03/17/21 - Parental Procrastination

Note - Leleja played by Vinalo


A Lalafellin woman could be seen wandering the halls of one of the various residential areas within Ul’dah. She was dressed in simple attire that’d fit right in anywhere across Thanalan, though perhaps a bit more worn than one would expect in this part of the city. Long reddish hair framed her face; a face that wore a look of frustration. Every so often she’d stop to read a small scrap of paper she held, and glance up at an apartment door.

“It just must be one of these,” she mumbled to herself. “Unless that last man was wrong.”

She gave a brief knock on one of the doors. Several seconds pass.


The woman sighs and leaned back against the opposite wall, starting to feel her knees ache from all this running around.


Pipino was making quite a bit of noise as she trudged up the steps of her apartment, banging around. She appeared to be overburdened with a few bags, an easel, and a canvas. She was dressed in a bit more of a rugged way, Ul'dahn dust stuck to her where sweat once had. She was even looking a bit rosy with sunburn, clearly having been working on painting something Ul'dahn for once and deciding to do it on location. She stopped and blinked as she turned the corner to the hallway, seeing a woman standing across from her door.

“Um… may I help you?” she asks at last, looking from the door to the woman, as if trying to put the puzzle piece together.


The sounds of clutter and banging had already caught her ear, but the woman tried to politely ignore the sound, not wanting to be caught staring at a random tenant as they came around the corner. She returned to her frustrated thoughts, closing her eyes for a moment as she continued resting. It wasn't until she heard a voice that she was snapped back to attention. The woman glanced over at the newcomer.

“Oh! Maybe you could, miss, if it's not too much trouble,” she responded, standing up straight with a bit of slowness to her movement. “I've been up and down this building looking for someone in particular, but I just haven't been able to find them.”

She looked over her fellow Lalafell, and the equipment she was carrying, tilting her head to the side slightly.

“Do you happen to know a Pipino Pino? I've asked around, and I thought she might live around here.”


She hefted her equipment, staying planted to the spot.

“Ah…y-yes, actually. I am she…” she says carefully. “I…um… I apologize. I… was not expecting anyone.”


“Oh. You… are Pipino Pino?” she asked, tone shifting to match Pipino's. She bit her lip, her dull amber eyes drifting a bit before refocusing on the artist in front of her. “Am I… worrying you, miss? I-I didn't mean to! Maybe this will…”

The woman quickly opened up a satchel she had at her side and pulled out a book, bringing it into clear view: a barely worn copy of Propitious Plants: A Traveler's Guide to the Black Shroud.

“I had received this book, you see, and I didn't want to just… rush off without thinking. So m-maybe I would find you first,” she explained, pointing at the cover. A pause. Her eyes widened. “Oh, right… right! I'm sorry! I really wasn't thinking! M-My name is Leleja Leja. I'm… Vinalo's mother.”


At first Pipino thought she was dealing with some type of very thorough fanatic, and her expression and body language only grew more tense, but finally, upon hearing that the woman was in fact Vinalo's mother, she found her a little more at ease. There was a story there at least, a reasonable curiosity she could understand in the woman. Still a bit suspicious knowing of Vinalo's parentage and simultaneous lack of it, she walks forward toward her door adjusting her burdens to find her key.

“Ah! Well, things have certainly become a little less strange now,” she admits with a chuckle. “A pleasure to meet you. I have heard a bit about you, of course, but it is nice to be able to put a face with the stories.”

She opens the door, holding it open with her foot as she steps in and turns to look back to her visitor.

“Would you like to come in? I feel my arms might give out at any moment. I was a bit too ambitious carrying all this out there…”


Leleja cursed internally on how she almost got off on the wrong foot with her child's friend. Outwardly, she simply breathed a sigh of relief at Pipino's relaxed state. She smiled a somewhat familiar smile, stowing the book away.

“If you'll have me, then I would like to, yes,” she responded, moving quickly as to keep Pipino's arms from failing. “I… did wish to speak with you for a bit if you have the time.”

