I sat downstairs and cringed as I heard An'ie continuously yell and pound on Dita's bedroom door demanding an answer but it never came. "Give it a rest, An'ie!" I yelled hoping she could hear me over all the noise of her own that she was making. "She probably snuck out the window again. You're making a racket for nothing." The yelling and pounding stopped. I breathed a heavy, thankful sigh.
"She'll have to come back home eventually." An'ie said quietly as she walked down the stairs and into the living room.
"Until then, why not sitting next to me for a while?" I patted the arm rest next to me on the sofa. She dropped her head, sighed, and complied. She hoped onto the arm rest and draped her legs over my lap. She wrapped one arm around the back of my neck and stared at the front door. "Hey," I gently turned her face towards me and looked deep into her sad eyes. "Smile for me, my love. Everything will be fine." I placed a light but meaningful kiss on her lips. Her lips turned upward into a slight smile. "Don't you trust me?"
"Of course. I trust you as my husband, a father, and a leader." She stated matter-of-factly.
"Then trust me with this." I wrapped my arms around her waist tightly. "Everything will be fine. Dita is young and immature but she has time to change. No amount of yelling you do will make things better. Can you please just take a break from Dita and focus on being there for the people of Mars? "
She started to pull back but I did not release my hold around her waist. "What do you mean?" She narrowed her eyes and I could tell she thought I was trying to attack her.
"My sweet, you cannot deny that you have been so preoccupied with Dita that you have not been tending to your responsibilities. I have been going to all of the leader meetings without you. The people in the kingdom have only been coming to me because they cannot find you." She started to open her mouth to protest but I reassuringly rub her lower back and said, "I'm not trying to be harsh, An'ie but I need my other half by my side for last two years of being the high chiefs of this amazing planet."
She sighed and sunk lower onto my lap. When she nuzzled her head on my shoulder I couldn't help but smile and squeeze her tighter. "I'm sorry I haven't been the best wife and high chief lately, Calum. Forgive me?"
I kissed the top of her head and said "There is nothing to forgive, my sweet." We stayed snuggled on the couch for a while and just as An'ie started to drift asleep an hour later a knocked sounded on the front door. "I'll get it."
"No." An'ie got up and patted my shoulder. "I'll get it." She disappeared out of the living room and down the hall. I sighed and smiled. I was so lucky to have a woman like her in my life. An'ie was always open to listening when there was something wrong and she was always willing to change anything to improve herself. She was sensitive to your feelings and needs, she was caring and always looking out for you, and she showed you how much she loved you just by the way she looked at you. She was perfect in my eyes.
"Calum!" An'ie screamed. Her voice trembled and squeaked. Something was wrong.
I jumped up out of my seat and ran down the hall to her. When I reached the her, the front door was open and An'ie was sitting on the floor staring at the wall in front of her. A boy from the kingdom who would bring messages to people was standing nervously at the threshold. "You can go now, Pedat." I told him and watched him run away as I closed the door. I sat down across from An'ie and waiting a few minutes. My mind expected the worse. Something happened to Dita? She fell into one of the deep craters on the dark side of Mars perhaps? I was always telling her it was not safe over there. I took a deep breath and finally asked, "What is it, An'ie?" She didn't respond. She just shook her head and looked confused. "Is it Dita?" I held my breath.
"No. No, it's not Dita. It’s Juno."
Juno was the Grandfather of the Mars. At the age of 20 the males in the Grandfather family line start to develop a power that allows them to hold every piece of knowledge and wisdom. Anyone with a question that they could not answer themselves would go to the Grandfather. The Grandfather, at the age of 25, fully possess an additional sense that we other Martians do not have. They are able to sense when anything strange or wrong is going on around or in our atmosphere. Juno is the Grandfather now and has been for twelve years. Juno will remain the Grandfather until his son has produces a son. The Grandfather role always skips a generation because the male family line live twice as long as any other Martian. Aside from being the wise Grandfather for all of the people of Mars, Juno was also a very good friend of mine. "What is Juno? Did something happen? Did he sense some kind of disturbance?"
An'ie looked me in the eye and her face said it was something far greater. "Calum, Juno has been killed."