The Undying Lands - the answer (part 11)

Ariengil thought of all the amazing things Harma had done for her, had said to her and of anything else which would help her decide:

*I love you Arien; I love you as a bow loves it's arrow, I love you as the trees love the wind and I love you as the birds love to sing; we must remain true to each other; so that you will not forget me and you will always feel me close to you; Together always and always together; because you are peaceful, beautiful and kind; my amazing Arri.*

He had said all of this just before their parting. And then, when she thought he was to die, he had said *With love and a bit of patience there is nothing that is totally impossible.*
Ariengil knew she loved Harma more than anything, had she not said to Mithrandir *I just love that man so much, if he were to die... *? She had, but it was too hard to decide on something as final as marriage.
And then there were Thaliondil and Mereth to think about- they loved her, did she love them?
The whole hall was watching her every move, they seemed to be forcing her to say yes. She looked at Frodo who seemed to know her answer although she did not know as of yet. She looked at Elrond who had cared for Harma, he was so kind and helpful- he definitely wanted Harma to be happy, Galadriel, the mysterious elf was staring at her. Her eyes were frightening and suddenly Ariengil felt as if a cold wave had hit her- Galadriel was reading her mind and telling her that she should say yes. *Leave me alone,* she thought, trying to make Galadriel leave her mind.
Ariengil stood up. The crowd breathed in. Ariengil looked at Harma, bent down and kissed his lips.
'Harma,' she said, 'I am so truly sorry. My answer is no.' She ran out of the hall and straight to the stables. She found a good, strong, grey horse, mounted and galloped away. The stable hand watched her go quietly.
In the hall, Harma broke down into tears. 'I wrote her a poem, a song, I MADE her this ring. I had everything so perfect. It is all ruined. Gone, gone forever. I am a failure.' Dînhith tried to console Harma, but he pushed her away and ran out of the room.
'Did anybody see which way she went, tell me. TELL ME.' He shouted to the night, then sinking to his knees, he cried and cried. Silently the stable hand crept up.
'Please sir, she went on a horse that way.' He pointed in the direction and whistled for a horse. A black stallion trotted up. 'His name is Tincothulé, look after him- he is mine.'
Thanking the young man profoundly, Harma mounted and rode after Ariengil. Ariengil was a fast rider, from having practise since she was a teen, and she was out of sight before Harma had even found the stable hand. Harma galloped towards Calenarda, following Ariengil's tracks.
Ariengil rode upon Silmewesta, tears streaming down her face and her eyes stinging from the wind. *Why did Harma ask her there, in front of all of those people? Why must he make it so embarrassing?* She urged Silmewesta on- she was reaching Calenarda and wished for no one to recognise her. They galloped straight through towards the beautiful lake. Once Ariengil had reached the lake, she did not stop, she continued further and further.
Beautiful scenery was coming to view but she only saw them briefly- great trees, amazing ponds, interesting creatures and a large forest nearly surrounding her. A noise was heard behind her, long, loud and groaning, but when she looked back, she saw nothing and no one. Another noise was heard, but this time Ariengil thought it not to be behind her but in front. Yet another loud sound- but this one was to her left. Ariengil whispered to Silmewesta and the horse slowed down.
Ariengil leapt from the horse and walked towards the forest, the groans and creaking noises were intensified and she stepped back, scared. *This is the Land of the Valar, there will be nothing to hurt me here,* she told herself as she walked forward again.
The trees were tall and- they were moving. Ariengil gasped, *Ents!* She had never seen an Ent before, but had heard tales of them and had always longed to walk and talk with them. A single Ent stepped forward- its legs were long tree trunks and the seven toes were giant roots. It had to bend down to talk and it spoke in a long and dreary voice.
'Who are you?' questioned the Ent.
'I am Ariengil and I come from Lothlórien. Are you the only Ent here?'
'I am no Ent, I am an Entwife. I have many friends with me.'
*An Entwife! I have only ever heard of Ents before, but Frodo did mention to me that they were searching for their Entwives. This is amazing.*
Ariengil stopped for a while to talk with the Entwives, but their speech was so long and uninteresting that she excused herself and cantered on. Being more at ease now, after having recovered from the initial shock of proposal, she felt a desire to explore the whole of the Land of the Valar. She felt that she had entered into a new part of the Land- like when she had left Lothlórien and had travelled far and wide, she could tell when she had entered a new realm or boundary, from the feel of the land itself.
Ariengil felt she had all the time in the world, which in theory she did, to wander this haven. But Harma was in quick pursuit. He had reached Calenarda and was asking if anybody had seen a beautiful lady riding through the village. The helpful people directed him towards the lake and gave him a sack of food for his journey.
On he rode, wondering why Ariengil had said no, and wondering what he would say to her when he caught up. So many thoughts were flicking through his brain, but the most worrying was whether or not Ariengil loved him.
They had seemed so at peace together only the day before, why did she run away? Why? Tears welled up in his eyes, hot and stinging. Harma had no one to talk to, no one to comfort him and so he talked to Tincothulé and cried into his warm neck.
The sun was setting as Harma reached the peaceful lake. He lay down on a bed of moss next to an old campfire, which he presumed other travellers had made, it was in fact Ariengil and her friends who had camped there last. As he rested, he tried to remember how his and Ariengil's dreams had converged and attempted to do it again.
Ariengil lay down in a healthy field as the sun began to set. She felt sorry for Harma, but felt that she had made the correct decision. Her sight became misty and she felt herself drifting to sleep.
Ariengil felt herself in the same sort of dream which she had a few nights before, when Harma had spoken to her. Once again, she heard his voice and watched him approach silently. Harma looked terrible. His hair was tousled, his eyes were bloodshot and he looked as though he desperately needed sleep.

,'Ariengil?' he asked.
'Do not even try to convince me to return, Harma.'
'But Arri, I love you.'
'And I love you, well, at least I think I do. This is all so confusing Harma. I do not know why I ran away, so do not ask.'
'Do not ask?' shouted Harma, 'How can I NOT ask? You ran away when I proposed to you, do you not love me? You do, don't you? I can tell from your eyes.'
'Of course I love you Harma, but-'
'Then why? Why run away and why do you say but? In love, there are no "but's"'
'I do not know Harma, I just do not know. I do love you so very much.'
'And I love you Ariengil, so return to me, let us be together again. Do you remember what I said to you when you left me in Middle Earth?'
'Yes, I do.'
'Together always, and always together.' They said this in unison and held hands. Harma kissed Ariengil and asked her the vital question once more.
'Will you marry me Ariengil?'
'NO! I have told you once. I need time to think, to sort out my problems-'
'Let me help you sort them out.'
'No Harma, I must do this on my own. I will return to you, although I know not when or why. But one day I will return.',

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