(OOC Author's note: It has been brought to my attention that this story might possibly seem pointed, and even possibly at more than one person. I would like to assure anyone and everyone who reads this, that it is simply a piece of Berarna's backstory, and her view on it. My story has no target.)
"Why did you never marry? I've heard a lot of your previous suitors. So...why?" Daphne had been sitting on her Aunt Berarna's bed, brushing her long chestnut hair for her. The question had been in her mind for around a month now.
Her aunt laughed in that musical manner Daph had come to love so quickly.
"There were no men who loved me. I'm not so old yet that I have lost all hope of marrying!" She turned and poked her niece in the side, causing her to both giggle and scowl. "You can't honestly tell me you've never loved anyone," Daphne responded, turning her aunt back around to continue brushing her hair.
"I never said that. I have loved, certainly, for my part. But I have yet to find a man I trusted to love me back in a way where a marriage could be built. Love, true love, is not a feeling, Daph. It's a choice. A choice you make constantly. You choose to love the person when your feelings are telling you they are the most insufferable, pathetic creature. You set yourself aside for them and choose them, in big and little things, again and again."
Daphne had paused in her brushing, staring at her aunt's back as she soaked in her words. It wasn't that she did not already know that to be true...but she had never truly heard it in words, or said it before.
"My love appeared to be requited at first. I was willing to overlook past faults and help him move forward. More than willing. Not change who he was. Simply help him better himself. That is another part of love, you know. You do your best to help them forward, and even save them from themselves sometimes. But sometimes...sometimes they decide to give up. When they do, your effort is pointless. I did all I could, and I still would help further if he were to come back and make an effort. Mistakes can be forgiven, but complacency and acceptance of mistakes...continuations and no desire to be better, that is, should not be tolerated. It would be unhealthy to me. Even if I would marry another, I would choose to help him. Not be unfaithful to the unfortunate man tethered to me in wedlock," she said with a chuckle before continuing. "But I would be a friend and sister, always aiding him."
Daphne rarely got the opportunity to see this side of her aunt. But in that moment, she was afraid to talk and ruin her aunt's words. Instead, she had continued brushing her hair in silence as she thought of Berarna's words and wondered at the man who walked away from her.
Now she pondered that moment, as she sat on her bed in the Company headquarters, waiting to hear something, anything, about what happened with the man Baraque. She'd been unable to be there. To keep those she loved safe.
And now, she was deeply afraid that she would not be seeing more than once face ever again. Had she failed to love, because she hadn't been there? No. But her mind was ever trying to drag her down, it seemed.
"At least he has his sword again.." Was all she could think.