The Loneliest Traid

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  • Published: 2 Apr 2017
  • Updated: 13 May 2017
  • Status: Complete
Love and death and war and Gods and blood and magic and dancing and rest and revenge and kings and fate.
Don't worry, within these three stories you'll know yourself,
And I will put you back together again.

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89. It’s Okay - If You Want to Go, I Won’t Stop You

Samhain showed the two to the tower again, Daphne now struggling to walk straight, and Jinmi carrying her wherever he could.

    “This is the end of your journey here,” she said to them both, and took Jinmi by the hand, “Please, remember all that you’ve been through and think of him as well.  I won’t undermine who you’ve become but, please, don’t forget him either.”

    And she left them both with a door in the tower, pening to a spiralling staircase.

    “How do we get in?” Daphne said, her voice hoarse, tired of this.

    He pulled her onto his back, “Just close your eyes.”

    He stepped inside, and took less steps than he thought before he reached the room he himself had built.  Samhain kept it the same.  The same purple sheets and violet pillows and lavender that hung from the ceiling in clouds of stems and shoots.  Daphne touched one, and it crumbed into her palm.

    The window was locked shut, the bed perfectly made and flat.  Samhain slept atop them, tossing and turning in his restless sleep.  He’d pulled out more braids that covered the floor, and his skin was marked with heavy red scratches.

    Jinmi sat down, this now a second nature, and took his hand.  He writhed, and keened up against the headboard, but settled again, and fell deeper into the dream.

    “This is him?” Daphne whispered, “He’s so small here, so… Pained.”

    “The God of Nightmares, one who lives through each of the things we see.”

    “So he knows what I’ve seen to.” she said in wonder, “And the life you’ve lived, and Brizo, and Appalla, and Eros, and Cupid.”

    “I suppose so.”

    “Is he kind?”

    “More than I can put into words.”

    She sat by his side, pushing the hair from where it was stuck with sweat, and he rolled into her touch, “I’d imagine so.  If you know what much pain, why would you cause it?”

    Samhain opened his eyes, and when he saw her, his breathing buckled, his voice strung high.

    “You-”

    “Hello, Samhain.  It’s lovely to see you again.”

    He sat up, grabbing her shoulders and hugging her through the panic that riled him up.  Jinmi watched, his mouth wide, his mind flickering between stories and wondering how this happened to be.

    “He was in love before, weren’t you, Samhain?” she said, rubbing the heel of her hand into his back until he stilled against her, “A God names Eros, who wanted the best for him.  I never heard what became of that young, sick boy that he loved, but I’m glad to see that you’ve met someone as good as he had been.”

    “Eros… Eros-”

    “It’s okay, love, you’ll remember him soon,” she lay him back down, knitting their ankles together, “But you know me?”

    “Daphne, what happened to you?  Was it Appalla?”

    “Yes, but don’t worry about that now.  Jinmi is taking great care of me.”

    “Your flowers…”

    She shut her eyes, “I have great faith that even if they don’t grow, someone else will find the power to make them.  From there, I can plant new ones, and that’s how life goes.”

    “But you’re weak, and cold and-”

    “I’ll be okay,” she smiled wearily, “I’ll always be.  But I think that Jinmi has something for you.”

    Samhain sat up again, taking Jinmi’s wrist.  They lingered a second before Jinmi hugged him close.  Memories flashed back, mornings in the sun and in his arms and they’d talk and laugh and remember old things, and imagine new things.  The perfect present, where nothing else mattered.  Now, everything was about the future, and the past.  Getting back to it, and replacing what is missing with who you’ve become.

    “I missed you,” Samhain said to him.

    Jinmi realised that he couldn’t bring himself to say anything more.  If he did, he might say what had played on his mind since he found Daphne.  I love you both, how can I choose?  I’m torn in three and I’ll never be whole without this.