Stepping clear of Pipino and the door, Leleja's attention was immediately caught by the wall of art supplies just beyond the entrance. Between that and the armful that Pipino arrived with, she quickly realized that the letter was not kidding in the slightest.


She dumped the contents carefully onto the floor, deciding she could always clean things up better later, leaning her canvas carefully against the wall. She rolled her shoulders and moved toward the sitting portion of the apartment, gesturing for Leleja to have a seat.

“I am just about done for the day in terms of work so I have quite a bit of time.” She moves into the kitchen and rolls up her sleeves, removing her gloves to wash her hands. As always, they were full of paint and pigment stains that didn't seem to be able to be wiped away easily. “Would you like some tea? Coffee perhaps? Water?”


The older woman walked over to the sofa and slowly sat down, her knees appreciating the relief. She leaned forward and rubbed them a bit, pondering if she really should be walking more these days. She looked up at Pipino's question.

“Coffee, if you could, miss. I never really got much of a taste for tea,” Leleja responded, moving to properly settle into the comfortable sofa. “…Wondering, but do you just go by Pipino? We've just met, so… I don't want to rudely assume anything.”


“Oh, yes! Pipino is fine. No need to say the whole name, of course.” She sets to the task of making the beverage, clattering about as little as possible.

“And yourself? Leleja is fine?”


“Perfectly fine, Pipino. I don't know many of us that use our whole names, to be honest. Not beyond introductions. Maybe some too-important-for-their-own-good rich folk, but no one I've ever spent much time with,” she said, casual tone sliding in readily.

Leleja quietly sighed. The ice has been broken, at least.


After having gotten the coffee started, Pipino pulled her kitchen chair away from the table, bringing it closer to the couch before sitting down, concerned about getting gritty sand all over her couch.

“So… What can I help you with? I am not sure to what to owe the unexpected visit.”


“Was wondering when you'd ask that,” Leleja said. She smiled weakly. “Suppose I really should explain why a friend's mother you've… heard of, but never seen, suddenly showed up at your door.”

Leleja pulled the book out again, placing it on her lap and drumming her fingers on the cover. She took a deep breath and closed her eyes.

“I do not know how much of me or his… her…” she trailed off for a second. “…Vinalo's father you know about. But I d-doubt much of it was compliments. But… anyroad, I unexpectedly received a package just two moons ago. It had this book and… a letter.”

The woman opened her eyes. Her expression seemed to flash between sadness and frustration.

“It was a very… candid letter. More than I thought… Vinalo was capable of. Never was that bold, you know?”


She crosses her legs and interlaces her hands, resting them on her knee. “Ah, yes. They can be quite mild and agreeable the majority of the time. We had had some conversations about perhaps making sure they spoke their mind a little more. I am glad to see that they were able to push through the hesitation to express themselves more genuinely. I…suppose I still do not understand what about the letter or the book brought you to my door, however.”


“No, I suppose that would not explain it.”

Leleja stopped drumming her fingers on the book, simply stacking her hands on each other and frowning. Her lip seemed to be quivering a bit, like she was barely holding back something.

“I-I am here because… I'm a coward. I said I received this book two moons ago, Pipino. Two. Moons. That's how long I sat on this, wondering what to do. It has been four years since I've seen my child!” she said, voice beginning to raise. “Did Vinalo ever tell you what happened whenever… they visited? It was hardly ever more than half a bell. That's all their father would tolerate. Tamido doesn't even know I'm here. He doesn't even know the book arrived, or that it even exists. I.. I just didn't see any reason to tell him.”

The older woman paused and pinched their nose, lowering her head and taking a few breaths.

“Pipino, Vinalo… left home over seventeen summers ago, now. It has been longer now than they were ever at home. I thought about that, and it frightened me greatly. I'm sixty-one and I barely know my child! And… and… I'm too afraid to go see them,” Leleja paused and looked up at Pipino, her eyes beginning to well up. “That is why I came to you. You're the only other name I have that h-has anything to do with Vinalo. And… I hoped that you could, I don't know, help me figure out how to go about seeing my child again without making a complete fool of myself.”

