Someone else had been her first and last friend. Emil therefore was not her friend. What he was… was the last thing she could cling to before he pushed her off into the wild seas. He was her last harbour. He was not safe (that had been Lorene) and he was not protecting her (that had been Alton). He just was.
All her feelings tumbled around her. She drowned.
But she could not die, so she had to resurface again.
“Now that was silly of you.”
(Underneath his comment, the unspoken “are you all right?” that meant she was not. She never would be and he was the only one to ever truly understand that.)
He made her yank out weeds. Coleen only did as much as he made her, hating the feeling. These gloves didn’t fit her hands well. If Emil wanted her to do more of this she would have to make better ones. Or come up with another way to not be roped into this. She should not have to weed the backyard. She could care less how the place looked.
“Aren’t you going?” she asked. Emil stared at her and she continued. “Might as well enjoy the free food. They might have real chocolates.”
That caused him to react. “Are you trying to get rid of me?”
It was the first anniversary of her death. Coleen might have forgotten, but their new neighboring town had a celebration about it. Down with the corrupt king and praise to the Faith who had saved them all.
“Could you just see their faces if you went down and joined the festivities?” Emil asked as he took another piece of chocolate Coleen had made off of the plate. He ate it very slowly, likely by forcing himself. If there was one thing Coleen had managed to uphold in this new household it was the rule of no buying chocolates.
He probably ate some while he was out, but there was only so much that Coleen could do. Emil had not started up a new garden yet. Maybe next time they moved she would remind him about greenhouses and they could find a place with one where he could work in it all year long.
Coleen pushed Emil’s feet off of her. “Would be a waste of a death.”
Emil didn’t really suggest he go. He just said what he wanted, as he usually did. He really needed to figure out how to be more tactful to live as a mortal. Some people wouldn’t like him talking to them like that.
“Yes, because after something as public as your death, the first thing they will think is that it is the real King Cole.”
It would not be the first time someone called her a demon.
They ended up moving when someone came by to see Emil while Coleen was out with him in the garden. Not by her choice. The woman had not recognized her, but that did not matter.
She would not give anyone the opportunity to.
Coleen was content with feeling empty.
This was the feeling of fulfillment. She accomplished what she had set out to do. Of course she had not died, but that would have been too good for her. This way she got to see her world realized and her name smeared as far as she had been able to defile it. She would hear word of Ami through Emil’s lips and she would just live.
Not that she had a choice.
The numbness crept from her heart and into her limbs. Maybe she would never be able to do anything more active, she had never been good at that in the first place. Different than her will pushing her onward. She did not need a strong will. She could keep moving on because she could not feel.
Someone had once asked if she felt anything. Now she could truthfully say she did not.
Whoever had asked would never known. Coleen didn’t remember who had asked.