I sighed as I leaned against my Jamada, my life tree. She felt my tension. ~What troubles you, my Parta, my life child?~ she asked in that voice-that-was-not-a-voice, the one I could feel in my head and understand but no one else could hear. "It is nothing, Tree Mother." I murmured softly. "It simply seems as the Bentals, the Makers, created me with more than my share of confusion in life." I closed my eyes and sighed again. "I simply have much confusion, Tree Mother." The limbs of my Jamada rustled soothingly. ~It is all right, Parta. The Bentals would not give you these life tasks if they did not think that your spirit was worthy of the challenge.~ Though it was not what I wanted to hear, the words of my Jamada still comforted me. "Thank you, Tree Mother." I said, standing up. "Your words have eased my thoughts." My Jamada's branches rustled again, and I walked off.

"Hey Ramira, you talking to your Jamada again?" someone taunted me. I growled softly and turned around, brushing stray purple locks out of my face as I did so. Yersin was standing there, a smirk on his lips, as usual. I took a defensive stance as I studied him. Of course, I'd seen him many times, we were age mates, and our Homes were near each other. But it always seemed as if he changed somehow every time I saw him. It wasn't in his tall frame or pale blue skin, all of our people, the Torkentians, had that. It wasn't in his green eyes and hair, or in his brown tunic, boots, pants, and green shirt. Those features and styles of clothing were common among the males. Rather, it was in the way he held himself and the way he looked at me, as if he personalized his cocky stance and look of contempt for every time we met.

"Yes, Yersin, I was talking to my Jamada again, do you have a problem with that?" he smirked again, before taking a look of complete innocence.

"No problem, Ramira, if you don't mind doing baby things." I growled again and fixed him with the iciest violet glaze I could muster.

"If it's such a baby thing, Ramira, then why were you talking to your Jamada only a week ago?" I taunted back. He snarled and stalked forward, color in his cheeks.

"Ramira, you lying gossip, where did you hear that?" he demanded. I looked down on him smugly.

"Your doting mother just loves to talk about her 'pwecious wittle Yersi.'" I ended my sentence in the same voice my mother uses on my baby brother. It only infuriated him more when I used the nickname his mother still calls him and pinched his cheek, just exactly as his aunt does. He slapped my hand away angrily. "Knock it off, Ramira, it's not funny." He complained darkly. I cocked my head and considered him with mock pity.

"But you were having such fun a minute ago. Not nice to have a taste of your own mean, nasty medicine, is it?" He turned sharply and strode away. It gave me a moment's pause. Had I actually pierced the thick hide of Yersin, and actually hurt his feelings? I shook the thought off. It was impossible. Yersin was hurt by almost nothing, especially not a comeback from one of his teasing victims. Sighing and shaking my head, I walked off towards my home.