Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters, I just borrow them for fun sometimes.
It has been a year. A year since I have been on the sea, a year since I have been named the Pirate King, and a year since I have seen him…a year to the day since I laid eyes on my husband. It has been a hard and difficult year for me, and I become weary at the thought of nine more before I can be reunited with Will. As I look over at our 3-month-old son asleep in his bassinet, I smile to myself. The year has been hard, indeed, but not without its joys. I found out I was pregnant shortly after my last day with Will, and I was now lucky enough to have two pieces of him with me—his child and his heart. I have kept his heart safe with me and I place my ear to the chest at least once every day so that I can hear the slow and steady thump that assures me that Will is still with me though he is so far away.
I cannot imagine my life without him in it, and it is a miracle that we have both survived to this point. If one asked me a few years ago where I would be, a pirate lord, captain, the pirate king, and the wife of the ferrier of souls lost at sea would never cross my mind. So much has happened and I believe that it was all meant to be. I was destined to be all that I am, and while I suffer daily from the pain of separation from my husband, I am comforted by the notion that I will see him again and that we could be reunited forever. The baby stirs in his sleep, and I walk over to him and softly stroke his head until he settles again. He will hear stories, so many stories. I will tell him all about his father and prepare him for the day, nine years from today, when they will finally meet. I sit in the rocking chair where I rock young William to sleep every night and I watch him as he sleeps. My mind begins to drift to Will, as it often does. I wonder what he is doing, if he is closer to his father, if he is thinking of me at that very moment as well. I then force myself to stay strong for myself, for my son, and for Will, remembering the day that I almost gave up hope completely.
The new dress was flattering, but unbearable. I had heard the phrase "Beauty knows no pain," though I had no idea who had the audacity to coin it. I struggled down the stairs, trying to maintain a proper façade so that I would not disappoint my father. Every step became heavier as I descended because I knew that I was being forced into a courtship with the future Commodore. He was a fine man, to be sure, but he was not the one that I wanted. I knew in my heart that there was another man who could make me happier, though I feared that it was an impossible match. I could not see my father approving it, nor could I see a future with him beyond my naïve daydreams. I had felt for him since we had found him eight years prior, and to this day seeing him made my heart flutter in a way that no other experience ever had.
As I pondered the injustice of it all, I concentrated on her steps so that I would not trip over my new dress and did not look up until I heard my father's praise of my appearance. When I raised my head, I was pleasantly surprised to see Will at the foot of the stairs. I threw decorum to the wind and hurried down the stairs after calling his name. I told him about the dream that I had had about him the previous night, noting that he was not speaking to me and could barely meet my eyes. He had a dumbfounded look upon his face that I took as disinterest in my behavior. I knew I should not be speaking so openly to him, but I could not help myself. He made me feel alive in a way that no one in my proper lifestyle ever could.
I knew how ridiculous I sounded, spouting off about a dream that I had about a boy I could never be with, but some part of my subconscious wanted him to understand what I was doing. I wanted him to recognize that I thought about him constantly, that he was in my dreams as well as in my heart. I could not say such things bluntly in the audience of my father, but I felt that perhaps he could sense my excitement at his presence. He looked so nervous and each time he met my eyes he looked so frightened and shocked that I began to feel slightly uncomfortable. Perhaps I was wrong to think…to hope…that perhaps he thought about me, too. I had always nurtured a small hope that he dreamt about me, that he could see himself with me one day…but he always called me "Ms. Swann"
I asked him continuously to call me Elizabeth, and this day was no different. Once again, he said "At least once more, Ms. Swann." Every time he said that to me, my heart sunk a bit further. It did not matter where we were, even if it was a rare occasion that it was just the two of us in a room that is what he always said. Today it sent my heart crashing to the pit of my stomach. I may be a girl of only eighteen, but I know when to give up. It had been eight years and it was obvious that he had no interest in a girl feigning propriety in a world where she dreamed of more. I wanted out of my corset and I wanted adventure. I always had. I think that he knew that about me, he could sense it. Obviously, that was not what he wanted in a girl.
As I left, I steeled myself against him. I could not entertain my personal daydreams anymore. I had to grow up. If that meant doing my best to forget about Will Turner and focus my attention on a man that was twice my age, I would do it. I could feel my hope of an adventurous life slipping away as I walked out the door—a shocking and most depressing feeling. I did not know why my heart chose that day to give up, but the heart has no reason or logic. I made my decision and told myself that from now on, he would be no more to me than Mr. Turner, the blacksmith. I would not dwell on what could have been, and maybe one day, I would grow to be happy. One day I would come to accept that I cannot have everything (or everyone) that I want. One day I would be able to walk by him and not feel anything. One day.
