Andrannath (crazyca) wrote in afterthering,

Title: Memories
Author: crazyca
Rating: Hm... I'm no good at that... nothing much, it's just, well... sad... to me.
Pairing: My two/three characters
Disclaimer: These characters are mine! My only!!! My... um... nevermind... they have no names or so, I only used Tolkien's environment.
Notes: Well, people this is my first Tolkien-related story EVER, so, as me is still a virgin in these waters, don't be too hard! Although, I'd kill to know what you think! So, if you think I suck and should never write again, please, tell me, and if by any chance, you think I'm... readable... THANK YOU!
Beta: No beta, hehe... no one knew I could write some of this sort till now! :oP
Summary: The War of the Ring is over, although Sauron managed to mess with people's lives one last time, so, one woman, whose life was destroyed due to Sauron's schemes, on her way to her death meets an elf on his way to his Final Yourney.
One last thing: I didn't know how to describe my story, what category it would be and so, so I x-posted it everywhere I thought it would at least partially belong. So, sorry, guys, if I placed it in wrong communities! It wasn't on purpose, just of dumbness! :oP

Maybe it was a dream. Maybe it was not. Maybe… it was something in between. I yet not know, for I am not sure what there is to know. It feels like a dream, this image that comes to my mind. Something I might have lost long ago, or is it something I never had? I do not know, and for a youngster I am, these things confuse me. And yet, it intrigues me. Is it another life? Reminiscence of something I had and lost? Who is she, the woman of my dreams? Or, should I say, who am I? Someone comes to my dreams, her voice remains when I wake. Someone of whom I dream, a memory, a wish, a life…
I remember, I remember me. My first memory.
Eight years old, motherless, wizard’s face, calm and gentle. My father’s eyes, worried. Cursed, he told me, cursed for coming to life with the death of the Eye.
“I guess it was his last deed”, the wizard was worried “to curse the unborn.” It was cruel of him to tell me the truth at that age. It is hard for a child to know she stayed motherless for the mother gave life instead of her child.
“It was her choice”, my father told me “your mother’s love blessed you.” She died to give me life. But my mother is alive! I have not lost her!
They thought I was asleep, but when I think of it know, the wizard knew better. When I think of it now… When I think of it then… Does time exist in this world?
“I have met many children who share her fate, and even more died as they were born. She is one of the lucky ones, if that is to be put that way…“
“Lucky ones?!” my father, infuriated, faking calmness “To watch her fade day by day? Not being able to help her, just look at her lying on the floor, in pain?!” he broke.
“You do not know if she will fade” the wizard was so calm, always calm, “she looks healthy , so much life in her, she will live long, she has so much co…”
And it happened. I was gone. Time stopped for me. Yet, that never happened to me, I was never ill. How can I be ill? Darkness took me.
I remember, a memory… my next memory… I was thirteen, nearly fourteen. Looking at my reflection in the mirror, and wizard came behind me, eyes worried.
“A young woman you are, soon, you will have to run from the men around you.” Laughter. Thirteen? I cannot look that way thirteen? I am a mere child, a young one! I should be a child! I was tall, almost as the wizard, and very slim, “and as shiny as an elf”, my father would say. I never saw an elf. I never saw an elf… An elf… My reflection in the mirror. Everything fit there, for a young woman. A woman… Except the eyes, so pale, almost white, my father said, when I was born, they were brown. Like my mother’s.
I was the only one alive, still lingered, no one knew why, they all died, so many children. They all died when their eyes turned white. And, mine are close… But, I have brown eyes, so dark, so lively. They tell me… I never let my hair grow over my neck. Since my father told me I remind him of my mother, I couldn’t stand my face in the mirror. At least the hair doesn’t have to be hers… at least my hair can be cut. I could never cut my hair, it is not the way of my people.
I was twenty. No man wanted me, they all feared what I presented. The wizard, who came every year, must have forgotten about me. Although, the voices said, all were gone, all of them were gone… I knew my life has passed. My life nearly began! I couldn’t, I wouldn’t let my father see my corpse. He cried as I packed. I cried as I packed, but my decision was final. Some things must be done. Some people have to be abandoned. For their own good.
The hardest thing was saying goodbye to the sea, the bright shores I saw daily, and have always taken for granted. The sea… Who farewells the sea? The sea… a place which even the elves dream of… The sea… I might be looking at the shore of my past life this very moment. Somewhere in the distance, my dreams have faded… Somewhere in the distance, this woman looks at me.
I walked, a woman no one wanted and everyone pitied. A woman with twenty, a woman is a child. I walked, refusing to remember the way, I walked, refusing to know the time. Days have passed, weeks have passed, I must admit I do not know. I refused to know. I cried to my death. To my death? Do I die in this life? Do I have this life?
And then it came, weakness, light, maybe the last time? And darkness took me. Anyone listening to my prayer, do not let me fade!

