“Have you ever seen someone for the very first time and fallen in love?” Smoke billows from his lips and nose as he taps the edge of a blunt against a nearby ashtray. “Because I haven’t but I know someone who does it daily.” The long, rolled paper is rolled between his wooden fingertips as he contemplates the cherry red ember at the tip.
“I don’t know if it’s endless, boundless hope or if it’s a simple desire to know everything there is to know and to experience every experience that the world has to offer, but Lafeyette can fall in love at first sight.”
The left side of his face tugs into a brief contemplative look before the joint reaches his lips against, burning brighter for a moment before smoke coils about his lips.”And I love her for it. Lafeyette makes me better. I’m not sure if she knows it, but she found me at one of the lowest points in my life.” He laughs quietly, wheezing as the smoke leaves him in an acrid cloud.
“I’m sure she’ll say that I found her, but all I did was stumble upon a girl. She’s the one that saw me and decided she wanted to stay near. Perhaps some part of her knew I was lonely and that I needed a companion. After all, she’s the one that ran up to me as I was packing up to leave Sharlayan and asked if she could come along.” He stares off for a good while, taking another pull from his joint.
“This pretty young girl, so full of desire and hope chose me. Who’d say no to that?” Another pause hangs heavy and then another laugh is what breaks it. “A responsible person, I suppose.”
Once more he’s quiet and this time it’s a heavy swallow that cuts through the air, like he’s swallowing a word to shape it and spit it back out. “I liked her but over the course of our travels I fell in love with her. Who wouldn’t fall in love with someone like Lafeyette–especially after five years on the road? You see the worst parts of a person when privacy is a bush or behind a tree and when you’re the only one that can care for them when they’re sick.”
Ashing the join, Arelian leaves it to burn low in the tray. “I’ve seen everything that makes Lafeyette who she is. She’s seen every side of me and what makes me who I am. Yet, she still looks at me like she looked at the man in Sharlayan who was peddling books; Awe and an eagerness to please.” He closes his eyes and leans back against the moss-covered rock he’s taken to sitting near.
“Maybe if things were different we–” Cutting himself off, Arelian smiles a rueful smile. “I love Lafeyette and knowing that she loves me is the sweetest gift I’ve ever been given. I’d do anything if she asked me to. Now leave this old man to nap, he’s tired after smoking enough fogweed to kill a gigas.”