I wasn’t being coy when I told Westel I’d never seen that particular place, or that it would take half a lifetime to scout out every little nook and cranny in the city. Still, riding around Dalaran late at night (or is it early in the morning?) on the mechanical steed that he hates so much, I can’t help feeling like I know this city. It is a second home to me, even more than Orgrimmar; it is a part of me, and I of it.
When the Northrend campaign was in full swing this city would have been overwhelmed with people even at this ungodly hour. Tonight the only beings sharing the streets are the magical brooms sweeping the cobbles and the occasional overly optimistic vendor. I downshift and revel in the echo of the engine bouncing off the stone walls of the alley as I race to the other end. A pair of unopened bottles clink in the saddlebags as I pull a hard left. I bought them to share, but it seems that once I tire of racing around these streets I’ll be drinking them alone.
They both tell me they love me, that they’d do anything to make me happy, and that all they ask (though this, they do not ask in words) is one thing in return: that I give up the other. If you really loved me, I want to say to them, you’d make me happy by accepting that I love him too. I do not say this, of course. Any statement that begins with if you really loved me is immediately, flat-out fucking unacceptable, regardless of what suffix is attached to it.
Love is not a zero-sum game. The love I give to each of them is not stolen from the other. Giving up one of them isn’t going to make me love the other more — if anything it will cause me to resent them. Why can they not see this?
And then Lia tells me that the problem is me. That I’m spoiled, selfish and petty. Choose, she tells me. But I have chosen! I have told them each exactly what I want. They are the ones who are not accepting it. But neither are they walking away. They just cling to me and grump around in the hopes that I will change my mind, and break the other man’s heart for them, and ignore the fact that my own heart is breaking.
I was tempted tonight to say to hell with both of them and the entire institution; take my daughters and move to a remote cabin in the Hinterlands and post a sign: No Romance Allowed. After all, The only thing Bareris and I fight about of late is Westel, and the only thing Westel and I fight about of late is Bareris — eliminate them both, no more arguments! But my stomach sank in almost the same moment. I can’t give either up — how should I give up both?
Lia tells me I can’t have them both. But that’s not actually up to her. It’s up to me… and to them. I know it’s unusual, I know so few others would tolerate it… but am I asking so much?
I swear, somedays I should have the words LOVE FOOL writ in great glowing letters over my head.
…it’s late, and I know I should sleep. No, scratch that; I should drink, then sleep. But I am done driving for now, so I turn the bike back in the direction of the Ledgerdemain, where I know a lovely, empty room waits. With more liquor, in fact, and chocolate: all the fixings for a fabulous party of one. Huzzah.
So lost in my thoughts am I that I oversteer and catch the corner of a vendor’s cart, sending a crate of flowers flying. Whoops. I pull over, apologize profusely to the poor girl working the late shift (who buys flowers at this time of night, really?) and help her right her merchandise. No harm done, save perhaps to the sweet child’s nerves. For a moment I pause, watching her work amongst the blooms, and am struck with a vision.
Apparently I buy flowers at this time of night. Really.
In moments the flowers are wrapped neatly with ribbon and a note and swept away to their destination. Maybe tomorrow he’ll talk to me again. Maybe then we can figure things out. And then I can start again with the other.