February Flashbacks: Days Twelve and Thirteen

“Sruni, can you tell me about a time in your life when the number four was significant to you? And if you’re willing, about what the word fragile conjures for you.”

She frowned, biting her lower lip.

“Four. That’s an odd one. Four what? There are only two seasons here and in my homeland, and I’m not superstitious.”

She sighed.

“I suppose it’s significant that I only have four close friends.” She held up fingers as she ticked them off. “Dani. Aislin. Meria. Tartak. They are the people I trust most beyond my own mother. Aislin made that group four when I met her a year ago. In that way I suppose, it is significant. As I said before, I have very few close friends, but know many people. These are the ones I know I can rely on in a difficult situation, who will always come if I call.”

She tsked her tongue and smoothed a wrinkle from her long wrap skirt.

“Fragile. That is not a word I like. It’s something I’ve worked very hard to avoid. Fragility meant weakness to me growing up. But now.”

She plucked at the smooth fabric, the light shimmering on the heavier worm-weave skirt.

“Now I find myself realizing that fragility has hidden strengths. The ability to show your fragility, to accept and embrace that aspect of myself, has it’s own power.”

A rueful smile crept over her face.

“Those four people I just told you about, and my mother, are the only ones who’ve seen that side of me.”


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