AR 12-12-02 Yari Knows Who He Wants to Take Him Home
The caravan arrived at the inn early in the evening. With a little help from Sardi, Rissa and Verona found themselves distracted, allowing Yari to sneak away with Elsie. The boy and girl soon were on the roof of the inn, just above Elsie’s window, watching the sun set.
“I’ve missed you,” she said, kissing his cheek. Yari blushed. “What’s the matter?” Elsie commented. “You’ve never been embarrassed to kiss me before.”
“Yeah,” Yari said. “I know. Things’re… things’re different now.”
“I… Elsie, you know that I will always love you, right?”
There was a pause, and then, “Oh, you’re breaking up with me?” the girl asked matter-of-factly. She was always uncommonly perceptive. For Elsie, the uncommon was common; that was one of the reason Yari had loved her so much.
Yari sighed. Elsie put her arm around his waist. They both watched the last of Sol’s radiance fade, and many stars find their way into the darkening sky.
“I’m going to ask her to marry me,” Yari finally said, after the moon – Mani – had risen several feet above the horizon.
“I see,” said Elsie, even and calm.
“Why? You were never anything but honest and genuine with me, Jarl Hastae. You have nothing to apologize for.” Despite her formality, Elsie’s tone was soft and soothing. Yari wondered how hard she was having to fight to keep her voice from cracking. He was fighting very hard.
“I mean it, Elsie,” he said, looking her in the eyes, earnestness seeping from every pore. Both their eyes were glistening; Yari hoped his weren’t black. “I will always love you.”
“Like you love Sardi?”
Yari glanced down for just a beat, then held her gaze again. “Maybe,” he said. “Maybe just like that.”
“Then,” Elsie interrupted, summoning a large smile, “we will always be friends. No matter what. And, good luck to you, Yari. I hope she says yes.”
“Cheers,” said he.
“Cheers,” said she.
Another streak of light, another shooting star of the days-long shower, flashed by. The two kissed again, a chaste kiss of dear friends. Yari stood, and climbed back in through Elsie’s window, leaving her alone on the roof.
She stayed in her spot long after Yari had left. Well into the night, when Mani’s crescent form was nearing the horizon-line again, she dried her silent tears and smiled. “You always do keep your promises, don’t you, Jarl Hastae?” she whispered to no one, then climbed into her window and went to bed.