My 5 Major and minor characters are musing about what they are about to face.
Character #1. What if you find that your young life is about to be turned upside down? You are about to make a big education/career decision and life decides its time for a curve ball. You were too young to remember the first upheaval in your life and the questions always haunt. This time you think you are prepared. You can see it coming but are powerless to stop it. You are determined to outsmart the "pitcher" but you are a rookie in this game. So play you must.
Character #2. What if you know your end is near? You want to make sure that all of the lessons you have tried to impart to your charge have been learned. Your pupil has been apt but his age concerns you. Will be be able to discern hidden meanings and apply them to his world? What if you charge two of your closest advisors to guide him? What if he is not able to solve the riddles of the past? Both his and the family past.
Character #3. What if I am unable to fulfill the last wishes of my dying friend? I think he chose well, his heir. The young man shows promise, but needs more time to develop. I, too, am advancing in years and face an adversary more menacing than time. Voices of the past whisper loudly and some, other than the family, have heard them. What if I am not able to be of service until the end?
Character #4. What if I can not bear any more losses? I promised long ago that no harm would happen to the boy, now man. If I lose my lifelong companion, can I see this through? I do have others on my side. They were welcomed into the fold long ago. We have protected the secret for so long. What if, as I feel in my bones, that the time is right for the descendant to rise and solve the puzzle? The protection has fallen to both our families. Will the secret coming to light finally unite both of our houses?
Character #5. What if what he says is true? He is really coming back to stay? What if I am not the one he is looking for? If he does come to claim what is rightfully his, will he "see" me? What if he still sees me as nothing more than his childhood friend, the daughter of the ranch manager? I have no intentions of changing anything I do to please him. He must accept me as I am or friends we will remain. Still, there is that corner of my heart that whispers, "What If?"