CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED AND NINETY-SEVEN
“By the time we were sixteen, we were so old and tired that…” Heather sighed. “It was a really different world. Sixteen was an adult. But now, kids go to school. They have a chance to grow up. It’s a mark of the growth of human civilization that most countries have ended this kind of child labor, that kind of extreme poverty.”
Nash had so many questions, but he knew that Heather was saying something he should listen to. He also knew that this friend of his Sandy would listen to all of his questions when the time was right. He held his tongue.
“None of this has anything to do with you,” Heather said. “You’re sixteen now. You’re in this relationship that’s uncomfortable and raises a lot of eyebrows. You want to take care of yourself, grow up right, and also move forward with great speed.”
“These things — having people judge you, being uncomfortable, wanting to be true to yourself, grow up, and move forward — these are the things that can only be resolved through love,” Heather said. “Your love for Nadia will resolved every bit of this. Her love for you will help you and also help her. Love is more powerful than you can even imagine.”
Heather fell silent. Nash waited to see if she would say anything else. Heather sighed.
“My father was retired because of these Black Arrows,” Heather said. “I was assigned the task of researching the Black Arrows. I’ve spend the last year or so looking at each arrow, who it affected, and what was the outcome. The arrows are… almost cruel. They demand more than any person should be asked to do or achieve.”
Heather shook her head ruefully.
“I…” Heather sighed again. “I know that you don’t want to hear this but, from my study of these arrows, my father shot them at souls who needed them. You need this. Your very soul needs to grow in this specific manner. Yes, without the Black Arrow, your soul would slowly and eventually grow into where you would start a relationship with Nadia. This life, next life, another life… You will eventually get there.”
“And if I reject it?” Nash asked. “Push Nadia away? Insist that she get on with her life?”
“Do you want to do any of that?” Heather asked.
“That’s not the point!” Nash said, his frustration rising so high that Buster sat up and licked Nash’s face. Nash pressed his face into the dog. Heather waited until he was calmer.
“Okay, what happens if you push Nadia away?” Heather asked.
“To people who’ve done that,” Nash said.
“Oh, I see, what’s happened to people who’ve done this?” Heather asked. “It is true that not everyone has been successful in their Black Arrow. Some have lived their entire lives longing for the person they didn’t know existed. With the wars, many people left for war rather than have the relationship.”
“What happened to them?” Nash asked, his mouth an inch from his dog’s ear.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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