Caliniel answered the knock at the door.
She returned to the sitting room, expression a combination of curiosity and unease. Following behind her was a man, dressed in the livery of the White Tower; the chamberlain of the Steward’s residence in Dol Amroth. I had not seen him in years.
I could not even stand to greet him. “Which one?” I managed, reaching for Caliniel’s hand.
He looked almost relieved, even as his legendary composure cracked. “Boromir.”
I do not remember him leaving. I do not remember my daughter worriedly pressing my hand and speaking to me. I do not remember walking into the bedroom and lying down on the bed.
I was remembering a small, cheerful boy with boundless energy and loud, free laughter; the heavy weight of him when he fell asleep against my shoulder; his fierce protection of an adoring little brother. I was remembering the first time I saw him, and the last.
“Mother?” Caliniel’s frantic voice snapped me back to the present. “Mother -- drink this…“ a cup was put into my hand, and I obediently swallowed its contents.
She was kneeling next to me, anxiety written all over her young face. “Mother, please –“
I took a deep breath that was more like a sob, and laid my hand on her face. “Call me when it is time for dinner,” I said in a voice that was not mine.
Caliniel did not look happy, but she obeyed, and left me alone.
I closed my eyes, as if this would help keep back the grief or keep me from picturing my little duckling lying broken on some far-away battlefield.
I wondered who would comfort Faramir.