With everything that’s happened, my feet in different worlds, everything in the Wylds so out of control and seemingly spiralling into oblivion, I feel every time I walk into the sithen that it might be the last time I see it.
So I walk around our beautiful home, the home that so many of my kindred are leaving, and I try to etch it all down in my memories (and my sketchbook) so that I won’t forget it, once it’s gone forever.
This bathing pool saw Rachel and Aoibheann and me frolic around naked. It was the site of so many conversations (not always arguments!) with Father. It was where Nathaniel’s heart beat for the first time in a hundred years.
I remember the dining hall as the place where Aislynn tortured me because she was trying to teach me a lesson about loyalty. Father and I fought about everything here. Astrid and Ingrid and I had dinner here many times. That weird elf, Tristan, tried to convince me that carb stew was healthy. Valene came to me, crying and sick, and begged me to help her get the villagers back to Mysthaven.
So many memories, things I haven’t even written down here. I know with certainty they’ll fade over time, but our people have long memories, so maybe that’s my human upbringing telling me lies again.
My human upbringing.
I’ll shortly have to masquerade as a human again, quite a lot of the time, I think. Alec was right: Ashmourne has changed me beyond recognition, and I’ll need to fabricate so much of myself to fit in with humans in a “modern” (whatever that means) town. I don’t know how much time Isabella will want me to spend with her in New York, or if that’ll be where we spend most of our time together.
I do know I have a lot to learn.
I have a lot to learn, as usual.
It’s hard, right now, to concentrate on anything that doesn’t have to do with the immediate, but I can’t seem to assuage these thoughts that soon I won’t be able to come and commune with the fountain, or cry to Queen Saone at the Mallorn tree and ask her what I’ve done so wrong (she never answers) that all the people are leaving.
Maric assured me I’d be able to visit Mysthaven, no matter what happens, to see Nathaniel. And even though I know our relationship is solid, I fear change like everyone else. I fear our relationship will change over the next few months, or years, or millennia– and the fear is worse because I know it’s legitimate: I know this is going to happen.
What a silly, stupid thing to worry about, in the midst of all this chaos. My relationship with a guy. Saying it like that makes it seem small. Maybe love is the only thing worth worrying about. Love is the most important thing, after all.
Perhaps it’s premature. But every time I look at the rose garden, I see Renata. And every time I look at the study, I see Father, or Lady Siansa.
Perhaps it’s overdue. I am so terrible at goodbyes, even ones that aren’t really goodbyes. How do you mourn a place?
I suspect I will find out very, very soon.