Ten Times I Knew I Loved You by Life Is A Higwhay66
Legend of Zelda © Nintendo
Long ago you asked me when it was in our long friendship that I realised I wished to get to know you in a more intimate way, I stopped. I stuttered. I'm sorry that it made you think that I did not want to be with you, but the truth is; there were so many moments in our life that made me realise I love you. And all the way through this time, I began to love you more and more. And now, years since you first asked me this question, here I am. From all of the countless possibilities I could tell you, I have somehow managed to narrow them down to ten.
1. The first time I met you
When I think with all my might, I can remember the first time I met you. Although I didn't realise it at the time, the feeling that struck my down to a state of paralysis was my heart stopping. The cause? You. Ever since the moment you turned to face me, your blond hair being an almost reflection of the sunlight, and your eyes seemingly a perfect contrast as they seemed to show the liquid substance down on the surface, which we would one day get to know as the ocean.
We were at the plaza of Sky loft, and it was a special day for all of the small children of the small floating rock above the clouds. It was the day that we were going to pick our Lofting's, and although the magnificent birds surrounded us, and everyone was in awe of their beauty, I was hypnotized by another creature. You. Although the excitement radiated from you, you did not allow yourself to lose control of your actions, much like the other children had. Even at such a young age, I would argue to anyone that you were graceful.
I didn't have the courage to talk to you. So I just stared. Hoping that our eyes would meet and you would be the one bold enough to start a conversation. However, I soon realised that you were too focused on watching the birds spreading their wings, raising the beaks, and emanating a loud squawk. I jumped back in surprised. My mother chuckled, placing a soothing hand on my shoulder and running her hand through my hair. "Go on." She whispered, pushing me closer to the group of infant chicks. I stumbled forward, and before I could stop myself I found myself next to you. You were looking up at your purple Loftwing, stroking the almost luminous feathers. A smile spread across your innocent face, knowing that you had fallen in love with the bird, while I fell into puppy love with you.
Before I could muster the courage to even say hello, I was pushed aside by a long beak, yelping in fear and surprise as I fell on the floor. I was almost blinded by the sun, trying to look at what had pushed me down, there before me was a crimson Loftwing; even as I was lying on the floor, it continued to nudge me. I nearly squealed with laughter as the young bird unknowingly tickled by middle, under my arms, and all over. When I squeezed my eyes shut, and let out a howl of laughter, it stopped. The silence rang around the plaza, and I deemed it safe to open my eyes. You were the first thing I saw. You looked like an almost exact replica of a Goddess as you blocked the beams from the sun, and in response, they wrapped their shining arms around you as you stood with your arms on your waist, a stance of which I would gradually become used to. You put your hand out toward me; and I just stared. I am sure I was dumbstruck, and could only admire the smoothness, and trying to bypass my shock that you were actually holding your hand out to me. What this gesture meant? At a moment of mind and body being paralysed I had no idea, I just stared at your hand, and then back at your face. A stern expression taking over it. You eventually sighed what seemed like a lifetime afterward, and bent down to take my own hand. The moment our limbs made contact, I blushed a shade which was almost identical to my new Loftwing and drew it back.
Your head titled to the left slightly, and then giggled. My heart melted, and I gasped, nearly audibly, in shock. Although I was young at this point, I knew you were beautiful. This was made even more apparent as I could see your lips curve into a smile face on. You took both of my hands and pulled me up to my feet. "Hi," you grinned, holding one of my hands and shaking it, "I'm Zelda. What's your name?"
I looked at your hand again, mentally vowing to never wash it again, then glanced to your face; the blood rushed to the surface of my cheeks again. "L- Link."
