She finds herself wondering what exactly she could bring to him. The roses gathered so carefully in her right hand will wither, petals wrinkling and writhing about themselves in pain, and then stems will fall flat without moisture, and then they will die and turn to dust. Like everyone and everything. She would guess that the flowers mean nothing. So why is she trying? That’s a difficult question, for her, at least. There is someone who would have the answer, or perhaps make some sense of it all, but she could not tell him. No, she could never tell him. She somehow doubts he would ever understand, no matter what guidance he has offered in the past.
A soft sound from behind her startles her, and she jumps back, one of the roses nearly falling out of her hand. Quickly she slides it snugly back into her hand with the rest of the bouquet, scared if it falls something dangerous will somehow befall her. The sound was nothing but a silver fish, sliding its back fin out of the water for the comfort of sun. Unlike most days, she notices now, the Sun is shining. The forest’s leaves compound and reflect the glittering light, and as she walks further along the river’s edge small patches slip across her skin, there and then gone. Like everyone, she thinks, but it’s only for a moment that she thinks her bad thoughts. Today she vows not to let the thorns of roses prick her. Her skin shall remain clean of fresh scars today. It will take confidence, she knows, not to break and tear and burn with agony if she comes up short once again. Confidence is something she has indeed been very short on, since the very beginning, but it is time to learn. But it does not take near as much time to learn to love someone, at least someone that is not oneself. Supposedly it’s hard to love another if one cannot love oneself, and though she has found this so deeply and utterly false it is almost laughable, she has often thought it should indeed be true. In the end, everything would be so much simpler, if not easier, if things were indeed that way. Upon noticing the word love, it brings her own love to mind, and she smiles radiantly. No thorns bother and tempt her itchy skin thinking of him. Though she doesn’t like admitting it to herself, her agonizing, pain-ridden steps turn upwards to the air and she is no longer in pain. The way love is described sounds so amazingly stupid to those that have not felt it, and until one has there is no way to take romantic love in any way seriously. And the instant it comes it is starlight shooting through dark clouds, glistening arrows brighter than any sun. She giggles, thinking of how little she thought of things such as this beforehand, and allows herself a few frolics before grounding herself again because of the tingling reminders of pain in her legs. It is truly sad, she believes, that in order to find the alleviation of all pain she first must have gone through so much. But her pain…it’s over now. Or it will be soon. She is leaving soon, casting off from this vampiric palace where she has lived for what seemed to be so long. She doesn’t know if she’ll be alone in her venture; doubt, fear, and logic tell her she will indeed be alone, but hope insists she shall not—that if she is alone physically she shall be comforted by the love in her heart and the friends in her memory. Hope is strong now, and she decides to keep it that way, no matter how hard it ends up being.
The river is her guide; her guide has always been the water, slipping and curling about stones and winding around tree roots, bathing its brethren as it hurries to its oceanic destination. The water—cool when she needed ice, comforting when she needed to release and relax, and buoying when she let go. Water is blue in the same way the moon is white, but she has decided by this point it is blue for a reason. Blue to match his eyes. He is not her water; no, she thinks she is his, or at least she tries to be. As she grows happier and flies higher, he is caught in a vicious downward spiral, trapped there—by illusion or not—by those who know him best. It is not only for her own needs she bears forth flowers now, but his—she wants to attempt to show him the happiness he has brought her, and show her thanks in hopes that a smile will light his face. She wants more than anything to be the source of happiness for those who have felt pain, pain even greater than hers that she was so selfish to endure the way she did, to be the light she had always followed. Again doubts attempt to take hold, and blue looks of confusion and frustration cloud her mind. And then an idea comes to her in the midst of indigo confusion. Ever so delicately she draws up her skirt and uses the beads around the hem to tie it up, and she wades contentedly into the river and continues to walk near the brook’s edge, the mud catching in between her toes and causing her to giggle. The crazy, pent-up thoughts slip from her mind, so easy to forget once steady blue once again rushes against her bare ankles.
She is lost so long in the tickle of the water she nearly passes her selected spot by, but when she notices, she notices frantically and scrambles from the water with more rush than she thought she could ever hold. She does not ever bother to untie her skirt from the red beads and thread holding it in place. Sunset-lit splotches sift through the trees, and her feet pound over and around those dappled patches as she tries to escape the fear that has held her captive so long. If the fear should catch, she would turn around, the flowers would fly from her fingers, and she would never escape. But soon enough she is there, and in her head she hears him breathing steadily. She peeks around the final tree, and there is blue waiting for her. The roses go liquid in her fingers, but she catches them, confidence for one moment completely unshakable. The roses aren’t hers now; she must keep them safe in order not to trouble herself or anyone else. And for the first time all day, she puts red words to blue.
“If you’d like these, I know how to use magic to replant them, and they’ll grow again, if you’d like. They’ll grow into massive bushes, flowering beautiful phantoms for all to see. But, if you wish, I’ll toss them out into the river for you, and they’ll drift downstream toward the ocean, and they’ll die there. I came here to let you know that I love you, and that I am leaving soon. I just wanted…to make you smile.”