Oh, heavens, oh, weakness, to wake to that sight! A warm cloak around me, gentle hands, like feathers, touching me.
“Are you warm, lady? Are you well? His pale skin shone in the dark, gentle face, so beautiful.
“Have I died, or are you sent from above? This beauty cannot be from this world.” He smiled at my sleepy response.
I spent days with him. Someone I never met. An elf, a wanderer, on his long way home, to say his goodbyes before his final voyage. To say goodbye to his family. Grateful I am, for not having to make that choice.
Strange it was, since I met this perfection, darkness refused to claim me. I begged him to let me stay near him, to go to his home, to see the other elves, if any remained, before I died. Sadness, unwillingness in his eyes. Refusal?
“Please, allow me that! Grant me a wish, my mortal wish.”
Was that a tear in his eye? As he touched my hair… “Such kindness, such grace will be gone with you… So many years have passed, and we still suffer His malice.” Was that a tear in my eye? Could have I been touched by his short presence?

Time passed, space passed, we were walking when needed, running when needed, sleeping in nighttime, in the cover of the woods, when there were some, and being awake with the sun. Strange was my companion, very old, with many tales to say. I shared him my short life, he shared parts of his life with me. Such an evil thing it is, knowing you might disappear any moment, and you have to enjoy what you have. Something I have never done in my short life. And, yet, darkness refused to come.
I feared I might become a burden on his voyage, though he never shared any of those thoughts with me. Elves are good at hiding. Even from their loved ones.
My life is fading, I do not know how I know that. I feel, I know, my life will soon be gone. I know I want to finish everything before I go. A feeling coming to my heart, lust approaching…
“I want a man”, I didn’t know how to tell that to him, I just had to.
“There’s a village 3 days’ walk from here, I’m certain you will find one ready to serve your purpose there.” There was no surprise in his eyes, just plain calmness.
Long silence. How could I say something like that? Where was my mind? I should know better. I know better. I know I have no life, I know I have only death to look forward to. And, yet, the only thing that came to my mind was having a man, my first and final time. Not the way of my people. Not my way…
Long silence. His eyes were set on the fire. It’s light and shadow playing on his beautiful face. So calm, always so calm. With fire light in his eyes, lips partly open. As he refused to move.
“I didn’t mean that…” silence… this was harder than I expected, “I meant that, but… I meant you…”
As though nothing happened. I was shaking, not knowing what to do. Not knowing what he’d do. I was moments from losing my only companion. Do I love him? Can I love him? Can I not? A perfection given to me… someone was still kind to me… someone gave me a reason to live, someone gave me a reason to love.
“I know…” was his only response. Yes, he knew. He knew some things from the moment he saw me. I knew them too, only, I was hiding them, from myself. I was fighting with myself, but one voice prevailed, one voice said “you will die, you don’t have the luxury of wondering”.
“But, then…” I stopped, my voice broke, “Why…”
“Don’t!” First real emotion in his voice, only I was in too much awe to be able to understand it.

