Author: Aelan Greenleaf
"Would you like some tea?" I ask, trying to conceal the emotion that lay within my voice.
He smiles, unassuming as always. "I would, thank you."
He sits down at the table, robes floating around him, as he folds his hands together and waits, patiently. He's always patient. He's always silent. He always brings back those memories that I wish I could forget.
My hands shake as I pour the tea, and I want to be calm, I want to be steadfast and I want to impress him. But it's hard, and it's always been hard. I wipe up the tea that spilt and bring it to him, trying my best to give him a happy smile. My stomach does back flips as I sit down.
"Something wrong?" he asks, sipping the tea in his customary sophisticated way.
I shake my head, and smile a little. "No, no, nothing." A lie.
The cup comes to his lips again. "How have you been?"
An awkward silence. It's been two months since he last visited, two months where I tried and partially succeeded in forgetting most of it. But I haven't really forgotten it. How could I really forget it?
"I..." I don't know what I can say. I want to say something that will please him; something that will make him proud of me, happy to see how far I've come. Of course, that would be another lie. I haven't gotten anywhere. Not yet. Maybe not ever.
His cerulean eyes stare right through me; I feel like he can see everything that I am. I'm embarrassed. I look down and away.
"How are they?" I ask, still gazing down at the carpeted floor underneath my feet. I can see the tips of his black boots underneath the table. Suddenly, for a second, I am jealous.
I know he's still staring at me. "They're fine. She loves them very much, and they are getting so big."
A smile crawls onto my lips. This news makes me happy. At least she's okay, at least they're all okay. Someone that I haven't hurt. At least, someone that I can't hurt anymore.
The boots are still there, still waiting, under the table. They are the symbols of everything I once was; everything I still should be. I'm so stupid. So damn stupid. I threw it all away, the utter entirety of my life, for nothing. My fists clench in my lap, and the anger begins to course through my veins. My body is filling up quickly with rage, and it's happening again, and I don't want it to and I'm so scared and angry and the world's falling down.
When I wake up, I'm in his arms.
He's holding me on the ground, and I can see that the table's been pushed away, the cup sideways on the soft carpet and the dark red liquid seeping into the carpet. It reminds me of blood, and I close my eyes.
He's warm, and safe, and I just want to stay in his arms. I remember, suddenly, when I was young and I had fallen while practicing one my exercises, and I was sobbing as I held my limp wrist to my chest. He hadn't said anything at all; he had just picked me up into his arms and held me close, ignoring, for the moment, that I needed medical attention and that I was really too old to be held like that. I'd forgotten how strong he was, how solid he was, both on the outside and within.
I sigh, and the moment of danger has past, and he lets me go, gently and without a word. These attacks have become less and less now, as time continues on and I heal just a little bit more. He puts the table back upright and picks up the teacup, placing it back onto the counter. I'm still on the ground, strangely frozen. I'm staring at him now, and it's almost as if I'm seeing him for the first time.
His hair has more streaks of grey now than ever, and his beard is gone. The brown cloak that represents all that he is seems to be big on him now, and he is thinner now then he once was. Small wrinkles line the corners of his eyes, and there is something in his gaze that is somewhat sad and tired. I realize, for the first time, that his eyes and his soul have always been older than his body. My heart hurts for him.
He joins me on the floor, sitting cross-legged across from me. I feel empty and drained, as I often do after one of my 'episodes'. But, oddly, I feel whole. The anger is gone, at least for a little while. The dark side has left me, and I can touch the light softly, without fear or anger or jealousy. For the moment, I am Anakin Skywalker, before everything went wrong.
However, everything did go wrong, and that's why I'm in here, imprisoned. And that is why I can never see my wife or my children, and that is why Obi-Wan can only come visit every once in a while. That is why I am nothing but a mere shell, and that is why, ultimately, I can never go back. I've hurt too many. I've spilt too much innocent blood. I've destroyed the good.
Obi-Wan stands up, and I know that we've sat here for a long time, silent as the darkest night, and he has to leave. He is one of the last Jedi, and he has responsibilities to keep to. He's Obi-Wan Kenobi, saviour of the galaxy. He's patient. He's silent. He is the Jedi.
He's everything that I'm not.
And that's why I'll be in here forever.