2. Losing you
When we went to fly around Skyloft, I knew this would be it. I knew this would be the moment that we would return to the rock in the sky to tell the news to our friends at the knight academy that we were officially a couple. We would be able to walk around the island without each other – well, me – overthinking what this physical contact could mean. We would be able to cuddle. Kiss. All sorts of things I had dreamed of throughout the time at the boarding school for aspiring knights. But before these thoughts could even settle in my mind, you were taken from me. To this day, your screams of pure terror as you were taken from me by the dark tornado haunt me. Your face on which spread a complete helplessness; a feeling which I knew was foreign to someone who had been raised as independent as yourself. It tore my heart apart to watch you fall below the clouds and plummet to the surface.
That hand reached out to me. I wanted to grab it. I did not want to relive the day we first met. I did not want to make the mistake of not taking your hand again. Pushing my Loftwing as hard as I could, I willed myself to catch you; however, as the tornado threw me from the back of my bird, I joined with your screaming. Unsure as to whether it was out of anger, or out of fear. I whistled for the crimson Loftwing to catch me, determined for at least one more try. But as I found myself sitting on the back of the creature, looking around frantically, I soon found that you had gone. I soon found that there was nothing more I could do.
Even if it were not written in the stone they call destiny, my initial reaction would be get myself down to the surface any way that I could. I would have instinctively fought my way to you. Every time I saw you, and Impa held me back, telling how I could not see you, I tried my hardest to ignore every molecule in my body which was screaming to ram the sword through her heart, declare my undying love for you, and take you back to Skyloft. In my darkest hours, it seemed as though allowing Demise to destroy everything while in your arms was better than giving blood, sweat and tears to catch a glimpse of you before you vanished across the damned world again.
Each time this happened, I thought about giving up. But closing my eyes and thinking about you on the day of the Wing Ceremony, dressed in white, holding the harp… Every ounce of strength and hope I had lost while travelling to and fro from the sky to the three provinces of the surface was regained. The only thing that kept me going was the idea that one day, one day soon, I might get to you. That I could take you to the most beautiful places that I had seen on my journey, and hold you close as we watch the stars and wonder where above us our friends and family are.
3. Not saying goodbye
You may not know it, and if you ask me in person, I will downright deny it. You broke my heart. I think you know that, though. When I saw you in the Hylia temple, my heart stopped. Every part of me was screaming with adolescent hormones to take you down and make love to you there and then. All jokes aside, that, of all that I could think of, was when I first felt my heart leap into my throat. I had actually worked for you. I had worked as hard as I could to earn this privilege to look at you. Hardly taking in a word of what you were saying. A part of me knew where this conversation was leading to. That yet again, we could not return home, and again, I was going to have to trek around the surface to find something to help you.
However, I accepted this fact. If it was my fate that I would go on this adventure, then there was nothing I could do about it. What chokes me up, and tore me apart, was the fact that we were always the room's length apart during this. Not even a hug. Not even a friendly one. Not even holding of hands. Nothing. Standing away from each other, almost as if we had not grown up together. You told me that you had to put yourself into a sleep for thousands of years. Before it could sink in that all I had worked for would be thrown away in an instant, you had already begun to slip from my grasp.
I ran to you, as fast as my shaking legs would carry me. Buckling as I tried to get up the steps to stop you, but it was too late. You were already stuck in this state, not to be touched for thousands of years. Hitting it over and over, hoping that you would come out of there, and changing your mind and seeing my way of thinking. It would be better to spend our last moments alive together, than to work for the prospect of failure. But you just opened your eyes. Asking if I would come and wake you up. I just stared. Trying to hold back the tears, of which were mainly made up of exhaustion. How was I supposed to tell you I did not want to leave you, let alone come and wake you up when all was well? I held my tongue, and just made my promise to you. Leaving you in a still silence for a thousand years, and hating myself for it. And hating you for not allowing me to say goodbye.
But still, I never did break a promise to you, did I, Zelda? I knew that one day, we would make promises – vows – to each other that I would never, in my right mind, break. And so from that moment forward, I promised to you and myself that I would love you, and never let anyone or anything take you away from me or harm you again.
