Wesley is Marabella’s nearest and dearest.
Author: Thanks for coming today. How long have you known Marabella?
Wesley: I’ve known Belle all her life. The first time I saw her she was just a tiny baby, all pink and fussy. I was only five, but I remember thinking she was perfect.
Author: You grew up together. Can you tell me what that was like?
Wesley: I saw her from time to time at Ma Nan’s when she was a nubbin. We became friends when she got a little older. We both like to read and we were both kind of different. I was bullied some. She didn’t judge me for being odd or for not talking. Belle would prattle on all day if I’d just nod once in a while. Turns out, she was easy to talk with. We were inseparable until Mara was killed. Then Belle began to train a lot more, spend time alone.
Author: Looking at you now, it’s hard to believe that you were ever bullied.
Wesley: I was small for my age until I turned about seventeen. That, being bookish, driving the goat cart, all made me a target. It didn’t help that I wasn’t interested in fighting back. I know that the boys who taunted me thought I was afraid but I just didn’t see the point of fighting. Belle was the scrapper. All they need do was look in her direction. She had a few scraps. Once she started training, she never lost. After a few boys ended up in the dirt, they left her alone.
Author: What do you think about the unrest in Common Valley?
Wesley: I believe that Master Koros has some agenda that has yet to be revealed. Demalions have been in Common Valley for so long; why now? People should ask themselves when they began to have problems with Demalions. Not until someone told them that Demalions were the cause of their problems. It isn’t something Demalions did. It’s insanity. And now there are soldiers. It’s getting dangerous to travel. Belle is on the road and I don’t know how to protect her.
Author: Do you realize that you’ve mentioned Marabella in your answer to every question I’ve asked?
Author: What do you miss most about her?
Wesley: I miss her. All of her; even her moods. I miss the way her hair escapes in curls around her face when she tries to tie it back. I miss sitting beside her for half the day, reading without saying a word and then spending the rest of the day talking about what we’d read. Sorry to wax nostalgic.
Author: That’s quite all right. I guess that’s enough. Thanks.