Hearts and Pistons
Even before Larisa trained me to become a professional manipulator, I was a liar. I’ve always know this. I often think it is a quality she saw in me and one of the reasons she took me on to be her apprentice. Before her teachings, I was never proud of this skill; doesn’t mean I didn’t excel at it though. How good? Well I am even able to convince myself things aren’t true, when I deep down know they are – that good.
Arven and I have always had a good thing. A thing based off attraction, concern, and company. He was my best friend growing up and my only friend at my father’s funeral. He was there at my worst with my drug addiction as well as the height of my short lived tennis career. Only naturally, we became lovers when our bodies got to the proper physique and hormones were pumped throughout our bodies. Although we both tried in some foolish way to deny it, we fell for each other.
Everything bad that has ever happened in our relationship was my fault. I lied to myself, forced myself not to fall in love with him. We are from different classes, although the view is very human, I always believed I had to marry equal or higher up than my already high station. My parents never seemed to love one another and they had married to join families. It’s all I knew, it’s what I thought was right. You don’t marry for love, you marry for power.
I brainwashed myself into not admitting I love Arven because I honestly thought we’d never be able to marry. If we became inseparable, and we couldn’t be hitched, then we would both live our lives hurt with regret. Cut the snake off at the head, right? That’s what I thought at least. I morphed myself into a careless and heartless prepubescent woman. I tricked myself in believing that we were just a temporary thing. The largest travesty wasn’t tricking myself though, it was making Arven believe the same.
When he left me that day, it hurt. I didn’t think it would but it did, it hurt beyond words. I was so deep into my own lie that I never understood it. We separated, only rarely corresponding with letters, thinking that whatever exists between us was just a friendship of opportunity. That’s how it was for seven long years. Years we both spent perfecting our various crafts. The entire time, we both had this burden, burrowed deep inside our hearts.
Since this whole… adventure started, I have changed. I’m not the same Faylee that Arven once knew. While that sounds like a bad thing, I think I’m a far better person now. I received a reality check, more than once. The world is in such chaos and I’ve sat in my high society sipping tea while the rest of the world starves… or worse. I’m not ashamed of my heritage or family name, but for someone who prizes their intellect, I’ve been so ignorant for so long. A few months into our journey, I came to the realization that my status no longer matters. I’m a traitor who has lost all claim to the Alodia name. Secondly, after seeing the world, I can’t honestly say any of that matters any more; even more so if I fail.
When we arrived at Baqir, I just absentmindedly asked that soldier if Arven was stationed here, you know, just to be safe. Never did I think he’d say yes. My heart dropped that moment and I became incredibly anxious to both see him and to make sure he’s alive still. The moment my eyes locked on him I lost myself. I ran to him, burying my head in his chest, and cried. I’m not even certain the reason, I just did – it was how I felt. At first when he said he won’t come with us, my heart broke. I knew this meant he would die in that horrid city. After seeing me in danger though… my white knight couldn’t resist coming along. White knights can never resist a damsel in distress.
At first, I was just happy to have such a close friend back in my life. He was incredibly distressed with his decision to leave the military – the thing he trained his entire life for. I tried to be there for him, like the million times he was always there for me. As he cheered up though…I felt the desire to still spend nearly all my time with him. Laughing, joking, talking about how good things use to be; before this whole mess started, before he left for the military. Those buried feelings came back, quite quickly. We both noticed it, both not knowing what to do with them.
Then everything changed for me. There was a night in Qwain where I was beyond distressed, my mind was in a terrible place. Then my white knight, as always, was there for me. We didn’t communicate it whatsoever, but he comforted me for hours on his inn room bed. Neither of us spoke, he was just there for me. Most the time he was truly comforting me, the other part was me not wanting him to let go.
This event triggered not a change in heart, but made my heart honest. I realized that my feelings for him were always real. Larisa once told me that “foolish boys do foolish things for the ones they love, you will definitely learn this someday if you haven’t already.” I hate how she’s always right. THIS was that recognition. Maybe part of it had to do with the fact that I know now that I could marry him, my aristocratic up raising no longer matters. Even if it did somehow change again, it wouldn’t matter. I realized that I had loved him all along.
Me in my ignorance and pride, figured I could just bat a few eyelashes and throw myself at him and years of metal torment would be alright. Arven is too wise for that, too cautions; I never put it together that he wasn’t having the same mental conclusions that I was about the whole thing. When he turned me down that night in Omeo, the look on his face was so baffled. I had single handedly jerked him around my entire life and never realized it. It wasn’t on purpose I swear, I was caught in the lie as well.
When he turned me down, he told me that I was all he ever wanted but he was afraid of leaving me again – for the damage it caused me back in Rana. This is what hurt me the most. He is living with guilt that all of this was his fault, that he misread me, and that he is the one to blame. It’s not entirely untrue, but this is all certainly my fault and not his. I… well… have abandonment issues. Literally all the people I’ve ever been close to have left me. My father died, Arven willingly joined the military, my mother basically gave me away to a stranger, and Larisa never found me when I’ve been missing for months. When Arven turned me down, I couldn’t help feel like it was happening all over again.
Then to top it all off, Arven approached me to apologize for the pain he caused me. How backwards is that? I’m a monster. As he stood there, still confused and so nervous he confessed his love to me. Told me that he never knew he hurt me so. He told me that that if I would have him, he’d never leave my side. It wasn’t until that exact moment that all of this clicked. In tears, I explained this recent development to him in entirety. I would confess my guilt and ignorance with no secrets in-between. I admited that I love him, always have, and apologized for the hurt I’ve foolishly caused us both. After knowing this, he still accepts my love, I promised to make it up to him; after all, I’ve messed up our past, but I can make the future better. I truly am in love with a foolish boy.