Her red box of memories

4 Cermië: Letter from Serindë to Morwen

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4 Cermië IV4

Oh dear, it is all unravelling here on the matchmaking front.  I blame myself entirely: I have pushed Leoba too hard I fear.

I was up late the other night with the baby (he’s not the best one of mine for sleeping but ’tis early days yet).  After a good two hours of pacing the boards in the upstairs corridor I was fit to drop, or to drop little Calmacil, who was by this time fast sleep but only if I continued to move. Now I know that Leoba is a poor sleeper.  Ever since she arrived here, if I’ve been awake in the small hours, I have often heard her too. She sings sometimes (very softly, but if I’m awake I’m aware) and there’s a floorboard in her room that squeaks if she steps on it; sometimes too I sadly know that she weeps.  So anyway, knowing how good she is with the little ones I thought to knock at her door and see if she would mind taking over from me for a little while as she has done on a few occasions before.  Honestly, notwithstanding what I am about to write, she really has been a blessing from the Valar on this household.  So I knocked ever so quietly before pushing the door open and what did I find?!

You will recall that embroidery she’s working on. I’m sure I mentioned it, because one time when I may have been nagging at her a little about Turaglar she snapped at me (right out of character) and said she would give him an answer to his latest proposal only when she had finished her part of the project. Maybe she told Turaglar the same, because to the best of my knowledge he’s not proposed again since Víressë.

Sorry, I am meandering from my point.  I opened Leoba’s door and found her sitting at the embroidery frame, working by lantern light.  At first I was really impressed, thinking she was maybe keen enough after all and simply playing hard to get.  But as she turned around she looked so horrendously guilty that I knew straight away that something was amiss.  She was only unpicking the threads!  Almost all of that week’s work was in snipped pieces on the floor.  What a waste of silk and moreover, what duplicity.  It was abundantly clear to me in that instant that it wasn’t the first time she’d done it. If I hadn’t been so preoccupied with the baby I am sure I should have realised sooner that she was stalling for time – how long would she have kept it up – years?! And I couldn’t even shout at her, because I was holding Calmacil and didn’t dare wake him up.

We had very strong words in the morning, I can tell you.  She seriously didn’t think she was doing anything amiss. In her own words: “I didn’t want him to keep putting himself through traumatic proposal scenes”.  So what am I to tell Turaglar?

7 Cermië

At last I have a few moments to myself this morning to try and complete this letter.  I am enjoying the rare treat of some peace and quiet.  The baby is napping (fingers crossed it’s a long one), and Carandil and Leoba have taken all the other children on a treasure hunt around the botanical gardens. Hopefully they won’t lose any of them in the process. No really! It’s happened before because Rían is an absolute terror for just wandering off and attaching herself to any strange man she can find (always a man – she is such a little flirt – we can surmise, even at her tender age that she will need an early marriage).

After our blazing row, Leoba spent the rest of the day out of the house.  Thorondir tells me she spent hours at the butts, sinking arrow after arrow deep into the straw.  She’s been down there more and more in recent months; says that the practice helps focus her mind and find some inner calm.  She’s not bad at it either.  I reckon she’s in with a very good chance of bringing home a trophy if she can be persuaded to compete in the revels next month.  Anyway, it must have done the trick because our sister certainly seemed very ‘zen’ when she returned at supper time.  We had held the traditional moment’s silence and had just begun to eat when she apologised sincerely for shouting at me. One thing I adore about Leoba is not just that her anger is rare but that if it does erupt she never lets the sun set on it; as you and I know she would make a fantastic wife. But I am getting way ahead of myself!  And I should note that she still hasn’t apologised for her delaying tactics.  I fear I am on a hiding to nothing on that count. 

Later, I spoke to Carandil about it and ‘suggested’ to him that it was about time he laid down the law with Leoba and, as her brother and patriarch that he should insist she accept the proposal.  Well, goodness me, by the strength of his reaction, you’d have thought that I’d asked him to sacrifice our first born!  He gave me a withering look and told me: “Woman! Have I not told you to stop meddling?  If you had not encouraged Turaglar so excessively we would not be in this pickle and my sister would not be fretting herself ill. Not only over the man she’s infatuated with, but now also over a friend who has been drawn into your sticky web.”  Naturally, I pointed out to my dear husband that he had not been so averse to the match at the outset.  He says he’s still not averse but that he will not force anyone’s hand.  If you could see me now, you would see much eye-rolling in exasperation. 

I haven’t said anything to Turaglar about Leoba’s little game.  I know he would be very upset, for he’s a gentle soul and I think he really does love her.  By all accounts, he was upset enough when Leoba gave him another refusal.  To be frank, she had no choice after I gave her an ultimatum: it was that or I would tell him and, thanks be to the Valar, she is a good woman and did so herself.   

So we are back in the same rut as before, I fear.  Turaglar has assured me that he will ask again because he cannot envisage a future without her (yes, I feel awful). Leoba is adamant that she will never agree (we shall see…) and has now suggested that in Yavannië she might make a trip north to Minas Tirith again to get some breathing space (I never can get used to calling it Minas Anor and can’t believe the new name will stick).  However, I think we have had plenty of evidence that absence makes the heart grow fonder (would Leoba be so enamoured of her wild knight were they actually wedded and bedded I wonder?). So I will keep my cool, keep some distance and wait and see.

S.

 

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Written by leobavorima

January 29, 2013 at 4:28 pm

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