Leleja lowered her head again, wiping at her eyes.

“And now here I am, having barely met you, and making family trouble someone else's problem. I'm… sorry, you should not have to deal with some old woman's troubles.”


Pipino sort of sat there, pinned into place, her eyes only getting wider the more and more Leleja talked. It was uncomfortable, and Pipino likely looked it. Her body language got more and more tense, but she listened. More and more emotions rose in her, and Pipino had to start filling in blanks. Tamido was Vinalo's father yes? Probably….Yes, most likely.

She let an uncomfortable silence settle between them as her heart raced and she sat there, trying to figure out what to even say. It's not like she was a mom. It's not like she had a good example for a mom to go off of. Pipino wanted to chastise her as much as she would chastise her own. But… well, the coffee wasn't done and she didn't want to pick a fight exactly.

“Um… Well… I… I suppose I must let you know I may be a tad… biased here. My own mother and I do not get along well for… well, similar reasons. We are not close to say the least so… so being asked for advice in this regard feels… strange. But, if it were me… you should just be upfront and honest. Apologize and make that apology binding with actions. If you cannot step up, do not bother. Quite frankly… I hope you allow me to speak plainly… for not standing up for your child, you deserve some time to look a bit foolish. In my mind, it is not your comfort that matters in this moment to make things right.”


“C-Comfort…? I wasn't… I mean, I did not want…”

Leleja quickly sat up, a somewhat shocked look on her face. She clearly wasn't expecting such a direct response, though she didn't know what she was expecting in the first place. A small part of her wanted to snap back with some scathing response, but something about the young woman's words struck hard. Instead, she dried her eyes and cleared her throat before speaking again.

“That was not the kind of… advice I was asking for, but I s-suppose one does not get to decide the advice she gets. You have some experience cutting to the core of things, don't you?” she asked plainly. “All that is nothing that hasn't crossed my mind before, Pipino. Every time Vinalo came by to try and mend things, I just… let it happen. I w-wanted to believe it would be different this time, or the next time, or the next time.”

A pause.

“Vinalo's father, Tamido… he isn't a monster. He… he's hardly ever so much as raised his voice in anger. He's never struck anything that wasn't a rock or metal. We hardly ever argue! He's kind and… c-caring, always working hard to keep food on the table. It's why I w-wanted to believe. And he's so reassuring whenever I… I… doubt…”

Leleja suddenly slammed her fists down on the book still on her lap. It was accompanied by a frustrated groan. She opened her mouth to speak again, but she looked as if she was struggling to find her next words.

“…Fools. We're both fools.”


“One can do great harm by doing absolutely nothing,” Pipino says in response. “That has been mostly my experience.”

She still seems a bit tense, feeling like she was dealing with her own mother in a sense.

“Validation is probably the one thing children wish to have from their parents. A desire to be seen, and a desire for a parent to take pride in the way one's interests and expressions. If you want advice for how to approach Vinalo smoothly, I cannot give much except to listen and actually hear what they say. They are grown now, and they are happy, and they are in a place where they will not entertain interactions that tread on that happiness.”

She sighs and shifts in her seat, smelling the coffee reaching the zenith of its roast. She stands and moves over to the counter.

“If it were me, I would consider how much time has been wasted. The longer you wait, the more sands slip through your fingers. There is no turning back the dial, so why not simply make the most of what is left?”



Leleja watched Pipino rise to attend to the coffee. Despite the current 'atmosphere,' she was still looking forward to a drink. She unclenched her fists, placing her arms to the side. A small, wistful smile crept onto her face as Pipino made her way to the counter.

“…That's what the letter said. That h- they were happy. That they had friends they cared for. That they had a… love in their life. That they were still healing people, even!” she said, some combination of surprise and sadness in her voice. “And… I've missed all of it, j-just like you say. Sand through my fingers and time I can't get back.”

