Change is coming....
The grass rustles around my body. The blades tickle my bare arms and legs. Golden rays are shinng on my face, announcing the rising sun.
My eyes flicked open to find my older brother, Raman, standing oveer me.
I rolled over and sat up. He had his bow and over his shoulder was the new quiver I madde him two suns ago out of deer skin. Hunting paint covered his face and bare chest.
"When will you be back?" I asked, standing up.
"Soon," he replied, taking my face in his hands. "Take care of Mother while I'm gone, yeah?"
I smile. "Always."
Raman kissed my forehead. "let the Great Spirit guide you," he whispered, his lips blowing stray hairs out of my face.
I nod in response, and Raman pulled me into a hug. He was only two years older than my fifteen, but it seemed like he was so much older.
"Raman, let's go!"
I turned to see Raman's friend Ashwin, and half the men from the clan waiting to cross the river.
Raman smiled and waved, but I could see the uncertainess in his eyes.
I know he is uncertain of only one thing. What will happen when he returns. I know this because when he gets back he will marry Pari, a small girl from the Anisahoni Clan.
Pari is small, a little shorter than me, but very pretty with long thick hair that she wore in braid down her back. And everyday she had a different flower behind her ear.
"Where's Pari?" I asked Raman, before he could walk away.
"She said good-bye yeaterday. And is prepairing now for when I get back," he still smiles, but I can see the saddness in his eyes. Probably because he'll miss her.
"Be careful," I whisper, "Father says the white men with the guns might be coming soon."
Raman closes his eyes and nods. "Did you hear? The Creek's were just moved. Ashwin's father told me there was nothing left except for the homes, fires, and the bodies of some elders."
My eyes tear up. Everyone knows we're next. My dear friend, Yamka, says she's seen the white men with guns, and she claims they are nothing like the few white men who wander into the village by accident.
She says they bring terror to your heart.
"Hey Lavani, don't cry. We'll be okay. Father won't let them move us." Raman wiped a stray hair from my cheek.
"Raman, let's go!"
I turned again and only Ashwin stood on our side of the river.
"Go," I stated, slightly pushing him away.
Raman stepped back and glanced over me, as if remembering my face.
"Go," I said again, crossing my arms over my chest.
Raman nodded again, and ran around me with a shout, and Ashwin laughed.
As Raman crossed the river, ashwin waved in my direction, and shouted, "Do-na-da-`go-v-i."
I smiled, and waved back.
When I returned to the village, most of the women were already awake and completeing the tasks for the day. A group of elders sat around the fire, talking about my brother's wedding, which made my stomach turn.
The men who stayed behind to watch the village were eating, making arrows, or helping some of the women.
There were even a few children running around who are still to young to attend the school Father had to create when I was of eleven years. You have to be of nine years to attend, and you must attend until your of thirteen years.
Luckilly, I didn't have to attend, but now I have to make up what I missed. Which is to read and write in the white language.
Raman has been trying to teach me, but I have no interest, and I don't think I'll ever need a reason.
My focus jerked back to reality, when I saw who was calling my name.
I ran iin the opposite direction, and into my home.
Mother was humming the morning song as she mashed corn around our small fire. However, she stopped when I ran in.
"Why didn't you tell me Mohin was visiting today?" I demanded.
Mother blinked. "He didn't tell me or your father. Did you speak to him?" She was on her feet now, fixing my probably terrifing hair.
"No, I ran here," I smirked despite myself. I'm suppose to wed Mohin right after Raman's marriage. But I have nothing in common with Mohin.
He just thinks I'm pretty. And nothing more.
Mother clucks her tongue as Mohin sticks his head through the threshold.
Mother smiles, but I can see the disapproval in her eys. It's very frowned upon for a woman's husband-to-be to show up in her village unannounced.
"Hello Sumati," Mohin smiled back.
"Mohin," Mother responded dutifully.
"Oh," Mohin blinked and his smile vanished, as if realising something was wrong. "Lokesh said I could come visit," he quickly explianed.
"Father never said you were coming," I clarified.
Mohin shrugged. "I wanted it to be a surprise."
Mother and I shared a glance, and then she smiled.
"Give us one moment?"
Mohin nodded in return, and backed out of the room.
Mother looked at me, and I frowned. "I don't love him, and I never will."