"The time of the elves is over, do we leave Middle Earth to its fate, do we let them stand alone?"
-Lady Galadriel [The Lord of the Rings-The Two Towers]
"When love isnt madness, it is not love" Pedro Calderon De la Barca
I was truly a naive creature to ever believe that I could reject my cynicism which had served me so well all my life, my singular solitude had cradled me from the lies and the sharp edges of human nature. He told me when he was younger he had stopped growing after stumbling upon his father in their home when his father thought nobody would be around for a while. He wouldn’t tell me what he saw, but he told me he indeed had stopped growing and one day his mind caved in on itself and he disappeared and ended up somewhere else. My blood ran cold as he recounted his tale of preternatural vagrant travel, he told me he felt like he was seeking the truth somewhere, and he ended up here in this town he knew when he was younger, so many years of travel had brought him here, brought him to me. He said he could see I was clearly meant to bring him to freedom, because he could see he was free now, released from whatever force had entrapped him into unnaturally eternal youth, he looked at me with those eyes and told me he knew he was meant to be with me then, he’s been waiting for me for years he said.
I ran, ran from him, ran from the forest, ran back home. I ran from those words spewing from his mouth, my whole body trembled as tears streamed down my face, the shadows punished me by stripping away my romance; just as I had punished the source of my powers by exposing myself to someone who wasn’t being completely sincere to me; the shadows were pure, and cleansed him of his entrapment and spewed him out in his true form. I ran from whatever truth there was to be heard because the shadows had shown to me another truth; I saw Mrs Tully, all those years ago placing her baby in the underpass at Ithaca, my mind was her mind then and I saw how carefully she scouted that area for weeks before and spotted the same joggers at the same time everyday through the underpass. The truth played out unequivocally behind my eyes as I was hurtled through the path, as my prince unravelled so did the truth of how Mrs Tully placed her baby in the underpass and orchestrated the whole scenario to make it seem as if her baby had been snatched cruelly from her. She knew the baby would be found by those joggers and knew the doting attention it would bring for her, but most of all she prayed for how quickly her husband would come running to her side. I knew in my mind that she loved herself more than she loved her child. So I got up and ran.
I hurried home and stumbled right into my mother and her fiancé, a man I was not yet willing to call stepdad.
“You need to spend a bit more time at home young lady” My mother rattled as I trundled past
“You could smile a little more too” her partner added in, “You’re a walking funeral procession”.
I looked at them, two regular people; I looked at my mother, now growing older and plumper with the new pampered quietness of pleasant domestic inhabitancy.
“What’s the point, there’s nothing to smile about” I replied and walked onwards. These mediocre and their underwhelming denouement, I could not forgive myself if I ended up like them; a life without passion is unforgivable. For someone unwittingly privy to other people’s intimate and closeted moments, personal intimacy was always an unconquerable wall, never looking people in the eye, not for too long anyway. Etching out people’s idiosyncrasies through the easy way of using my power to effectively spy on them through the backdoor if my path so happened to take me there. The thought of someone getting to know me before this man frightened me to the core, for I still wasn’t comfortable with all of myself, they may have tried to prolong eye contact but I would always look away too soon-the connection would be lost. How Earth shattering for anybody to look at me properly and see my soul to the darkest depths, oh no I would rather sneak in the night and look at what they do from the periphery, from the shadows-a glimmer in the crepuscular of their everyday.
The unravelling of my prince was not yet a week past but being away from him tore me apart, I knew I had to find him again as I needed him like I needed air.
Under the head stone of the bridge, at the underpass next to the sign named Ithaca, where my boy had first come into this town, where a baby was once left behind, his life gambled against the vanity of his mother. Near the clearing where my shadows had thought it prudent to bring me to meet the boy cradling the rock, I rejoined my hands into his after what felt like an eternity. He was always there waiting for me like he had been waiting for me for a thousand years, a thousand lifetimes ricocheting in agony from separation, that the universe felt it necessary to grant us these special gifts so we may find each other, to live our extraordinary lives together. I know that with him and I, our physical ages do not matter, for I spent the entire day with him and I knew for sure everything would be corrected and in the spirit world we would be the same. So on the brightest warmest night in summer, with the moon so close, so corpulent and ready, it’s energy tangible to him and I, the original shadow basking us in its ambiance, blessing us with power and purpose, we combined energies together and decided to use our power to leave this wicked place behind forever. When I reached for the shadow regions this time, hand in hand facing my soul mate, both of us levitated into the nether regions, except this time the cosmos was riveting and replete in the brightest most alive colours I had ever seen. In the dazzle of the cosmos, we found our halcyon again, and I was him and he was I, and we were one, the same age, the same love forever and for always. I saw lightning crack across the sky from a place both distant and so near, the wind howled along, sibilant yet not dolorous, I looked around and us and saw animals of all kinds, dithyrambic and animated; the whole Earth sang and danced and praised our consummation. We took one last breath and took off onto our path, leaving the town behind; to go on the journey we were always meant to see.
At last I knew; this is not the end of me, this is the beginning.