“I am very happy to have you back in my life.”
He was back. Not as what he has been to me before, but as … a friend? He re-entered my life as the friend who is always there, always listening, always having reasonable, well-researched advice. Knowing he was there calmed me down, in more ways then once. He brought me back to the ground when I was making a fuss about things. And his presence somehow made me think less about impressing other people, suppressing my attempts to deliberately make people like me to, giving me back the old confidence that if I only continue being nice and interested in people they will like me in return anyway. I think I secretly loved the idea of him still loving me, though it also scared me. I did not want him to get his hopes up. Often did I ponder about that if I could only introduce him to a nice girlfriend, preferably a friend of mine, everything would be perfect.
When my daughter became more independent, sleeping in her own bed, switching to baby food and could spend and hour or two just playing with her toys or looking at her books – she is such a smart, good girl! <3 – I slowly started having a life of my own again.
The Witcher and I met on several occasions in the capital. I always organized some more people to be with us. First of all I didn’t want him to feel like we were having a date. Secondly I really did have other friends in the capital who I’d like to spend time with as well.
In October my group leader unexpectedly quit his work for the institute. I was crestfallen and burst into tears when he told me. Our conversation was barely over when I was called by the White Queen. I had always admired her, holding posts at three major research institution at the capital, working in the same field as I did, having a significant impact. She said that I need not worry for she would take care of me from now on. That’s how I started to work for her. I sometimes miss having a leader or supervisor here with me, her being 300 miles away, but we often call each other and I also enjoy the new freedom and responsibilities. She is strict but fair and full of ideas for new experiments. I think I remind her a little bit of her teenage daughter.
On a sunny day in late October I was working at the capital in the labs of a clinic I knew the Witcher often did analysis for. The White Queen had other things to do after our experiment, so I called him to have lunch with me. For the first time in over a year we had some time for the two of us.
I few weeks later I asked him once again if a friend of mine could acompany us. He replied that he would rather have me to himself. We met for lunch close to the institute, talked about books and films and whatever. I enjoyed our time together, but my visits to the capital were limited and so I told him that in the future I would have other friends to visit as well, but he was welcome to join us of course. He replied that I did not need to spend every minute with him. So in late November I went with my friends to an early Christmas fair and impishly sent him pictures of street views from my way there. When he had found out where I had been I was already gone.