I will never forget that day. The sun was high in the sky, shining down in bright, gleeful rays upon the villa's garden, catching the golden glint in my children's hair, and making it shimmer like the sunrise upon the waters of Manaan. The children were playing, of what game I am not sure, but something about their interpretation of my travels. My daughter, Aaitha was pretending to be me, my son, Atirem, Canderous. Atirem worshipped my old friend, now known as Mandalore. I remember praying that my son wouldn't live by the sword as Canderous does. Vitaria's daughter, Natia, had joined in as well, playing the part of her hero, Mission Vao; her bright blonde curls a stark contrast from Mission's blue head tails. The teenager that I had known and come to love as my little sister throughout my journeys had grown up. She was a married woman now, and expecting her first child. I'd never seen her so happy as the day that she had found out.
Vitaria and I had sat amongst the roses, laughing at our children's antics. Vitaria's hand strayed unconsciously to her belly, swollen with child, much of the time that we spoke. I was jealous of her, I remember. My birth had been difficult, and aided by a male Jedi, who hadn't known anything about a female's body, much less how to deliver a baby. After the twins were born, I learned that I could never have another child. That day, as I saw Vitaria's face bright with mother-glow, I had longed for a child to grow in my womb again, to feel it kick and move from within me.
But underneath the laughter that we shared was a raw and primal fear, that ran as deep as the corruption of Korriban. For both of our husbands were at war, and we both feared that they would not return. Vitaria had less to worry about, I suppose. Her husband was a Jedi after all, and quite skilled in combat. My husband, however, was merely a gifted soldier, and though he could easily out match any of his men, and had killed his fair share of dark Jedi, I knew that he could easily be overwhelmed. Vitaria's husband had sworn an oath to me before he left. He told me that he would die fighting to protect the man I love, and would not allow any harm to befall him. That had allowed me small comfort, knowing that my husband would have a friend discreetly watching his back.
It was Juhani who came and interrupted us. Her cat-like eyes were clouded, her feline body hunched into a pose of sorrow. She cut through the bright, carefree world that I had just then begun to embrace, with a blade of darkness, handed to me in the form of a letter. I didn't want to open it; didn't want to unleash the pain that I knew I would find when I looked inside. The letter had the remains of his aura on it, and I could feel the impressions of the emotions he had felt when it was written…distress, uncertainty, love, and his characteristic defiance. With trembling hands, I accepted the datapad from Juhani's grasp, and read the message that glowed from the screen.
I decided that I should allow you that one small concession that you and I have squabbled over all these years. I know, levity has no place in a matter such as this, but I figured that if my last words could bring a smile to your face, it should be added. If you are reading this, and I pray that you won't have to, it is because I have gone to be with the force, or so you would say.
I really don't know how to begin, but I guess that I should start by saying thank you. When you met me, I was an empty shell of a man, left hollow from bitterness and hatred. Somehow, your company was able to bring me back to the man that I once was, and your love filled me to completion. You turned my bitterness into life, my hatred into love. You taught me how to trust again, how to care for people without second-guessing their motives. For that, I owe you my heartfelt gratitude.
The second thing that needs to be said is that I forgive you. Though you have heard me say that a thousand times, I felt it needed to be said a thousand and one. I forgive you for Telos, for leaving me, and every other minor offense that I condemned you for in my heart while you were gone. I don't see you as a broken woman, pieced back together with chips and cracks, as I know that you often see yourself. I see you as beautiful, and whole- a woman who has made mistakes in her lifetime, yes, but none made that were greater than my own.
And I suppose the last, and most important thing that I need to tell you is that I love you. I have loved you for forever it seems to me; that my life before you wasn't truly filled. I've needed you all my life, but I didn't realize it until that day, nine years ago, when we proclaimed our love for one another. We've had four years as husband and wife, and it feels unfair that we should be parted so soon. But I need you to know, that I am waiting for you. The moment that you are received into the force, I will be there, holding out my arms and waiting to embrace you.
Give Aaitha, Atirem, and Dustil a hug for me. I love all of you, more than I will ever be able to express.
My vision had clouded with tears after I read that, and I felt my world begin to crumble around me…my life suddenly seemed, worthless. Black clouded my vision, and then a small hand was resting upon my shoulder. I looked up to see my daughter standing before me, her eyes shimmering with tears just as her hair shimmered in the sun. It suddenly seemed unfair that the sun could shine so brightly when such tragic news had just reached me. It should have been dark with heavy thunderclouds, and torrents of rain. The sun's rays mocked my sorrow.
I gently rested my own hand on top of my daughter's small one, sending comfort through the force into her tiny body in an attempt to soothe her. She knew, without me telling her. She was strong in the force, as was her brother. Bastila had attempted to take my children for training. We had argued for weeks on end over that until she finally agreed to let me raise them my own way. Through our force bond, my daughter was able to see my emotions and identify the cause.
A small tear trickled from Aaitha's bright blue eyes, eyes so like my own. I wrapped my arms around her, saying nothing, drawing comfort from her touch. I looked around for my son, and saw him sitting off in the far corner, emotionless. He had received my ability of detaching myself from emotion, something that would make him a good Jedi one day. I let my daughter go, and walked over to Atirem, and embraced him as well. His body was suddenly wracked with sobs, his warm brown eyes awash with tears. My Aaitha joined our embrace, and the three of us sat there for a while, allowing ourselves to drown in our grief.
A wail suddenly came from the other end of the garden, and I looked up, to see Vitaria clutching Natia. Atton had died protecting Carth, as he had promised me that he would. I have never known such sorrow as I knew on that day, before or after.
In the thirty-six years that I have been alive, I have already been through six different eras. First, I was Revan- a child and a young Jedi, bursting with the need to save the republic. That era came to a close when Darth Revan emerged from that exuberant child, killing those that young Revan wished to protect. A new era begun when I re-entered life as Aminta Jae, a scoundrel turned Jedi with a huge crew aboard the Ebon Hawk that I came to love as a family, and a woman who had fallen for a handsome pilot. That era ended when I left my newfound family to defeat the dark side, but became a single mother in the process. And then, I entered a new phase of life as a wife, a woman who loved her husband and children above all else. And now, that era too has come to a close. I am now a widow, caring for my children with the help of the family the Ebon Hawk travels had founded.
But of all of these stages in my life, I treasure none greater than when I was both a wife and mother. The years may pass, my beauty may dim and fade, but I will always remember what it felt like to be held in his arms… The years will come and go, but I will not forget.