opal shore district one female twenty-one (as of the 69th) victor of the 64th hunger games married to potato earnest husband died in the 67th hunger games ky earnest their son nightshade earnest life death pain yay old fc: ingrid nilsen new fc: jessica alba odair
Below is her original Bio, covering everything that happens to her before the 64th Hunger Games.
( A P P E A R A N C E )
Two wide brown eyes peer at you from underneath the shelter of the petals of a sunflower. They seemed dead; no spark of life was evident within their brown mass. Her unwavering stare made you feel self-conscious even though you could see that they were distant and unfocused. And even so they held a certain unwavering confidence that gave you the sense that you stood in her home. These plants that grew around you like a forest, tall and god-damn near perfect were hers. Her lips parted for a brief second and you wait expectantly, waiting for her words to slip from her lips, but nothing does (Words seemed far beyond her). The confusion settles in as she closes her mouth, she acted as if she had spoken, nodding her head ever so slightly before looking, eyes downcast at the ground. You wait, pausing, curious as anyone would, wondering if she was indeed going to say something, but of course she doesn’t.
She doesn’t use gloves as her fingers begin to dig into the sand, clawing at the hard roots, removing stones and rubbish from the soil, before replacing it with a loose and more air-rated soil cover. She moves with an air of carefulness and love that seems to come to her as she looks after the plants. You watch as numerous amounts of dirt hit her, as it is flung at her and it stains her face, her hair and her clothes, but she keeps going, not even to pause and wipe the dirt away. Her long pale fingers are easily stained by brown; it stands out like black on white. Even by looking at her from her bent position you can easily tell that she is tall. Her long legs are tucked underneath her as she digs in the soil. You try to ask her question and even as the word “hello,” escapes your lips and you feel stupid. It was as if the girl couldn’t here you, she didn’t so much as flinch, her thin body diggingdiggingdigging.
A tangled mass of brown hair protects her face, it falls around her in an uncared for pile, knots lace it like a spiders web. It looked as though no one had brushed it for a very long time and you stare at it. You begin to count the knots, the clumps of hair that are so visible, one, two, three, four –she looks up. You flinch as her eyes meet yours, her cherry red lips curling into a small smile (Run, run, run, run, go, go, go, go). She had caught you. However, her eyes do not burn with hate or even surprise, she knew you hadn’t left, she knew you were still there. It was not uncommon for people to stay and stare at her like an animal. She was different. Different attracted attention. The smile broadens, just a touch, as you stare at her stunned. The air warns you to run, you feel it play at your neck, whispering into your ear. For a brief moment her unfocused eyes come together and she stares at you intensely. On legs that seemed to shake you stumble back a few steps, before you catch yourself. Than you turn and run, and you feel her eyes still boring into you.
( P E R S O N A L I T Y )
You look at the girl who sat still, her frame did not move, as rigid as rock as she stares ahead of her. Her eyes do not stray from the tree that stood tall and proud, towering above the house to the left of her and making her seem vulnerable and almost as if she wasn’t really there. And she wasn’t. Her eyes, although open were distant and unfocused. (But then that was normal, her eyes never seemed to be alert and focused) You could tell she was a quiet girl, the silence around her seemed normal, and the gentle hum of the beat of insect’s wings was calming. Just by glancing you could see that any word that left her lips would ripple through the piece like ice and it would be shattered, the serenity destroyed. And so the water that surrounded her was calm and steady, but on the horizon anyone could see that storm that was coming.
Opal Silva Shore was not a girl who liked to be inside; the pressure of four walls, the little space, no fresh air, nothing, it was a trap in there. A place where people could not run and be free. It was also not only her who did not want her in the house. Her parents did not much want her there as well. Her stealing, her consistent taking and grabbing, like a magpie. She would sneak around the house, when she saw something small and shiny, anything that she could pick up, little trinkets, jewellery, anything. She would snatch it, shove it into her pocket and run. She collected them and kept them in her pockets, in her garden, anywhere where no one could follow her and take them back. It was an obsession mad and frantic, to grab them. To her it soon became a competition against herself, grabbing more expensive items. More and more until she had the most expensive trinket her family owned. The actions of a small child stain her, her age seems no barrier for childlike actions. She would always be a child.
