Growing up amongst the Fae as a changeling had been hard enough being as different as she was, it was especially obvious now as she looked back...her childhood had been crap. Although it had been several years since she had found out the news, it didn't make the concept any easier to grasp...she was adopted and not only was her host family not related to her...they weren't even the same species as her.
It should have been obvious to her, especially in the human adolescent years when the Fae were growing wings and pointy ears and she was going through the typical trials and tribulations of human teenagehood. The lies her faux parents had told her should have made the fact that she was different even more apparent.
" Your wings will come in later huny, it's normal to develop later sometimes."
" My Mother was a late bloomer to , it's normal."
" Your aunt had dark eyes as well Alicia."
Rolling her eyes at the absurdity of her gullibility. At the absurdity of Alex and Fiona...her faux parents attempts at covering up the fact that she was an experiment she boarded the ferry with her massive hiking backpack as she prepared to travel to the small coastal Island where one of the many Earth based entrances to the land of the Fae sat. It had been 4 years since she had been back to her homeland...well her fake homeland in any case.
As soon as she had reached her mid twenties and realised that she was still physically aging and her peers had stopped, on top of the fact that her wings still hadn't come in yet...she knew something was up. Skip ahead a few weeks of arguements, tears and truth telling and she had packed up all her belongings and had moved back to Earth, back to humanity with a little help from the Fae council...they owed her considering she was a scientific experiment to them, a test of whether or not humans could intergrate into Fae society and vice versa.
Now that she was heading back to the place she had hated for so long...back to the people she had been resentful towards for years...her anger towards them had dissipated and instead been replaced by a mixture of nerves and sadness...a feeling of of simple acceptance or resignation. Not knowing how to process these conflicting feelings, she stuck her earpods in and drifted away to the soothing beats of soft rock.
Several hours later, Alicia was standing on the powder white sand of the postcard perfect coastline of Fae.After living in the human world for several years amongst her own people, she had to admit that she had grown a newfound respect for the place she had grown up in, especially from a nature perspective. Whilst the human world was gorgeous in it's own right with it's vast array of flora and fauna, the landscapes alone could not even begin to hold a flame to the breathtaking natural beauty of Fae.
The Maldives was probably the only place on Earth that looked similar to Fae, with it's crystal clear turquoise waters and the lush tropical vegetation that ran right down to the sparkling sand. Inhaling deeply, she felt herself relaxing as the salt scented breeze brought the sweet fragrance of wild flowers swishing around her as she made her way up the beach.
Up ahead, peeking out from in between the flourishing flora were the brightly coloured glass roofs of the Fae's tree houses...the sight of a neon yellow one bringing back bittersweet memories as she headed towards her former home. After so many contactless years, Alicia had been surprised a few weeks earlier to have a handwritten letter delivered to her tiny yet cosy town house in the Greater Sydney Area.
She had been invited back to the mythical land to attend her eldest brothers wedding, well a person she once thought of as her brother. Although she wasn't feeling 100% with her decision to bury her feelings and head back to the place she had basically fleed from...Nathaniel, the man getting married had always been kind to her...especially in her teenage years where he dealt with her sporadic mood swings and angst in general with the deamonour of a saint.
Besides, despite her general discomfort with returning back to Fae and her lingering tension towards the people she had once called her family...she was more than ready to bury the hatchet and move on, they meant her no harm...they never had. After the inital shock of discovering her true heritage and her hastiness to return back to Earth she hadn't properly said goodbye to the family that had spent a quarter of a century raising her.
After several long Skype meetings, seemingly hundreds of articles and a book or two on human and Fae interactions Alicia finally understood why the Fae government had started the whole changeling program. Despite their best efforts, thanks to the results of the changeling experiments it was clear that humans and Fae were not ready to live amongst one another at this current moment.
So why she was standing before the home she had grown up in, ignoring the blatant staring of the Fae around her...she had no idea. Was it just because she still felt a sense of loyalty towards her brother...her fake brother that is?
Whatever it was, she knew she was making the right decision by the intense, pure happiness that awoshed over her as she felt a pair of slender arms wrap around her from behind as her Fae sister a couple of years younger than her hugged her tight. Brilliant rose coloured eyes looked at her earnestly, unshed tears sparkling in them as she took in a ragged breath.
" You came back."
She breathed out softly, as she went back to hugging her human sister. Feeling tears tickle at her own eyes she hugged her sister back with just as much enthusiasm...she had definetly made the right decision.
" It's good to see you Daisy, I mean I know you aren't my real sister...but I really missed you."
" Hey, family does not necessarily mean by blood relation, family is a feeling...it's a knowing. Family is choosing your tribe, it's knowing what energy you attract and sticking to the energy you want around you. Family is a choice rather than simply being stuck with people just because you are related...family is loving someone for them, human, Fae or otherwise."
Turning around so quickly she almost gave herself whiplash, Alicia found herself staring into the kind eyes of her newly engaged brother as he leant forward and embraced his human sibling in a warm hug.
" Thankyou for coming Alicia, welcome back...welcome home."