4. Being reunited
I prayed as I went into the temple that this would be it. This would be the moment that I would finally get to see you again, and it would be it. I would not have to rush around beside myself, trying to find certain places and certain objects. This time, instead of watching you from the other side of the room, I watched you from the bottom of the stairs. You emerged from your deep slumber, and as a switch of roles, I was the one to see you open your eyes to the morning light, and see me standing expectedly.
As soon as our eyes met, we smiled. Almost as if we were in tune with each other's emotions. A wave of relief came crashing over me. I wanted nothing more than to pull you into my embrace and hold you tight. Never letting you go again, and taking in your scent would be enough of a reward for me. The closest I go to this, however, was catching you as you nearly fell down the stairs. And that too, was good enough for me. So many things going through my mind, so many things I wanted so bad to tell you. Tell you my feelings, tell you that all the while, through everything that I had gone through, you were the only thing that kept me going. Just the thoughts of you somehow managed to keep me sane.
I let you go, reluctantly, to allow you to walk down the steps by yourself, however, you held my hand. At this touch alone, I found myself light headed, my heart pounding out of my chest. Although we were of the same age, my hand seemed to swallow your slender one whole. Encased within it, just how I wished the two of us to be at this moment. However, I knew that this would not be the time to inform you of the love that had grown for you for countless numbers of years, and so kept my disappointment to myself as we went through the door to the main part of the temple, to be greeted by those who had helped us in our adventure.
We all expressed our happiness to one another, and although we no longer held hands, you never left my side. For the first time since our meeting that faithful day at the plaza, I finally felt that maybe, as we grew into young adults down in the surface, there would be a chance for us to grow into lovers; for I once heard that the best of relationships often grow from the best of friendships. And that was us. From all of Skyloft, there was no Link without Zelda, and no Zelda without Link following. We were but one half without the other. And our secret glances were no secret from the others on the floating rock in the sky.
5. When we realised we had accidentally become a couple
Although everyone could see it coming, we never did. I thought I knew you as much as I would ever, but as I took you on a tour around the surface, to the places that Impa had rushed you around and you never had the time to fully appreciate its beauty, I got to know you better. It became apparent that through all of this, you had gone from a teenage girl, to a wise and beautiful young woman.
We were watching Eldin volcano, and the fire illuminating the smoke that rose into the sky. Although I had been inside, and was well aware of the dangers and horrors that lay waiting inside, it did not stop me from seeing the beauty from in it. However, it can be argued that I did not see the beauty of the volcano, but instead the fact that I was with you and that everything in the world seemed beautiful at that moment in time. We were lying on the rocky ground, holding you in my arms, just as I had imagined doing so for years. Your head on my chest, and arms wrapped around me. I tried to think for a moment, making sure that it was not a dream as I tried my hardest to keep my eyes open.
"Hey, sleepyhead," you giggled, nudging me awake. I looked down to you; your nose pressed against me, and feeling your smile grow on my stomach as I just about managed to do so without falling asleep. "Have you seen us?" I looked at the intertwining mess of body parts that was our bodies cuddled against each other. I took one of my hands from your back and took one of yours, I held it to my lips, but before I could go any further, you pulled away, "Link! I'm serious!" I know you wanted to be solemn for a moment. However, your shyness stopped you, and instead of a frown, your face keeled into a giggle.
I took your hand again, "Yes. I see it. And don't lie. Don't pretend that you don't love it." Flashing a smile, I knew what you meant. We were supposed to be just friends. We had spent half of our teenagehood trying to convince everyone that there was nothing sinister going on between us, and that when we stayed up late with each other, we really were just talking, and nothing more. Yet here we were, if anyone had passed by at this point, they would have thought that there was something going on between us. And as much as I tried to do so, I could not hide my happiness from our position. Just as I wished you to be for so long; in my arms.
The silence hung momentarily, your tense hand finally relaxing at my grasp, "So," you elongated the word, almost thinking of what to say, "Does this mean…?" You almost hated to say it. But I tried to mentally will you on. Say it. Just say it. Does this mean we are in a relationship? Alas, you did not.
"Yup," I finished, nuzzled the top of your head, you just chuckled, and I could almost feel you roll your eyes, "I guess we are."
