He’s come for me now in the summer, when the lake isn’t a vast frozen field, when children laugh and play in the sun and people sit on rocking chairs overlooking the waters, a hand-rolled cigarette hanging from their lips and a carafe of wine beside them.
A Pariah wearing an unadorned alabaster mask has been walking our streets. The mask is a sign of his knowledge and status; it hides the scars I gave him, which are a sign of his accomplishments. I haven’t seen him and his scars in so many years, but now my hopes are fulfilled: he’s come for me. Maybe I’ll see them again.
There’s talk that the Pariah will consume our village in conflagration, heat and dust. But my brother is not extravagant, has always been controlled. I remember his focus and drive, like that of a stalking cat. The village, I think, is safe.
I wait for him here on the pier, under the sun, while my husband is on the waters with our daughter and the nets. It’s my third day of waiting, but the Pariah hasn’t come for me yet.
I hope he comes while my family is away. They shouldn’t have to live with the disappointment of discovering my past.
What will I say to Gabriel when he finds me? Maybe I’ll tell him that I’m sorry. I am sorry, but what does that change? I hope he’ll talk to me in English, talk to me of New York and London and home, all so far away now. Of our old dreams. I hope he’s anger is a cool anger and that he’ll be merciful and quick.