Not To Hold

by Kandadze

Part 2: Helch*

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Everything is fading in me, slowly but inevitably. I feel like someone who has just lost her sight and fights in vain to keep the memory of beloved faces, colors and light. Eowyn asked me once if I could still hear trees and plants talking to me. I said yes... and I was lying. I write down everything I remember for I fear it won't be long before I get completely useless - to her, to him...

My father foretold me that my life as a mortal would grow hard on me, but when I pledged myself to Estel I was so sure of my love, sure of my strength. This struggle proves how wrong one could be. I do not know myself anymore... When she's with me I find myself being swept away by a whirlwind of emotion, leaving me breathless, shaken to the core, one with the whole world. When she is not near, I cannot help but question my heart - do I love her? Or do I long for this feeling she creates in me, the feeling of being First Born again, something I gave up for the sake of the mortal I am afraid to face now?

"Do you miss Eowyn already?"

He knows... How could he not feel her scent and touch imprinted on me, with those Ranger senses of his?

"Amin hiraetha**, Undomiel. I shouldn't have stayed away for so long."

"Do not take my feelings lightly, Estel. I am not a child, who easily replaces a toy taken away for a while with a new one."

I see my words sink in those smoky eyes, as old and wise as those of an elf.

"I have no doubts you are not. And yet you expect me to believe you love her as strongly as me?"

I am afraid. Afraid, that I use her to feel everything become clearer, louder, more intense once again. Afraid, that she loves me... Afraid that I do not love Estel anymore.

"I have no expectations towards you!... Estel. You always had the patience of stone. Please, do not let it shatter now. Give me some time."

I am afraid of this weakness in me.

The mortal concept of time still confuses me. It could have been three years... I have finished my book. I feel empty. My dreams full of salty winds carry me to the sea... The eternal whisperings it keeps 1 are the last audible voices of my past left. I feel longing... It is strange that the waves don't sting, even though there is an open wound in my heart. I follow the distant call, each step bringing me deeper and closer to it. Everything turns grey and the only sound I can hear now is the murmur of my blood.

Author's note: *kneeling, with chocolate covered Boromir on a salver* big thank you to zasjah for wonderful beta job!

* Sindarin: "bitter cold"
** Quenya: "I'm sorry"
1 from Keats' "On the Sea"

Chapter 1