Her moods can change like the flip of a hat, like her name the colours of how she feels can vary. She isn’t one for sitting on an emotion for a long time. Her ability to switch from angry to sad within a heartbeat just encourages everyone to see her as mental. However, when the gentle hum of a song plays she cannot resist the urge to move with the drum of the music and sadness, anger and pain seem far beyond her as the rhythm and hum of music takes control. Her blood flows to feel of the beat of the guitar or even the sound of an animal calling, any type of music, no matter how quiet and soft gets her going. To feel the music in her is everything that she wants. Her love of music transformed into gymnastics and in that she became quite a dare devil, risking her life in many of the tricks she performed, but she never did these in a gym. She had to stay outside, she had to do it in the fresh air, where no one could trap her where she could feel the cool breeze brush over her like music, the way it flooded her and took control of her and she moved and flipped, twirled, turned, (Swaying like the flowers) halted, jumped and danced with expertise.
( H I S T O R Y )
I am a career. Everyone in my family is a career. And yet I am so much different.
”You aren’t welcome here.” The voice is laced with unfriendliness and my spine prickles with annoyance at the abrupt and crude statement. In a childish way I pout, my lower lip protruding and my arms defensively crossing over my chest. Stubbornly I eye the boy in front of me. I hated being inside, the walls, seemed to slowly slide closer until they were on top of me, blocking me in, preventing me from moving, they moved closer and closer until the very air I breathed held nothing, but air that I had already used and I couldn’t breathe. The air struggled in and out of my lungs, but it felt like water filling them, I gasped and flailed, gagging for the air that would not come as the walls were dragged forwards (Would anyone save me? I doubted it) until they crushed me. My hands grasp my throat and I blink, I blink rapidly until the walls are normal and until my breathing is no longer laboured, and the darkness that edged my vision begun to recede. For a heartbeat I agree with the boy in front of me.
I was not like them. I wasn’t in anyway similar to these people. They knew how to fight, they loved fighting, and they craved the blood and dreamed of being in the games, the arena where there was no law against killing others. I did not want it, but I still practiced, hardly, though. I trained because of my family, I had to. I needed to. But with a grunt I step away from the boy that blocked my path. His eyes narrowed and a smirk spilt onto his face. I resisted the urge to punch him, the walls were beginning to close in and I was craving the fresh air that was outside, the air that I could breathe and feel in my lungs, pure air. Hastily I back away before turning and fleeing into the cool air outside. My hands scramble onto my mouth, urging the air to come in. The garden that surrounded the building, the training centre was situated just a few feet away and I stared momentarily at the flowers, my mind flying to my own garden. My own plants, my babies. I had to go and care for them.
My family is rather large; I have a large number of brothers and sisters. Although I rarely talk to any of them. From a young age I have felt different and torn from them and I’m positive that my relentless stealing and thieving of their jewellery trinkets and anything I can grasp. Maybe if they knew they would try to hurt me and harm me. It is one of the reasons why I do not sleep in the house, but prefer the shelter of my home, my garden and the plants I raise and care for like my own children. But then that may be wrong. I would never care for a child as much as I care for those plants, no human baby could match their grace and beauty. I don’t believe I am ever going to be truly part of the family that has raised me; I never spend time with them, preferring the insects and plants that take up all my time. Their pride, strength and courage is stronger than anything I have ever seen. Perhaps that is where my career training is coming from. Not from the way most receive it, but from the world around me and the plants that will always keep me fighting.
So I run. I run home and bury myself into the soil where no one can find me.
Below covers everything that occurs in her life after the 64th Hunger Games.
