The Golden Years Part 12 - Tearful Goodbyes

It took the family three weeks to travel to the Gray Havens because Celebrian's health would only permit her to travel so far in one day. Every night in her mother's tent Arwen told her everything about her experiences in Lothlorien and when she got to the point about swearing revenge on her grandmother for lack of privacy she just laughed.

"Oh Arwen," she gasped because she was laughing so hard. "I am glad to hear that you have learned quickly but this little matter of getting revenge is not possible because my mother will not allow it."

"What she doesn't know won't hurt her."

"But she does know."

"No she doesn't"

"How do you know?"

"Because she taught me how to block her using my most private secrets."

"You actually fell for that!!!" she giggled.

"Why what is wrong?"

"She says that everytime when she wants someone to tell her something that they are hiding." she said.

"How do you know that it is not true?" said Arwen defensively.

"How do think that she found out about my secret crush on your father before she even met him."

"She tricked you."

"No I stumbled into that one all by myself because when I first met your father I thought that I had to do anything to see him again."

"Tell me the story." said Arwen

"One day he was visiting in the palace when my mother was gone. She was with sercurity in a different part of the forest giving a yearly review. That was the first time I laid eyes on him and he was so handsome that I nearly fainted but I managed to save my dignity and left the room. I thought to myself that I had to see him again and so I started following him. Well about a week later he was walking among the trees going to the waterfall and reflecting pool to go for a swim and of course I followed him. But I knew something he didn't, all of the trees of Lothlorien are intertwined and so I would climb among them. Not very princess like, but it was much faster than walking on the ground because of the tremendous crowds. Now every princess has a decoy that looks almost exactly like the princess just ensure a little extra protection."

"What was her name?" asked Arwen.

"Her name was Malena although it was just the nickname I had for her because I never knew her real name. Anyway as I said your father was going to the swimming hole and so was Malena. I reached the pool long before they did because my way was faster but I noticed in the distance that your father was following her. This just about broke my heart because at the time I thought that he loved her instead of me. Much later on after he married me he told me his side of the story but I am sure you will want to hear it from him yourself. Now where was I? Oh yes, your father was following Malena and so I watched because he was behaving very strange. He looked as if he was watching something or someone that was forbidden to him and he didn't want to get caught. So he followed very carefully and from a distance as if he was spying on her. Malena was unaware and went for a swim after she left he just sat there by the pool just looking at the water. I was about twenty or so feet above him and admiring him from a distance."

"What happened next?" asked Arwen.

"Well I did a really stupid thing. I went to far out onto the branch where it was too thin to support me and it broke. I fell into the pool with a mighty big splash terribly embarrassing it was. I surfaced and I tried to swim away but the fall was from so high that I broke my leg. I could not swim with a broken leg and started to drown. Your father rescued me and pulled me to shore. I was in such terrible pain but I did not want you father to know. He asked me if I was all right and then he saw my face. He studied me as if he was not quite sure if he should believe his eyes. Looking perplexed he asked me. "Who are you?"

"Spitting out water I told him that I was Princess Celebrian. He asked me how that was possible seeing as how he saw her leave. I told him that it was my decoy Malena whom he had been following. He looked terribly embarrassed at that moment and then I realized that he was trying to follow me and that he followed the wrong person in the first place. That was when he saw my leg, he started freaking out and said that I needed medical attention, but the pool was too far from the palace to send for help immediately."

"Right then he touched my leg and this was far too painful for me to stand and I did the wimpiest thing I could do. I fainted. I did not stay passed out for vary long because when I awoke I realized that your father was carrying me back to the palace. It was incredibly awkward for him because he was trying to not move my leg or at least move it as little as possible. I thought that this was very gallant of him and so I did not say a word. I just layed in his arms and let him carry me. When he got to the palace he told the guard that I the princess had a broken leg. The guard took me from his arms and led me to the hospital wing. The doctors patched me up and put a cast on me. I was just looking at your father the entire time. He had a look a such caring that I thought to myself he likes me and he doesn't even know me. I was bursting with happiness. When the doctors finally finished he carried me back to private parlor reserved for our family, he put me down on the sofa and asked me if I was truely the princess. I told him everything and when I finished he said the exact same thing about me and that he thought he was following me and not my decoy. He left the room and my parents came in. I refused to tell them what had happened except for the fact that I had fallen out of the tree and that Elrond rescued me."

