When Leondra went to visit her sister, she had to stop in a town halfway there. The hotel room was small and bare, but warm. Most importantly, it had a phone. Leondra had begun to understand the desire for one of those mobile phones, where she didn’t have to wait for moments like this to get in contact with anyone.
“You going to be here tomorrow?”
Leondra considered the old fashioned curling cord that attached the phone to the cradle. “Probably by noon. The train stops by at eight and takes about that long.”
“Then I guess we’ll start with lunch! It’s been so long, Leo~”
It had been so long. Leondra couldn’t help but smile. “It won’t be much longer.”
With the little they still shared in common, Leondra couldn’t wait to spend the week with her big sister.
Leondra paused, because she didn’t know what this had to do with her sister, other than in keeping her involved with Leondra’s life despite the distance between them. “That… I don’t understand.”
“It’s not that I’m not happy with what I’m doing. It’s just… I didn’t realize you’d be happy doing that. Because of… well, the lack of beast. Is this what you want, sis? I have to know. Is this what you want, or are you doing this because everyone would call the rest of us a hunter without us having to do anything?”
Leondra did not respond.
“You never seemed to mind much. I didn’t think it bothered you, at least, not since you were really little. Please, sis. I need to know that this isn’t because of that.”
Leondra had no idea when the rest of the world had gotten so obsessed with the division between those who were and those who were not. “Not everything is about having the blood of a beast,” she told her sister, meaning every word of it.
It might have inspired her, but she was not reaching for unattainable heights. She was reaching for what she was.
“You’re a hunter now?”
Her sister sounded so surprised. Leondra shifted the phone in her hand. “I’ve told you all about it for months. Why are you surprised now?”
“Well… I don’t know. It’s not that I didn’t think you were serious. I knew you’d keep up with it. I… guess I didn’t realize that it would be what you did. Understand?”
“No.” Because as far as Leondra could glisten, her sister hadn’t believed it of her. What had she said that wouldn’t have made her understand this sooner? “What’s so hard to understand about what I said? I’ve been using the gun for years. Turning into my profession for the last couple. Finally working it out these last several months. Why are you surprised?”
“Because I’m not.”
Leondra started her reps as she did every morning.
The process was one her sister had made her start when she was twelve. At the time, Leondra was simply copying her, because that was what she did back then. It was a phase that took her a few years to escape, but fortunately her sister had several habits during this time which were very good for a young girl to develop.
She would stretch every muscle in the same order. Then she would hit the floor. Push-ups were very important. Keeping the back straight, fists to the floor, full extension of the arm. Her arms were very important, her wrists as well. Leondra couldn’t afford for fatigue there when she was holding a gun still for a long time.
Up, then down, then up again. Leondra kept her mind clear during this time. It was almost too important, to start her day like this when she was at home. A part of her routine.
Kept her close to her sister, so far away.
She moved on from the push-ups and through the rest of the exercises. Then she would call her sister, to remind her to keep up with it.
Apparently her sister had picked up a new habit from where she lived now.
You send a letter on someone’s birthday, even if you barely know them! People get mountains of cards on their birthday, it’s amazing!
Usually she called. There was the occasional gift that was sent. In fact, Leondra was used to cards being involved on birthdays as well. A few, from people she couldn’t see on the day, from those who weren’t sure if they could call, for those who wanted to make sure their packages had instructions.
Her sister had apparently asked everyone she knew to write someone they didn’t know a letter. Leondra rubbed her temple.
She had a lot of reading to do.
“Where are you going?” Leondra asked her sister as the older girl packed her suitcase.
Her sister grinned at her, showing all of those teeth she was ever so proud of. “A place where I can hunt. Predators are meant to hunt.”
Leondra frowned. “You can’t do that here?”
“Not like I will be able to.” Closing her suitcase, they both had to sit on it to shut it completely. Her sister hugging Leondra close to her side. “You’ll have to visit. Bring dad, he’ll love it.”
“You mean have dad bring me, because mom still can’t believe you won’t be around.”
“I’m not dead.” Her sister rolled her eyes. “Leondra, decide what you want and then work for it. If you don’t, you won’t get anywhere but where life washes you up to and that might not be where you want to be.”
“Don’t try to give me life lessons. You’re not too much older than me.”
Leondra’s sister chuckled. “Older enough, kitten. Help me drag this downstairs.”
“If you need help moving this, you aren’t going to get very far away,” Leondra complained.
With a laugh, they both shoved the suitcase down the stairs.