The first time she sees him her breath catches in her throat. It's because he's breathtaking, plants and life and dirt surround him and he's beautiful. She notices that he’s singing, and the way in which each word seems to be directed entirely at the plants before him. It’s like the world around him has stopped existing and he’s there solely for those plants, to create meaning from their life and to let them breath. At the same time for a heartbeat she’s swept away by his voice, it’s soft and gentle and carries a faint accent to it that makes the words he speaks come out differently.
There is love and tenderness and care in his movements as he shoulders the dirt aside and scoops up a plant. He's bent down digging in the soil and she can't help but hold her breath, scared that she might break this moment if she so much as breathes. Before she knows what she is doing she’s skipping forwards, running on her prosthetic leg, which tears at the skin underneath and flings herself down beside him. The first things she says to him her a clutter of compliments, before a long awkward pause where she gasps, her cheeks brightening before trying her best to amend the quick words she had spoken without speaking. As the quick apology of fumbled words follows she looks away, fingers digging into that calming Earth, knowing very well that he’s created such a beautiful home.
No one would ever be able to explain the fuzzy feeling that arose in her chest as he spoke, the way that each of his words sounded like music, so sweet and careful, each chiming with a delicate accent that made her want to smile. Meeting him that day was the highlight of the victory tour and even with ten other districts to cover she’d remember that day from dawn till dusk as the best one she had had since the torment of the arena.
His blissful ignorance of the terrifying world they lived in helped. When he looked at her and spoke to her he didn’t look at a murderer, he didn’t see a girl that had done all those terrible things. For a few hours she could wrap herself in innocence and pretend that she was whoever she wanted to be, that she was this person he thought she was. She didn’t have to be a killer; she could be that small, fragile, innocent girl that had spent every second of every day in her garden growing plants. When he takes her to his strawberries she forgets, for just a moment, that she’s evil. He makes her think that she is something good.
If she knew what love felt like at that point in time she’d have told the entire world that she’d fallen for him. But then, there was no such thing as love at first sight, no such thing as love for someone like her. Yet, she left feeling lighter then air, some part of her knowing that the seeds had been planted on her heart. Why else would she spend the next two years thinking only of him? Innocence was a dangerous thing.
With the end of the 65th Hunger Games disaster struck Panem. A terrible Drought hit district Eleven and Twelve and before she could make sense of the impending doom she was on a train, people from every other district in Panem crowded it. She’d never seen so many people from other districts on one place, not evening the Capitol during the Hunger Games. At first it was disorientating, but then as time past she quickly grew used to seeing unfamiliar faces everywhere she stepped, after all her entire life had become this, seeing people she did not know, meeting people she had no connection to. This was no different then spending chunks of her life in the Capitol where she greeted new faces that were to die, or when she walked around her home town and people waved at her because she was some idol.
As they neared their destination all thoughts were pushed aside as she grew nervous for the coming terror that she was to witness. Almost three years had passed since she had last seen him. And in that time she had only thought of him, she had met Danyel, helped him and watched him disappear and she had only thought of Potato. Now, as his district was being destroyed her heart tightened. Her mind re-traced very single step she had taken on the first day she had meet, him as she had fled the safety of the district square to gain some freedom.
As soon as the train drew to a stop she was slamming her palm into the button, begging for it to release her straight away. As the doors inched opens she forced herself outwards, the calls and cries from the Peacekeeper’s did not stop her. She raced past anyone in her way. She’d learnt how to use her leg properly, she wasn’t that same fumbling, and clumsy girl that had greeted him the first day they had met. Every turn she made was like running through that district on the first day; her breath came out in labouring gasps. But unlike her first visit to district eleven everything was dead.
There was, no longer, life sprouting, and covering every inch of the ground, instead long and treacherous cracks laced the Earth. They split through the sand, dragging down with them every sign of life that had once existed. Even from breathing she could taste death in the air, she could feel the dryness in her lungs, and the way nothing lived nor breathed nor existed. This wasn’t the same, not anymore, no, she had been a fool to think it was the same. This was completely and entirely different. Instead of peace and innocence there was nothing, but torture and pain in this world.
