Title: Looking Back

Author: Mira Westing

Rating: PG

Warnings: Standard. These aren't my characters (okay, well, some of them are but hey...). I'm not making any money off of this....yadda, yadda, yadda

Summary: A woman remembers a Jedi. Just a short ramble I came up with after drinking...and maybe falling in love.

A seer is not welcome much of anywhere. One would think that the ability to see - to expose - the future would open doors to someone willing to exploit the gift. I was willing -- it simply never worked out correctly. So I mucked about in the same small area of town where I'd been born. Infant to child to girl to woman. Nothing ever really changes. Nothing ever can.

He didn't.

At the time, I don't think he realized the fact. He couldn't see the immobility of his destiny. He would not have believed it if I had told him.

And I had no such inclination.

Jedi. My kind find amusement in their kind. Well-meaning do-gooders so close to the real meaning that they can't possibly realize how far away they are. I understand that they have great power. Power I cannot begin to call upon. I don't wish it. That kind of power comes with a deal of responsibility attached to it. I couldn't wield it. But then, I see now that few of them can either.

He could. In an off-handed way, he lived his intentions to the letter. And the first time I met him, I knew it would not be enough. He would do all he should, live by his strident rules, never deviate from the path. All for naught. The lad would turn me away, eventually, because of this grand convictions.

I would let him.

I loved him a great bit. Harder because I saw the end - even in the beginning. Knowing that he would feel so little love in his time made my arms hold him harder, my lips linger longer. He often asked about my tears during our most intimate moments but I don't think he ever truly wanted to hear my answer. So I never gave it.

I never met the boy although that is the question that everyone asks in the end. My lad is of little consequence when compared to his student. I knew what would become of the boy, when he was but a slip of a child, I saw it all. But I could not stop it. And neither could my love. So, yes, I deceived him, if that is what you would call withholding the truth. I granted him those years of not knowing before the years that he would simply have to live with what had come to pass.

It was not always an easy thing. When he left - left me, that is - it was for the boy. Not a good example, he'd said. Didn't want to be a slave to the pleasures of the flesh. He didn't speak of his heart and, if I had not known the truth intrinsically, I would have doubted he had one any longer.

He set me up right nicely. A place to live, a salary, even. And I didn't turn my nose up at it as some would have. I'd been poor. I didn't enjoy it. I took his guilt gifts and called them my rewards for services rendered.

But my position in his life was not so insignificant. When it all came about, as I'd always known it would, he found me. I wasn't hard to find, living off of what he had left with me. He came into my house as all of his kind vacated the planet. He would soon follow.

I cannot describe what was in his eyes then and I hope sincerely that someday I forget it altogether. Guilt and sadness and shame and defeat. It fitted so poorly the lad who had walked so surely out of my life only a few years earlier. He was a shell. A shell for the rest of his days - doing penance for sins he did not commit.

All he came to say was that he loved me. As if I'd never known, he hurled his contrite confession out between us waiting, I think, for my punishment. I had none. He would do enough punishing for us both.

So I told him the truth. I would, as I'd seen it, survive the coming dark age. In fact, I would prosper. I'd love again and start a family right here - in the lap of the Empire. I, unlike he, was a common person - uncaring of government or commerce. I'd live through it all and see a day of freedom, although, by then, I would be an old woman.

"You wouldn't come with me if I asked you?" He sounded sad - and ashamed of his sadness.

"You would not ask me." And he wouldn't. Love or no, he would not want me to accompany him.

He shook his head. "I would not." He did not cry. "I must leave."

"I must stay."

"I'll love you always."

"You won't remember my name when you die, Obi-Wan."

He had always doubted my ability to see. He had called it trickery, illusion. But, that day, as he held the last women he would ever love, he finally realized that I had used no deception. He knew then that I was forever right.

I cried when he died. But not for too terribly long a time.