*The first entry in a blank book left for Maya by the Commander …

I have to admit,  in the grand scheme of things, boredom is a welcome problem to have.  By all rights, by every possible standard, I should be among the deceased, but given that I am reasonably certain I’m not, I retain a certain gratitude for the ability to simply be bored.


Boredom rapidly loses its appeal, however.


Recovery isn’t the kind of thing people talk about very often. Stories gloss over it, “and then I spent weeks getting better” is less than a paragraph in any good adventure novel, and for good reason. Talking about how achy you are, how much everything wants to move and can’t, the looks you get from the always-nice orderlies that range from pity to tolerance, and the dozen indignities of having your most basic functions at the mercy of someone else?  It doesn’t make for a great story.  Those looking to buy a good adventure novel don’t want to be confronted with their own mortality and embarrassment and the way you sneak up on the idea of calling an orderly over to get help with a bedpan because it is both the highlight of your day and the worst part of it.  The anticipation relieves the boredom, and the act leaves you mortified.  


Today, however, is a truly special day.  The blanket, long my nemesis, has decided to relent and lay off enough that I can actually move the damned thing, and the infirmary staff has, as the crowded space has gotten less crowded as others recover and wander off, moved me to an Actual Bed near an Actual Wall, which means with enough pillows sitting up is a potential long-term and not-exhausting proposition.


I even managed to sit up on my own. I remain inordinately proud of this fact.  While I’m certain I’ll rapidly come to forget how involved the process of sitting up is, for now?  It is a triumph akin to the scaling of the Shiverpeaks.   Just like climbing a mountain, I’ve discovered my view has improved.


Today, I also got a dumpling.  An actual bit of solid, real food – heaven has nothing on a Canthan dumpling made fresh by someone who actually understands what they’re doing.  I even managed to eat half of it before my stomach decided that maybe solid food was a bad idea and left me whining and cramping and a terror to poor Hilessa – that Sylvari will never forgive me after all this is over.  


In my defense, I didn’t throw up on her.  I just whined a great deal.  She is a leafy saint, and I do not deserve her.


Writing this down is exhausting, but it is something to do.  It helps me sort the memories floating around my mind, anchors me in what’s real and here and actual.  There are two lives in my mind, warring to assert they’re both true, and the more I think about them the more my head hurts. 

So I’m not.  Instead, I have decided I’m going to do three things while I’m not allowed to actually get up and do things.

1)  I’m going to absolutely ensure that Hilessa and Marius stop mooning over each other and actually admit how they feel, preferably in some embarrassingly sappy (pun intended) moment that somehow will involve two bedpans and a formal dress.  Where I will acquire that formal dress remains to be seen, but one must set limitations in order to capture the essence of true art.  Plus, it’ll be fun.

2) I’m going to figure out The Mystery of The Crazy Lady Medical Person.  She’s one of those never-sleeps worries-about-everyone sorts, and I want to know if never sleeping is a  personal choice or if there’s potential blackmail material that can get me an actual bit of roasted devourer – potentially around raiding the drug stores for something to avoid sleeping.  Time Will Tell.


3) I’m going to figure out whether laughter really is the best medicine by making that grumpy Charr two beds over laugh, preferably with the story about the Iron Legion fellow who Really Loved his Tank; that one never fails.  Unless he’s Iron Legion – then it may be inspirational.

Dasha comes by when she can – she feels tremendously guilty.  Being honest, I am uncertain whether she should or shouldn’t, but if the guilt continues I fully intend on milking it for trips to see the waterfall I keep hearing.  She can carry me.  Like a princess.  Given that my mobility remains limited, I shall have to entertain myself by swooning in her arms and teasing her mercilessly – and if she leaves me by the waterfall I am /absolutely/ going to get my revenge by mock fainting and being all pale and vulnerable.  Or.. something.  That is truly the best I have in the current moment.  I have a shift and two pillows – without pants, your options are surprisingly limited.


 haven’t seen Izzy yet – and the Commander never can stay.  I understand, certainly, but… I know Taighdn or however the hells you spell his name has been by, but didn’t say anything.  Penelope looked so very wounded – I think I am on the verge of becoming alone again, and I do not relish the thought. 

I don’t know what comes next.   I’m not a fool – when I managed to get myself upright I realized just how much I’ve lost, and I struggle with the enormity of it, and what that means for the shoe collection I no longer have.  I understand, intellectually, that I am still in a sort of shock – and I am angry, deeply angry, with no way to vent that anger. I will not be useless – I have a promise to keep to Braedon, if nothing else. 


And yet.  


Dasha and Izzy will move on, together, if I cannot find the means to keep up.  The Commander has these people to watch over – I think his real company. Responsibilities and change move us all on – and while he was a terrible master, having a reason to serve – purpose – is powerful.


Ugh.  This is why I hate writing things down.  The hand cramps, the body aches, and the mind moves into terrible thoughts that lead only ever downward.  Also, I’m craving another dumpling, and now the dear woman that made them knows I’m not yet allowed them – so /that/ is unlikely. Out of all of this, that may be the worst thought. “You’re not getting another dumpling.”


Commander, I also know that you cannot resist the idea of looking at this stupid book while I’m sleeping, and likely arethe entire reason I have it – don’t you dare feel guilty.  These people are truly yours, and you had them long before you knew any of us.  Your responsibility should be to them, and while I wine about not getting attention, it mostly simply comes from a place of my own fears and unreliable mind. 

Izreal, you’re worse than he is.  Part of me suspects you’ll read this within minutes of me putting it down and invariably going back to sleep. 

1) Please, come see me when I’m awake?  I need to know you’re not dead from something other than Dasha’s serious, yet somehow deeply uninformative four-word assertions to that truth.

2) She’s thick as a stump and hurting awfully.  Get her doing something other than worrying herself into a hole.  I would suggest shopping at the Reach, as none of us have anything and I stole the Commander’s coin purse last time he visited.  It’s hidden you-know-where, so come get it and go buy her bad food and something handsome to wear.  (He probably *let* me steal it, given my current lack of real finesse, but it was fun and we’ll all pretend I haven’t lost a step.)

And yes, I know I’m conceding on our bet.   I need to know you’re both fine, or all of .. everything.. Had truly no point. 

One last favor from you both – until they let me out of this stupid bed.  Braedon needs to understand he matters.  He’s had fewer visitors than I have.  He should be up in a day or so – take him to the salle.  Teach him.  Give him a job to do – don’t let him become the ghost I am.  On the offchance I can’t… if I prove unfit to keep his training moving, someone needs must.  Given that neither of you is *hopeless* with a blade, you have *some* potential to ensure that he won’t go completely soft while waiting on me to catch up.

That should do it.  I’ve had enough.  My hand hurts and I’m grumpy, and the nice Norn with the lovely shirt that is at least one size too small is coming on duty in twenty minutes.  

Author Aunne
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Comments (1)

  • February 2, 2022 at 10:30 pm
    Poor Maya so easily thinks of herself as a burden. I think being a Hand left its own version of a mark on her: If she cannot be useful, she doesn't have worth.

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