Somehow it had become like the arena. No longer could she think back on those few hours she had found by his side with a gentle fondness. His world had become like her own. She had to find him.
There was a moment, when she had laid her eyes on him where her throat had constricted and her eyes had welled with tears and her heart had torn. There was a moment when she ad felt physical pain overwhelm her as she had looked at him. Never once in her wildest dreams had she ever wanted this kind of thing for him, never had she thought that it would happen to him. She could remember clearly the way his home had looked the first time she had seen him. From the plants, to the sound of his bright voice as he sang to the feel of the soil beneath her fingers. She could remember every moment of it, from the sweet smell in the air to the fresh breeze. Not a trace of it remained.
She held him there, she cried. There was nothing left in him to cry, he was broken. His parents were dead. It was there that she realised that after all those years that she didn’t want to lose this boy. This silly little boy, which had taken up only a fraction of her life had become the centre of it. In those few hours he had become that beacon of hope that had kept her strong, he was a reminder that there was innocence and life in every dark corner of this world. He was the peace in a storm.
There she stayed with him, nursing him to health. There she told him about the secrets of this world who she was and what she had done. There she breaks that last remaining edge of innocence that he had. When it was all over she didn’t want to leave him. She didn’t want to go home. Because home, oddly enough, had lost its meaning. It wasn’t warm and real. It wasn’t like him.
Love, she came to realise, is when you want to spend every moment walking by their side. It's when moments of sadness can be broken by a memory of them. She'd not mind, at all, waking up every morning by him. He made her giddy and happy and feel more alive then anything ever had.
She should have known it was going to happen sooner or later. There were just way too many Shore children for it not to occur, it had happened two times already, right? Why not a third. In all honesty, however, she had never believed it would happen to him. Out of all her siblings why did it have to be the one she actually cared about, the one she actually loved. In the tradition of most Shore’s Argonite volunteered for the position, though. Opal would never be able to understand how anyone could possibly do that. She’ have been silently grateful if anyone had f volunteered for her. There would be blood on her hands; she wouldn’t wake up at night screaming-
No. Not now.
If she hadn’t been reaped and killed and betrayed and killed some more she’d have never met Potato. And meeting him was enough to make all the cruel things in her life seem a little less so. And now the world deemed her ready to suffer once more, aft only having just returned home from seeing the disaster of the drought she was now facing a new disaster. Speaking to him seemed impossible and at first her words were cruel and thoughtless. Somehow they managed to seem as though she were blaming him for his choice, and his impending death. She held little hope that her sweet, kind brother could survive.
As she realised her wrongs she spoke with him, and it was Opal who gave Argonite his token to carry with him into the arena. It was one of the few games were she tried her best to mentor her tributes, an obvious bias towards her brother, the only remaining family member she loved. She thought little of her other sister’s and brothers. Argo was the one that had treated her like another person; he hadn’t bullied her and picked on her for her weird hobbies. He never teased her when she spent days and nights sitting in her garden. He’d accepted Opal for who she was and she’d always love him for that.
Seeing him in that arena destroyed some part of her, it was like watching one of her flowers wilt and die. Crumbling away, only to be picked up and taken away by some strong unknown breeze as it washed over the Earth. His pale dead face haunted her for weeks after, watching as other tributes stabbed him, cut him and make him bleed, they were the only images to fill her mind. It was only thinking about Potato that eased her thoughts. Picturing him and his kind words and the feel of his calloused hand against hers. They were pleasant thoughts that stole some of the pain away, that washed her tears away when she felt like she was going to break.
Between the 66th and 67th Hunger Games she thought of different ways she could use to try and see him. But as time crept on by she couldn’t come up with anything. And then the reaping for the 67th Hunger Games happened and the small ball of peace and calmness she’d been able to build for herself shattered.
