Wind in the West - chapter 10
Lerina tossed and turned in her bed, as she often did when she had nightmares.
Then she saw the girl walk out of the room, and Lerina followed her. She walked down the stairs, and went to her father, for her mother had gone out. Lerina could feel everything the girl felt, and silently sympathized for her. She heard the little girl ask her father if everyone died, or if some lived forever. Lerina could see that her father had difficulty in answering his daughter. He then said slowly, that yes, everyone would die, that is, there human form would die. But if they were a Christian, like he and her mother and herself were, then they would have a new life in Heaven, but this life would be free of all things evil and hurtful, and that there would be no pain. But Lerina could tell that the little girl was not satisfied. She then asked her father if he would die soon. But he said that he probably wouldn't die until he was much, much older. The little girl felt much better at this answer. She walked up to her room and played with her toys.
Tears formed in Lerina's eyes, even though she still slept. She could see everything so clearly, as if it were just yesterday that it happened.
A little while after, the little girl's father walked into the room, and told her that mother had called and said that the car had broken down, and could he come to pick her up. The little girl went with her dad to pick her mother up. As they drove, they came to a roundabout. Her father was supposed to give way to the man on the roundabout, but as he didn't see anyone coming, he left the lane. Just as he was about to reach the roundabout, another car crashed into the side of the car; her father's side. The little girl was tossed about in her seat, and banged into the hard armrest next to her, where her arm got caught as she was tossed about again. The little girl cried out in agony, as pain seared through her arm. She screamed, and tried to move her arm so that it was not caught. But her arm was badly broken, and she could not move it, nor touch it for that matter. Fortunately, the man in the other car was not badly hurt, and he pulled out a mobile phone and called the ambulance. The little girl stopped struggling, as she knew that it was no use. The man came over from the other car, and opened the door on her side. He saw that she was caught, so he climbed in the back seat and reached forward to the front to try and get her arm out. At that moment the ambulance came, and men came out carrying a stretcher. One of the men came over to her, and, pulling out a knife, began to cut away at the armrest until she could move her arm out. He carried her out of the car, and told her to sit down whilst they get her father onto the stretcher. The little girl had not yet seen her father, and went over to him as they pulled him out. She was horrified at the site that met her eyes. There was a huge gash in his head, where blood poured out and trickled down his face, along with the sweat and dirt that already covered it. There was blood down both of his arms, and he was shaking all over. The little girl burst out crying uncontrollably, and saying over and over again, "father, father!" a man tried to pull her away from him, but she kicked and screamed and he let go of her, surprised. She ran back to her father, and caressed him ever so gently. She cried, and her tears fell on his limp body. He moaned a string of words, and but three of those words were barely perceptible: "I'll be fine." The little girl trusted her father. Although the state of him made her cringe, she couldn't help but stare at him, as if he was trying to say more, but didn't have the strength. She looked deep into his eyes, and saw a struggle for life that was slowly loosing. They carried him away and put him in the back of one van. The little girl was put into another, try as she might to get away and be with her father.
Lerina clutched at her arm, and a distressed look crossed her face.
She was driven to the hospital, and Lerina followed her there. They rushed her inside, and took her immediately to the x-ray room. After that, she was taken to her own suite where she was cleaned up and her arm was put amidst a roll of plaster. She slept deeply, for she was rather worn out, and when she awoke the next morning, a nicely cooked breakfast was laid out before her. Her mother came in a little while afterwards. She had a tear stained face, but was nonetheless very glad to see her daughter. She hugged her tightly, and the girl hugged her back. But she could tell her mother had something on her mind. At last when she plucked up enough courage to ask her what was wrong, her mother answered that her father had passed away last night. The little girl could only see her mother's face, for everything else had faded into the background. And the thought that kept playing in the back of her mind was the thought of death, and how she had lost one of her closest family members by it.
