3.10 Starlight Silver


I found Libra in by the window overlooking the garden. She wandered often these days, both in the house and in her mind, but this time was different. She turned to me as I approached, and though she was smiling, her expression was inexplicably sad.

“What is it?” I asked.

She turned back to the window. “Taurus has been writing a lot to that girl in Windenburg, hasn’t he? What was her name?”


“Iris. She seems like a nice girl. Good for him, do you think?”

“She will certainly keep him alive. He often needs a reminder to feed himself.”

Libra chuckled. “He does tend to get lost in his ideas sometimes. But it’s up to him to decide.”

“It is indeed.”

We fell silent. I tried to savor this moment- a moment of her clarity. They were growing far and in between.

After a while she asked, quietly, “We’ve done well, haven’t we?”

“We did our best,” I said.

“Did we?” A tone of agitation crept into her voice. Something was on her mind. “We never…”

“Never what?”

She took a deep breath. “There’s something I never told you. My father… he left me potions. Potions of youth. I never took them. I hid them.”

Of all the things I expected her to say, this was not one of them. “I know. I’ve always known.”

She, on the other hand, showed no hint of surprise. Just that same, calm sorrow. “You never said.”

“No. It’s something we do, isn’t it?” Like a dance we perfected over the years. We trust each other on what to leave unsaid.

“I wish I had said it before. The secret became a burden.”

“I wish I had said it. I didn’t realize what you were going through.”

“I don’t want it to be our family burden anymore.” She looked into my eyes with tranquil determination. “It ends here, with us. We have to tell them. Tell them everything.”

I pulled her close and wrapped my arms around her, and felt her do the same.

“Why did you never say?” she said into my shoulder, and for the first time, her voice shook. “We could have had more time. We could have had forever.”

As we named each of our children after the stars we wondered together how long this tradition will last. Maybe what we were really wondering was how long our legacy will last until it is forgotten. We will, one day, be lost to time. Our names and epitaphs turned to dust. But watching our children grow, I knew things in the far future could never compare to this very now.

“I don’t need forever,” I said, and it was the truth. “I wanted to leave that decision to you. And I have no regrets. None.”

“Don’t worry, we’ll be together again.” Pulling away, she absentmindedly reached out and brushed a lock of hair out of my face. “I’ve seen it. She had your hair, starlight silver.”

She was wandering again. I squeezed her hand; a futile attempt to keep her with me. “We’ll tell them before it’s too late,” I said. “I promise.”


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