    Losing someone you love greatly does that.  Leaves you bitter, hollow.  But mostly, it changes you, takes away the voice that was yours.  Because from then, you’re not you, but a part of you, smaller everyday.

    And Daphne already knew this.  They both did.  So he sat up, between them, and held both their hands, “What can I say?”

    She knew one part, “Leave me.”

    “I can’t-”

    “Leave me, Jinmi.  I’ll find a way to live with the Gods who made me this way.  But I cannot spend time drinking from your life and leaving you with nothing, I’ve done that for too long.  I know that I’m no longer the young girl you fell in love with, so for once, do something for yourself.”

    “No,” Samhain looked at her, and Jinmi knew that he saw his mortal self in her eyes, the one with the two strongest hopes - love, and freedom, “I can’t give you what I need.  I’ll always love you more than words, but you need to go and live for yourself, Jinmi. don’t let me stop you.  You can leave this place, and you have someone waiting for you.  I don’t and I wouldn’t wish that upon you.”

    “But…” he closed his fingers around them, his Gods, so kind and giving, and more than he could have, “I love you both.”

    “I’ll be okay,”

    “We both will be.”

    She smiled, “But you need to be free.  You’re more than I can ask for.”

    “You deserve so much, both of you,” he said, his eyes sore, his mind solid.  Unlike the others, he didn’t feel fate tug, because there was nothing he could do to help.  Part of him always had to be left behind, “What if… We all hear the spell?  What if we were meant to be tied like this?”

    This, was what would change their story forever.

    So they said it, slow, remembering each word, and knowing well what had happened when their world turned white, and not when the words escaped their lips at last.

    “For me, meet me, and find home.”

    But Jinmi could have chosen Samhain, and spent his immortality in the tower, watching the world spin and fall down around them, the sleeping Gods, in love, at peace.  She would have found Pandia and Brizo, and all of the others again.  They would have put her in a glass dome to keep her living, and she’d become nothing.  Less than what Appala made her, because at least there, she had hope.

    If he chose Daphne they could live in the open, where the air was fresh and clean and everything was simple.  If her flowers didn’t grow back, she’d garden, and he’d tell her stories of what he learned in that time when he was the darkest part of the world.  And she’d kiss him, and say it was funny, because he’s so bright to her.  And eventually, Samhain would claw so far into his skin that he wouldn’t be able to get out again.

    But this is what happened instead.

    Samhain smiled meekly as both Daphne and Jinmi sang to him.  When they finished, he took their hands and with eyes that drifted in and out of their world, and said, “Thank you for this,”

    “Samhain?” Jinmi said, holding his head up now, as his body went limp, “What’s wrong?  Are you okay?”

    “I’m just… I’m…”

    “Daphne, what’s happening?”

    She didn’t know, but they could do nothing more than watch the light enveloping them soak int Samhain’s eyes as they shut, as his smile faded from his lips.

    “Samhain, please don’t go.” he voice cracked, a child losing everything, the part of him he was afraid of losing fading like a match in the wind.  His hand was loose, and he squeezed Jinmi’s hand he didn’t feel it.

    “I’ll be okay,” he sighed, his body stilling, his face careless, “I’m going to see… To see…”

    He fell asleep, and the light vanished as quickly as it came.  

    Jinmi knew what he had done, and grabbed his body, not caring anymore as he shook him awake, mumbles to mutters to shouts and calls for his friend to wake up.

    But he was asleep, forever, he’d be trapped in his own mind.  

    But what Jinmi didn’t know was that he never had a nightmare ever again, for as long as he lived.

    Daphne pressed a kiss to the back of Samhain’s loose hand, and wrapped herself around Jinmi as he screamed, and screamed, and cursed whoever took him away.  The fates that pulled him apart like this, that left him missing a part of his soul, from now to eternity.

    And they stayed that night, holding the young God, who didn’t stir, or scratch, or say a word.  But he smiled from time to time, and that was enough for them to know - Samhain could finally find what he deserved, freedom if only in his own mind.

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