We all make them by the tonne - at almost every turning point, every crossroad, every junction: we are bound, we have the possibility of making a mistake. Sometimes we make them even when we know full-well what they are and what they will cause.
So why make them?
Sometimes it's because the urge to resist isn't enough. Sometimes it's because some other motive is driving you to the limit that you ignore the fact that a certain act is a mistake. And sometimes: you don't know a mistake is a mistake until you've made it - and then, and only then, can you look back and say for certain that it was a mistake.
And where would we be without them?
What would we be?
What are we, if not the corrections or the victims of our mistakes?
I had a long discussion with Annabeth and we touched the subject of mistake-making. The girl had done everything right, obeyed every order, followed every rule. Made her family happy of her. But she'd never taken a risk, she'd never made a mistake. And now, at the divide of a crossroad, she couldn't tell what was right and what was wrong - what was correct and what was a mistake.
Annabeth had long earned the right to be who she wanted to be and do as she wanted to do - but the idea seems to scare her.
I want her to stay safe, but what is safety if it cannot be enjoyed - and was instead filled with lingering doubts and anxious longing?
It was time for her family to be happy for her, rather than just with her.
I told her that she ought to join her father, since it's clearly what she wanted. In any case... I didn't want to send Annabeth alone. I would have sent Queenie, but seeing as she had already gone and Bex and Aldrin were both out of the house... I didn't know.
Kenny was an option, but she was still in recovery-mode and I was unsure if she could take up another long and arduous journey.
Topaz and Tori were options, and maybe even John... I might need to speak with them.
Thomas came in later at night and asked me whether I had spoken to Annabeth.
“We talked, yes,” I told him, getting ready for bed.
“What did ye tell her?” He asked.
“I told her to go,” I picked up our newborn son and sat down on the bed next to Thomas with my legs stretched out in front of me.
“That's mighty big o' you, Midnight. Ye've always done what you can to protect this family.”
“They're old enough,“ I told him, “They deserve to make their own stories now. I'm just glad that somewhere in those stories will be the mention of a loveable idiot and a very scary aunt.”
“Is the loveable idiot William?”
I laughed, “I'm not married to William.”
“Ye're not married to a loveable idiot either.”
We kissed, “No, I'm fairly sure I am.”
Thomas gave me a lingering look, a passive smile spreading across his face, “Why'd you marry a loveable idiot?”
“Because intelligent women adore idiots.”
He chuckled, “I don't know whether t'be flattered or offended.”
“Exactly,” I laughed, “Have you picked a name then?”
“Well I can't continue calling him 'baby'.”
“If I've learnt anythin' about ye, it's that you'll call the boy 'baby' until he graduates.”
“I had an... idea. That maybe we could... bend one o' the articles mentioned in our contract.”
“How about the boy gets both of our names - Shadownight and Rogue. Like yours. And this time: you can name him.”
Thomas put his arms behind his head and yawned, “Aye. I didn't have any male names in mind anyway.”
“You... weren't hoping for a son?”
“I already have one. Doesn't matter if he's not really mine or if he's a furry pup - he's mine, ain't he? My own son. And one's more'an enough, Midnight. I like girls. They're nicer and smell better. And they always take my side in an argument.”
“It's just... You've been wanting a son forever, Thomas. I thought you'd be warming your palms to name him.”
“He's your son too, Midnight.”
“Then... I accept your terms. I can name him anything I want?”
“You said anything!”
“But-” he paused and narrowed his eyes, “I see what ye're doing. Fine. Eomer Shadownight-Rogue it is.”
“Great,” I smiled and kissed Eomer's forehead. The baby snoozed on, snoring softly and moving his lips at the disruption, “He's so beautiful.”
“Thank ye,” Thomas replied.
“What?” I laughed.
“I hate t'break it to ye, but Eomer looks every bit like me.”
“Oh. Well you're pretty too, Thomas.”
“There's a world o' a difference between beautiful and pretty-”
“You cannot call a man pretty.”
“But I just did. You're very pretty. Try wearing a dress and I'll prove it to you.”
“I am ne'er goin' to do that. I have sons now and they're already confused as it is.”
“What are you talking about?”
“As to why their mother is a feral beast.”
“Because she married a very pretty husband.”
“That doesn't make any sense.”
“It doesn't need to. I win.”
“I just gave birth. I win.”
“Why is that viable?”
“It's the way the world works, Thomas, I don't make the rules.”
He shook his head and chuckled, “Are ye sure?”
A knock came at the door and Thomas got up to answer it.
“Heyo, Vera. Come t'see the baby?” Thomas stepped aside as he let Vera in.
“No, I just wanted to give grandmother a letter, but sure. I can stare at a baby.”
I handed her the snoozing bundle, “Eomer,” I said to her.
“That is the coolest name ever,” Vera smiled.
“Women,” Thomas muttered.
I opened up the letter, found it was from Aldrin and read it with haste. I couldn't wait to tell him about Eomer - the name in particular. But then I saw the name Vasquez and I paused.