The Adventure Begins – Part 2

“The Adventure Begins” is an interlude between Bag End, where Nerissa started her adventure, and the next major scene with the three trolls. It’s a time when Nerissa is adjusting to her new life on the road. Here’s part 2:

“You better get up, young lady,” came the voice above me. I felt a gentle kick. I groaned.

“Go away, Mother. I’m sleeping!”

I heard a deep laugh, “Do I look like your mother?”

I opened my eyes and saw Bofur looking at me.

I closed my eyes again. “Why so early, every morning?” I muttered.

“Well, Thorin himself said to get you up. Actually he said something more like, ‘If that loafer of a girl refuses to rise … ,'” Bofur stopped himself, and then continued cheerily, “But what he said isn’t important. Now, you need to get up. After all, line 238 of the contract says that all signees are to rise at this time every morning for the duration of the adventure.”

I sighed, sat up, and started gathering my gear. I shoved my blanket into my pack, but it wouldn’t fit. Grumpily, I grabbed my pack and shook it as hard as I could. Everything  I had just packed tumbled to the ground along with a folded piece of paper. Kneeling, I picked it up. My name was neatly spelled out on the front of the slightly-peachy colored stationery that Mother always used. I felt a lump in my throat as I slowly unfolded the paper. It didn’t matter that Thorin wanted to get started; I had to read the letter. I began reading my mother’s precise writing.

My dearest daughter,

When we said no to you going on this quest, I knew in my heart you wouldn’t obey. I really hope I’m wrong and that this letter will never be opened, but something tells me you’re going to leave home, and nothing will stop you. I want to say right now that I love you, and I forgive you for leaving. It pains me, but I understand you’re excited to try life on your own and desire to make your own decisions. I was young once, too. In fact, I’m sure you remember the story about how my own parents were furious at my decision to leave home and marry your father, as it was unthinkable that I would marry a Rohirrim! That’s why I’m letting you go – because I do understand. My promise to you is that you’ll always have a home to come back to, and that I’ll always love you. I hope your adventure is everything you dreamed of. Be good and obey Gandalf.

Just remember that the world is bigger than you realize. The world isn’t like our tiny town. I’ll be praying for your safe return.

Mother

I gently folded the letter, and felt the tears well up in my eyes. I suddenly just wanted to run home, back to the safety and care of my family. “I love you too, Mother,” I whispered to the letter, hugging it to me for a moment. The lump in my throat got bigger and bigger, and the tears started to fall.

“Nerissa?”

I turned around, quickly wiping my eyes. “Yes?”

Bilbo Baggins, our Hobbit, stood in front of me, and he looked concerned. “Are you all right?”

“I’m fine, thank you,” I said briskly, turning around and tucking the pale paper back into my bag.

“You’re homesick,” Bilbo touched my elbow. “I know.”

I turned on him. “How do you know?”

“Because I’m homesick myself,” Bilbo smiled sympathetically.

“I found a letter from my mother. I never knew she wrote it,” I choked up. “I miss her. I miss my family. I miss Rohan. I even miss having to make my bed every morning.” I laughed despite myself, re-rolling the blanket and placing it in my pack.

“You better get moving, both of you, or Thorin will have your heads!” growled Dwalin as he passed us.

Bilbo picked up the pack he’d dropped and glanced over at me.“I miss my arm chair. I miss my books. I miss Bag End.”

“I miss my books, too. And my bath tub!” For a moment I remembered how good it felt to be clean.

“I miss my tea kettle. I miss my slippers. I miss not being sore every morning.”

“I miss my mother’s cooking.” The thought of my mother began my tears afresh.

Bilbo handed me something. It was a handkerchief that one of the dwarves had given him. “Here,” he smiled up at me. I dried my eyes and handed it back to him.

“Hannon le … I mean, thank you,” I smiled. Bilbo nodded, and we walked in silence to our horses. Gildin leaned down and nuzzled my hair. “Hello, boy. How are you?” He nickered back. I rubbed his nose, and swung up on his back.

“Let’s get moving! We’re already behind.” I heard Thorin’s gruff command. I sighed and urged Gildin forward.

Thanks for reading! I’ll be posting part 3 next week.

~ Kayla

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