Just then outside of the tent Elrond said.

"What lies is she telling you now." he said in a joking voice.

"I am telling her of our first date."

"And it is such a beautiful story." said Arwen.

"You didn't tell her about Malena did you?"

"Of course I did. Did you think that I was only going to make myself look stupid while telling this story." said Celebrian.

"That is not end, my mother knew that I was hiding something from her and she knew that I would not tell of my own free will. So she pulled that line that she pulled on you and said that secrets protected me. She found out what had happened but I was not aware that she knew my secret until she told me the night that Elrond proposed to me. When I asked for my parents permission to marry she told me of her little guilty secret and made promise not to tell my father. But now that you the truth you need to stop keeping secrets from your grandmother because she will find out anyway."

"So I don't get to have my revenge." said Arwen gloomily.

"I am afraid not sweetie."
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They finally reached the Gray Havens. Celebrian pulled each child aside and told them that even though she was leaving that she would always love them. She also said that it was not Elrond's idea for her to sail, it was hers. She pulled her daughter aside to speak to her where her father and brothers couldn't hear them and said to her.

"Sweetie, I know."

"Know what?"

"I know of your fate. I certainly did not want it to happen to you but you will have to make your own choice. Please make the right one."

"How will I know?"

"Trust your heart, always trust it."

"What am I going to tell father?"

"If all goes well he won't find out but I am fairly certain that he will and when he does he will do all he can to stop it. He loves you so much Arwen, but do not let him decieve you because he pull every trick in the book to make sure that you stay with him. Follow your heart and never doubt where its love truely lies. Never fear, for we have always been together and always will be. I love you so very much Arwen.

"Yes Mother." she said with tears streaming down her cheeks.

Celebrian started singing in Elvish a song of comfort for those who mourn.

"I've come to the end of the road
and the sun has set for me.
Why cry for a soul set free? I sail for Valinor.
Miss me a little, but not too long
and not with you head bowed low.
Remember the love that our family shared,
and miss me but let me go.
Friends and family are dear to me
more than you could ever know
Because of your love, my life's complete.
So miss me, but let me go.
There is a journey that we all must take
and each must go alone. A step on the road to home.
When you are lonely and feeling down
Seek out the friends we know
Forget your sorrow, remember the good times
And miss me, but let me go
I sail for Valinor.***

The three children of Celebrian and Elrond of Rivendell said good-bye to their mother. They climbed up on their horses and rode away into the forest to wait for their father. Elrond and Celebrian watched them ride away. Elrond looked into his wife's eyes and said.

"Must you go?"

"Yes. I have grown weary of this Middle Earth. I wish to be whole again"

"I can't let you go!"

"Rememeber the good times we all shared, and miss me but let me go." she said softly.

"Yes, I will remember. I shall follow you soon."

"I hope so sweetheart, I hope so."

Elrond kissed his wife and held her as if he would never let go. When he did she smiled faintly and said.

"I love you."

"I love you more." he said with tears coming down his face.

"Come to Valinor soon." said Celebrian.

"Its a date" he said. "Hopefully this time it will not involve you falling out of tree

She chuckled. Celebrian boarded her ship and was never spoken of in Middle Earth again.

Elrond met up with his children and they rode back to Imladris. They reached the city five days later where a huge celebration was given by the people in Arwens honor.
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Next Installement: Arwen meets her future.
*** This was a poem included in my grandmother funeral program
I do not know who the author is but I wish to give full credit to him or her.
Please forgive the alterations.

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