Anyone who witnessed Azuel marching down the road would have assumed him to be heading to a funeral. He reflected that there was no shortage of those as of late. He had attended no less than four personally. Two of them had been unknown to him, but he had felt obligated to be there. He couldn’t quite place his finger on why, but ever since his grandfather’s funeral, he had wanted to be there for the world.
No, he reflected, not the world. I want to be there for Marn.
Maalik had insisted that they worry about more important things than Khayyam’s arrangements. His sister claimed that their father had been acting strangely after the bombings, but besides delaying Khayyam’s funeral, Azuel didn’t see anything besides Maalik’s usual impassive self. Frankly, even ignoring the funeral seemed entirely in keeping with what he knew of his father. After a painful wait, the funeral had come and gone as inevitably as the tide.
His lips tightened at the thought. He rolled his arms to shuffle his coat and worm his hands further into his pocket, turning his mind to a safer topic. He was still volunteering at the hospital, despite the fact that the worst had long past. The thought of returning home to meet his father’s cold stare filled him with a dread beyond his capacity to describe. Latifa insisted he was brooding, and he couldn’t really refute the argument.
Azuel kicked a small rock on the side of the road, his features twisting into an ever greater frown. He had arrived. Azuel paced around the house three times before he finally approached the front door. He knocked three times, and each knock was accompanied by a prayer, beseeching Teonidus to send Ivone out on some manner of business. This couldn't possibly be worse than father.