October 11th, Year 22

I do not love naturally, but create it by force. My heart aches with as much intensity as a true lover, yearning for her favored companion on a breezy, Summer evening. Grass in between my toes, I look out into the horizon for a person that will never come. He is in the war, or taken by it. The man exists in my mind alone, paying me the occasional visit in dreams. And in those dreams, he hides his face from me completely, so that I only see his raven hair.

And though I know I have never truly loved – or if I did, it was a minor love – I am still chained at the waist, walking on a thorn-lined path. This intermittent hunger for Robert seems to me a heavy burden, that I bear silently. He is not the raven-haired man, and he is not much of a man at all.

My love is always profane, but I build a shrine to honor it. My secret cults, with many gods, all of which demand constant sacrifices. This blood-letting is ceremonial and medicinal, I say. A fool I am, for being shocked at how this leaves me in a weakened state.

October 11th, Year 22

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