Oh, I understand it now. Oh, I know all the fears now. Such a wicked fate it is, not to be able to control images that come to my mind. I wake in horror in the morning, with the memory of every scent and touch, every detail, scared to mention my dreams to anyone.
He stood up, left the fire and escaped in the darkness, without a word. I thought, for a second, that he will never come back, and then I gathered my senses and noticed all his belongings. Everything was still here, everything but their owner. I wouldn’t let this moment go away, I wouldn’t let him escape.
He stood at the edge of a clearing, stars playing on his back, hand holding a tree. A thought of escape fighting in his head. Emotion with reason. I approached him quietly. You cannot surprise an elf. For a second I thought I have defeated his senses, just for a moment I thought he knew nothing of my silent arrival. Was I wrong. He turned around, grabbed me and pushed me to a tree faster than I realized what was happening. And there was so much fire in his eyes, they were darker than I ever thought eyes could be, there was tension in his face, his entire body burning, something fighting inside him, emotions and events I never thought I would witness.
“You were not supposed to come to my life! I was supposed to go away, now that finally I have nothing to look forward in my life, I was supposed to try and find peace somewhere far away from this place!”
His hands became harder with every word he spoke, soon I was unable to breathe, and too afraid to move, for something was burning inside me, something I was certain could kill me any time. Kill me. What difference does it make? If I die from hands of someone I wish to love, or if I die from something natural, something that was written as I was born? What is the difference, to me?
He realized, just a second after, how much he is hurting me, and he let go. We stood there, for what it seemed an eternity, a woman with nothing and an elf with too much to lose.
I had to break the silence, I couldn’t take his fake calmness anymore. “I do not seek your love, I do not seek your understanding, for our lives differ in far too many things, I know my request is strange, and I doubt anyone would ask you something similar soon…” my voice broke, my voice failed me when I needed it the most, “I do not ask you to love me, nor to care for me, I ask one night of you, for I can love you… for I do love you… although I realized it just now” I had to smile, it was all so strange. Nothing of a sort as I would do. I amaze myself.
“I know that, I know you ask nothing of me…”
“Then, what is wrong?”
“I couldn’t help myself wanting to give you everything…”

Weakness, light. And darkness took me.
Of all the things, of all the memories, this one brings tears to my eyes. Knowing there’s so much you want to do, and there’s nothing that you can. How did I do that? Why did I do that? Do I deserve happiness, when I kept hiding my own emotions from me? So many secrets… and he knew me better than I did. The elf I know nothing of. The elf I don’t even know…

I woke up to a familiar sight, warm cloak around me, still darkness, gentle fingers touching me, taking care of me, trying to find faults or injuries. Gentle caresses, which have no reason being there. The elf I know nothing of. The elf whose touches make my flesh burn for. He didn’t touch me this way before. And I was scared he’ll notice I’m awake and stop. Please, don’t stop.
Soon, his voice followed his hands, with a soft song, he started putting me back to sleep. Like a mother I never had. Like my mother.
I wanted to move, opened my mouth to say something, but his finger stopped me, and while opening my eyes, I saw his head near me, “Hush. Don’t speak, rest…” Does he not see I cannot find rest in his arms? Does he not feel the warmth of my body as his fingers touch my skin? Does he not see what he does to me?!
My hand travels to his ear, to his hair, touches his cheek and pulls him closer, closer so I can feel him with my nose, with my lips, with my tongue. He does not fight, he encourages my attempts, knowing I know not better, slowly becomes an instrument in my hands, willing to teach me what he knows, the experience he has, while my body slowly recovers from the pain in his arms, and moves to play to his song…

