Solfyre puts down her quill and allows the ink on the paper to dry. Leaning back in the creaky chair of the small kitchen at her grandmother’s house she takes time to simply stare off.

“Is something troubling you? You’ve been so… quiet and unenthusiastic. It’s not like you,” her grandmother says, placing a plate of sweets in front of Solfyre.

“Oh, you didn’t have to do that, grandma. I don’t even know if I have much of an appetite,” Solfyre says as she looks at the plate. The warm scent of baked berries and shortbread fill her nostrils and her stomach grumbles audibly, betraying her. Her grandmother takes a seat beside her and raises an eyebrow.

“Fine. You know that I’m a beacon mage? the ‘love mages’, as it were.? Well, aside from my adoptive family, you, my mother, and my father… well, I don’t know if anyone else can or will love me. Hell, I got stood up by the one who possessed my heart, rejected by my longtime crush, AND rejected by a ghost all in one forum. I think perhaps I am not lovable outside of my family and I just have to be okay with that. I’ll probably die in some battle or another anyways so,” she shrugs, “it’s probably for the better. Anyways, I made a local chapter of my guild here so I suppose I will simply focus on that.”

Solfyre takes a steadying breath and fortifies her resolve so she can force a smile, “it all sucks, even the guild stuff because one of the firemages refuses to cooperate with things because he often believes himself more wise and intelligent than all those around him. It’s all upsetting. Ugh… but I won’t break. I can’t afford to.”

Her grandma listens and puts a reassuring hand on her back, “honey, anyone who doesn’t return your love isn’t worth it. You’re a fighter and can be wrathful, but I also have seen you sacrifice so much for people who won’t do the same for you. Perhaps you need to focus on those who would and those alone. As for the one who can’t be a team player, well, then let him go. He will be worse off for it, but that is his decision. Loners exist, you don’t need to include those who make things more difficult for you and who don’t want to cooperate.”

To make a point, her grandma sweeps some of the hair from her left shoulder and traces a couple of scars from when she was tortured in the place of other captive women who had been held prisoner by Rimelander raiders. She also traces another left from a battle in which an uncooperative member of her fighting unit had left her in a bad position and she’d almost gotten killed.

“You’re not wrong, grandmother, you’re not wrong.”

“Would you like me to make the chicken soup you like?” She asks Solfyre. Solfyre’s stomach grumbles again as if to respond, the traitor.

Solfyre looks to her grandma rather embarrassed and nods, “yes please? I have to write a letter with Hans, but I should be back in time for dinner. Anything you need while I’m out?” Solfyre stands from the table and heads towards the door.

“For you to be happy, dear one,” her grandmother replies sweetly.

“I will try,” Solfyre smiles back. With that she closes the door and slips away towards the woods rather than directly to where Hans would be. Tears fall from her eyes, but no sounds of sorrow fill the air. No one could see her cry, especially over such a selfish thing as to want to be loved.

And so, before heading to see Hans, Solfyre sits in the woods with her thoughts for a while letting the tears fall unbidden, washes her face in the creek, puts on a pleasant expression, and heads off to complete her duties.

Leave a Reply