Aria: When It’s Your Time

Ziva’s head throbbed, memories of shots lined up on the bar churned her stomach, Sunday was a great day for a hangover, Aria cooked bacon. Showers were a welcome relief from a hangover, what was strange however, was the silence, it echoed in her mind, increasing the volume of each step she took. Chaos greeted her, the stench of stale grilled cheese sandwiches, crisps crunched into the carpet, mixed in with various drinks, the lounge had an additional mess, her brother. Slumped on the sofa, glasses rest crooked on his face, Ziva rolled her eyes and surveyed the kitchen, everything as last night decorated the surfaces. She checked the garden, Aria liked to sit outside, her nose buried in a book, but nothing.

Perhaps Aria took one look at the mess and decided a pamper session was the order of the day, either way, Ziva set to work, her stomach and head churning with the scent of stale beer. The clanging pots woke Rylan, like his sister, hungover and in desperate need of a fried breakfast, all he got was lukewarm coffee, paracetamol and a mop. Ziva had no sympathy, stern in her approach that this mess was ridiculous, and that he should stop leaving everything to Aria. Rylan yawned, he put the mop against the wall, his heavy feet stomped their way upstairs. Furious, Ziva used her anger to clean up, surprised at how quick it went, at least in the kitchen, which meant Bacon and Eggs. 

Ziva worried, Aria had her phone switched off and none of her friends had heard from her. A sinking feeling replaced her nausea, as she crept upstairs hoping it was her overactive imagination. Aria appeared to be in a deep sleep, a peaceful and youthful look on her face.  Ziva perched on the bed, her mothers’ hand was cold, she held it tight, stifling sobs. Uncertain how long she had been sitting there, Rylan stood solemnly in the doorway, staring at them, Aria had passed away in the night. He moved forward slowly and put his arm on Ziva’s shoulder as she leaned against him.

The next few days passed by in a blur, Ziva rushed through funeral preparations and completing her sale on her new home in Brindleton Bay, leaving her time to grieve; she would miss her mother most of all. Moments alone or at night her head whirred, the memories of Aria, laying there, she should have checked on her first thing in the morning. As for Rylan, he ignored Ziva, perhaps she should have waited to say something to him about her leaving but everything had happened so quickly, the house was ready. She scraped together all the money she could, Rylan disagreed with anything she wanted, unwilling to let her take any furniture. In the end, Ziva sold the only thing that still connected her to her old life – her rocket – just to help furnish her new home, so much for her maiden voyage and her dreams.

Rylan felt angry all the time, losing their mother, his sister leaving him, whilst he didn’t expect them to live together forever, he felt it was selfish of Ziva to abandon him. Girlfriend Emilie was his saving grace, she talked, offered comfort and of course breakfast. They met daily, her presence having a soothing effect on his mood and grief. In private, intimate moments, Rylan realised she was the one; amongst her friends she seemed self-absorbed, the centre of attention and surrounded with adoration, but with him, Emilie provided the attention he craved.

Rylan had been unapproachable since Ziva told him she was moving out, it had been her plan for a long time and everything had fallen into place when Aria died. She wanted to smooth things over, leaving things so hostile with her brother made her feel it was she who was being unreasonable. Rylan shrugged, she was a grown-up, why ask permission to leave, she should go. Emilie felt awkward unused to sibling rivalry, Ziva apologised to her, the prepared food in the fridge should keep him going for a short while and her number if he needed anything. He glared at the TV as Ziva left, Emilie snuggled next to him understanding to stay neutral in their disagreement.

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