I thought this was the end, I thought now I can die without any regrets, but now I know that my life has begun, I have found a reason to linger more. I have found joy in washing my lover’s body in a lake or a river, no matter how cold it were, or in brushing his tangled hair in the morning, knowing I was the reason for it’s mess, or falling to sleep with his eyes watching me, knowing I’m safe. Darkness didn’t come again, for a long time, and I did not know why, tried to tell myself it’s the newfound joy, but knew different. We soon reached the lands of his people, almost deserted, but still beautiful, still place, as it was supposed to be, a paradise the immortal created for themselves, a perfection. A home. None of his family remained, they were all gone years ago, and he missed them, but rejoiced to their new meeting.
It was a mere memory, what I had with my lover. Something we both feared and postponed as much as possible, scared we might break someday if we allowed our feelings to evolve. And, yet, we were both too weak to do anything about it.
A memory… A hot day, sun high above, midday, empty rooms, we alone, eating. We tried, pretended nothing was happening, but some things are inevitable, I broke. Tears were running down my face and before I managed to open my eyes, there he was, someone I loved more than life, on his knees, on the floor beside me, crying, holding my legs in a firm embrace. He seems so soft. Through our sighs, few words come to life.
“I will not leave, I promise you…”
“Don’t!”, as though we changed places, he was the one begging, and I refusing.
“I cannot leave you, my love.”
He cannot say that! He cannot mean that! He cannot love a mortal! His life will be gone! He cannot mean that!!
“Promise me one thing”, strength came to my body, my voice, “ when I die, you will leave, do not linger here, not an hour more than needed!”
“You don’t know wha…”
“Promise me that!!!”

So much can happen in such a short time. Too many lives can be changed in seconds sometimes. Did I not know what was inevitable? Did I not learn to listen to my senses all the times?
A sickness… illness… I was with child, maybe from the first night we uncovered our love, maybe later, but the one I carried was growing strong. My love noticed it before I did. He knows me better than I do… He had to remain now, he had to live on. For he had to raise a motherless child, if a mother survived long enough to give it life. My life for my child’s one. This was all a torture, a torture for me, for my child and for its father.
I refused to see my reflection in the mirror, for I lost all the life in me, I was pale, my lips were grey, my body weakened and soon I was to remain in bed. What a torture for my loved ones, for my child, and for its father.
Memories refuse to come to my mind, images refuse to dance in my eyes, I do not know how long she lay in bed, I do not know how long did my death walk towards me. Short images of the elf I love sitting next to my bed, short smells of his hair as I cry in his arms, short tingles on my skin, as he touches me, as his tears fall on me.

Pain, screams… The child wanted to live, it had more strength than its mother. I was in pain, I do not know how long, all the remaining elves heard my screams, healers came to keep me alive as long as possible. Between waves of pain, I held my lover’s hand, he sang to me all the time, we said our goodbyes.
I do not remember seeing anyone cry as much, his eyes were red, his lips were wet, he kissed me so many times, I cannot count, and I cherished every as it was my last one. This torture lasted for centuries, so it seemed. But soon my cries became sighs, my tears disappeared, and the voices in the room were gone, the pain numbed, everything slowed down. Worried faces disappeared so slow I was scared this frightening moment would last an eternity. My lover’s hands holding me tighter and tighter, as though he would keep me alive with his strength. My lover’s kisses all over my face, as his gentleness is enough to keep me here. My lover’s tears telling me I shouldn’t go. So many reasons for me to remain, and so much power pulling me to the other side. My child’s first cry, my lover’s smile through his tears, one glance towards the sound, and back to me, voices becoming stronger, someone holding me tightly, tears, cries, lament… darkness.

I am standing at the shore, watching a white ship approach. A ship carrying a precious cargo, elves, who long ago, left these shores are coming home. My heart jumps, for I know more than anyone could imagine. The ship approaches, bringing its precious passengers. I know who comes to meet me, I know whose life is sealed to my own. I raise my head, and point my eyes to the shore on which, for the last time, he places his foot. He, my lover, my elf, the father of my child. A child older than me.
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