All characters are the property of Tamora Pierce

Tammy Drabbles 56: Time

Every part of him seemed to ache with a desperation like none he has ever known. He knew this day could come, but he had always hoped he'd be the first to die. Love like theirs was rare, and he had been very lucky, he knew. But if they'd had a second lifetime together, it could not have been enough. Now every year seemed to have passed too quickly, and he was painfully aware of every moment where they could have spent their time together and didn't. He wondered if it could have dulled the pain he was feeling now, if only they could have spent more of the war with Scanra in the same fief. What if their day to day duties had been better coordinated? What if more of their commitments had been planned in the same direction? What if he'd somehow found his way to her sooner?

Friends came and wished him condolences. The children had come back to grieve beside him, though they let tears fall and he did not. He was raised to think men were not supposed to cry – at least not in public. They were supposed to be strong for everyone else. The children were all grown with homes and families of their own. They would not spend the coming days in an empty house, like he would, so he knew he could cry unseen later.

He had lived before he met her, but he could not remember how, or imagine going on alone, though he knew he would. That's how she would have wanted it. Much of his life was spent wishing for more time. He supposed that from here to the end of his days, he'd pray for less. If the Black God were merciful, his time without her would be short.

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a/n: I did not say who he is on purpose. I'm curious to know who everyone else thinks this story is about.