6. Our First Kiss
It seemed strange to me, that, although we had been in a relationship for a number of weeks now, our lips still had not touched. For a while, I thought that maybe you did not want to be with me, and that it was just me jumping to conclusions that day at Eldin volcano, and that you were just paying along with this to stop me from looking like a fool, due to how excited I was at the prospect that we were finally a couple. However, you held my hand. You done everything I would expect you to do, of course, except kissing and everything further.
On this day, of which I remember clearly, we were walking through the Faron forest; I was holding a basket in my hand, you with a blanket draped over your shoulders. I remember you complaining, saying how it seemed as though we had been walking for hours; I didn't reply, and just let you take in the view that was Lake Floria. It was worth the journey, and soon we were setting up our picnic; much like everything we done, setting up and getting there was just as much fun as actually doing the activity. However, these kinds of afternoons were a rare joy.
I enjoyed sitting, doing nothing with you. Once we had finished our meal, we would lie down, resting on our elbows, and reminisce. Either about what our adventures consisted of, or back when we lived in the knights academy, and trying to guess as to who was actually going to be a knight. Although I was looking forward to saving people from falling from the sky island, nothing would compare to a lifetime with you. On this day in particular, our conversation did not seem to flow as well as it usually would. I began to wonder if it was me or the relationship, however, I felt happy, the relationship had not gone on long enough to become stale. I looked to you, and wanted to curse myself for not noticing before. Something about your aura seemed different. You seemed almost… Upset. Something that I rarely had ever seen you as before.
I pulled you close, hoping that our bodies being connected would help you, but it did not. This only made me feel ashamed for not knowing how to cheer you up. "What's wrong?" I asked, you just sighed, and looked up.
"I'm just thinking," You muttered, I began to thank myself for pulling you close, otherwise I would never have been able to hear what you were saying, "It's been so long. We've been living here for so long. Shouldn't we go back? Not to stay, but… At least to visit?" You looked to me, grasping onto my green tunic, "If you don't want to, we don't even have to visit our friends, or the other citizens of Skyloft, or even the instructors." The desperation in your voice tore me apart, "I… I just want to see me father. Not now, but… One day. Promise me. We can visit Skyloft."
I laughed. I was not mocking you, although the way you moved back would suggest that you thought so. You seemed almost… Cute, acting in such a way. Rubbing my nose against yours, I found myself saying before I could even think about it, "Of course we'll go back to Skyloft! I mean, if I want to marry you, I have to go ask your fathers permission first!"
There it was. That confirmation we both needed. Our relationship was going somewhere. Getting ready for the speech of how happy you were, I got none. Instead, I happily took the long and passionate kiss as an acceptance that we were going to be happy. Together. For a long, long time.
7. Our wedding day
Go to Skyloft, indeed I did do. I know this should probably be on the top of my list, the first thing I think about when I think of our love, but honestly. It seemed so… Natural. Holding the ceremony next to the missing piece of land on which used to stand the Goddess statue. Seeing you as I stood alone at the front of a crowd of people, in front of all of the people who we had grown up with, and in front of those who had wished to come from the surface to watch us wed. I wanted to tell you on the day, but I was the last to see you. The murmuring in the crowd became silent, and everyone turned to face you. The truth? I was too scared to look at you. The idea of being with someone for the rest of my life frightened me, more than the idea of facing Demise, more than the prospect of going where no one had gone before.
I don't know what made me look to you. Maybe it was the idea that I had already spent my life thus far with you, and so it would not do me any harm to be with you for the rest of it. However, I am glad I looked. You were perfect, Zelda. I can't say it enough. Beautiful. Amazing. There aren't enough words in the language to express it. So I just stared, mouth gaping as the white dress clung to your torso, and you boasted about your newly found curves. The bottom of the dress in complete contrast, as your legs were swamped in the white material with it following behind you and dragging along the ground. You did not look like Hylia reborn as a mortal, but like the Goddess herself. Every time I close my eyes, it is this image that is engraved to the back of my eyelids. You are all I see. And I am thankful for that.
