The Undying Lands - Why the war? (part 16)

Ariengil stood up and shouted. `NO! You cannot go. I need you here- all of you. You will all die. Do not go!'
`Now it is you who is annoyed and jealous is it Ariengil?' sneered Dînhith, still seething from the earlier argument.
`Yes, I am and I have a right to be. Who are you fighting for? You do not really know- you have never met him. Who are you fighting against? You do not know- you have only heard a name. And why will you fight? For victory? Which victory will that be when you are all dead?'
`Oh be quiet, you stupid child,' shouted Dînhith.
`Child? I was born in the same year as you, Dînhith!' replied Ariengil.
`Well you act like a child. I think you are jealous that you cannot fight whereas we can.'
Seething with rage, Ariengil tried not to hit her friend. `Fine, go. But- no, I will not complain. Just-' Ariengil, shaking with worry for her friends, ran out of the room to gather her thoughts and sort them out. Harma followed and caught her up in his arms.
`Ariengil, you have seemed so different since we returned- what is the matter?'
`Harma, I do not want you to leave here. You may never return- you came here dying, I do not want to you or me to go through that again. Harma, you just cannot go, please. If you want to do something for me, do this.'
`Ariengil, my love, I cannot just let the King and my friends in Middle Earth die by not helping-'
`But I cannot just let you die by helping. We have endured enough pain together; we cannot go through more Harma. Anyway, you are not completely better.'
`I am Ariengil. Stop making excuses. I will go, do not try to stop me.'
`Then I will go too,' she said stubbornly.
Harma laughed. `And do what? You cannot fight, you cannot heal. All you are good for is loving me.' He laughed again and placed his lips on hers. She did not object, but she felt offended although he had meant it as a joke.
`I do love you Harma, but-' Harma would not let her talk; each time she began to speak, he kissed her and in the end she gave up trying and just relaxed as they held each other close.
`I must prepare for battle. I will meet you in the main hall in an hour- as the sun sets.'
`But Harma-' once again, he kissed her then ran off.
For an hour Ariengil thought of ways to stop Harma from leaving, but most were so terrible that they would involve her being expelled from the Havens forever. A little while after the sun had set, Ariengil made her way to the hall, her heart low in her chest. She met Harma, Thaliondil, Mereth, Beleg and Dînhith who were being given weapons. As Dînhith received her bow which she had to surrender on entering the Havens, she sighed and checked for scratches. She looked up to see Ariengil smiling, and scowled.
Thaliondil, Beleg and Mereth each received bows, quivers and swords then left with Dînhith to receive a horse each. Harma took a quiver and placed it on his back, took two daggers, one he put in a sheath on his back and one by his side. Then he took a perfect bow.
Having done this, he turned to Ariengil and stepped towards her. `Ariengil, you are the radiance of my eyes, the spirit which keeps me going, the love in my heart and the help I have wherever I go. You, Ariengil, are my breath of air and my everything. Keep yourself well for when I return.'
`No, Harma, you cannot go, you cannot leave me.'
`I must, my duty is to Middle Earth-'
`And to me, you told me that last time we were separated. Your duty is also to me.'
`I am to go, my love. I will return.'
`Tolo dan [come back].'
`I will.' Placing his hands either side of Ariengil's neck, Harma lent forward and kissed her. Ariengil grabbed Harma's hands and held tightly. They both embraced once more then stepped outside.
Ariengil tried to put on a brave face throughout her farewells with her friends, but when it came to saying goodbye to Dînhith, she was completely ignored and broke down into tears.
As all the warriors stepped into boats, people staying in the Havens cheered and waved, all except for Ariengil who stood with tears wetting her face. As the boat started to sail away, Ariengil ran towards it and screamed for Harma to return.
`Harma, no. You cannot go. Please come back, I need you here. I need you now. You always leave me alone but always return. Do not leave me forever, I beg you. Please.' Harma blew Ariengil a final kiss as the mist hid him from view. Ariengil collapsed on the floor and Nárfin, who had been hiding, ran forward to comfort her friend. They sat, on the grassy floor, crying together and embracing each other until their breathing was once more controlled and their tears were dry.
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