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I watched as this occurred, dismayed and disbelieving
that Aeronwy was at a loss for words for once
and Einion the one to cause her vocal freezing,
outspeaking her though he’s a total dunce.

To give her credit, she may not have been dumbfounded.
It may have been a look from Einion that warned her,
or maybe it was just that steps and voices sounded
approaching from around the alley’s corner.

Aeronwy pleading with Einion

Hobson’s choice?

She must have seen my look of disbelief because
she said, “We’re better off if one of us is free,
I’m sorry I’m the one. This sucks, I know it does,
and leaving you like this is agony.”

She might have added something more, but Einion
curtailed her response by blasting from his whistle
a shrill that even made me jump where I was pinioned.
She scurried as if goaded by a thistle.

The word that I’ve been overusing—disbelief—
I’ll use again because that’s really what I felt.
Completely numb, too shocked for hurt or even grief.
Betrayment was her payment for my help?

Dilys, disbelieving

Have I mentioned my disbelief yet?

“Congratulations, guess she bought it,” I said, bitter,
as Aeronwy deserted me around the corner.
“Another flawless victory for nitwit twitter
about the right of justice, law, and order.”

He softly answered in the momentary lull,
“It may be only nitwit twittering to you.”
(Around the other corner marched up his patrol.)
“Denying it does not make it untrue.”