You stood beside me as the wedding went on. I knew I should have been paying attention to what was being said, but you. You were all that I could see. I could not take my eyes from you, and like the day we met, I was too scared to say a word to you. I noticed that, although subtly, you had put your hand out toward me. I did not make this mistake. Not again. Not when we first met. Not when you were taken from me in the tornado. I took it. I held it tight. I cherished this moment in time, and mentally tried to force time to stop so we could spend eternity in this position. You turned to me as the vows approached, and I noticed the tears falling. The uncontrollable smile that was spreading across your face. I joined, and wished for the 'I do' to come faster. I just wanted to hold you tight, and feel your body close to mine, kiss you, and know that forever, I could do this.
The words did come, and holding each other's hands, we put the rings on our fingers, and with a simple band of metal, I knew that forever, a small part of you would always be in my hand, and I would never have to worry about not grasping your hand when you give the opportunity. Before we were even told to do so, I gripped your waist and pulled you close. Kissing you as hard as I ever had, ignoring the fact that, what felt like, everybody we knew was around us, that we were the centre of attention. Hands resting at the bottom of your back, keeping you close, and for once feeling your hands going through my hair without the hat being in your way. You were my wife. Our relationship had changed for good. You were my best friend, the love of my life, and my everything.
8. First making love
As I became a teenager, I always imagined having sex for the first time as a rough experience. However, this could not be more further from the truth. After our wedding, I could not wait for the moment we went to our new room. To finally make our love official, doing what I had been dreaming of since we were reunited in the sealed temple. I carried you in my arms to the bed, and watched you. Trying to force myself into undressing you, but I just couldn't… I loved you too much, and in all honesty, you somewhat intimidated me. You smiled, and I was the first to be unclothed, ushering me to lay down with you, until you forced me down by grabbing my hand, you kissed me gently, and guided my hands to the back of your dress. I finally gained control of my actions, and undone your dress, pulling it from your figure.
The kiss continued again, but there was something different about it. The breathing was heavier, we had kissed like this before, however, never had our bare bodies been touching. You rubbed me gently, teasing me, making me grip onto the sheets, and ask for more. It felt… amazing. Just the feel of your hand gripping around me, I ceased kissing you, and just moaned into you, almost silently. You smiled, stopping momentarily, we looked to each other. However much I had waited for this moment, as you wrapped your legs around me, I was not ready. You pulled me closer, and after some guidance, it happened. For the first time, we were as close as we were ever going to get to each other. The feel of you around me urged me to enter you further, however, after I had made a promise to never let anyone hurt you, I hated myself for being the one to cause you pain as you squeezed your eyes shut.
"I'm fine." You assured, I guess you sensed my hesitance. I did not move, and before I could say anything or do anything you pulled my head closer, in shock, I accidentally moved further into you, you breathed sharply, and clung onto my back. "Link," You began again, your voice breathy, and underlying sound of you trying to hide your pain, "Go on." I did so, nervously, a soft and slow thrust to begin with, but as your moans intensified, I followed your orders, and soon we became one over a fierce and slow rhythm. Before I could do anything, before I could say a word, the moans grew and we fell into each other in an orgasmic heap.
We need not say another word. All was said in the silence, we were sure we loved each other, and I feel asleep for the first time with your back to me, and I was happy to have you in my arms. Not essentially making love to you made me realise I loved you more than anyone has ever loved before; I was happy enough for the first thing I saw the next morning was your face.
9. The day you brought our daughter into the world
Exactly a year after you and I had decided to become husband and wife, the most amazing miracle happened. You and I, who had made a life, became parents. I cannot thank you enough for the most beautiful creation in the world, which you gave birth to. You brought our beautiful daughter into the world. Although I want to apologise to you, for I am partly to blame for putting this baby inside of you, I want to thank you for the night of pain and screaming. Seeing your bewildered smile at the end of it seemed worth every hour I stayed with you throughout the night.
