butterflies and hurricanes

Ezra felt a bit of trepidation as he stepped out in front of the press. He seldom felt nervous when addressing them now. He knew the butterflies in his stomach had far less to do with the press and far more to do with the fact that his mother still hadn’t called him.

Shaking his nervous tension away, he stepped up to the podium. He had just opened his mouth to speak when his cellular rang. His eyes widened. For a moment, he was torn. That ring tone was the one he used for his mother’s cellular! But the press…

“That’s my mother,” he said, his brows furrowing.

“Answer it,” Danny said, nodding. Several other members of the press corps nodded. A few echoed Danny’s words.

Ezra nodded and spun away. Yanking the cellular out of his jacket pocket, he flipped it open. “Mother?” he said, his voice strained.

“Hello, Ezra,” his mother said. From her tone, she might have been calling him from the hairdresser’s, rather than a place that had been struck by record setting rainfall, high winds and flood.

He chuckled softly as all the tension slipped away. “You all right?” he said. He was now keenly aware that several members of the television press were filming him. He didn’t care.

“I’m fine, Darling,” she said. Sounding just a bit annoyed, she added, “The house is a wreck and I’m at a shelter with about a hundred other people, but I’m fine. My cell was absolutely soaked! It’s finally all dried out and charged up. That’s why I called. I’m sure you and Connor were worried.”

Ezra nodded. “We were,” he said. Tears filled his eyes and he shook his head. How could he be smiling so much that his face hurt and still be crying? “Thank you for calling, Mum,” he said. “I’ve got a room full of press here…”

“I’ll let you get back to work, Darling,” Maeve said, chuckling. “I love you.”

Blinking, Ezra nodded. “Love you too,” he breathed. His mother almost never said those words to him. It was a testament to just how bad things were in South Cove if she were going to say that. He closed the cellular and tucked it away again.

Sighing, he said, “Now, then… morning announcements…” He brushed away his tears and then ruffled through his papers, struggling to refocus on the task at hand. He was still smiling, though. His mother was safe and well. That, to him personally, was all that mattered.

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