Soul-Dancer (Page 35)

started fiddling with the sand, building an elaborate sandcastle with beautiful spires and terraces.  She finished the beautiful castle in fifteen minutes, using nothing but her bare hands.  Zak was enchanted by it.  “How did you learn how to do that?”  he cried.  Akiko blushed.  “Do you like it?  My father was an architect.  It was just a… trick my father taught me when he took me to the beach when I was really little.  Before he died.  He designed churches and modern palaces.  He travelled all over the world, until–”  she stopped, clearly not wanting to finish her sentence.  Myra looked down, in a gesture of respect for Akiko’s dead father.  Fraya, however, was curious.  “What?  What happened?”  she asked, not taking into account how hard this subject was for Akiko.  Myra nudged her gently, indicating that she was imposing on Akiko’s privacy.  Fraya fell silent, seeing the look on Zak’s face that said, let it go.  This is not the time.  Fraya nodded slowly, finally understanding how insensitive she was being.




Later on, Myra strolled over to Kelly to check on her.  She was lying on a towel and reading, sheltered by a grove of palm trees.  “Hey,” she said quietly, making Kelly jump, “Nice spot you have here.  You’ve been acting strangely lately.  I just want to check if you’re okay.”  Kelly stiffened.  “Is there anything you want to tell me?  Anything at all?”  Myra continued, more softly.  “Well,”  began Kelly, trying to think of a good, believable lie, “Last night I received a call from my mother.  She said my father was diagnosed with lung cancer and had to go to hospital.  Not that my mother or father really cared for me anyway.  He was always a smoker.”  The lie came almost instantly, to Kelly, and was a good way to make Myra feel sympathetic for her, as she knew she had a complicated childhood.  “Oh.”  was all Myra said.  She felt guilty for even asking.  She just wanted Kelly to be happy, but seeing as she had a tough family, that task was nearly impossible.  Her father abused her, her brother beat 

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