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Comforting A Friend

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[Part 1]

(Takes place on Peaceable Country in August 1094, Seasick is 70)

[Seasick]: The funeral was today. The guests would be arriving soon, but Seasick remained in the same spot on the island, looking out into the sea.

It had been one week since the death of her eldest daughter Eydis. Seasick, now old, gray, and full of wrinkles, stayed away from the rest of her mourning family, and had only Furious by her side. The old woman was plagued by the memories of arguments and screaming matches that the mother and daughter shared, and the guilt of not mending the relationship years earlier.

Seasick could hear more guests arrive at the house, but did not turn to look at them. Hafdis made sure that her mother was left alone, and quietly ushered the guests inside. It was only when she heard the voice of another old woman that made Seasick turn. 

It was her old friend, retired Chef Grey of Haligan Island.

[Grey]: Grey Bergman-Felman, former Chief of Haligan Island and former Lady of the United Revolutionaries flew as fast as she could on Shadow to the Peaceable Country. Dagny and Havelock had already taken their two daughters, Freja and Olga with them, and she agreed to meet them there. Even in her old age at 70, she only had one thing on her mind, and that was her old friend Seasick. 

Her own daughter was taken from her only a week ago, and ever since then, Seasick was the only thing on her mind. Unfortunately, Grey knew all too well from that miscarriage she had so many years ago and when Jonas was killed that there was nothing more painful than a parent losing a child. Her gray hair flowed in her braid in the wind as Shadow picked up speed, and soon enough, the island came up on the horizon. They arrived!

From the sky, Grey could see Seasick standing and watching the sea in front of her. The former Chief sighed and silently directed Shadow to land nearby. As soon as the Night Fury landed, Grey dismounted Shadow and quietly walked up to Seasick from behind so as not to scare her. 

“Seasick…” she finally said. Seasick turned to her. 

[S]: Seasick tried to give a slight smile, and slowly embraced Grey. 

“Thank you for coming.” Seasick said in a quiet voice. She remained in the embrace for a while. When she had composed herself again, Seasick broke away from Grey.

“Do you want to go inside to have something to eat? You must be starving…” Seasick said weakly.

[G]: “No, no, I’m alright,” Grey said quickly. She was hungry, but she couldn’t show it to Seasick not when she was going through such a rough time. From what she could see, Seasick hadn’t been able to grieve yet. To be honest, she could see why wanting to take care of her husband, children, and grandchildren. “I want to focus on you. How are you doing?”

[S]: “I… I’m… I don’t know.” Seasick replied, looking down at her feet. “I just… I don’t know. I’ve lost one of my children… The one I should have mended things with…”

Seasick’s eyes swelled up with tears and her voice cracked. “I don’t think she knew I really loved her.”

[G]: Grey’s face fell, and her face quickly became determined as she grabbed Seasick by the arms forcing her friend to look right at her. 

“Don’t you dare say that,” Grey said. “She was your daughter! She knew you loved her, and she loved you! You may have had your rough spots, but she still cared about you and the family. I know that for a fact.”

[S]: “But I never said I was sorry!” Seasick blurt out. “We never really apologized for things we said and did. I didn’t try and stop her when she ran off to that damn war! What if the last thing she thought of before she died was me being angry at her? Hm? How should I feel?!?”

[G]: “She kept coming back home, didn’t she?” Grey said. “She left so many times, and she could’ve stayed away. But she didn’t. She came home to you. She even told you she was pregnant. Seasick, trust me…I think she died knowing how much you loved her. It’s weird for me to say, but before you die, you have this sense of…calmness…peace…you think about your family and your friends, and it…just relaxes you.”

[S]: Seasick blinked away her tears and stayed quiet for a moment.

“No matter how many times I told her to be careful, and not to go out seeking danger, she never listened. I never could control her.”

Seasick sighed and turned towards the sea. “Where did I go wrong, Grey? Was I too strict or not strict enough?”

[G]: Grey sighed sadly and shook her head. “Seasick, it had nothing to do with whether you were too strict or not strict enough,” the former Chief said taking Seasick’s hands into hers. “She just listened more with her heart than her head. Honestly, I don’t think it would’ve mattered on how strict you were with her. It doesn’t mean you were a bad mother or she was a bad daughter.”

[S]: Seasick avoided Grey’s eyes and stared at the ground for several moments.

“Well, I went wrong somewhere…and I never got the chance to fix it…” Seasick said quietly. 