She let out a sad little chuckle.

“Gods, it really does sound terrible saying it out loud, and hearing it from someone else.”


She rifles through her cabinets and summons forth a couple saucers and cups, of which there weren't too many judging from how little she hosted company there, pouring out the steaming liquid.

“If you do not like what has happened, and you do nothing, you will keep the status quo, which I think you have already realized is not what you want. So… action is all that is left really. Perhaps coffee or tea away from their father to discuss things properly might be the proper angle .”

She pauses, reaching for the sugar before she pauses, already automatically starting to make it the way Orchard or Langston might like theirs to be made. She smiles to herself before shaking the realization off.

“How do you take it? Milk? Sugar?”


“Ah… neither. Prefer it black, if you could.”

Leleja shook her head, and tried to compose her thoughts. She was still nervous, still filled with uncertainty and doubt. And a bit intimidated by this young woman, if she was honest with herself. Did her timid child really befriend someone like this?

“Th-that is what I intended to do at first. Simply go to Vinalo, and try to talk. But every time I went over the conversation in my mind, I just… froze up. Couldn't even think of how to start. Like I have said, I hardly know my own child. It's why I came to you, Pipino. Perhaps to learn something about them, anything.”


“Well….” she says pouring out the liquid, and bringing the saucers with her to the couch, offering the black one to Leleja. “Vinalo simply is quite an easy person to get along with. They are mostly agreeable provided you respect the way they have decided to express themselves in terms of their gender.”

She has a seat again, stirring her coffee some more, which contained quite a bit of additional cream and sugar.

“They will not compromise on that which has made them happy either. Perhaps easing into the topic might be nice, but they are very good at speaking to others from other walks of life, provided a tonenf respect is shared amongst them.”

She sighs a moment. “There is not a way I can possibly explain all of who Vinalo is to you. I think it would be a better journey to rebuild and learn for yourself, would it not? Vinalo would see through any attempt to act as if you have known about them all this time. It would likely be better to go in with as little knowledge as you do have, with no pretense about it.”


Leleja took the cup and saucer from Pipino with a small nod, simply holding onto it for the time being. She stared down into the coffee for a moment before looking back up at Pipino.

“Though I never thought otherwise, it is good to hear Vinalo is still friendly and kind. They were a quiet and nervous child, you see, but always tried to be friendly. I… suppose the nervousness was tied to the gender… thing, looking back. Tamido wanted a son so badly, s-so that's how Vinalo was raised. And it was fine most of the time, really! Just a few arguments here and there, but nothing serious until… until…” Leleja pauses for a moment and then sighs. “…I'm sure Vinalo has told you some of what happened. It's… not a day I care to go over again.”

She shifted in her seat, looking uncertain in her thoughts. Her gaze drifted a bit.

“But… yes. I would not want to deceive Vinalo like that. Knowing things I couldn't know. More selfish desires than anything else, perhaps.”


“They and I have discussed the issues. Difficulties in our parental relationships are something we unfortunately share, but… Well, it is not something we both have fully given up on. If you are sincere and uncompromising in your respect for them and your desire to reconnect, I do not foresee there being anything insurmountable.”

At last she busied herself with sampling her beverage. She seemed content with it, going in for a second longer draught.


“Until the package arrived addressed to me, I thought Vinalo had given up entirely. And I c-couldn't blame them after everything that has happened. It was all such a shock that… well, that is what made me start thinking on all this, like I said.”

Leleja finally took a good drink of her coffee. She couldn't help but let out a content hum as she did so. Today's activities left her without her morning cup and she had begun to feel it. A small measure of relief in this difficult conversation, perhaps.

“…I am sorry that this is something you and Vinalo have been able to relate on, Pipino, for both sides of it. I got along quite well with my parents, and I… hoped that it would be the same with my own child,” she said, taking another sip of coffee. “I would venture a guess that the difficulties with your parents are rather different than… all this, though.”


Pipino considers the statement, busy with another sip of coffee, seemingly using it to stall for another moment of thought.

