She tried to open her eyes. The sleep had been one of cement, dragging her down into an abyss of oblivion, and it took a few seconds before fully awakening to focus on what was dream and what was real. Her eyelids were uncooperative, heavy and felt like they had been sealed closed with marble. But when she felt the slight pressure of someone squeezing her left hand, she opened them to see a pair of gentle brown eyes looking down at her.

“What? Where…”

“Hey, sweetie,” the woman’s voice crooned. “You’re home.”

Home? She swept the room with her eyes, but nothing looked familiar. As she propped herself up on one elbow, she remembered her dear friend’s voice and her eyes began to fill with tears. Could it be? Was it really happening now, after all this waiting?

“Do you mean?” The question floated away from her lips.

“Yes,” she answered, “you are home. There’s no going back for you. None, I promise.” She turned toward the door. “They’re coming, the others.”

One by one, they filed in, congratulating her and echoing the promise that she was not leaving.

The brown-eyed friend continued. “It was a long journey, but we made it.”

“No going back for you!” A second voice, belonging to a blonde girl at her right, said. “You’re one of us. You always were, but this is your home now. No worries, no worries…”

The tears of gratitude were quickly spilling down her face, and the two sisters at her sides wiped them away. “You’re home…”


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