The Wind has many moods.
A gentle kiss and a playful flip of hair. A cooling splash or a scalding blast. There was a time when Anya never thought much of the wind except for the weather it would bring on its back. That was all it would ever tell her: bring a heavy cloak to the market; it was going to rain tomorrow morning; the day was going to burn without mercy.
Yet, the wind always possessed insight should a man wish to listen. Its voice only falls to a whisper and too often the noise of living would drown it out. A grumbling stomach, a ripping tear in a sleeve, a beat of a heart. It took practice and focus to hear the voices through the cacophony of contentment and Anya never paid the tugs on her thoughts much mind when she was too afraid or too happy.
Now that she was safe from those that would hurt her, now that she was feed and clothed, now that she was surrounded by those that loved her and shielded her from harm–
Now that she had the time to listen to the silence of his absence, she found there was no such thing as silence and the voices wanted to be heard.
She tried. She tried so hard to be just fine without him, and when she sat and talked with Eruviel or discussed the future with Anders, it was easier. She did not have to think about what she missed about his wispy hair or clever banter. It was easier to forget he would not appear behind her whenever she most needed him. It was easier to avoid the knowledge that he would never smile at her again. That is why she forced herself to visit the Prancing Pony, even if she never spoke to anyone. That is why she still went to the market and parties and got out of bed each morning.
But, as the voices told her, life did not really change. Man sprouted, grew, blossomed, wilted, and died. And when they died, they never came back.
He was never coming back. Not in her lifetime.
She would never love anyone the way she loved him and was loved by him and she would never have such a purpose again–the purpose that he lived because she loved.
It was petty and selfish to think that he lived because of her, and she knew he had others (needed others) and that without her, his life would not have been truly that different. People move on and find others to love and they grow again in the light. And she was trying to stretch out her branches and wrap herself around those who loved her, because without their support, surely bits of her would break off in swirling emotions around her and the voices would keep her from finding her true thoughts again.
Stay strong, people said. Keep living, people encouraged. Move on, people advised.
Then some: It’s okay to be not fine.
She could not be both, yet she was: healthy leaf and branches disguising roots rotting in the soil of his memory. She needed a healthier environment or a stronger fertilizer now that his love was gone. It would be easier to transplant again. The garden of a healer’s son was ideal.
But her roots had grown deep and as the people and the wind and its voices tried to dislodge her from the dirt of Morducai Mossfoot’s grave, they refused to let go. The more she tried, the deeper they burrowed until they began to break and each tendril she stretched out to seek the light of the surviving’s sun began to wilt from lack of nourishment.
For as much as he survived off of her love, she survived on his.
The voices on the Wind knew she was weak. The gentle nature spirits she first learned to listen to gave way to harsher voices as she trained to enrich her powers. Each brittle leaf of her they sloughed away only weakened her more. She knew she could not keep going like that, keep digging in deeper, but what if she needed more love’s life than Anders could give and she ended up drinking too much, killing them both?
There were things Anders did not understand and could not understand no matter how much he wanted to do so. Morty left too large a wound, had taken too much away. And though Anders could fill the wound of Morty’s absence, it would never be right if she stayed where she was rooted in the dirt where everything else was dying. Her Dalish Charms were testament to how alone she was in that garden, were they not?
And they stayed rooted in their plot on the side of their house. Hardy and resilient, they were. Storms beat them, the lake winds pushed and pulled at their branches and broke them bit by bit. Their delicate petals ripped and bruised in the onslaught. And after every storm, they dropped broken blossoms to grow new ones again because of their strong foundation in the earth, in her love and his love, too.
She tried to drop the broken ones. She tried to grow anew. But it is hard to restore life to petals that have already wilted.