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Backwards in Time | Forwards in Time

Title: Awakenings
Fandom: Abhorsen Trilogy
Characters: Lirael
Prompt: # 05 - Patience
Word Count: 710
Rating: G
Summary: On days like this, I wish for nothing more except the opportunity to weep for myself.
Disclaimer: All rights belong to Garth Nix and his publishers. I own nothing.
Author's Notes: No 5 in my 7 Heavenly Virtues Series.

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Awakenings

On days like this, I wish for nothing more except the opportunity to weep for myself.

But it is unladylike to weep in front of people, or so Aunt Kirrith delights in reminding me. And I must do as she says, because I have so much to make up for.

Nobody understands though, and that’s the hardest thing to live with. Nobody knows how difficult it is to sit through Awakening after Awakening - always in my blue tunic, sitting a head taller than the younger children around me who are yet to gain the Sight - while a Clayr who is practically half my age walks passed me in robes of crisp, pure white, minutes away from joining the others who sit at the ‘Seer’ tables… minutes away from celebrating the ceremony on a day that is dedicated to them… minutes away becoming a true Daughter of the Clayr…

I can’t even begin to describe just how much it hurts to be the outcast, the one who everyone looks and points at – the Sightless freak with the dark hair and dark eyes.

As I sit here, watching eight-year-old Amerelle glide by me, a bright, glowing smile on her face as she makes for the stage at the far end of the Hall, I have to forcibly will myself not to cry.

My eyes burn with the effort.

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The ceremony’s over, thank goodness.

Without a backwards glance, I dash from the Hall, avoiding the many sidelong glances sent my way at my apparent haste to depart.

I don’t even stop to wish Amerelle congratulations, which is most unlike me. Even despite my hatred of them all for getting the Sight before I could, I’ve still wished every single one of them well, to this day – I was brought up to be polite, and so was taught to cast aside my jealousy of their gift in favour of showing them kindness that, deep down, I did not feel.

Today, that lack of kindness got the better of me, and I didn’t speak a word to the newest Daughter all morning. Not one word.

And, even more unlike me, I don’t regret that one bit.

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I find myself sitting alone in my room, blue tunic thrown down unceremoniously onto the floor in front of my wardrobe…

Finally, the guilt’s blossomed.

I take back what I said before; I do regret it, now.

I realise with a start that I should have said something to Amerelle.

My patience has got me through thousands of Awakenings in the past (well, it feels like thousands, at any rate). I’ve always tried to be polite to them, always congratulated them knowing that some day, if it ever did become my turn, I would want every single one of them to congratulate me.

And now I’ve gone and blown it – my clean record is officially wrecked, and it seems patience is no longer a virtue I can honestly claim to possess.

Aunt Kirrith said it was unladylike to cry in front of people. So I didn’t.

But I’m not in front of people, anymore – I’m by myself, all alone.

She never said anything about it being unladylike to cry when nobody else can see me. So I do.

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I’ve made my mind up.

I’m going to go and find Amerelle myself and congratulate her in private, away from prying eyes and reproachful looks.

She’s only young, after all. I’m sure she’ll understand. She’ll know that I didn’t really mean to ignore her, and that I felt worthless, thanks to being the only Clayr my age still wearing Blue rather than White. I’m sure she’ll understand that attending Awakenings always upsets me – she is one of the few people who talks to me these days, so she knows my fears well enough to understand that.

Yes, I’m going to apologise, then I’m going to congratulate her, and then my record of politeness won’t be maimed anymore, and I can return to willing myself through the endless bombardment of Awakenings with sheer persistence.

I know that I must endure them, if I want my own Awakening to mean something.

All I need to do is be patient.

My day will come.

It has to…

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7 Heavenly Virtues Table

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