The constables and agents finally left after what seemed like hours, leaving the house blessedly quiet. Rickie had left with Raine, the precious memory card in his hand.
Meaghan was upstairs sitting on the edge of Tina's bed; she marveled at the resilience of her younger sister.
"Where did you find that memory card?" Meaghan asked the drowsy teen.
"Abang Rickie asked me to look for it among everything I brought with me from our house. I was going through it all when I noticed the frayed edge of ibu and bapa's wedding album. I wiggled it a little bit, and that card fell out. I just stuck it in my pocket, intending to give to him, but Shel showed up, and she… she…"
Her bottom lip quivered slightly, and Meaghan stroked her hair to soothe her.
"It's okay, Leaf. No one is going to come to this house uninvited again. I'm sure Tuanku Ahmad will make sure of it."
Meaghan remembered seeing the unraveling threads on the corner of the wedding album after she dropped it, but had no idea that the information that had caused her parents' deaths was hidden there beneath their smiling portrait on the cover.
A quiet knock on the door had Tina rubbing the moisture from her eyes. Meaghan stood up and walked to the door, opening it to reveal the wheelchair of the elder Ahmad.
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As JoAnne wheeled him in Meaghan felt a wash of gratitude for their actions that day.
"Thank you, Tuanku Ahmad, and En JoAnne, for protecting my sister." He made a careless gesture as JoAnne smiled.
"Where did you learn to shoot like that?" Tina asked JoAnne, her eyes aglow with something akin to hero worship. "That was amazing!"
JoAnne negligently shrugged her shoulders. "I am an excellent shot with several different weapons. And I know how to use a grenade and I have great aim. I'm just saying."
Rickie's father broke in.
"Never mind that. I wanted to make sure the two of you were comfortable." He shifted in his wheelchair to face Tina. "How are you holding up?"
Tina climbed out of bed and gave him a tight hug.
He patted her back as she murmured, "Thank you, Bapa Ahmad, for everything."
Meaghan gave a start and looked at the pair, but the gentleman looked pleased and not upset at Tina's words. He gave a wink to Meaghan and gently pushed the younger girl away.
"Now, get some sleep, and I'll see at breakfast tomorrow."
Tina nodded and climbed back into bed; Meghan kissed her cheek and followed JoAnne and the wheelchair out of the room.
Once the door to Tina's room was shut, Meaghan turned to the pair.
"I can never be grateful enough for everything you two did in taking care of my sister." Meaghan was alarmed at the tears that threatened but was too tired to stop them.
JoAnne stepped over and embraced the younger woman. Meaghan felt her spine almost collapse as the weight of everything that recently occurred. She felt rather than saw her hand being squeezed gently by Rickie's father before JoAnne led her to another bedroom down the hall.
She barely remembered JoAnne's assistance in changing into light cotton pyjammas and was asleep almost the moment her head hit the pillow.