Thursday, December 03, 2009

Dialog Between Two Strangers...Almost Friends, from Songs for the Dragon King, by Vivian Hadding

“What do you mean?”

“I need you to trust me, I need you to wait.“

“Wait? For how long?“ She whispered.

“A year or two.” He replied.

“What? No! “ She panicked. “I can’t!” She thought, “I’m not that strong, not without your smile, not without your touch...Just hold my hand, please give me a sign, something, anything to let me know this isn‘t all in my head.” But she couldn’t tell him that, try as she might the words just wouldn’t come out. Fear, she was gripped with a mixture of hope and a growing dread that he was just trying to comfort her. Grateful as she was for his friendship, his protection, she needed more, she needed love.

“Five, six months then.“ He pleaded.“

“Fine, five or six months.” She agreed.

That had been two, three, four months ago, before he had pulled away. Nowadays he hardly seemed to notice her, so she watched him less and less. It hurt too much to watch him work, to see him proud and glorious, to wait in silence while all the village women fought over his attention. No, she had called the wind, and the Eagle had answered and was watching, though she still loved the Dragon King.

He the dragon king, had walked past her today without so much as a Hi. His eyes angry and vacant, no warmth to be found. She thought back on the last time he had sat with her two weeks back.

“Hello.” He had said with sparkling eyes. “How are you?”

“Ok, and you?” She had replied. They had talked for awhile and as always she’d kept her true feelings in check. When emotion and sadness overcame her she would look away, afraid the tears would come. She had promised herself she would not cry, would not let him think her weak. No Tears had become her new mantra, her daily affirmation. A voice of pleaded reason like some sort of wise, cosmic companion in her head. She knew he had been pulling away of late. She knew but, she didn’t understand why. She tried to compose herself. She took a long, slow breath and turned back towards him. He was no longer watching her. His attention seemed focused inward as if he was contemplating a new problem. She waited rejected. She felt sure she was neither pretty nor smart enough to hold his attention.

He looked up abruptly, smiled, then looked down at his watch. He was either nervous or bored she thought. She was never sure which. That had always been her problem, she didn’t know how to read him, nor any man for that matter. Yet this was no ordinary man, this was part of a long forgotten dream…a myth or so her brothers had warned her. He was the legendary Dragon King. Part man and all magic to lure her in…into the depths of his dreams. What were his dreams she wondered? Always the same silent reply echoed in her mind, always the same silent hope mingled with fear.

She sensed his was a hope that could derail her, a wish half spoken that could betray her soul. Hadn’t he called her though, she thought back trying to recall the beginning. This stepping back from her was not the first time. He had left her once before. He had led her on with such power and conviction only to run away the moment she escaped the Emperor’s dominion. Yet the cards had tried to warned her. They had foretold of a coming test and more, they had counseled her towards forgiveness.

“Forgiveness“, her mind struggled, choked at the memory of his last long departure. Though she found forgiveness a simpler task, trust had always been so very difficult and she felt he demanded trust. He did not know her at all she thought. How could he and demand so much. “No!” She knew trust was at the root of all things magic, for it was all she had ever wanted, all she had ever known, all she had ever loved. She did not fit in this world and so she needed to believe all the more.

“Trust.“ She repeated and her soul held on to the word for warmth, life its very breath. She wondered not for the first time if perhaps her dreams had called him. “Does it really matter?“ Her soul questioned. Her mind began to wander again. Most days she believed. But, lately as the roads that had brought them together had begun to clear the tension had increased.

Perhaps it was her, perhaps she had too little faith and her lack thereof had unraveled the dream. The silence between them grew uncomfortable. He must hate me she decided. He must think I’m a royal pain. Way else would a man pull away?

“I have to go.” He said standing. It was always his way she thought sadly, always one or the other of them running away. “Be happy.“ He smiled again and left.

“Sure, I’ll try.“ Her voice trailed off. A voice filled with anguish torn between hope and dismay. A voice that never had enough courage to speak her heart’s worth.


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