10. The Flip Side
I like to think that I am a patient man, but there are some things that push all the right buttons and make me fly off the handle. I think, considering the circumstances, I have been more than understanding. Yeah, I may have had a few outbursts here and there, but overall I have been extremely calm, considering the amount of attention some of these elves seem to be giving my wife.
That night was different. It started out fine; I know my wife likes to dance and party more than I do, and I never hold her back. I have no reason to. She goes out and has her fun and comes back home to me. That's all I ask. Sometimes she comes home later than I expected – or later than she initially told me she would – and we have a fight, but we always make up quickly.
I knew she wasn't ready to go to bed when I wanted to, so I kissed her goodbye and left to find my way back to our room. When I finally found it (all these elf buildings look the same), I fell into bed, exhausted. Being stuck in Lord of the Crap was much more tiring than I would have thought.
When I woke up, it still seemed to be the middle of the night. I rolled over and there was no one next to me. Now, there are no clocks here; there are no watches here. The elves don't seem to care much about what time it is. It could have been midnight; it could have been five am; I had no way of knowing. I thought I had been asleep for a while, but it still wasn't close to being light out.
I got out of bed and walked over to the archway that served as a door and a window. I couldn't hear the music from the party anymore so I figured it was pretty late. In fact, I couldn't hear much of anything outside, except the weird animal noises that I had to listen to every night for the past few days. I stood there for a little while, rubbing the sleep from my eyes and wondering one thing. If the party was over, where was my wife?
I pulled on my clothes from the day before, determined to go and find her. I can't tell you what I was thinking, running off into the night in a strange (and I do mean strange) place with no idea where she could be, but there I was, walking down the path that I thought led back to where the party had been.
I must have been mistaken, because I found myself in some woods that I'm pretty sure I hadn't been in before. After stumbling around for a while in the dark, I came across a clearing and stopped. In the center of the clearing were some rocks, and on the rocks sat my wife.
She sat still, like a statue, and I didn't approach her but stayed where I was, hidden by the bushes and trees. Something held me back; I'm not sure what. She was staring at the sky and I turned my head to see what she was looking at, but all I could see were some stars. I know she always liked stargazing, but her gaze was so intense, and she looked so sad.
I was about to approach her when I saw someone enter from the other side of the clearing. I couldn't make out who he was until he was right next to her. It was one of those elves, Elrond's son: the one who had been such a jerk to her every time he saw her, the one who was ready to kill me over some name of some long-dead elf.
He knelt down in front of her and I felt my fists clench at my sides. But rather than rush in there and try to attack him, I watched and waited to see what would happen. At first she didn't even acknowledge him, not until he reached out and grabbed her hand. If I hadn't already experienced how strong these elves were, I would have lost it and ran at him. As it was, I just clenched my teeth.
She looked down at him and closed her eyes, as if she was in pain. I had never seen her look so sad before, as if her heart was broken. What could have happened from when I left the party 'til now?
"Why do you sit here alone when you know you are welcome in my chambers?" Elrond's son was certainly ballsy, talking to another man's wife like that. I would have to talk to Legolas in the morning. He'd help me out.
"I sit in the light of the Star of Eärendil. It alone gives me what comfort I might find in this world." Ok. Admittedly, my wife had been acting strange since we got here, and knew an awful lot about this place, but this was just weird. Star of what? 'What comfort I might find in this world?' What was wrong with her?
Elrond's son reached up and placed his hand on her cheek. I was too curious and stunned by her last comment to even get angry.
"I would think its light would cause you pain. How can you find comfort in something that has caused this world so much grief?"
She stood up and pulled away from him, looking extremely pissed off.
"What do I care of the grief of the world. Who cares for my loss?"
At this point, I had no idea what to think. There was my wife, standing a few yards away, but her words didn't make any sense to me. What loss was she talking about? Elrond's son seemed to know, because he didn't question her. He only stood up and walked a few steps away from her before answering.
"I care. But you must let him go." He slowly turned around to face her again. "Forget him. Forget your husband."
My hands clenched even tighter at my sides, but before I could rush out and kill him, I heard my wife laugh bitterly.
"Forget him? Forget him who I pledged my life to all those years ago? Forget him who my spirit is bound to until the breaking of the world? Forget him?"
Elrond's son walked towards her. "Yes, forget him. After all the pain he has caused you; after all you have told me he had done to you, forget him." He took her hands in his. "You should be with one who loves you, who will not hurt you."
She stared at him for a long time and I realized that I was holding my breath. I exhaled slowly, careful to be quiet, because there was no way I wanted either of them to know I witnessed this little scene. Just when I was sure she was going to allow him to kiss her, she pulled away again and turned her back.
"You are but a child. You know nothing." She looked over her shoulder at him. "Leave me."
He walked to her and put his hands on her shoulders. "Tell me you feel nothing for me and I will go."
She spun around and shoved him, making him stagger back a few steps. Despite the whole situation, I felt myself smile, feeling just a little bit smug.
"It matters not what I feel for you." All the smugness went away. So she did feel something for him. "Now go, please."
Elrond's son's chin dropped to his chest and he closed his eyes. He looked so sad that if it weren't my wife he was hitting on, I might even feel sorry for him.
"Then answer me one question. Why are you here, in Imladris, if not to be with me?"
She walked over to him and took his chin in her hand, lifting it up so he was forced to look her in the eye.
"He is here." She dropped her hand and they stared at each other for a long time before Elrond's son spoke again.
"And were he not?"
"Were he not?" she repeated. "He is still my husband."
"He does not deserve you."
I had heard enough. I turned around and stormed back through the forest, not caring if they heard me leave or not. What had I ever done to him? I didn't even know him and here he is, hitting on my wife and telling her I don't deserve her. And she didn't seem at all upset by it, even hinting that she had feelings for him, and I was the only thing holding her back. Well, I wouldn't bother her any more. Tomorrow Elrond would hold his council and I would do everything within my power to join up with the Fellowship. I didn't care about the Ring or their quest or any of this other fantasy nonsense that gets her all excited. All I cared was getting myself as far away from here, and them as possible.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.