Liz leaned back and stretched her legs out in front of her. She looked up into the sunshine, it was warm on her face. Birds chirped and flew from tree to tree in the park behind her. A butterfly flew along the sidewalk in front of her. Liz tracked it as it bobbed up and down and out of sight.
For no specific reason, she felt content.
Evie sat down on the bench and folded her hands on her lap. “Hello, Liz.”
A narrow smile formed on Liz’s lips. “Hey, Evie.”
“You seem to be in a good mood.”
Evie looked away. “I am happy for you.”
Liz turned to Evie and her smile faded. “What’s going on?”
Evie shrugged and faced forward. “I have much on my mind.”
“You made quick work of the hound, I hear.”
“I did. I’m surprised you didn’t stick around.”
“I would only have been a distraction. I was and am confident in your abilities.”
Evie looked at Liz from the corner of her eye. “Do not be that way. You are special. There are not many who can do what you do.”
“Oh? What is it that I do then?”
“Face the darkness and win.” Evie swept her hand in front of her. “Not go crazy in all of this.”
“I didn’t know that was a big deal.”
“It is a much bigger than you know.”
Liz nodded and looked to the tips of her toes. “Okay.”
“Would you do it again? If you could?”
Liz shrugged. “Sure.”
“It is an important role to play. To provide balance.”
Liz twisted in her seat and leaned an elbow on the arm of the bench. She looked to Evie and waited.
“You might expect a flowery speech, or for me to explain in minute detail the reasons for my decision. If so, I will have to apologize in advance.” Evie pulled at her skirt and smoothed it with her hand. “It is time for me to move on. It has been time for a long while now, but I felt I had to wait until there was someone who could take my place.”
Liz pulled her legs in and straightened her back. “Does that mean you want an answer right now?”
Evie stared, but did not speak.
“Right.” Liz faced forward and ran her hands down the tops of her thighs. “Okay. I’m in.”
“Are you sure?”
Evie lowered her gaze and gripped the edge of the bench. “Thank you.”
“So that’s it then?” Liz said.
“It is,” Evie said.
“I hope it works out for you, whatever comes next.”
“It will, I have no doubt. It will be an interesting journey, finding myself again.”
“Good.” Liz looked up the road in front of them. “Listen, I’m not the best at goodbyes, and I should be going anyway. I need to see Mark.”
Liz and Evie stood together. Evie moved in close and wrapped her arms around Liz’s waist.
Liz smiled and set her arms over Evie’s shoulders. “Bye, Evie.”
Evie stepped back. She attempted a smile. “Goodbye, Liz.”
Image by Kaleigh Kanary