You know, I...
Every year, on my anniversary in the City--August the 2nd, that is--I've told a story about a princess with six brothers who were changed into swans. I started doing it on my very first anniversary here, because it was so hard to imagine that a whole year had gone by, and it made me think of how time seems to pass so differently in fairy tales; the story goes that the little princess vows to go six years without ever once smiling or laughing or speaking a word, so as to break the curse that's been placed on her older brothers. And in the stories, one can say that in the span of simply a sentence: six years passed, as simple as that.
But six years in life is something very different, isn't it? It would've been the end of my sixth year this August, and even after just five and a half, when I think back on all the memories I've had here in the City, and all the times I've smiled and laughed and spoken...it really makes it all the more wondrous, I think, to have that sort of appreciation of just how long that little princess was willing to hold out for the sake of her brothers, and how much she must've loved them, to take on such a challenge for their sakes.
And I always liked that story in particular because there was one brother that the princess saved--she did it by sewing shirts for them, you see, and then at the end of the six years she was to throw them over the swans and they'd change back into boys--whose shirt didn't have a sleeve on it yet, and so when he was changed back, he still had a wing in place of one arm. And yet even with that, I don't think the little princess loved him any less for it. I think...in a way, I even loved him a bit more than the others, because I don't think someone needs to be perfect to be worth loving, or to be loved.
But that's not the story that's been on my mind all day, really. The one I've been thinking of instead starts off a bit something a bit more like this:
Once upon a time there was a princess who was going to be sacrificed to a three-headed dragon.
In my family, in Daventry, we have a tradition--that anytime one of us goes on an adventure, the very first thing we're meant to do once we're home safely again is to sit down with our court chronicler, Gerwain, and retell the whole story, every bit of it that we can remember, so he can take it down and preserve it in the royal archives. I was seventeen years old, just shy of my eighteenth birthday, when I went up the stairs in the mountainside to the Land of the Clouds to be sacrificed to that dragon. And then when it was slain, we came home, Alexander and I, and my father took ill after his heart failed from the joy of seeing us both safe again. And then I was off on another adventure, this time to seek a magic fruit that could save his life, and I did find it and he was saved.
And then just as I was leaving his bedside after that, I fell into the Fountain, here. I hadn't slept in more than a day, and I was ever so terribly tired, and that was when the boy who would become my best friend, Sam, found me and took me to the Warehouse--the place I've called home all this time.
All this time, everything I've written in this device of mine, it's always been because I was expecting this day might come. I wanted to be sure I could remember as much of it as I could, because when I go home, the first thing I'm going to do is sit right down with Gerwain and tell him everything, as much as I can. All five and a half years of it, as far back as I can remember.
This story...this adventure...we'll all have it, then, in Daventry. Sam Witwicky and Sirius Black, Miss Saya and Blue and Ellington, too, Luke Skywalker and Legolas and Tamaki, Princess Rue and her Prince Mytho and Ahiru and Fakir, Kurama and Romeo and his Juliet, Blair and Bumblebee and Sam's friend Mikaela, too. Neil and Todd--the new knights of Daventry, now, Sir Neil and Sir Todd, and Penny, and Caspian and Peter and Susan and Lucy, and yes, even Edmund too. And Tristan, Yvaine, and Claire and Duo and Dean, Kazuki and Amory and Arthur and Cinna. They'll know Nigel and Dr. Chase, and Merry and Riff and Miss Megumi, and Ginny and Frankie and Justin and Euphie and Bucky and Steve, and Billy and Dave and Miss Carla and...
And...and I suppose we might even find room for a rather insufferable boy by the name of Cain Hargreaves, while we're at it, though I suppose it'll only be my half of things for the time being, and he can fill in his side of it once he arrives.
So if anyone should ask me, you know, to tell them my favorite fairy tale...I suppose I'll have to warn them that we might be there awhile, because the one I'm going to tell is the one of all of you, and the time we spent together here.
I still remember the moment, that five and a half years ago, when I really did come to believe in the story the boy who'd rescued me had told me, that he was the long-lost twin brother I'd never known I had. I remember he started to cry, and hugged me, and said, "It's so good to be home." And that...was when I believed him.
And you know, I...I think I'm glad to be going home, too? But that's only because I've learned that home isn't...a place, but the people you love. And some of them are there, in my kingdom, waiting for me, and so many of them have been here in this City. But as long as I remember them, and carry them with me in my heart...then really, no matter where I go, I'm always home, aren't I?
I'm going to miss all of you so very much, but I'm glad for it, too. Because you can't miss someone that you don't remember, and I'll never forget any of you.
"And they all lived happily ever after."
Yes. I'm certain that's how the end of this adventure goes, too.[OOC: Action her up, backtag forever, do whatever you like. This post is 100% open for farewells, and thank you again, Poly, for so many years of wonderful memories. ♥](COMMENTS)