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A Rekindling of Hearts  by Periantari

“He looked at her, and being a man whose pity deeply stirred, it seemed to him that her loveliness amid her grief would pierce his heart.” ~ Steward and the King

Faramir awoke to a hazy sunrise, which was different to the cloudy skies as of late.  His shoulder felt better and his headache had gone.  He felt a sense of purpose. He quickly ate and after Amarie examined him, he went to the gardens.

There he saw Éowyn, clad in white, beautiful and almost gleaming in the sunlight.  

“Lady Éowyn!” She glanced back at him like she knew him, and they walked on the grass and around the Garden.

“My Lord,” Éowyn replied haltingly.  

Faramir did not know what to say for everything he had planned to say was overwhelmed by the beauty that walked besides him.  They had not spoken since the conversation of her desiring a bed that faced East. He had looked at other maidens before but he could sense something different about the Lady Éowyn and for now, he would do nothing but walk alongside her.

They walked in silence for some time. Éowyn began to speak of the weather and about the flowers in the Garden.  Faramir simply nodded in agreement. Suddenly, Éowyn spoke seriously, “I fear for my brother and those that have decided to meet the Enemy at the Gate and wish I had been included in the Host. I did not wish to be left behind,” she said.

“You are not left behind for you fought bravely on the fields of the Pelennor, I have heard.  Do not feel guilty about matters you cannot control,” replied Faramir.  He looked into her eyes and pity filled his heart, for as he spoke these words, he felt a burden had lifted.

There was silence for a while and then Éowyn said, “What do you fear, my lord?”

Faramir was taken aback for this sudden question, for he was not prepared to confide in anyone about the dark thoughts that still crept to his thoughts at night—his guilt about his brother, his horror regarding his father, his inability to keep Osgiliath free from the enemy—there was much fear and discomfort in knowing that he was never good enough in his father’s eyes.  The guilt of letting Frodo and Sam go on to the dark passage. So utterly useless. He would never know or be on the good side of his father, and now he was dead.  He feared for Gondor’s fate.  He did not know where to start.

“Forgive me if I asked too personal a question; you do not need to answer me ” Éowyn sounded flustered.  And she looked on with sympathy for Faramir was speechless and looking as he was struck with guilt.

 Faramir’s pensive glance stared into space, and his frown did not hearten her to continue the conversation.

“No, it’s …it’s just that…the Enemy may destroy us first if the Captains do not return. I fear for them and fear for us.  I fear the Shadow’s arm is indeed long enough to affect so many….lives,” Faramir’s voice trailed and he felt a lump in his throat. 

“Yes, I am sorry about your family,” Éowyn’s voice was soft and wrung with pity.  

“How did you hear?” Faramir was surprised.

“You are not the only one to have a hobbit as your friend,” replied Éowyn with a smile.  “We did not see you yesterday morning, but we were both in the gardens at that time and shared some of our experiences as well and talked about the other patients that are in the keeping of the Houses of Healing.”

Faramir smiled. Merry did indeed know how to befriend them both and to let each  know about the other without direct conversation. His heart felt lighter that he could find companionship in these dark days.  “Yes, I did not feel well yesterday but feel much better today.   I am grateful for the care that I have received.”

“What do you fear, my lady?”

Eowyn stopped at this question since Lord Aragorn had also asked the same one. But Faramir’s brown eyes looked at her with kindness and a noninvasive air, giving her time to think.

“I cannot bear to be enclosed in a space and rendered useless at a young age. I do not want to have no honor and be not remembered for anything that I do. I fear that I will have no place in Rohan. To be forgotten.”

“I do not think that would be your fate since you’ve proven yourself during the War already,” replied Faramir softly.

Eowyn said no more and looked away and Faramir did not say more either, each lost in their own thoughts. What would happen if the War was lost? What if their remaining loved ones did not return from the Black Gate? But who is this stranger that has suddenly been bestowed in each other’s presence? Why does the outcome feel differently?

They sat for a while longer in the Gardens not speaking but wordlessly glad for each other’s company. When the night drew near, the weather grew colder and they bid each other farewell and retired to their rooms.

Faramir felt heartened by being near Lady Éowyn for he saw her own sorrow in her eyes without her having to speak of it.  He was glad that he was not pressed about his own feelings either.  He just needed time and with time, he hoped he would not feel such overwhelming guilt.  He was hopeful though, since with her presence, he did not feel as alone.


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