. I’ll just wait for it to cool.” I set the mug on the little table next to me. Cassinova stared at it.
“Is something wrong?” I asked.
She looked away from the cup, but did not meet my eye. “No.”
I slid off my chair and knelt next to her. “Cassie, you can tell me anything, you know that, right? I’m a very good listener.”
She looked at me, and smiled a sad smile. I could see the plea in her eyes. Something told me, I already knew what she was worried about, but I wanted her to say it.
“What is it, Cass? What’s wrong?”
“Damian,” she muttered. I had thought as much, that boy seemed to consume her thoughts of late.
I smiled the best I could. “You can’t blame yourself.”
“But I can, because it’s my fault!” she cried.
“That was years and years ago, centuries even. He’s had plenty of time to make his own decisions. You cannot be blamed for the path he is on now.”
“But what if he never gets better?”
“He will, I can promise you that.” I smiled. “And if he didn’t, then that’s his choice.”
She shook her head. “Still there has to something I could do or could have done. I’m his sister, his older sister. I’m the only family he has left. There should be something I can do.”
“Sometimes, there is. And sometimes, all you can do is be there for him when he needs you.”
“But waiting is so…difficult.” She pouted.
I smiled. “I know, but you can do it.”
She sighed. “Alright. You really think he’ll get better?”
“I know he will. In fact, he’s already half way there.”
She smiled. “Thanks!”
I smiled back. “What are friends for?”