Aralorn missed Aragorn, and thought of him much. She spent most of her time with Aranel, Gwenneth or Ithil. Aralorn sat alone on a bench in the garden, watching the elves walk by that were quietly chatting. She sighed.
“Aralorn,” Aranel said walking toward her. Aralorn looked up.
“Hello,” Aralorn smiled. Aranel returned it softly, and sat next to her. They were silent for a short time, and a breeze gently swept past them.
“You are not missing your brother too much, are you?” Aranel must have read her mind. Aralorn thought for a moment.
“Not too much I suppose,” she said. “It is just that, it seems that everything I love in life is taken away from me; my family, my life in Rohan, and now my brother, the one who supported me during my transition. A person I could not imagine living without. I thought he was going to stay, but…”
“Do not fear,” Aranel said, comfortingly. “Aragorn is not your only friend. There are many here who care about you.” Her eyes twinkled.
“Yes,” Aralorn said wistfully.
“Would you like to take a walk here with me?” Aranel asked. Aralorn nodded. “Gwenneth said that she would join us.”
Aranel and Aralorn walked slowly through the garden, talking. Suddenly Gwenneth appeared beside Aralorn.
“Here you are. I have finally found you,” Gwenneth smiled.
“And I am glad that you did,” Aralorn said.
“I was beginning to think you weren’t going to come,” Aranel said, returning the smile.
“Please continue, Aralorn,” Gwenneth said. “What you were saying.” Aralorn sighed, giving herself time to think.
“We played together very much as children,” she said. “Thoro reminds me of Aragorn in some ways.”
“Hm,” Aranel murmured.
“Did your adopted mother love you the same as her real son?” Gwenneth asked.
“Oh, yes,” Aralorn said. Her eyes started to well with tears. It had only been two months since she had lost her family, but she still remembered them as she remembered yesterday. She could picture their faces inside her head; so caring…
“I am sorry,” Aranel said, a look of sadness, and regret on her face. “I shouldn’t have asked you…shouldn’t have brought back such painful memories.”
“It is nothing you did. I would cry even if I kept them as thoughts, and not told someone,” Aralorn sighed. Gwenneth looked sympathetically at her.
The next morning, Aralorn decided to go to the library alone. A time of solitude would do her good, she thoght. She found a book that looked good to read, and sat down in one of the chairs. Letting herself become absorbed in it, Aralorn became completely unaware of what was going on in the real world. Suddenly, she heard the sound of a book fall to the ground. She looked up, leaving the world of her book, and saw Ambar pick up the book, and walk toward her. Aralorn felt her lips part into a smile.
“I didn’t expect to find you here, my Lady,” Ambar smiled mischievously.
“I didn’t expect to be found here,” Aralorn answered. He sat down next to her. She kept her eyes on his thoughtfully.
“And you wanted to be found?” He asked.
“Perhaps,” Aralorn answered, glancing down at her book. “I have been feeling a little lonely…since Aragorn left.” She looked up into his eyes once again.
“There is no need to feel lonely,” he said. “You are not alone.”
“Yes,” Aralorn said, “I have been told that before. But, somehow it is not reassuring enough…”
“I must go now,” Ambar suddenly rose.
“Oh,” “then farewell, Ambar,” she said, surprised.
Why had he left so abrupt once again? Did he care?
It was mid-afternoon and Aralorn decided to pay Ithil a visit. She slipped on her riding outfit and brought a treat to feed her mare. When she reached the stables Ithil’s head was arched, her eyes closed and she stood motionless.
“Ithil,” Aralorn said quietly, placing her hands over the stall’s door. Ithil lifted her head with a start and snorted. “Taking a little nap are we?” Aralorn smiled and fed her the small treat. Then she brought out some brushes and began to groom the silver mare, carefully and thoughtfully. Instead of going to the saddle room to get Ithil’s saddle and bridle, Aralorn decided that it would be fun for a change to ride as she used to in the Westfold – bareback. She slipped on a loose rope bridle and led her out of the stall. Then nimbly, she leapt onto Ithil’s back. On her back Aralorn could feel her mount’s muscles tighten, and hear her snort quietly in excitement. Aralorn talked soothingly and laid a hand on Ithil’s neck. Once calm they set out at a canter, both of them enjoying the cool breeze.