Her red box of memories

Tidings Travel South – Part 5

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The house fell silent at last. It was a wary silence: heavy with wine fumes, with grief, with the promise of imminent wakefulness from several of the children.  Cocooned in a rare moment of privacy in their own chamber, Serindë curled her soft body around her husband’s and nestled into the comfort of his shoulder.

“I didn’t want to say it downstairs in front of Leoba or Culanir, but, it’s for the best really. Don’t you think?” Serindë said. There was no hint of malice in her words but just straight-forward honesty, offered up in a safe environment.

“You mean, best that Leoba’s leaving?” Carandil asked?

“No, not that, not really. Although it’s probably better for her than stewing over a bare handful of letters. No, I mean for the best that Dirk can never come back for her. That he’s dead.”

Carandil wriggled out of her embrace and propped himself up on his arm. “Do you really believe that, sweetheart? Leoba’s pretty cut up about him.”

“I do believe it.” said Serindë. “I know, I know, I’ve never met the man but I can’t see that it was a healthy relationship. She’s spent the best part of the past year miserable and we know it wasn’t the first time he’d abandoned her. He’s been a bit of a rat really”.

“He was a soldier, Serindë. Going away is what they do. Don’t you remember the first years after we were married?”

“Of course I do”. She remembered those years before Carandil had been invalided out of the Ithilien Rangers, before they had kept their pound of flesh in the shape of his left arm and an eye. Serindë had spent months at a stretch on her own, juggling the care of her still small eldest children, who had only known their father fleetingly, meaning no more to them than a tall ship passing in the night. “That was different though, Carandil. I always knew you were coming back. For a start, I had a ring securely on my finger and, moreover, I had my own roof over my head. If Dirk was serious about our sister, he would have married her long ago and supported her properly. It doesn’t take a genius to work that one out”.

“I know, I know, you’re probably right.” Carandil acquiesced. If he was honest with himself, he had been experiencing a sense of relief about which he was a little embarrassed: that he would not have to politely welcome the son of Angmar into the family.

“Besides,” Serindë went, on riding on the momentum, “Leoba is still young. She can take this trip up north and hopefully get Dirk out of her system, and then she has her whole life before her. She’ll find someone else.”


“Or another gentleman. Dirk gave her his blessing to move on and marry someone else, when he wrote to her earlier this year.”

“Yes you’ve already told me that. I don’t think she’s that keen on the idea!” Carandil said.

“Oh she’ll come round. She’s a hot-blooded woman for goodness sakes. She’s hardly going to remain unmarried for the next two or more score years.” said Serindë, who couldn’t imagine how any woman could be happy without a husband to take care of her.

“I hope you’re right” Carandil said, as he settled down again under the coverlet.

“I usually am” Serindë replied.


Written by leobavorima

March 11, 2013 at 9:51 pm

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