Slow Comes the Morning - Chapter Four

It's easier to run
Replacing this pain with something numb
It's so much easier to go
Than face all this pain here all alone

Something has been taken
From deep inside of me
A secret I've kept locked away
No one could ever see
Wounds so deep they never show,
They never go away
Like moving pictures in my head
For years and years they've played

If I could change I would
Take back the pain I would
Retrace every wrong move that I made I would
If I could
Stand up and take the blame I would
I would take all my shame to the grave

Sometimes I remember
The darkness of my past
Bringing back these memories
I wish I didn't have
Sometimes I think of letting go
And never looking back
And never moving forward so
There would never be a past
"Easier to Run" by: Linkin Park on the Meteora album

Aarynne stirred in the still night, unable to sleep. The night air swirled around her restless figure, beckoning her out of her confining chambers, into the open. Aarynne stood, wrapping a long, graceful cloak around her slender form, and walked out into the hours of darkness that most found so disturbing.
To Aarynne, these hours meant escape; they meant freedom from people and places she didn't want to deal with. As she walked, steadily, but not rapidly, heavy thoughts pounded her mind. The surrounding beauty of Lorien faded as her thoughts filled her mind's eye with memories.
She once again could taste dirt in her mouth as she was shoved down a flight of stairs to her prison. She could see the horrors of Mordor clearly, as if it was only yesterday that she was their hostage. She could still smell the hot metal and stale gas that the place was rank with, but mostly, she still lived with the dread of each new day.
Unbeknownst to her, hot tears streamed down her cheeks, leaving small streaks on her gently goldened skin. She walked, moving without fail, until she collapsed by the stream. Her unknown tears became choked sobs as she knelt, her arms wrapped around herself. She wanted nothing more than to be rid of this---this weight that she carried in her heart each day.
There were moments, rare instances that the weight lifted, even if just for a moment. Yet, each day she woke, a feeling of disquiet settling over her without fail. This she carried with her, a secret, a fear, a pain; this she carried each day, for nigh on ten years.
Seemingly from nowhere, Lomion appeared, licking the tears from Aarynne's face, and allowing her to wrap her arms about him, finding whatever comfort she could.
Soon, her sobs were quelled by her own exhaustion. With no strength to move from her place, she lay her head down and tried to find some peace in a dreamless sleep, the near luminescent figure of Lomion ever by her side.
The day before they were to leave for Rivendell, Arwen came to Aarynne with a smile on her face. Seeing her dear sister smile so broadly made Aarynne's heart lift a bit.
"Come Aarynne, there is something you simply must see." Arwen said, holding out her hand. Aarynne stood, rising from the bench on which she sat, and grabbed it. After many confusing twists and turns, Aarynne finally stepped into the most beautiful part of Caras Galadhon she'd ever seen.
The soft grass was a cool, soothing green, dotted with the beautiful Elanor flowers native to Lorien. The trees were tall, with their smooth, silvery bark glinting in the sun. There seemed to be an air of pure joy and simplistic beauty about this place that would make anyone smile. It seemed to be of a dream-world, one that Aarynne had long since lost.
It was here the sisters spent their day. Eating and laughing, speaking of older times, even dancing. For the first time in a long time, Aarynne felt the peacefulness of simple pleasure dancing in her heart.
As evening drew near and the sun began to sink below the horizon, creating beautiful colors in the expansive sky, Aarynne sighed.
"Thank you for this day, Arwen," she said quietly. "You know not how it has helped me." Arwen smiled and took her younger sister's hand.
"We will make it through whatever challenges the future holds, I promise. We'll do it together." Aarynne smiled at her sister's comforting words, and somewhere, deep inside of her, she began to believe it.
A cool, pleasant mist began to creep about the sister's ankles as they walked back to their respective chambers. Aarynne looked at herself long and hard in the mirror once she reached her room. She looked past her appearance and into her own deep blue eyes. They were full of so many jumbled emotions. So many confused thoughts and feelings that they took on a secretive and sad look to them. She silently mulled over Arwen's words. It was hard not to believe her own sister, and yet, it was hard to trust her all the same. Just maybe, this would be all right, just maybe this would work, yet doubt ever gnawed at her spirit. She wanted it to be all right, she needed it to be all right, but she knew, or at least thought she knew, that there was no possible way that it would be all right.
She sat, still in front of the mirror, though no longer seeing herself. Instead she saw images of Rivendell, of her life there before she left. The memories came back full force, bringing bitter tears to her eyes. She saw herself as a young elfling, after her siblings had all left, sitting outside her father's study, waiting for the horse ride together that her father had promised. She sat, and waited, and waited, but he never came. She saw herself confronting him about it the next day, and consequently, him yelling at her. He was busy, and didn't have time for childish complaints, he had told her. He didn't have time, or patience, he never had, and never would, she knew.
She saw this, and so many more instances, the reasons, so vivid now in the mirror, that she had left Rivendell, left her home, to find a better life. She smirked cynically at this now, knowing what it had truly brought. Only more pain and regret...but these were her burdens, hers alone to bear, though they were getting heavier, and harder to tolerate.
She pushed these thoughts away, wiped the tears from her cheeks and lay on her soft bed. Once again, she shoved everything that hurt to the back of her conscious and forced herself to accept her fate.
A pale morning came all too soon, lighting the silver expanse of Lorien with a cold light. Aarynne looked out over the courtyard where their mounts were being prepared, and their bags were being packed. She pulled on a smoothly fitting baby blue dress and brushed through her dark hair one last time before pulling it back in a single braid.
"Aarynne?" Arwen spoke kindly, peeking her head inside Aarynne's chambers. "Are you ready?" Aarynne smiled bleakly without answering, and grabbed her small pack.
"That's all your taking?" Arwen asked in disbelief at the diminutive size of the rucksack.
"I don't have much, and I don't need much." She answered, joining her elder sister at the door. Together, they walked down the many stairs and corridors of the tree-dwelling civilization until coming upon their escorts and mounts.
"Where is Lomion?" Aarynne asked testily. The two accompanying escorts shifted uncomfortably and would not speak.
"We thought it would be a burden to take him," her grandfather answered, coming up behind the sisters, "and that it would be quite easy for him to get lost on the paths, so we will keep him here."
"Then I stay," Aarynne replied stubbornly. Galadriel laughed lightly.
"Don't be silly dear, it's just an animal! He will be fine."
"He comes with me, or I don't go." She stated again. Seeing that she was gravely serious and unwilling to relent, Galadriel nodded.
"All right then, don't worry yourself. Rumil," she called to one of the escorts, "please fetch the Lady Aarynne's wolf, won't you?" Rumil smiled, and set after the task promptly.
Galadriel then turned to Arwen and began to speak with her. Aarynne, however, had shut out the world at this point, and was contentedly gazing at the morning sky. This was soon interrupted by a happy bark.
"Lomion!" Aarynne smiled, kneeling down to pet the snow-white creature. The wolf happily licked her hand and wagged his tail at his master's cooing. "Let's go, hm?" Lomion barked again, and Aarynne mounted her steed.
"I'm ready." She announced quietly, watching the others mount their horses and bidding farewell to the Lord and Lady of the Golden Wood. Ready? No. Willing? No again, but desperate? Yes.

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