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.
“The roof needs to be repaired,” she told him when Emil finally came out to see what the sound had been.
“Oh. What gave you that impression?”
The knife that pierced through the hard shell that was supposed to be their shelter. That was how the strong took down the weak. Some had forgotten that people wanted the weak to survive. Why else could they then call someone else to get this sort of thing fixed?
“I will have to be elsewhere,” she said. She could not risk everything on a single sight.
“Where should we move to?”
Coleen was not sure how he had come to that conclusion, but did not try to reiterate herself. They did not have to move anywhere. Though perhaps she should. Another place. Somewhere that might not know her face.
But everywhere did. She had made sure of that.
She had gone outside to check the damage to the roof. The tree branch stuck through the shingles above her room. That would have to be fixed before the rains came. Emil would have to call someone about it, which meant Coleen would have to be elsewhere.
Now that was the question. Where could she go during that time? It had not even been a year yet. Who knew how long it would be until her face was forgotten. The hatred when the usurped king was spoken of… at the very least that would last a long time. It was something she was proud of. People would hate her. That was what she had accomplished. She had fixed everything by making them all hate her.
If they had hated other things before, perhaps things would have been much easier.
Or not. Coleen had to be the only thing who could not be forgiven.
Yet there were three people she knew who did not hate her. Or (even for the one who must) they had forgiven her. Forgiven her in some sick, twisted way.
Emil did not hate her. Then again, Emil had never seemed to hate anyone. He was annoyed at times, but that was as close to hate as he could manage. Emil could never hate her. Something Coleen would just have to live with.
Ami did not hate her either. Coleen did not know if she had forgiven her though.
Maybe Emil was the only person who had forgiven her who did not hate her.