The Persistence of Loss – Part Nine: In another life, maybe.

Ruins_and_Despair_by_AdamTLS 2

“You’re lucky to be alive, Ana…” her sister spoke softly, her voice wracked with concern, and it was genuine, Ana could hear that but she still squeezed her eyes closed, rubbed at her forehead and shook her head slowly.

No, I’m not.

And she was barely aware of her own legs moving as Rainé helped her up off the ground, and she realized as she stood, that he was gone; he’d disappeared off the edge of that tower faster than she had been able to blink and the thought occurred to her that she could have just fallen as the hallucination of her husband had and that in the space of only a second or two it would all be over, and she wondered why she hadn’t done just that.

I want you with me, every day of forever.”

“I am yours.”

“Because I’m weak, “she murmured, and the tears slid down her cheeks onto the pillow beneath her head, and it barely registered with her that she was now even in bed. She hadn’t remembered walking there, nor had she been aware of lying down at all, but she didn’t question it. She just simply closed her eyes and wept silently as her sister sat beside her on a stool at the bedside, stroking her forehead, and all Ana wanted was to be left alone and her every instinct was to push the caring hand away that sought to soothe her, to provide her with the warmth of another that no doubt loved her, but she didn’t even have the strength left in her to do it.

I’m tired.

“Sleep, Ana, “Raine told her softly, still stroking her hair, and looking down at her with concern for the one moment that she managed to often her eyes briefly, but then darkness fell again as her eyelids refused to stay open and she turned her head to lay her right cheek on the pillow, dampened from her tears and she felt herself drifting off to sleep, for what seemed like the first time in forever and her sister continued to speak, softly, her tone soothing if nothing else, for the words that reached Ana’s ears she didn’t want to hear, nor did she want to believe them. In fact she didn’t, and had she not felt as if it were the worlds most difficult thing to open her mouth and scream at that point, she would have.

She would have flung herself off the bed and screamed until her throat felt as if it were bleeding. Screamed about hopelessness and the absolute unfairness of it all. And not just where Tindómiel was concerned, but her entire family, lost to her long ago, and losing the one person she had ever dared to love and get close to since had brought it all back with a cutting viciousness that stabbed at the very core of her being, beating her down in will and resolve, ripping open wounds so old and so deep that she literally felt as if she could not bear the pain. And all over again, she reminded herself that it could have all been over already, up there on the tower, all she’d had to do was take the conscious step over the brink and she would never have returned.

I want you with me, every day of forever.”

I am yours.”

But she hadn’t, because she was weak, and Rainé’s words reached her eyes again now, as if she knew what Ana was thinking even, and she squeezed her eyes closed tighter and willed her silently to go away. Why wasn’t she even asleep yet?

Please, let this all be a bad dream. I need him. I need you.

“Ana, I want you to hear something, and it’s something that our father once told me, as a child. It’s a wonder that I still remember it really. I was only barely old enough to walk and talk. I was an impatient child, stubborn and prone to tantrums and he told me that I was strong and that I could do the things that I said I couldn’t. And so you are, too.”

“No, “Ana mumbled, burying her face into the pillow more. “I’m not, I’m weak. I don’t know how to be strong. I’ve tried.. I’ve tried so hard…I can’t do it anymore. I’m tired, Rainé, so tired…”

“You can, Ana, and you will. For he was a wise man, our Father, and were he able to be here now he would tell you that you were given this life, because you are strong enough to live it.”

“I don’t want to.”

“Sleep, Ana. Everything will look different in the morning, I promise.”

Promise or no, promise, she didn’t and wouldn’t believe it. She would wake in the morning, if she managed to sleep the night through at all, although she felt that this time she might. Months worth of exhaustion and the unrelenting grip of insomnia were now taking their toll and she was fading again, but her last coherent thought before she lost consciousness altogether were some words she had spoken not so long ago, the night that she’d told Tarcanus the news, and they remained no less true even now.

I will go on, as I always have done, because I simply have no other choice.

And his face would be the last she saw before she drifted into the sweet unconsciousness of blissfully ignorant sleep, as every night before it and every night to come.

Blood_elf_by_chuanerya 2


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