Estel was panting as he climbed the steep mountainside. He was tired and the place his brothers were taking him did not seem to be any closer then it was this morning. Elladan and Elrohir were not even breathing heavy. In fact they did not seem tired from the climb at all. Estel could not take it anymore and he finally panted, “Hey, are we there yet?”
Elrohir turned around and could not believe how Estel looked. His hair was damp and clinging to his neck and he looked like he was about to fall over. Elrohir laughed as he said, “I guess we had better stop for awhile Elladan. It looks like little brother can’t keep up.”
This made Estel angry. He charged up the hill and rammed his head into Elrohir’s stomach. “You take that back you big pointy eared son of an orc.”
Elrohir’s face registered shock. “What was that for, Estel? I was just joking.”
“You don’t need to make fun of me. I am better than you ever give me credit for. I am no baby. I am better than you any day.” Estel came at him again. This time Elrohir pushed him back causing him to fall and scarp his arm. Estel saw the blood and felt the pain. This made him angrier and tried to punch Elrohir in the face but Elrohir just dodged the blow. Estel realized his fight was in vain so he went off to fix his arm.
Elladan watched the whole thing in amazement. He had never seen Estel act so defensively or cruelly before. He decided to let him fix himself up and tell him that camp was to be set up at the top of the hill. There was a grassy spot at the top that would make a great camping spot. He walked over to Elrohir and said, “I think we will have to watch our brother more carefully than we thought. He seems to be overly sensitive so no more jokes. This trip is supposed to help him not make him worse.”
“I just can’t believe he tried to hurt me. He has never done that before. I have joked like that lots of times with him.”
“Yes, it was definitely a shock to me. Just be more thoughtful of him.”
Estel washed and dressed his wound. He was still angry with Elrohir but he realized that his anger was futile. Even so he could not get past the feeling and he hated his weakness. In fact the whole thing just showed him how really weak he was at everything. He could not fight properly, he could not climb and keep up with his brothers, he could not keep Sermë from running away, he could not help his momma over her sorrow, and he felt like he let the baby down by not being there to help his mamma.
If he had stepped back and thought about how ridiculous that sounded he would have laughed. No one could have prevented that tragedy, and yet for some reason he was taking the blame. It made him inferior by his own bad thoughts. Was there any way out of this darkness?
Elladan came over and asked if he was ready to move. Estel nodded and took up his pack. He would make it to the top if it would kill him.
Finally they reached the top and set up camp. Estel was to find the wood for the fire as Elladan and Elrohir checked the area for any signs of any other occupants. “Remember Estel, don’t cut any of the trees there is enough fallen wood that you should be able to find a good amount for the night.”
“I remember Elladan.” And Estel sauntered off to accomplish his task.
All was well and when everyone was back together they enjoyed a nice supper of fruits and vegetables with bits of dried venison. After their supper Estel went to his mat and sat down. Elrohir had the first watch and so Elladan came and sat down beside Estel.
“So you want to tell me what that was really about this afternoon.”
“You know Elrohir did not mean anything by it.”
“Estel sat in silence for about 5 minutes and then he blurted out. “Why does he always have to tease me for not being an elf? I can’t help what I am!”
“He knows that. He is just playing with you. You have never seemed to care before.”
“I know I just can’t seem to do anything right lately.” Estel whispered.
” Why don’t you tell me about it.”
“I don’t want to.”
“You know Estel even Elves feel frustrated at times.”
“Huh, not you.”
“Oh most definitely me. About 500 years ago something happened to my family that changed me forever.”
“Is that when your nana was attacked by the orcs?”
“Yes and it caused me to question myself and my ability to protect my family. I was angry with myself for what happened to her. I told myself I should have been with her to protect her. I should have seen what was going to happen like father sees thing sometimes. After Elrohir and I rescued her I sat by her bed and cursed myself for not being able to prevent it from happening. I did not see how wrong I was for such feelings. I could only see that I had failed her. Nobody could make me see it any different until nana woke up. She called my name first. I was already in the room and she spoke of how she had felt my presence in that dark cave and she knew I was coming to save her and she thanked me. I sobbed to her about how wrong she was to praise me because I had not been there to prevent her capture. She allowed me to cry it out and then said, ‘Son sometimes Eru plans things for us that make no sense to us. If you had been there I do not doubt that you would have died. My sentinels were brave as you and as strong as you but they all died. Do not fight against what Eru has given you. You were to come and rescue me not to save me from the capture.’ I did not believe her at first but I thought on it long and hard. One year later when she left us for the Undying Lands I knew that I could let her go because I had learned from her to be brave and strong and most of all to trust that Eru knows what he is doing.”
Estel thought on the words and finally said, “I don’t know how you knew, but that is exactly how I feel.”
“I did not know I just guessed. I could see it written on your face for a whole week and then your outburst today made it all come together. So what will you do now?”
“Well I must go talk to Elrohir and apologize and then I think I will talk to Eru for awhile.”
“Estel, Always know Elrohir and I love you. We believe in you and we would never truly think you are unable to do anything you set your mind to do.”
Estel hugged Elladan and raced off to find Elrohir. He did not feel instantly better but he knew he needed to have a really good talk with Eru and believe in his help. He also found he could count on people in his life to help him.