When your name is called she runs. For a moment the world seems to holds its breath, it’s as though time slows, as your name falls from the Capitolites lips. It slips out and into the hush of the air and as it sinks into her mind she snaps. One part of her understands straight away, and that is the part that is moulded of lightning and fire and burned in the fiery pits of the arena. That is the part that reacts. The train journey to the Capitol is bitter and sour and there is only silence. She can hardly speak and hardly move. She does not think of the children she has been told to mentor, nor does she care for them. The thought does not even sting her conscious, it’s too riled up and wild and untameable in those moments.
She remembers those moments with perfect clarity. She remembers the way the world around her moved in a blur, the train carrying them on and on, as she internally screamed for it to stop. Going there meant that it was all going to happen, going there meant that the man she had fallen in love with would be there, and when one allows themselves to think of seeing those they love they are filled with elation and happiness. The angel's themselves sing because love and warmth and security and joy are the songs of the living. But as they move closer and closer her sense of joy pales in comparison to the dread that creeps into her veins.
Its hold tightens on her limbs as the train stops and every movement is like running in quick sand. Every stretch and movement of her limbs is like trying to fight once you've been tied down and the straps are only pulling you further and further backwards. Somehow she manages to stumble to the edge of the train, fingers messily clashing with the cool metal of the train as she stumbles down and onto the platform. The others have not arrived yet, but still, as the seconds become minutes and the day turns to night she cannot defeat the beast that rages within her chest, nor calm the storm that burns in her heart.
She's there before anyone else the day you arrive. She's there before even the sun, and she sits with the moon that night, staring at the stars as though they can provide her with some answer to every painful questions that winds itself tighter around her lungs. They're constricting, and she can't speak them so she remains watching silently, pleading with the moon and the night to give her comfort, but their touch is as cold as death and she stays there. Shivering, pulling the clothes she had arrived with tighter around her thin body she continues to wait, the gentle caress of deaths cold touch sending a familiar ache to her body as she remembers it from her own games and she shivers. She needed your warmth that night, she needed your touches and your love and yet she’d have wished upon every star in that sky, begging with them, to make sure you weren’t there.
She knows she can’t protect you. That’s what breaks her.
When the train arrives she’s there. As soon as your first foot makes an appearance onto that ramp she’s off, with a flurry of clothes, she’s there, arms wrapped around your lanky figure, hands wound around so tightly she wonders for a moment if she’ll crush. But she doesn’t drop back; instead she buries her head into your chest, drinking in every bit of you, feeling the warmth of your skin against hers and that fresh, clean smell that she always loved.
He’s like spring, stealing every bit of iciness within me, replacing it with a burst of new life. He’s like the fresh smell in the air and the beauty of a new world, where everywhere you look there’s new life growing. He comes crashing into you before you know it, and before you can tell yourself your still cold there he is, all warmth and safety and the promise of life and love. He’s the ending of a year where your hopeful and happy and expectant, but at the same time wistful and wanting and needing. I wonder if he knows how he makes me glow, as though I am nothing but a closed flower, simply waiting for his rays to bring me to life.
Even though you are gone, you’re right there. Even though she’ll never taste your lips again, or feel the warmth of your skin you’re still right there beside her as though you haven’t even left. The morning you disappeared from that room she didn’t realise you were gone until the coldness of the space beside her began to engulf her naked body. Her fingers had stretched outwards; seeking the warmth of your skin, for that one last lingering touch of what would have been the last few seconds of feeling you beside her. She cried that morning. Once the realisation set in she curled herself upwards, dragging the blanket with her. She slipped onto the side of the bed you had been sleeping on, fingers curling around the pillow your head had lain on, face buried into the stale smell of your hair, of your body and every inch of you.
At first there was only silence, the gentle hum of the early morning seemed to fade into the distance as her toes curled and she squeezed tighter, wanting to believe that you were still their by her side and not flying away to some new unknown horror where you would die. Twenty-four children went into that arena and only one came out. The lingering kisses on her skin were of little comfort; the ache that bit into the stump of her missing leg had been stolen the night before by each and every one of your tender kisses. It now returned with raw, cold, anger and strength, as though the hollowness of her rapidly beating heart was not enough for her to suffer.
