Nate grabbed my hands and awkwardly we were able to get up so that he was on his feet and I was leaning on him to be able to stand. Once he got balanced enough he put my right arm around his neck and told me to hold on, then with his right arm he placed it in the crook of my knees before lifting them up. He began walking and I noticed the little girl from before and there too was the boy that had helped Nate when we had first arrived. They were both carrying food, water, and something else, but it was too dark colored for me to see.
Nate leaned his head close to my ear, which didn’t take much movement, “Kali, I still can’t believe you did that for me, thank you, but how am I supposed to make you get better?”
I smiled feebly at him and tried to focus on making my mouth work, it felt like someone had stuffed it full of the field cotton that they would grow just around the road from where I had been ‘living’ in Mirkwood. Swallowing hard, saliva just barely clearing my throat, I tried again to talk to him.
“Nate, all you can do is make sure that I drink plenty of water and that I don’t over exert myself anytime soon. I’m sure though that the best thing for me would be for you to just be with me, so I know that what I did worked and that I didn’t fail anyone by healing you.”
I must have nodded off because the next thing I saw was my room, but it was extremely blurry; things like the chest were a darker black than the doorway into the bathing area. There was also a blurry grey shadow that had what looked like a head lying on the bed and the rest of the body was sitting in what could only be a chair. Nate, I realized had taken my words to heart, and more so. Ever so slowly my vision cleared, I made sure that it first focused on Nate. He still looked the same, but the way he was lying made him look like he had been stretched too thin, as if he was being pulled in too many directions at one time. Had I done that to him?
My throat was still a bit dry, but not as bad as it had been before. As I was looking around it was then that I noticed the girl from before. She was standing in a corner, her eyes wide with fear at being caught. I smiled at her, for she was in my old clothes, the ones that I had traveled to Gondor in, the boy pants were too long for her, the shirt sleeves too long, but the rest of the shirt fitting her well. As I took her image in her cheeks burned and she began to take the clothes off.
“No, it’s okay, keep them on.” I spoke, and even to me my voice sounded rough, unused.
She blushed and shook her head, “No, I couldn’t, they’re yours.”
“I probably won’t ever wear them again, there are too many memories for me go on ahead and take them. If you would come back later, I’ll alter them for you so that they fit you better. You shouldn’t have to sneak around afraid of being caught, be proud that you are aloud to work here. If I would have been able to work here, then maybe I wouldn’t have had to go through everything that I have gone through, and then perhaps I would know the things that a woman is supposed to know. I don’t know how to dye clothes, clean a house, or how to cook well. I know how to fight, I know how to find a person’s weakness, where to find healing herbs, how to locate a river, how to hunt, things that a woman shouldn’t know how to do.” After my little speech my throat was begging for water.
She looked at me and smiled, “If only I knew the things that you did. I would love to know what you do; surely you cannot think that what you know is bad.”
Guilt filled me, “You have no idea how hard it was for me to learn the hard way that nothing is as pleasing to know as it may seem. I have done horrible things, things that looking at it now I should not have ever done. I made some peoples lives miserable just to get even with them. There are better ways to resolve your problems.”
The way she looked at me, I knew already what she was going to ask me, and I was ready with an answer, it was the same one I had grown up believing in all these years, the one thing that kept me from going over the edge.
“Have you ever killed anyone?” She asked stepping closer.
I shook my head, “No, and I hope that I never have to. Someone who kills people, well they change when they kill someone. It seems there is almost a bloodlust that develops in them. I hope that if you are ever in a situation like that, I hope you choose to let the person go, no matter what they have done to you in the past. Killing them won’t help.”
Her face fell, did she really want to kill someone that badly? Then her eyes lowered to Nate, his eyes were open and he was looking at me with his adorable smile halfway across his face. How did he know how to do that? I smiled widely at him and placed my hand in his hair ruffling it around.
“How are you feeling?” We asked each other at the same time, but both of us busted up laughing before we could respond.
The girl looked back and forth between the two of us and smiled, she was obviously being amused by our behavior. I grinned at Nate and shrugged at him. He winked knowingly and cocked his head a little at me. Slowly he lifted his head off of the bedside and moved closer to me. I felt a blush creeping up my neck to my cheeks. Seeing my uneasiness Nate moved closer so that our noses were inches apart a looked into my eyes. Just the expression in his eyes made me want to hold him, but I refrained from doing so, it wouldn’t be right in my mind, considering we were not married or engaged, and the girl was still standing there, seemingly stuck in place.
Nate winked at me again, and I felt my heart skip a beat as he whispered loud enough for her to hear, “I would really like to talk to you when you feel like it, I have some very important news to convey to you and I think that you will find it useful.”
I smiled at him, “I would be delighted to hear your news, if it is as you say very important and may be useful.”
I looked at the girl and she smiled slightly before making her way out of the room. Wonderful, she can understand things better than most even being as young as she is. Nate crept closer still, making our noses touch and then wriggled his against mine making me laugh and throw my head back a bit. He was teasing me and I knew that was what he was doing, but I didn’t stop him. For once it felt nice to forget about what was going on around us and just live in that one moment, that one memory. Even years later I would still remember that moment, how tired I had been until he made that simple contact with me and I not longer felt my tiredness. It was as if it had vanished into thin air right between us, floating up through the roof and into the sky above.