The moment she was laid in your arms, you looked natural. Like your purpose in this world was to mother children. Without even looking at me, you had named her. "Impa," You smiled, I wanted to argue back, but knowing how upset you were at the prospect of leaving her after everything she had done for you – and that I myself had no ideas – left you alone to bond with the small girl. I leaned forward, taking her hand, and smiled. Although she was less than an hour old, she was amazing. I could see her now, having the same story that you had had. Meeting the love of her life at a young age, showing herself to be a strong young woman, and instantly making any young man fall for her with just a smile.
In my dreams, she had your hair; your hair which flowed gracefully down, and which I would stroke gently as she told me about her days at school. She had your eyes; your eyes which are so full of love for me, and yet with her, she shall look to me with tears within them when she falls. I imagined her having my nose, and I can see it now, although a smaller version of it. Although I tell you how much I love you, Zelda, my darling wife, I never thought I could love someone as much as I loved you.
"Want to hold her?" You asked wearily, I took no moment to even think about this, I pulled the child into my arms, and held her close to my chest. She seemed almost like a child's doll in the way in which she just laid there doing nothing. I learned that you were amazing as Impa stay still; your body managed to hold her, and you still managed to look amazing as you always did. She stretched, her tiny hands finding my green tunic and clinging onto it. I looked to you, wanting to make a comment, but you had already fallen asleep. Putting the baby on your chest, it seemed as your maternal instinct made you unconsciously hold her to ensure that she did not fall. I kissed her bald head and your hair which was damp from the sweat and left the room; looking back one last time to watch our family sleep.
10. The day I lost you
We had a happy life. We only ever had the one daughter, for reasons that I do not know, you just never seemed interested in adding a member to our family. I accepted this fact, and went headfirst into raising her, and being the best father I could be. She went away, and made her own life. After she had met her husband you seemed to have… Changed. It almost seemed as though you had lost your life's purpose, and as you grew older, you said multiple times it felt as though you had lost your daughter. She came to see us at least twice a week. But still, you aged, and became sure that your daughter wanted nothing to do with you. It felt as though I lost a part of you then.
Whenever I have closed my eyes in the past few weeks, the image are all that burns my eyes. I woke up, your hands gently resting against my bare arm. Your other hand holding my hand gently. I smiled, but something felt… Different. I wanted to kiss you but something didn't feel right. I looked to you; you seemed to have aged years overnight. Your mouth hung open slightly, and your eyes closed lightly.
"Zelda," I nudged you slightly; when I didn't get a response, I sat up quickly, shaking you even more, however you did not respond. I kneeled and held your face with both of my hands, "C'mon sleepyhead," quoting you from our childhood, hoping that it made me smile, that you would smile and lift your head from the pillow, however, it only sped up the process of making myself sob. I picked you up gently from the place that you lay, and held you close. Closer than I ever did before, and yet, I have never felt so far away from you. Holding your hair, I rocked you gently, talking to you about how much I love you, and the best times in our life.
I love you. I cannot face to use past tense. I know there will be no one after you. You are my first, my last and only. I sit here writing this now, trying to find the courage to return to Skyloft to attend your funeral. I can't say goodbye to you, Zelda. I'm not ready to do this, not ready to face the world every day alone. I try to think of how you'd react if it was me. You'd be alright, I know. I'm supposed to be a hero. How would the world react if they knew that I'm breaking at the thought of having to say goodbye to you?
I wish I'd have stayed awake and watched you sleep that night. At least watched to see if you struggled, or to see if you went peacefully. To see if there was anything I could do to save you. I blame myself. I know you'd beg me not to, but I do, and in doing so it has led me to avoid Impa at all costs. I suppose that's why I'm writing this; procrastinating until she comes down to take me to the graveyard. Where I'll have to say goodbye to you. And everything I've ever known.
Please, wherever you are. Never forget me. I will never forget you. I promise you that.
For Caitlin, for the uncountable times that you have saved me from myself