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Author's note: inspired by the Solar eclipse I observed on the 4th of January 2011. That eclipse was not total, though.
Big thanks to Dawn Felagund for beta reading. *hugs*
Today is different from the other days. Today he will see her. He will be near her. Today, he will touch her.
Almost always, she is away from him. For the most part he merely observes her from the distance, dreaming of her with yearning and pain. Sometimes they meet, but he can never approach her close enough to touch her. For even when he passes her by, they are still separated by a rift. All he can do is greet her and smile at her. He cannot give her a hand; he cannot feel her soft, warm touch. Only a few passing words, only a silent thought of love quivering through the space that divides them, his hand extended in a vain attempt to bridge the distance... and already he is leaving, as his ship carries him away.
He knows she does not love him in the same way. He knows that their encounters do not make her heart beat faster. He is aware that she loves him only as a brother. But he has learnt to accept that, happy that he can at least pass near her from time to time. The very fact that they share the same universe and live under the same stars and sky fills his toil-worn heart with joy.
He misses her so much. When he is not able to see her ship, or when he is watching her from afar, every minute feels like an hour, and every hour feels like a day. Sometimes he thinks his whole existence consists of counting down the hours and awaiting to meet her. He often thinks he is alive only when he is near her, and when he is far away, it is as if he is frozen in time, as if he does not live at all. And then, when he is farthest from her, when the darkness is deepest, his ship turns around and commences its return towards her again. And with each instant of that journey, he awaits their encounter more eagerly.
But brief are the moments of his happiness. When he passes near her, time seems to mock him; at those times, every minute collapses into no more than a blink. The smile that shines upon his world and fulfills his soul is left far behind him all too soon. His fate brings him onward, and the same is true of hers. Their duty is immense: the light entrusted to them brings hope to many of Ilúvatar's Children; without it, Arda would sink into eternal darkness.
But today everything is different. Today he will come closer to her than he normally does. He will steer his ship beyond the ordinary course and will come right next to her vessel. For loneliness he has endured too long, the burden of separation has become much too heavy. And at last he will be right next to her. He knows that this encounter will be a fleeting one, too; before he is ready, he will have to follow his own path onwards. But even those few short moments will give him the strength for the long idle months ahead.
He will reach out his hand and she will be there, close to him, and not merely a dream that evaporates when he blinks. He will lose himself in the depths of her eyes. He will be intoxicated by the radiance of her smile. At last, after the long months of solitude, he will no longer be forced to merely observe her from the distance, but will be able to tell her about his dreams and hopes and hear about hers. And as he will be kneeling before her, with her small hand extended in greetings lying in his, he will tell her again how much he loves her... for his hope will never die.
Imbued with love for her, enchanted by her smile, he will forsake the world he otherwise likes to observe from his ship. He will not take heed to the fact that his ship has screened the glow of the glaring golden orb, he will not realize that the stars twinkle brightly in the dark blue sky, nor will he notice the glances of men and elves who will abandon everything they were doing to stare, mesmerized, into the darkened sun surrounded by a resplendent crown. He will not see the golden rays that glisten in the dark sky, eliciting sighs of the observers in Arda. He will only be aware of the beautiful maiden who has captured his spirit ever since he first saw her.
Gazing at the outline of the glowing orb shadowed by the Moon's vessel, the Children of Ilúvatar will admire in awe this heavenly dance. Enraptured by the magic spectacle, an elf in love might hug his beloved and summon the courage for the first kiss. And far away from all of them, high up in the skies, the heart of one Maia in love will rapturously tremble in the happiest moments of his eternal heavenly journey.
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