“They are different, yet still similar. I would wager a guess that my parents do not quite know me as well as they ought to, only the difference is they think they do.” She sighs a bit, adjusting her glasses. “I suppose a bit of light at the end of the tunnel for you might be the hope that for I, and for Vinalo as well, there is time to get along yet.”


“That is what I am hoping, Pipino. Thinking of the time lost that can't ever be reclaimed… it just became too much. Though I hope I won't be greeted by Thal anytime soon, I cannot ignore the fact that I have more summers behind me than ahead.” she says, smiling weakly. “And… even if Tamido can't get over his own terms, I don't want to be… be lost to Vinalo forever.”

Leleja takes another sip of coffee, thoughts swirling around like the beverage in her hands.

“Maybe… maybe I can make some s-sort of difference for once.”


“As long as you put in the effort, I see no reason you would not be able to. If there is one thing I have learned after all this time, it is that when you think about wasted time, the only thing you can do to make amends is to move forward and waste no more. I think having one of you on their side would make a world of difference for Vinalo.”



Leleja tilted her head back, gazing up at the apartment ceiling for a moment. A brief sigh. She chuckled softly before looking back at Pipino, smiling a bit.

“Hah… Look at me here, getting advice from a young woman like you. 'All this time.' You c-couldn't be half my age, Pipino, yet you're dispensing wisdom so well. A skill you've honed? Or is it just natural?”


“Well, you said you had not seen your child in…what was it… seventeen years? I have not had a proper relationship with my parents for all thirty-five years I have known them. Without going too deeply into it, we had a very tumultuous falling out recently and I have gone on quite the journey in a short span of time. I suddenly find myself a very free woman! It is quite liberating.”

She swirls her coffee a bit, watching the liquid rock around in the cup.

“I hope this does not set off alarums in your mind but I was raised by Monetarists. I went from a life of pleasing others to raise my station to finally being able to speak my mind. I would say that the wisdom is natural, but simply the consequence of taking notes on how not to live from those surrounding me,” she says with a wry chuckle. “It is something that Vinalo and I both share - a sense of freedom after a long time of holding back many things about ourselves. Strongly held principles after a long time of listening to the values of others. I think you will find them to be quite strongly held within them as well.”


Leleja's eyes widen as Pipino speaks. She takes this time to drink a good deal of her coffee. Several thoughts cross her mind: some good, others less so. Regardless, she sits up straight and lowers her cup to her lap.

“Well… I guess that answers a few questions of mine. Monetarists, eh? I had a hunch that you were from some m-manner of money, just by the way you carried yourself and spoke. But you walked away from it, too. Must've had a very good reason, I imagine!” she says with a small smile, tapping the side of her cup. “Suppose that explains how you ever befriended Vinalo. Even after all this time, rubbing shoulders with the wealthy is not something I could ever imagine them doing for long.”

She sighs again.

“It sounds to me that it was good that Vinalo met you, then. Someone willful who went through her own trials and came out a better woman. And… good enough friends to write a book with them, too.” Leleja says, her tone softening. “The letter mentioned more friends, but I'll not ask you go on about everyone my child knows. Twelve know I've asked a lot of you already.”


Pipino laughs. “Yes, it was a strange meeting. I simply was staring off into the distance and my gaze lingered on them while I was lost to my thoughts. Next thing I know, we were growing quite close,” she says with a small smile, but one that had a tinge of something deeper in it that she didn't bother to explain.

“After I moved from my family's estate, I decided I wanted to see all of the world, paint all of the world. I used to paint very proper and nice portraits of very proper and nice people and decided I spent too much time within the gilded and gaudy guest rooms and parlors of the wealthy. I.. admit my privelege in bemoaning such opportunities, but I do promise it was a stifling experience. In time, I realized Vinalo's talent for botany and expertise in plantlife, and they realized my talent in art. They had left their Free Company and, you know, being raised with a concern and care for coin… I could not help but worry for them, so I suggested we find a way to pool our talents to make sure they could take care of themselves in the practical sense. I think we have both grown quite a bit in the time we have known one another, and the pool of friends for the both of us has only expanded. I think you should enjoy learning about them all through their eyes and perceptions.” She laughs to herself. “Mine… well, mine can be a bit judgmental, truth be told.”


