I waited all night and yet he never came back. What was I supposed to think? My whole heart broke with his absence. What hurt most was the feeling of his kiss on my lips. I was empty as I waited there. I could still feel the way his arms were around me. I cried. My tears pointless as they fell from my eyes, his memory still so painfully close. I had the thought that he would never come back and that I had ruined every possibility that I had created in my mind.
Morning came quietly and sorrowfully. Why did I feel this way for Tomo when I knew nothing about him? How was he so important to me when everything about him was a mystery? I wasn’t making much sense to myself and it angered me. Why was I putting myself through this for a man I didn’t know? He saved me, that was my argument. But why was there an argument? Who knew I had believed in love at first sight?
I fixed my hair, straightened my dress and then slipped out of the tent. The sun was sharp to my eyes and the feeling of it on my skin meant nothing next to the memory of Tomo’s touch. Everything seemed meaningless, dreary, senseless.
I wasn’t sure where I would go, or why I was even leaving. I had no idea where I was, how far from home I was but how could I stay here? I just walked, the shadows of the overhanging trees keeping me company. The ground beneath my feet was slightly damp due to the morning dew and the breeze was something of a comfort to my aching heart.
Was it so ridiculous to love him? To have wanted him to accept my gift of gratitude?
“Where are you going?”
My heart stopped in my chest, everything around me stopped. His voice came to me like a whisper of wind and weakened me beyond comprehension. I forced myself to turn around and to set my eyes on him. How I looked at him without crying I didn’t know.
“Home.” I muttered, my voice broken due to the emotion inside.
“I thought you didn’t remember?” He asked, his boots crushing the leaves on the ground as he approached me.
“What does it matter?” I questioned, swallowing harshly as I kept my eyes on those dark orbs of his. I wanted to run, I wanted to stay. I wanted him to take me in his arms, I wanted him to send me away.
“It’s dangerous out there.” He said softly, looking behind me briefly before returning his gaze to me. “War is brewing.”
What is war when my heart is breaking?”I’ll be fine.” I replied and made to turn away so I could leave.
He took hold of my arm though and turned me back to face him. “I’m not going to let you leave…I can’t.”
“What do you care?” I demanded knowing that my emotions were getting the better of me.
“I care…..” He looked away, his breath escaping his lips. “…You’ve been on my mind since the day you came here…I couldn’t let you leave without knowing why.”
‘Why?” I questioned his words with a small furrow of my brows. Had he been suffering the same as me?
“Why do I feel this way? I shouldn’t be…..”
I lifted my hand to his face and allowed my eyes to soften. “Why not, Tomo?” I saw the way he sighed when I spoke his name. He had perhaps been wrapped up in this more than I was. “There’s no reason to love…It just happens and it creates for us our whole purpose…our whole existence.”
He took my hand from his face and shook his head. “I don’t love…I’ll wait for this war and die with honor. My people, my nation needs me. It can’t afford for me to love. I can’t do this, not now. Not when everything is on the line.” His voice was so thick with emotion and his eyes struggled so intensely as they held mine.
“Tomo you can’t deny this…..From the moment we saw each other it was like…it was perfect. You can’t say this doesn’t mean anything. Love is the most important thing in the world.” I had tears standing in my eyes they were about ready to fall if he continued to push me away.
Again he shook his head. “Just leave….It doesn’t matter to me.” He turned away from me and walked off.
I stood there, looked behind me and then watched as he slipped into his tent. I felt all my tears fall, felt the ache in my chest grow. I couldn’t let him walk away, if I did my entire life would carry on meaninglessly. He would fight for honor but return alone. I couldn’t abandon the both of us to that kind of fate.
I ran back towards the camp. My heart was beating wildly, and my love was swelling overwhelming me to the point of exhaustion. I pushed my way inside the tent and found him sitting there. He looked up at me a million held back emotions in his eyes and said nothing.
I rushed to him as he stood to his feet. I held onto him and his arms went around me. I felt his face bury in my neck, the scent of his skin overpowering and my fingers touching the silken strands of his hair that had spilled down his back. He broke the embrace and he looked down at me. He held such confusion in his eyes, so much uncertainty, and yet there was a light of hope echoing in that perfect gaze.
“I couldn’t let you go Tomo…We can’t let this go…This is love. That’s everything.”
He took a breath and took my face in his hands. “Everything…” He whispered before he leaned down and pressed a kiss to my lips. I deepened it, lost my fingers in his hair, and brought myself as close as I could to him. He stole my breath from me and I stole his. Everything was in his kiss, in his embrace.