Day 071: Long Way Home
Summary: Sev goes home to Polis, visiting a family he hasn't seen in over twenty years.
Date: 08/08/2016
Related: None

Day 71 — Polis

Writers Note: Music added to this for extra effect.

It was time to go home. Whether that meant he stayed for a couple days or a couple hours ddin't really occur to Sev on what he planned on doing. Granted, his plans had already changed drastically. And now, feeling something like a kicked dog, he and his wagon left for Polis.

The journey itself he took little rush in. Really, it gave him time to think about everything that's happened in the last month. Contemplation. His own highs, high as they were. And his own lows, equally hitting particular bottoms. Successes and mistakes, which in between the two, he couldn't decide if he had more of one or the other. Likely, it depends on his mood.

There was pain, certainly. A sensation that you allowed someone to get maybe a little too close for comfort, and now that that time had passed, only a particular uncertainy loomed in future. He wanted to be the bigger man about it. Able to just move on with his life and act like it didn't even happen. That would be easier, wouldn't it? Ignore it, and nobody else is the wiser. But like so many other aspects of life, usually ignoring something just makes things worse.

So he spends an entire day mulling over feelings. Loss and guilt being the biggest two that tend to be sticking points. It's okay though, this was the pre-destined result, wasn't it? Better to leave things as they are now than let things fester. Though the idea of even being friends after something like that seemed…awkward. Or uncomfortable. Yes, that was the right word for it. Uncomfortable. So no, he can't ignore it as much as he'd like to. At least there wasn't any anger or resentment. 'This is your life, Sev. You had your shot at that kind of life and it didn't go well. What you have now isn't bad. It's just comfortable.' he would tell himself.

Though he loathed the idea that he was throwing himself some kind of pity-party. That suggestion of that really bothered him. Like angry rash that wouldn't really go away. Sure, he felt bad for himself, but really, he knew he was the person who he could blame of his troubles on. Getting too invested. Too personally involved. This is why you don't have friends, Sev. This is why you shouldn't. You care a bit too much. 'Ugh, I need to stop feeling so down on myself.' he would think. It wasn't horrible. Nobody died. Nobody was really angry with him. So he got a little attached. In reflection now, love may of been too strong a word for it. Maybe. Even he doesn't really know. Just a jumble of emotions he can't really sort out.

It would be okay, in the end. Life will go back to the way it was before he came to Tondc. And that was a decent life. Healing. Trading. Scavaging. Exploring. No matter what ghost may haunt him from twenty years ago, he can't say he's had a bad life. Many losses and victories, but in the long span of thing, few regrets to really sit and dwell upon. If he's lucky, maybe he could try again with Britt. Or maybe it'll be different. In the long run, it's not really something that he should worry about. That's the future, and it hasn't passed. In the end, he doubts it, but, he can say for a couple weeks there, he was happy. And while he might be unhappy now, that isn't to say he's not content. Or nervous.

No, nervous would be the word for it. Especially as his wagon goes over a particular bump in the road, bringing him out of his thoughts. Polis wasn't far now, he could see the tower in the middle of the city looming in horizon, barely able to make out the Flame that burns atop of it. Home, or the closest thing to it. The wagon had been his home for pretty much twenty years. Parents wagon before that. It would be strange, going to that corner of the marketplace and seeing if the shop was still there. Or if it was just boarded up, forgotten. Or worse yet, if someone else now occupied it.

Hence the nerves. The idea going back to where his life started. How much will of changed. Or how much will be the same. Ideally, he should view going back home with the same eagerness he has for when he dives into any particular ruin he stumbles across. The excitment of the unknown, the barely-restrained trepidation of walking somewhere untread for decades. So why is the idea of going back to his family so terrifying?

'Probably because you haven't seen them in so long.' Sev offers inwardly. Which is true, and could be the crux of things. The idea that he's the last one left. Oh, of couse he came to peace with the face that his parents are no longer around. That would just make sense. But his brother and sister, that might bother him. It was never something he exactly worried about, family. They've always been something of a self-sufficient line. Father would tell stories of their forebearers. People that were called 'preppers'. Apparently being as self-sufficient as one could be without having to rely on anyone else. That's what his father was, grandfather before him, so on and so forth. And he taught those lessons to his children well.

Never a close family, not that Sev can really recall. Weren't horrible either. Just an…understanding that eventually they will go their seperate ways. Him, his parents, and then his siblings. That does leave a pang of regret there however. Should've gotten to know his siblings a bit better. What might make him the most nervous, scared, is the idea that he can't even remember what their faces look like. That he's been gone for so long that, trying to remember anything about them becomes a task. Less family at this point and more like strangers with some vaguely passing familiarity. What do you even say to someone like that?

He doesn't even go by his birthname, that's how distant he feels. Hasn't for years. Never really liked Sevelt. Sev always seemed to work better for him. Easier to remember. Simple. Sev the healer. Sev the trader. Had a better ring to it. Hearing someone that knows his full name would be strange. Even when he's thinking in his own head, the name that comes to him isn't 'Sevelt', it's 'Sev'.