The older woman found herself chuckling at the retelling of how Pipino and her child met. “Accidentally stared at Vinalo until h- they noticed? Suppose there's stranger ways to meet s-someone.” Leleja simply smiled and took another sip of her coffee. “Vinalo actually joined a company for a time? I mean… they were never anti-social or anything like that, but that's still surprising. Of course, I also never thought anyone in our f-family would ever pursue anything magick-related, let alone healing. Tamido has no talent for magick at all, and I… well, I was a poor would-be thaumaturge when I was young, and even worse now after years of slacking. I would be lucky to summon up a tiny flame anymore.”

Leleja again lowered the cup to her lap, smiling softly.

“Even more to thank you for looking out for them, then, with your mind for money. Suppose that upbringing could come in handy. Plants and healing…” she said, trailing off. A pause. “I am… curious. The book shows Vinalo's quite good at botany, but… are they actually a good healer? It came up during one of the… visits, but I don't think I expressed m-myself very well, then. I didn't even ask how it happened, or say I was proud of them…”


She nods and smiles a bit sheepishly. “Well…they did save my life once. And I mean that as no exaggeration. The story is… rather long and is something I am not exactly proud of, but I was attacked once and they just happened to be in the right place at the right time when I needed the most attention. And… they also managed to restore the sight to someone important to me after she had been blinded by some spell or another. She lived sightless for a significant amount of time, and it restored a lot of her quality of life.”


Leleja brought a hand to her mouth as Pipino spoke. Vinalo saved her life? Healed someone's sight? Her own child did these things? She figured that they perhaps dealt with small wounds and other minor ailments, like the conjurer that's come by the mines from time to time. She was having trouble processing this, of all things. It felt like her spirits were being raised at the same time her heart sank. Leleja clenched her cup, audibly swallowing before speaking.

“I… I had n-no idea Vinalo had done things like that. My baby… saved your life? Gods, and all I c-could say was that it was nice that they were a healer. Just… nice. How could I just say that? It's shameful.” she says, a quiver in her voice. “ I… have to see Vinalo, Pipino. Not today, but… s-soon. Before I lose my chance to make things right.”


“I am glad to hear that is the conclusion! I would be a bit suspect if, somehow after hear all those amazing things about them, that you still wished to distance yourself. But… may I make a recommendation?” She grins in a sly sort of way. “You might want to not show up suddenly in their apartment hallway. They are someone who likes to prepare themselves for moments like these. I should think a surprise might not be the best way to go about a long lasting peace.”


“Oh… I-I…” Leleja stammered. “I apologize again for scaring you l-like that. I simply didn't know what else to do.”

She had a sheepish look on her face. A look that she took the opportunity to hide with a drawn out drink of her coffee. Wasn't there more in the cup…?

“R-Right. Well, I will have to defer to you for this, I suppose. What would you suggest? A return letter, perhaps? I w-would not want to get someone else involved in this.” She bit her lip. “I am not sure Vinalo should know we spoke at all.”


“If you insist on me keeping it a secret, I shall, but it does feel a bit strange. I am not one who likes omitting truths all that much… But yes, I think a return letter should suffice to set things up. It allows them to respond at their pace and readiness and to really put thought into words instead of reacting strongly in the moment.” She drained her own cup and her eagle eye shifted to Leleja's cup. “May I take that for you?” she asked, standing up to clear away her own, a calculated maneuver. Despite her willingness to sit and have a chat, it was an unexpected visit, and the whole interaction was rather strange.


Leleja handed the empty cup and saucer to Pipino, nodding slightly as she did so. Pipino's reaction to secrecy was already weighing on her mind.

