Part Thirty-seven of Misplaced Fire
Nesrin returned Jason and Isabelle to their apartment and the trio crashed on the couch to recuperate.
Nesrin had a mug of hot tea, which she held against the bridge of her nose to ease away the pressure. “Next time we go to a parade, we stay till the end regardless of anything.”
Isabelle was holding her journal and a pen. She’d tried to write, but wound up just holding the book and laying back with her eyes closed. “Next time we to a parade I’m driving instead of you teleporting us there.”
Nesrin started to point out that their new play-it-safe attitude wouldn’t last more than a month, but since the thought kind of scared her for the moment she didn’t say anything. She summoned a bottle of whiskey and poured some in her tea before taking a sip. Things didn’t usually feel surreal for her; she was usually the one making things surreal, but now the apartment really did feel surreal to her. Less than an hour ago Isabelle and Jason had been potentially gone forever and Nesrin had felt herself on the verge of joining them, wondering if they’d ever be together in their shared home again, and now here they were suddenly having a quiet, peaceful evening. Nothing about the apartment had changed, but it had acquired a new aura of safety. She knew her immortal cockiness would return as time dulled the memory, but even so….
Jason was checking social media updates on his phone because it felt like a normal thing to do. “Our cousin Charlotte started going by her middle name while were gone. I didn’t know it was Virginia.”
Isabelle opened her eyes just so she could use them to show how little she cared about that. Since her eyes were open, she picked up her own phone and scrolled through the pictures she and Jason had taken while they could shape shift. They’d originally taken about five, then she’d gotten more while they were on the mountain, then she’d used her powers to make more pictures create themselves during dinner at Dinah’s. She majorly owed Jason for those. They felt like having something closer to real of her family. Closer to. Not really real. She’d been thinking of setting up an account on a family history site and doing some research, maybe as a step towards trying to reach out to her madre again. The way she felt looking at those pictures confirmed it was time.
Jason looked up from his phone. He couldn’t ignore the memory of himself reaching to steal Nesrin’s powers out of her hand. He cut her a sheepish look. “Are we good?”
“Yeah, we’re good.” Nesrin wondered how long returning to normal would take. A month? Two at the most? This was January. By mid March they would be back into the motions that characterized their relationships, them wanting adventure and her prepared to take careless risks. She’d try to fight it this time, but eventually a new distraction would present itself and mistakes would be made. She’d lived enough lifetimes to know that was how it worked. And maybe it was for the best. She’d given up wondering.
Jason and Isabelle ruminated on the memory of feeling like a living fire, of wielding a level of power they couldn’t comprehend, and thinking they had forever to use it. Nesrin’s mind roamed back to feeling so cold and fragile and limited; in a word, anxious. She looked at her roommates, they looked at her, each one thinking, “So that’s how you feel.”
None of them wanted to move, even to go to bed, so they didn’t. They finally fell asleep where they were, going back through different versions of what had just happened in their dreams.
Link to previous installments: https://anindeterminatenumberofnights.blog/category/misplaced-fire/