Asira woke to the rays of light pouring through her window. She wondered who the man in the dream had been. Asira knew she must find out. Even if it meant to the Sea she would go.
She remembered her agreement to Mira. Asira stood up and went to the closet searching for a dress. She chose a dark blue sleeveless dress and loosely braided her dark hair fixing it with a white ribbon but leaving the silver streak straying. She quickly washed her face and placed a silver circlet around her forehead.
Asira passed Elanor’s room and saw the child sleeping. She quickly and quietly stepped into the room and kissed the sleeping girl’s head. Asira could not find Mira in the house and assumed she might be outside waiting. Asira stepped out of the house into the sunshine. As she was walking down the lane, she saw Elrohir coming towards her.
“Greetings Asira,” he said stopping.
Asira managed a smile but continued walking. He followed beside her and she began to get irritated by his presence. She had no wish to be within his company at this moment. She wanted to go to the shore and discover who the mysterious man within her dream was. Asira turned to Elrohir.
“Do you want something?” she asked.
“Oh?” she listened.
“Your father wishes to see you after the council. It is taking place now. He instructed me to show you Valinor.”
“But I was going to spend some time with Mira today. She was going to show me the city.”
“I talked with her earlier. She said she did not wish to wait for you any longer and would see you this evening.”
“Oh how nice,” Asira muttered, “for you.”
“So shall we go?”
“When will my father finish?”
“My father called the council. It could last all day.”
“I know your pain.”
Elrohir took her hand surprising her. He was about to walk, but something distracted him.
“What is it?” she asked.
“Your hair,” he finally succumbed to telling her.
She groaned. “What about it?”
“Tis like mine.” He smiled.
“I cut it.”
“You ask too many questions. Lorien was far too warm in the summer and my hair far too long.”
Without warning, Elrohir touched the silver streak upon her hair moving it behind her ear. “Your hair is beautiful. It reminds me of my sister. We never have any dark beauties here.”
“Thank you. Can you let go of my hair now?”
“Yes but will I?”
She scrunched her eyebrows and softly punched him in the shoulder. He released her quickly as she continued walking.
“The maiden doth wound me mortally,” he jested arrogantly.
She grinned but said nothing so he continued. “Did you enjoy Lorien?”
“I loved it,” She gushed.
“I loved Rivendell as well. It was very saddening when I left, but I could not resist the lure of the Sea.”
“But this is not the actual Sea.”
“What would you prefer?” he asked.
“Sailing, the ship, the wind in my hair, discovering far off places, battling monsters,” she shut her mouth finding herself ludicrous to hear.
“Women never sail though unless they are going to Valinor.”
“Thank you for the encouragement,” she said sarcastically.
“I respect your desire to sail. I have the wish to myself.”
“Why do you not then?”
“My father does not wish me to.”
Asira said nothing. Elrohir took her hand in his as they made their way across the bridge and to the left of Valinor where roads awaited to take them through the green forests and vales. They reached a crossing, and Elrohir led her down the middle path into the forest. She looked through the beautiful blossoming trees. It all reminded her more and more of Lorien until they began climbing up. They grew closer and closer to the canopy of trees as they continued to climb. Finally the path ended, and Asira gasped as Elrohir pushed aside a tree branch.
Before her rested a beautiful crystal lake a vine-covered bridge crossing it. Why did it remind her of her favorite place in Lorien? Elrohir led her across the bridge, and they stopped in the middle. Elrohir plucked a small white flower from a nearby tree.
“If my lady does not object,” he said softly holding it up.
She nodded, and he fitted it into her dark hair. Asira sighed.
“Thank you for bringing me here. I wish I could swim.”
“Do you know how?”
“Yes. My father thought it right that I should learn. This was after my mother drowned in a storm.”
“I am sorry. I share your pain. My mother was taken by orcs when I was younger. Fortunately my brother and I managed to save her. Unfortunately the experience scarred her, and she parted to Valinor. She was very joyous when my father joined her here, but she still carries the memories of her abduction.”
“I was very young and still living within Lorien when she died. I still did not wish to come here. I would have enjoyed remaining in Lorien.”
“How old are you?” Elrohir asked.
“Much younger than you,” she managed a laugh.
“Are you calling me ancient milady?”
“Of course not,” she smiled. “Well you are ancient compared to me,” before he could speak, she said, “But what elf is ancient?”
“How old are you?” he asked again.
“Simply three hundred. I know I am still but a girl.”
“But you are becoming a woman,” Elrohir added. “I have lived many years.”
“May I dare to ask?”
“No you may not,” he chuckled. “Let me say that my sister was three thousand when she married Aragorn King of Gondor and I am older than she. My sister,” Elrohir looked to the east as if remembering.
Asira touched his hand. “Were you close?”
“Aye. I miss her greatly. The world lost a great light when she died.”
“Elrohir, I am so sorry. I have heard stories of her. She was the most beautiful was she not? She carried the likeness of Luthien?”
“You remind me of her.”
Asira laughed. “What with my short hair?”
“Your hair is beautiful,” he said.
“So you said.”
Elrohir turned to face her. Their eyes met, and he slowly inched towards her.
“Your eyes are also different than any other elf.”
“No elf has dark eyes,” she looked away.
“Are you ashamed?” he asked.
“I am different,” she simply said.
He took her hand. “You may not know the reason why you are different. But make the best of what is given you. Everything will come in time.”
“You speak wisely like your father,” she said. “Thank you.”
There was a long silence following. Elrohir did not take his eyes off of her. She felt uncomfortable and interrupted the moment.
“Perhaps we should leave.”
“Indeed we should. The hour is getting late.”
When they came to the bridge of Valinor, the day was already darkening. Elrohir took Asira to the meeting place of the council, and they learned that it was still in progress but would end soon. Elrohir waited with Asira beside the tent. They could hear two voices talking within. One Asira knew was her father. The other was Elrond.
“How long shall the building last?” Elrond asked.
“We have built many ships before but none such as this. But if we continue without ceasing, we shall build it within a year.”
“You know this choice is a dangerous one. No one has ever dared to cross the gap without the Valar’s blessing. You are embarking into the world of men, and you know the choice is laid out before you at your own will. I do not trust this other world. Will you take this chance accepting the full responsibilty of the risks?”
“It is time we did,” Cirdan answered.
“So be it.”