Chapter 2.9 – Settlers

David and Ciara exchange letters frequently over the fist weeks of her “exile”. He can only imagine what life is like for her, stuck living at school.
Writing letters is no substitute for talking on long walks or hiking together through the woods, and although the tone of their writing may not reflect it, they miss each other terribly. One thing is for certain, their common birthday is still far away. He wonders sometimes whether their young relationship can last that long.
The situation at home has improved, but still is not normal. It makes him angry to see his parents so disengaged and distant. He’s not sure if it is because it reminds him of how far away Ciara is, or whether it is because they are so absorbed in their own pain, they are not aware of his. It is his mother, especially that gets him so frustrated. His dad tries so hard to make amends and prove his devotion …but she usually just looks away and continues her silent-treatment.
And poor Yuki is caught up on the middle of this whole mess. If it weren’t for his baby sister capturing his heart, having to deal with Ciara’s absence would be so much more difficult. He spends a lot of time teaching her to talk, and it eventually pays off.
Bebe also seems to have become attached to the toddler. She gives Yuki every bit of the attention and patience that she gave David when he was the same age. And she thrives as a result of Bebe’s kindness and selflessness.
Reid is also around to help David through the rough parts. Reid hasn’t lost his sense of adventure, and continues on and on about the abandoned mine they found as kids. One afternoon, he comes over with his sister Kacey and a armful of old maps. He sprawls them out over the reading room floor and table. David tries to keep up with Reid, and his genius-technobabble. They all have a good laugh when Kacey ends up being the one to translate for David when she notices he is totally lost.
Reid claims to have discovered the original owners of the mine, who settled in Sunset Valley more than 250 years ago. David finds it kind of weird how Reid has obsessed on the thing. He admits that it does seem pique his interest at times, but not enough to go through the city archives looking for old maps. But the diversion at leasts keeps his mind off of his parents and Ciara, so he plays along.
They spend the morning one Saturday going through the the library’s archives. Reid pulls a stack of books from the manuscripts section while David helps Kacey with a book report for school. With a pile of books on the table, they begin to pour through volumes of old handwritten diaries, letters, and ledgers.
David starts to get very uncomfortable being closed inside for such a long time …especially on a beautiful day when he could be out fishing, swimming, or hiking. Then something catches his eye. He checks again just to be sure he is not imagining things.
In an old diary dated nearly 200 years ago, is an old photograph of some settlers. That, in and of itself, is not terribly interesting …but the thing that causes him to inhale sharply in disbelief is what lies behind the settlers.
It is the old cabin …HIS old cabin.

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