My heart is beating like a drum; the walls of the
corridor seem to be closing on me. My hands are very sweaty;
nevertheless I manage to keep a firm grip on my cane, my only
support. I limp down the corridor, thoughts racing through my
head. What will happen when I get there? When I reach that place,
when I see her. It's been so long, so very long. What will I say?
What will she say?
I draw in air; it's a struggle to breath. Damn grey magic, I think to myself. If only I hadn't tried to save him, but that was a long time ago. Now I need to focus; now I need all my concentration just to survive.
I quicken my steps as I near my destination. I come to a door, a smooth brown door with a silver door knob. I swallow, smooth my short black hair back, tighten my grip on my cane, and reach forward. The knob is cool, almost cold. I turn the knob reluctantly and push the door open. I creep into the room; my heart is in my throat now. A voice booms from a golden throne at the far end of the room.
"Come closer" it commands. I nod nervously and limp forward. A woman sits on the throne, a woman with long golden hair and an imperious nature. I bite my lip and kneel in front of her. My heart has ceased its incessant thumping and instead began to ache, in more ways then one.
"Get up" she snarls. I obey. She is the queen, after all.
She looks at me through cold and unloving eyes. I clear my throat.
"My queen," I begin. She holds up her hand to stop me.
"To everyone else I am queen. To you I am something you have lost. A queen that could have been yours." She speaks smoothly, calmly. I try to speak again but once more she stops me.
"We have not talked for so long Edgar, for so long. And we have never talked about what happened. I never let you explain. I never got an excuse." She speaks without emotion, a true queen, but her eyes betray her. She too ached inside. She too felt that things were unresolved.
"My queen, and I will call you that for that is what you are, we cannot resolve or make excuses for something that happened so long ago." I try to keep the tremor out of my voice but fail in doing so. She flinches, as if she has been struck.
"I loved you." she says sadly, finally letting emotion into her voice.
"I love you." I say, feeling a weight lift off of me as those words leave my mouth. The moment I say them, however, I wish I can take them back. But like small birds they fly away, and into the ears of my beloved. My beloved who has remained my beloved for all these years.
She draws a sharp breath. When she speaks again her voice is softer.
"Edgar, things can never be the way they were. But perhaps we can move on. You have remained in my mind, in my heart. And however hard I try I cannot rid myself of you. Believe me, I have tried. My heart aches with a thousand sorrows, and I wish to rid myself of them. To be rid of this misery at last. To forget and to stop wondering, for I always wonder what could have been. What could have been if we had met sooner, if you had not been so kind hearted, so good of a man, but if you had not been good I never would have fallen in love with you.
"Now, as I've had a chance to look upon things, I realize that what happened between us was a fault of my own. But we can't fix things now. Not now. I just want to move on, that's why I brought you here. To move on." She lets out a tiny sob. I've never heard her cry before, and the sound made me feel weak.
I sum up my strength and attempt a reply.
"Maybe you can move on," I say wryly. "But I can never forget. I don't have your luxury." I glance at my cane. She smiles slightly.
"That can be a good reminder, a reminder of how pure your heart is. Of how you wouldn't let him die, of how you healed him even after everything. A reminder of how you would of died for a misunderstood man, not because he was king, but because he did love me, with all his heart, and he had done nothing to deserve what I did. I poisoned him, Edgar. I sunk so low, and now he hides from me and my country. My people do not and never will know what truly happened. Every year they still visit his grave. His empty grave. He knew that he was not wanted so he left. But still by law and by church I am married to him." her voice is plaintive.
"That did not stop us before" I joke heavily.
"It should have. Ours is a love that was never meant to be. He was a good man, and a good king. I tried to kill him, and you saved him. And you saved me. You saved me from myself, but could you do it again? I am a treacherous woman, Edgar. I would only do you harm if we were together again. I have to forget you, and I do not want to forget you. But if forgetting you means forgetting what I did, or tried to do, then will I gladly erase you from my heart. " She speaks with conviction, a conviction that brings dread to me. She means to forget me, but maybe that is the way it should be.
"Forget me then, my queen, if it will sooth your heart. I will remember you, and your words. This," I wave gesture at my cane with my free hand. "This will serve as a good reminder. And now, I will leave, with a fresh memory of you, my Queen, my Allana, and at last some peace."
I turn to go.
"Stop" she commands. Her voice wavers, indecision seems to plague her. I keep walking. I can't look at her again. I can't bear to. My heart aches more then ever before. It aches more with every step I take.
"Stop" she cries again. I pay no heed. I reach the door, I grasp the handle.
"I will not forget you" she cries as I leave.
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