"Where are you?" Mr. and Mrs. Rosewater had asked, nearly in sync, and Glory could just hear the anxiety in both of their voices as they waited for a response. She could picture them clearly, huddling over the phone with those worried expressions on their faces, sitting on that floral couch that she had gone shopping with them to buy only a few years ago. It was unfair, what she had done to them, but she'd had no other choice.
"I'm in Maine," she admitted after a long pause, her voice as soft as a whisper. If she had a real heart she was sure it would be beating rapidly in her chest, but instead her artificial one beat steadily, reminding her of why she'd fled in the first place. "—I'm sorry."
It was a long time before her parents spoke, her dad paving the way. "It's okay, kiddo," he replied softly, and Glory couldn't help but laugh. It was a weak laugh but she hadn't laughed in so long, and it felt almost good…warm. It was so her father to try to make her feel better when she had a) killed her husband and b) bolted from his funeral without any word as to where she was going, but it was the nickname that really killed her. Glory Rosewater hadn't been a "kid" for a long time—heck, she was legitimately a widow now—and even if her marital status wasn't depressing enough, her heart was broken and that was not a cross any kid should be allowed to bear.
"It isn't," Glory admitted to fill the absence of a response by her mother. Her parents had always been so supportive of her choices and her dreams. They had been so close when she was growing up, to the point where she had told them everything that went on in her personal life, even the embarrassing bits, so it had been a shock to all of them when she had snuck out her husband's own funeral without as much of a text message. "I—I don't know what came over me. Just, the guilt, it was overwhelming, and—and I had to get away."
It was her father again. Glory didn't stop.
"I drove all through the night. I needed to get to Maine before it was too late. I couldn't be too late. You told me never to talk on the phone while I was in the car."
It was an excuse. Glory couldn't have brought herself to call her parents if they had been the last three people in the world.
"What were you—?" her dad began to ask, but before Glory could open her lips it was her mother that answered.
"The torches of the recently departed." Her mother's voice was quiet but Glory knew that she understood. Her mother understood why she'd done what she did. That she had to say goodbye and "I'm sorry," and that she wasn't the person that her family used to know. She was Glory Rosewater but she wasn't "kiddo" anymore. She had a new heart, one that couldn't do a thing for her other than pump love, and that extended past her romantic endeavors. She couldn't love her parents like they deserved, and now that they knew, it was possible that they couldn't love her either.
"I don't think he was in there." Regret colored her voice. What if she had counted her days wrong? What if she wasn't in a good place yet?
"Wes heard you, honey. He knows you loved him." Her mother.
"I called up for him but—"
"He knows you loved him." It was both of her parents who spoke this time, perfectly in sync she noted. Glory remembered when she and Wesley were able to do that at one point. She wondered where they had gone wrong.
"But East—" Glory stopped, not really knowing what she planned to say next. Her mind was so scrambled from lack of sleep. Her mind was so scrambled by Easton's kiss.
Her mind was so scrambled by Easton's kiss.
"I'm sorry, I have to go." Glory crawled out of her tent, her phone barely in her hand as she clicked "end." She needed to get her heart back. Broken or not it was her heart.