Friday Writing

ShatteredGlass

(Sometimes, I put myself into “automatic” and write whatever comes to mind to unwind. This is an example of such)

He saw her, and when he did, he nearly crushed the crystal goblet in his hand. She still had stars for eyes, coral colored lips curled into the familiar, breathtakingly beautiful smile. He could hear her laughter through the stretch of years better than he could hear it across the crowded ballroom. Against the wall, he was inconspicuous as she walked into the room. Yet, somehow, her eyes went straight to his, out of the hundreds. He saw there his universe reflect back to him. A warrior cry of triumph wanted to rip itself from his throat in what would have shattered the same inspiration. Her eyes had a fleeting moment of pain that made him more ashamed than he could ever name as much as it thrilled him. Yes, he had seen her. Moreover, she had seen him, and she still knew him.

Time meant nothing as the stars traveled across the sky until she could break away from the many to find him, the few. Her first words were not of greeting, but of accusation. “Of all times you had to come to me and say you still live, you have come now, on my wedding night?”

“Of all the men you could have chosen to wed, you chose the Grand Commander?” He retorted, with the same mixture of irony, malice, and hopelessness.

She said nothing, but met his gaze. Would that he were staring at a line that outnumbered his own tenfold then the calm resolution that came of her eyes and their accusation of his folly. She was right, of course. After the Battle of Girund, he had but only to have a single dispatch sent to her father’s house, and these past twelve years would have been nothing as they had been.

Ironically, he knew what it was to face tenfold-odds, yet he could not meet the pain in her eyes. Pain he had caused with his singular drive never to see what lay before him. Was it easier to love her knowing he would never have to bare the responsibility of having her love him back? Was it easier to let her believe him dead and have she marry another so he could hate her for being the love his life without ever having to be the love of hers? He punched the wall softly, leaning his head against his arm on the hard stones.
“Why is it so easy to carry the hate, and so frightening to love?” She whispered softly.

He turned and glared at her, starting her. “The hate fuels my drive to live. It is all that sustains me! What would you know, in your comfort and your warmed bed? To know the cold of night alone…that has never been your fate! But I have suffered and that suffering is what gives me the passion to continue!”

Like heart blood from a wound, each of her tears burned into his body as they fell from her eyes. “Hope of love of you drove me to continue when I was so lonely I wished for death. Hope I would hold you again was all that kept me alive. I suffered from more than a decade of a bed, cold and alone, wet with my tears for loss of you. I could have been your passion, as you have been mine.”

She wiped the tears away with the back of her hand; her betrothal and wedding rings scrapping gently against her cheek, making her look like a doll in her white gown. A life lost flashed before his eyes; arms and body aching for the night that would come for the Grand Commander; for what she would share with her husband and never with him. He opened his mouth to speak, but saw something in her eyes that kept him silent.

“For so long you’ve held to your loneliness. Happiness would destroy what makes you the best that you are. You can be cold because you make yourself alone. That is your strength. However, my strength is knowing that there are better worlds than these, and knowing that my destruction will no more bring you to my heart then your loving me would ever fulfill that need for battle within your soul. We are tied to our fates; mine to never feel I am loved as deeply by anyone then the one that cares nothing for me, and you to be alone and always blame the ones you leave behind for breaking your heart. We are the same in our blame to the opposites of our natures.”

She raised a goblet from the table beside her. “To our illusions!” She toasted and drank the goblet dry. She crashed the goblet to the floor to the cheers of her guests (for a bride can do no wrong on her wedding day), and walked back across the room to her husband’s side, leaving him, truly, alone.

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