“ Wake up to the sound of your fleeting heart
Wake up to the sound of your fleeting heart
When you go, what you leave is a work of art
On my chest, on my heart ”
Vaeri looked at the man her father wanted her to marry. She couldn’t help herself. There was something about him that made her heart sing and yet manage to cry all at once.
His mesmerizing green eyes met hers and she couldn’t help herself but to smile gently at him. He smiled back at her and waved. As he turned away, Vaeri felt her heart flutter. Was he as intrigued in her as she was him?
Vaeri followed his gaze and her heart sank as she saw her possible future husband gaze at another. A knight with skin the color of a copper coin, the eyes of a cat; keen and curious. She watched as a kiss was blown and her prince let out a light smile before looking down to avoid getting caught. She realized then that this future might not be hers after all.
Her eyes fixated on the yellow flowers in the corner.
“ She went out to the hay in the morning grace
She went out and got lost in a tall hedge maze
Where'd you go? Where'd you go? Why'd you leave this place?
On my heart, on my face ”
He hooked arms with her but even still he felt ever so distant. He smelt of cedar and wine, and his aura was oddly comforting. She would not mind holding his arm forever, or having her head rest against his chest. Alas, however, she doubted he even felt an ounce for her what she felt for him. She shouldn’t be as selfish to make her happiness the only one that matters. She put her hand on his chest and stopped walking, trying to bring them to a halt.
Startled, Alexios stumbled over his feet for a moment. Eyes blown wide in surprise as he peered into her soft brown ones. She held his hands in front of her as he regained balance.
“You startled me,”
How long would he continue this on? Was he really that selfless that he would risk his happiness for hers? His heart belonged to another - she doubted that he would even bother to bat an eye at her given the chance of marriage to the knight. After all, what was she to a god?
His love was a Paladin. A man with a pokey stubble, taut muscles, a sharp jaw line and a man who cared about him , who’s eyes were only on him . Vaeri could tell by the way the Paladin looked at him - like Alexios was a hero and everyone else was a villain. What more could a anyone ever dream of? And when the one you yearn to be held by yearns to be held by another, what do you do then?
A wise woman - most likely her mother but it was so long ago she couldn’t remember, and even if it was, her mother died long ago - once told her that if you loved someone, you needed to let them go when they didn’t want you around anymore. No matter how much it hurt you - leave.
The only reason she zoned back in was Alex's fingers snapping gently in her face. His eyebrow was cocked as he peered down at her curiously.
“Uh-“ What had she wanted to tell him? She gulped as she shook her head. She had forgotten - “My apologies, I don’t know what I was thinking.”
He nodded, putting his hand on her waist gently, nudging her along with him. She exhaled deeply. If only he could see how much he was hurting her with these little notions. If not physically, emotionally.
She needed to let him go. Her happiness, she had thought, was more important than chasing an elven prince who had little to no interest in her.
But her selfishness didn’t let her. Maybe just a little bit longer , she told herself.
She saw the meadow through the thick trees for just a moment. She tugged Alex’s hand, pulling him along. The meadow was full of beautiful golden grass that was long enough to reach her knees. The bushes all held berries and beautiful pink flowers, and the idea that they could spend the day in those bushes filled her giddy with happiness.
The soft, brisk air made the trees dance and wave at them, almost like a warm greeting. Vaeri turned back to see if Alexios had liked the place she had picked. When their eyes met, they grinned at each other. She had made him happy!
The most noticeable part of the meadow, however, was the giant, dark green hedge maze near the back where the meadow whispered to the forest.
She let go of his hand and motioned for him to follow her. She lifted up her long, light pink dress and picked up her pace. She jogged to the hedge maze, Alexios right behind her.
The twists and turns and crevices of the maze filled them with excitement. Even after they realized they had gotten lost, it was joyous as they studied the turns, trying to remember from which way they came and which way might be the escape.
When they failed to find the exit they made a plan, run through the hedge .
Vaeri clutched onto Alexios’ hand like her life depended on it. Alexios tossed her a sloppy smile before he spoke.
“On the count of three-“ He stated, looking into her eyes.
They readied their feet.
She clutched his hand.
They ran into the bush, laughing gleefully as the excitement turned their face red.
Alexios stopped laughing. She looked up to him, and her heart stopped. There the man she had been brought her to love was looking at his Paladin. She smiled softly.
“Go.” she muttered to him and him only, willing the bitterness out of her tone. Go.
And he did, leaving no sign he had been there except for the lonely yellow flower to keep her company.
“ And my love is yours but your love's not mine
So I'll go but we know I'll see you down the line
And we'll hate what we've lost but we'll love what we find
And I'm feeling fine, we've made it to the coastline ”
It was when she saw Steven’s lips pressed against Alexios’ ring finger that she finally snapped. Vaeri could not let her heart yearn for a man who yearned for another.
She could not put her foolish romantic feelings in front of two people who meant the world to one another. Who were brought together by the world - maybe they even had the Goddess's Blessing given that they always seemed to return to one another even after a fatal battle.
If she were the one to get in the way of such a large fire, it would hurt both of them.
And so she packed up, and ran. Ran to the hills, where she wished for everyone to disappear and leave her alone — for the world to let her cope with the loss of a love. No matter how unrequited.
The letter she left on his nightstand had been quite simple.
“Do not search for me,” she wrote. “When the world wants us to reunite, it will reunite us, whether it be as friends, acquaintance or enemies. Have faith in the Goddesses — even if just this once.”
The woods were quiet without people with you. Lonely, even. Vaeri had never liked that before, then again she supposed there was a first time for everything.
She liked rising at dawn, drawing water for herself, cooking for herself, not having to worry about the next time she would have to travel to one of the United Kingdoms.
Not having to worry about Alexios or his lover. Only herself.
She closed her eyes, pushing her hand into the ground. Until the day they would be reunited. While she waited, she supposed she could make a garden, and yellow flowers had always been her favorite — even now as they filled her with bitter thoughts.
Remnants of memories with Alexios remained attached to the flowers like they were post-it notes taped to the wall, but she convinced herself it was alright. Vaeri loved yellow flowers, clutched to them dearly in the chambers of her heart, and she loved Alexios. Bitterly, but her heart yearned for his voice and his love.
Vaeri scoffed, removing her hand. Her love reached far for him, but he turned her away as if she had burned him. And that was okay. After all, all she needed was herself and Cecilia’s pity.
Yellow flowers bloomed in the royal garden.
“Past all the signs of the slow decline
Live like your love wasn't meant for mine
Now you've gone, now you've gone to a different life
Til the loneliest side”
The King found her. Tatters of everything she had worked on over the past 2 months lay scattered on the barren ground. Yellow faded and rotted into a dejected gray — like a forlorn lover, they waited for comfort, to feel the warmth they had once felt. But they couldn’t. If there was something she could not provide for them after all this time, it was safety and warmth. She herself had never been guaranteed that, how was she supposed to promise a lie?
Vaeri held her head low in shame as she tried and failed to fight the guards away so she could console her beautiful, wilting flowers. She felt what they felt, heard what they heard, saw what they saw. She knew what they were going through, had felt the same thing when she was in the Northern Kingdom.
“Alexios,” She muttered bitterly. Alexios with his perfect hair, pretty face, lean body. Alexios with his inability to keep promises — maybe he had lied. Maybe the only thing he had ever been was a liar who made one sided promises. Vaeri stopped struggling and even assisted the knights as she chuckled at the thought
“Damn you.” Vaeri cursed, and for the first time in her life, she picked up the arrow.