Forty years, those conflicts had lasted, each one progressively bloodier and more expansive than the last, and all stemming from the same dispute over the Corvana Jungle. Apparently, the land had been thought worthless by all seven of the countries through which it extended, until someone discovered a network of diamond mines therein. Of those seven countries, only Jesbol, Melmoore, and Corrico still existed today. The successive wars ruined all of the others.
Vanessa rested the book on the nightstand by her bed and rubbed her eyes.
She didn’t often leave this dark room. Some days, she didn’t even get out of bed. Sleep was perhaps the only thing she actually looked forward to anymore. It was the easiest way to avoid thinking about Samuel.
More than once, she’d considered ending her own life. Maybe burn herself along with all of those boxes. Poetic, but probably a terrible way to go. In the end, she realized that, regardless of the method, she simply didn’t have the conviction. And she didn’t know why, either. She didn’t feel afraid of dying, necessarily, and if there was any point left in living, she couldn’t tell what it was; but even still, she didn’t want to go through with it. Maybe it was just the natural human impulse. Or maybe it was the knowledge that Samuel wouldn’t have approved.
Suicide would have been difficult, anyway. For whatever reason, Amelia Carthrace seemed to think it necessary to keep Vanessa apprised of the reconstruction’s progress on a daily basis, and Jamal Easton checked in even more frequently. The man never said so, but Vanessa was fairly certain that Hector had ordered him to make sure that she was eating. She had lost quite a bit of weight recently--not that it was any of that stupid boy’s business.
Hector rarely came to her himself. She couldn’t tell if he was just that busy or if it’d finally sunk in that she didn’t want to see him. Regardless of the cause, today proved to be an exception.
The knock at her door stirred her out of her flat-eyed daze.
“...Mom? Can I come in?”
There wasn’t much point in refusing, she felt. “Yes.”
Hector entered. He looked around her room, taking in the mess and probably judging her for it. “I’m going to Sair for a little while,” he told her. “I’ll be back soon.”