Mistakes and Returns | Chapter 13

Sethe walked into the tent that night, thinking about all that had happened. Octavia watched Sethe walk in.
“Sethe, are you alright?”
Sethe kind of smiled. “I’m… not sure.”
Octavia wanted to tease Sethe about Bardo, but wasn’t all that sure that Sethe was in a teasing mood.
“What happened?” Octavia asked.
“Well… where to start? Bardo was bringing back logs to the camp so I decided to help him -”
Octavia smirked.
Sethe blushed but continued. “-but I suppose that I grabbed too many from his arms,”
“Oh, trying to impress him I see.” Octavia smirked wider.
Sethe was all red at this point. “OCTAVIA STOP!”
Octavia laughed. “Ok, ok, go on.”
Sethe inhaled and exhaled. “Well, then, I began kind of…”
Octavia’s eyes widened.
“…began telling him…”
Octavia’s eyes widened more.
“…how I was so sorry about Zeno’s death.”
And unwidened.
“WHAT WERE YOU EXPECTING ME TO SAY?” Sethe shrieked as she saw Octavia’s eyes widen and unwiden.
Octavia shrugged her shoulders, but then grew serious. “What did he say?”
“Well… after I said that, I began crying a little, and then I couldn’t really see where I was going… so I tripped.”
Octavia winced at the thought of being a teenage girl tripping in front of her cru – or whatever Bardo was to Sethe.
“After tripping, I think I just kind of lost control of what I was doing or what I was feeling. He… um…” Sethe began blushing.
Octavia’s mouth widened.
“…put out his arms to help me get up… but…”
Octavia’s mouth widened more.
Octavia’s jaw dropped. “Wow! At least wait for the first kiss for your wedding!”
Sethe’s face had discovered a new shade of red. It was redder than it had ever been. “L-like you and Josiah waited for your first kiss at your wedding!”
Octavia thought about that one for a moment. “You’re right… we didn’t. Wow, I should chastise Josiah about that sometime.”
“A-anyways, he kind of, umm, put his arms around me… and we just kind of kneeled there for a while.”
Octavia had run out of new surprised expressions to use. “You’ve got to get him converted soon.”
Sethe’s blush hadn’t faded, but had gotten redder. “Well then my head cleared up, and I realized, I have my face in Bardo’s chest. What am I doing? Well, after that, we talked a little bit, and he seemed really awkward. I don’t think he forgives me. He probably hates me for what I did.”
“Sethe, Bardo clearly does not dislike you.”
“I… don’t know, I think he feels uncomfortable around me.”
“Maybe he has a crush on you?”
“Octavia! I’m trying to be serious!”
“Sorry, sorry, continue.”
“He began saying something about how I could learn how to sail well… I’m not sure why he said that exactly, but I didn’t really question it. Then he said that I’m the only woman he’s ever been able to stand.”
“Wow, who knew that your love of sailing could actually get you a husband!”
Sethe chose to ignore the last comment.
“Then, I asked him if he had a wife.”
“Wait… Sethe, what on earth was your conversation with him? You apologized about Zeno, then he said you could be good at sailing. Then there was something about how you are the only woman he could stand. Then you asked him if he had a wife? What?”
Sethe smiled and blushed. “I just think we were both so awkward that we… jumped around subjects?”
“Clearly you two were awkward… but this isn’t going to satisfy you, is it? You will need him to look you in the eye, with tears in his eyes, pour out something deep, and then forgive you. Most likely there will be a hug because you two can’t keep your hands to yourselves.”
Sethe realized that Octavia was right. Sethe wouldn’t be satisfied unless Bardo let out some emotion and let out his frustration, and then forgive her. If he tried to act like the bigger person, it would only guilt her more.
“Well, I suppose…”
Octavia giggled.
“NOT THE LAST PART!” Sethe blushed. “But he said he wasn’t married…”
“You hug him and then ask him if he’s married?”
Sethe finally stopped blushing and laughed. “You know, I would tell you more if you wouldn’t tease me so much.”
“Tell me.” Octavia said with her serious face.
“…” Sethe stared. “Can’t I make you submit for once?”
“No.” Octavia said, still intense.
Sethe frowned. “Alright, well I’ll tell you what I feel about Bardo… I feel confused. I don’t have an actual crush on him… honestly, for now, I only think I’m attracted to him. But, there are so many things I don’t know about him. I don’t know if he’s interested in believing in God. I know that people who don’t believe in God are not inherently bad, most are not even sure who the real God is. And I don’t know him well enough to know if he’s really a good man or a bad one. I can’t get my feelings caught up in his looks and his looks only.”
“And the fact the he is a captain of a boat.”
“Octavia, I’m just confused as to what I want anymore.” Sethe sat down, in contemplation. “Do I want to settle down with a man? Am I just attracted physically to Bardo? And, should I even try to see the world? Is that what God wants for me? Or does He want me to be satisfied as a wife with children?”
Octavia smiled. “I think that God wants you to follow Him. He wants you to see the truth. Why would that involve giving up a dream to see the world? To see His creation? Perhaps someday you will find someone who will make you want to give up that dream, but if no one does, don’t feel pressured to make you parents grandparents. Marry when you feel ready, not when you feel your parents want you to.”
~ ~ ~
“Hi Adrian!” Eliana smiled, but then turned into a worried face as she saw Adrian on the bed, a few tears peering out of his eyes. “Adrian!” She walked towards the bed and sat on it. She gently stroked his hair, trying to get him to calm down. Adrian sat up slowly.
“What’s wrong?” Eliana asked. Adrian looked up at her, and wiped his tears. “My father… he’s dying.”
Eliana gasped. She didn’t know what to say, so she just put her arms around Adrian. Adrian rested his head on her shoulder and began crying more.
It’s weird… having a senator, a somewhat powerful man in Rome, crying on your shoulder…

They didn’t speak. There was nothing to say. She just continued to stroke his hair and comfort him.
` ` ` ` ` `
GUYS I FEEL LIKE CRYING AFTER WRITING THE LAST PART. It’s so touching but at the same time Adrian… oh well. Anyways, there has been a little bit of an issue, which is why this chapter is more talking about the last one. I umm… accidentally deleted my plot summary for this book. I know. Amazing. I can’t even believe I did that. I tried to recover it but it wouldn’t work! Yay! So, I’m going to try to rewrite it, but now I’m worried I might have forgotten a detail or something.
Hope everyone enjoyed!

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Mistakes and Returns | Chapter 13

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