[G]: The retired Chief sighed again. “Unfortunately, Seasick, life doesn’t work out that way, but…despite everything that happened, Eydis was a great kid. Neither of you went wrong anywhere. She reminded me of you most of the time.” 

[S]: “Except I knew my limits. I knew when to fight and when to run,” Seasick replied bitterly, looking back up at Grey. “And I respected my parents, and every dragon I came across. Eydis was not like that at all. It’s as if she was given all my negative traits…” 

[G]: “I wouldn’t say ‘negative,’” Grey said as she crossed her arms. “She went off to fight for something she believed in. She became a mother and found someone she loved…granted not in the best way. And let’s not forget: you were never one to stay in one place either.” 

[Part 2]  

[S]: “I stayed in one place once I had Eydis… after her, I stopped fighting.” Seasick sighed. “As for her, I’m not sure what she was fighting for. She just liked the danger and excitement. She put everything on the line for something so trivial…”  

[G]: “Perhaps,” the former Chief said. She sighed. “Do you even know about the battle she went into?”  

[S]: “I think it was some land dispute on Meathead Island…” Seasick replied. “Or perhaps it was over the cornfields on Hysteria… I don’t know, but I know it wasn’t something worth getting killed over.”  

[G]: Grey shook her head as she thought back on all the people she cared about who died in battle. “Is anything worth getting killed over?” she asked. “Some of our comrades in the Rebellion were killed in the witch attack and in Ragnorak because of a dispute between the gods. My father was killed in battle because some tribe wanted to take over ours. King Haddock was killed just because his rival wanted to get back at him.”  

[S]: “Thank you for those painful reminders.” Seasick said, smiling sadly. “Say, how is Havelock doing? I know he and Eydis were no longer close, but I know he was worried about her… I don’t even think I noticed him arrive…”  

[G]: “He’s doing okay,” Grey said thinking about her son-in-law and how he looked when they learned the news about Eydis. “From what Dags told me, he took it pretty hard, but he’s been trying to stay strong for the girls. They came before I did.”  

[S]: “That sounds like Havelock all right.” Seasick said, turning to look at the house. “He always had to look after the rest of his siblings, so it makes sense that he returned home as soon as possible. I hope he isn’t blaming himself…”  

[G]: “He did a little,” Grey replied. “We all tried to tell him he wasn’t at fault, but he wouldn’t listen to us. I’m hoping Dagny at least would get through to him.”  

[S]: “Hmm, and if that fails, I suppose I shall have a word with him.” Seasick replied. “I suppose I will have to talk to everyone, and tell them that it was never their fault..”  

[G]: “I think hearing it from his mother would make more of a difference than hearing it from his mother-in-law,” Grey said smiling sadly.   

[S]: “I guess you’re right, but thank you for trying at least, Grey.” Seasick said, turning back to Grey. “You’ve been so welcoming and supportive of Havelock over the years, and I’m glad he has someone other than me to lean on.”  

[G]: “Of course, I love him like he was my own son just like you love Dagny as your own,” Grey said wrapping an arm around her old friend. “I’ve known that boy for his whole life.”  

[S]: “Yes, I suppose you are truly his second mother.” Seasick replied with a small smile. “If he has any problems, please let me know, and send him back to me. I’m sure I can help him out still.”  

[G]: “Of course,” Grey said. “I would never keep his problems a secret from you.”  

[S]: Seasick smiled and then looked out at the sea. The sun was fading, and it would be dark soon. “Well, I suppose we should… get preparations started… no point in delaying the inevitable…”  

[G]: “I think you’re right,” Grey said nodding. “But don’t worry. I’m here for you, Seasick. Always will be.”  

[S]: “And I’m eternally thankful for that.” Seasick replied. “I’m glad I at least have one friend that I can lean on.”  

[G]: “You’d do the same for me,” she said. “You’ve done the same for me. Now it’s my turn.”  

[S]: “Yes, I suppose that is true.” Seasick replied. Slowly Seasick reached for Grey’s hand. “This is the hardest part…”  

[G]: Grey gripped her friend’s hand as tightly as she could. “It’ll be all over soon,” she said. “I promise. Just remember that she’s safe now. Nothing can ever harm her again.”  

[S]: Seasick took a deep breath and blinked away tears. “Yes… I will try to remember that…It may take a few years, but I am sure I will be able to forgive myself…”  

[G]: “I’ll help you in anyway I can, pal,” Grey said as they began to walk.   

[S]: “I appreciate it.” Seasick smiled at the retired chief. Although it was extremely difficult for her, Seasick was glad that she had Grey to lean on, as well as the rest of her friends and family.  

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