Note: Quite a dark chapter. Involves attempted suicide.
Friends or Lovers? Part 9
Viconia’s harsh words had left Edwin upset, angry and confused and he stayed where he was for a long time after the drow had gone. Desperate to block everything from his memory, he drank glass after glass of ale, completely ignoring the fact that he was unused to drinking so much. It didn’t help him though; it just made him feel worse.
“What’s wrong with me?” he muttered under his breath. “What have I ever done to deserve this…torture? I am Edwin Odesseiron of Thay, the great and powerful wizard. I should not be troubled by these feelings.”
But you are, and you cannot deny that. You aren’t great and powerful, you are just a foolish and pathetic emotional wreck.
Edwin did not even want to have to consider what people would say when the news finally became common knowledge. Him, Edwin Odesseiron...in love with another man. People would no longer respect and fear him, they would merely laugh at him or avoid him. And what of the people in Thay, what of his family? They were bound to hear it eventually and then what would they think?
They will probably be ashamed of me. It isn’t normal to have these feelings, not for another man. No one will want to know me after this.
It would probably be worth it if Kane were to return his feelings, but the wizard knew that it was unlikely to happen. He had seen plenty of signs that his leader liked the company of women, but never men. It was much more likely that the warrior would want nothing more to do with him, just as Viconia had said. And Edwin could not deny that if the roles were reversed, he would probably feel exactly the same way.
Because your feelings are disgusting and unnatural and evil, Viconia’s voice echoed over and over in his head. You should be ashamed for feeling this way.
As hurtful as these thoughts were, thinking them made Edwin feel just a little better. Not for the first time in recent weeks, he really wished that his teacher were there. Master Dekaras may not have been able to do anything to make his feelings disappear, but Edwin had no doubt that he could say something to make it all seem much better.
But it would probably be what he thinks you want to hear. He might be just as shocked and disgusted as everyone else will be.
“No!” Edwin said loudly, shaking his head to try and get rid of the voice, not caring that a few people in the bar were giving him strange looks. “Master Dekaras…it wouldn’t matter to him. He wouldn’t care…”
And yet, in his drunk and exhausted state, the wizard was no longer sure what to believe. As certain as he wanted to be that nothing he did or said or felt would matter to his teacher, he could not quite bring himself to believe it. It was easier to believe that the voice in his head was right, that everyone would hate him, even the people he was close to.
He made it up to his room, though he had little idea how. He could hear singing and laughter coming from downstairs, but no sound from any of his companions. He had just taken off his robes, hoping that the alcohol would at least help him to sleep, when he eyes were suddenly drawn to the dagger on the bedside table. Without thinking, feeling completely numb inside, the wizard reached out and took it in his hand, running his finger along the blade. It was sharp, sharp enough to make a clean, swift and deep cut.
When the drow tells everyone, you are going to lose everything, he reasoned. Perhaps…perhaps it is the only way…
When in his right mind, Edwin would have never even thought of suicide as a way out. But he was tired, drunk, confused and lost. It suddenly seemed to make sense, a way out. He would not have to deal with Kane’s reaction…or anyone else’s; his thoughts would no longer trouble him.
He grasped the dagger firmly and slashed hard at his wrist. The blade cut neatly across the veins and a few droplets of blood instantly sprung to the surface. He made a second cut, just below the first, and then the dagger fell from his hand onto the worn floor. It didn’t hurt much, his whole arm felt numb from wrist to elbow, though it did sting a bit.
The blood began spurting out fairly quickly, dripping down onto the bed and the floor. Edwin managed a small smile as he watched the cuts bleed. He could already feel the strength draining from him. Soon…it would all be over.
After only a few minutes, he felt very weak and the room was beginning to spin. Nothing seemed real; he was drifting, drifting away. At least until a firm hand grasped his injured wrist. He felt a piece of material being wrapped very tightly around it, enough to stop the heavy bleeding, while a deep male voice uttered several curse words.
“Open your eyes, Edwin!” It ordered, shaking him rather roughly. “Talk to me, you stupid wizard! Say something, damn you!”
Edwin forced his eyes open; blinking several times to try and clear his blurred vision, and then wished that he hadn’t. Kane was sitting beside him, a mixed expression of anger and worry on his face.
“You are such an idiot, Edwin,” he muttered tensely, taking out a small blue potion bottle and putting it to the wizard’s mouth. “Drink this!”
Edwin struggled a little, but Kane was not in the mood for playing games. He roughly grabbed the wizard’s hair, pulling his head back and forcing the potion down his throat. Edwin choked and some of it went onto his robes, but he still took most of it down. It was a powerful potion and took effect quickly, clearing his head and returning a little of his strength. He sat up straight, though he kept his eyes fixed to the bed in embarrassment. Kane took his hand, frowning as he examined the blood-spattered bandage on his wrist, before he glanced upwards, trying to search the wizard’s face for answers.
“Edwin…” He faltered, not sure exactly what to say. “Why? I know that you have had things on your mind recently, but what could be so bad that you’d want…to do this?”
“It is nothing to do with you!” Edwin said sharply. “Just leave me alone.”
“Don’t push me away, Edwin,” the warrior pleaded. “I’m worried about you, I’ve been worried for quite a while now, and I want to help. But how can I if you won’t tell me what is wrong.”
“You can’t help me!” Edwin pulled his hand back, reluctant as he was to release it from Kane’s grip. “No one can. All I want is to be left alone.”
“I’m not going to leave you alone,” Kane repeated. His voice was soft, quiet, but it was clear that he meant what he said. “I am not leaving this room until you have told me exactly what is bothering you so much that you felt the need to try and…and take your own life.”
“All right!” Edwin said irritably. Why couldn’t Kane leave it alone, just let him sleep? “I have these very strong feelings for someone who I shouldn’t have these sorts of feelings for and it is slowly driving me mad. There, now you know. Are you happy now?”
“If it is bothering you that much, why don’t you just talk to them about it? Getting drunk and deciding to kill yourself is a bit of an extreme reaction to take, don’t you think? And they might feel the same about you.”
“I doubt it. You…you don’t understand.”
“I don’t see what there is to understand,” Kane told him. “They’ll either feel the same or they won’t, but if they have any sense of decency, they’ll not hold it against you.”
If only it were that simple. “It’s another man!” Edwin blurted out. “That’s why I can’t tell him, because he’ll be disgusted, because everyone will be disgusted.”
“We can’t choose who we have feelings for,” he said calmly. “And anyone who would hold such a thing against you isn’t worth knowing in my opinion.” Edwin said nothing, sat and just watched him. “And whoever it is could certainly do a lot worse than you, I suppose. Who is he anyway? Do I know him?”
“Yes,” the wizard admitted, his voice no more than a whisper. “Yes, you know him very well. It’s…it’s you, Kane. I think…I think I’m falling in love with you.”
Friends or Lovers? Part 9
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