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Thanks to Cairistiona for beta-reading. *hugs*
I watch him leave, but he doesn't know it.
In fact, he is barely aware of my existence. I am not sure if he remembers my name at all, or that I am the younger sister of one of his clients. Because, in those instances when I saw him passing by, he nodded as a response to my greetings, but his gaze revealed he didn't really recognize me.
No, I don't think that he is arrogant or conceited. But on the very first day I met him, when I accompanied my brother to the forge of Gimli son of Gloin, I saw that he was completely dedicated to his work, which was the most important thing to him. I watched him carefully. His gaze was completely focused on the client, and the serious expression of his face said he was listening very carefully. His demeanour, the way he spoke, and what he spoke, showed that this was a very responsible person who puts all his being into what he does. I believe he is equally dedicated to all other things that are important to him.
Unfortunately, I am not among them. In his busy, fulfilled life there is obviously no time for trivial things... like love.
I, on the other hand, can’t stop thinking about him – about his face, his eyes that shine while he talks about his work, about his auburn hair and beard that look reddish in the light of the fire of his furnace.
I visited the forge one more time – when my brother was to pick up the finished axes. They were of a supreme quality, which spoke of the effort and skill of their maker. Wanting to reward him for the exquisite product, my brother offered more money than asked for, but Gimli didn't want to hear about it. That gesture said a lot about him too.
In those few times I later saw him pass by, just looking at him warmed my heart and made me happy. But because I meant no more to him than any of the other passers-by, because he didn't feel the way I did, my heart bled more and more.
And now I watch him leave, but he doesn't know it.
He walks towards peril, and I don't know when he's coming back. For a long time, darkness has been spreading over Middle-earth, and in the end, it reached our realm. The delegation of King Dain is heading to Rivendell to inform the Elves about the latest sinister events, and among the travellers is the famous Gloin, one of the companions of Thorin Oakenshield. And with Gloin goes his son... who is in my thoughts and dreams every day, whose face is the last image I see before I fall asleep, who is the first thing that I think about when I open my eyes in the morning.
The delegation sets off, and there are a lot of us in the hall behind the main gates seeing them off. Yet, all is silent, because the shadow of the impending war is upon us.
Aule, take care of them... take care of him. I beg you.
I watch him leave, but he doesn't know it.
This time it is different. War is behind us. The Dark Lord and his armies are destroyed, and the new age has come. An age of peace, prosperity and happiness. I'd lie if I said it doesn’t mean anything to me and that I am not happy. It is great to know that the tide of the orcs won't overwhelm our kingdom and destroy all that is beautiful and good in Middle-earth. It is an excellent feeling to know that we will continue to live and create this new age. But still... there is also a shadow on my happiness. Months of separation didn't diminish my feelings, the distance didn't help. My hearth still aches.
While he was gone, many of my nights were sleepless. Frightened, I wondered where he was and if he was alive at all. When I closed my eyes, I saw his face as clear as if he stood in front of me – I saw every detail of his appearance. And I prayed for his return.
He returned. A hero of the War of the Ring. Elf-friend. Changed.
He continued to work in his forge. I couldn’t resist, and one day I went to his alley hoping I'd see him. And I did. At one point, he stepped out of his workshop, but he didn't notice the figure standing a little farther away, pretending to look at shop-windows.
Changed. Just one look at him revealed that he was thinking about so many things. His eyes looked into the distance – filled with memories, yearning, plans, and, above all, with the fire that was driving him. No, there was no time for small things in his life. He was destined to set in motion big events and to create new worlds.
And that is exactly what he is doing right now: he stands in front of the big procession that is about to leave Erebor to establish a new dwarvish colony in the far land of Rohan. I have absolutely no doubts that it will thrive.
I stand in exactly same place as the first time, but everything else is different now. The group that is now leaving is numerous, the atmosphere is joyful, and loud laughter and greetings between friends echo around. And finally, the procession sets off, passes through the big gates and disappears from my sight.
I will probably never see him again... but I'll never forget him.
But he doesn't know it.
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