“Maybe you're r-right. Maybe there shouldn't be any deception or secrets anymore. I just fear Vinalo's reaction if… if they hear that I spoke to a close friend of theirs before even contacting them.” She clasped her hands together, and her eyes drifted as she thought. “But, I will take your suggestion. A letter should work as well as anything. And I will speak my mind and the truth. I… sh-should say that I spoke with you. It could make things easier, perhaps…”


“I do not think it is such a bad thing to have sought me out,” she says as she walks to the kitchen and sets the dishes on the counter. “It is not as if I am going to say bad things. I would tell a virtuous tale of a well-meaning mother simply some advice. But… if you would prefer to let them know yourself, I shall allow you the opportunity to share it first.”


'Well-meaning mother.'

The words sounded odd. Her? Was she really 'well-meaning?' And she wasn't entirely sure why, but this visit being described in a 'virtuous tale' made her laugh. A soft laugh, but laughter nonetheless.

“That would be very k-kind of you, Pipino. You know Vinalo better than I, so… I will trust your judgement. If you happen to see them before they receive the letter, and you think it appropriate, then… tell them. Vinalo deserves the truth, even if it becomes awkward.”

Leleja looked around the small apartment and let out a long sigh.

“Though I know this has been rather awkward and odd, for both of us, I am still glad that I sought you out. It has helped me gain some m-manner of insight, and I thank you for humoring me.”


“Well, I am simply glad it wasn't my own mother standing there, to tell the truth! She managed to find my address without my help as well. I suppose I must see to why it is so easy to find where I live,” she teased with a laugh. “But anyway, I am glad I was able to help in some way.”

She moved back to the sitting area, figuring it was probably about time for the little chat to wrap up, ready to accompany her to the door.


“If I'm to be completely honest, I asked around the market to get a hint of where you lived,” she admits sheepishly. “Some hints here and there to piece together, and I still didn't know this specifically was your apartment.”

Leleja slowly rose to her feet, the ache in her knees still present, but less than when she arrived.

“Despite that, I have enjoyed speaking with you, Pipino, and I do hope we have a chance to talk in less… strange circumstances sometime,” she said with a small smile. Her dull amber eyes seemed a little brighter than when she walked in. “Thank you for everything.”


“My my… perhaps I ought to stop dyeing my hair so that I am a little less conspicuous!” She moves with her toward the door. “But you are most welcome. I do hope you have good luck with Vinalo! I wish the best for the both of you and I am rooting for the best a positive outcome, you can be assured!”


“One way or another, I imagine you'll learn of the outcome,” Leleja says, moving to the door. She turns to look at Pipino, giving her best 'motherly' smile she could muster. “And good luck with your mother, Pipino. I know us older folk can get set in our ways, but maybe she can change for the better, if she truly desires to.”


She smiles and nods in gratitude. “I certainly hope so, or that, if she does not, that she is content to realize that perhaps it is time we stop interfering in one another's lives. Either way, I have a good support group now so I think I shall be able to move on regardless!”


“I suppose that is what matters most. We will s-simply have to try our best,” Leleja says softly as she opens the door to leave. “Have a good evening, Pipino. Nymeia guide both our families.”

With a polite bow of her head, the older woman stepped out into the hallway. Briefly forgetting which direction she came from, Leleja hesitates before heading in what she hoped was the right way. Her fears had not been completely assuaged, but she at least carried a spark of hope with her now.


“You as well,” she offers back simply. Pipino watches to make sure she is headed the right way before shutting the door quietly behind her. Hands on her hips, she releases a stressed sigh, shaking her head before returning to straighten out her work area.


As Leleja makes her way to the market (perhaps to purchase something as a cover for their trip into the city), she's suddenly reminded of another rumor she heard while trying to find where Pipino lived. Something about… a small blade and blue hair? Should she have mentioned that? Leleja fiddled with the lock of hair dangling by her cheek for a moment.

“No reason to mention silly rumors she has nothing to do with, I suppose.”

Leleja smiles briefly and goes about her business, already thinking on how to compose that letter. Soon.

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