Not To Hold

by Kandadze

Part 4: Nallon*

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The sea-gulls are very different from the birds of the forest. I hear myself in their anxious cry, in the way they skim the waves as if drawn to and scared of them at the same time. Salt on my lips, I remember the green halls I used to roam, my father, my brothers, my folk. I can still see them in my dreams, but remembering does not grieve me anymore.

At least now I know the turmoil in me. Maybe it was there all along, but had I not chosen this fate it would not have revealed itself... A challenge and a trial. Now I can turn these feelings around, examine them, shape them as I please. As I must... I must see Eowyn.

***

She walks along the shore, laughing at the waves fawning on her, kissing her feet, the wind weaving her hair into the rays of the sun 1. As if moved by a gale I fall into her arms and she kisses the tart taste of longing and loneliness off my lips. Then I move away.

"I have something for you..."

She looks at the book I have offered to her.

"This is my knowledge, my thoughts, everything that is in me."

"I... I cannot..."

"It is mine to give to whom I will..." Like my heart. Why do the tears not come?

"Please. I want you to understand..."

She inhales sharply, as if the warm fingers of the wind caressing her face suddenly pressed on her throat. Then she nods.

"I will stay with Estel."

"... Of course."

"He... he needs me."

Hiding her eyes behind her hair, she nods again, her exhalation slow and deliberate.

"I know."

I wish she told me she needed me, too. I wish she got angry with me. Instead, she traces the gilt adornments on the cover, splinters of light stinging in her fingertips.

"This is farewell, then..."

"No!" I cling to her as if I was another layer of her dress, the one closest to her body. She holds me tight, the book clasped between us.

"Do you want me to read it now?"

***

Beads of water slide down my palms, translucent jewels of the moment. I hear the whisper of the sea, ancient mystery that even the wisest elves cannot conceive. No. I do not belong to them anymore. I turn away, feeling the wind playing with my hair, reminding me again - always - of her. She raises her head, her gaze soft and warm.

"My lady... when I woke up in the Houses of Healing I thought I would never be able to feel again. No sorrow, no anger, no hope. I could have been dead, it would not make any difference. Faramir..." she pauses and I see her eyes grow full of tender care. 2 I wonder if she ever thinks of me wearing that smile...

"He taught me there are seasons within us. If you are able to cry..." she touches my face gently. No, I am not! "... then the winter of your heart is passing away. And the spring is near."

"You are the reason" I whisper fiercely, leaning into her touch. "You are the warm wind melting the snow in me."

And so my world narrows to her slender form shielding me, her lips taking my breath away, making me feel the most precious and worshipped person ever. I respond eagerly, desperately, pouring my soul into her hands... Lacing our fingers together we exchange broken phrases, engraving this perfect moment on the inside of our eyelids.

And as her arms tighten around me I hear the sea and sands, the fire and the flutter of the moths, nay, not whispering - they sing!... And I cry.

Author's note: *as we have run out of Gondor-toys, that leaves us with a container of vanilla ice-cream for a certain purpose* to zasjah, for beta and more ^_^

* Sindarin: "I cry"
1 written by one and only zasjah, used with her kind permission
2 from Yeats' "The Two Trees"

 

Chapter 3