- Guest Cottage
Ryven lay awake, still dressed in his white linen garments, atop the covers on the surprisingly luxurious bed. His little shack on the unnamed moon for the past few months had not been this plush. This cottage itself was a far cry from the comforts of his old quarters here. How had he suffered it, he wondered? How had he justified such opulence?
Truthfully, he was staying here only for the sake of Shalee. He could tell that she wanted him to accept her hospitality. Somehow, she still had a hold over him. Their conversation had awakened old memories, as he worried it would. He was forced to admit, he had gotten lonely during his self-enforced exile.
He had stayed there on that solitary verdant moon, alone but for his conversations with the strange incorporeal being that haunted him. He lost himself there, bereft of connection to his old life, the world from which he was born. And he died there and was reborn anew, fresh and fierce and no longer wearied and bowed by the cares of his former life. He sat beneath the stars and forgot their names, their stories. He gave them new names and new stories and he lost all sense of time. But, like all children, he had to leave and rejoin the world outside. He left, remembered, and reunited with his past.
Yet, his past had not waited for him. The world kept moving without him. His friends scattered throughout the cluster, he returned to his former home. Then, Providence or Fate, he reunited with his old friend, former lover, and the singularity around which all the threads of his old life had woven, Shalee.
Ryven sighed and rose from the bed. He lay down on the floor and slowly drifted off into sleep. He no longer found comfort in opulence.