It would happen when she was alone and the silence became too heavy for her to bear. Her legs would start to tremble and her ankles weakened with her knees and finally she’d fall to her hands and knees and the tears would burn her eyes and cheeks as they spilled. Her forehead would press against the cold stones that made up the floor, or the prickly grass, or the marshy land where it met the sloshing water of the Little Staddlemere and her sobs would wrack her body with such force, she ached for hours afterward.
Oh, how she missed him. And she hated herself for missing him so much that it hurt. It hurt deep in her chest, so deep that she did not even think it was her heart that ached. Her very core poured itself into her tears and she knew that she would never really get over Morducai Mossfoot. No matter what she said, or who she loved next, she would always cry when the silence reminded her how she was the first one he ever left behind by choice.
Eventually she would fall silent herself, and the sounds that had been drowned out in her pain would return. Birds singing. The wind tickling the leaves. She would pick herself up and smooth out her robes and splash water on her face and go about whatever it was that had been interrupted.
She began to fear the silence, so she started spending more time in Bree. That meant smiling when she felt like screaming and small talk when she felt each flippant statement about the weather mocked her very existence.
“Boo hoo that you are hurting,” they said. “You are a fool to think a prince would ever need you for more than a mistress. You are a fool to think he would ever choose you.”
The voices became louder each day. More insistent. She mustn’t believe them, she argued back. She was loved. Things change. They only knew lies.
Even when she was with Oleander Hawthorn, they whispered their lies. He, too, would leave her one day. He, too, would tire of her clumsiness and lack of clever things to say. He only loved being in love; he did not love her.
The voices were getting louder.