“Lena, someone’s here looking for you. I had him wait by your tent, didn’t know if it would be okay to let him in.” One of the apprentices informed as he passed. It took a moment for the words to sink in and disturb the woman’s concentration enough to tear her attentions away from the book she was reading. It was one of the few quiet days she had since she was appointed leader of the White Shadows. For a peaceful clan, things were often too chaotic in the healers’ encampment to allow peace of mind; irony at its best in Lena’s opinion. As she closed the book, she stood from where she sat amongst the tall grass of one of the gardens and glanced in the direction of her tent. It was clear to her who was standing there even at a distance.
From where she stood it seemed as though Eldric had changed very little in five years and she briefly wondered if that was a good thing or not. Heaving a long sigh she started to walk towards the man, feeling that the distance between the gardens and her tent had never been greater, not realizing that for the first time in a very long time she was hesitant. As she reached the tent, however, she simply walked past the man and entered, responding with an angry snort as she heard him follow her inside. “I didn’t say you could come in.”
Eldric sighed softly, not seeming too fazed by the hostility; it’s not as if it was completely unexpected after all. “You didn’t say anything, I simply chose to take your silence as consent.” He retorted.
“Oh? Well, I’m afraid I’ve taken your five years of silence as something else entirely…” Lena started, stopping herself for a brief moment and shaking her head. “What do you want from me, Eldric?” She questioned, occupying herself with carefully storing her book underneath her sleeping mat, apart from the piles of other books that accumulated here and there in the tent. “What could you possibly have to say to me now?”
“Are you honestly going to blame me for being angry all this time? You left me. You left. You walked away and I stood there waiting for you to at least look back, but no… You make even that seem easy.” He argued, dark brown eyes persistently fixed on the back of her head, waiting for her to turn around and face him. “I was angry, Lena. Five years and I’m still angry.”
“I was leaving my life, Eldric. The decision I made wasn’t easy, but it was also not about you. I may have walked away from you when you were asking me to stay, when I knew that I couldn’t stay; and I like to think you didn’t understand what you were asking of me, rather than consider that you just didn’t care, because that keeps me from actually hating you, but the truth is I didn’t disappear into the shadows, it was no secret where I was going, and I have been here every day ever since that night. I won’t say that I waited, but if I had, I would have given up by now.” Lena shook her head once again, trying to calm herself as she turned to face the man. “That girl you claimed to love wasn’t me. I don’t think you ever knew me, which is… A disappointment… To say the very least. I can see it in your eyes right now; you look at me and you think I’ve changed, but I haven’t changed. That mask I wore to aggravate the world, I let it go because I no longer needed it. For a moment I had to consider that being with you was just a part of that lie. It wasn’t. Not for me at least.”
“What is that supposed to mean exactly, ‘not for me at least’? You’re wrong, Lena. You are very wrong. No, I know you haven’t changed: I know who you are. I know you. Maybe it would have been easier if I didn’t. Wouldn’t it? Wouldn’t it be easier if I could just look at you now and think you’re not that girl I used to know? Wouldn’t it be easier if it was some stranger standing there and speaking of my feelings as though they were nothing? You may not have, but I waited. I waited for you to say something, give me a sign, ANYTHING. Whenever someone would visit this camp I would ask them about you and they would always tell me you were fine, that you seemed happier. I wasn’t fine, I wasn’t happy, so what was I supposed to think?”
“I am fine. I am much happier. I still love you.” Lena stated simply. “I still love you, but it doesn’t matter, Eldric. I’m still the opposite of everything your father wanted for you… Hate him all you want, but you know you always wanted those things for yourself too. What I wanted, what I needed, I found it within myself; in my ability to help others, and that’s what gives my life meaning. Were I to sacrifice this I wouldn’t be happy and were you to sacrifice that future we both know you still want you wouldn’t be either. What you want, love, you need to find it in someone else. If we had had this same conversation at any point in the past five years, that’s exactly what I would have said then.”
“Again, you make this all seem very easy.” Eldric complained. “You say you still love me, but then… The fact that we apparently are so wrong for one another doesn’t seem to affect your happiness at all.”
“A great part of what we mean to each other is a way out of difficult things, Eldric. That’s the greatest of reasons why we are just so wrong for each other; as you put it. Don’t think that this is easy for me. Don’t think that the past five years were easy, or that the next ten will be as well… I will still love you then. I will regret now and again, if even for just a moment, but it will change nothing. I can’t, for my own sake, take any part in your life and you want no part in mine. It is what it is. What do you want from me, a dramatic display of my inner suffering, Eldric? I thought you knew me better than that. I accept the reality that not every love story gets a happy ending. I may not agree with it, but I accept.”
“You’re right about one thing: I do know you. I know you haven’t changed. You’re still afraid you’ll end up like your mother somehow, that you’ll give up everything for someone who will inevitably betray you and leave you with nothing. You’re still afraid of love and the things it might make you do. I also know that if you decided you want to live your life wondering if you were wrong about this then there’s little I can do to change your heart. You will always be so much smarter and so much more stubborn than me after all.” Eldric admitted, taking a considerably shaky breath his head lowered in defeat. The man seemed to flinch, as if trying to decide on whether or not he wanted to reach out and touch her, eventually he stepped forward towards Lena, calmly reaching out to hold her face in his hands and force her to look in his eyes instead of the ground as he spoke his next words. “Listen, I didn’t come here to argue, really. I don’t want to convince you, I’m not stupid that way. I just wanted to say… It’s been five years and I didn’t give up on you; I waited. Ten years from now, I’ll still love you, but I won’t wait that long. I should have said so the night you left and I didn’t know how, but I would choose you above anyone, above anything; I need you more than I will ever be able to say, but a future is better than nothing.” He sighed, gently kissing her forehead before letting go. “Next time you regret, just tell yourself this; your life doesn’t have to lose meaning, my future doesn’t have to be ruined, the world doesn’t have to fall apart for us to be together. You just have to be able to admit that you want this. Just find me. Say something before the moment ends.”
Written in response to http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/break-the-silence/
There was no happy ending to this love story I’m afraid. These are Annie’s parents (don’t think I’ve covered Annie in my character rambles yet, but it’ll happen soon enough). They did not end up together and Eldric died before Annie even knew he was her father… and then Lena died. Aaaaw. *crawls into the cage and gives Annie a big hug* T.T
And I know she sounds a little bit like a cold hearted bitch in this, and in most things to be honest, but Lena was a sweetheart deep down. She was awesome. I miss her. *sigh* I’m depressing myself. >.>