It was her favorite time of year. It had been since she was tiny. The singing and the music and the general good feeling all around. Everything always seemed brighter this time of year. And this made everything feel cleaner, simpler.
So, even in the worst moments, she could always count on the Festivals of Music to come around again and make everything seem not so bad. She was desperately relying on that this year.
As they stepped into the Town Square, Linea paused for a second to close her eyes, inhale a nice deep breath of cool clean air, and listen to the singing voices already being carried down on the wind.
“We’ve already lost her,” Eli teased from somewhere to her right, “Linea’s in daydream irrationally happy mode. Nothing is going to bring her down until Firelight night.”
“What’s so wrong with that?” Linea laughed, opening her eyes and smiling wide.
“It’s an unrealistic view of the world,” Eli countered, “you can’t expect everything to go perfectly for fifty days in a row, it’s just not possible.”
“Well, you can’t expect everything to fail catastrophically every day of your life, but that doesn’t stop you, now does it?” Linea bounced up on her toes and kissed Eli on the forehead.
“You’re unbearably cheery, and I cannot be seen with you,” Eli countered, starting to push through the crowd. Linea looked around and saw that Eli had brought his younger, but not really little anymore, sister Nia with him, but she was opting to stay with Linea rather than push through the crowd with Eli.
“I wish the two of you would just get engaged and get it over with.” Nia sighed, rolling her eyes at her brother’s retreating form.
“Ah, but if either of us actually ask, then it’s admitting defeat,” Linea teased, poking Nia gently on the nose.
“That sentence makes no sense to me, but I’m pretty sure Eli would agree with you and that’s why this is all so ridiculous.” Nia groaned, throwing her hands up in defeat. “Come on, let’s go find Eli before he gets hopelessly lost in the crowd.”
“Relax, Nia,” Linea laughed again, draping an arm around Nia’s shoulders as they headed into the crowd, “It’s the Festival of Music. It’s all going to be okay.”
“Eli’s right. We’ve lost any rational thought from you until Firelight night.” But Nia wrapped an arm around Linea’s waist to keep them from getting separated in the crowd all pushing towards Town Hall. “Try not to annoy him too much with your optimism?”
“I’ll try as long as he tries not to annoy me too much with his pessimism.” Linea countered.
“So, basically the two of you are just going to continue doing whatever you want and there is nothing I can do to stop you?” Nia translated.
“Yep!” But then Linea offered Nia a softer smile and added a more serious tone to her assurance. “We’re okay, Nia. Eli and I. We both know we’re delaying the inevitable. But, we’re okay. I promise.”
Nia cut Linea a glance, that showed her just how nervous Nia was about the strange relationship between her brother and Linea. “Yeah?”
“Yeah. We’re good.”
Nia considered her for a second longer, before looking back to the crowd they were pushing through. “Okay. Let’s go find him.”