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The New Normal

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“She’s not as blue as I expected.”

Raana chuckled quietly and lay back against the couch cushions, stretching out as Ana rocked Azanis in a nearby chair. She watched the pair, her mouth turning downward slightly at the look on her sister’s face as she held her newborn niece.

“Ana I…” Raana paused, searching for the words. She knew how hard this had all been for Ana. But it was so good to have her back. She reached out a hand and placed it on Ana’s knee, squeezing gently. “I missed you.” She was loathe to bring it up, but it was clawing at the back of her mind… and plastered all over Ana’s face as she cooed down at Azanis and nuzzled her tiny, pale blue fingertips. Raana cleared her throat, “So… are you and Ba’raka….?”

Ana looked up, quirking a brow at her sister, “Are Ba’raka and I what?”

Raana shifted, turning over on her side to face her sister. “Are you two gonna try again… for another baby?”

Ana’s face fell and she looked like she had been punched in the gut, so much so that Raana was immediately regretful for even bringing it up. “Ana, I’m sorry… I shouldn’t have asked….” Raana bit her lip, frowning. It was clear that was a question her sister did not want to answer.

Ana cradled Azanis in her arms, tears welling up in her eyes. “I don’t know… I think maybe that ship has sailed.”

Both women fell silent for a long while and the air in the room became thick, stifling even. Then Ana stood and placed Azanis on Raana’s chest. The girl was fast asleep, her long black eyelashes fluttering and her tiny fingers clutching the edge of the blanket in which she was swaddled. Ana leaned down and kissed her sister’s forehead.

“Your daughter is beautiful, you and Tiakos are very blessed,” her voice was quiet, but light. She kissed Azanis, stroking the girl’s cheek with a smile. “Ba’raka and I will babysit, anytime.” Raana gave her a wide grin.

“I’m holding you to that one,” she chuckled and they shared a quiet laugh.

It felt like they both wanted to say more, but neither had the words, so they just sat like that for a moment longer. Sometimes their deepest conversations took place in silence like that, just the sharing of emotions. As Ana stood and turned to go, Raana reached out to grab her hand, tugging her back gently.

“Cin vhetin… clean slate little sister. That’s what you have now…”

Ana nodded. Ba’raka had said as much to her. She may never get back to what she once knew as “normal”, but that was not necessarily a bad thing. She squeezed Raana’s hand with a smile.

“Just have to find a new normal….”

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