Her missions had something to do with me. The only time I spent time with Mother outside of five minutes at breakfast and an hour at dinner consisted of planned outings. They occurred once a month, or sometimes twice a week. She always knew her destination and required my presence. At first, I thought we were searching for my father.
I didn’t remember him. My mother always told me he had to be separated from us for my safety. Part of me wondered if he’d abandoned us. But in the past year, I’d put together some clues that ruled him out as her target. Mother seemed most on edge as we neared a teen boy. Her eyes would cut to me as if to gauge my reaction. Like I’d sense something about the boy if he were the one. At the end of each trip, she asked if I’d felt drawn to anyone.
“Like a magnetic pull?” I’d asked the first time.
“Or maybe you heard someone’s thoughts.”
“Like my imaginary friends when I was little?”
But I’d never felt anything more than the normal hum of magical powers I detected in the presence of a witch. Her face fell each time I reported no special connection during our nights out. At first I thought I’d failed her, done something wrong. Each time she’d reassure me it wasn’t my fault.
Beyond guessing the target to be male, I’d hit a dead end, my hypothesis stalled on her search for a brother, half-brother, or a being like me. My shoulders shuddered each time I entertained the idea that she wanted to find a hybrid so I could have a husband who shared my genetic make-up.
Under the suspicion I wasn’t supposed to know anything, I played ignorant. I didn’t complain when we visited restaurants, stores, coffee shops, concerts, and sporting arenas. Time with Mother was rare, and I didn’t want to spoil it. Following Orm one day in Seattle, when Mother thought I was with a friend, I learned he helped with the quest. I saw him visit several churches, restaurants, and bookstores. That evening Mother took me to the same area and locations he’d been.