One year—one year, to the day, I have been bound to this ship. One year ago today I had to say goodbye to my wife and set out for the sea, not to see her again for ten years. I think about her every day, and every time we ferry the souls of those lost at sea I have to suppress the fear that she could be among them. I wonder how she is doing, I think about her daily activities and I ache for her. I focus a great deal of energy to my task so that I will not fall into despair. I try to remind myself that I could have been taken from her forever, that ten years rather than a lifetime was a much better option. I subconsciously put a hand to the place where my heart should be, and I am plagued with the feeling that I have become familiar with over the past year. I feel empty, saddened by the fact that I am a heartless man who cannot be with the one he loves—a man that is assigned a heady task so that one day I can return to her and be with her forever, should Calypso grace me enough to allow it. This sadness is quickly overcome with a feeling of purpose and satisfaction because I know that Elizabeth has my heart and is keeping it safe. My heart has never been my own, in truth, it has always been hers, and I told her so the last time I saw her. I do my duty so that I can return to her. That does not make the task any easier, however, and the past year has been long and arduous. I had to rectify all the wrongs that Jones had done when he betrayed his duty to the souls of those who died at sea, as well as accustom myself to being an immortal and captaining a ship of those who were not ready to cross over.
I am thankful to be closer to my father and he comforts me the best he can when I forget my purpose. It is hard to be around those who are dying or have died and not fall into despair. I have a job to do and I do well to remember it. The best source of comfort I have found, since I cannot communicate with Elizabeth by the bounds of the curse, is remembering. I think of everything in my life that led me to this point. A "touch of destiny," as I have been told. Nine more years. In exactly nine years I will get to see her again, and as a comfort to myself I begin to remember the day I decided I would be more to her than just a blacksmith.
I awoke with a splitting headache. It took me a moment to recognize my surroundings. I was on the ground and there were several people in the streets, putting out fires and cleaning the mess that the pirates had left. Then I remembered. The pirates. God knows what they wanted—perhaps to rescue Jack Sparrow, who had been placed in prison just the day before. I still did not know what to think of Jack Sparrow's purpose in Port Royal, not that it mattered to me in the slightest. He was a pirate and I had enough sense to know that any involvement with pirates was practically a death sentence.
As I walked the streets and surveyed the damage, I had the sudden urge to check on Elizabeth. She had no idea, I was sure, of the feelings that I had for her. It pained me to remain well mannered around her as society expected of me. I could not bear to watch her smile falter as I called her Ms. Swann. I so desperately wanted to call her first name and have a sense of comfort and familiarity with her, but I knew that I could not. Her father already could sense that I was in love with his daughter, I was sure. I was also sure that Governor Swann most likely had much bigger plans for his daughter than marrying her off to a blacksmith—however, I did not want to offend him in anyway should the situation change one day. I wanted him to recognize me has a gentleman, not as a lowly blacksmith that could not possibly be worthy of his daughter. Therefore, I called her Ms. Swann, as much to her chagrin as mine.
I rounded the corner to Elizabeth's grandeur mansion and immediately began to feel an unsettled stirring in my stomach. Something was not right. I broke into a run and soon saw the gate to the mansion had been broken and the front door was open. I called out her name—in my desperation, I forgot all propriety and called her first name as I had wanted to so many times before. The only answer I received was from one of the servants that had survived. I looked behind him and saw the body of their doorman, the man who had let me in to deliver the Commodore's sword the day before. The frightened look on the servants face told me that something had gone horribly wrong in the house. I asked him where Elizabeth and the Governor were, hoping that they had been secretly stowed away in a safe place until the pirates had left. The servant looked distraught at the mention of Elizabeth's name and told me that she had been taken. If I did not have enough reason to loathe pirates before, I certainly had a case at that moment. My heart dropped and the only thing I knew to do was to run to the fort, where I hoped a search party had been formed.
I came across the Commodore and Elizabeth's father soon enough and found them scouring over maps and talking about plans of action. Talking, I knew, would do no good. As they sat around speaking, Elizabeth was being taken further away. Not knowing what else to say, I made my presence known by stating the obvious—that they had taken Elizabeth. They both looked at me as if I had no right to be there, but I did not care. I no longer cared about upholding my appearance to Governor Swann for the sake of a future with Elizabeth; I just wanted to know she was alive and safe. As they asked me if I had any ideas about her whereabouts, the only plan that came to mind was one that even I did not want to put to action—to ask Jack Sparrow for help. I had discovered that he was still in jail and if he had any associations with the pirates that had abducted Elizabeth, he would probably have an idea of where they had taken her. The Commodore and the Governor immediately ignored me, and I knew that for action to be taken I would have to take matters into my own hands.
I headed straight for the prison, knowing that I was a fool for doing so—but I could not think of any other option. Action was necessary, and Jack Sparrow appeared to be my only hope. Even if association with a pirate was a death sentence, I had no choice. As I ran down the stairs to Jack's cell, I thought only of Elizabeth. One day I would see her again, one day I would find her and save her from those who took her from me, and one day…one day I would find the courage to tell her how I feel about her.