Could Have Beens

Could Have Beens
Summary: Shortly before Claire's next posting on board the ship Minstrel, she receives troubling, devastating news.
Date: 15/11/1324
Related: None

November 15, 1324 — Ship's Quarters - Minstrel




We regret to inform you, daughter…

That's how the letter started in all of its formality, hiding behind the necessity of words rather than sending someone to tell her in person. Sitting in the small compartment of her room on the ship, Claire had read the words over and over in her mind to the point that every line had been committed to memory.

In light of what has happened, should you wish to return, we would welcome you back…

To do what? He had been killed during a ship to ship battle with the corsairs. Her betrothed. They were meant to be married in six months when her first tour was complete and could be spared for a short time to settle into married life. A life that would see her firmly away from the life of combat. A life that she had begun to accept. She could bear being with him. It was bound to be arranged eventually and all parties said that it was a good match between both families.

You could grieve in private, away from the fighting until feeling prepared to continue in whatever manner befitting your status…

The letter had been given to her in the briefest moment of the bustle surrounding the process of off loading the injured and restocking the stores. A man attired in the Sollinger livery had given the folded and sealed message to her maid, Janell and in turn, it had been pressed into her palm when the two passed in the narrow corridor of the ship. Unknowing to the contents within, Claire had opened the seal and read the message, delivered in such a fashion. Without her maid. Without anyone. She had curled into the corner of the bed attached as much to the wall.

But the question remained. Did she love him? Was it a loss of the political advantage or was it a true love match between them? She didn't know. When all was said and done, they were good together. He seemed to care. She reciprocated.He wouldn't be a harsh husband. But did she really grieve for his loss? What they could have been?

The tears which begin first as a single trickle against one cheek is soon followed by another.

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