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The first steps in the grown-up dance

What happened to Linara during the time she didn't show her face around the Weyr? Where did she go? What did she do?

OOC: It plagued me, so I wrote this small journal-type entry.

I never expected to be away from Ierne for two turns. When they left... I don't know. It felt as if I didn't have direction anymore, like a large part of my life dropped out and just disappeared. I didn't know how to build around that hole. Aunty Vana had died the previous sevenday, I couldn't even remember what my parents looked like anymore, and at times it felt as if I wanted to smash my abacus against Master Scribe's head. I couldn't see how to talk to any of my friends about it. They were going through rough patches of their own. Finally, one night on the western beach, it spilled out to one of the Weyr Hunters.

I said a lot of bad things that night, and I cried a lot, but in the end I knew what I had to do. I spoke to the Steward early the next morning and explained to him about Aunty Vana, the cothold and the Hunters. I'm lucky that he understood, and came with me to speak to Master Scribe. I'll always be thankful to him for that. I sneaked out early on one of the transport riders without saying goodbye, and I didn't look back.

It took me a sevenday to get Aunty Vana's place cleaned up and ready for the next occupant. I scrubbed and cleaned from before dawn to the night, washed everything, folded all her old clothes to pass on to the community. I sat and I thought and I thought, and somehow between the work and the thinking I started growing a brain. When I left River Bend at the end of the sevenday with a few of her favourite things and what little money she kept, my heart was a little lighter.

My first stop was Redtree Valley Cothold, where I met the Weyr Hunter's old friend. Keivan had retired some time ago, and had agreed to take me on as a charge of sorts, to see whether I had what it took to become self-sufficient. That's another thing I had to learn, I think, to get myself back. How could I trust people again, if I didn't know that I could be anywhere and still take care of myself? If anyone could do it, though, the old man could, he looked tougher than herdbeast hooves.

The two turns' training was long and often quite brutal. We would be gone for weeks at a time, sheltering in caves during 'fall and living off the land the rest of the time. I sometimes saw the dragons overhead, but I didn't have time to think of them too much. Keivan was way too happy with that switch he insisted on carrying around, but I learnt a lot. I finally grew up enough for the draw on that skybroom bow M'jin promised me, I could put knives more or less where I wanted them, I learnt how to skin most anything and most importantly, I learnt how to trust myself. That was the hardest part, I think.

When I finally arrived back at the Weyr, I couldn't believe how noisy the place was, and how many new faces were there. I managed to get my old job as a Scribe back, and set to quietly doing my job, ghosting around the place as I slowly got used to the notion of people again. I could see it in their eyes, you know? They weren't looking at the same person anymore, despite the fact that I still looked the same. Did I change that much?

I found out one very important thing since: I might have needed to leave to find what I was capable of, but I was definitely glad to be back. Somehow, along the way, Ierne had turned into my home. I /missed/ everyone: Hare, Pretty Eheceth, Aedai, Shakti, M'jin, Ai'dam, Rhie, Rathmar... even the runt. I wouldn't ever see some of them again, and it was still sore that I wouldn't, but I could stand on my own now. What now? Well, we'll see.

Watch out, Ierne! I'm back!

PS: I didn't grow any taller. Bummer.

PPS: My curves showed up, ha! Someone's eyes are gonna pop!

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