Largolian was calling her name, and, as she did not wake up, he took hold of her shoulders and gently shook them. Lerina sat up, screaming and panting, with tears streaming down her face. "Lerina! What's wrong?" she didn't answer, only her shoulders shook as she cried, and he wrapped his arms around her. She leaned her head against his shoulder, and sobbed for a few minutes, and then looked up at him. He was depressed as well, although he didn't exactly show it in the same way as she did.
"You're leaving now, aren't you?" she said between sobs.
"I can't stay here." He replied.
"Then take me with you!" she cried.
"I told you, I can't." he said reluctantly. As much as he didn't want to leave her, he felt that it was somehow his responsibility to make sure she was safe.
She calmed down a little. "I know. Please don't get hurt."
"I'll try not to." He said, smiling. "Come on, get dressed. I'll meet you outside." He got up and walked out of her room. She was sought of glad that he left her for a little while because she wanted time to reflect on what had happened in her dream. She went to the cupboard and pulled out her favourite dress, which, again, had been washed and mended. She changed into it, brushed her hair and left it flowing out down to her waist. She washed her face quickly, for her it was red from crying. She walked out and down the corridor until she saw Largolian. He held out his arm and she took it. He led her to the stables where the rest of the men were, for they were ready to mount.
"Would you like to ride to the outskirts with us?" he offered.
"Yes!" she said quite quickly. While the others were getting their horses ready, Lerina went and brushed Thunder. Then she threw the saddle onto his back, did up the girth and bridled him. She jumped up just as Imrahil rode over to her.
"You know, you're not as annoying as I thought you would be." She said laughing.
"You're not so bad yourself, my Lady," he said smiling back. "I'm going to miss your quirkiness." He paused. "You know, I never did thank you for saving my life. I guess I didn't exactly like the idea that a girl such as you could rescue me. But, thank you."
"Now there's something I thought I'd never hear you say. Well, you're welcome. Any time you feel you need to be pushed around or rescued, call me." She laughed.
He looked at her, puzzled. Then he laughed. "I'm sure I will need to `call' you, for I will miss that bossy attitude of yours. But, how could I call you? Even an elf wouldn't be able to hear me calling from Dol Amroth to Lothlorien."
She laughed until her stomach hurt. "Oh, never mind. Come on, I think they're ready to leave." She rode up next to Legolas. He smiled at her.
"So, you're coming with us after all." He said.
"Yeah, I wish. Largolian won't let me come, and it's not like I can sneak out and come with you guys." She paused, and then said, "I don't know much about you. Who's your girlfriend, what's your family life like, are you always involved in sibling rivalry, tell me all about yourself." She said.
"Well, as long as you go next. I, once upon a time did have a sister. She was just like you. I was very fond of her. She died, though." Lerina could see a look of agony in his face for but a second.
"Oh, sorry. You didn't have to tell me, you know." She felt very sorry for him. She knew what it was like to loose someone you loved. "I didn't mean to open up old wounds or anything." She smiled weakly. Just thinking about her father made tears well up in her eyes again. But she quickly blinked them away and listened intently. Talking to him made her forget that she ever was upset.
"No, I don't mind sharing with you what happened. So, I guess I don't really get involved in sibling rivalry anymore. But, I do get along with my mother and father very well. We are very close. And, I don't think I have, what did you call it, a girlfriend. You see, when two are in love, they are betrothed, which means that they will get married, someday. But I am not betrothed, nor do I love another woman." He stopped for a second. "At least, not yet."
"Oh, well, I guess it's my turn. I don't have any brothers or sisters, I get along with my mother very well too, and, like you, I don't like anyone. But maybe I will someday. I want to know more information. What do you like to do in your spare time? What kind of things do you like? And, last but not least, what is you favourite food?"
"Well, I like to go riding, believe it or not, in my spare time and I sometimes practice shooting and fighting techniques. And what do I like to do? Well, I like to talk to other elves, and I like to talk to other things that aren't elves, like dwarves, hobbits, and even animals. My favourite food, well, I like all sorts of foods. I guess I have never thought about it. Your turn."
