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The Man I Have Become
The man I have become

There is just a candle flickering in my cabin, only this one tiny source of light but still it allows to me see who I am. Who I have become.


I found her mirror in her room, amidst her books I saw it lay idly. Untouched, unused. I knew it was there, knew I could have taken it at any time and yet I never found the strength to do it. Have never wanted to see the one I am.
I feared what I would find in its depths, was scared of the truth it would offer me, but today something inside me changed.

I look into the delicate piece that is one of the few things that has always belonged to her; one of the few she has taken with her when she left the Isle of Dawn these many years ago. Spread on its edges there is an ever so faint engraving. I let my fingers trace the lines, my eyes for now avoiding focusing on what lays beneath them, but I cannot make out the words they form.
I feel myself frown as I think of how often her fingers may have lingered where mine are now, of how she would know to read these runes and for just a second I wonder if maybe they had a special meaning to her. And I catch myself thinking that just because they may have had to her, they now have to me as well.
My gaze then travels to the other side, seeks to see the faint symbols that frame the edge there, but they never reach their aim. The candle behind me flickers and suddenly my eyes stop dead in their way. Deep blue orbs are staring back at them – asking, doubting, searching. I recognize a shadow lying in their depths, and briefly I wonder who these eyes might belong to. They seem so tired, as if in front of them a whole lifetime had already past; and knowing the answer – knowing that they are mine – I flinch slightly. I remember people telling me that I had always had this sparkle of life lying in my gaze, remember them saying that it held a glimmer that was only so rarely to be found amongst people. But there, in the mirror, I can’t see either of them. There is no smile hidden in the blue, no lust for life lying in its depths. Instead, looking back at me are the eyes of someone who, for a too long time, has had to live in the dark. The eyes I see are the ones of a man heartbroken and albeit I can feel the pain flood my senses even now, I wonder if this is really what two years could do to a person.
As if to search for the answer I shift my gaze to investigate the rest of what her mirror will tell, and although, for moment, the fear and apprehension are all back again I don’t put it away. I have refused to encounter the truth for so long now, have always found reasons not to find out. But tonight I will not run away. Tonight I will not hide from the one I have become.

It is a pale face that’s staring back at me, wondering just like I am. Its skin is rough, rougher than it should be. There’s the trace of too many fights engraved in its features, the pain of too many lives taken. I feel like each and every line I see tells of another story and none of them is of a good kind.
There is stubble framing the face. It’s far too long and looks unruly in a way. Suddenly a hand appears and I can feel it touch the short hair, as if it was testing, probing whether the image really tells the truth. My fingertips cross my chin as if they expect to meet the soft and shaven skin there that they once felt beneath, but just like the mirror shows it is gone. As is the short and light brown hair that once was typical for me. Instead my hair has grown to almost touch my shoulders, the sheer mass of it making it appear darker than it really is. I stare at it for a moment - stare at its waves and how it seems so untamable that just for a second I get reminded of her fiery curls which, too, had seemed to be so stubborn at times. But while hers had always vibrated with life, mine just seem to hide what lies underneath. And suddenly I wonder why I let my hair grow this long at all. I even am rather sure she wouldn’t like it like this. Wouldn’t like that my headband has long gone.

The face in the mirror looks angry now, and I cannot help but be surprised that my eyes have gained the ability to look this dark. Covered with the shadows the candle casts, my features seem sterner than I had ever imagined them to be.
Do I really look like this? Is this really what I have become?
This man in the mirror, the face that’s staring back at me – is this really who I am; is it really mine?
I have sworn it to the rain that day, I know, have pleaded it to treasure the one I have been. I have asked it to take the sailor away and leave whatever would be left of me.
Is this what came of it?
Is this the man I have become?

Again my fingers start to trace the lines I see, but this time their tips meet the cold surface of the mirror underneath. Ever so slowly they move across it. I feel them search for a remnant, for anything that would tell them that this is still me. That I am not lost for good. And there suddenly, an image hushes across the glistening glass. I blink in a need to make it be more clear, squint my eyes in an attempt to make out just who it shows. Slightly I turn towards the candle, its soft light now touching not only my face but also the mirror in my hands. And finally I am able to make out what it is I am to recognize.
A gasp leaves my throat as I see myself look straight back at me. I gasp because the one I see is the one I was before. The one I feared I had given up on. There is a smile on his – on my face and a sparkle in his eyes that is unknown to me. I look at it intently, always afraid that the image would fade before I could understand what it means.
People always told me that my eyes would remind them of the seas that I sail, that they were like water to them. And no matter whether I believe them or not, but what I see in those eyes that stare back at me is all but what they talked about. I see those blue orbs glisten in the dim light and suddenly it strikes me. There, beyond the surface, is something that I would recognize even if I forgot what this world consisted of. Where only moments ago I had seen sorrow shade my gaze, there is now a fire burning - warm and gentle flames set ablaze by the one they belong to. I feel myself drawn to them; feel how a part of me clings to them as if they were what could save me from the reality I have to face. I want to hold on to this image, want to make it be the truth, but as the gentle flame flickers once more, the image is gone; the one looking back at me tired and worn-out again. I sigh silently and my eyes close on their own accord, as if they could not bear to see this face anymore. My hands move slightly and I truly want to lay the mirror aside, to go back to hiding and forget about what I have just seen but something keeps me from doing so. My left wrist suddenly feels hot and the strange sensation makes me open my eyes again. There seems to be nothing wrong with my bracelet, except that there is now an ever so faint trace of red glimmering between the other colours.
I frown at it for a moment, but then something else catches my attention. Something in the mirror has changed. At first I don’t know what it is; search for what I know must be there. My sight meets the same long hair, the same rough skin and the same unkempt stubble. It meets the same face is has seen before; the same tired eyes which for too long have not smiled. For a moment my gaze lingers at them, lingers at the dark shade of blue they have gained in the last two years. I take them in; see the shadows and the regret. I by now feel like I know these eyes so well, like each and every day I had met them in the mirror. But then I realize that there is something strange about them. That in their depths there is something that wasn’t there before. And then, I see it. Although I think it to be impossible I am sure to see her flame glimmer there, sending out that warm light which I know had once been visible in my gaze as well. Again I blink, expecting to see it gone afterwards, but it remains. As does the warm sensation in my wrist. And in that moment I understand. I almost jump in surprise as suddenly, in the mirror, I see myself smile. There is something in my gaze that isn’t mine, something that doesn’t belong to me but I do not question it. I do not question why she is still there because all that matters to me is that she is. And as I feel the smile on my lips enlighten my eyes in a way I had not seen in too many years, I get the feeling that deep inside I know what the lines on the edge mean.


I look at him. Look at the man I have become. And I understand him. I see the shadows in his eyes; see the years that left their traces on his face. I know all the stories which are hidden there, know all the darkness he has seen. But all his pain, and all his sorrow gets silenced by this one thing: I see those eyes which have gained back what I know was lost to them and I realize that the one I have been and the one I am now are one. And I understand that I have the choice to go back. To be again who I was before. Because nothing is lost; nothing is forgotten - just hidden beneath the surface.
I take a last look into those eyes, a last look at her gentle flame; and I know that this is just the beginning. From this night on my image will never be foreign to me again. From this night on her light will guide me just like I feel it always did. And one day, I know, the image I saw flicker above the surface and the one my eyes meet now will be the same again.
That once again the one I have become will be the one I truly am.
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Cannot see any of the objects!!! smiley


come check this out: http://www.fanfiction.net
/s/8374432/1/ A new AOS fanfic smiley

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