I Dream Of Love

“Did you ever regret it?” Her voice came soft and gentle, like the very breeze that whistled through the golden treetops of Mirkwood that early morning, blowing ever so lightly. He looked at her, sitting atop Arod, her frail body struggling to remain straight on the white stallion’s back. She was so beautiful. He smiled at her. “Not once, my love. Not once.”

They continued on in silence, him leading Arod on towards a hidden destination, and she on top the horse, gazing down lovingly at her husband. Oh, how beautiful he still was, like the first day she had saw him, almost fifty years ago. His body was still straight and tall, not a single hint of old age. His green cloak flapped elegantly in the wind, his blue eyes keen on some faraway thought, his brows creased in thought, his hand pulling on Arod’s reins, guiding her on to the place she knew was to be her final resting place. She looked down at herself – old and wrinkled she was. If she hadn’t been made for him, then why did her hand fit his this way? Was there any way she could stay by his side, like the bliss of yesteryears?

The forest leaves started to fall, as if to bid their last farewell to their prince’s beloved. He guided her past the waterfalls where he had first laid eyes on her. His eyes misted over with the memories of so long ago…

Aragorn was dead. The last age of Men had come. The last ship was to sail that evening, to take with it the last prince of Mirkwood and all those who had decided to stay back a little longer. He had decided to take one final walk through his realms. A sadness filled his heart at the thought of leaving, to never see his forests again, but there was also a gladness, an anticipation to be reunited with his kind again.

Then he heard it. Amidst the rhythmic splashes of the water upon the rocks, he heard a sweet, haunting melody, so sweet and heart-wrenching the voice, echoing on like the song of the nightingale. He had never heard anything like it in his long life. His sharp eyes caught the graceful movements of the young girl behind the waterfall, amidst the rocks and the trees, under the golden sky. She was dancing. He had never seen anything like it in his entire lifespan on Middle Earth. She was so beautiful.

She seemed startled by his presence. Outraged almost, at someone having witnessed her communion with nature. She stared defiantly at him, wordlessly, almost proud the look in her eyes.
It was those eyes he had fallen in love with. The wild, untamed nature behind those haunting gray eyes. He smiled, spoke. They fell in love. They got married in the moonlight, with only the birds and trees as their audience as they exchanged their vows. He led her home, one hand on Arod’s reins, the other intertwined with hers as they enjoyed the solitude of the forest and the companionship of the other, in pretty much the same way as they were doing now.

Fifty years of bliss. He had never known such happiness, such joy. He had never thought it possible to love a mortal so. He loved her with his whole immortal being, even as he had watched as she wilted, like a wild rose in a crystal glass. That’s what he called her. His wild rose. Slowly, she succumbed to the illness and old age that was the human race’s bane. It pained him so, because he knew one day she would go, and what would he do then? He loved her so. She was his everything in this lonely man-dominated world. They had no children. All they had ever needed were each other.

Arod halted, stamped his hooves against the ground. He looked up. They had arrived. He put his arms around his wife, slowly carried her to the flat black rock that stood a few paces away. He put her gently down on the rock. She looked up at him with loving eyes. He knelt by the rock, placed a hand on her face, caressed her hair for the last time. They both knew it was time; he had foreseen this moment, this very hour. He knew it was going to kill him, the pain of losing her, but he had seen her, and he had wanted her love.

“Don’t cry, love,” she reached out a frail hand to wipe at his cheek. He hadn’t even realized the tear that had betrayed his emotions. “You have been a wonderful husband. And we will meet another day.”

His heart throbbed against his chest. It hurt so. He struggled to keep the smile on his face. She had said once that it was his smile that had won her over. He whispered, “Love, my heart will always be by your side.”

He saw her fight with death. The colour slowly seeped from her cheeks. “Legolas, speak, love. Let your voice be the last I hear on Middle Earth.” Her eyes fluttered close. It felt as if his heart was about to break.

“From the first moment I saw you, I dreamed of you as my wife. Remember, love, you asked how a mortal and an elf could love? And I told you, we’d make it through, and we would share our lives together.” He saw her slowly slipping away. It was time. He leaned in, gave her the tenderest of kisses and felt her last breath. She was no more.

He didn’t know how long he sat there, thinking of her and their happy times. Every lovely memory he had of her brought another pang of misery. His heart throbbed with longing for her smile, her laugh, her sweet voice. He felt a sharp pain in his chest, felt a warm fluid running down his mouth, tasted a coppery sensation in his mouth. His vision blurred. He smiled. So this was what it felt like to die of a broken heart. He smiled in his pain. He had wished to die with her – wishes did come true after all. With all his remaining strength, he pulled himself upon the rock, pulled her to him, and encircled her with his arms, planted a kiss on her white forehead. He wanted to hold her in his arms forever.

The last thoughts he had were of them walking through Mirkwood, just the two of them. Then he heard the music, the familiar melodious voice. Saw a strangely familiar figure dancing behind the waterfall, amidst the rocks and the trees, under the golden evening sky. She saw him, came forward and reached for his hands. She smiled, stared at him with the eyes he had loved so much.

She was so beautiful.

The End

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