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The sharp, cold Chicago wind whips around me and, for just a second, I get a tiny reminder of what magic felt like and then it's gone, just as fleeting as it always was.

I couldn't tolerate one more second of Penny and Micah's muffled quarrel travelling through the wall. I would rather be out here on this balcony, freezing my bollocks off, than listen to them fight for one more second. It feels so unnatural. It occurs to me that this is probably what it would have felt like if I grew up with parents that bickered. If I had grown up with any parents at all. What a thought.

The Mage's face flashes in my mind and suddenly a bit of pain erupts into my stomach. Grief. Sure, he turned out to be a monster but he was still the closest thing I had to a father. I'm very conflicted about my feelings for him but I'm working through them. I can't wait to dive into that with my therapist when we meet this week. I'm sure it will be a delightful topic to discuss. Maniacal murderer daddy issues.

As the wind builds, its chilly grip on me strengthens and I close my eyes. If I suspend disbelief a smidge, it almost feels like Baz's cold arms wrapped around me. I miss him. His smile. His touch. His everything.

A car honks below, pulling me out of my daydream. This particular street of the city is so busy. Cars make their way below me and hordes of people march on, going about their day. It's a small comfort knowing how normal this all is.

A dog that is being walked by its owner starts yapping very loudly. The owner pulls it along, never taking the phone from his ear or even looking back. The dog continues to bark as it is being dragged away. I follow the dog's line of sight to see what it is panicking over.

And I see her.

Standing as still as can be and looking straight up at me.

People are passing right by her like she isn't even there. Ebb. She raises a hand, giving a tiny wave.

And, before I know it, I'm in the dark stairwell, taking two steps at a time all the way down to the ground floor. I didn't put my shoes on. I don't even remember leaving the balcony. I only know that I saw her again.

An attendant shouts something at me as I dash through the lobby, dodging people left and right. I ignore her and keep moving. Soon, I am out in the cold air again and my heart is pounding. I stop for a moment find the direction that she was in.

And then I'm back at it, running down the street and scanning the crowd around me. I bump into a guy with a dark complexion and I fall to the ground. He looks embarrassed and tries to help me up but I'm already to my feet and running again. Suddenly, she enters my vision again. She's directly across the street.

Her smile is exactly as I remember it. Warm and loving. What I think my mother's smile would be like.

I don't know how I made it across the street to her but I somehow managed to do it without getting hit by a car. Horns are blaring all around. She's in front of me now. I can almost see through her.

"Ebb?" I ask, terrified that this is proof that I've truly lost it. I can't catch my breath and my feet are tingling. I really should have grabbed my shoes.

She smiles again. Her eyes are shiny. Wet. She's crying. She reaches out toward me and almost touches my face.

"Simon." I hear her whisper before everything goes black.

*Author's Note:  Hey guys!  Sorry that I haven't updated in a few days!  I started rehearsal for a musical that I was cast in and so I have a little less time to write but I plan on writing at least two chapters at a time when I am able to sit down at my computer.  I hope y'all are enjoying the story!  If you are, please vote, comment, and share!*

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