"Well, it sought of depends for me. When I was at home, I used to love reading in my spare time and I still do. But here, well I guess I like riding. I also love talking to people, but I never really had any friends back at home, until Tim came along, but here, I can talk to anyone I want. You're all so friendly. And my favourite food? That's easy. Back home it was chocolate, and here it'd have to be... CHOCOLATE!!! You are looking at a genuine chocoholic. I LOVE it!!!! Now, what else can I ask you?" they had come to the beginning of the forest. "I know! What's your favourite animal?"
"Hmmm, well, I love all of them, but I would probably have to say horses. They are beautiful beasts."
"My favourite animals are Eagles. They are so magnificent. If only I could see a real eagle, that'd be so cool."
"Well, I have seen two eagles. But they aren't little. They are huge, in fact so big that you can ride them. One's name is Gwaihir the Windlord, and the other is Landroval, his brother. They are very magnificent."
"Oooh, I've always wanted to see them! I don't expect I shall though."
"You mean you have heard of them?" he asked, quite astonished. "Do you have these large eagles in your homeland?"
"I wish! That would be so cool! But I have read about them in a book."
"You have? But how is that possible?"
"Too hard to explain. Maybe one day, I'll explain it to you."
They rode on in silence for a while, and Lerina couldn't help letting slip one little gasp when they came to the same place that she always met Rebethian at. That meant that they were at around the middle of the forest. Lerina didn't know where the time had gone. They would be at the borders in about an hour.
"Um, Legolas, do you know what the time is?" she asked out of nowhere.
"Well, it was four thirty when we got up, and we left at about six. It would probably be about seven o'clock. Why?"
"Well, I was just wondering." She was silent for a while, as they got nearer and nearer to the borders.
"What's wrong?" Legolas asked.
"We're getting nearer to the borders as we speak, and that means that you guys are going to go soon, and I won't see you for a very long time, if ever."
"You know, just because we're going off to war, doesn't mean we're all going to die. Do you really doubt us that much?" he said smirking.
"I don't doubt you. I just worry sometimes that you won't come back."
"Sometimes?" he said, his grin spreading from ear to ear.
"Okay, most of the time."
"Most of the time is an understatement. You mean all the time. You're just one big worry wart." He said, laughing.
"I am not a worry wart! I'm just... worried that you... sort of won't come back." He raised his eyebrows at her, and then laughed heartily.
"Well, you just lost that argument. You practically spelt it out to me that I was right!"
They were silent for the rest of the ride. Lerina was disappointed when they came to the edge of the forest, and she didn't think twice about showing it. Largolian jumped off Mercury and walked over to her, as did the others. She jumped down off Thunder.
"I really am going to miss you. But don't worry, we'll be back before you know It." said Largolian.
"But I am worried. What if you don't come back?" she replied earnestly.
"You're just one big worry wart!" said Imrahil laughing.
"Okay, what is it with elves and calling me a worry wart? Honestly, you're the third elf to say that to me! If anyone else calls me that, I will personally make him a couch potato for life!" she said in mock menace.
Largolian walked over to her, and hugged her tightly. "I'm really going to miss you. Take care." He let go of her.
"I'll come and visit after, don't worry. Goodbye, and don't do anything stupid while I'm gone. I'd hate to miss It." said Imrahil, smirking. He hugged her tightly.
"Well, I guess this is goodbye," Legolas said to Lerina. "But I will come back here to see you again." He gave her a quick hug, and let go almost instantly, for he felt odd, as he didn't know her as well as the others. For a second, just as he hugged her, Lerina had a weird feeling that she could not explain. It sort of felt like she had known him all her life, but yet that wasn't a very long time at all. She smiled at him. He smiled back.
"Well, take care, look after yourself and I'll most likely come back to visit you again. Farewell." Beregond took her hand and kissed it lightly, and she blushed deeply.
They jumped up onto their horses, and rode away, leaving a very sad and forlorn Lerina. Tears formed in her eyes, but at the thought of being able to follow them tonight, her heart lightened a little, and she jumped up onto Thunder and rode back to the stables.