A sigh is blown out, taking a moment to turn and look behind him into his wagon, making sure everything that was tied down is secure. Not the most quiet of sorts when he's moving around. Though, he frowns, looking into it, unable to shake his nameless feeling of solitude. It was better when he wasn't the only one in the wagon. Ah well, good things never last long. Just a reminder that they still exist in the world, no matter what that world now is. No more Maumon, replaced by the somewhat familiar, though perhaps not nearly as evil Skaikru. Granted, others may not make that distinction.

As buildings and more people being to show up, the sense of isolation isn't as strong. Not as much time to really get lost in his own thoughts. Slowing his wagon down, he gets into the flow of ridden horses, wagons, and other kind of pedstrian traffice. Which only gets more congested the deeper he moves into the city. Thankfully, the roads, once asfault and concrete for those hoseless wagon things he's read about, are wide enoughto accomadate his wagon. Which is nice, doesn't leave him having to walk around, leaving his things unattended. However, it does make for slow moving, weaving through intersections buildings now some kind of amaglation of old world and new. Sev takes a moment to look at them, which isn't something he really did before, though now he spare s private chuckle at what one of the Skiakru would think of the place. Perhaps ome kind of mixture of awe and horror.

But he moves on from that thought, which was only a moment to not focus on the nerves of having to go back to the reason why he was here to begin with. Which, when passing through the grand marketplace, far more busy than he came to expect, goes down a road leading into the southwest part of the city. And here is where he pulls his wagon to a stop, climbing off his seat, taking a long needed and deserved stretch. Green sign, black painted letter. 'L & O Trade'. Just like how he remembered it. For long few minutes, he stands there, in front of the building, staring at it. Gathering the courage to go inside. More than twenty years since he saw his parents, around ten since he saw his sister, as his brother was elsewhere at the time.

Of everything that he's had to do, everything that's happened to him, where would he even start? Where would he know where to begin? How do you even begin a conversation like that? And why he is even worrying about it. For all he knows, his family is gone.

Maybe that's apart of it. So long as he thinks they're alive, they'll remain that way. But if he looks in on them and realizes they're not. After the last couple of days, that's honestly the last thing he needs in his life right now. What if this was a bad idea? Maybe he shouldn't of come here. Better off thinking he's the dead one? Which would make sense, he and his family aren't the kind that really stay in touch with each other. It's a Pandora's Box either way.

Sev takes a step back from the door, thinking perhaps that maybe this was a bad idea. That he shouldn't be here, the possibility of coming back into people's lives when it might be best to not. And really, hasn't he caused enough trouble for enough people lately? The grumble of frustration is evident, hand reaching up to pinch the bridge of his nose, unsure of what to do. "Just go in there," he tells himself. "Just go in there and at least make sure they're still alive. They deserve that much."

Another couple of breaths, as if he's pysching himself up for what might an unpleasant surprise. Eventually, he wraps his hand around the old bronze doorknob, opening the door with an unpleasant groan of unoiled metal from the hindges, crying out for lubrication. A bell affixed to the back if jingles, signfying to anyone at counter that a customer has arrived.

The place still smell the way he remembered it. A sorta of old, musty smell. Which he found pleasant. The kind of smell you get when you open up an old hope chest full of your grandparents things. Old metal and paper. The kind of smell that one would think nostalgia smells like.

There's no real method to how items for trade are laid out. Well, not beyond sections of daily supplies that are made in the city itself, and other more obscure things that are rather pricey. Old world relics, most of which his father would never let go of unless you were able to pay a king's ransom for it.

At the back of the room, behind the counter is a woman. Elderly, likely in her sixties. In another life, she must've had dark chesnut hair, which has with the passed of time and exposure to the sun, turned it all by silver, marked by whisps of color at her temples. Her face has a weather looked, pretty in her youth, glimmers of still there, but worn by age and time. Crow's feet where her eyes squinted whenever she smiled. She seemed like the smiling lot.

"Take a look around. Every bar of soap comes with a rag to go with it." she offers, not looking away from the braiding of hemp rope she's currently in the middle of. Even now, she's still helping make up supplies. "If you need anything larger, my daughter can fetch it for you."

Sev just stands there. At least his mother is alive. It's more than what he can ask. Than what he could've hoped for. Finally, at least after all the shit he's put himself through, finally a bright spot. Doesn't mean he knows what to say, blankly staring at the older woman.

Finally, after what might seem an eternity to him, "Would you trade soap for a story?" Sev asks, taking a couple steps forward.

The woman turns her face away from her work, not really expecting that kind of offer. But something seems to click behind old eyes, perhaps not recognizing the voice at first, but eventually it dredges up long, but certainly not forgotten, old memories of a young teenager going off to join a healer as Second. That was, in essence, the last time she saw her eldest. And her breath is suddenly shaky, as are her hands, eyes prickling with wetness.


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