Title: when the sun has set

Genre: Drama

Word count: 747

Summary: His squire reminisces his death and those days when he was still alive.

Whenever Sancho hears the word squire, his mind automatically redirects to that time when he was a squire to a ridiculously idealistic old man who promised him the governorship of an island in exchange for his service as a squire. Sancho wasn't stupid; he was just ignorant. He wasn't an imbecile; he was just illiterate. He was just ambitious. Who on earth wouldn't be able to resist the idea of being a ruler of an island?

Well, any educated man would naturally be suspicious of this deal. But unfortunately, Sancho Panza wasn't an eddicated man. So when a well-off old man offered this rare contract, his mind immediately screamed yes.

When their adventures began, all that Sancho could think of was the possibility that his master was a madman. Initially, that was just a doubtful observation—a rude perception by a mere peasant like him. However, eventually this opinion became one with certainty and sureness. His master was insane.

They had a lot of experiences together—that peasant named Sancho and that old man called Don Quixote.

When that knight-errant was still alive, Sancho's emotions were a mixture of annoyance, disbelief, credulity, and confusion. Was there someone who was as crazy as his master? Was it really that idiotic of him to accept their deal of service and governorship? Why did he even leave his family behind for dangerous quests with a madman such as Don Quixote? Oh, how Sancho longed for the warmth of his humble home's hearth, his wife's lovable smile that made labour and work bearable, the innocent laughter from the small mouths of his children—and everything else back home.

And now, looking back, after his master died—was it really worth it?

He recalled the peaceful expression on his master's face when he died. It was so, so, very different from those times when they were on quests.

Yes, he thought blissfully. It was worth it.

Because no matter how insane and crazy Don Quixote was, Sancho learned a lot from him and their experiences. He was my master at first, but he was my friend afterwards, Sancho thought to himself as tears fell down his face. He didn't mind the saltiness that reached his mouth when these tears gathered at the sides of his mouth, because his heart was aching too much for him to notice this.

And then, he was back to that habit of remembering again their experiences, while Don Quixote's peaceful expression at his death flashed occasionally.

At first—before Sancho asked himself whether or not it was worth it, he decided that he wanted to put all these memories behind. They were in the past, after all. He wanted to forget everything about that madman who fooled him into being his squire by offering an island—that old man who had always, always put the two of them in danger; that man who had good intentions, but instead put himself in a lot of unfavourable conditions... Don Quixote, his master. His friend. Sancho Panza's friend.

He wanted to forget him. He wanted to start a new life in a new world—a world where no one named Don Quixote existed.

But, it was hard sometimes, because sometimes, Sancho remembered the old man riding his Rocinante, declaring love for an unknown woman named Dulcinea, and how he always was so naive and annoyingly idealistic and innocent. Sancho had longed for his master to know how to be practical and realistic, but it was almost impossible, he realized.

And when Don Quixote was already on his deathbed, he couldn't help but wish that the end wouldn't be like this. They've had experiences worth a wonderful book—a story that people would be talking about! It can't end this way! Don Quixote and Sancho Panza—those two heroes of an amazing story... they would always be together and live blissfully together with their quests and adventures. This old, knight-errant can't die. If he does, what will become of his squire? A squire without a knight, who has heard of such?

But Sancho knew painfully well that he had to let go of him. His master deserved this rest. He deserved it after all their perilous journey.

Yes, he repeated to himself again. Everything was worth it.

In the end, Sancho decided that he didn't want to forget about Don Quixote. Don Quixote was a huge part of his life, and forgetting him would be forgetting a part of his life.

End. January 23, 2013.