Expectations, Providence, and Enquiry
Our route to the bridge was a circuitous one. Lilith led the way, but not before resting for a few hours until her metamorphosis was complete. Her ungainly, awkward shape, she said, would get in the way and hinder our passage. So, we sat quietly together in a small, green glade bounded by wildflowers, overlooking a quiet mossy gully nestled between towering pillars of rock.
It was nice. And despite everything that had gone on before, I felt Lilith and I were becoming friends.
“I find your mind still on Lincoln,” I said. “But your anguish is not there as it was before.”
“Yes. It is true, but it will come again to me, so you must be prepared,” she replied. “It was in that shape the Magus trapped me. It was in this shape that I broke her spell and discovered Lincoln dead.”
We sat for a long time, saying nothing. I was thinking of Lincoln: as a puppy, and of bringing him home, and the kids going crazy over him, and he, phenomenally excited at all the attention and peeing on the living room rug. I smiled at the memory, but at the time remember being furious about it. And after all that had happened, I wondered why. That other me, before the rental, seemed to be as lost and as distant as my dreams of being player in the real-estate industry.
“Shapes trap things, exnzpat,” Lilith said suddenly. “The bulk of my grief for Lincoln remains inside that other me. I am compromised, to be sure, so be careful when that other me returns.”
It sounded like a warning and I took heed, knowing how her mind had compromised mine on our walk down the mountainside.
I sighed and said, “It will take time, Lilith. Grief is not easy, believe me, this last year has been the blackest of blackest nightmares. I would have gladly killed myself to rid myself of it.”
She looked at me. Her perfect human face shining in the light, and I saw why. Her face was wet with tears.
“Oh, exnzpat, you are a dear fool. Death changes nothing.”
I reached up to her and kissed her face.
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