those who are cursed with near-immortality must accept that they will outlive their mortal loved ones. Diana is forced to confront this fact when they got attached to a human for the first time in centuries.
Diana had been sitting in their study for what may have been hours, quietly contemplating their heavy heart. Out of the rooms in their house, the study was where they felt the most comfortable. It was where they could lose themselves in books, drowning their sorrows and worries in research.
Their usual attempts at distractions had proven to be futile tonight.
As they sulked in solitude in their favorite armchair, Diana couldn't help but stare at an antique jewelry box that sat on one of their shelves. It was a small wooden box they've possessed for many years, adorned with bronze flowers and a lock on the front. Diana bit their lip as they mulled over some thoughts. They rose from their seat, rummaging through their desk drawers for a small key, and decided to open the locked jewelry box.
Inside the box contained a single brooch, nothing more. Diana carefully removed the brooch from its vault, staring down at the worn metal and missing stones that lined the edges. Antique appraisers may call the brooch unremarkable, but to Diana, it was one of the most important things they had ever owned; it once belonged to their lover, Anna, many years ago.
Diana usually kept the brooch in their study, as it reminded them of all the times they kept Anna company while she studied magic spells. It was something that they bonded over, as Diana always had the soul of a curious academic, and Anna was ever enthusiastic about sharing her work. They stood motionless by the shelf, lost in their own nostalgia upon viewing the brooch.
"Anna, my love... If you can hear me right now from the heavens, I would like for you to listen to me for a bit," Diana quietly spoke out loud. "It has been quite some time since I have talked with you, I believe. I must apologize." they admitted, clutching the brooch close to their chest. "Unfortunately, that may not be the last time I ask for your forgiveness tonight."
Diana settled back in to the plush, navy blue armchair with a deep sigh. "Do you remember when you first confessed your love for me? Despite it being so long ago, I have tried to remember as much as I could from that night." Their eyes shut in deep contemplation, stirring their memories to life. "You wanted to show me a meadow you had come across while foraging for magic spell ingredients. I dryly reminded you that I preferred to stay out of the sun, and you insisted to me that it was beautiful under the moonlight. And so, after supper, you snuck out of the coven house with me to go stargazing in the meadow."
"After we had sat outside together for some time, you remarked to me that you always saw me as someone who was cold, strong, rough around the edges. A gruff person who was not much for emotion or words. But I had showed you a brief moment of vulnerability, a new side of me. Someone who could sit among the wildflowers, with a hint of a smile on their face."
"It was then that you softly laughed to yourself, tucking a stray lock of hair behind your ear, and told me,"
'It's times like that where I can't help but fall for you, ██████.'
Diana paused, glancing down at the small brooch in the palm of their hand, grasping it protectively. "I have loved you for so long, Anna. Forever and always," they lovingly whispered.
They leaned back in their seat, crossing their legs up on the footstool. Diana tilted their head upwards, as if their ceiling had broken away as a window to the heavens above. "Would you forgive me if I ever fell in love with another woman?" Diana asked, as their face grew pained. "Would you forgive me, the lifetime companion who failed to be by your side? Would you forgive me, the person who turned out not to be the man you thought I was?"
Their fingers tensely interlocked together, as their gaze continued pointing skywards. "You were always so kind and patient with me. I know you were not a woman inclined to hold eternal grudges. And yet, there is a part of me that has always lived in fear of you looking down at me, disappointed in the one you once fell in love with."
"For all I know, perhaps you are relieved to find that I may not spend all of my days in solitude after all," Diana remarked, sighing. "You were aware that I would inevitably outlive you. But I do not know if you wished me to find another companion someday. ...I deeply regret that I never took the chance to ask you."
"Over all these years, I had never taken interest in anyone else. You were the only one I ever felt so strongly about. And as fate would have it, our time together was cut short, and I awoke in a world without you."
A intense sense of dread rose up within them, holding their heart in a vicegrip, squeezing tightly until tears began to form in their eyes.
"Perhaps I have been afraid to love again, because I never wanted to live that pain ever again. The pain of being awoken from a century-long rest by a woman I did not recognize, who had to inform me that the love of my life died years ago. I had to live every day knowing that I would never feel your touch, hear your laugh, or ever see your face again." Diana's voice began to break apart, as absolute agony began to consume them. "It has been so long, there is so much that I cannot recall... I am so sorry, Anna. Please, god, forgive me..."
Diana's head fell into their hands, as the brooch they had been grasping dropped down on their lap. Their waves of golden blonde hair draped down like a curtain around their face, concealing the tears that had become utterly uncontrollable.
"I... I do not know what to do, Anna," they wept. "For the first time in well over a century - two, if one were to count my years unconscious - I have fallen in love again. And I cannot express into words the sheer terror that brings me."
Their sobs grew louder, as countless years worth of pain bubbled up to the surface. Diana sat hunched over in their armchair, doubled over in suffering, crying desperately into the palms of their hands. All the years of loneliness, grief, and denial had caught up to them in this moment. There was not much they could do besides let it out, and accept the consequences of bottling up their feelings for so long.
The light of dawn began to trickle past the thick curtains of their study, as they laid wearily in their seat. Diana weakly lifted their head and rubbed at their dried up eyes, exhausted. It had gotten later than they realized. They picked up the brooch that had fallen into their lap, and staggered towards the jewelry box across the room. Before returning it to its rightful resting place, Diana took one more look down at the brooch.
"I will always love you, Anna, no matter what else happens. And... I am sorry you had to see me like this," they whispered, before placing it in the box, and locking the mechanism shut. "Good night."
the gate can take you back to the previous page.