I've had this piece for as long as I can remember, and it only recently occurred to me that I could post it here. I think now is the right time. * u *~ Expect a lot of angst and just a tiny hint of fluff. On another note, I know Haydee had a really sharp memory of the Janina events in the novel, but for this fic, let's just say she'd closed her mind off to those memories long ago…

She told me she wanted to be stronger, not for herself, but for me. For a moment, I admired her courage, but at the same time, I was scared for her, because I knew exactly what she'd have to face in order to overcome her fears.

A glimpse into her own past.

As her master, I knew nothing frightened her more than her childhood memories. She remembered no happy moments with her parents, only their deaths. Her lavish dresses were replaced with gray rags, hardly any more clothes.

Abandonment. Betrayal. Loneliness. She would have to experience these once again, all in a single blow. And I know the pain will be twice as hard; I had pampered the girl for too long, long enough for her to leave no room for the past.

She must understand that strength can only exist from within, that she must banish the ghosts of her past in order to move forward, something I myself have struggled with, and am struggling with as of now.

Only then can my darling become strong for the both of us. Only then will I grant her permanent access to the deepest memories buried in my heart.