Her fingers tighten, digging deeply into the soft, expensive fabric. Her knuckles turn as white as the sheets around her and as she forces her head further into the material she takes a deep, staggering breath. It was the kind of breath that swallowed you whole, where your throat caught at the back and you bit down on your tongue because you knew what was about to come next. It came, all at once, the sob seemed to catch at the back of her throat, and seconds behind the tears that had already begun to slip down her cheeks. Last night she hadn’t cried, there had been no need for tears as you had engulfed her in love. Who would have known that the grim reaper had hung beside him, hovering like the night itself as he lay with you?
Perhaps it was because his murky image was swallowed entirely by the feeling of weightlessness that had ascended into that room. Nineteen years of life and no one could have told her or even began to explain what it felt like to be so perfectly aligned and in sync with the person you loved. She’d been the happiest she had ever been in her entire life that day.
The tears fell, washing away anything that remained of the kisses that had been left on her cheeks. She wipes them away as quickly as they come, trying to push them off, wanting the last memory her skin held to be of each and every single touch of the night before.
The world was a cruel and heartless place, and she knew that, she had experienced it more then most. Yet, somehow she was always left gaping at every new horror that awaited her. Somehow she was always left as bruised and battered with each punch to the face that life sent her way. She hadn’t yet learned how to protect herself, or to prevent further injury, she was still as weak, naïve and vulnerable as the day she had stepped into the platform to accept her position as tribute. She wasn’t one to learn from her mistakes, and so she’d suffer through them again and again until she had no heart to spare.
Last night, not only had she lost whatever had remained of her innocence she had become someone entirely new. With a few words she had been able to through away the identity and life that had been forced upon her as a child. For the first time she had been able to have her own family. Years ago she would have laughed at the very thought that a few words could make such a difference, but when each and every single word of that promise contained the weight of her heart and soul there was no denying the power behind it.
(I love you, I love you, I love you).
She whispers your name every night for the first month, as though its some secret chant that will bring you back to her. Since the day you died her nightmares returned, as though every wall of protection and peace had been shattered and destroyed. It was all rubble and no amount of time would mend it. For two months she woke up screaming, heart racing, chest heaving, pulse rapidly beating beneath her skin. Her eyes would widen with terror, before filling with tears as reality sunk in once more. At times she thinks that the nightmares are easier to live through then losing you. She huddles deeper within the folds of the blankets, your name pressed between her lips as she forces the tears back.
Nights were the worst of all, when the coldness of the night crept into her bed she could not stretch herself out to find you, she could not pretend that in some other world you were still fighting and living and breathing. Instead she suffered. She ached for the fire that you sent through her body, the embers that flickered in the pit of her stomach needed your heat; they would be gone, soon. Some whispered that she was being pathetic, that she was too weak-willed to overcome this latest devastation, that her love for the boy from district eleven was little more then pet love. That it was a lie. Not for one second did she let those rumors dig into her mind, although they stirred a flicker of annoyance within her soul she did not bite, because she knew that she loved you, and she knew that you were her everything.
She meets Nightshade Earnest; she meets the girl with that same golden mop of hair and those same deep dark eyes. But hers are so much colder; they don’t have any of the love and the life that yours had. They don’t carry the warmth and light that had surrounded her every time you had glanced at her, instead they shine with a harsh light, and they’re cruel eyes that don’t care for much. But as time passes and she spends more time with Nightshade she notices that it changes, it’s small, almost insignificant but there’s something in those eyes that make her stop feeling entirely lost and a little more like she’s home. That you are still there by her side. She doesn’t want to leave Nightshade by the time she has to head back home. It feels like she’s leaving the last remnants of you behind and she’s not ready to give that up.
Mornings pass, days turn to weeks, weeks to months and when she returns back to her home she finds the house empty, she finds no trace of family or friend, no trace of life or the living. It’s the picture of her world, at that moment in time. There’s nothing there, there’s no one who can comfort her. Her family is not her family, but rather people that kept her sheltered until she did them proud, her siblings were battle partners, set before her as challengers. The only one she liked was dead, the only person she could have ever called a family was also dead.
The pain that had engulfed her after you had died echoed in her veins, you could see it with every movement, the way she hesitated, the way she flinched and shrunk from certain things. It’s as though death itself as crept into her body, biding its time, waiting for her to succumb to it as well. It had her once, within the reach of its claws, but she escaped, slipping from its love, refusing to end it all. But now you can see that she has changed her mind, where once fight shone in her eyes, and gave each of her movements grace and speed and life her skin was ashen and ill, her eyes sunken. It wasn’t until she forcefully remembered what was growing within her that she began to move once more.
Each step towards the future was not one for herself at that point in time, but rather for your child.
It means King, and she reckons it’s a fitting name. Her little prince.
At first she struggles. She struggles through each and every one of the motions. Struggles with staring at the baby and seeing him and calling his name. She struggles with the smallest of things to the toughest. She’d find looking at Ky the toughest part of all. At first his eyes were blue, like any child’s but then as one month and two passed they shifted until they were a deep brown. At first she thought they were hers, but they weren’t and when the realization hit she couldn’t look at him. For in that face there was your nose, your eyes, your hair, they were her lips, but your facial structure. It was you, it wasn’t her, it was you in there, peering at her with those kind brown eyes as she cleaned him, feed him and cared for him. Every part of her ached when she saw him, and every part of her hurt staring at him, you weren’t coming back, there was just this little, fragile baby that she didn’t know how to care for.
Wasn’t this supposed to be a job for two people? Even the thought felt wrong, but you’d never get to hold Ky, you’d never get to touch him and watch him grow by her side. She’d be taking him to school, picking up after him and teaching him all by herself. She’d have to stumble through the lessons you were supposed to be there for. The nightmares still come and in-between a screaming baby and her demons she rarely gets a chance to sleep. The days grow shorter as winter comes and she can’t wait for spring.
Every time she stares at him her gut twists and her lips would tighten and those dead eyes would burn and then as time passed they’d soften and her lips would drop and she would smile. She hadn’t smiled since you’d died. At first she had promised herself to not do it again, the smile had faded with the sun, and sunk with your life, but time healed wounds and Ky was an angel. He giggled and laughed and poked her, and when she was near he would open his arms wide, seeking out her touch. He’d only cry when she cried, he’d only cry when she was scared. His little hands were like a vice, and they clung onto her, and slowly, ever so slowly the walls you had broken began to mend themselves. The nightmares were less frequent and the gaping hole in her heart wasn’t a pulsing wound screaming to be treated.
Nightshade Earnest visited often. She was a welcomed relief. She came to see Nightshade as her family, you were gone, and she had slipped in, she was this pillar of strength that was needed in that house. Even though her strength was slowly returning she was not yet whole again, she was capable of standing on her own two feet once more. But Nightshade was like this mighty breeze that swept under her feet pulling her up every time she stumbled, and pushing her back every time she inched towards the darkness. Ky was that light that shone at the end of a very dark tunnel and with the two of them by her side she wouldn’t be swallowed; she’d make it out alive.
Your name is no longer a gaping wound over her chest, but rather a deep gash drawn together with stitches that has begun to heal. She still cries, because at times the pain comes back and her nightmares aren’t her worst fear once more. It’s losing you, but you’re already gone. So she’ll go and see Ky, and there she will see you, and she will see what she has, and she’ll smile. It’s not the same as it once was, it’s not bright and innocent and brimming with life. It’s sad, it’s real, but there is genuine joy within the folds, if you know where to look.
She’s not so broken anymore.
("Missus Opal Earnest,” he says again and again. ”It has a nice ring to it.” She says and kisses him.)